They are suitable for correspondence, advanced and free chess too
During last FIDE Candidates, chess fans suggested some interesting rules against draws. I summarized some of them and wrote this small article.
First of all, draws is one of the biggest problems of modern chess. Draw significantly decrease chess' appeal as popular sport and commercial sport competition. This last tournament brings the problem to new level. Most games were draw, more than half of all matches were resolved in rapid chess and even blitz, and semifinal games were all draw. People start to think about perspectives of chess with so-called classic time control. It is looking like "Draw death of chess" had returned from times of Capablanca to finally overcome the game.
Audience of chess games was a bit upset with series of draws, and a few suggestions against draw were made.
One popular idea is to perform rapid and blitz games before not after classic chess matches. That way one player, who had won rapid, receives an advantage at start. If classic match of, for example, 6 games, is drawn, player with advantage will win. Since leader is known before start of classic games, each draw makes some result, draw is best for leading player. That way loser should try to win every game so no more games without a real fight and tension. This idea is suitable for matches; it actually does not decrease number of draws, but reduce fast draws without a fight. So we can say in news, in match Kramnik - Aronyan Kramnik leads with an advantage; he made a draw and saved his advantage.
Another idea, this one was presented by me, is to award winners of result games with special prize fund. I.e. half of tournament prize is divided among winners of result game. That way a player, who scored +4 -4 =4, gets 4 time more additional money than those who scored +1 -1 =10. This idea is for elite tournaments. Active players would receive more money, so they can create better teams and make better progress. Also, this should increase tension in tournament, as more result games will more quickly change player standings.
And my favorite most radical idea, which could possibly resolve all chess problems, is to treat draw as black victory. So simply no more draws. Just white or black. I give basis of this idea. Today chess is so developed on highest player level that white has significant advantage. Only white could pretend to victory without waiting significant opponent's mistakes. Black try to get position equalization first, and once they get it, a game is often drawn soon. Initial position is either draw or white wins, so black victory has not much sense for science point of view. White just selected wrong variant, they will not play it any more.
Today white tend to seek position with stable advantage without risk of loss. This is especially true in matches. If there would be no difference between loss and draw, white could play risky and select sharp moves. They will search interesting undefined positions instead of boring risk free positions with small advantage as they do now.
Chess is a model of war and white attacks black, black is defending side. That way draw is actually victory of black cause they defend their side. While if one side had an advantage but dif not achieve targets, it is a loss. When a player saves very difficult position, you can say that such a draw costs a victory and now we know initial position is difficult for black.
My idea is especially suitable for matches. For example, 6 game match, each player has 3 white attempts to score, and who had won more games with white color is declared as winner. It is very much like tennis set, where each player should handle his service. But in new rule set, each player should handle black color and try to win with white. So we will not see any boring match like Kramnik-Leko full of draws. And last FIDE tournament would be much much more exiting. Instead of short draws with out a fight, we would see risky attempts to score. We would not see all this bunch of draws of all sorts. Btw, this idea is to work only on elite chess level. And of course, we need special rules for professional high-level competition. Cause in any kind of sport top competitions like NHL, NBA has its own precise set of rules. On such level, every small detail is important and could affect game style. For example, little variations of hokey goalkeeper uniform could bring usual match from zero to tens pucks on average. Rules should be adapted to make competitions exiting for watch and to save chess nature as war on board.
Chess fan Ischukin came to this idea from so-called "Armageddon" blitz game, where white had a bit more time, but should win. It is very sporting.
Also removing draws is very good for advanced chess. Now white lose very seldom in advanced chess, but many games are boring. But if white would have to only think about winning, this would lead to interesting games and attempts to win.
Removing of draws could save modern chess. Once known as conjunction of sport, art and science, now chess is becoming strange sport without competition nature, which is very unattractive to wide audience. And this idea could return sport, art and science components of chess. It is very sporting to eliminate draws, a player will get a freedom to create any possible plan to win, cause he should not care about minimal draw result anymore and it is interesting from scientific point of view to finally know is white wins or draw.
