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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PCMorphy72 PCMorphy72 12/6/2016 11:22
However, using rapid and blitz as tiebreak for classical has its own intrinsic logic: the game more similar to a classical game of chess (without altering any of its rules, where it counts only its most elementary purpose, i.e. “win”, or at least draw, but without “secondary” purposes in order to have advantages in the tiebreak), is a rapid game of chess (as Kasimdzhanov wrote in his article on the subject).
KWRegan KWRegan 12/6/2016 11:19
My 2 euros say to play one Rapid tiebreak game whenever the regular game finishes within 3:00 or maybe 2:45, thus leaving an hour (plus break) within the first session. The players switch colors for the game unless they have already played 2 Rapid games that way. Of course the players could collude to stall out the 3-hour period before agreeing a draw, but that at least would fill time for the paying spectators and be an identifiable behavior. Then any remaining Rapid games, and any Blitz tiebreak, can be played---with no break day in-between. I support that plus a 16-game match with games on SatSun+TueWedThu 3x and the final game on Saturday, any tiebreak plus closing ceremony gala on the Sunday. Colors alternate except for the 3rd game, so both players have equal colors after rest days.
fcotovalm fcotovalm 12/6/2016 10:49
I agree with ivan3ivanovich. The world championship of classical chess should be decided in classical chess and not in rapid or blitz chess. Magnus did not demonstrated his superiority in classical chess, but just in rapid chess. He is rapid chess champion!
Martas Martas 12/6/2016 10:36
Hm ... let's finish the idea taking current tiebreaks .... using same idea it means starting tiebreaks with armagedon game, following up with blitz and at the end play rapid. Same thing regarding football, I can't imagine world cup final starting with penalty kicks or "overtime". Sounds fishy to me.
kidlat1994 kidlat1994 12/6/2016 10:27
I dont agree including other time control for the classical championship. This is classical World Champ at stake after all. It make sense to keep the title in case of tie. It is the challengers interest to prove that he is stronger and beat the current world champ to claim the title.

Why even have different Championship when Rapid is played to decided the Classical World Champ. Does not make sense at all.

CCNL CCNL 12/6/2016 10:21
Interesting idea to play the rapid tiebreaks before the classical time control. The question is "what would be the format for the rapid tiebreak as we would need to have a winner of the tiebreaks before the classical games start?"....would a tiebreak similar to the one used in New York suffice?
RoselleDragon RoselleDragon 12/6/2016 10:07
It was not the football scoring system that caused games to go all the way to the end. It was the Sophia rule, and players like Magnus and Nakamura who would not accept short draw offers. As a result, it made difficult for other players not to follow suit.
mosherachmuth mosherachmuth 12/6/2016 09:36
The main thing here is the rapid games at the beginning of the match. I think this is a brilliant idea that will make every classical game count.
Leonilo Leonilo 12/6/2016 09:28
Of course I have my own opinion too, but I think no matter what we discuss here, the format of the WCC will be design in such a way that atracts as much attention from the audience as possible, that means making tie breaks for example for those who are lazy to follow a classical chess game, getting millions of fans following the games, you get the idea.. it's all about marketing, money, etc..
Yep, it's sad, but the organizers are not thinking on how to please the true chess fans, nor the game itself.
chessmachette chessmachette 12/6/2016 09:26
Maybe this idea has already been offered in the countless comments but for those not willing to mix classical with rapid/blitz: is there no way of -in case of a tie- give the title to the player that has performed best in classical chess during the current wcc-cycle? For example, few selected tournaments of classical chess could apply with FIDE for official selection of being a "wcc-tournament" where players could earn "wcc-points". It may require the selected tournaments to apply the same format or respect minimum format rules and time controls applicable to the wcc cycle of classical chess (which FIDE could predetermine) but at least, the title would represent a winner of that type of chess. Just like in F1, players could then be evaluated more consistently over a longer period and whichever player would earn most points in those wcc-tournaments (world cup, olympiad, etc) during that cycle could then gain draw odds in the wcc-match (of 12,16,... games).

note: in the long term classical chess (and its popularity) may follow a similar evolution as correspondence chess... compare the evolution of time controls, the better computers (and therefore top-players) master the game, the shorter time controls are becoming...
Griffedours Griffedours 12/6/2016 09:20
I prefer Emil Sutovsky idea.

