Rich As A King

Monday, September 10, 2012

Proposed rule change regarding draw offers


In the past, many grandmasters, including me, have taken advantage of short draws from time to time (as the rule allowed), to gain extra rest or for other strategic reasons. Until the rule is officially changed, I do not expect too many players to force themselves to play out every game. No rule is full proof in preventing pre-arranged draws. However, I think it is important to at least try to correct the problems with as little modification as possible. Therefore, I just officially made this proposal to FIDE: (You can read it in Spanish as translated by David Kaufmann)

“Draw offer” issue proposal by Susan Polgar, Chairperson of the WOM

There have been many discussions for a long time in the world of chess that there are too many draws, and especially far too many premature draws without a “full fight”.

Those “quick draws” or “incomplete fights” at professional competitions are very disappointing for all chess fans, sponsors, and media. They are also not the natural course of chess. In no sport competition can the two sides just stop fighting because they are tired or just because they “feel like it”. This type of action also sends a wrong message to young chess players.

At the General Assembly meeting (on September 8, 2012), Leo Battesti (of Corsica) had a proposal regarding abolishing all draws from the rules of chess.

A number of delegates and attendees at the General Assembly meeting commented on Mr. Battesti’s proposal. The large majority agreed that it is time for a change regarding draws. The only question is in the details.

First, I would like to state that I feel that it is important not to do any changes to the essence of a chess game. For example, one suggestion was that stalemating your opponent should count as a won game. I believe it is going too far. Another suggestion was to eliminate draws by three time repetition. I do not think it is a good idea either. Both of those are natural parts of chess as we have known it for over half a millennium.

There are many short or long hard fought games (at times brilliant ones too) that end legitimately in a draw.

The idea to change the traditional scoring system (1-0, ½) for 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw is imperfect too, as it unfairly punishes hard fought draws.

Here is my proposal:


I think FIDE should consider eliminating the option of draw offers at all official FIDE events. Restricting the draw offer option to a certain number of moves seems artificial and makes no logical sense.

At official FIDE events, only with a judge’s approval should one be able to offer a draw. The judges should only approve/allow the draw offer if one of the following applies:

a) There has been a three time repetition
b) An endgame has been reached where the “50 or 75 move rule” came to effect
c) An endgame has been reached where the draw outcome is so obvious that even a 1600 rated player would be very likely to draw even a GM (very simple draw positions where arbiters cannot make wrong decisions).

I would not apply this same mandatory rule for opens or private events. In non-official FIDE events, while it should be recommended, it should not be mandatory. It should be up to each organizer if they want (or do not want) to apply this recommendation.

Naturally, the game will end in a draw if stalemate occurs, or if there is insufficient mating materials, etc.

27 comments:

sihoko said...

Though I also sometimes am disappointed by early draws, I believe your proposal seems to be unfair to grandmasters because they have to continu playing even in positions where it is not likely thata GM would make a mistake.

Swami said...

If the primary concern is fairness to the audience as professionals, there is another solution. If a game ends within 4 hours (first time control), let the players play a followup Armageddon game for the benefit of the audience (not counted towards event score). Will satisfy audience and professional responsibilities, but let the GMs abandon dry positions, or even just conserve energy, without resorting to an arbiter's subjectivity.

Swami said...

If the primary concern is fairness to the audience as professionals, there is another solution. If a game ends within 4 hours (first time control), let the players play a followup Armageddon game for the benefit of the audience (not counted towards event score). Will satisfy audience and professional responsibilities, but let the GMs abandon dry positions, or even just conserve energy, without resorting to an arbiter's subjectivity.

Swami said...

If the primary concern is fairness to the audience as professionals, there is another solution. If a game ends within 4 hours (first time control), let the players play a followup Armageddon game for the benefit of the audience (not counted towards event score). Will satisfy audience and professional responsibilities, but let the GMs abandon dry positions, or even just conserve energy, without resorting to an arbiter's subjectivity.

Swami said...

If the primary concern is fairness to the audience as professionals, there is another solution. If a game ends within 4 hours (first time control), let the players play a followup Armageddon game for the benefit of the audience (not counted towards event score). Will satisfy audience and professional responsibilities, but let the GMs abandon dry positions, or even just conserve energy, without resorting to an arbiter's subjectivity.

You have a dysfunctional recapcha system. Try using it some time. Do you really want no comments?

Swami said...

