Match format: Sutovsky vs Seirawan

by Emil Sutovsky
12/6/2016 – Yasser Seirawan does not like the current format of the World Championship and proposed a number of hotly debated changes. Now, Emil Sutovsky, President of the Association of Chess Professionals, counters. He offers an out-of-the box proposal and invites readers to make their opinion heard.

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The format of the World Championship - a proposal

Emil Sutovsky, President of the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP)

First of all, I'd like to congratulate Magnus for retaining the title, and praise Sergey who was a worthy opponent to the reigning Champion. The Title Match is the most prestigious and the most followed event in chess – and I believe we shall stick to the match format – there were literally millions of spectators following the battle of New York. It was thrilling from the sportive point of view, but I believe the games could have been much more exciting if a different format was used. I would like to share my views:

1. Number of games

I don't think twelve is an optimal number of games. With twelve games the match seems to be too short – and this influences the match strategy of the players, provoking them to play overcautiously as even a single loss may prove too costly. Spectators also do want the show to go on. Chess fans and aficionados did not get tired of the match in New York – the vast majority would have liked to see more games. Whereas a 24-game match might be a bit too long for many reasons, I would suggest 16 games as a number that strikes a balance perfectly. It won't even increase the costs too much, if we have a day off after every three games (and not after two as in New York).

2. What to do in a case of a tie?

I have heard many proposals. All of them have some logic behind them, but I find it unfair to award the match to the reigning Champion in case of a tie, and I also don't think that an odd number of games and an extra attempt for Challenger playing with White helps too much (having White is not a meaningful advantage on the top level anymore).

I actually like the idea of a rapid tie-break. Just not after the regular part of the match, but BEFORE it. Then, the match starts with a bang (I'd rather call it overture) - a lot of excitement and the winner gets a pole position – which makes the classical chess that follows invariably more attractive – as a tie will now suit only one of the players. But the classical games will decide the match. The World Championship matches in 2006, 2012, and 2016 were decided by a rapid tie-break and the last classical games of these matches were anti-climactic, to put it mildly. It is also important, in my opinion, to play the rapid tie-break on two days (Saturday and Sunday – with a massive audience!), which allows us have more games (3+3) while one bad day won't have a decisive impact. Let's also not forget – we don't want our gladiators to die – playing four rapid games for such a high stakes, followed by possible blitz and Armageddon is really too tough. Honestly, I don't see any disadvantages in the proposed format change – except for one thing: this solution is a bit out-of-the-box. But we are chess people - we are supposed to be capable of such things!

3. No shorter time-controls

Finally, I'd like to unequivocally stress that I don't like the idea of shortening the time-control in the World Championship Match. This idea is advocated by some impatient spectators and even strong Grandmasters who find that classical chess becomes more and more dull. In my opinion, neither rapid nor “new classic” (about an hour for each player) is good enough to replace the proper classical game. I'd like to remind the proponents of shorter time-controls that the World Championship match is watched by millions of people, and making it more spectacular (if one considers mistakes to be spectacular) on the expense of damaging the quality of play is hardly a productive idea. Actually, the stats from Norway where 5-10% of the entire population followed every classical game from beginning to end on TV clearly proves that classical chess can be attractive – we just have to present it properly. And we don't have to compare chess with other sports all the time! Chess is a sport, yes. But the main reason why there is serious money in chess is our rich history, our traditions, our image of the most intellectual sport. Speeding up is zeitgeisty and trendy, but sometimes it is wise to be anti-trend and to stick to your niche, adjusting and improving, but not rebranding it. In a few years we will celebrate the centennial of the “Classical chess is dead – it is just a draw” movement. But chess is still alive and kicking, and it is bound to outlive those who claim its death today...

Of course, every reader is welcome to disagree with me and express his/her opinion in the ACP World Championship poll. We will publish the results in January – and develop recommendations for Fide based on the results of the poll. Make your opinion heard!

Naturally many people have their own opinions about the ideal format – and let me invite you all to express your thoughts by participating in the → detailed ACP poll dedicated to the World Championship format ←

 

 



Emil Sutovsky is President of the Association of Chess Professionals. He was born in 1977 and is based in Holon, Israel. In January 2012 he reached the highest ranking of his career of 2708. His highest position in the rankings was 17th in the world. Emil Sutovsky is the 2001 European Champion as well as a winner and a prizewinner of more than 100 international tournaments. Emil has an extensive experience in participating at television and radio programs and is author of over a hundred publications on the topic of chess.
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lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/13/2016 05:48
I think you are right. And I believe we will agree in the methodology of:

1. Collect ideas (in process in these debates)
2. Validate them in the criteria of fairness, potential popularity, motivation for fight, logic, humanity, finity (remember Kasparov-Karpov 1985)
3. The ideas, which pass these validations should be compared one to the other. The Champion retains should be among them, but not the solv candidate
4. We should have a way to determine which candidate is the winner. I am thinking of several possibilities, like a referendum in the chess world, possibly weighting votes based on rating, enthusiasts not having ELO points would have a less valuable vote than grandmasters, etc. Or it could be decided in a different way. However, I think that a massive democratic support for the system would help a lot to decide matters for now. An open discussion is needed, as we can see, three GMs have shown their opinion and all of them considered different things to be desirable.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/12/2016 07:30
@ lajosarpad : "Having a disadvantage is not necessarily unfair." :

I think that this is indeed a VERY important point.

And, in my opinion, this is precisely quite the case of the "draw odds to the Champion" system : this system DOES give an advantage to one of the players, but this advantage is a FAIR advantage, because it depends only on a completely objective criterion (the player that will benefit from this system will be "the winner of the previous World Championship match" - this a prefectly objective criterion), and it depends only on a "superior chess result obtained by one of the players" (and this is also for me a necessary condition for a system being used as a tiebreaking system).
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/12/2016 05:29
"So? Why should that entitle him to an unfair advantage?"
I would not consider tie-break odds given to someone who has earned the World Champion title unfair. You consider it to be unfair, but you seem to ignore that in many previous World Championship matches this approach was used and nobody complained.

"He showed it 2 years ago. It is not known if that is the case now (that's why we have another match). He must show it again. "
Since he has shown it two years ago, we have to assume he is the best until wee see someone better. And that person will be the challenger if he beats the Champion.

"That may be so, but he shouldn't have to overcome an unfair disadvantage to realise it. "
He has the disadvantage of not being the World Champion because he is... not the World Champion. When he becomes the World Champion, he will earn the advantage he lacked earlier.

