In the past week, the US decided its latest champions: GM Yury Shulman for the men, and IM Anna Zatonskih for the women. It's the women's event to which we turn our attention. To say that the finish was dramatic is perhaps an understatement. Here's a video of how the title was decided. Watch from about .20 to 1.12.
Reactions to that incident can be read on ChessVibes and on YouTube. But here's GM Ian Rogers' take on it as well as on the so-called Armageddon finish:
Krush was, not surprisingly, devastated yet such scenes are likely to become more frequent as the Armageddon rule seeks to substitute entertainment for justice.
Most worrying is the possibility that the upcoming world title match in Bonn between Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand could be decided by such a game.
(You can read the regulations to the Kramnik - Anand match here).
Firstly, on the Krush incident: as far as I am concerned, Krush only had herself to blame. She failed to hustle. Bad time management, bad play and capped off by poor attitude. My sympathies for her are about as much as I give to that hapless side Chelsea FC. Zero!
Secondly, on the use of Armageddon: frankly, I don't see what the problem is. Rogers' notion of "justice" is, well, pretty mysterious to say the least. Maybe we need the simple reminder that we're not here to seek justice, we're here (or you know, there in Bonn) to find the winner. That's it! If we can go about that process with a little entertainment thrown in, then all the better. I think you'll agree that even for aficionados, draw after draw punctuated only by the occasional decisive game (which, you can bet, is what we'll likely witness in the upcoming match) can be terribly boring.
Finally, chess really needs to grow up. We want big sponsorship money, then we need to give results. Armageddon (or penalty shootouts) give results.
I'm in favour of Armageddon. What say you? Look right, scroll up and vote in the poll.