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  1. Forum
  2. General Chess Discussion
  3. Insufficient material versus time flag

I'm not sure I understand the insufficient material rule when someone runs out of time. I see that if you have a lonely king and your opponent runs out of time (having enough material to checkmate you) then the result is a draw because you couldn't make a checkmate with a lonely king (insufficient material). On the other hand I also saw a guy winning by time when he had a king and a lonely bishop, that is still insufficient material to checkmate. What am I missing?

King and Bishop can checkmate King and further material (except Q or R).

Guys, you need fantasy, that's an important trait.

The rule is that it is a draw if there is not a LEGAL secuence of moves to checkmate your opponent. For example, everyone knows that you can't FORCE a checkmate with two knights and a king, but there can be checkmates: Example: Black king on h8, white king on g6 and the knights on f7 and f6. So if somebody runs out of time and the opponent has 2 knights and a lonely king, loses.

@Sarg0n Well ok, I see it in general but it would depend on the actual material and the positions in a totally nontrivial way!

It's trivial. An enemy pawn is enough to win on time with N or B. Because mate is possible.

@pablohs: "you can't FORCE a checkmate with two knights and a king, but there can be checkmates"

You mean that you can checkmate your opponent if he makes a "mistake"?

"Forcing" is completely irrelevant. Forget this term immediately, it's not a part of the rules.

With more material you can always be mated, although not likely. Example line:

@MarcoDisce Yes