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jollylolly 72 ( +1 | -1 )
Resignation etiquette While this question may have been answered many times, I am new to Gameknot, and online chess playing, and was just wondering when is the polite time to resign a game.

There are times when I am in a really strong position, and feel somewhat robbed when I am denied the opportunity to say "MATE". On the other hand, I feel vulnerable when I am on the run and see no way out of my pending doom. I just want to end it all.

My question is, therefore, while a resignation goes down as a win, does it take away from the glory of actually slaying the opponents King? Is there a right or wrong time or circumstance to resign? Should one bow out and allow your opponent to move onto other games?

Thank you
Laurence
cryptos 29 ( +1 | -1 )
bad etiquette. I definitely think it's a bit petty to resign when you're opponent is just about to mate you. It robs them of the satisfaction of the final position after a hard game. On the other hand I've had idiots who are 5 pieces and 3 pawns down in the endgame carrying on to the bitter end - pretty tedious and stupid, too. :(
wibrwibr 20 ( +1 | -1 )
You may resign (or not) whenever you wish. Your opponent may resign (or not) whenever they wish. Etiquette is, unfortunately, subjective. Each player will have his or her own idea of when it's time to resign.

More: Chess
muppyman 48 ( +1 | -1 )
It's up to each player, Resignation is not a method of avoiding mate, it's an acceptance of mate's inevitability. The player who resigns is saying, "I can see that there is no escape for me from your superior position, therefor I salute you and I surrender." The player who habitually forces his opponent to play on until he is mated when he has no possible hope of winning or drawing the game, is simply manifesting his sublime ignorance of the realities of the game of chess, and is more to be pitied than scorned. Resignation is surrender with honour.
cep2eu 37 ( +1 | -1 )
It is really subjective. Less experienced players (or rather beginners) tend to play till the actual checkmate, but you'll hardly see a mated king in a game played by decent players, let alone GMs. Resignation in a hopelessly lost position is by no means unethical in chess, but the estimation of the position depends on the skills. Where a GM would resigns, a woodpusher (like myself ;-) may continue playing.
fleetdreams 22 ( +1 | -1 )
I resign 9 times out of 10 (if I see it coming). Often will make one last move to enter an appropriate comment. I don't mind it if someone resigns. When the mate is forced I find its more satisfying to hear "Uncle".
rmg01 28 ( +1 | -1 )
Resignation Etiquette Normally, I resign when I see that its hopeless to go on playing a losing game. It only prolongs your agony as well as suppressing the ecstasy of winning of your opponent considering that he has it all planned and he got it made. Surrendering to a worthy opponent is an attribute of chess champions
autumnbreeze 164 ( +1 | -1 )
Good answer wibrwibr..... and muppyman and cep2eu. As a beginner, I usually, but not always, let my games run until I have been checkmated. I try to spend the time it needs to analyse the state of play when it is my turn. Try as I might to find a way out of inevitable checkmate in a recent game against nedd, I could not. I was also down many pieces. I resigned as an acknowledgement both of nedd's superiority and of my woeful play.

Resigning for me is subjective in the way that I size up my opponent and decide if there is any chance for me of a turn-around or stalemate. I think that good or blossoming chess players have got "fighting spirit" and usually will not resign unless they know they are knackered.

In answer to your question, jollylolly, about whether one's opponent steals one's thunder by resigning, my advice is to consider that the opponent has been soundly defeated, if she/he has got to the point of resigning. A genuine resignation will not steal your glory in proving the enemy weaker. Because some players know the game is over for them, a situation which you yourself have acknowledged, and a state of play which leads grandmasters to resign, genuine resignations (not "sour grapes" resignations when there is still plenty of play left in the game, but a player quits in a temper because she/he is not likely to checkmate within the first 10 or so moves) can be accepted as a sort of:

"I bow before you"

LOL :)
cairo 61 ( +1 | -1 )
I also agree with wibrwibr, though I would like to add with all due respect that, any player I'm meeting and playing against, there are unecessary trying to prolong hopeless and lost games, with use of postponement or just waiting to last minute to move, will be put on my personal NO PLAY LIST, in the future.

I wonder what happend, when players with such attitudes meets each other!

Best wishes
Cairo
wulebgr 76 ( +1 | -1 )
Beginners (anyone under 1200) should never resign.

