First an anecdote
Before we get to our readers's reaction, here's a little story that is relevant to the subject matter. Let's see if we can put it together correctly (it happened a couple of decades ago). A world-class grandmaster – let us call him Nigel Short – had a completely winning position in a game. His opponent, however, played on. After a few moves the GM addressed the opponent and said: "Excuse me, but do you know that I am a strong grandmaster and know how to win this position? It's trivially easy. Perhaps you should consider resigning?!" The opponent balked: "Let us play on," he said, "I want to see how you do it."
So the GM played on. After half a dozen moves his opponent decided he had had enough and offered his resignation. "Sorry," said the GM, "I do not accept your resignation." His opponent was nonplussed. "But you have to accept it. I can simply leave the board..." "Ah, but then you will be disqualified and all your other games will be forfeited," said the GM. "I don't believe that," said the player. "Where does it say so in the rules?" "It section seven, article 14b in the FIDE handbook," said the quick-witted GM, causing enough uncertainty in his opponent to force him to continue. And then the GM set to work carefully playing the game out to mate, much to the amusement of the spectators.
True story, though some of the details may have matured and improved a bit over time...
Let kings decide result of a game on the board
Reactions to the proposal by Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh
Igor Freiberger, Porto Alegre, Brazil
A simple and effective idea. Chess is under permanent crisis since early 90's and needs greater audience and more sponsors. This is a valid try to turn the game more attractive for general public, although it may be strange for the players. Let me add another reason to force the game ends in checkmate: as the final moves would be quite obvious for the players, they will be quickly played, giving chess a more dynamic view. This is the second best chess idea given within the past weeks – the first, of course, was Shirov's to get FIDE banned.
No "chess player" would think of, or condone, comparing chess to soccer or any other game/sport. Comparing any two games to draw parallels is mere intellectual tomfoolery.
Tassilo Söldner, Hersbruck
Good idea, well worth a try!
Geert van der Velde, Groningen, Netherlands
Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh's proposal to actually play chess until checkmate (or an inevitable draw) in (professional) chess is the most brilliant proposal since the inception of the game!
Julian Wan, Ann Arbor, USA
This idea is certainly novel – playing on to checkmate. Some thoughts:
- It is already done in faster time controls. Players play on when there is little time left knowing that their opponent could blunder or run out of time.
- In other sports limited by time football, american football or basketball, play continues until time expires. In sports where play is limited by some other measure play continues until those requirements are met – such as in baseball – play continues until nine innings are played regardless of score. Traditionally these sports have their root in athletic effort and at fostering a competitive physical attitude, so resigning or giving up is not part of the sport psyche. Chess on the other hand has more intellectual and game roots, and so playing on in a dull hopeless situation is much "fun" for either side and worse suggests that the player on the inferior side lacks an understanding of the situation or has low regard of his opponent's skill – two gaffes most players are loathe to commit.
I. A. Naji Alradhi, Dubai, UAE
Imaginative idea, but with many breaches:
- We really cannot compare chess to football; meanly because chess is about calculations. When the path to the mate is clear, or a dead drawn position is inevitable, it would be useless to let players, arbiters and organizers suffer and waste time till late at night. Isn't it better to just accept the fact and get some rest for the next round?
- At the masters' level, even if resignation is offered to the Arbiter to decide whether players should play the next few moves; if a player wants to resign he can simply give up his queen right away.
- Such system will destroy the quality of chess games. Imagine a game where two GMs are playing. Black loses a rook due to a brilliant combination. He wants to resign, but the arbiter says: Sorry, you cannot resign in chess. Black then loses a knight, then a bishop and two pawns. He still cannot resign. The value of the brilliancy and perfection would have been lost altogether.
- It will lay ground for humiliations amongst players who have problems with each other (Think Short – Cheparinov). We could reach instances when players might jump and shout to the Arbiter: Oh my god! He doesn't want to mate me! He wants to capture all my pieces and pawns... please put an end to this game... please!
- Chess will eventually lose its beauty, its value and... its financial supporters.
I can only think this idea is suitable for juniors & novice players in order to build their fighting spirits; but not for serious chess.
Mike Jaqua, Denver, CO, USA
Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh is saying what so many of us have said time and again. Play the game out all the way. I think that he has also rightly pointed out why chess isn't very popular. We don't understand why top players resign or agree to draws. As clearly set forth as Mehrdad's case is though, I doubt it will have any effect. Too bad.
