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Shortest Chess game

This was repeated in Vassallo-Gamundi, Salamanca 1998. In a number of other games, White has played on after 3…Qa5+, occasionally even drawing the game. Even shorter decisive games have occurred in amateur play, including two-move games ending in Fool’s Mate (1.g4? e5 2.f3?? Qh4# and variants thereof). ChessGames.com gives a game L. Darling-R. Wood, 1983 (1.g4? e6 2.f4?? Qh4#). Bill Wall lists, in addition to Darling-Wood, three other games that ended with Black checkmating on the second move. In a tournament game at odds of pawn and move, White delivered checkmate on move 2: W. Cooke- Capetown Chess Club handicap tournament 1908 (remove Black’s f-pawn) 1.e4 g5?? 2.Qh5#. The same game had previously been played in Leeky-Mason, Dublin 1867.

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There have been many forfeited games (which could technically be regarded as losses in zero moves), the most notable examples being Game 2 of the 1972 world

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championship match between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer, which Fischer defaulted , and Game 5 of the 2006 world championship match between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov, which Kramnik defaulted. A game between Fischer and Oscar Panno, played at the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal 1970, went 1. c4 resigns. Panno refused to play to protest the organizers’ rescheduling of the game to accommodate Fischer’s desire not to play on his religion’s Sabbath. Panno was not present when the game was to begin. Fischer waited ten minutes before making his move and went to get Panno to convince him to play. Fifty-two minutes had elapsed on Panno’s clock before he came to the board and resigned .

Under recently instituted FIDE rules, a player who is late for the beginning of a round loses the game, as does a player whose cellphone makes any sound in the tournament hall. The former rule was used at the 2009 Chinese Championship to forfeit Hou Yifan for arriving five seconds late for the beginning of a round. The latter rule was used to forfeit Aleksander Delchev against Stuart Conquest after the move 1.d4 in the 2009 European Team Championship.

The German grandmaster Robert Hübner also lost a game without playing any moves. In a World Student Team Championship game played in Graz in 1972, Hübner played one move and offered a draw to Kenneth Rogoff, who accepted. However, the arbiters insisted that some moves be played, so the players played the following ridiculous game: 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Ng1 Bg7 4. Qa4 0-0 5. Qxd7 Qxd7 6. g4 Qxd2+ 7. Kxd2 Nxg4 8. b4 a5 9. a4 Bxa1 10. Bb2 Nc6 11. Bh8 Bg7 12. h4 axb4 draw agreed). The arbiters ruled that both players must apologize and play an actual game at 7 p.m. Rogoff appeared and apologized; Hübner did neither. Hübner’s clock was started, and after an hour Rogoff was declared the winner (Alexander 1973. The young star players Wang Chen and Lu Shanglei both lost a game in which they had played no moves. They agreed to a draw without play at the 2009 Zhejiang Lishui Xingqiu Cup International Open Chess Tournament held in Lishui, Zhejiang Province, China. The chief arbiter declared both players to have lost the game.

A game may be drawn in any number of moves, or even no moves, if the tournament officials (unlike those at Graz and Lishui) do not object. According to ChessGames.com, in the 1968 Skopje–Ohrid tournament Dragoljub Janosevic and Efim Geller agreed to a draw without playing any moves. Tony Miles and Stewart Reuben did the same thing in the last round of the Luton 1975 tournament, “with the blessing of the controller”, in order to assure themselves of first and second places respectively.

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