As you move up the rating scale, and play stronger opponents, you should resign when the outcome becomes inevitable. If your opponent has a history of blunders, do not resign. If you have some counterplay--don't overlook drawing combinations--don't resign.

I remember a blitz game a few weeks ago on another server. I was outplayed and in a hopeless position. However, stalemate was one move away if my opponent made the wrong move; checkmate was one move away if he made the correct move. The stalemate opportunity dissipated, and my position grew worse. But my opponent missed eight consecutive mate in ones. After he had finished gobbling all my pawns, and was one move from a second queen, I finally resigned.
vladsky 14 ( +1 | -1 )
When in doubt, ask yourself "Could Kasparov avoid a loss in this position?"
I think you should resign if and only if the answer is "No".
bergil 12 ( +1 | -1 )
Your kidding, thanks for that pearl If you could tell what Kasparov would do, you would not resign very often or need to know when to.
i_play_slowly 25 ( +1 | -1 )
Chess Quote "Lose with grace and resign in a timely manner. If you are a lot of material down and don't have sufficient compensation, it is time to lay down your arms. This way you show your respect for both chess and your opponent" (GM Svetlana Matveeva).
hoss 9 ( +1 | -1 )
imo Resign only when mate is imminent, or when you don't want to suffer anymore. :)
antmanbee 32 ( +1 | -1 )
resignation etiquette Resigning a game...either face to face or via net......I will resign when its obvious I am going to lose...the last game I resigned...I had king bishop and a pawn....no chance of promoting the pawn...vs two rooks a knight and a bishop and a herd of pawns racing for promotion...its over...things gotta look really bad
starcheck 72 ( +1 | -1 )
You can't UN-resign I'm a lot more careful of resigning now than I used to be. One time on GK I resigned in what I thought was a hopeless position, this after a long and difficult battle, only to soon realize that I actually had a guaranteed draw, or even a possible win.
Additionally I have often been on the verge of resigning in some endgame when my opponent suddenly blunders a rook or knight. How sweet is that ?
I therefore suggest resigning as an absolute last straw in positions that could theoretically still turn around. You can never un-resign.
It definately is your choice when a resignation is in order. If you play an opponent who insists you mate them with bishop and knight try offering a draw.
muppyman 45 ( +1 | -1 )
I don't understand.... If you have King, bishop and knight against a lone king, why on earth would you offer a draw??? instead of just going ahead with the beautiful forced mate that position allows. I guess I must be rather twisted somehow also because I doubt that I would find much sweetness in winning a completely lost game because my opponent makes some monumental blunder.
wulebgr 56 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm often slow to resign and am not bothered much by players who are even slower. However, I consider it a mark of shame to be checkmated in a correspondence game. Twice I have been so shamed; both times because I overlooked the mate while struggling to generate counterplay in a difficult position. Once I was planning to resign after my opponent's next move, which turned out to be his second best choice.

In blitz, I'll make a player with two queens checkmate me if the clock is low, and enjoy rattling off the last 15 moves in 10 seconds when my opponent exhibits similar stubborness.
brunson 59 ( +1 | -1 )
So annoying I played a game last month, board #2379549, where I was something stupid like +17 and my opponent would not resign. I swear I was just getting so bored with the game that I actually blundered my queen on move 35 just through sheer tedium. I was so pissed. I still won the game, but I was bored to tears and yelling at my opponent through the computer.

I think sometimes the thought is that maybe there's a stalemate, but just boring your opponent into a blunder is lame, imho.
lochess-monster 46 ( +1 | -1 )
Resignation I believe that it's really bad manners not to resign when defeat is without question.
Especially in an endgame where one player has an overwhelming advantage. I think you should concentrate on the game that you can win....and not hope that your opponent dies of old age or has a mini-stroke and makes a move that forces a draw.

I want to win by outplaying an opponent, not by third grade mistakes that he or she makes...