Really, we had already tested this suggestion on highest player level. Sometimes situation dictates that only win is matter. I mean known situations at the end of famous Kasparov-Karpov matches, when one player leaded and only win in last game could save other player. There were a few such decisive games, win or death. Those were interesting games, no short draws, no boring stuff. In one game Kasparov had played very sharp Sicilian defense. In more recent Kramnik-Kasparov match, Kasparov was in a situation at the end of a match where he should only play for win. It was games with tension too. Also, in followed series of tournament Kasparov-Kramnik games, where Kasparov tried to break "Berlin wall" and finally success and won one game, all draws were positively black wins, cause black kept their defense. It was interesting games too with meaningful draws. Cause each draw was some kind win for Kramnik. Kramnik, btw, himself had play for win his last game in match with Leko, and that was not common short draw. So, idea was checked up in some ways on elite competitions and results were good.
Removing draws surely will open various new possibilities for chess promotion and advancement in sport market, without any harm to classical chess nature as other suggestions like short time control do.
Andrey Chitatelsky, RF.
* If a quick draw occurs (both players must have choosen a very known drawing line in the opening), Both players should play another game(as punishment) but they start from the remaining time on their clock so that they will finish along with the others.
* If quick draw still occurs, then let them play Sudden Death.
Only the last decided game is officialy recorded (since those quick drawn games are Garbage anyway)
a) Leave things as they are: players draw due to great theoretical knowledge and technique and are very closely matched.
b) Play Fischer Random
c) Play balloted openings like they do in draughts.
Perhaps a little radical - once a draw has been offered it remains available to the opponent for the remainder of the game, i.e. they can play as wild/risky as they like knowing they can still claim the draw if the game goes against them...
There's no reason to impose a move number limiter for draw requests. The number of GM draws has always been marginal.
"Drawing from midnight to 6am for your amusement! "
and the other is a surprise.
No, no, no! We need the opposite! Maybe we will get more draws but long games are much more interesting. There is much more scope to come up with deep and innovative ideas in a long game whereas rapid is superficial by necessity. Deep and interesting ideas are the sole reason I follow GM chess at all.
3 points for a win is a good tactic- but then in a double round robin there is more scope for cheating- I'll win game 1, you win game 2 and we both have 3 points! On balance though, I'm not cynical enough to think that this would go on (much).
Also, opening preparations with computers are becoming more and more important. It will dominate chess even more if you have no time to work out the position after an over-the-board novelty. Rapid chess has its place and is fun, but if longer games become rapid then I will switch off from international chess. A proper game (at least at WC level) should have the potential to take up most of a day- I'd say the old TC of 40/2 hrs then 20/1 hr then 30 to finish seems like a great TC.
> One popular idea is to perform rapid and blitz games before not after classic chess matches. That way one player, who had won rapid, receives an advantage at start. If classic match of, for example, 6 games, is drawn, player with advantage will win. Since leader is known before start of classic games, each draw makes some result, draw is best for leading player. That way loser should try to win every game so no more games without a real fight and tension. This idea is suitable for matches; it actually does not decrease number of draws, but reduce fast draws without a fight. So we can say in news, in match Kramnik - Aronyan Kramnik leads with an advantage; he made a draw and saved his advantage.
This would be my favourite system, because I like the idea to possibly have, as you state, one player who receives an advantage at start. But, although the idea is popular as you state, I find it has three big "bugs":
1. The player who receive an advantage at start could simply play to draw all classic games (similarly like in your sentence which I've quoted and bolded), and in top-level may no matter how his opponent try to win every game with a real fight and tension (rather in this way he may lose more games), especially in a match with just 4 classic games.
2. Playing such “pre-tie-break” could mean to play that rapid/blitz games with no interest by both players, who are more interested to play classic games , leaving the final decision of who will have the advantage at start to the usual sudden-death Armageddon blitz game, i.e. often to the drawing of lots for who will have the black pieces with the privilege to can play for a draw to win that “pre-tie-break”. In a normal tie-break, instead, the players are more interested to play rapid/blitz games, since they will decide directly the final winner.
3. Privileging better rapid/blitz ability is simply unfair, in my opinion (as like as the opinion of many top-players). I remember when they was introduced as tie-break in the first World Cup. It was said “We understand they are not the same thing of the normal games, anyway they are always chess games”. Well, are you sure there are not other systems as tie-break? If you are not able to find another system to break a tie in a match, well, use that stupid blitz games to give an advantage, but, at least, use this advantage for a last “Real Armageddon” classic game: let choose the colour to the tie-break or pre-tie-break winner (I would always choose Black) or to a rapid fischer random winner, if he will win or draw as Black this last classic game, then he will win the match. So the winner will be decided by a classic game, and not by an accidental blitz game. If you have not the time to arrange another day for a last tie-break classic game, well, share the title of winner or assign it by drawing of lots, but be ashamed to assign that title to a blitz game winner. It was evident in 2008 when the title of US Women's Champion was assigned by a sudden death blitz game. Now again in Kazan. But it seems that people has waited the “blitz tie-break” systems brought to such problems, to take the head in the sand waiting for the problem to solve itself or waiting to forget.
