Draw by Fortress

A fortress position in a chess game can be a draw. To achieve a fortress, you have to completely block out the enemy’s pieces from entering your area of the board.

The main way to achieve a fortress is to have lots of interlocking pawn chains. A common draw is a King-and-pawn endgame, where each player has only a King and the pawns, but where all the pawns are locked in chains. If neither King can get into the other King’s area, or the Kings can block each other out, then it’s a draw.

Rook vs Queen Endgame Fortress

Another common fortress draw occurs in “Queen vs Rook endgames”. If the Rook has two pawns, then the Rook can often set up a fortress position, whereby neither the enemy Queen nor King can achieve anything. See: Queen vs Rook Fortress.

Fortresses are a Draw

Strictly speaking, there is no official fortress rule or “blockade draw”. A fortress draw is going to be a draw by “triple repetition” or the “50-move rule”. There is a facility whereby the arbiter can declare a draw by “no progress” or “not attempting to win” (e.g. only trying to win on the clock). But in practice it will be “drawn by mutual agreement” (between the players). Failing that, it may be declared a draw by the official: drawn by adjudication, or drawn by “no progress” being made.

Related Chess Rules Topics

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