Insufficient material to mate.

It's not unique at all. This is how timeouts work OTB. Obviously online chess should try to mirror OTB chess when it comes to fundamental rules.

@lovlas Oh should it? So we should have touch move, clock clicking, you lose the game if you try to move a piece to an illegal square, and all the other awesome aspects of OTB chess?

I am sure you understand that not everything is suitable in an online format.

Absolutely, but do you? I mean surely you can see here that your position is untenable when you are unable to support this rule in and of itself? That is very much the point. Perhaps e.g. at whoever thinks those player page comments are a good idea blindly jams home user engagement and social interaction as key aspects to success of modern sites, without bothering to actually take a moment to look at the practical effects of what they're supporting.

I do support the rule. But it doesn't change any of the fundamentals of playing online chess, which stuff like touch move would do. If you fail to see the difference between features that heavily influences how the game is played, and a feature that decides the result after one dude loses on time, there is no point in continuing this discussion. They aren't in any way similar.


Actually you're somewhat wrong. We aren't talking about an engine analysis, much more something like, material check (only bad bishops) files a to h blocked. Kings on oposite sides of the structure -> draw. It wouldn't mean a ton of hyperexpensive hardware to do that.

(Only run it when time runs out)

#24 Let's be more specific: you're talking about the clock-punching madness which ensues as players' final seconds tick away, computers and networks lag unpredictably, and there is no increment. A player with king and pawn versus a full army is declared the victor because the pawn can checkmate, even if the pawn is blockaded and the opponent has mate on the next move. The only fair thing to do (which doesn't rob an opponent of their time win) is resume the game; but both players inexplicably agreed to play without an increment and one of the players' time has expired.

Game tree complexity matters since on Lichess almost all games are played from the initial position and most positions in terms of "space complexity" cannot be reached from the start position. Going beyond Shannon's number (for games exceeding 40 moves) would only strengthen my argument since the total number of possible chess positions (including promotions and underpromotions) expands far faster than the total number of dead positions.

#26 Agreed.

#27 Even if there were an engine arbiter, it would need to be tested; and yes, it's an expensive proposition, and for what? It's very difficult for players who didn't set out with the goal of reaching a dead position to actually produce one, let alone in time pressure.

#25 Even a "brute force" solver such as handles much more than that... but it isn't stable and doesn't perform well.

OK, maybe I was exaggerating on the hardware side of things, but my second point still stands: if it's "so easy" to make a solution to the problem, why hasn't the solution been made? I'm guessing it's not easy after all.

I guess it will be done at some point. It wasn't done yet because it's infrequent. I think I only got one game of that kind in all I played here.

@lovlas In my opinion phrases like "fundamentals of playing online chess" are somewhat weasely. That phrase is poorly defined, and so it is appealing to something without specifying what that something is. And I expect specifying that would lead to contradictions which support of this rule tends to often lead almost directly to, as shown above.

Furthermore this rule leads to situations, uniquely on lichess, which are certainly undesirable. E.g. certain time scrambles will suddenly turn into loser's chess where one side is trying to hang pieces so as to avoid getting hit by the rule. This is something that only happens on Lichess and certainly very much "heavily influences how the game is played."