A chess game does not always produce a winner and a loser. No, sometimes the darn thing is just drawn, and there isn’t a thing we can do about it. There are only four ways to draw the game, so keep your eyes open for them when playing chess!
This type of draw happens when neither player sees they have an advantage, and both black and white simply agree to a draw. Normally, one of the players offers and the other accepts. There is nothing “wrong” or “bad” about this type of draw. In fact, Grandmasters use it as part of their strategy at the top level. Be careful when offering or accepting, though, because agreeing to a draw in a won chess position can be quite embarrassing!
Stalemate happens when a player cannot move their king, and their king is the only piece that is legal to move. For instance, a king can shuffle behind a group of pawns and close himself in, and if the other player isn’t keen to what is going on stalemate can occur. Stalemate happens quite often in very fast Internet chess games, where one player is trying hard to limit their opponent’s king, only to go overboard and prevent it from moving at all. If the king is not in check and cannot move, and no other pawn or piece can move, the game ends in stalemate, which is a draw.
Three-fold Repetition of Position
If the same exact position occurs three times on a chess board during the same game, either of the players can claim a draw. Most often, this occurs when one person is able to give repetitive checks to the enemy king, but the successions do not have to be in a row. If the same position occurs at any three instances during a chess game, it is drawn if one of the players accurately claims it. So be sharp!
Insufficient Material to Mate
This one is straight forward, but probably the least commonly seen draw. For an example, if everything on the chess board is traded off except for the kings and one knight each, the game is drawn, because one cannot give checkmate with a king and a knight. It is the same story with a king and bishop. They simply cannot give checkmate, and so the chess game ends in a draw. So, if you ever end up with a king and a knight, and your opponent has a king accompanied by a pawn that is headed toward queening, sacrifice the knight for the pawn if possible, and the game is instantly drawn. Neither player can win.