But of course as someone else has said......it's a subjective issue
olean_don 14 ( +1 | -1 )
Resignation Yes it can be annoying, but here on GK there is not much we can do . But brunson why humiliate the opponent by exposing who he is. That should be between you and him, not for all to know. To me that is bad sportmanship.
muciimi 17 ( +1 | -1 )
Resignation I never resign untill i can see that the inevitable mate is coming (and the opponent knows what he/she is doing). oh, and i never resign in the midle game untill i can see "mate in one."
azaris 154 ( +1 | -1 )
Resignation etiquette My 0.02 €:

I don't mind late resignation or playing on till mate if the game is of significance (like a team game or a critical game in a tournament). What I do mind is significantly lower-rated players who end up a piece or more down and then play on in a hopeless position. I really don't get what the point of not resigning is. They're only losing a few points, and they're going to lose them anyway.

Personally, I usually resign once there is no counterplay to be seen and the outcome is certain bar terrible blunders. I think beginners would do well to accept that making a mistake like dropping a piece will cost you the game. Just take your lumps, resign with dignity and learn from your mistakes. I doubt people who constantly play 20-30 moves in a hopelessly lost position learn anything and it can't be much fun logging in week after week to make all those moves that make no difference.

I also consider each game I play as a small piece of art in the sense that for one side to play on in a lost position considerably diminishes the appeal of the game and makes me less enthusiastic about going back and reviewing it later. Ending the game with a resignation is like the logical conclusion to a battle of minds, which leaves the reader with the task of understanding the final position and the reason for the resignation. One gets no such enjoyment out of 60 move games that end up with a bare king getting mated by three queens.
brunson 24 ( +1 | -1 )
Sportsmanship olean_don,

I guess I didn't really consider that I was exposing my opponent, I was showing the game to point out by own blunder. You're right, when you look at it like that, I was not being very sportsmanlike. I'll be more thoughtful in the future.

Sincerely,
e.

alice02 47 ( +1 | -1 )
asking opponent as a beginner I often dont see checkmates coming. But on the rare occasions I do I message that I prefer to play to the end of a game but will resign if requested. Most people say "its up to you" in which case I play through.

I find playing to the end very valuable because it gives me more experience with different board patterns. I have not yet developed the board "overview" that more experinced high ranking players have and often take for granted.
wulebgr 63 ( +1 | -1 )
If your opponent's rating is 200 above yours, resign when you're down a pawn. If 400, resign when she connects her rooks unless you're ahead a pawn. If your rating is 200 above your opponent, resign when you are down a knight or bishop, unless the queens are on the board. If you are 400 higher, resign when you are down a rook + pawn, unless your opponent's extra piece remains undeveloped. If your opponent is under 1200, never resign. If you are under 1200 and resign, play your opponent's side from the final position against the strongest chess engine you have until you win every game.
honololou 12 ( +1 | -1 )
wulebgr… one more. If your opponent is 800 points higher and plays e4 with the white pieces, you should
immediately resign.
greenacres101 26 ( +1 | -1 )
Good point, honololou... To further follow the thoughts of wulebgr , there is clearly no point in even playing the game; just crunch the numbers and stats of each player to determine the winner and loser.
greenacres101 45 ( +1 | -1 )
I didn't mean for my last post to sound rude... I should have just added to the rules of Resignation Ettiquette According To Wulegr:
If your opponent's rating is over your rating by 114 points, but below 172 points, and you are down a pawn, you may continue to play on. Unless his bishop is on the g5 square, then you must resign immediately. Unless you have a knight on c4 and a pawn on e2, then you can play on. Unless she has eaten pasta for lunch, and is left-handed, then you must resign immediately.
jjw109 160 ( +1 | -1 )
Addition to wulebgr's etiquette--GM level play GM Rule #1) If you and your opponent are both GMs rated over 2600, you may avoid any complexities which may involve consideration of resignation by drawing early (i.e., on or before move 16; move 12 if both are GMs over 2700).

GM Rule #2) After move 16 (or 12), so long as the position has been played at least once previously, then GM Rule #1 is still applicable.

GM Rule #3) After move 16 (or 12), any new move allows for immediate draw for all parties to retire and ponder the novelty. This removes fear of possibly having to resign were the position actually played to a deeper level.

GM Rule #4) Should you actually play to a deeper level (i.e., we're talking at least move 20 here), offer a draw anyways.

