When stalemate occurs, the game is a draw. Actual stalemate is rare, but the threat of stalemate has a big effect on endgame play. Many K+R+P vs K+R endings are drawn when stalemate cannot be avoided. The existence of stalemate is a main reason why draws are common in chess, but rare in the chess derivative shogi.
In the old Arabic form of chess, shatranj, stalemate was a win for the side with the most pieces. The idea of stalemate as a draw in modern chess took a long time to be agreed. It was finally decided by the early 19th century British master J.H. Sarratt in the London Chess Club rules of 1807.
Figurative uses in general[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Hooper D. & Whyld K. 1992. The Oxford Companion to chess. Oxford University Press, p387/8.