Many pieces change when you play a chess game. And, in the end, only the kings are left. But do you know what happens in chess when just the king remains?
When only the kings are available, a player who only has the king remaining cannot win the game because two kings cannot directly checkmate one another. The game either results in losses or draws. However, when all pieces are taken away, the game immediately draws due to a lack of mating material.
Mating material refers to the number of chess pieces required to checkmate the king. It happens with combinations such as this one: insufficient mating material occurs when there aren’t enough chess pieces to checkmate the king. It also happens with varieties including king vs king, as well as others, like:
- King and One Knight Vs King
- King And One Bishop Vs King
Remember that one king can’t check or checkmate another king. As a result, as soon as you’re down to just a king, forget about winning the game. There will be two outcomes: you lose, or the round comes to a draw.
You may also wonder what will happen if the opponent attempts prohibited moves or runs out of time in this scenario. The game ended in a draw, and here’s why.
If you make two illegal strokes, as is proper, your opponent loses the game by standard regulations. However, the game will be drawn if you cannot checkmate your opponent utilizing only legal moves (and that is known as lacking good mating material).
To make a long story short, if your opponent runs out of time, they should lose the game. However, if you don’t have enough mating pieces, the game will draw.
Let’s talk about how many moves there are when the king is alone.
How Many Moves In Chess When Only The King Is Left?
The 50-move rule states that the game can be drawn if no pawn movement and no capture have occurred in the last 50 moves. As a result of this, in chess, a player must make 50 moves to checkmate a lone king from the previous pawn movement or piece capture.
After 50 moves, the player can claim a draw; if they do not remember, the game is automatically drawn at 75 moves by the 75 move rule.
The 50-move and 75-move rules are two of the basic rules for chess openings. Apart from these, there are two additional guidelines known as threefold recurrence and five-fold recurrence that you should be informed about in this area.
What Is The 50-Move Rule?
According to FIDE Laws of Chess: If the player executing the move claims a draw, they must write down their moves on the scoresheet before declaring to the referee that making a move will result in the last 50 moves with no pawn movement and no capture.
When a pawn is moved or an opposing piece is taken, the counting of 50 moves starts again. The 50 move rule is designed to prevent a player from playing endlessly when he/she cannot win. You may have also noticed that to make a claim, the player must write down the moves on the scoresheet.
Most of the basic checkmating methods can be completed in 50 moves or less. However, if you make any errors while executing basic checkmating patterns, you won’t finish it in 50 moves.
Another thing to consider is that the game does not automatically end owing to this regulation. The player must claim it. If the player forgets, the game can continue indefinitely.
So, should the game continue indefinitely if no player wins by the 50-move rule? The genuine answer is no, which leads us to our next topic: the 75-move rule.
What Is The 75-Move Rule?
The game is drawn if there is no pawn movement and no capture has been made within the last 75 moves. However, if the final move resulted in a checkmate, it will be given greater weight.
Even if both players fail to call for a draw by the 50-move rule, the referee will automatically apply the new 75 moves and declare a game. As a result, chess games can’t go on indefinitely.
What Is The Threefold Repetition Rule, And How Does It Work?
According to FIDE rule 9.2, a player can claim a draw if the same position arises again for the third time. And they have noted it down in their scoresheet and notified the referee about it, or if a similar situation has already occurred three times.
When comparing positions, the moves of both players are considered identical if the same pieces occupy the same spaces, both players have similar possible movements, the move is with the player who has castling rights, and there is no en passant possibility.
The game isn’t drawn automatically under the threefold repetition rule, as it is now with the 50 move rule. The player must claim it. So what happens if the player fails to do so by this regulation and we come to our next subject, the fivefold repetition standard?
What Is The Fivefold Repetition Rule, And How Does It Help?
According to the FIDE rule 9.6.1, a game is decided automatically if the same position appears three times in succession. The definition of ‘same position’ is the same as we previously discussed, which is that it refers to boards with equal ranks (i.e., minor pieces are on each side).
Under the five fold repetition rule, no player must claim a draw. As soon as this rule comes into effect, the referee may declare a draw.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How many moves can a king make before being caught in a stalemate?
There is no such restriction on the number of moves before a stalemate in chess. However, if no pawn movement and no capture has been made within the last 50 moves, a player may demand a draw under the 50 move rule. If the player does not remember, the game will automatically result in a draw by the 75 move rule.
Is there a 16-move limit in chess?
The maximum number of moves permitted in chess is 50. According to FIDE (international chess governing body) regulations, the standard 50 and 75 move rules apply.
What’s the best way to win chess with just a king?
A single king can’t checkmate another king because a single king can’t checkmate another king. The player will either lose the game or draw it out.
That’s all there is to it! I hope you enjoyed reading this post and understood everything. If you found this helpful, please share it with your friends. Till then, thank you, and good luck!
Hi Guys, I am Natalie K. Domenico and I am the author of this website. I am a chess expert. If you have any questions related to chess, feel free to contact me.