"As also would happen under my suggestion ("pairs of Classical Games" playoff). So in the argument that I don't buy, the only "plausible" part is covered anyway. "
I am not talking against your suggestion. It has a few flaws and has its share of upsides as well. I am only telling you that the idea of World Champion retains in case of a draw is plausible, because it is justified in the future, since no justice can be done to previous events. Physically impossible, regardless of the system. This makes the argument that future World Champions will have an earned advantage plausible. That does not mean that this system is the only acceptable one, but frankly, it is not difficult to prove that it is completely defensible on logical terms.

"playoff. Therefore there is no need to have the disadvantage."
True. This is the upside. The downside is that a playoff will not remove the lack of conflicting interests. A bias of any kind is needed to remove that and such a bias cannot stand on a ground outside of meritocracy. But playoffs are not evil by themselves. A finite set of classical game pairs as playoff could be acceptable and if all those pairs are drawn then the Champion retains. Or another approach could help.

""Also, the challenger might be the previous challenger as well." But he might not be. So that is not an argument. "
You are correct in pointing out that this is not an argument, however, you are knocking on an open door. This was not meant to be an argument, but a correction of a mistake in your comment, where you did not consider the case I was pointing out:
"And thirdly, if the Challenger wasn't a participant of the previous match, why is he being penalised for something he had nothing to do with?"

"So you agree that one of the players is at a disadvantage. This breaks what should be a cardinal principle that I gave: There must be COMPLETE fairness. "
Having a disadvantage is not necessarily unfair. In that case we should ask GMs to play weaker moves if they play with weaker opponents. This is an advantage earned by the World Champion and the challenger lacks it because he has either not earned it yet or lost it in a previous match.

Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/11/2016 04:20
"But if it would be possible to find sponsors that would finance such a match, I would find this solution perfectly satisfying !" Petrarlsen.

The FIDE HQ is the worst case scenario - if no other possibility. You described well the additional expenses from a match extended in tiebreaks.

Must also be considered the possibilities for additional revenues in remaining in original location or go to a profitable location for the tiebreaks for the sponsors/organisers. More tickets, more sponsorship, in an exciting context - it is tiebreaks - at each mini-match (each of which is short), a champion can emerge.

As for your other points, I leave this between Avro and you... but maybe there is already enough for the reader to draw his/her own conclusions.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/11/2016 09:42
@ AVRO1938 (4/4) :

- In my view, your proposed system is quite interesting, but I consider it as being nonetheless not quite optimal. This for two reasons, linked to the fact that the World Championship is also a public event : 1) it wouldn't be logical that the spectators that followed the event on-site wouldn't have the possibility to follow on-site the end of the competition ; 2) I think that it would be quite anti-climactic to have such a prestigious competition ending that way. You say : "It's the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. The most important event there can be.", but if you treat it nearly as if it was a series of games between two friends, it doesn't "feel" very serious for the public.

I suppose that you would say something like that : "WHAT ! The public ! Blast it, the public doesn't interest me AT ALL !" ; as for me, I nonetheless think that the public must be taken into consideration. It is obviously not a reason to corrupt the World Championship system, but this aspect must nevertheless, in my opinion, be taken into account.

It is the reason for which I proposed, two days ago (under this same Sutovsky article) a system, using as a sub-system the "draw odds to the Champion" system as very last resort, that is designed to keep the match in a "reasonable" time-limit, and that doesn't give a too important place to the "draw odds to the Champion" system.

For me, the most important points are to have a system that is logical, fair, that keeps the match within the "classical games" limit, and that is limited to a strictly predefined calendar (because I wouldn't think it optimal to relocate the match to the FIDE Headquarters for the reasons that I developed previously in this post, and because, in my opinion, it would be too costly to have an "indefinite match" in the "normal" match venue). And I think that it isn't impossible to create a system that respect all these conditions !...
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/11/2016 09:41
@ AVRO1938 (3/4) :

- "And thirdly, if the Challenger wasn't a participant of the previous match, why is he being penalised for something he had nothing to do with?" :

It isn't anyone's problem to know if the Challenger had or hadn't participated in the previous World Championship cycle ! He COULD participate in it. If he didn't (or if he couldn't meet the basic conditions to participate), it is only HIS problem ! (Otherwise, it would be necessary to say that Karpov wasn't a legitimate Champion because Fischer didn't participate in the cycle for the 1975 World Championship match, and the same would be true for Anand's 2012 title, because Carlsen didn't participate either in this World Championship cycle). For example, Karjakin didn't win the Candidates for the 2014 match, so Carlsen really did (indirectly) prove, at the time, a superiority over him by winning the following match against Anand.

I will not explain another time the multiple reasons for which I consider that the "draw odds to the Champion" system can be used (I already developed my ideas on this subject very abundantly under this same Sutovsky article !), but, in any case, I must say that am not convinced by your arguments against this system... (I would also like to point out that, when I say that I consider that the "draw odds to the Champion" system can be used, it doesn't mean at all that I think that it would necessarily be the best system as a "first tiebraker" ; ; it could also very well be used as a very last resort, after several other tiebreaking methods.)

But you say also : "If the issue has to be decided on-site, then there might be some sort of justification for Champion-retains-title-in-the-event-of-a drawn-match in the event of an 18 or 24-game match", so I'm not really sure if our conclusions on this system are really so different one from the other ??? Your arguments seems to be very absolute, but your conclusions seems to be much less uncompromising that what could be expected from your argumentation !

One of your conclusions I don't agree with, concerning the "draw odds to the Champion" system, is that you would prefer a Rapid games tiebreak (after using other tiebreaking methods) to the application of the "draw odds to the Champion" system. This is a matter of opinion, but a Rapid World Championship exists, and I don't think very logical for a "classical" World Championship to use Rapid games for tiebreaking purposes. Rather that these Rapid games, I would prefer to apply the "draw odds to the Champîon" system, which avoids using anything else than classical games in the classical World Championship system. The drawback of the "draw odds to the Champion" system is to mix the results of two successive World Championship cycles, but I find that it is a lesser drawback than to mix Classical and Rapid games in a Classical World Championship (it is a clear exaggeration, of course, but it is a little the same as it would be to use table tennis as a tiebreaker for "normal" tennis...).

