In practice stalemate is often the result of a mistake because the superior side could easily have liquidated a different way. In some endgames, on the other hand, stalemate is a central motif in efforts to save the game.
Stalemate as an endgame motif
Perhaps the practically speaking most important stalemate of all occurs in the ending of king and pawn against king.
In the following ending too the defending side uses stalemate as the last line of defence. The ending
- the pawn is on the edge of the board (rook pawn)
- the black king gets in front of the pawnt
- the queening square for the pawn is not of the same colour as that on which the bishop moves
In blitz games with only a few seconds thinking time left mistakes happen since it is all about moving fast. Then stalemate is often arrived at by mistake...