Because in my opinion that subjects are not to be solved through just a single simple approach, no matter how innovative a new rule or an assembly of rewrite rules might be, also if it come from Sofia or from Jeff Sonas.
I’ve wrote a long, articulate, very detailed topic which shows the approach that I think may help to change the actual hesitant approaches to find a definitive, consolidated, truly shared way. To define in a single word how my approach is, I would say “meticulous”.
But it seems that from time to time people prefer to live among the problems, sometimes giving vent to their claims (or criticisms) instead of face up to long, meticulous and effortful ways to get rid of them.
They already play for draw with black, but white player does not want to take risk. If one player knows ahead that he lost tiebreak, he has two white attemts to score. Instead of two easy draws we would get two full games. Black will try to draw anyway.
Anyway suggestion to remove draws at all is better. That way we would get 4 full games instead of 0 or 2. Cause leading player would not make short draw with white to save his advantage.
> They already play for draw with black, but white player does not want to take risk. If one player knows ahead that he lost tiebreak, he has two white attemts to score. Instead of two easy draws we would get two full games. Black will try to draw anyway.
You are right, White has more chances to play for a win (it was calculated 55% vs 45%). Although playing too aggressively could turn out losing to White too, let’s consider only White games. But, the more aggressive the pre-tie-break loser’s “full games”, the more safe the pre-tie-break winner’s “null games”. This last comparison could not be so balanced, in fact I’ve said it would be my favourite system (from those you posted), I just pointed out that different pre-tie-break methods was better.
> Anyway suggestion to remove draws at all is better. That way we would get 4 full games instead of 0 or 2. Cause leading player would not make short draw with white to save his advantage.
I think that such draw removing is just an illusion: the main difference is that one with White, when has no winning chances anymore, can play just to lose, further saving more energy than to play safe (e.g. in a short draw). Furthermore it’s ineffective (especially in matches) to avoid safe playing, draws, or short draws, because you just cancel the draws (and its meaning…) for both players, but you don’t avoid them.
Suppose a match between me and you applying your new system.
I’ve won the pre-tie-break (I have already the advantage).
I am in the usual world and I will play my short draws as White, saving energy and waiting your possible mistakes. I don’t care if my draws as White will be considered losses. With Black I will play even more safe (but knowing you I could fight for a draw).
You will play your “full games” as White: you’ll simply have more chance to lose, because you’ll be playing for a win. Then your “full games” are “more probably” losses than my “usual games”. Furthermore you will play crazy to find any way to win at all costs, spending energy. With Black you will play more or less like me.
Result: I will win the match with a further advantage from your new system, while only the pre-tie-break advantage was sufficient to please myself: I will say thank you and you will still thank your system for the changes in sport, art and science.
Jokes apart, all spurs to play for a win are good but they must be balanced, otherwise it would be another mess in the already slender confidence in the future of the chess competitions.
>Sometimes situation dictates that only win is matter
>black victory has not much sense for science point of view
Do you think that also draws has not much sense for science point of view? Do you not like any famous draw in history?
Even if chess would be practically solved (I suppose at least in the XXII century), we are talking about chess competitions: you can still find beautiful and fighting draws nowadays.
I hate 3-1 system. It's very unfair. If we play with 3 points for the win the situation occurs when 2 players have additional motivation in fighting against the field and not only each other. It's profitable to them to just toss a coin if drawish position occurs and nobody can't blame them for doing just that. You can't make rules and expect people to not take advantage of them. Also it introduces prisoner-dilemma like effect: the player who won't take risk have advantage if his opponent takes risk (because taking risks is supposedly worse strategy in "normal" chess). The player who "didn't blink" get his chances for free without having to risk first.
As you know in prisoner dillema there are 2 rational strategies. First is to "not risk" (because if your opponent risk you have chances for free and he doesn't you would be worse of if you risk) and second is "to collude" ie make a deal with your opponent and hope he will respect it (let's flip a coin if drawish position occurs). We don't want any of that.
This effect of "fighting against the field instead of each other" is also present with normal scoring system but it's no that strong and "tournament tactic" considerations rarely influence the game that much (or at least not in first 3/4 of the tournament).