For me, the maximum would be to use what I would call "short classical" games (30 mn. + 30 s. increment) ; these games couldn't be rated (according to the rules), but are nonetheless classical games (still according to the rules...). And I think that, even if such games are much shorter than "long classical" games, the quality of play (notably with the 30 s. increment) remain acceptable for a "classical" match. 3 games could be played each day, which would considerably accelerate the tiebreaking process, without using anything else than classical games...
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/11/2016 09:40
@ AVRO1938 (2/4) :

- "The Champion's strength may have changed since his last match. So apples are being compared with oranges." :

I'm sorry, but I don't think this is a very good argument ! : 1) Between two World Championship matches, there is a two years span (24 months...), and between the Candidates and the following match, there is a 8 months span (approximately) : only three times more between the two matches than between the Candidates and the following match, so, if the level of the Champion can have so radically changed in 24 months, we can perfectly imagine that the level of the Challenger can have also changed in 8 months ; one more time, you can't have ABSOLUTE perfection on every point. 2) When less than fifty years old (the age of a World Champion in nearly every case), a person doesn't mentally decline significantly in two years. Unless, obviously, this person has a specific illness, but, in this case, the Challenger can also perfectly well become ill between the Candidates and the match, so this hasn't any real meaning in my opinion.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/11/2016 09:39
@ AVRO 1938 (1/4) :

I don't disagree with all your ideas (and my positions aren't at all, in my view, the complete opposite of your own positions), but there is a number points with which I nonetheless don't agree...

- About your idea of translating the match to the FIDE Headquarters : yes, it would reduce the costs, but it would still necessarily remain relatively costly ; you couldn't suppress the arbiter, and (significantly more costly, certainly) the anti-cheating measures (with very strict controls and electronic counter-measures ; it seems obvious that all must be organized in the same way as in the original match, on this respect). I also think that it would be necessary to have an official broadcast with at least one grandmaster commentating (the World Championship being one of the most followed - if not the most followed - event in Chess, I think it is impossible not to have an official broadcast for a part of such an event, when many "normal" tournaments have official commentators).

- "There should be no artificial tiebreaks that are not played out, eg : (...) First to win a game. Why is an earlier win more meritorious than a later win? It isn't." :

I suggested another idea : "First to win a pair of games (with alternating colors" (to win a pair of games meaning either to win the two games of the pair, or to win one and draw the other). Very obviously, the pairs would be games 1 - 2, 3 - 4, etc. You would quite certainly say that it wouldn't be logical to say that an earlier win in a "pair of games" has any reason to count more than a later win. For me, it isn't the case : the "main match" would have two significations at the same time ; the classical idea of a long match, and, for tiebreaking purposes, the idea of a succession of two-games mini-matches. The players would know this in advance (it would thus be perfectly fair), so that they could take into account into there general strategy the fact that the first player to win a pair of games will be the "tiebreak winner". In fact, for me, it is nearly the same idea as the "two games mini-matches" you proposed as a tiebreaker. The only difference is that the games of the "main match" would be used for that purpose in that case.

- "In the first place, if you go back far enough in the chain you will find a Champion that didn't have to do this (note : to beat "draw-odds" the previous Champion) (so therefore why should his current opponent have to?), viz Steinitz in 1886, Botvinnik in 1948, and Anand in 2007. So how is this fair on Chigorin (1889), Bronstein (1951) and Kramnik (2008)?" :

I think that, there, you are going to far...

It isn't possible to be absolutely perfectly fair on each detail (for exemple : there is a drawing of lots for the colors in the first game ; I think that the player with White in the first game must have an objective slight advantage, because he can win a little more easily this game than his opponent, and, if he wins, for the rest of the match, or at least for the next games, he has a small advantage, because he is leading the match ; another example : if - for example - the World Championship Match is played in Brazil, between an American player and a Russian player, the Russian player will sustain a significant time-lag, and the American, none (or nearly none) ; all this isn't perfectly fair, but these problems are, in my view, so small, that, at the end, they are insignificant).

The Champion is the Champion ; if we enter in every possible detail, it isn't anymore possible to do anything.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/11/2016 09:21
@ Raymond Labelle :

I indeed think that our points of view are now quite close !

I personally agree (even if I quite understand that other would disagree ; I think this is a question of point of view...) that series of 2 classical games matches are per se preferable to the "draw odds to the Champion" system (because it avoids mixing the results of two distinct competitions).

For me, the only problem about this tiebreaking method is the practical and financial dimension ; I don't think that, in this precise form, it is completely realistic. But if it would be possible to find sponsors that would finance such a match, I would find this solution perfectly satisfying !

On this subject, AVRO1938's idea could also be a possibility, but, for other reasons (that I will explain about AVRO1938's posts), I don't find it really optimal (even if, nonetheless, I find this idea quite interesting)...
AVRO1938 AVRO1938 12/11/2016 02:12
@ Raymond Labelle

Thank you for your kind comments.
If the issue has to be decided on-site, then there might be some sort of justification for Champion-retains-title-in-the-event-of-a drawn-match in the event of an 18 or 24-game match; and this would not be worse than some of the other suggestions. But certainly not in a 12-game match - the advantage is just too great.
Nevertheless, I would anyway prefer the match to have a decisive result, so I think the current solution (4-game rapid playoff) is as good as any as it is completely fair to both players. That is, if it has to be decided on-site. But I don't see any real reason why it should have to be.

"I would be afraid that the number of readers of these posts is beginning to seriously fade out." Yes, I know... In fact, I only came across this item a day or two ago, because, to me, the Chessbase coverage of the World Championship was way below its usual high standard so I had switched to other sites. Perhaps, nevertheless, Seirawan and Sutovsky are still following all the comments.

In fact, I had commented along similar lines in 2002 when Seirawan had his 'A Fresh Start' proposal and spent a bit of time hunting up my old comments.
'A Fresh Start' (minus a couple of cranky bits) was a great proposal. What an enormous shame it wasn't implemented then - what a stupendous amount of stupidity since would have been avoided. It was great to see Seirawan's comments on how stupid the current cycle is - shows he has not 'lost it'.

I may well "keep it for later". I think it's a shame that there is not a dedicated forum for issues like this and the WC cycle. Cheers.
AVRO1938 AVRO1938 12/11/2016 01:03
@ Iajosarpad:

"In that case a tiebreak is necessary." Yes - that is rather a major point of my post. With a fairly easy and simple solution.

"Because he is the World Champion, the king of chess." So? Why should that entitle him to an unfair advantage?