Ed Gaillard, New York, USA
When did ChessBase News merge with The Onion?
James Jennings, Fairfax, Virginia
It sounds like a good idea. However, when you lead horses to water, can you make them drink?
Luis Parreira, Pombal, Portugal
I always find it funny when I hear someone using comparisons with football to justify possible changes in the rules of the game. There is an obvious difference between chess and other sports like football, basketball, handball, ... The result in chess is either 1-0, 1/2-1/2 or 0-1. That is why, when one of these results is certain (or almost) it does not make much sense to continue the game. In football, if a team is winning 8-0 five minutes before the end, everybody knows that that team is going to win, but the final result is unknown. Resign in hopeless situations or offering draw in situations where none of the sides is able to win is part of the game, and I don't see a reason to change it. I have some doubts that people would follow chess matches just to see an endgame mating combination that they know. I can only speak for myself, but I would not have the least interest watching a GM mating with king + queen against king.
Nat Kongsamran, Bangkok Thailand
I do agree with this article that would bring more attractive to chess as a whole.
Luis Parreira, Pombal, Portugal
The author of the proposal says that this would help to change the habit of resigning too early. Funny, that at my (low) level, I usually experience the opposite, the habit of resigning too late...
Nick Schober, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin USA
A very strong argument. I think this would greatly benefit the game. Fight to the end! See if the person in the lead will actually finish on top, or will that person crack or make a fatal mistake. As in other sports, and in life, the victory does not always go to the one currently in the lead. Let them finish! Make them finish! Make an agreed upon draw worth nothing so that in the event of an actual played out draw, a player will get 1/2, while a theoretical agreed upon draw will be worth zip! (Here we go again!)
Howard Goldowsky, Boston, USA
Of course! How can chess become a major sport when one side resigns, or, even worse, both sides agree to a draw? Besides all the other benefits mentioned by Mehrdad, time management skills will become more important too.
Philip Roe, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Good players find that playing out very one-sided positions is humiliating to one side and boring for the other. That is why resignation is a courtesy. If resignation were not allowed, then any player wishing to resign would just put all of their pieces en prise and walk their king out into the open. Legislation to forbid this would be impossible. It is true that soccer players do not resign, but boxers do. In fact the referee resigns for them.
Richard, Chicago, IL, USA
Steve Fairbairn, Toronto Canada
Regarding this latest notion of not resigning and playing things out to checkmate: it is utter silliness. It would be nice to have a few more organizers, arbiters and the birdbrains at FIDE who impose ridiculously short time controls bear in mind a key concept – chess tournaments are for the players, not the organizers, sponsors or spectators. This idea of playing lost games out to checkmate won't boost spectators or interest in chess any more than speeding up time controls has. I haven't seen chess getting any widespread play on television news or sports in North America as a result. Playing games out would simple add to player fatigue and make them play worse in subsequent rounds. Unless you're a total patzer, who in a dead lost position would want to prolong the torture. Mr Pahlevanzadeh trumpets the Sofia rules as some great innovation, it's not. Does he or anybody else really believe that it's any more difficult for GM's to go through the motions for 30 moves as 15? Window dressing like these kind of ideas won't boost chess. What will boost chess is to get good programs in the schools and get young people and put on good quality tournaments with good playing conditions to keep them playing when they move into adulthood.
Albert Frank, International Arbiter, Brussels, Belgium
Oh no, this time it is too much! Chess was a serious game not soo long ago. Now I think it's hopeless.
Pete Morriss, Galway, Ireland
I think the proposal that we should all play on until checkmate is delivered is (if I may say so) fairly silly. Once I'd decided that my situation was hopeless enough to resign, I would just give my remaining pieces away, or set up a self-mate, to get the painful ordeal over.
Mehrdad does, however, have a point that it is sometimes difficult to know from the game score why a grandmaster resigned. On the other hand, often working it out is a useful training exercise (and one can now always "ask Fritz"). However, this is complicated now that a loss is simply shown as "0-1", whatever the reason for the loss: checkmate, resignation, losing on time, or (now) losing by a misbehaving mobile phone. I have sometimes spent time trying to puzzle out why someone resigned, only to discover that they didn't resign at all, but lost in some other way. Hence it might be a good idea to add a symbol to the "0-1" to explain why the game ended: we already have a mate symbol; resigns could perhaps be an unhappy face; other ways of losing could be shown by a clock or a ringing phone. We would now also have to create a symbol for people who turn up to the game one second late (an empty chair, perhaps?), and others for any other idiotic new ways of losing that FIDE come up with. The addition of such symbols would not involve much effort, and would allow someone playing through the game to be able to work out what happened at the end of it – which would indeed be useful to us ordinary players.
