World Championship – out of the box

by Frederic Friedel
9/19/2018 – The match for the highest title in chess is always very exciting. But it is somewhat spoiled if the result is a tie. In previous times it meant that the reigning champion kept his title; later a tiebreak was installed, with rapid chess games, blitz and then Armageddon. Not a satisfactory solution, with the championship not decided by classical games. Werner Keym, a chess problem composer, has an alternate solution, one that like most of his problems is out of the box. Tell us what you think.

Endgames of the World Champions from Fischer to Carlsen Endgames of the World Champions from Fischer to Carlsen

Let endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller show and explain the finesses of the world champions. Although they had different styles each and every one of them played the endgame exceptionally well, so take the opportunity to enjoy and learn from some of the best endgames in the history of chess.


A proposal

Recently we published an article on a unique personality: Werner Keym, a teacher (of French and Latin) and a musician, who in 2010 was elected Mayor of the German city of Meisenheim. In 2014, at 72, he retired from that post to devote more time to his family — he has five grandchildren — and to his hobbies. The foremost of them is problem chess. Keym sent me a signed copy of his most recent English language book, Chess Problems out of the box, which has given me immense enjoyment ever since. 

Werner Keym is one of the most creative problemists I know. He specializes in chess puzzles involving castling, en passant captures, pawn promotion and retrograde analysis. For many years I have enjoyed his problems, which I often encountered. Many have the advantage of not being prone to instant solution by chess engines. They force you to think. Go buy a copy of Chess Problems out of the box — it's just €10 / US $12 (plus €2/$4 for postage). Outrageously good value for money. 

On page 184 of his book, Keym makes an interesting out-of-the-box proposal regarding Chess World Championship matches. It was (partially) brought on by the 2016 match in New York. In the final twelfth game Magnus Carlsen, to the surprise of many, allowed a quick draw with the white pieces. It was a clever decision: the reigning World Champion felt that he was stronger than the Challenger, Sergey Karjakin, in rapid chess, and he proved that this was indeed the case by beating the Russian in the following tiebreak. "I have no objection to this outcome," Keym says. "There has to be a decisive outcome, and that can be achieved with rapid chess, blitz, Armageddon, etc. But it makes me feel uncomfortable that the World Championship in classical chess is finally decided by non-classical games..."

So Werner Keym has made a proposal to modify the way the Championship would be decided: if the result is a tie, don't have the reigning World Champion retain the title, and don't have rapid, blitz and Armageddon games, in the end, to decide who gets the crown. There is another way (we quote directly from his book)...

The Chess World Championship match should be decided neither by rapid chess nor by blitz chess nor by Armageddon, but instead by classic chess. 

Proposal: The competition consists of two parts, prologue and match.


  1. Who plays White in the first game is decided by lot.
  2. There are then 4 rapid chess games. If one player gets 2½ points, the prologue is over.
  3. Otherwise, the result is 2:2, and now 2 blitz chess games will follow. If one player gets 1½ points, the prologue is over.
  4. Otherwise, the result is 1:1, and now further blitz chess games will follow. The first win of a game will end the prologue.
  5. We now have a prologue winner and a prologue loser.


  1. There is an odd number of classic chess games (e.g. 13).
  2. The prologue loser plays White in the odd-numbered games (1, 3, 5, ... 13).
  3. If the prologue loser gets 7 points, he will be the champion.
  4. If the prologue winner gets 6½ points, he will be the champion.


  • The conditions for the champion and the challenger are equal.
  • The prologue will take 2-4 days.
  • The advantage for the prologue loser is that he has white in the first and the last game.
  • The advantage for the prologue winner is that he wins the championship in case of tie.
  • The championship match is decided by at most 13 classic chess games and there may be much excitement towards the end: in the 13th game the prologue loser has White and must win, whereas the prologue winner has Black and must draw.
  • The match will end by a fixed day. This is important for organizers, sponsors, media, and audience.


