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Old 01-28-2018, 06:26 AM   #1
R Gibert
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Reducing short GM draws

The 2018 Tata Steel event “featured” the 12th round game between Jones vs Mamedyarov ending in a 12 move draw by repetition. Attempts to discourage such short draws don’t seem to me to have worked out all that well in practice at the professional level.

I have a proposal to address this. Instead of the usual allotment of colors by the arbiter, each player would simultaneously offer a bid for how many draw-odds moves they would require for them to be willing to play Black.

For example, let’s say the Black winning bid is 30 moves. This means that if the game ends in a draw in the 1st 30 moves, Black would be awarded a win instead and White would lose. If a longer draw is played, the game is scored normally.

Low bid plays Black with the difference in bids is averaged. From the point of view of the player that gets Black, he gets a few more moves than he believed was fair. From the Whites point of view, Black gets a few less than White believed was fair. They both will feel they came out of “ahead ” in the bidding.

If there is a tie, they flip a coin. If the difference is an odd number, by “moves,” we are speaking of move-pairs, so no problem there. Move-pairs are “split-able.”

It’s pretty clear that somewhere between 100 draw-odds moves and zero, there must be a break-even point somewhere. This would depend on the ratings, the playing styles and the opening repertoires of the respective players.

The result of the bidding should, in theory, result in a 50-50 game with a few more decisive results than otherwise, because of the short draws being scored as wins.

I think this idea would be useful in professional level games where GM draws are a problem. For amateur games, there is too little motivation for the idea.
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:50 AM   #2
Louis Cyphre
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

Changing the fundamental rules of chess is not going to happen.
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Old 01-29-2018, 03:47 PM   #3
TimTimSalabim
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

Don't change any rules. Just add an extra point for wins.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:01 PM   #4
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

that's a no from me, dawg
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:38 AM   #5
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

Mamedyarov and Jones both played a lot of fighting chess in this tournament, and have done throughout their careers, so I think we can give them a pass for one incident. Ultimately, you don't climb the rating list by making draws, so if a guy does it repeatedly it will only hurt them in the long run.

GM draws were a much bigger problem in previous generations. Now that the Sofia rules are in place in most tournaments, it's not as much of an issue. Also, there can be legitimate reasons for it, such as when a player is ill. Or sometimes a player is surprised in the opening and makes a quick draw instead of playing a sharp position where the opponent will be better prepared.

In swiss tournaments, my personal take on that is that where players put up the entry fee out of their own pocket, they should be free to play as they wish.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:16 AM   #6
The Yugoslavian
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

I'm not even sure this would work very well. It would lead to strange situations in practice where the opponents just draw after x moves anyway. I think some tournaments should try giving wins more value - this is a very clear way to do it. And not just use "most wins" as a tiebreak, but simply give something like 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw, something like that, I'm sure someone has figured out a good way to implement it if tournaments choose to.
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:48 PM   #7
k_trigs
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

3 points for a win is the best alternative. so much more fun watching players fight for a win.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:52 PM   #8
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

3 points for a win has been tried in a top level tournament already and iirc it didnt really reduce the draw ratio. Ill try to find the crosstable

edit: can be looked up here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilbao...rmat_and_venue
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:56 PM   #9
Army Eye
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

You want to turn the rules upside down because of 1 short draw out of 91 games? Crazy talk. I remember the old elite tournaments, there have been BIG strides made in terms of short draws.
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:50 AM   #10
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

Don't think the proposed solution would work.

Only solution I've ever heard that I liked was to make draw offers binding for the remainder of the game - ie, once you offer, your opponent can accept at any future point. With such a rule, you are taking a massive risk by ever offering a draw and thus you shouldn't be doing it in anything but the most dead positions.
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Old 02-04-2018, 02:00 PM   #11
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

Quote:
Originally Posted by Punker View Post

Only solution I've ever heard that I liked was to make draw offers binding for the remainder of the game - ie, once you offer, your opponent can accept at any future point. With such a rule, you are taking a massive risk by ever offering a draw and thus you shouldn't be doing it in anything but the most dead positions.
The problem with this is that any player who is offered a draw should always decline it, since it means he can never lose unless he stupidly allows himself to be checkmated or lose on time. In other words, once a player has been offered a draw, he is on a freeroll and can sac pieces with abandon, knowing he can never lose.

Consequently, this seems like not a good suggestion.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:35 AM   #12
R Gibert
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

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Originally Posted by DrChesspain View Post
The problem with this is that any player who is offered a draw should always decline it, since it means he can never lose unless he stupidly allows himself to be checkmated or lose on time. In other words, once a player has been offered a draw, he is on a freeroll and can sac pieces with abandon, knowing he can never lose.