Bruce Warring, Nellysford USA
I think that Iranian guy has a very good idea. It cannot hurt the players. It might add to the game. Very simple.
Robert Hungaski, Milford, USA
I think the idea of forcing any player to compromise on his will to resign, forfeit or draw at any time he pleases is barbaric. Chess is a game of aristocratic minds, an understanding of which comes with a directly proportionate effort. I think Mr. Pahlevanzadeh's proposal would be demeaning to any serious chess player and would cause the alienation of the elites (probably the only people who make a real contribution to the game these days) for the marketing purposes aimed at the ignorant majorities. If anyone wants to understand a profound chess game they should do as we all did and hire someone to teach them, that way they would also help stimulate the economy! However, this is simply my opinion and I hope my tone does not sound too aggressive when I say that there has already been enough corrosion of this fine art by the interference and commercialization of the greedy, ignorant and naive.
Bruce Mubayiwa, Johannesburg, South Africa
Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh's idea about playing all games to the very end makes great sense. Chess is quite unusual as a game because the end can come before the result is immediately obvious to all. Many times I have asked myself the question, "Why is this 1-0?" Or whatever the score is after playing through a game. There are many games played over the years when some experts felt that the resignation might have been premature. As long as games end before checkmate or draw, the game will remain inaccessible to many people who do not have the skill and insight of experienced chess players. In many other games and sports (soccer, tennis, basketball etc) it does not require much skill to establish who won, a tally of the points or score is available. However, I will concede that there are other games where sometimes it is not straightforward who the winner is. Cricket is an example. Sometimes if a match is disrupted by weather there may be a need to employ some method to determine who has won. In fact at any particular point in many other games it is possible to see who is leading. This can make it possible for someone who actually has no knowledge of that particular game to appreciate whats going on to some extent. But chess there can be challenges, without the aid or commentator or chess engine, its possible to follow a game without knowing the exact status quo, who is winning, who is losing, is the game headed for draw etc. Even worse when the game suddenly ends with one side resigning or in a draw. I think the chess masters owe it to their fans, to the sponsors and general public to play on till the very end. Having said that I am sure playing till checkmate will not be popular with all the players. Lets face it. Who wants to get checkmated in front of a crowd? But if this game is really to grow in popularity we might need to go beyond our comfort zones. Sometimes the decisive lines in chess are very deep going many moves that are beyond us amateur players. I do hope that some day all chess games will be played to the very end.
Gregor Bombek, Zalec, Slovenia
"Finally let me ask you to imagine what soccer would be like if FIFA allowed teams to resign their matches when they thought they did not have any real chances anymore; or even worse: if they were allowed to agree to a draw before finishing the game, or even after just a few minutes. That is what we are doing in chess..." You're right, of course. But let's not stop there. I propose we implement this to boxing, too: let's just have them slap each other until one drops dead. No point in stopping the match half way through, huh?
José Ribeiro, Portugal
Mr. Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh is imaginative, innovative and eccentric, like sometimes Leontxo Garcia! This debate of attracting sponsorship is very old like chess, but chess is an art like music or painting and arts only attract certain kind of human with love for that kind of art. Chess is not football! Why on earth we are always trying to make chess another kind of sport? This is ridiculous. People do not understand the rules of golf or tennis too. I prefer to see chess more visible in the cities like the tournament in Bilbao and then chess will conquer more and will be more visible like other sports. Why on earth a player with a loose game must continue till the end suffering, just for some hooligans of football to understand our game? Excitment in ignorance is any good? What about the etiquete to resign a lost game? Poker is played on tv with complex rules and lots of people do not undertand the game too, but a few who really get interested will follow trying to learn a few things and then will learn more by themselves later. What is the diference in success of poker and chess? Playing for money, nothing else! This is not a rational proposal and cannot help to publicize chess. I am tired of this ridiculous propositions that always try to compare chess with football. Chess is the number one sport on the net! The way to publicize chess is to put chess more visible in cities and not inside the wall of tournament rooms but beeing naive just to attract some people of other sports who in the majority of cases, do not have a passion for the arts, do not work. This kind of proposals like the 3 points in football for a chess victory, are imaginative naive, baddly innovative and only eccentric in nature and very poor.
