Draw by Agreement

A chess game is drawn by agreement if both players agree to a draw. One player has to “offer” the draw, and the other player has to “accept” the draw offer.

There is usually no restriction on when a draw can be agreed. If both players are happy to draw, they can agree to a draw. In theory, you could both agree to a draw without even playing a move on the board, although that would be frowned upon by the referee (and some tournaments might actually have an official rule that disallows an “invalid draw agreement”).

Usually a game is agreed drawn due to a drawish situation on the board, such as:

However, these are not required, and you can agree a draw in lots of positions. Some players are happy to accept draws even if they are a pawn ahead, to save the trouble of winning, and avoid the risk of making a mistake and losing. Sometimes players who are losing may offer a draw prior to resigning, which means they offer a draw in the hope of an agreement, but resign if the draw offer is rejected.

There is even some controversy about draw agreements in grandmaster chess. There is the term “grandmaster draw” which refers to games where neither grandmaster really makes much attempt to win, and then they both agree to a draw after most of the pieces are swapped off.

Related Chess Rules Topics

Read more about these related chess rules, chess puzzles, and other chess tactics and strategies: