Can White force a draw without winning in chess?
14
1.9k
2088
79%
chance

Resolves YES if it is shown that White can literally force a draw in chess. That is, White can play in such a way that they are guaranteed neither to win nor to lose.

Neither player may resign.

Close date to be extended until it's proven one way or the other.

Get Ṁ600 play money
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predicts NO

I thought it was generally frowned upon to change the market description after the fact (except to provide clarifications). I thought this would especially be the case when changing it from something that should resolve NO (if only technically) to something that resolves YES with 99+% probability, if people had already traded on the belief that the market would resolve according to the description.


(On the other hand I made a mistake in this market by not reading all the comments and continuing to bet NO after the alteration was announced in a comment.)

@FlorisvanDoorn would love to understand your argument for betting this market down. I've put a limit order for Ṁ100 @ 50% if you want to grab it up before revealing why.

@DanMan314 Black can resign on their first turn. How do you force a draw against that?

predicts YES

That's... a really bad faith interpretation of the market to bet down so low without first clarifying, in my opinion.

The description was also updated to exclude resigning since your most recent bets (not sure exactly when).

@DanMan314 I updated it literally just now in response to this discussion.

predicts YES
predicts NO

@DanMan314 I guess that teaches me to do my latest bet without looking at all the comments first.

I think the original market was stating something different than it wanted to state, not that it was ambiguous, but unambiguously stating something different. And I indeed bet based on whether the market was resolving based on what the description said, not based on what the market was (maybe?) trying to say but didn't.
Or are you claiming that the statement "In chess, is black allowed to resign on their first turn" is a statement with an ambiguous truth value? Personally I think the statement is unambiguously true.

predicts YES

@FlorisvanDoorn I would claim that it unambiguously states criteria that excludes resigning, in accordance with the cooperative principle of communication. To claim otherwise violates the maxim of quantity.

Which is a complicated way of saying betting on market edge cases that would clearly be excluded by the intent of the creator just because they weren't explicitly specified seems bad. If Bolton is feeling kind, N/A doesn't seem out of the question, but yes I do expect that market interpretation carries at least a tiny bit of good faith behind it, because otherwise human communication is essentially impossible.

I would rather not see this market N/Aed too, since given your interpretation two markets have made this "mistake".

predicts NO

@DanMan314 I think that making a market is very different from having a conversation, so I disagree that the cooperative principle of communication is applicable here. I don't see how it stated criteria that exclude resigning before the edit. I think the market description was just overlooking an edge case.
Now you could argue that in all markets the author should be able to exclude any edge cases from the market description. But determining what is an edge case or not is a very subjective question. In the case that the market description is a very precisely formulated question (which of course is not always the case), this unnecessarily brings subjectivity to an objective question.

Suppose I make a market "this resolves YES if every positive integer can be written as the sum of three primes and NO if it can be proven that this is not the case". Should this resolve yes? The market clearly states how it should be resolved, but the fact that the only counterexamples are numbers below 6 is just an edge case.

Note that I did ask a clarification on the market you linked before making a bigger NO bet.

This market should be at 95%+ imo. At minimum, there's no reason for this market to be so different than the "can black force a draw" market. We can break how Black might avoid a forced draw for the purpose of this market down into a few situations:

Black plays for a win, Black draws with perfect play (90% according to the other market): The "can Black force a draw in chess" market should be a lower bound to this market. White can just play for a win as well, and will end up in a forced draw.

This leaves situations where Black intentionally tries to lose, or loses with perfect play.

While there are hypothetically scenarios in chess where you are forced between a checkmate and a losing position, in the vast majority of cases if White has a winning position it can opt for a draw instead. There are a ton of ways to result in a drawn game: forcing a stalemate, waiting out the 50 move rule, reaching a dead position, getting insufficient material by sacking pieces, forcing 3-fold repetition.

There do exist positions where you must choose between a checkmate and a losing position, but there are very rare and I would put the chance of Black, with perfect "try to lose" play being able to force a perfect-draw-playing White into such a position as negligible. All White needs to do is be able to leave a single free square open for Black's king.

predicts YES

I imagine a perfect play game where White goes for a draw to either end in the 50 move rule or stalemate. If anyone is interested, I'll play as White and you can play as Black and I'll give 4:1 Ṁ odds that I can successfully get the game to a draw (against Black losing, it's obviously not relevant if Black wins).

I'm ~1400 rapid rated if that's relevant.

@DanMan314 Couldn't someone very strong just beat you with black outright?

predicts YES

@BoltonBailey That’s why I said against black losing - you’re right, it’s not really relevant or proving anything if someone is just better at chess than me.

@DanMan314 Hmm, so if I force you to win, I win the bet, if the game draws, you win the bet, and if I win, the bet's off? (You can't resign?)

predicts YES

@BoltonBailey This is interesting, what time controls do you want?

predicts YES

@BoltonBailey I'm open to anything that's at least 3 min on the clock for each side.

By the way I assume the whole "can't resign" thing applies to this market as well? Otherwise Black can just immediately resign and there's obviously no way for White to force a draw.

predicts YES

And I'll put up up to Ṁ1000, so my payout would be Ṁ250 if it's a draw.

Right, my market assumes no resigning is allowed.

I'd be happy to take you up and play 10 + 5.

@BoltonBailey My 250 mana against your 1000 is fine by me.

predicts YES

@BoltonBailey ooh, this is exciting! :) Will you tell us the result?

predicts YES

@Fion Result is "bail by checkmate" - @BoltonBailey played a great game where he took a winning position in the endgame, but couldn't find a way to force a loss for himself.

https://www.chess.com/game/live/78517871317

predicts YES

This was super fun, so thanks to Bolton. Overall I think this makes me even more confident in the market though - the only feasible way seems to be for Black to get a winning position (which I think is unlikely if White is playing perfectly, Bolton is just better than me haha). Even then strategic underpromotion by White seems to be at least extremely hard to get a mate from.

@DanMan314 100 Mana Bounty to the first person who convinces me I could have selfmated somehow after 53. Rxh7

I'll post this bounty on the discord too.

@DanMan314 Very fun game, well played!

predicts YES

@BoltonBailey I'm sad I let a winning position get away from me in the endgame too. Could have almost certainly picked up the mana if I didn't allow 40. Rxc3+, although the computer thinks I let it slip a little earlier than that. Well played!

predicts YES

Interestingly, the computer move at Rxc3+ only works because dxe4 is mate in 1 for white, which I can't play.

@DanMan314 Lol, I will admit I did not even see that line.

predicts YES

@BoltonBailey yea I didn't either haha

@DanMan314 Funnily enough, this could have worked - I would have had to be more clever and force your b pawn to advance so that I could promote my c pawn to a dark squared bishop.

@BoltonBailey Forcing you to take my c pawn was a blunder!