Mark Warriner, Richmond, Virginia, USA
I am usually skeptical of new ideas regarding chess as they tend to be gimicky or forced, but for once I thought that this idea has some merit. Let's have a go at this in a top tournament or two and see how it works. What can it hurt? I agree that it has educational benefits for weaker players and the casual fan/observer.
Pat, Boston, USA
Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh's suggestion to popularize chess through mandatory continuation of the game until check mate, is simply unacceptable. This makes the players face the agony of playing a drawish, boring end games which may entend more than 5-6 hours. Who would have energy to play for more than 3-4 hours and who would watch such end games? There is no way of popularizing chess as the other games such as soccer, baseball, cricket, tennis etc. Despite chess being taguht in a majority schools and so many intercollagiate competitions in Russia it is still not a popular game. Most teens like physical activity/action in a game, and don't like to watch two players glued to the board and moving pieces at a wonderful 20 moves/hr speed. If anyone is interested in popularizing chess first try to make a Olympic sport. That is a way go.
Morgan V., Tucson, AZ, USA
Two things: physical sports should not always be used as examples in chess arguments. the way i see it, physical sports use tools (a ball, a goal, boundary lines) as a way to demonstrate one person's (or one team's) physical domination over the other. This is not chess. The chess board is not a tool at all, it is a scientific creation that exists upon itself; it is a miniature world with its own quirks that humans use for puzzles, artistic creations, and most importantly, competition.
Second: if a chess player is done with a game, he will stop playing. simple as that. If he wants to resign because of a subtle dark-square weakness, then he will. If you force him to play on, he will sac all of his pieces. If you tell him that that is prohibited, he will play a few sloppy moves to get the thing over with. Maybe the chess media can show "example finishes" to excite the chess world. Maybe.
William Chau, Amsterdam
Great idea! I agree with all the points. Mr. Pahlevanzadeh states and this should definitely be applied to all chess games that are played (even in clubs)
Jerry Olsen, Los Angeles, CA
I just read the proposal by Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh to force all games to be played out until checkmate. And I think it has some merit, but also some flaws. First, he makes the often-used analogy with other sports, such a football. He says, "Finally let me ask you to imagine what soccer would be like if FIFA allowed teams to resign their matches when they thought they did not have any real chances anymore". However, one big difference between chess and football is that one bad chess move can decide the game. It's like a football game suddenly going from a tense 1-1 tie to a 50-0 blowout. Most fans don't particularly care to continue watching a game that is hopelessly lopsided. My feeling is that in chess, most of the fans observing the game will tune out at that point.
Second, he assumes that the losing player will continue to fight even after he knows his fate, and has no motivation to try. He might just just play a version of "helpmate" to get it over with. I like Pahlevanzadeh's motives, but I don't think his plan is practical. However, I do think that it's a good idea for beginning players to always play their games out to checkmate, in order to learn how to win a won game.
Gabriel Caixeiro, Las Vegas, U S A
With this idea we should abolish the titles of players such as GM, IM, M, and introduce S (sadist), M (Masochist, S-M (Sado-Masochist) and, problably an I, for idiot(s).
Marc Saxon, Australia
After reading the feedback on the suggestion to make the players play it out to checkmate, it has become quite obvious that it would be highly impractical and unprofitable to add to the current rules. Scenarios where either the winning player decides to first queen all of his(her) pawns and munch all their opponent's material before delivering mate, or the reverse where the losing player decides to sacrifice all their remaining material and walk into a help or selfmate, borders on farcical proportions and could make the endings to some fascinating games a joke.
But even simpler and more effective in destroying the possibility of this rule even working is the question of how can you make somebody play it out to the mate if they want to resign? What's to stop them from just walking out of the tournament hall and letting their last hour or whatever expire on the clock, while they are off eating dinner or comfortably back at their hotel room, and the other player must stick around to witness their win come to fruition? Are you going to suggest that players that walk off in such a manner perhaps forfeit all their remaining games too? Or how about if in a completely lost position, a player switches on his mobile phone discreetly, and then gets a friend of his to call him?
At first it did sound like a fun idea, but there is no way that this could ever be made to work. Leave chess as it is.
Jean-Luc Grenier, St-Jerome, Canada
I found that Pete Morriss, Galway, Ireland, had the most useful idea I've read for YEARS!! Why not put a symbol after the usual "0-1" to explain what happened? We are so frequently bewildered by a bizarre result to learn after a while that white lost on time!