"The World Champion has already shown he is better than everybody else." He showed it 2 years ago. It is not known if that is the case now (that's why we have another match). He must show it again.
"If the Champion became weaker, then the challenger has a golden opportunity." That may be so, but he shouldn't have to overcome an unfair disadvantage to realise it.

"it is provable there will be no World Champion in the future who failed to beat the previous World Champion." As also would happen under my suggestion ("pairs of Classical Games" playoff). So in the argument that I don't buy, the only "plausible" part is covered anyway.
"The cause of the disadvantage is that we want to make sure that whenever we crown a new World Champion, he is indeed the very best player in the world." As also is the case under the "pairs of Classical Games" playoff. Therefore there is no need to have the disadvantage.

"Also, the challenger might be the previous challenger as well." But he might not be. So that is not an argument.

"It is not a penalty, but it is a disadvantage." So you agree that one of the players is at a disadvantage. This breaks what should be a cardinal principle that I gave: There must be COMPLETE fairness.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/10/2016 06:25
"Therefore there must not be draw-odds of any sort."
In that case a tiebreak is necessary, either classical or other type.

"And it is, of course, quite unsatisfactory that the Champion has draw-odds. Why on earth should he?"
Because he is the World Champion, the king of chess.

"A Champion must show he is BETTER than his opponent."
The World Champion has already shown he is better than everyobdy else. So it is the challenger who has to show he is better.

"I certainly don't buy the argument that the Champion had to beat draw-odds to become Champion, so his opponent in the current match should have to, too."
Regulations never meant to make justice in the past, because new regulations have no effect on events before the ratification of the new regulations, they are meant for the future. There is a status quo: in our case the status quo is that we have a World Champion. Starting from the status quo and going into the future, assuming that the regulations will be respected it is provable there will be no World Champion in the future who failed to beat the previous World Champion. So the argument you do not buy is actually plausible.

"Secondly, the Champion's strength may have changed since his last match. So apples are being compared with oranges."
If the Champion became weaker, then the challenger has a golden opportunity.

"And thirdly, if the Challenger wasn't a participant of the previous match, why is he being penalised for something he had nothing to do with?"
It is not a penalty, but it is a disadvantage. The cause of the disadvantage is that we want to make sure that whenever we crown a new World Champion, he is indeed the very best player in the world. Also, the challenger might be the previous challenger as well.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/10/2016 05:02
To Avro 1938. Wothwhile comments, I am less radical than you on the Champion-odds tiebreak, in that it is less worst than some other options and, in a relative manner, is not completely irrelevant for reasons abundantly explained elsewhere. Nevertheless, your proposal is very convincing and, I think, is the best one. And I liked very much your treatment of the supposed organisation problem of the 2-games classical tie-break matches.

Keep it for later, or do not be shy to repeat it later. I would be afraid that the number of readers of these posts is beginning to seriously fade out - page 5 and many more articles since then.

But I am sure that the issue of the championship formula will rise again... and maybe in not that much long.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/10/2016 03:31
Thank you for your gracious message Balthus.
AVRO1938 AVRO1938 12/10/2016 01:49
I accidentally deleted my first post. Here it is again:

I have to say I am astonished that everyone is twisting themselves into knots over this issue. It seems to me the answer is rather simple. In his "Redux" article, Seirawan says a worthy suggested solution is playoff of "pairs of Classical Games" until a winner emerges. This has for many years always seemed to me to be the ideal solution. But he says the logistics are impossible in real life.
However, "A7fecd1676b88" at 05:56 on 12/6/2016 (on Page 1 of the comments) is, I think, basically hitting the nail on the head when he says "The need for an expensive venue is overrated, and restrictive. Get rid of it. Fischer-Spassky 1972 played a game in a ping pong room, and Fischer considered it an improvement. Chess can be played anywhere. Come on." Exactly. Ok, hold the main event in as flash a venue as you like. But if there is a tie, play it off in a ping pong room or FIDE Headquarters. This solves the logistics problem very simply and thus enables you to have the perfect, or near as, format playoff. Problem Solved Very Easily, is it not?

The following can be added:
(1) The match should be 18 games. 12 is just ridiculously short and allows a strong possibility of the weaker player getting an unjustified upset. Had the match been 18 games, Carlsen would not have lost Game 8.
But also, a tie is much less likely in a longer match, so you won't have the problem nearly as often in the first place. Ties in these 12-game matches are happening far too often. In addition, the other two short WC matches also ended in a tie: Lasker-Schlechter 1910 (10 games), and Kramnik-Leko 2004 (14 games). The longer matches have only occasionally ended in a draw (3 out of 14).
(2) It's the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. The most important event there can be. Therefore, some extra trouble should be taken in the event of a tie. Complete fairness must be paramount.
(3) It could be that a "pairs of Classical games" playoff might go on "forever". An alternative could be (a) best of 4 classical games. (b) If still tied, best of 6 Rapid games. (c) If still tied, pairs of Rapid games until a decisive result is obtained. Although here a different form of chess is introduced, it is only after 22 Classical games have been played, and is still a recognisable form of chess; this small defect can be tolerated.

Again, is not the Problem Solved Very Easily? QED.

In my next post [now above], I shall detail why the other "solutions" are, to me, unacceptable.
AVRO1938 AVRO1938 12/10/2016 01:11
Following on from my previous post...

It's the World Championship. It should be treated responsibly and seriously. Therefore certain principles should apply:

(1) Fundamentally, ONLY Classical chess should be played. There should be no Blitz, Armageddon, "Classical Armageddon" (good grief!), or Chess 960, etc. As suggested in my previous post, I would consider Rapid after 22 Classical games to be acceptable, but ONLY then.
Certainly not BEFORE the match as in Sutovsky's proposal. As someone said, you have a tiebreak before there's a tie?? And it will colour the whole match. The winner may well play to draw every game, daring his opponent to overreach himself. The winner has draw-odds, created from non-Classical chess, for a Classical match. This will spoil the Classical part of the match. Not a good suggestion in my opinion.

(2) Luck should play absolutely no part.
(a) No coin tosses.
(b) No roulette wheels.
(c) There should be no advantage (or disadvantage) in starting with White. Therefore any tiebreak of "first win" is not acceptable. And also any playoff must be therefore be scheduled for an even number of games.
(d) As must the match itself. I strongly agree with much of what Seirawan writes in his two articles (especially his criticism of the utter shambles that the whole World Championship system is). But I cannot agree with his proposal. It brings in the luck factor. The person who is lucky enough to get the extra Black has a significant advantage. And that is not acceptable.

