Stalemate is a great defensive resource to play for when you are losing and everything seems hopeless. Many games in chess history have been saved by this resource! 

For players new to chess and even for some that have experience, stalemate can be a little confusing. Stalemate is a special type of draw or tie that helps the player that is losing! Specifically, it is a situation in chess where the player whose turn it is to move is not in check, and that player has no other legal moves to make. 

In simple terms, Stalemate is a situation in the game of chess where the player whose turn it is to move is not in check but has no legal move. The rules of chess provide that when stalemate occurs, the game ends as a draw. During the endgame, stalemate is a resource that can enable the player with the inferior position to draw the game rather than lose. In more complex 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 losing chess, another chess variant, it is typically treated as a win for the stalemated player.

In popular usage, the word stalemate refers to a conflict that has reached an impasse, and in which resolution or further action seems highly difficult or unlikely.

Here are 3 terms which can be an easy way to grasp stalemate:-

1.   King is NOT in check.

2.   No other legal moves to make!

3.   It is a draw.


1.The king is not in check.

White's last move was queen on c4 to c7 - at first this looks like a powerful move trapping the king in the corner. The problem is the king is NOT in check and cannot make any moves. Since there are no other pieces to move on the board, this position is a stalemate! This happens all the time in scholastic chess. You can see why Black is happy

 about this situation. Instead of losing, Black gets a draw!

2.No other legal moves to make!

1... b2?? Yes, even grandmasters can make the mistake and allow a possible defense! This move looks very powerful due to the skewer tactic, but there is a trick!  xb2! h2+ This was the point. Now Black is able to skewer the king and rook, or so they thought... 

Refer the image given above.

f3! xb2 An amazing stalemate! You see White has NO legal moves to make in the position and is not in check. It is a draw!

3.It is a draw.

It might seem unfair, but even if you are up a ton of material and your opponent is not in check and does not have any legal moves to makeā€”the game is a draw !Samuel Reshevsky) reached a stalemate position! It seems a little unfair since Black is up so much material, but that is the rule! It is White's turn to move, and the king is not in check, and notice how none of the white pawns can move! 

 Good luck!