This proposal is interesting. In the prologue phase, a relatively minor condition for the main match is established, with rapid and blitz games. After that, the match is decided with classical games. It is easily possible that one of the players loses the prologue and gains the title by winning one more game than his opponent. A vaguely similar system was tried in the 2018 Altibox Norway Chess Tournament: it started with a blitz tournament which determined which five of the ten players would have one more game with White in the classic tournament. Fabiano Caruana qualified for the extra white game and won the tournament, ahead of Carlsen, Nakamura, Anand and Wesley So, all of whom had also got the extra White.

One possible modification of the Keym proposal: in closer keeping with the current system it might be better to start with just two rapid chess games and eleven (instead of 13) classical games. This could be the schedule:

  • Saturday: two rapid games, if necessary blitz deciders
  • Sunday: Rest day
  • Monday – Thursday: four games (1-4)
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday – Tuesday: four games (5-8)
  • Wednesday: Rest day
  • Thursday – Saturday: three games (9-11)
  • Sunday: closing ceremony

The match would last two weeks, and in the final (11th) game, if it is necessary, White would need to win, while Black could keep or win the title with a draw. But the outcome would be decided in classical chess.

Naturally, it is of special interest to know what our readers — and chess experts around the world — think of this proposal. Please use our feedback section below to express your views.


Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.
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Keith Arkell Keith Arkell 9/21/2018 02:02
How about: 12 Classical games. A 6:6 tie is decided by which player completed all of his moves in the lesser total time.

I'm joking, of course, but this is fun as a thought experiment. What would the optimum strategy for each player be? Imagine, for example, that time spent, and scores, were level, with one game left.
jsaldea12 jsaldea12 9/21/2018 01:48
The proposal of Frederic Friedel, Editor-in-Chief of chessbase is OK. But the already proposed to allot 3 points for win and 1 point for draw is best. Whether in world chess championship, or classical chess, speed chess, blitz, or any tournament, the proposed 3 points for win and 1 point for draw is APPLICABLE. Simplified. The scoring system need not be revised too.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 9/20/2018 11:52
The advantages of this system :

1) It "keeps the match classical" (no Rapid or Blitz games - for this, there are separate Rapid and Blitz World Championships).

2) The use, as a last resort, of the "Champion keeps title" rule ensures an incentive to win, for the Challenger : he can't simply play draw after draw ; after 18 draws, he would simply lose the match.

3) The "First to win" rule and the 6 games' tiebreak with a different time control reduces to a very low level the chances for the match being decided by the "Champion keeps title" rule (ensuring that, for the vast majority of situations, the match will give a result by itself, without having to take anything else into account).

4) The fact that there is an extra incentive for the players to win the first win of the match is something quite positive : this should rather avoid matches beginning with a long series of draws (and the importance of this first win shouldn't either encourage players to play very conservatively to avoid any risk of being the first to lose, as the Challenger MUST win at least a game, to become the new Champion - each draw, when the two players are tied, creates for the Challenger a more difficult situation than before).
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 9/20/2018 11:28
I have already proposed other possible systems, but this is another one, quite simple, and not too different from the current system (which could help, as totally new ideas will not be easily accepted) :

12 games ; the Champion choses the color for the first game ; the games are played 3 by 3 (one game by day, obviously...) with a rest day every 3 games, the colors being alternated for the full length of the match.

In case of a tie, the match winner is the first player to have won a game (with a very slight advantage for the Champion, who choses the color for the first game). And in case of a match with 12 draws : 1 rest day, then a two-days' tiebreak, with, for each day, 3 games with a 30 mn. + 30 s. time control (which would count as classical games, even if they couldn't be rated according to the FIDE rules - rapid games are games with a total time by player inferior to 1 h., and 30 mn. + 30 s. would be considered as equivalent to an 1 h. game, and thus, a classical game). And if the 6 tiebreak games were all drawn, then the Champion would keep his title. (With this system, I think that a totally drawn match with 18 draws would be highly unlikely, as the Challenger would absolutely need to win at least one game to become the Champion, and from one win onwards, the match would necessarily be won by one of the players without having to use the "Champion keeps title" rule.)

