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  1. 14 Jul '11 06:43
    After taking a break from serious competitive chess for a year and a half, I've begun studying and playing in tournaments again. Two recent games come to mind. One was against a master rated about 2230 (I'm rated about 1840). In a G/30 tournament against him, I was up an exchange in a simple endgame. By simple, I mean that there was no "funny stuff"-- I had a King, Rook, and five pawns, he had a King, Bishop, and five pawns, all the pawns were connect (no passers or anything like that). Simply put, there was no way to lose short of dropping the Rook. I had 2 minutes (with 5 second time delay) on my clock. The position was probably winning for me, but I couldn't see an easy way through to his position and knew I wouldn't figure it out in those two minutes. I offered a draw, and to my surprise, he declined. In the end, I hung the rook and lost the game.

    Another recent game was against a 1900 player. I had a slightly worse position the entire game, but managed to simplify down to a Bishops of opposite color endgame. We both had 4 minutes on our clock and I offered a draw. He declined, and I subsequently won a pawn, dropped that pawn,and eventually lost an easily drawn Rook and pawn endgame.

    In both cases, I was certain my opponent would accept my draw offer and shaken that he did not. I think there was almost this psychological need to prove the position was a draw when my opponent declined, and this state of mind contributed to horrible blunders. This has made me wonder whether I should accept draw offers in positions that are clearly drawn but not trivially so, if by rejecting the offer I put my opponent at a psychological disadvantage. If not that, at least wait for my opponent to offer the draw instead of offering it myself. I think Nigel Short once said, "If you're opponent offers a draw, take a moment and try to figure out why he thinks your position is better."

    Anyone else have any similar experiences or thoughts on the subject?
  2. 14 Jul '11 10:18 / 1 edit
    That's interesting. I had a similar experience against two similar rated players OTB where I offered a draw they declined - but then I forced the draw through repetition about 5 moves later.

    I think when playing a weaker player who may have drawing position, as the stronger player (provided you are not about to lose on time or be crushed) you should make him grind it out because he may blunder as you have done.

    Also I have lost OTB games where I was offered the draw and declined because my position was a technical win - but I could not convert in time.. so lesson learned there.
  3. 14 Jul '11 15:35
    I usually see it from the other side of the coin. Sometimes I'll offer a draw when I'm losing; not by a lot, maybe a tight position or down the exchange. My opponent will decline the draw and then try to prove to me he has a win. Sloppy play commences.

    Indeed I've used this a couple of times on RHP.
    Here I made a draw offer around turn 22.

  4. 14 Jul '11 16:24
    Originally posted by chesskid001
    After taking a break from serious competitive chess for a year and a half, I've begun studying and playing in tournaments again. Two recent games come to mind. One was against a master rated about 2230 (I'm rated about 1840). In a G/30 tournament against him, I was up an exchange in a simple endgame. By simple, I mean that there was no "funny stuff"-- I ...[text shortened]... on is better."

    Anyone else have any similar experiences or thoughts on the subject?
    Interesting discussion. I find that when I offer a draw and it is declined, that maybe I am psychologically affected and then want to prove the draw.

    I offer draws is clearly drawn positions just to save time and energy.
  5. 14 Jul '11 17:20
    maybe a hint to avoid psychological pressure:

    offering a draw is similar to trading on, say, a market, where prices are made on the spot. in such a situation are much worse off, if you show too much interest in a certain item - if that is sensed, the price is rising. maybe you have been in that situation before: suddenly an 'unfair' price is coming, but you really want it - you are already decided.

    the comments about the pressure of 'proving the draw' go in that direction - the offer of the draw becomes a must.

    so, since you know your behaviour later, try to offer draws with a different assumption: say, to save time. say, if he takes it, is fine, otherwise not. let's see if i am right about the draw... by bringing in curiosity and taking out the 'must' the pressure soon will fade...
  6. 14 Jul '11 20:05
    There may be an opportunity here to make your opponent second guess his decision ...

    If you spend some additional time to calculate a few moves ahead, then when your
    opponent declines the draw, you already know how to continue and can play the correct
    response immediately, pound the clock and send it back to him. Do that a few times and
    he might begin to wish he'd accepted when he had the chance.
  7. 14 Jul '11 20:38
    I'm with darax.The pressure is on the one who declined the offer.

    You say "isn't this a draw?" he says "no way,I can win this" so now he has to prove it.
  8. 14 Jul '11 21:26
    Originally posted by torten
    I'm with darax.The pressure is on the one who declined the offer.

    You say "isn't this a draw?" he says "no way,I can win this" so now he has to prove it.
    thats a great way to go about with it. however, you have to consider that most people keep the rating of the other player in mind (including me, by the way).

    'oh god, (s)he declined my offer, and (s)he is xxx points rated higher then me. (s)he has so much more experience, certainly (s)he is right...'

    ...and the pressure is on

    nevertheless, the best is indeed to play unhampered by outer circumstances. no matter what numbers, no matter feelings... but is easier said, then done.
  9. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    15 Jul '11 00:57
    In otb unless I am playing a friend I rarely accept draws and never offer them.
  10. 15 Jul '11 02:11
    Maybe I just don't care about my rating all that much, but in otb games, I'll only offer or accept a draw if it's obviously a draw. And I don't mean an equal position; I mean you can clearly see that it's going towards a 3 position rep or 50 move rule or insufficient material. For draws that still have "play" in them, I tend to look at them as games that will never be finished. What would have happened? We'll never know.

    Might as well finish the game, win or lose. I might feel the joy of winning, but even if I lose, I might learn something. Draw psychology? A bunch of hooey if you ask me.
  11. 15 Jul '11 03:11
    Its a mind set thing

    Read "Chess for Tigers"
  12. 15 Jul '11 17:05
    Originally posted by nimzo5
    In otb unless I am playing a friend I rarely accept draws and never offer them.
    What about against a strong player late in the game where it is clearly drawn. Seems like accepting the inevitable draw would let you rest and prepare for the next match.
  13. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    15 Jul '11 21:38
    Strong players i.e. IM's make their living but chewing up guys like me from even positions. So needless to say they don't offer draws...

    Against guys my own weight it depends on the tournament situation- the last year or so I played almost exclusively in closed fide stuff where nothing was on the line but your rating so I was more inclined to accept a draw.

    In your typical weekend swiss though the gloves are off until the position is trivial. I find my results have improved by just assuming that when I sit down to play I will have to "prove" I can win/draw a position.
  14. 16 Jul '11 02:05 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by nimzo5
    Strong players i.e. IM's make their living but chewing up guys like me from even positions. So needless to say they don't offer draws...

    Against guys my own weight it depends on the tournament situation- the last year or so I played almost exclusively in closed fide stuff where nothing was on the line but your rating so I was more inclined to accept a draw ...[text shortened]... just assuming that when I sit down to play I will have to "prove" I can win/draw a position.
    apopros psychology: can you explain shortly, why your last opponent (bluecheese) resigned the game? am i missing something trivial?

    edit: on second thought, somehow black seems to have lost a pawn at least...
  15. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    16 Jul '11 13:23
    You would have to ask bluecheese, I dont believe it was because of the positions on the board.