Oleg Grygoryan, Geelong/ Australia
The idea is inpractical and baseless! A player who is about to loose will just leave the venue (say for natural needs...) and loose on time! For spectators who wish to know the continuation that leads to a win should be able to have an accessto a comentary room an any time!!!
Ruselo Riva Asentista, Cebu, Philippines
I think it's a great idea. I'm just offended by some readers. They believe the idea will destroy the beauty of the game because they don't want to see novice-like slaughter to a grandmaster. They think beauty is through fine grandmaster combination only. Well, here's the news, what is beauty if you don't understand it. Besides, mating with rook and king versus king and king and two pawns is new and novel to the beginner. Financial sponsors will support the event based on the audience it attracts not on the notion of egoistic and selfish beauty that some readers are trying to force people to accept.
Regarding comparing chess to football, Garry Kasparov compared chess with business and politics. It's an innocent comment to isolate chess from the rest of the human activities. Whatever works in promoting football might work in promoting chess. Why not give it a big try!! It's brilliant!!Wim van Vugt, Diemen (NL)
The whole anecdotic story is an evident hoax, as "Section 7, article 14b in the FIDE handbook" doesn't exist at all.
Just check here and try to find the article. On the contrary, it's any player's right to resign and/or abandon the game, according to Article 5.1b of the FIDE Rules of Play: "The game is won by the player whose opponent declares he resigns. This immediately ends the game." Therefore the Pahlevanzadeh proposal is complete nonsence and in flagrant conflict with the FIDE rules.
Editorial note: the GM invented section 7 article 14b to intimidate his opponent into continuing. And: all proposals to modify rules tend to be in flagrant conflict with the same rules.
Geir Sune Tallaksen Østmoe, Bergen, Norway
Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh suggests prohibiting resignation. While I do see the advantages he mentions, I believe the disadvantages are far worse. With such a rule, there will be a lot of brilliant games that will end in completely unsensible ways. An opponent who believes the game is lost anyway could easily give up all his/her pieces; would that be any more understandable to the audience than resigning? Also, you could end up with the superior player playing around with the inferior one, delaying mate as long as possible (I've already seen that one in tournament practice when the inferior player refuses to resign). That's no fun for anyone except the superior player.
I believe comparing chess to soccer is misleading for several reasons:
- In soccer, you play 2x45 minutes, so deciding the game earlier than that breaks the defined rules. In chess, you never know when the game will end.
- In soccer, there is a slight difference between 5-0 and 5-1. In chess, you don't count the number of goals; the result is 1-0 no matter how you win.
- In soccer, there is always room for spectacular play no matter how hopeless the result is. In chess, there is much less room for that in a position that's already decided. A combination loses much of its beauty if there are a hundred of other ways to win.
I suggest instead a comparison to curling, where resigning indeed occurs even when the losing team still has a theoretical chance to win.
Oliver Maas, Filderstadt
A chess tournament is for players, not so much for visitors. If a visitor really is interested in chess he will enjoy a GM game also without this rule. Studying chess is hard work, and a visitor wont learn much if he just visits a GM game without analysing at home. Just from seeing how somebody (who is maybe three pieces down) is being mated you wont become a stronger player. I cannot see how chess can become more attractive when the losing player is forced to play on.
Paul Lillebo, Asheville, NC, USA
Play to the mate? Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh does not state his proposed rule specifically, so in commenting on it I'll assume he means to add these two provisions: (1) A player may not resign a game; and (2) players may not agree to a draw except in cases of triple repetition, insufficient material, and perhaps at the 50-move rule. (MP doesn't mention the 50-move rule, but if he intends to void it and fight on to the end, some games might never reach an end.)
This idea has been suggested before, but it is perhaps worth reassessing it now and then. The most obvious effect of such rules would be that most games would be lengthened. Some games would be lengthened almost interminably. We have a few examples of such marathons from grandmaster practice, and they're not the games we remember most fondly. For example, Korchnoi-Karpov, game five from the 1978 World Championship match, where the players weren't on speaking terms and neither would offer a draw. After a few extra hours and 124 moves of fruitless maneuvering, they managed to work themselves into a stalemate. Or Nakamura-Zhu Chen, Corus B 2004, where Naka tried for 60 moves to win with K&R against K&N, before the game was called off for lack of progress on move 182.