A variant could be, in case of a tied match (even with a certain number of wins), to make the players play the tiebreak, and to give the title to the player having won the first win only if the tiebreak is also drawn.
twamers twamers 9/20/2018 10:35
I don't like the idea. The best format was a 24 game match. No question of that at all. Champion retains title in event of a draw. I don't have any problem with that. The current matches of 12 or 14 games are just too short. I much prefer the match to be settled by the traditional longer time control. For me I do not like speed, blitz etc, etc to settle the World Championship Match - that is just wrong.
Sonshi Sonshi 9/20/2018 06:31
All these ideas still involve non-classical games.

The perfect system in my opinion is:
1- To play odd number of games, not less than 15 games in total, so that players will have enough games to try to risk or compensate losses.
2- The Challenger starts and ends as white.
3- The World Champion will keep his crown in case of match tie.

That should be all.
Bruce Harper Bruce Harper 9/20/2018 05:07
Several comments:

1. The "out of the box" proposal itself is a bad idea (as is have any rapid/blitz playoff decide the World Championship).

2. The best format for the World Championship matches was the one used in the 1950s and 1960s, and then again in the Karpov-Kasparov matches: 24 games, the Champion retains the title in the event of a tie. Period. These matches had legitimacy, and were also easy to understand. I don't think there was any reason to change that format and at the time I don't think anyone considered the need for a tie break, much less one involving faster time controls.

3. I have long favored a change to classical chess itself (apart from good ideas such as 960 or s-chess). Play a game under the normal, classical time control. If that game is drawn, each player gets 1/3 of a point, and the players play a second game for the remaining 1/3 of a point, switching colors and using whatever time remains on their clocks after the first game. If the second game is drawn, the players switch colors again and play a third game, using whatever time remains on their clocks, and so on, until there is a decisive result.

Every game would therefore end in either 1-0 (or 0-1) result (a win in the initial game), or in a 2/3-1/3 (or 1/3-2/3) result (a win in a subsequent game). Things wouldn't go on indefinitely, any more than a tennis tie-break can go on indefinitely because someone has to win by two points.

From the players' point of view, playing faster than the opponent to achieve an initial draw (or, probably more accurately, forcing the opponent to use more time to achieve an initial draw) would yield a time advantage in the subsequent games, so being on "the sunny side of the draw' would have a tangible benefit (but would not necessarily mean that the player would end up with 2/3, rather than 1/3, of a point).

From the spectators' point of view, a series of faster and faster tie breaking games would be very interesting to watch.

I actually ran a tournament using a version of this approach and it worked fine.

A final note - in applying this approach, it would probably be ideal to reduce the size of the increment with each game, say by 5 second in each game (30 seconds in the initial game, 25 seconds in the second game, 20 seconds in the third game, and so on, to a minimum of 5 seconds per more).

I think this approach might well solve a host of problems, including the World Championship ones, because (by definition), every game would be decisive to a greater or lesser extent. It is still possible (but unlikely) to have a tied match if there was an even number of games, but if a tied match was considered a bad thing, a single playoff game would resolve it.
Chess Rabbitt Chess Rabbitt 9/20/2018 01:50
Why not do like most pro sports. Have no world champion. everybody must fight their way into a playoff of chess, from there you play a series of matches until only two remain and those two fight to be world champion. Or, have a tournament with the top 7 players and the current world champion (if the current champion retires, dies or just refuses to play, then the top 8 players). The top two from that tournament plays to be world champion. In case of a tie in both cases, play a chess overtime with 30 minutes matches (flip a coin to see who plays white), who ever wins first becomes the world champion.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/20/2018 11:19
@fgkdjlkag the previous opponent of the World Champion was an earlier World Champion, or at least the challenger. If the previous World Champion or the challenger was significantly weaker than the current challenger, then the current challenger has better chances, but nevertheless, we are speaking about the absolute best of the world, there should be no weaklings. If there are, then there is another problem with the system which needs to be fixed.
BeFreeBusy BeFreeBusy 9/20/2018 09:31
GrayDuck 9/19/2018 02:50
"The idea that the World Chess Championship is the "World Championship in classical chess" was debunked on Chessbase long ago by Maurice Ashley. The term "classical world championship" was created to differentiate the title from the FIDE world championship, not because of the speed of play. With that blunder as its basis, the proposal does not deserve much consideration."