But, what about this option:
The contenders for WCC match would be the 2 best players of the GCT and the first one would have draw odds.

In this way, we are garanteed of having a match and 2 players who can be considered as the best of their time.

All problems are solved.
Ransie Ransie 12/6/2016 09:11
If the World Championship Match ends in a Tie after 12 (or 14 or 16) Classical Games, then the Tie should be broken by a CLASSICAL ARMAGEDDON GAME. Black will have draw odds. The base time for the Armageddon would be 165 minutes with an increment of 30 seconds each move from move 1.
A day before the game, each Player shall bid an amount of time (minutes and seconds, a number equal to or less than 165:00, may even bid for NEGATIVE amount of time [up to (-) 165:00], which would be added to the opponents time, with which they are willing to play in order to choose their color. The Player who bids the lowest amount of time chooses his color and begins with that amount of time; the other Player receives 165:00. Both players receive an increment of 30-second each move from move 1.
If the successful bidder has bid for a negative amount of time, say, for example, (-) 160:00, the opponent will start with a time of 165+160=325:00 with increment from move 1, whereas the successful bidder will start with 0:30 (seconds) with only the increment of 30-second each move from move 1.
There will be three bids by each player, with every successive bid for lower time, so that if both Players bid exactly the same amount of time, the second or third bids would decide. In the very unlikely event of both the players being tied even after three bids, the Chief Arbiter will call for another three bids, and so on.
In the most unlikely scenario of both the players having bid (-)165:00 in order to have the colour of their choice (with having only the increment for the game) the Chief Arbiter will ask the players to play a Blitz Armageddon Game on the spot, with the winner having the colour of his/ her choice for the Classical Armageddon Game to be held next day (in which, to recapitulate, he/ she will receive only the 30-second increment for the game and the opponent 330:00 with the 30-second increment from move one).
The rules for this Blitz Armageddon would be: A. White shall have 5 minutes and Black shall have 4 minutes. Both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds per move from move 61. B. In the event of a draw Black shall be declared the winner. C. Colors shall be determined by the toss of a coin, conducted by the Chief Arbiter. The winner of the toss shall have choice of color.
[The rules for the Classical Armageddon Game would be named Ransie Rules, having invented by me .]

Brian Smith Brian Smith 12/6/2016 08:57
ONE thing is for sure, both think the current set-up is poor. Especially the # of games.

My suggestion in terms of a TIE...have a VERY strong computer/Engine (pre-agreed upon), essentially adjudicate by LOOKING AT EACH GAME and seeing who stood 'best' overall. A reasonable formula could be dreamed up (Dr. Nunn, are you reading this??).

Odd, I know...but it's rewarding the player who played 'best'.

Having that going into the last game one player - Win (or do really well outplaying your opponent in the last game) or you lose on the prearranged tie-breaks. This also ENCOURAGES 'not wimping out' too much.

One 'could' tweak this in various ways, ex: ONLY take into account moves played 'out of book' or beyond a certain # of moves...or maybe make the stipulation that the CHALLENGER need to do better than the REIGNING CHAMPION by (picking numbers out of the air here), by 10% of the computer evaluation. I'm just throwing this last part out as a possibility, but I think my overall idea has merit in that rewards good overall play...and we are out to determine the 'best overall player' in the world with this World Championship Match...right?
caliche2016 caliche2016 12/6/2016 08:39
I totally agree with mdamien, MKT, PEB216 and many others here: No tie-breaks, longer matches, no rapid games before classical chess, etc.

Also, I sincerely see no problem in that being champion should come with some benefits: the champion defends the title, the challenger must earn it, that is fair, because the champion gained the title under the same conditions.

GM Sutovksy's idea while interesting, would turn the World Championship match into some sort of roman circus: let's have the gladiators entertain a blood-thirsty crowd!

Isn't it curious that these two quite radical ideas come precisely from two well known and respected GMs (Seirawan/Sutovsky)? What is wrong with the (chess) world these days?

The World Championship match should keep the charisma that has always characterized it and which is the reason why all chess players consider it one of the most important events.

