Dead Position and Stalemates at Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland


The 2024 Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland ended May 12, with Magnus Carlsen, the number one player in the world, winning first place and $40,000. The total prize fund was $175,000. Over five days, 10 competitors played nine rounds of rapid games followed by eighteen rounds of blitz, for a total of 135 games. The rapid time control was game in 25 minutes plus a 10-second increment. The blitz time control was game in 5 minutes plus a 2-second increment.

Five Ways to Draw

There are five ways to draw a chess game. First, players may agree to a draw. Second, threefold repetition of position. Third, 50 moves without a capture or a pawn move. Fourth, a “dead position” such as insufficient mating material. Fifth, stalemate which means that the player to move is not in check but has no legal moves.

Players agreeing to draw their games is so common that some professional tournaments either don’t allow draw offers or only allow draw offers after a certain number of moves have been played. The other four ways to draw are less often seen. Two of those ways to draw — “dead position” and stalemate — are featured in this article.

At the 2024 Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland, Carlsen drew against GM Anish Giri in a “dead position.” GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda sprung a stalemate-themed idea on GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov. GM Wei Yi turned a loss into a draw against GM Vincent Keymer by playing a stalemate-themed idea.

Giri Ends Carlsen’s Winning Streak

Magnus Carlsen

By drawing GM Magnus Carlsen in this blitz game, GM Anish Giri ended Carlsen’s winning streak. Before this draw, Carlsen had won 10 games in a row. Here is the Giri versus Carlsen “dead position” draw.

Duda’s Small Exercise

Nodirbek Abdusattorov

On X (formerly Twitter), GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda gave chess fans a “small exercise.” The exercise is to find the stalemate-themed move that Duda played as Black against GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov. Here is the entire rapid game, with the stalemate-themed move coming after White’s 45. h5.      

Carry On, Wei Yi

One of the hit songs of the American alternative rock band Fun (stylized as fun.) was “Carry On.” The lyrics from its chorus include: “If you’re lost and alone, or you’re sinkin’ like a stone Carry on.”

GM Wei Yi was completely lost as Black against GM Vincent Keymer in the following blitz game. But he carried on and turned the loss into a draw with a stalemate trick.

Grand Chess Tour

The Grand Chess Tour’s next stop is Bucharest, Romania. The playing venue is the Grand Hotel Bucharest. According to one page of the Grand Chess Tour’s website, the hotel’s “central location provides easy access to Bucharest’s rich history and cultural attractions, making it a premier choice for travelers seeking comfort and convenience in a luxurious setting.” Consider visiting Romania June 25–July 5 to see Grand Chess Tour players in action and to enjoy historic Bucharest.

For information about the Grand Chess Tour, visit its website:

WIM Alexey Root, PhD

Alexey Root is a Woman International Master and the 1989 U.S. Women's chess champion. Her peak US Chess rating was 2260. She has a PhD in education from UCLA. You can find her books on chess on

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