If the primary concern is fairness to the audience as professionals, there is another solution. If a game ends within 4 hours (first time control), let the players play a followup Armageddon game for the benefit of the audience (not counted towards event score). Will satisfy audience and professional responsibilities, but let the GMs abandon dry positions, or even just conserve energy, without resorting to an arbiter's subjectivity.

Why do you have such a dysfunctional recapcha system?

Swami said...

If the primary concern is fairness to the audience as professionals, there is another solution. If a game ends within 4 hours (first time control), let the players play a followup Armageddon game for the benefit of the audience (not counted towards event score). Will satisfy audience and professional responsibilities, but let the GMs abandon dry positions, or even just conserve energy, without resorting to an arbiter's subjectivity.

Why do you have such a dysfunctional recapcha system?

Venky [ Indian - Chennai ] said...

Hi Susan Polar,

Oooops,by reading this article its clear that the game chess is way distanced to get elevated from the status of,"The Game Of The Hobbyists To The Game of Profession" [ The game of profession should have commercial & entertainment value - The word Game should bring in Entertainment and The word Profession should bring in commercial value even for organizers too ]

Well,Susan,whats healthy approach for a game to prosper ?

Does chess game has to entertain just the players & Organizers or it should also earn & entertain the audience ?

Is chess still had to be organized at the cost of the organizer alone or the chess sport has to evolve to commercial value ?

How could chess get commercial value,when it cares not the interest of the audience ?

These words doesn't mean that chess has to change to some other sport/game but chess has to evolve without losing its flavor.

Can't that be done ?

If fact - the most brilliant brains play this game in professional level,they can very well adapt to changes that happen to the chess game,if the changes doesn't compromise on the uniqueness of the game.

Is it hard for the brilliant minds to find a solution that which caters the need of all the involved [ Organizers ,Players and Audience ] ?

If fact there a many means to make chess game evolve without losing its grace and uniqueness - all thats required is,the out of box thinking and the will to imply it.

Thats definitely not an Herculean task for the brainy minds [ Organizers & players of chess ]

Okay cool - Time [ Evolution clock ]will bring inevitable changes in chess game,to make the game even more interesting and unique.

By
Venky [ India - Chennai ]

Anonymous said...

With all respect, your proposal is interesting but still there is a certain degree of subjectability. eg "An endgame has been reached where the draw outcome is so obvious that even a 1600 rated player would be very likely to draw even a GM."

NS -Greece

rgorn said...

Nonverbal communication is something I guess most chess players are capable of, too.

So what? If they want to draw they will produce a three-fold repitition.

rgorn said...

"And a draw was agreed after mutual shrugging of the shoulders." (End of annotations to a Karpov-Kortchnoi game in '78 when they were not on speaking terms.)

I' sure they could have come up with a three-fold repetition if necessitated by the rules. ;)

Anonymous said...

54 bolivenu
I am sure that draws are an important integral part of the game for us normal people, but once pros get involved perhaps spmething should be done. How about if a draw is agreed, an arbitrator decides which player deserves which percenathe of the full point?

rgorn said...

And to follow up:

I'm still waiting for a world championship where the contenders have to discuss the results of their games with _anyone_!? I guess even Anand and Gelfand would simply beat up the arbiter without any further discussion.

Annoynymous said...

If the 2 players really wish to draw early, they can just make 3 repeated moves anytime, so your suggestion may not be effective. I have a better solution. If it's clearly an early draw, each player gets 1/4 point, instead of 1/2. That should make them think twice. The 1/4 point will also reflect some embarrassment on them in the standings.

Anonymous said...

Players have their rights to offer or accept draw. To reduce draw offer, FIDE must change the current rules determining the winners. For example in chess olympiad, a team gets 2 points no matter if it is 4:0 or 2.5:1.5. It team 4:0 can get higher points, players for sure don't like the draw offer.

Anonymous said...

Susan: What to do about games like the games Kosintseva sisters play eachother? They use always to find known opening lines which end in perpetual. Everyone understands it isn't by chance the perpetual appear. Shouldn't it be a rule against this?; everybody can do like the Kosintseva sisters and then the "no draw" rules are pointless? Luckily Kosintseva sisters seem to be among the very few who do this everytime they play eachother.

Anonymous said...

Susan: What to do about the players who agree with eachother to play a known opening line which end in perpetual? Like the Kosintseva sisters always use to do when they play eachother.

Venky [ India - Chennai ] said...