We've all been subjected to the player at the local club who refuses to resign, but insists that you promote your pawn(s) and mate him. And perhaps you've retaliated by making four Queens and chasing his King around the board for a while before administering the coup de grace. MP suggests that the fight to the death would be especially attractive for the spectator, but my experience is that such needless and trivial play is painful to watch.
Resigning the game is in fact one of the subtleties of chess that fascinates outsiders. It's in keeping with the intellectual nature of the game: "Why did the player resign? What does he see that I don't?" This kind of mystery helps to maintain the legendary status of the royal game as the world's quintessential intellectual competition.
I understand what MP is trying to achieve, and I applaud it. Greater general interest in the game would be a good thing. But a better way to help a TV spectator understand the end of the game would be to simply have the analyst demonstrate it, which is, I believe, what's being done where there are TV transmissions of chess. That is both clearer and quicker than adding an extra hour to the game itself.
Hoang Nghia Le, Warsaw, Poland
After reading the proposal of forcing play to mate in chess, I would like to give a constructive proposal to the original proposal. This proposal also prevent quick "GM draws". The method is very simple: we slightly modify the scoring system.
In the proposed system, after a won game, the winning player will be awarded a bonus into his score which equals 1 divided by the number of moves done in the game, and the losing player is punished by the same amount. For example, after a game won after 20 moves, the winning player will get 1.05 points, whilst the losing will get -0.05. However, if the game finish after 40 moves, the score should be 1.025:-0.025. After a drawn game, both players are "punished". For example, after a game drawn after 20 moves, the both player get 0.45 points, whilst the score will be 0.475, if the number of moves were 40.
What are the benefits of this pointing system:
1) In an winning position, the winner should find the quickest way to win (including mating), instead of gaining some material and going to a long won ending. The losing player, on the other hand, should try to defend as long as he can, in order to lessen the punishment.
2) The "quick GM draws" can be effectively prevented.
3) Playing blitz, armagedon game in order to break tie will be rarely needed, since the results of players (even in a match of two players) will be rarely equal.
Some comments by Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh
Just like in the opening, when players know the correct moves, in a resignable position the will also play quickly, maybe 30 moves in just five minutes.
The games will have different levels of spectators for different parts of the games; in particular grandmasters will stop following the game at the moment that it start to become particularly interesting and attractive for armatures.
Resigning a game more or less means that a player accepts that he or she will be mated sooner or later, therefore it's not so painful to continue.
We will once again see nice stalemate combinations for losing side, as well as fast mating combinations for winning side.
The tradition of mate announcement (for example mate in six moves) from past eras will return to chess again.
When players are faced with actual game or tournament rules they adapt to them and follow them correctly. Many people predicted that players would repeat moves (Ng1-f3-g1 and Ng8-f6-g8) to make fast draws and circumvent the Sofia rule, but even in the Olympiad not a single person actually did.
I feell that arbiters are the only people who encourage fast results, fast resignation and even fast draws. I remember how arbiter always complain that players continue to play when the outcome is clear. I once heard an say to a grandmaster who continue to play a drawish position an hour after all other games had finished: "You are a grandmaster?! Shame on you! You should have accepted a draw one hour ago!"
I like the Idea of Bent Larsen who said "I'll resign when every body in the room can understand why." My idea is same but the room is the world!
How many times you remember complaining about late resignation? And on the other hand how many times did you see a player resign premature in a game or even in drawish position, and sometimes worse in winning position? All of us know some examples in the top level!
I saw at the Dresden Olympiad Mamedyarov resign after just 25 moves with white pieces against Nigel Short. Journalists in the press conference first asked Nigel to give them the remaining moves, which they thought they had missed on the computers screen. When they understood that it was end of the game they were very upset because they couldn’t understand why, and they were sure that they could not describe it for their readers.
Mamedyarov,S (2731) - Short,N (2642) [D37]
38th Olympiad Dresden GER (7), 20.11.2008
1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.e3 0-0 8.Qb3 dxc4 9.Qxc4 b6 10.0-0-0 Bb7 11.Bd3 c5 12.dxc5 Qe7 13.Ne4 Nd7 14.Bc2 Rfc8 15.Nd6 Rxc5 16.Qd3 Nf8 17.Nxb7 Qxb7 18.Kb1 Rac8 19.Rd2 a5 20.Qe4 Qc7 21.Nd4 a4 22.a3 b5 23.f4 b4 24.axb4 Rc4 25.b5 a3
White resigned. 0-1.