Monday, February 05, 2007

ACP Survey on Draw Offers

The Association of Chess Professionals is conducting a survey on draw offers. All ACP members as well as anyone holding the titles of IM, WIM, GM and WGM are invited to participate in the survey.

I'm guessing the response hasn't been positive because the initial deadline of 31 January has now been extended to 5 March 2007. Here is the survey:

1. A draw offer should be:
a) allowed at any stage of the game (current FIDE rules)
b) allowed after 30 moves of the game are completed
c) allowed after 40 moves of the game are completed
d) allowed after 50 moves of the game are completed
e) not allowed at all (Corsican rule)
f) abstain

2. A draw offer, at the stage where it is allowed, should imply a time penalty in the case it is rejected:
a) yes
b) no
c) abstain

I don't want to spend too much time discussing this because I'm sure there are various websites/forums where the issue has been talked to death. But since I am a GM, albeit a closet one, I might as well make a public vote. My picks are 1.e and 2.b.

Just for fun here is a quick little poll that you guys can interact with. Of course, I make no claim that this is scientific. Actually, I've been thinking / experimenting with a poll feature like this so this is kind of like a test drive. Let's see hot it goes. Please provide feedback on usability, tech matters, etc, as usual. Any problems, let me know.


Anonymous said...

One thing I have wondered with respect to this matter is: If players are forced to play for example 40 moves before being able to offer a draw is it fair then that such games are still subject to the mobile phone penalty eg at move 30 especially given that a draw might have been agreed at move 20 under normal circumstances?

peter said...

Interesting to see what the TCG audience thinks. At Chessvibes, the majority likes to see a change of the FIDE rule. I did an article on our results at

442 said...

30 moves is the way to go in my opinion,40 is pushing it seeeing as a number of games will be in a technical draw by move 30 anyway.

And 30 moves is enough in most openings to avoid "GM draws",because players will reach positions where critical decisions have already had to be made thus avoiding the easy draw.

The "quick drawing" culture needs to be stamped out of professional chess if chess wants to get serious long term sponsors.

The public wants to see a battle of ideas in a game,not just a convenient draw to "save energy".

Matthew Sweeney said...

The simple way to to avoid draws at any time is:

Win = 5
Draw = 2
Loss = 0

Thus, two draws is of slightly less value than a win. A draw to tie or win a tournament becomes a far less likely tempation.

Tom Chivers said...

This morning I thought of a brilliant way to get around this problem.

Let's say the time limit for a game is 6 hours, and the two players agree a draw after 1 hour. My new rules states: they have to swap colours and start another game, but with the time limit totalling 5 hours. They do this until the clock time would be less than 1/2 hour each. The score from each round would also be a fraction of their game scores, ie a win and draw would be .75, which would help spice up tournament tables.

Matthew Sweeney said...

Theoretically, a draw opught only be offered when both sides have equal chances. Since the word used by chess players themselves is *chances*, and those chances are *equal*, the agreed draw could fairly be broken by a flip of a coin. [!] That would certainly stop draw offers.

442 said...

Matthew,you cant avoid draws.

Current theory suggests that if both players play the best moves then the position will result in a draw. Should players be penalised for playing the best moves?

Matthew Sweeney said...

High level players (>2000) know when a game is tending toward a pratical draw. However, each player has the choice to play more "exciting" moves leading to death or glory. If either player goes for the draw - and thus the coin flip draw breaker- then the other would/could/should play more boldly to prevent it.

Therefore they are both threated with a sudden death coin flip if they both play like pillows. Niether is penalised more than the other. They both take there chances with a coin flip.

BTW, the handfull of critical moves that each player faces in a game are often a coin flip type decision based on art rather than science. Therefore, a real coin flip is *exactly* as random or chancy a result as a OTB win/lose.