(3) There should be no artificial tiebreaks that are not played out, eg:
(a) Most Black wins. Why should more Black wins be more meritorious than more White wins? It isn't.
(b) First to win a game. Why is an earlier win more meritorious than a later win? It isn't.
(c) More wins. Why is having more losses more meritorious? It isn't.
Such tiebreaks are completely artificial, unfair, and do nothing to say who is the better player.

(4) There must be COMPLETE fairness.
Therefore there must not be draw-odds of any sort. Period. That rules out both the Seirawan and Sutovsky proposals.
And it is, of course, quite unsatisfactory that the Champion has draw-odds. Why on earth should he? A Champion must show he is BETTER than his opponent. Otherwise he is effectively not a Champion, but a co-Champion. [and having an interregnum is certainly unsatisfactory, too.]
I certainly don't buy the argument that the Champion had to beat draw-odds to become Champion, so his opponent in the current match should have to, too. In the first place, if you go back far enough in the chain you will find a Champion that didn't have to do this (so therefore why should his current opponent have to?), viz Steinitz in 1886, Botvinnik in 1948, and Anand in 2007. So how is this fair on Chigorin (1889), Bronstein (1951) and Kramnik (2008)? Secondly, the Champion's strength may have changed since his last match. So apples are being compared with oranges. And thirdly, if the Challenger wasn't a participant of the previous match, why is he being penalised for something he had nothing to do with? Draw-odds for the Champion is unfair. Period.

Once again, hold a sane and sensible playoff at FIDE Headquarters in the relatively rare event that a tie would happen in an 18-game match. Problem solved.
Balthus Balthus 12/10/2016 12:00
Thanks for the correction, I had the 1985 match in mind, you are clearly right in terms of the 1987 replay. Sorry for the strong language.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/10/2016 05:22
“If we accept this last criterion, the "taller player system" (!) can't really be a chess tiebreak !!” Petrarlsen

The height example is a provocative example I used to illustrate the difference between criterion and choice of criterion. A criterion can be objective, but this criterion can be chosen on a subjective basis. I thought that to take an objective criterion unrelated to chess helped to make that subtle but fundamental distinction clearer.

“I don't mean at all that the "draw odds to the Champion" system is necessarily the best system, only that it is an acceptable system (because it is "based on a superior chess result obtained by one of the players", this being in my opinion the basic condition for a system being used as a chess tiebreak), and that I think that it isn't the worst possible system (other systems are worse, in my opinion, as, for example, the Armageddon game, or the "13th game with drawing of lots" system).” P.

Even though I subjectively am not comfortable with giving the title to one of the protagonists in the case of an equal result, I do recognise that not any kind of tie-break would be a better tie-break criterion than the “draw odds to the Champion". More specifically, I recognise that the draw odds to the Champion criterion is preferable to Armaggedon (which is close to coin-flipping) or the Yasser proposal (for the reasons you very well explained), or maybe other proposals which each would have to be examined and compared. And for the reason you invoked - even though this criterion is not in respect of the results of the match for which it serves as a tie-break, it is related to the most recent past chess performance of the protagonists in relation to WCC and thus, can have some relevance as a tie-breaker.

Your hard work is rewarded – I am a tough cookie! And you are quite good to have remained polite for all this difficult discussion.

Without putting in question in any way this last quotation from you, my preferred proposal (my thinking evolved) would be a 2-games mini-match – classical – repeat until decisive – let the organisers adapt.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/10/2016 03:01
@ Raymond Labelle :

"Let us say that, instead, we would choose as a tie-break rule to give the title to the finalist who is taller than the other. Who is the tallest can be determined objectively. That does not mean that the choice of that criterion as tie-breaker is itself objective." :

I said in a previous post : "a tiebreak is ALWAYS based on a superior chess result obtained by one of the players" (I add "chess" between "superior" and "result", because I think it is more clear like that). (And I really can't find any tiebreaking system that doesn't answer to this criterion...)

If we accept this last criterion, the "taller player system" (!) can't really be a chess tiebreak !!

"Whether a player is the current champion and who is the tallest player are objective facts equally unrelated to the fact that, in a given match, neither of the player had better results than the other one." :

It is true that the "draw odds to the Champion" system isn't DIRECTLY related to the result of the given match. But it is nonetheless linked to a "superior chess result" (compared to the results of the Challenger), so it isn't at all COMPLETELY unrelated to the result of the match. We are not comparing, for example, results in table tennis with results in pole vault !!

So, one more time, I think that the "draw odds to the Champion" system - as other systems - can be compared with other systems : there is no objective reason to put it aside.

For example, in my opinion, if we compare the "draw odds to the Champion" system with the current last Armageddon game, it seems to me rather obvious that the fact to have won the previous World Championship has a much stronger meaning than to win a single Armageddon game (I think that to win such an Armageddon game is nearly completely unrelated to a "classical match" that took place some days before this Armageddon game). So, for me, it would be at least logical to replace this Armageddon game by the "draw odds to the Champion" system.

Also, concerning the idea of a 13th game with drawing of lots for the color played by the players, where the player having White must win against the player having Black, the player having Black will have an absolutely MASSIVE advantage (having White is not so different, in terms of results, to having Black, while winning a game or drawing a game doesn't mean at all the same thing), so, in fact, in this case, "winning the drawing of lots" (in effect, "drawing Black" is equivalent to "winning the drawing of lots", because of the difference in chances between the player having White and the player having Black in this very specific game) can be a quite decisive factor in the final victory in the match.

Regarding this last system, I would also think that the "draw odds to the Champion" system would be preferable to it, because the "13th game with drawing of lots" system depend very much on the "chance factor", while the "draw odds to the Champion" system depends only on a result earned by the Champion. For me, a tiebreaking system depending for a large part on luck is nearly necessarily worse than another tiebreaking system that depends exclusively on "chess results".

So, if we admit that the "draw odds to the Champion" system is better than some other systems, why would we put it nonetheless systematically aside on principle ?

I don't mean at all that the "draw odds to the Champion" system is necessarily the best system, only that it is an acceptable system (because it is "based on a superior chess result obtained by one of the players", this being in my opinion the basic condition for a system being used as a chess tiebreak), and that I think that it isn't the worst possible system (other systems are worse, in my opinion, as, for example, the Armageddon game, or the "13th game with drawing of lots" system).
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/10/2016 02:30
After verification, the Bronstein-Botvinnik indeed ended 12-12. It was in 1951. But no exactly the same drama as in the 12-12 1987 Karpov-Kasparov match. But still quite dramatic. Bronstein won game 22, taking the lead. Only two games left. Botvinnik won game 23 and game 24 was a draw.