Despite all the current emphasis on sports as mass media shows where high levels of adrenaline is all that matters, I think chess should remain a place where reason prevails, on and off the board: the moment we decide to fully embrace the entertainment industry wave, the game we know and care for, will be over.
genem genem 12/6/2016 08:31
Rather than the Rapid time-control, more exciting would be the *LIGHTNING* time-control that was popular decades ago. Simply a 20 or 30 second Delay per turn, nothing else.
Sutovsky is right that merely 1 extra game as White is not nearly fair or balanced compensation for tie-odds. So instead, have each player seal his *BID* for how many extra games as Black he would be willing to play in exchange for enjoying tie-odds. The highest bid obtains tie-odds.
(The number of games the tie-odds player would play as White must be firmly set before bidding occurs; or some fancier mechanism for keeping the number of games within a narrow range.)

Zmeu Zmeu 12/6/2016 08:31
Hi Emil,
Do you feel the champion's right to "defend" his title, i.e. a direct seeding into the next World Championship Final match, is justified? Two years is a long time, and while were lucky to have a champion in Carlsen who proves time and again that he is the world's best, that may not always be the case. I for one would like the champion to be seeded into the Candidates tournament instead, and let the top two finishers of that tournament battle it out in the match for the title.
twamers twamers 12/6/2016 08:27
12 games is certainly too short. This is the World Championship Match after all. 18 should be the minimum but really the old 24 games was very ideal. I don't like the idea of a rapid/blitz play-off either to determine the champion. We already have world championships for this type of chess (which can be very exciting) but it has no place in the classical world championship. I'm also not convinced at all that if the match is a draw it is unfair if the champion keeps the title. Having this at the end of a long match I feel is a better solution than Seirawan suggestion and rapid solutions. A longer match may be more likely to enable us to see less cautious play than we see in 12 or 14 games. The game needs to attract more sponsorship but to do this it needs players who are real stars and can reach out to people and make them excited. Fischer could do that, the rivalry between Karpov and Korchnoi (Russia v defector) did that and of course the charismatic and brilliant Kasparov could do it. I think we lack that now although I believe that Carlssen is a brilliant player and a worthy champion.
marcguy marcguy 12/6/2016 08:19
Here's my proposal: Wch winner is first player to win 3 games and accumulate at least 10 1/2 points (match is minimum 20 games). If score reaches 10-10 with win requirement met, the match is drawn and Champion retains title (no rapid tie breaks). If score reaches 10-10 without win requirement being met, there are several options-play a series of two game mini matches at regular time controls until winner is decided, or continue match until one player satisfies the win requirement. Yes, this is theoretically an open ended match, but really, 3 wins is not an unreasonable requirement.

Regarding the time controls: Make it simple. Give each player 3 hours for the entire game plus a 30 second increment starting at move 61. No need for intermediate time controls.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 12/6/2016 08:18
"The people who still insist that rapid chess is "not chess" and "has no place in the world championship" are ignoring the dynamics of the last two World Championship matches that went to tiebreaks....In both cases the rapid tiebreaks saved the match, and were by far the most interesting games "

The mere existence of a tie-break spoils the will to fight in the main match. The final games had no clash of interest, as both preferred to bank on their chances in rapid/blitz instead. To overcome this, you have to do away with the tie-break at the end of the match proper.

You have the same problem in tournament chess. When draw suits both players, draw it is.

I much prefer 18 games, champion stays in case of a tie, possibly with some loss of privilege.

If that loss of privilege implies that next time he is seeded into the Candidates, we will need tie-break rules to cater for the case when #1-2 is a perfect shared. Who, if any, will get draw odds in their match, and why. Same problem all over again. Not as frequent, but there has to be rules laid down.
PEB216 PEB216 12/6/2016 08:11
There is something special about being World Champion. From Adolf Anderssen (winner of the famous London 1851 Tournament), Paul Morphy, William Steinitz (recognized by FIDE as the First World Champion), etc. to the present World Champion Magnus Carlsen. We should NOT cheapen the World Championship as some have suggested. It is part of our chess heritage.

