Draw by Perpetual Check

A draw by perpetual check is where one player is continually checking the other player’s King on every move. It only occurs if there is a check on absolutely every move. Such a position is a draw, as no-one can win it, provided that the checks don’t end up as a checkmate!

There are two main types of perpetual check:

  • Castled Perpetual Check: This means that the King is perpetually checked in its castled position. It is a quick draw by triple repetition, but usually agreed drawn without even needing that many moves.
  • Infinite Pursuit (Runaway King): This is where the King is being checked out in the open and the King is on the run into the middle of the board (or all over the board).

Perpetual check is not actually an official rule of chess. You cannot go to the tournament referee and claim a “draw by perpetual check”. Strictly speaking, it can be a draw by “triple repetition” or otherwise by the “50-move rule” (e.g. “infinite pursuit”). In practice, the position will be “drawn by agreement” or “drawn by adjudication” or by “no progress”.

Related Chess Rules Topics

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