# Fastest draw from opening position in chess

When playing a normal game of chess, assuming the opponents are cooperating:
In how many moves can a draw be unavoidable, excluding voluntary draws or draws by repetition of moves?

1 While not capturing anything. (fastest stalemate or ..?)
2 When capturing pieces is allowed. (fastest stalemate, blockade, depletion of material or..?)

Question 1.

From Sam Loyd, 12 moves.
1. d4 e5 2. Qd2 e4 3. a4 a5 4. Qf4 f5 5. h3 Qh4 6. Qh2 Bb4+ 7. Nd2 d6 8. Ra3 Be6 9. Rg3 Bb3 10. c4 c5 11. f3 f4 12. d5 e3 { Stalemate. }

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For question 2.

Also by Sam Loyd, 9.5 moves.
1. e3 a5 2. Qh5 Ra6 3. Qxa5 h5 4. Qxc7 Rah6 5. h4 f6 6. Qxd7+ Kf7 7. Qxb7 Qd3 8. Qxb8 Qh7 9. Qxc8 Kg6 10. Qe6 { Stalemate. }

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• That was quick. I assume this is 'known' to be optimal. Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 15:10

Even if repetition of moves is not allowed as a draw reason, I still feel this solves the puzzle. After

1. c3 f6 2. Qa4 Kf7 3. Qh4 Kg6 4. Qg4+ Kh6 5. Qh4+ Kg6 6. Qg4+ Kh6 7. Qh4+

Black is forced to do

7... Kg6 which leads to a threefold repetition.

So at that point, a draw is unavoidable (well, unlike stalemate, it needs to be claimed), as indicated in the question.

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• The last move is forced, so it is sort of according to my rules, and iirc. if you repeat twice more it is even a draw without claiming. So, nice solution , but not what I intended. Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 15:07