Those are reasons we shouldn't try to give incentive to risk for both players but to only one. Natural choice is white (because black can't do anything anyway at highest level). If we make it 0-1 for a draw or 0.4-0.6 is matter of discussion.
One drawback of 0-1 idea is that a lot of interesting chess will be missed. Say white risked and got worse endgame with drawing chances. We want players to play those positions and fight. With 0-1 system the incentive to play those is 0 so white will just resign all worse endings (or make ridiculous attempts to win them which is just as bad).
The idea of playing tiebreaks before normal games works only in matches but it's worth considering imo. We could also make the matches of odd length of games (say 5) when the loser of the tiebreaks get one more white game (so it won't be that huge of disadvantage).
> My idea was to make it 0.4-0.6 or 0.35-0.65 for a draw instead of 0-1.
Statistics say that the Black-White gap would be filled by 0.45-0.55, but you guess 0.35-0.65 gives more incentive to White to play for a win. Anyway I would consider it like a normal score plus a unfairly modified tie-break like “number of Black draws”. This issue could lead to number crunching but let me try to explain:
Suppose a 0.499-0.501 system and note that for the first 1000 games it would be like applying the usual score (0.5-0.5) and using “number of Black draws” as tie-break
The only difference in applying 0.35-0.65 instead of 0.499-0.501 is that in the first case, after a sufficient number of games (let’s say 14, if it was 0.25-0.75 it was 8 games), an unpleasant scenario may occur:
You win 1 game more than your opponent,
your wins was Black wins while your opponent’s ones was White wins,
you will expect your Black wins to be rewarded
but your opponent will win the match
because in each game when he had Black he drew as Black, accumulating centi-points while you, as Black, took the trouble to win.
So consider your 0.4-0.6 like that such “number of Black draws” tie-break (if it’s clear that 0.4-0.6 is rather a punishment to be filled unfairly, and a punishment is not only an incentive, especially if it’s for both players).
Being evident that such “number of Black draws”, if there’s only White wins, will be equal for both players with tied wins (and in general for all players in a tournament, comparing a tied normal score), it will don’t break the tie and then will not give incentive to White to play for a win, but it will just give an incentive to not win as Black, to not leave a more game as Black to the opponent to draw it and have an advantage.
> One drawback of 0-1 idea is that a lot of interesting chess will be missed.
> We could also make the matches of odd length of games (say 5) when the loser of the tiebreaks get one more white game (so it won't be that huge of disadvantage).
It would be the “Armageddon” game in my topic, but of course you haven’t read it yet.
2. Remove draw by repetition. You just may not do a repetitive move anymore :). Stalemate if there is no other possibility. Too bad computers would have to be changed a bit.
3. Remove draw requests. Games can only be drawn if a computer thinks it is a clear 0.0 situation.
4. Give Black more time than White.
> 1. Draws 0,55 points for Black, 0,45 for White. Black scores more from wins than White. Wins score should be adjusted by the average number of draws, because ~1,0 is clearly not a fair amount of points.
Unfair. Again, they are only tie-breaks. For the rest, just unfair stuff.
> 2. Remove draw by repetition. You just may not do a repetitive move anymore :). Stalemate if there is no other possibility. Too bad computers would have to be changed a bit.
Unfair. Too heavy: often avoiding a repetition leads to a loss.
> 3. Remove draw requests. Games can only be drawn if a computer thinks it is a clear 0.0 situation.
Unfair. Unless you come from Sofia, let's the players play.
> 4. Give Black more time than White.
Unfair. There would be no need to reply, however remember that colors alternate.
> 0. White moves first.
Unfair. If only it could be compensated somehow...
Now, player 1 can't complain about unfairness, as he chose the move, and player 2 can't complain about unfairness, as he chose the color. This is some old idea, the problem is that moves like e4 or d4 would probably no longer be played, is this still chess?
If there are only good moves then player 2 has an advantage.
This concept is very simple, either the first player gets to play against a white setup he's comfortable with, or he gets his tempo.
It's like, you have a cake, and two people, how do you ensure that these people get a fair piece of the cake? You put one person to cut the cake in two, and the other to pick one of the pieces. The person cutting the cake will make his best to make each piece equally attractive, as otherwise the other person will end with the most attractive part.
> If only it could be compensated somehow...
Well, it seems compensating it would only increase the number of draws...
However, the points given for different outcomes should be adjusted with probabilities non-dependent on any other thing. It would at least balance out incentives.
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