My post from the other day certainly evoked a lot responses regarding what appeared to be a resignation that got turned into a stealth draw offer. I've been thinking about chess etiquette a lot lately. I was surprised by how people reacted when I mentioned the noisy food incident. Often there are debates about whether one should play out a game to mate, or resign when it is a hopeless case. I had an interesting discussion with King Kong the last time I played him.
This was the final position. He just played 29...Rc2. He's threatening to mop up my queenside pawns, and run his two pawns down the queenside. He's also threatening d3. I can break the pin by playing 30. Kf3, but that's easily answered by Re3+ My rook is tied down to the e2 pawn. My knight is horribly out of play. There are no forking possibilities the way the position is set up. Time was not a big factor here though he did have a 4 minute advantage of 10:30 vs 6:30. Given the time difference if anyone was bound to implode in later time pressure, it would have been me. It was the last round. All Kevin needed was a win or a draw to wrap up the section. I saw no reason to play the position out so I resigned.
Afterwards Kevin said, "I don't know why you resigned there. You should have played on." I told him that I felt it was an easy win for him, and that I don't like to drag out positions like that. He said he knew was an easy win, but he would have played on. There were no extenuating circumstances such as his having 10 seconds left. I told him I know kids would play it out, but I told him that as one gets older and more experienced one tends to concede the hopeless position out of respect for a player who totally out played them. It had nothing to do my track record against him. There was no feeling of intimidation. I felt pretty good about how things had gone that evening. It was actually one of my better games against him until I got sloppy with my attack, and dropped the exchange. Things just fell apart after that.
Would I resign that same position every time? I would be more likely to play on if I out rated my opponent by 700+ points, or if the clock was a major factor. Then I'd want the opponent to prove that they have the skill to it finish off. In this situation I didn't need King Kong to prove to me that he could win the game. I knew he could. It was my way of making a quiet statement about playing out hopelessly lost positions. Maybe my resigning took away the pleasure of totally crushing me, by promoting the queenside pawns. I wasn't going to hang around to find out.
In my next post I'm going show two games from my weekly Thursday night "cracktion" tournament. One game I lost despite my opponent making me retract my ill timed resignation, and the other I won because I didn't resign a pretty much lost position based on Steve's and my history of time pressure implosions. As they say those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.