Consequently, this seems like not a good suggestion.
You've just made an argument for not making an ill considered draw offer. Punker even explicitly explained why, but you managed to ignore that completely.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:47 AM   #13
R Gibert
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

Quote:
Originally Posted by Punker View Post
Don't think the proposed solution would work.

Only solution I've ever heard that I liked was to make draw offers binding for the remainder of the game - ie, once you offer, your opponent can accept at any future point. With such a rule, you are taking a massive risk by ever offering a draw and thus you shouldn't be doing it in anything but the most dead positions.
I like your idea.

It does not address short draws due repetition of position, but that is easily remedied. If the opponent yields the opportunity for you to make such a draw claim, a draw offer can be assumed to be implicitly given and treated the same way. You then continue play eschewing the repetition with a different move if a viable move is available. IOW, your opponent had better be sure the repetition is a forced one.

BTW, why do you think the idea I gave would not work? How would it not work?
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:50 AM   #14
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

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Originally Posted by TimTimSalabim View Post
Don't change any rules. Just add an extra point for wins.
These 2 sentences don't go together. Adding an extra point for wins is a rule change.
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Old 02-05-2018, 05:15 AM   #15
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

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Originally Posted by Louis Cyphre View Post
Changing the fundamental rules of chess is not going to happen.
The rules concerning draws have changed quite a bit over the years e.g. the 50 move rule. There has also been a lot of experimentation with the issue that I address as well, but these have not been all that effective.

You can read about this at the following link: Steps taken to discourage draws or short draws.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:01 AM   #16
Louis Cyphre
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

That's different than considering a draw as a win for black.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:09 PM   #17
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

Quote:
Originally Posted by R Gibert View Post
BTW, why do you think the idea I gave would not work? How would it not work?
It's too complicated, and further, if players are already agreeing to draw, why would they not just agree to both bid 15, and agree to a draw on move 16?

Quote:
The problem with this is that any player who is offered a draw should always decline it, since it means he can never lose unless he stupidly allows himself to be checkmated or lose on time. In other words, once a player has been offered a draw, he is on a freeroll and can sac pieces with abandon, knowing he can never lose.
What you have described is a point in favor of the rule change. Think of these scenarios -

Scenario 1) it's a tense game, it's not clear who's winning. White is considering a sacrificial line, but it's not clear whether it works or not. Black is sitting there terrified white is going to play it and he's going to be put in the Informant's games of the year book.

Current situation: black nervously offers a draw. White fearfully accepts. They retire to the analysis room to try to find out if it would work.

New situation: either: black nervously offers a draw. White puts the offer on hold and starts his sacrificial attack. If it works, amazing, we are all entertained and the world of chess is richer. If it fails, white accepts the draw, and we lose nothing.

Scenario 2) Position is dead drawn. Opposite color bishops and pawns all locked up. Black offers a draw. White is now freerolling!! White looks at the position and realizes there's no hope of anything but a draw and taking that time is just a waste of his time. White accepts draw.

Scenario 3) position is unclear but probably equalish; whoever plays better from this point will win. Both players consider offering a draw.

Current rules: someone offers a draw. The other accepts. Who cares.

New rules: both players realize they cannot offer a draw without ceding the freeroll. The game proceeds as a true fight.

The only real danger I think is that in scenario 2, the player being offered a draw chooses to play on just because he has nothing to lose, on the 1/1000 chance that his opponent messes up. I feel like this would become one of those unwritten rules in sport - yes you can do it, but you're wasting everyone's time.
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Old 02-05-2018, 05:34 PM   #18
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

Sacrifical attacks are a lot less exciting if there is no risk attached to them.
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:31 PM   #19
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

Quote:
Originally Posted by R Gibert View Post
You've just made an argument for not making an ill considered draw offer. Punker even explicitly explained why, but you managed to ignore that completely.
I understand Punker's idea in the rule change--You shouldn't offer a draw unless you have literally a dead-drawn, "no-lose" game.

I just think the idea is stupid.
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Old 02-06-2018, 11:16 AM   #20
The Yugoslavian
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Re: Reducing short GM draws

I think it would simply end all draw offers, ever. So rather than some weird freeroll system it's better to simply ban them completely. However, I believe they did this in Millionaire so Hikaru and McShane just repeated moves and Maurice Ashley's head exploded.

There is no way to completely remove short draws. But banning all draw offers certainly wouldn't hurt.
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