I would prefer a 24 game match but am willing to accept a 16 game match (12 games is simply too short). The tie break used in the present World Championship seemed fair enough. As for the idea of having a tie-break BEFORE the match, I find this idea totally unacceptable. Obviously, Magnus Carlsen made a pragmatic decision by going for a simple draw in his twelfth game with Sergey Karjakin; as a result, we were given four exciting games (the last move of the last game will probably be remembered for decades to come).

FIDE tried to change the World Championship process and we ended up with a number of FIDE World Champions that, for the most part, remain forgettable; on the other hand, the REAL World Champions are never forgotten.
marcguy marcguy 12/6/2016 08:06
How about this: Wch winner is first player to win 3 games and accumulate at least 10 1/2 points. Win total is not excessive, match length is guaranteed to 20 games (a more reasonable total than 12). If score reaches 10-10 with the win requirement met, the match is drawn and the Champion retains title. If score reaches 10-10 without the win requirement being met, winner of match is whoever wins next decisive game. Yes, this is theoretically an open ended match, but really, 3 wins is not unreasonable.

Also, regarding time control, make it simple: Each player gets 3 hours for the entire game plus a 30 second increment starting at move 61. No intermediate time controls are needed.
Blackacre Blackacre 12/6/2016 08:03
I still don't understand why it is supposedly unfair for the champion to retain his title in the event of a tie. How come no one noticed that in all of the prior matches played under that rule (ten from 1951-1972, the last four Karpov-Kasparov matches, Kramnik v Leko, etc.?) The idea is the same as boxing: to become the new champion, you have to beat the old one.

I'd also be interested in hearing the evidence behind Sutovsky's claim that having White is not an advantage at the top level anymore. Are White's results at that level statistically no better than Black's? Do players at that level really not care what color they have?
fightingchess fightingchess 12/6/2016 07:58
i believe classical chess has to become slightly faster. i propose 100+50+20mins plus 15 seconds delay from move one.
koko48 koko48 12/6/2016 07:54
I'm not sure anybody here claimed that classical chess is "dead"....But in match play, particularly for the World Championship, it is moribund...And its pulse is getting weaker

The people who still insist that rapid chess is "not chess" and "has no place in the world championship" are ignoring the dynamics of the last two World Championship matches that went to tiebreaks....In both cases the rapid tiebreaks saved the match, and were by far the most interesting games

Nobody wants to pay good money to watch games, when 50% of them are non-games....If anything is "not chess" these days, it's the classical games

That does not mean classical chess should be abandoned....It just means we have to consider ways to revitalize the game

This whole debate reminds me of football scoring in chess (3 points for win, 1 point for draw, 0 for loss) which I thought was a breath of fresh air for chess tournaments...Not only did it lead to more decisive games, but it led (out of necessity for the players) to playing out games until there was literally no play left...Even the draws were interesting, fighting draws

But then the traditionalists started complaining that "this is not the way we've always done it"....And the football scoring started to go by the wayside

What these people don't seem to realize is that the traditional scoring system (1 - 1/2 - 0) is the main reason for the "draw death" in chess, which Capablanca recognized as a problem 100 years ago....The whole risk-reward equation is drastically altered under a 3-1-0 scoring system

I suspect many players didn't like the football scoring either, because they don't want to have to play for a win every game....They also liked having their GM draws and extra "rest days"....And taking their short pre-arranged draws in the last rounds

But in no other sport do you see so many non-games being played, and this is a huge turn-off to potential followers of chess....Obviously we need some radical solutions....Football scoring obviously would not make a difference in match play, so by all means keep the rapids
turok turok 12/6/2016 07:54
The real issue IMO is the DRAW. How about making a different amount for draws. I have no idea what point value but how about the person with White gets less point and the black gets more. In this way the white is forced to put the pressure on. In this way Draws are not looked at as an easy out.
amosburn amosburn 12/6/2016 07:53
The world championship should be *difficult* to attain. When we lok back at champions of the past, almost all of them have changed the game in some way, from Steinitz to Kasparov. Carlsen too, with his patient anti-theory. Ponomariov? Not so much. For that reason, the challenger must beat him, to prove that new and better ideas have arrived
PCMorphy72 PCMorphy72 12/6/2016 07:49
Dear President, please follow your statements:

I have heard many proposals. All of them have some logic behind them [...]

I actually like the idea of a rapid tie-break. Just not after the regular part of the match, but BEFORE it. [...]

