Stalemate

From DaynalWiki
(Redirected from Deadlock)
Jump to: navigation, search
Lighterstill.jpg
Stalemate.jpg

Etymology

obsolete English stale stalemate (from Middle English, from Anglo-French estaler to stalemate, from estal station, position) + English 1mate

Definitions

  • 1 : a drawing position in chess in which a player is not in checkmate but has no legal move to play
  • 2 : a drawn contest : deadlock; also : the state of being stalemated

Description

Stalemate is a situation in chess where the player whose turn it is to move is not in check but has no legal moves. A stalemate ends the game in a draw. Stalemate is covered in the rules of chess.

During the endgame, stalemate is a resource that can enable the player with the inferior position to draw the game. In more complicated positions, stalemate is much rarer, usually taking the form of a swindle that succeeds only if the superior side is inattentive. Stalemate is also a common theme in endgame studies and other chess problems.

The outcome of a stalemate was standardized as a draw in the 19th century. Before this standardization, its treatment varied widely, including being deemed a win for the stalemating player, a half-win for that player, or a loss for that player; not being permitted; and resulting in the stalemated player missing a turn.

Some regional chess variants have not allowed a player to play a stalemating move. In different versions of suicide chess, another chess variant, stalemate may or may not be treated as a draw.

The word "stalemate" is also used for a metaphor when a conflict has reached an impasse and resolution seems difficult or impossible, i.e. a no-win situation.