Draw by Inadequate Mating Material
- Kings only. Just two Kings on the board, with no other pieces or pawns.
- King and Knight vs King (with no pawns)
- King and Bishop vs King (with no pawns)
Also, if either player has a pawn, it is not officially drawn. In theory, even a single pawn can be promoted to become a Queen, and then give checkmate. So there has to be zero pawns on the board for this rule to declare a draw.
In practice, a lot of endgame positions are drawn even with one or more pawns on the board. But they are not drawn by this rule. Such “book draws” will often be drawn by agreement, by stalemate, or drawn by adjudication.
Related Chess Rules Topics
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