One of many sources: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?tid=54195
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/10/2016 02:16
"I don't think drawing advantage to the reigning Champion can be described as "subjective" - he has objectively earned it by qualifying as Challenger and then outscoring the previous reigning Champion in like manner. What is subjective about that?" Balthus.

We could also have a tie-break by choosing which one of the player is the tallest. This can be measured objectively. What is subjective about that?

Of course whether one of the participants is the reigning champion is an objective fact - as well as the height of the players. What I say is subjective is the choice of the tie-break criterion, not the criterion itself.

For example, the term "earn" in your question reflects a subjective preference, a value choice. Different from the ones made in all other sports or games, in which the champion of a season starts from scratch from a season to another.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/10/2016 02:11
"You don't even have your facts right. Karpov in that match was one point BEHIND, so it would have been enough for KASPAROV to draw the last game. Instead, he went for the spoils and finished by a not insignificant margin of 13 to 11 at the end, as Challenger." Balthus.

Why do you say "that" match? I wrote that I remembered that there was one match which ended 12-12, in which Karpov only needed a draw at the last game but that Kasparov won. I implied that I did not remember in what year it was and I did not mention any year number.

Well, Karpov and Kasparov had an equal result 12-12 in the 1987 Championship and the drama of the last game is as I described. You can verify this fact here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Chess_Championship_1987

and at many other sources.

Petrarlsen, a gentleman who expresses himself courteously even in disagreement, also mentioned it.
maxi80 maxi80 12/9/2016 07:16
My Third ( and Last ) Post.
[ I have enjoyed reading your comments and suggestions. ]
Thank you all.

Sixteen Classical games. No change to Time Controls.
Rest Day after game #3, #6, #9 and #12. Then four games in a row.
Match to start on a Tuesday. Game #16 played on the third Sunday after Game #1.
For example, November 8 – November 27 ( Last four games played Nov 24-25-26-27 )
The Champion has White in Game #1.
The Champion has three Whites after a rest day, including game 1: #1, #7 and #13.
The Challenger has two Whites after a rest day: #4 and #7.
Here is the bias. The Champion enjoys a 3 to 2 chance of winning the first game, which becomes the new “draw odds” method. In the event of a succession of 16 draws, the Champion retains, but both players are forced to take part in the next Candidates, the Champion still the Champion.

Regards
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/9/2016 06:56
@ lajosarpad :

- "Petrarlsen's idea for instance is perfectly logical." : Thank you !!

- "There is a need for a slight bias." : I think this is indeed the very heart of the problem. In my opinion, it is extremely difficult to create a coherent system for the World Championship match if you reject completely, by principle, any sort of bias.

This is the problem with the current system ; it pushes this logic to its utmost end, and the result is that, ultimately, it is nearly impossible not to use, at the end of the process, something like the present Armageddon game (...and, for me, such a game isn't very different from a coin flip...) : to reject completely any sort of bias seems to me to be nearly an impasse... BUT, this bias must be based on objective criteria.

As for me, I must say that every system that is logical AND fair rather suits me (which is not the case of the present system, because the Armageddon, for me, isn't logical - such a game isn't "real chess", in my opinion - and isn't fair either - it tries to be fair, but its supposed "fairness" is in fact completely artificial).

The only thing that I would think significantly better would be to avoid mixing classical and rapid / blitz games, because there are also Rapid and Blitz World Championships, and I think it is preferable to keep these three sorts of chess clearly separated (or else, another possibility would be to create a separate "Combined" World Championship that would officially mix the three sorts of time controls, as an addition to the Classical, Rapid and Blitz World Championships).
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/9/2016 04:38
"If there would be any proposal which has only objective pros and no objective cons, there would not be that much controversy." Well, there is: Elo rating. But we would not have the excitement of world chess championships.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/9/2016 04:34
"Moreover, equal terms necessitate a tiebreak system, and there are inherent drawbacks to any such system." Maatalko.

It is true that the only completely objective measure instrument of best player is Elo rating applied to a sufficient number of games.

My subjectivity still prefers that there be a match between the Champion and the challenger. Taste for tradition, spice and drama. If championships matches would go, I would feel nostalgic. A subjective preference, but it seems to be quite shared.

I debate using rational arguments, which are not necessarily invalid, but I admit that my subjectivity also plays – so, in a way, I am rationalising (but not everything I say is irrational – this is not what I mean). I am shocked that the winner of a match can be a player who did not have a better result in that match. I do not feel this is fully legitimate. It is also, in part, subjectivity. If someone feels perfectly comfortable with that, it is also subjectivity, partly (with some objective reasons to support it).

It is also true that, if we want to have a Champion/challenger match, it is by essence impossible to have a completely objective system. Even in the absence of subjective preferences, which is already almost impossible to avoid, it still would be necessary to make arbitrary choices.

If there would be any proposal which has only objective pros and no objective cons, there would not be that much controversy. But, hey, I do not know about you, Petrarlsen and all of you guys, but I find this is a lot of fun! Well, that last comment was very subjective.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/9/2016 02:56
Drawn matches and their last games:

Lasker-Schlechter 1910 -> Huge fight, decisive game
Botvinnik-Bronstein 1951 -> Fighting short game, where Bronstein fails to acquire an advantage
Botvinnik-Smyslov 1954 -> Botvinnik acquired an advantage and the game was drawn quickly
Kasparov-Karpov 1987 -> Extreme fight, great show
Kramnik-Lékó 2004 -> Game of the year

As we can see in the past the Champion keeps the title did not guarantee a treat, as there was a case when the challenger acknowledged he has no longer chance to win the title and the champion allowed to draw the match, but there was a guaranteed motivation for at least a player to play aggressively and only in the case when he had no chance to get an advantage did the position fizzle out to a quick draw. As a result a system slightly biased towards a direction is actually needed to make sure there is a conflict of interests.

The bias cannot favor the challenger, as there is no objective argument to back that, unless we force the Champion to play in the candidates to decide whether he has draw odds or not.

