Draw by Triple Repetition

A draw by triple repetition occurs in chess when the “same position” arises on the board on 3 (or more) occasions during the game. Such a draw often occurs due to:

The requirement for the “same position” is very strict. Absolutely every piece and pawn must be on the same square for each of the 3 positions. Even a single pawn move will void it.

Even more pedantically, the “same position” must also have the same player about to move. It means 3 things actually:

And for the super pedantic, the same position requirement also requires the same castling rights, and the same en passant right.

A draw by triple repetition is not “automatic” but must be actually claimed by a player. One player can claim a draw if the current position is a triple repeat, or if the player is about to make a move that will result in a triple repeat.

The three repetitions do not have to be on subsequent moves, but can occur at any time during the game. In a perpetual check, the same position will often repeat every 2 moves, requiring 6 moves total to get a triple repeat.

Related Chess Rules Topics

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