GM Rule #5) If draw offer is not accepted, blow enormous amounts of time on only a couple of moves, forcing you to move very quickly in later moves in order to make the time control. After time is added, play a few more moves, and if your opponent hasn't offered a draw in return, call him a patzer that knows nothing about GM level play and etiquette of GM draws, and then resign in disgust. In this manner, you have a couple of built-in excuses--you can blame your opponent's poor etiquette (e.g., "I'd rather resign a drawn position than continue playing against so and so."), or you can blame it on trying to make the time control (e.g., "If I would've had more time, I would have clearly seen that 7. ... O-O had more drawing potential than 7. ... d5. My team should have prepared for this more carefully."
thunker 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Universal rule #1 Quit when you're done.
crudess 94 ( +1 | -1 )
Opponent analysis is also key When there is a +/- 200 difference between you and your opponent. . . .I find it is also pertinent to research their past game history and average opponent ratings. Usually when you feel that the game has been well-paced and equal up to the point where you or s/he blunders. . . the chance of neutralizing the blunder is low. But when you are playing an opponent with an average opponent rating 200 points below your own rating, it is worth a try to stay in the game and look for compensation (especially if the queens are still in the game). Also, check to see if the opponents victory over a max opponent rating is not a timeout. These things are usually key to whether I decide to resign a game or not. Plus, I figure if I resign I will surely lose and never know if the game could have been a draw. But if I stay in a game where I am down in material, the will to compensate the disadvantage can turns into a clear goal and hopefully. . . victory.
futile 82 ( +1 | -1 )
resignation... used to be considered bad manners in the (good) old days. As a result the games went to many, many moves until a mate or a draw was forced. These days, perhaps because of the increased speed of daily life, it is "boring" to make your opponent earn his win. Chess is a game played against other people, and people are different. Some people will accept any draw offer even if they have a winning position (may we all play those people), others will never accept a draw (even in a losing position) and then there are those who take the course that most irritates their opponent hoping for a blunder (these people are incurable optimists). "Chess is life" is a commonly used phrase, and life is never fair.
wulebgr 36 ( +1 | -1 )
On the contrary, resignation is still considered bad manners by some children and novices. It was never considered bad manners among masters.

When it is time to resign, your opponent has earned the win. Finding checkmate with overwhelming material force is only a challenge when you have twice as many moves left to make as you have seconds on the clock.
naiad 80 ( +1 | -1 )
I wish! I am in a game now where I had imminent mate on my opponent. He didn't resign and I couldn't understand it since the mate was quite clear. I had it it all figured out in my head how it would end and when I saw that my move was up I went to the board and played my next move.... without actually checking the position. Of course, he had not done what I expected so now the game is up for grabs again and I just may lose. I am sooooo angry with myself! What an idiot - I probably deserve to lose. I always resign when I see a mate imminent out of respect for my opponent and the expectation that he can be expected to competently follow through but inattention and mistakes do happen. Personally, it's not the way I like to win and though I've heard it said that the winner in chess is the one who makes fewer mistakes for my part I will continue to resign if feel the game is lost.
naiad 20 ( +1 | -1 )
A gentleman Well it seems my opponent is a true gentleman and has made an (I believe) intentionally losing move to let me salvage the game. He didn't have to do that after I made such an unforgivable mistake.
cairo 47 ( +1 | -1 )
Gentleman Here is an example of true sportsmanship. My opponent resigned in the following game, even though it could have ended in a draw, if I didn't exchanged a pawn/piece or checkmated him, within the next 10 moves. This is in accordance with Fide's 50 move rules.

board #2302938

Best wishes
Cairo
honololou 18 ( +1 | -1 )
I don't understand, cairo pardon my ignorance, but did your opponent not earn the draw? Why give away the point after
coming so far? it certainly is generous, but is it good sportsmanship to forfeit what you've
earned?
wschmidt 30 ( +1 | -1 )
I don't understand either... Unless there were extenuating circumstances, why did he not try for the draw? Take a simpler example - if Cairo's opponent had been in a similar position materially but had the opportunity to force a three-fold repetition, would it be good sportsmanship to resign? Cairo, what are we missing about this situation?
cairo 56 ( +1 | -1 )
First of all play thru the game and most likely you will see it is a win for white. The only little but is, can it be done within the 50 move rule and maybe I didn't found the correct path from the beginning, thats the whole point.
I suppose you could say that my opponent could have gone for the theoretical chance for a draw even though the position is lost, but as he said himself, I had played the better game and deserved the win.

No more to it then that.

