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  1. #1
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    A Cure for SAD (Severe Acute Draw-itis)

    Saw this article (http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2719) on chessbase.com and thought the solution they came up with for this most grievous of ailments was over complicated.

    Why not just change the points system.
    1.2 for a black win
    1.0 for a white win
    0.4 for a draw
    or something similar.

    The idea is to follow what they did for soccer when they changed the points award system from 2 points for a win and 1 point for a draw, to 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw, thus encouraging teams to go for the win.

    Would this not also work in player vs player matches?

    Better yet, why not just follow the soccer system exactly - 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw?

  2. #2
    CC Candidate Master frogmogdog's Avatar
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    i read a simple plausible proposal decades ago -- divide stalemate points 2/3 to the stalemater and 1/3 to the stalemated.

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frogmogdog
    i read a simple plausible proposal decades ago -- divide stalemate points 2/3 to the stalemater and 1/3 to the stalemated.
    I'd suggest for junior chess the other way around - would certainly discourage stalemates better.
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  4. #4
    CC Candidate Master pballard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1_
    Saw this article (http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2719) on chessbase.com and thought the solution they came up with for this most grievous of ailments was over complicated.
    I though the proposal was simple - keep doing rapid (or lightning) playoffs till you get a result. The problem is that it will favour good rapid players like Kasimdzhanov, who won the Libya FIDE "World Championship" by drawing his standard games then winning rapid playoffs. IOW, it gives results but it doesn't give better chess. In fact possibly the opposite.

    Better yet, why not just follow the soccer system exactly - 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw?
    Often a draw is a fair result for fighting chess. IOW, it would seem to me to unfairly penalise the players who gets a draw. Perhaps I am just being needlessly conservative here, it just "feels" wrong to me.

    IMO the problem is not draws, but short draws, i.e. "grandmaster draws". Of all the proposals I've seen, the one I liked best was that of GM Maurice Ashley, of "no draw offer before move X". He proposed X=50 but I reckon it could be made different for different tournaments, just like the time limit.
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  5. #5
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    This nonsense seems to come round periodically. The guiding philosophy, in the authors' own words is

    ... we believe that draws should not be accepted as a final chess result.

    Sopposing for the purpose of discusion that this was true, why not draw the winner from a hat or cut cards for the game? This will just as effectively reduce the number of possible outcomes to two, without giving one, the better blitz player, any particular encouragement to play for a draw.

    If the argument is that uncompetitive draws are less interesting than hard-fought wins then I think we would all agree. But is replacing all draws by clock-thumping competititions going to make more interesting games? To the contrary, at least one player and often both will be at least as happy to draw as under current rules. So obvious is this that the authors have an answer to it - a disincentive in the form of reduced prizemoney. But this approach already exists in some tournaments in a much more efficient form, by allocating part of prizemoney for wins.

    In any event there's nothing to stop tournaments being organised under the rules laid out in the article. It doesn't require a change to the rules of chess.

  6. #6
    CC Candidate Master frogmogdog's Avatar
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    I'd suggest for junior chess the other way around - would certainly discourage stalemates better.


    altering the point allocation for stalemates is actually a more profound change than it sounds, because suddenly lots of "dead drawn" positions become very interesting -- for instance because they are leading to an ultimate K+P vs K stalemate.

    the weaker side needs to fight much harder to get a full half point from the 50 move rule or repetition or whatever. insufficient material might also change eg i think K+2N vs K might force a stalemate.

  7. #7
    CC International Master ElevatorEscapee's Avatar
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    Hi froggy, in my most humble of opinions, to remove the draw by Stalemate option would remove a great amount of aesthetically pleasing combinations and possibilities.

    There are those who are attracted to simple results in games, and those who revel in the beauty that a game can produce.

    I personally feel that it is the aesthetic beauty of chess, where a numerically inferior force can force victory (or equality in a stalemate combination) against a numerically larger force that has helped it to attain it's allure and make it pre-eminent among all board games.

    The concept of Checkmate has helped lift chess above the level of other board games and promote it to the level of "morally instructive", in that a greedy player, who gobbles up all the material carelessly offered to him by a wily opponent, can find himself facing a forced defeat by numerically inferior force. Hence the inherent "beauty" in a sacrificial combination, forcing Checkmate.

    Some of the most aesthetically pleasing, amusing and satisfying combinations in chess involve a player with a single king (the last single hope), facing overwhelming forces, and still being able to attain equality.

    To rejigger the Stalemate law would be to detract not only from the beauty of chess, but from the very thing that makes chess superior in the minds of it's adherants to other board games. To disallow the "draw by stalemate", I fear, would be a great step backwards for the game of chess itself.

    Just my two penneth worth.
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