ACP Survey: what the players think about draw offers

3/22/2007 – In February the Association of Chess Professionals asked its members what should be done to combat short, unfought draws, which are often perceived to be the bane of chess. The ACP published a questionnaire, 171 members replied.

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ACP survey on draw offers

In its original survey the ACP posed two questions:

1. A draw offer should be:

a) allowed at any stage of the game (current FIDE rules)
b) allowed after 30 moves of the game are completed
c) allowed after 40 moves of the game are completed
d) allowed after 50 moves of the game are completed
e) not allowed at all (Corsican rule)
f) abstain

2. A draw offer, at the stage where it is allowed, should imply a time penalty in the case it is rejected:

a) yes
b) no
c) abstain

Answers were received from 171 ACP members, and 24 from non-members, which could not be counted. The results can be found in the following table:

A draw offer should be allowed... All 2600+ 2500+ <2500
at any stage of the game 43% 42% 40% 45%
after 30 moves 17% 19% 22% 11%
after 40 moves 17% 13% 13% 23%
after 50 moves  3%  3%  3%  4%
not allowed at all 18% 23% 21% 15%
abstain  1%  0%  1%  1%
A draw offer should imply a time penalty in the case it is rejected
Yes 12% 10% 10% 14%
No 82% 87% 86% 77%
Abstain  6%  3%  4%  9%

If we look at the results we see that 55% of all players are against the current FIDE rule that allows players to agree to a draw at their own discretion. 37% want it to be allowed only after a specific number of moves (30–50), 18% not at all. Lower-ranked players are slightly less eager to change the current rules.

If a draw is offered, during the phase of the game when it is allowed, and the offer is rejected, then most players are against a time penalty being imposed on the player offering the draw.

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