Best wishes
Cairo
honololou 93 ( +1 | -1 )
I still don't get it With all due respect, cairo, I am not trying to be argumentative or contrary, but I still fail to see
how this is good sportsmanship. I suppose it is a matter of opinion and may have something to do
with whether one sees chess as more science or more art.

While I can appreciate that chess is also an art I see it as primarily a contest. In golf (also a
gentlemanly contest) each participant is obliged to penalize himself when he breaks a rule. But he
is also compelled (out of self interest) to take advantage of rules that can be applied favorably to
his own situation. This is universally understood.

Your opponent was only 10 moves away from stymiing your chances. To me, by denying your
clear win under the rules, he had earned the draw. I don't mean to imply that I think your
opponent was wrong—that decision is a personal one. I just think it is interesting to debate
whether or not this can be called good sportsmanship.

Or is it just semantics?
wulebgr 73 ( +1 | -1 )
It seems to me that the resignation was an act of grace, and deserves recognition as good sportmanship. But, playing ten more moves and claiming a draw by the fifty move rule would not have violated any sense of chess etiquette.

It seems to me that white's theoretical advantage (a knight for two pawns) can be difficult to convert into the full point, and that white's progress over the past forty moves, if any, had been minimal. Such games are a primary reason for the fifty move rule. But, it is also true that black made some slightly more egregious errors than white, and had every reason to believe white "deserved" a win.

It was a fine game, instructive in several ways. Thanks for sharing it.
ccmcacollister 244 ( +1 | -1 )
About cairo's game ... I can see a couple points relating to the 50 move rule. First that there has been at least one ending that computers have shown to be a forced win in the ending but it takes greater than 50 moves from some start positions. Believe it may have been something like a Rook vs some minor piece or Rook and minor vs Rook?! I'm sure someone recalls. And some Rules have had that exception extend the 50 move rule.
It may have been around 75 moves needed?!
Anyway, in that case I can see where his opponent may have considered it proper to Resign it, rather than have the System curtail an effort that was making progress toward that Win.
Personally, if it was not such an ending as that, and my opponent pursued an incorrect path initially to delay a Win beyond 50 moves, that was forcible within 50,
then I wouldnt consider not taking a 50 move Rule draw if he exceeded it. After all, I would have had to play correctly in order to prevent him from winning Sooner Than the position deserved. So I would think my opp had an equal obligation to see that his play did not make it take Longer Than deserved. And so I would think my correct drawing play should be rewarded.
But the ultimate point: that exceeding 50 Move Rule does not create a Draw. CLAIMING under it does.
In OTB play or Postal play, its the responsibility and option of the player as to whether a 50 Move Draw claim is made. But the system here does not allow the players that option to decide their fate regarding this Rule ....,does it? IF it just automatically curtails a game that comes to 50 Moves over, then I can certainly see he might Resign rather than having the decision to play on taken from them. But if I'm wrong and the system requires pushing the Draw Offer Button and Then Declares it Drawn ... with no acceptance by other player required;
then I cant see why he wouldnt either claim that Draw ... or just play on to a conclusion if the position was of such interest. Unless perhaps the interst just ran out and the forcible win sequence just became apparent. And would go beyond the 50 Rules but was visible. It would or should always be Player option whether to Claim under it tho, the way it is written to the rules of play. And so he'd certainly be within his rights to forsake the draw. But I don't see any obligation for him to, by sportsmanship nor etiquette. IMO
jjw109 173 ( +1 | -1 )
cairo's opponent showed sportsmanship In the game highlighted above, cairo's opponent, anakin66, showed excellent sportsmanship for the simple reason that cairo's careful manuevering put anakin66 in a position where, though the game could not be won within 50 moves from the last capture at move 45, a pawn push or pawn capture would have occurred before the 50 moves were up, and thus the 50-move countdown would have occurred again.

Very simply, anakin66's best response to 86. Rc8 (other than resigning) is 86. ... h6, which would restart the 50-move countdown immediately, and it's certainly not going to take cairo another 50 moves to win a pawn to keep the game going (indeed a pawn will likely fall in only a few moves, giving another restart, but with black in more trouble). The position is lost though it requires continued careful play by cairo, which he already demonstrated in the game.