Of course, every reader is welcome to disagree with me and express his/her opinion. [...] Make your opinion heard!

Well, any chess player knows that logic is not an opinion, but it seems that tastes are overruling logic since Kasparov split from FIDE in 1993. If we follow what you like here or if you follow what people likes in the poll, nobody will be never satisfied of any format, and things will change almost every time they are applied (they just need approval by Agon, Mr. Ilyumzhinov, and Mr. Money, but not by our sense of logic).

If you like more and more logic, maybe it’s difficult to follow me, but at least I try to use exclusively logic when I wrote a reply (about your above statement) that probably you have not read yet:

Your idea (although it’s not new) seems to have several followers from the commentators here (so far Syuanjiang, Offramp, ChessTalk, KingDom64). But have you considered the negative effects too?

1. Tiebreak winner will play just to draw even more than how the most cautious player does today: at least today both players are supposed to play to avoid the tiebreak, and we have not a match where one plays to confirm a “tiebreak” and one fights to overturn it.
In other words, the weight of such a tiebreak will become even more heavy than now, while Yasser Seirawan proposal is in the direction to downsize it, cancelling the spurious rapid and blitz games (and even so he is criticized by some commentators that giving Black with draw odds in a 13th classical game is a too heavy advantage).

2. If a player will underrate the importance of such a “starting tiebreak” (let’s suppose it’s a single blitz game and his thoughts will be like “I don’t care about it, I’m a classical chess player an I will do my best in classical games” or “I like this preliminary blitz game and I accept the result of it during, I don’t believe in those objections by that Chessbase commentator…”), and if he will lose the match because of it, be sure he will regret about it (or will swear at its result) more than he would have done playing the tiebreak after the ordinary match: for any high level classical chess player it’s better to regret about his own behaviour in the series of ordinary games which brought to an avoidable tiebreak, rather than about his approach in the first “tiebreak” game which brought to an “unavoidably biased” series of ordinary games.
In other words, it’s better you read this last objection with the usual Yasser Seirawan’s sense of humor, if you’ll never want to conceive you could be the addressee of those losers’ swear words.

Again, please read my complex approach:
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/6/2016 07:49
@ ivan3ivanovich : I'm sorry, but I'm a lawyer, and I know how to read rules... and you NOT, obviously. I haven't time to answer you in a more detailed manner now, but 30 mn. + 30 s. by move IS classical chess. If you don't master sufficiently a subject, please don't use offensive language to make completely erroneous affirmations... it would be very much appreciated !
rohitraj_iit rohitraj_iit 12/6/2016 07:18
It's a brilliant idea. I would suggest one change. Holding all rapid games before classical games might demean the classical games. As it will interrupt natural flow of classical games. Instead keep rapid games equally spaced between classical games. One rapid game after one classical game.
basu1109 basu1109 12/6/2016 07:13
I feel that instead of tie breakers, we should give four games of random and sharp middle game positions (with equal balance on both sides) chosen by computers and let them play those games in classical time control (depending on number of moves)..
Basavaraj Jagadale

Omoplata Omoplata 12/6/2016 07:05
I agree with Sutovsky; it sounds like a good idea, and is practical.
scacchino scacchino 12/6/2016 07:02
easy to return to the classic, 24 or 18 games at long time and in case of a tie, the champion retain the title. No blitz or rapid, which are not chess but pastime after work at the bar or at the club or online on internet or streets with friends, world championship is a serious matter....i think so.
Greetings at all.
Andrea Mori Andrea Mori 12/6/2016 06:00
I praise GM Sutovski's proposal as clever and really out-of-the box but still doesn't go around one of the main critiques: namely that rapid games should have no place in the classical WC match. About the match length, I am happy to see that the ACP President agrees that 12 games makes the match too short. Personnaly, I'd like a 18 games format with rest days after the 5th, 9th, 12th and 16th game. About the tie breaking, here's an other idea: if the match is tied 9-9 (or 8-8, or 6-6, or whatever), the Champion retains the WC title and the honors pertaining it, but s/he is not admitted to the next match, will have to play the next Candidates' tournament and the next match is played by the first two of that Candidates tournament.
A7fecd1676b88 A7fecd1676b88 12/6/2016 05:56
"The Title Match is the most prestigious ..."
Not when the format sucks. A joke format removes prestige.

