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  1. Forum
  2. General Chess Discussion
  3. Insufficient material to mate.

I just lost a game on time against a king and bishop. How long has it been possible to mate with only those pieces?

There's a bug there.

The rule means "king and bishop vs LONE king". Checkmate is possible still. I swear there are 3 of these posts each day. @sarg0n , help a guy out would ya?

It's possible to achieve a mating position, so it's not a draw.

Edit: How do I embed a nice board like the person before me did?

@kajoM Board embedding only works with game links, not analysis board links, so you'd need to use "continue from here" to make a game out of that position, then paste the game link, which is then converted to the embedded board

I see these every single day. For some reason people never check if their question has been answered on the forum before.

Once again is implementing the draw rules in this let's say "unique" way really a great idea? Imagine all the people that play some games on Lichess, run into this implementation, think the site is buggy, and just leave instead of posting about it.

I'm sure the ideal was to get closer to the FIDE rule, but it doesn't even manage that rule since positions that should be declared a draw by the same rule are instead declared losses. So the net effect of Lichess' implementation is simply to confuse people and give a poor impression of the site by producing counter intuitive and bizarre decisions in games.

The only real benefit I see of the rule is giving Sargon a way to entertain himself.


Here's what FIDE rules state:

Appendix A. Rapid chess
A ‘Rapid chess’ game is one where either all the moves must be completed in a fixed time of more than 10 minutes but less than 60 minutes for each player; or the time allotted plus 60 times any increment is of more than 10 minutes but less than 60 minutes for each player.

To claim a win on time, the claimant may stop the chessclock and notify the arbiter. However, the game is drawn if the position is such that the claimant cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves.

(the game in question is blitz, but the rules are the same, so that's irrelevant. The point is, you have limited time for the whole game, as opposed to classical rules, where you have to make certain number of moves in the alloted time
UPD In classical, it's still the same, the only difference that you need to fail to make the needed number of moves.)

I don't see how the local implementation is different from these rules.

You could make the same point for not implementing en passant.


There are numerous positions that by this rule should be draws that are declared lost. For instance any completely blocked position. Lichess's implementation, in nearly all scenarios, achieves nothing but ruling losses in positions where that result is extremely counter intuitive.

But maybe even more importantly is that FIDE rules are mostly a red herring. And even if the above could be resolved, it'd probably be better just to implement insufficient mating material like basically every other site does. It just creates a better game like numerous other things done in Lichess have no place in FIDE rules - 'arena' tournaments, going berserk, take backs, not declaring a loss when a player makes an illegal move, smartmoves, so forth and so on.

You need to look at the value of a rule. And what value does this rule add? It leads players to believe the site is buggy, produces quite ridiculous outcomes, and serves not real purpose towards making the games better or more enjoyable in any way.

@lovlas En passant is a move - this is about adjudication procedures.

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