Any other move of the rook results in quick loss of the g-pawn (again before remaining 10 moves elapses, giving another 50 for a capture or pawn push). For example, 86. Rf1+ Kg2 87. Re1 Rc7+ 88. Ke8 Nxg7+ 89. Kd8 (Kf8 loses even faster with Nh5) Ne6+ (protecting the R with check, allowing Kf3 to protect the e-pawn).

Clearly anakin66 saw all of this and chose the correct response--resignation. Both reasonable and sporting, and he's the better player for it. Excellent game though, and both players are to be commended for quality play. A game like that truly shows the beauty of the game of chess; the jostling of pieces which to many players seems nothing more than almost random and repetitious moves but in reality arrive at a position exactly as this one ended, a clear, convincing win for white.
jjw109 173 ( +1 | -1 )
cairo's opponent showed sportsmanship In the game highlighted above, cairo's opponent, anakin66, showed excellent sportsmanship for the simple reason that cairo's careful manuevering put anakin66 in a position where, though the game could not be won within 50 moves from the last capture at move 45, a pawn push or pawn capture would have occurred before the 50 moves were up, and thus the 50-move countdown would have occurred again.

Very simply, anakin66's best response to 86. Rc8 (other than resigning) is 86. ... h6, which would restart the 50-move countdown immediately, and it's certainly not going to take cairo another 50 moves to win a pawn to keep the game going (indeed a pawn will likely fall in only a few moves, giving another restart, but with black in more trouble). The position is lost though it requires continued careful play by cairo, which he already demonstrated in the game.

Any other move of the rook results in quick loss of the g-pawn (again before remaining 10 moves elapses, giving another 50 for a capture or pawn push). For example, 86. Rf1+ Kg2 87. Re1 Rc7+ 88. Ke8 Nxg7+ 89. Kd8 (Kf8 loses even faster with Nh5) Ne6+ (protecting the R with check, allowing Kf3 to protect the e-pawn).

Clearly anakin66 saw all of this and chose the correct response--resignation. Both reasonable and sporting, and he's the better player for it. Excellent game though, and both players are to be commended for quality play. A game like that truly shows the beauty of the game of chess; the jostling of pieces which to many players seems nothing more than almost random and repetitious moves but in reality arrive at a position exactly as this one ended, a clear, convincing win for white.
jjw109 12 ( +1 | -1 )
oops, sorry to post twice My computer seemed to have frozen before posting, and I clicked "Post Now" a second time, and both registered.
jjw109 13 ( +1 | -1 )
oops again, R move example should be 86. ... Rf1+ In my above example of a losing R move in the cairo-anakin66 game, I accidentally listed it as white move. Of course it should be 86. ... Rf1+, 87. Kg2, etc...
ccmcacollister 50 ( +1 | -1 )
Oops again ! Two in one night -sigh- I thought Cairo was saying his opp could have reached the 50 move rule. It appears to be implied, that there might be some hope of that?!...but it isnt actually, I see now. There is no way to come near the 50 since just playing the pawn MOVE ...h6 would restart the count. Capture or pawn move restarts it. So I dont see where the 50 move rule could even come into it looking at it. Guess it is good sportsmanship then to resign a hopeless postion. But not exceptional. }8-)
cairo 63 ( +1 | -1 )
Thank you to jjw109 for some very nice clean postmortem analyses of the game, this shows very extensive knowledge of the game by you.

To ccmcacollister, honololou and wschmidt I may have expressed myself unclear in the first thread, I see that now- sorry.

Best wishes
Cairo
jjw109 100 ( +1 | -1 )
Resignations as great source of chess problems An interesting and informative sideline to this thread is the wealth of chess problems that are available for study.

Simply have a look at games played between two higher-rated players, and look at final positions where a resignation has occurred. Try to determine why the resignation occurred. Some will be obvious, other less so. The diversity will be remarkable, from impending mates, to winning of material, to better positions. Once you have determined the winning reason, then have a look at the tactical or strategic development and play to get there.

I have found this to be extremely beneficial to my own chess development, and am sure that others would as well. I would recommend looking at examples of games between players of say 400-500 rating points above your own and analysing those. Once you are confidently and correctly solving the resignation problems, then look up games at ratings even higher. There are literally millions of problems available for study!
mormel12 19 ( +1 | -1 )
jjw109 Now that's what i call good advice:)
I've done that in the past, but for some reason lately i couldn't set myself to it.
But now i'm going into study again.
Thanks.
Greetings