"But the classical games will decide the match."
No. The rapid games still decide in case a tie-break is needed, regardless of when they were played.

"Whereas a 24-game match might be a bit too long for many reasons"
Name a few.

"Chess fans and aficionados did not get tired of the match in New York "
This is relevant why? I consider your statement to be of zero relevance because I am only concerned about
finding out who the best player is, how long it takes is moot. IF you are basing your WC format on non-chess factors, as you seem to be, you should say that explicitly.

" It won't even increase the costs too much" ...
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.
vinniethepooh vinniethepooh 12/6/2016 05:37
I don't think it is too good to stress on the format of the match. There are very less Wch matches which don't end in the classical time control. So, if they have made it equal, let it be. It is bit of uncommon. Just stay with the format, move on. I think people are spending just a lot of time on this without, ya, without success. It all depends on FIDE. Let the tiebreak be like this. Why bother? Classical chess can be decided by rapid and blitz chess also. Would you be happy if they remove the 'classical' of World 'classical' Chess Championship? If yes, then yeah, just remove it. A mental block that is. What nonsense.
dobbscs dobbscs 12/6/2016 05:34
If a rapid tie-break is used, I cannot see how having the tie-break before the classical games will result in "more attractive" or better chess. Yes, a tie will only benefit one player, but this format introduces new problems. The player without the tie advantage will have to push harder in the classical games and may try to create more exciting chess, but the player with the tie advantage has no incentive to do so; he or she actually benefits from avoiding all complications and turning EVERY game into a (dull) draw, winning the match by default. If we have one player trying to win and one player just trying to draw, we return to the chess of decades ago (and sometimes still today) when the player with the white pieces tried to win and the player with the black pieces just tried to draw; the only difference now is that the colors would not matter at all for the players' objectives.
algorithmy algorithmy 12/6/2016 05:15
honestly, you call that a solution?! and out of the box too?! out of your mind may be!
why should the tie break before the match be any better?? in fact it might only becomes worth, since the player won the tie break will play the most dull defensive games and will never let the classical games take off the ground, and at such level they are capable of doing it, nothing easier than playing for a draw for those guys.

and again every body if you can't see that a rapid-blitz tie break in a classical match is illogical then you are of your minds, if that was applied in former times it might be more logical, but not in our time when we already have a rapid and blitz title separate!

the odd game solution stands far better, an extra game where the champ having black is fair enough since the champ already got the title by beating the x-champ and he is not the to prove better rather the challenger should do.

but in all, the idea of a match title should be cancelled and I suggest the world Cup should be the final tournament and the winner of it be declared a world champion, but of course, the system should be refined, for example the late stage of the world cup should be a separate tournament to give the players chance to rest and also to increase the number of games; four games match for the semi final and 8 games match for the final, the winner of which is declared a world champion and in case of a tie, an extra classical game with draw odd be played.

dwigley dwigley 12/6/2016 05:12
Have the tiebreak decided before the match in the qualifying tournaments somehow, like maybe in the Candidates tournament in which the World Champion has to participate to compete for the tiebreak. This would also be a way to get the Champion active in the cycle.
ivan3ivanovich ivan3ivanovich 12/6/2016 05:10

"I consider it would be more logical to keep the match "all classical", by chosing "short classical" games, instead of rapid ones, for the tiebreak. The time control that I would think to be the best would be 30 mn. + 30 s. per move (from move 1)."

30min+30sec IS rapid chess BY DEFINITION!

By FIDE statute anything shorter than 90min+30sec IS Rapid chess (or Blitz).

The shortest time control that is allowed for a "Classic" time control is 90min. plus 30sec. per move.

If you are so ignorant of even the most basic of the rules of the game of chess, how come you consider yourself qualified to propose on the championship regulations?
jdstripes jdstripes 12/6/2016 05:02
Of all the proposals that have come out advocating change, this one is the best. I was horrified when the match was reduced from 16 to 12. On the other hand, rapid tie-breaks, while not ideal, offer a productive compromise with the economic realities of hosting a 24 game match. Six games at the beginning of the match is an interesting twist that deserves a lot of discussion.