The bias can favor the champion. Or the player who won the tiebreak before the match. But there is a need for a slight bias. If there are more games, then the strength of the bias is reduced. So this can be backed up with objective arguments. There are several possible approaches which can be backed by objective arguments and when we are to chose the "best", then come subjective arguments into play. But those do not make the whole argumentation subjective. Petrarlsen's idea for instance is perfectly logical. I do not believe a classical tiebreak is needed, so I am subjectively opposed to it, but have to acknowledge it is logical. Just like the idea that World Champion retains. Or the idea to have a tiebreak before the match.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/9/2016 11:24
@ Balthus - @ Raymond Labelle : I don't remember and didn't check any details, but one thing is certain : the 1987 match between Kasparov and Karpov was drawn 12 - 12.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/9/2016 11:17
@ Raymond Labelle : I didn't check either, but I don't think that, as for the matches organized by FIDE, there were other matches than the two that you cited that were drawn with application of the "draw odds to the Champion" system.

Before FIDE, the 1910 match between Lasker and Schlechter can be added (it doesn't seems absolutely certain that this match was a World Championship match, though, and it also seems possible that there would have been, for this match, a two-point margin rule).

In the FIDE period (but when the title was split), there is also the Kramnik - Leko match (2004) that resulted in a tie, the "non-FIDE" Champion (Kramnik...) keeping the title.

I don't really think that, before FIDE, there were other drawn matches, but I'm not completely sure of this...

And in recent years, as we all know, there were three drawn matches where tiebreaks were used (Kramnik - Topalov 2006, Anand - Gelfand 2012, and Carlsen - Karjakin 2016)...
Balthus Balthus 12/9/2016 11:02
I don't think drawing advantage to the reigning Champion can be described as "subjective" - he has objectively earned it by qualifying as Challenger and then outscoring the previous reigning Champion in like manner. What is subjective about that?
Balthus Balthus 12/9/2016 11:00
@Raymond you don't even have your facts right. Karpov in that match was one point BEHIND, so it would have been enough for KASPAROV to draw the last game. Instead, he went for the spoils and finished by a not insignificant margin of 13 to 11 at the end, as Challenger. (This has been pointed out several times in these threads in the past few days, which makes it questionable whether you actually read half as many comments as you seem to be churning out.)

@Maatalkko: another perfect summary. Thanks for keeping up your argument, which I fully subscribe to, relentlessly.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/9/2016 03:26
@ Maatalkko : "of course the best World Championship system is subjective." For me, the nuance is that a good system must necessarily be based on objective criteria. For example, as I tried to demonstrate before, I think that the "draw odds to the Challenger" system isn't based on any objective criteria, while the "draw odds to the Champion" system IS base on an objective criterion.

To say it another way, to chose one or the other possible solutions is something that is necessarily, for a significant part, based on subjectivity, but ALL the possible solutions must be based on objective criteria. Otherwise, they must be systematically ruled out.

And I really think that a clear majority of the tiebreaking systems that are proposed for the World Championship are based on objective criteria ; some are very convincing, some much less, but it isn't because a system doesn't seems to be very convincing that it isn't based on objective criteria (for exemple, the 5 x 2 blitz matches that end the current tiebreaking system are, in my opinion, not wholly satisfying for a classical World Championship, but this system is nonetheless absolutely completely based on objetive criteria - the "tiebreak winner" is the first player to win one of those matches ; what could be more objective ??).

In fact, the "draw odds to the Challenger" system rather seems to be an exception as not being based on objective criteria, in my opinion...
Maatalkko Maatalkko 12/9/2016 02:57
@Raymond: of course the best World Championship system is subjective. If we want an objective system, look at the Elo standings. Given that there is no clear and consistent world #1 and #2 right now, if the only goal of the World Champion was to design an "objective" system for selecting the world's strongest player, there would be no reason to have a World Championship match at all.

The question is: should the World Championship be hard to win with a bias toward the incumbent or easy to win with a bias towards the challenger?

The purpose of having a World Champion is, in my opinion, 1) tradition and 2) to have a Chess King, a figurehead, a spokesman, someone that we can point to and say "he is the best chess player in the world." I contend the FIDE KO system was so unsatisfactory because it did not achieve these aims. Likewise, a vast majority of fans and players don't favor a tournament based system because it is not likely enough for the Champion to retain his title. So I don't think that a bias towards the challenger has any merit based on the goals of the World Championship system, while a bias towards the reigning Champion does have merit in terms of historical and business considerations.

It is reasonable to argue that the World Championship match should be on entirely equal terms. Other than the 1st world championship or the tournament after Alekhine's death, it was never on equal terms historically. It needed to be on equal terms in 2006 given the unusual circumstances of the reunification match. I think it's a mistake that equal terms have continued. As others have argued, the Challenger has earned his spot, but the Champion has by definition earned it more so. Moreover, equal terms necessitate a tiebreak system, and there are inherent drawbacks to any such system. I think history has shown that the World Championship works better when the Champion has some degree of favoritism, and retaining the title if the match is drawn is a totally acceptable amount of favoritism.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/9/2016 02:49
Thanks for the feedback Petrarlsen. Food for thought. Just by memory, I know of two occurences when a champion was designated as champion after a draw match. There was that dramatic 24-games match between Kasparov and Karpov - at the last game, Karpov was one point ahead and only needed to draw that last game to regain the crown, but Kasparov won that game and kept the title.

Similar event happened in a Bronstein-Botvinnik world championship match. I do not know (I did not research) if it happened in other occasions.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/9/2016 02:39
@ Raymond Labelle : I didn't see your post beginning with : "Which of these two propositions is truer than the other?", in which you affirm that the "draw odds to the Champion" and "draw odds to the Challenger" systems are completely comparable.

I must say I still don't agree with you at all on this point !...

Why ? Because a tiebreak is ALWAYS based on a superior result obtained by one of the players. I don't think there is one single exception.

In the "draw odds to the Challenger" system, to "win the tiebreak", the Challenger wouldn't have demonstrated his superiority in any way ! To become an "objectively based system", it would be necessary that someone would prove that the Challenger demonstrated some sort of superiority one way or another.

And, for me, it is as simple as that : if no-one can demonstrate that the "draw odds to the Challenger" system is based on some sort of a superiority, for the Challenger, this system can't be used as a tiebreaking system.

Thus, the "draw odds to the Champion" system IS founded on an objective criterion (the "superiority" of the Champion being that he won the previous World Championship match), and not the other one...