Hi Susan Polgar,

This is my second post at this title.

I will say " Chess game survives in charity " - Is that all this wonderful game of mind deserves ?

Just think of the current situation about chess events - Either a sponsor should invest in the chess tournament with absolute belief that the investment yields no return not even the invested principal amount or chess event organizers will collect fee from the players through which they will look after the overheads [ Which includes prizes ]of the chess event. just try now to visualize,how pathetic the wonderful game of mind(Chess)is in now

For this chess game,Day should come,where there should be tough competition exist between top corporates to sponsor the chess events.

When this will happen ? Only when the sponsors receive attractive returns on their investments.

What should be done for that ?

Just think out of box & imply it.

Honestly saying there are lot of ways to promote chess to yield commercial success & to earn top corporates interest in sponsoring the chess event. Win for everybody.

I am ready to contribute my part,as ideas & strategies,that when combined with others contribution - chess will attain new commercial status " a game of profession " to the best of everybody's acceptance

Collective effort will yield substantial result in chess game evolution.

Influential (in implying novelty to the wonderful game of mind - chess )persons,who are really interested,can reach me for out of box ideas & strategies for turning chess game as a commercial entertainment element - without compromising on any existing uniqueness of the game and its rules.

Cool,I am always there to contribute,the best possible for staging the chess game as commercial favorite - Believe me, its not impossible.

Coordinated collective contribution by chess promoters & professional will bring glory to wonderful & powerful game of mind [ The Chess ].

By
Venky [ India - Chennai ]

Anonymous said...

@ Venky

Huh?

Anonymous said...

stalemate wins. at least for black. for white to be stalemated is unfair draw with no honor but only shame. general principle should be any change which increase honor and fairness - is more important than keeping traditional laws.

jMac said...

This proposal is nonsense. If there can be no draw offer, the players just create a threefold repetition, as we have seen many times in recent years.

Also, there has not been a "75 move rule" for many years.

Anonymous said...

2 points for a win, 1 point for a loss, 0 point for a draw.

Anonymous said...

If both players want to make draw before the game or in the opening, if they can't offer draw, they will just repeat the moves, or play a drawish line. So what will your proposal change for them? Nothing!

This rule will only prevent ambitious players to make draws after they took risks in order to complicate the position, which is not normal.

Players like Gritchuk will continue to make draws with white in Candidates matches or World Cup to seek the decision in rapids and blitz. Also the Anand - Gelfand match was not exciting as careful was the moto from both players. That's not by adding anti-draw rules that this would change! Also what is the point to make the players continue a position which will very likely lead to a draw?

In open or round-robin tournaments, it's not by making lots of draws that a player will win the tournament, by making draw he will only fall in the standings, so why not let them make draw?

It's in chess matches that we find most of the quick-draws as lots of players prefear to seek the decision in rapids rather then classic game, if there was more classical games, they couldn't follow the same strategy and sacrifice their withe games!

Anonymous said...

If both players want to make draw before the game or in the opening, if they can't offer draw, they will just repeat the moves, or play a drawish line. So what will the proposal change for them? Nothing!

This rule will only prevent ambitious players to make draws after they took risks in order to complicate the position, which is not normal.

Players like Gritchuk will continue to make draws with white in Candidates matches or World Cup to seek the decision in rapids and blitz. Also the Anand - Gelfand match was not exciting as careful was the moto from both players. That's not by adding anti-draw rules that this would change! Also what is the point to make the players continue a position which will very likely lead to a draw?

In open or round-robin tournaments, it's not by making lots of draws that a player will win the tournament, by making draw he will only fall in the standings, so why not let them make draw?

It's in chess matches that we find most of the quick-draws as lots of players prefear to seek the decision in rapids rather then classic game, if there was more classical games, they couldn't follow the same strategy and sacrifice their white games!

pino said...

There is an official system called Arranz system in swiss manager
When it happens a draw the whites get 0,4 and the blacks 0,6 this is because it's supose that the whites has to have the iniciative
From Canary Islands

Anonymous said...

Don't make it too hard. Chess should be fair enough. Draws can be eliminated by having "5 mins Blitz Games" if still draw 3 mins Blitz" of still draw 1 min Blitz" Easy.

Anonymous said...

1) Min. 30 moves. thereafter can only offer a draw.

2) Legitimate or agreed draws can be deleted by having 5 mins Blitz -- 3 mins Blitz -- 1 min Blitz until someone won the game.