Forum Archive : Rules

Is stalemate possible?

From:   Jan Andrew Bloxham
Date:   31 July 1995
Subject:   Re: Stale
Google:   3vie7f$

James Eibisch wrote:
> There was a thread a while ago about two players playing with dice
> decided by a third party. If I remember correctly, it was thought
> that stalemate could never be reached even in this type of game.

Assuming that the third party could see the game as it progressed,
wouldn't it be possible to get both sides to have a checker on the
bar, and then dance till the cows come home? [Note: Cows don't come

Jan Andrew Bloxham     alias    JABlox on FIBS

Bob Johnson  writes:

Legally, a player could not close his/her board, putting an opponent
blot onto the bar if that 1st player is already on the bar behind a
closed board.

Illegally, it would not be too far out of the ordinary.

Suppose Player 1 steps away for coffee and tells his/her opponent,
"Play".  Witnesses are present.  Player 2 rolls 6-6, and must hit a
blot which will face a closed board.  Unfortunately, Player 2 has his
own blot trapped on the opponent's ace pt, behind a 6-prime.  Player 2
pauses, to reflect on his/her doom.

Player 1 comes back, "Did you move?"

Player 2 responds, "Yes."

Player 1 rolls 3-3 (not noticing his/her checker on the bar).  He/she
closes the board, puts the opponent checker on the bar and picks
up the dice, happy as a clam! ... until Player 1 notices a look of
astonishment on everyone else.  He/she soon realizes what happened!

Player 2 decrees, "Let the play stand!"  After all, if Player 2
rejects the move, then Player 2 would be forced to play on, crunching
his/her own inner board because his/her own blot remains behind
that 6-prime.  A sure loss.

The game is a draw after this point, as both players will not permit
any more moves to be played.

Am I right?  Can anyone believe this scenario might occur? If so, how
cool/perverse would this be if it occurred in the finals of a major
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