This being said, I repeat one more time that, obviously, it isn't because the "draw odds to the Champion" system is an "objectively based system" that it is necessarily the best one ; that is quite another problem. But, personally, I clearly think that this system isn't at all the worst one, and I also think that it is at least an acceptable system (notably when used as an addition to other tiebreaking systems).
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/9/2016 01:48
@ Raymond Labelle (2/2) :

2) To use an idea derived from the "First winner gets the draw odds" system : The problem with this last system is that it isn't fair (at least when the color is decided by a drawing of lots), because the player having White in the first game has an advantage. I proposed to use pairs of games (one White and one Black for each player), and to break the tie in favor of the player that would have won first a pair of game (for example : The first game of the match is won by the Challenger ; the second game is a draw : the tie break goes definitively to the Challenger).

This idea is very closely derived from the "two games mini-match" tiebreak idea ; in fact, I tried as much as possible to do the same thing without playing additionnal games, to reduce costs, and these pairs of games constitute, in a way, some sort of "virtual two-games mini-matches"... Some persons would probably say that it is too artificial, but I think that it is in fact much less artificial that many of the mathematical tiebreaks used in tournaments (such as the Sonneborn-Berger, for example).

What I imagine would be to combine these two ideas : as a first tiebreak, I would chose the "virtual two-games mini-matches". Then, as a "tiebreaking match", it would be possible to have, for exemple, a 6 games match in two days, with 30 mn. + 30 s.. And, if it isn't still sufficient, we could use one more time the "virtual two-games mini-matches" tiebreak for the 6 games 30 mn. + 30 s. match.

I think that it would be extremely rare to still have a tie after all these steps.

As for me - notably when taking precisely into account the fact that this would occur very rarely -, in these cases, I would think that the simplest solution would be to use the "draw odds to the Champion" system. If one time by century, the Champion draws the match and keeps the title, I don't think it could be normally considered to be such a serious problem...

Someone gave an interesting objection about my "virtual two-games mini-matches" : he thought that it would tend to make the players play in a more "drawish" manner than normally.

Personally, I think that it would rather be the contrary if the "draw odds to the Champion" system would be kept as an "ultimate tiebreaker" (but I think that no-one could really be sure of that without the idea being tested) : the Challenger couldn't afford to draw perpetually game after game ; it would be NECESSARY for him to win (at least a "virtual two-games mini-match") to become the Champion, so I think he would be particularly motivated to be the first to win, and especially the first to win a "virtual mini-match". Of course, I could be completely wrong on that last respect... it is always difficult to know precisely what will be the consequences of a new system before it is tried for the first time...
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/9/2016 01:40
@ Raymond Labelle (1/2) :

Per se, the idea of a series of "2-games mini-matches" would be one of the best possibilities.

On the other hand, as for Chess960, my opinion is that it isn't really the same game as "usual chess". It is interesting, but I don't "feel into my element" with a game of Chess960, neither by playing it, nor by studying such a game. So, personally, I wouldn't think that it would be really satisfying to have Chess960 games for a tiebreaking use.

And with normal classical games, I don't imagine it would be possible, in the present time, to find sponsors for a potentially unlimited match. I think that things have changed very much these last decades, and that what was possible twenty or thirty years ago wouldn't be necessarily possible anymore. But perhaps I'm wrong !

This is why I always search for less "time-consuming" (in terms of days !) alternatives ; notably - I posted this idea I don't know exactly where, below one of the three articles by Seirawan and Sutovsky ; if you have already read this post, you can skip all that I will now explain on this subject !! -, I followed two different (and possibly complementary) ideas :

1) To use what I would call "short classical" time controls, for the tiebreaks. For this, I would chose the shortest possible classical time control using a 30 s. increment : that would be 30 minutes + a 30 seconds increment - I know that such a game couldn't be rated, but I don't think it would be a serious problem for a tiebreak game. Why the 30 s. increment ? Because this would keep a "minimum quality" for each move ; this wouldn't allow, for example, the long strings of move that Karjakin played on the 10 s. increment of the rapid games in his match against Carlsen - I don't find such things very satisfying, because the quality of the moves can't be the same in such cases. (It would be perfectly normal in a rapid competition, but, in my opinion, not for the "classical" World Championship.)
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/8/2016 10:27
@ maxi80 : "First win gets “the draw odds” seems more reasonable." The problem with this, is that the player who begins the match with White has a significant advantage.

This is why the "draw odds to the Champion" system is useful ; it is very difficult to create something completely fair as a tiebreak without at least marginally using this system (or, at least, the idea behind this system).

For example, with your idea, a means to create a fair system would be to alternate White and Black one game at a time continuously since the beginning of the match (without switching at the middle of the match, as in the present system), this with the Champion having White in the first game. (And a possibility, in order not to have the Champion having always White after each rest day, would be to place the rest days every 3 games.)

This would give a small advantage to the Champion, and would thus be a sort of "very reduced version" of the "draw odds to the Champion" system, and would be a fair system, which would not be the case with the "First to win" system if the colors are determined by a drawing of lots, because the drawing of lots could have decisive consequences on the final result...

And, personally, I wouldn't like at all the idea to have a vacancy, for the World Champion title - in the case where all the games would be drawn -, so I would rather chose, for this hypothesis, the "draw odds to the Champion" system. But it never happened to have a match without any win (in fact, I'm nearlly sure that there has never be less than 2 wins), so I don't think it would be extremely shocking to chose what is in my opinion the simplest system (the "draw odds to the Champion" system) in the quite unlikely case that this would happen.
hurlumhei hurlumhei 12/8/2016 10:09
It is very interesting to read many clever ideas here. We can probably all agree that it must be desirable to avoid any player only trying to draw almost every game. If we also want to avoid rapid games (there is another championship for that), I think the ideas of Andrea Mori and turok here can be combined to give a PERFECT arrangement:
14 slow games, then if a tie, a little match with two more slow games, both with white for the challenger but with draw odds for the ruling champion. If still a tie the champion rules on but must qualify in the next candidates’ tournament, where number 1 and 2 will play the next title match. There could be a special system for counting the points in a title match:
5 points for a win with white,
6 points for a win with black,
1 point for a draw with white,
2 points for a win with black.
(Not used for rating calculation, where the traditional point system will be used.)
In this way a tie after 14 games would probably be very improbable.
maxi80 maxi80 12/8/2016 09:16
How about this one? What should the World Champion be afraid of?
Winning by drawing is absurd. This is the 21st century, isn’t it? First win gets “the draw odds” seems more reasonable. In the event of a succession of 16 draws, both the Champion and the Challenger go “back to the drawing board”, the Candidates. They wait patiently for the other six players to emerge after the two-year cycle, and winner and runner-up of the Candidate’s Tournament play the WCC in November.