Now that is just silly. Name one match that WAS NOT played with classical time controls? Ashley`s argument is therefore debunked. It is about classical (long time control) chess. Blitz is not chess, really, just a fast version of it.
BeFreeBusy BeFreeBusy 9/20/2018 09:26

You had the same idea, I only thought "first to 3 wins", which might seem short (particularly compared to Capablanca - Alekhine times) but nowadays that is a normal amount of wins the winner gets in WC match anyway, or less.

Furthermore, I don`t understand why popularity is the main criteria. Lot of people don`t like chess anyway and so be it. The game should be for the ones who really like it. A day will come when WC is decided by blitz or armageddon... then everyone and their cousin is wondering how could it be.
BeFreeBusy BeFreeBusy 9/20/2018 09:16
It is not clear whether this is any better of the current system, or worse either. It would - seemingly - fix the issue with fast games as deciders.

But I have one other issue with the proposal, and it`s that one of the players has a head start before the real final (classical chess) match. A one point lead. Let`s say that player who has the edge then wins another game, and goes in 2-point lead. That might ensure us a somewhat dull rest of the match...
Roberto Ardenzi Roberto Ardenzi 9/20/2018 01:10
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 9/20/2018 12:45
GM Sutovsky already made a similar proposal on ChessBase, after the Carlsen - Karjakin match.

And I don't see how this really solves the problem it proposes to solve : the match is still decided by Rapid and Blitz games, in case of a tie...

Furthermore, in our "Carlsen era", to have the Classical World Championship decided by Rapid and Blitz games is more or less the equivalent to the previous "Champion keeps title" rule ; we all know that the odds for Carlsen losing a Rapid or Blitz tiebreaker (be it before or after the main match) are VERY low... and I find it rather a pity that Carlsen's (quite real) superiority in Blitz and Rapid play has for a consequence that he will more easily keep his Classical title - there are Rapid and Blitz World Championship for him to win, and there is no reason that his superiority in accelerated time control should favor him also for the Classical title... this is quite illogical in my opinion...
sotovkin sotovkin 9/19/2018 08:46

A+for out of the box?! It's the same box flipped upside down. F.

D- for result?! Thats still a passing grade. F.
ctchess ctchess 9/19/2018 08:03
A+ for out of the box thinking, D- for the result. Putting the tiebreaks first doesn't mean the match is decided by the classical games, when the classical games end up at 50%. Come on, a little logic please.
Griffedours Griffedours 9/19/2018 07:56
This new format is tempting.
But, would not the classical games be influenced by the outcome of the prologue ? I mean a too meaningful psychological advantage .

In the past, there were not so much rest days.

With much less rest days, the players would have not to prepare too much to keap their level high.
sotovkin sotovkin 9/19/2018 07:43

A set # of games is better approach than play to a defined number of wins in the modern era. We need simple rules for sponsorship, and this gives them a known quantity of air time. Otherwise they don't know the airtime they are buying into.

I see so many complicated proposals in this chat which is the problem. CAMBRIDGE USA, coin flipping, blitz, really??

Chessbase, Bringing Blitz to influence the whole match, so it doesn't decide it end the end. really?!!

Chess will never unify globally unless some crisp decisions are made. Deciding a classical chess match with shorter and shorter time controls is arbitrary, and sad to see a player play the match of his life with 4 minutes on the clock and not be able to play to the best of their abilities. This is not exciting - its sad. No one wants to see this!!! It denigrates the game in the long run.

Simplifiy the structure, and FIDE's marketing (the real challenge) to get some real sponsors. If the match continues on, great! Each game makes money. Hard to book a venue indefinitely? Have a contingency venue if the match continues on, for a retainer.
Please stop killing the game with complicated rules.

Look how its done:

1. You choose: 12, 16, 24 games. The Champion must be beaten to lose their title. Makes Sense doesn't it!? When chess has real sponsoship in the event of a draw the match continues until someone wins.

2. While chess doesn't have really sponsorship, like now, the match ends when it's planned to. Done.
s8977 s8977 9/19/2018 07:24
Had it been decided beforehand, all 13 classical games would end in draw and the whole match would be a disaster.
The World Chess Championship is action. The tie-break should be the outcome of 3 separate time-control matches, starting with a series of 4 games, with a time control of Game 30, no delays, no increments. If the match is still tied, then the players will play a series of 4 Game 15, again no delays, no increments. And if the match is still level at this point, then a series of 5, 5 minute games shall be played, no delays, no increments. If the "match" is still tied, then the Champion shall retain his title. The challenger shall make the call for heads/tails in the Game 30 series; the champion shall make the call for heads/tails in the Game 15 series; and the challenger shall make the call for heads/tails in the "blitz" series of 5 games. The winner of the toss gets to choose whether he will play white or black. All games are played with the same rules of play as the main 12 game Classical time control match. But neither player will be required to write down the moves. Records of the games shall be acquired by the computerized chess sets/clock and all games shall be video-taped for instant replay concerning disputes on "touch move" challenges.
koko48 koko48 9/19/2018 06:34
Another 'radical' solution that is ultimately trying to maintain the status quo....another 'innovative' solution that is born of the knee-jerk, reactionary conservatism that seems to infect the chess world

For some reason certain 'traditionalists' can't stomach the World Championship decided in a rapid tiebreak. Even though in the last two WC matches decided by rapid tiebreaks (Anand-Gelfand, Carlsen-Karjakin) the rapid phase had by far the most interesting games, per capita

And in both cases the higher rated player and defending champion (Anand, Carlsen) won the rapid tiebreaks. I believe that nowadays, with computer analysis, the 'weaker' player (at this level) has a better chance to hold a draw in a classical game....Rapid chess may be the truest reflection of playing strength nowadays.

Acknowledge the times people, and acknowledge that they are changing. There's no need to stick to the 'old ways' in chess, especially considering those old ways never did anything to popularize the game. If anything the old ways turned off potential followers from the game

Carlsen's finishing shot (Qh6+!) vs. Karjakin, the cute queen sacrifice that ended the match, could have only occurred in a rapid game....And a move like Qh6+ (pretty, but easily understandable to beginner chessplayers and the casual observer) does more to popularize chess than any boring, overly theoretical classical game.... where both players are going down the uneventful and pre-analyzed road to splitting the point
RHMLuck RHMLuck 9/19/2018 05:56
I would opt for the longer classical match. Short matches are inappropriate for a world championship. Otherwise, I like the idea as it would force the prologue loser to take some risks to win games early in the match. Though I still prefer a set number of wins to determine a champion. Nothing is better than decisive games to determine a match result.
dbobonec dbobonec 9/19/2018 05:25
I totally agree with rubinsteinak! For the sake of world championships, the rules must force candidates to take risks and draws and not helping it! The disadvantage of this format is that you can't predict when the match will end.
rubinsteinak rubinsteinak 9/19/2018 04:20
This suggested method by Keym doesn't solve the problem. Long, long ago, the problem was addressed before it even became a problem. In 1927 the conditions of the Capablanca-Alekhine match required the winner to be the first one to win 6 games, draws not counting. If that opens the door to too many games for today's players and match organizers, you simply make the required number of wins fewer. How about the first to win 4 games, draws not counting? The beauty of this format is that draws cannot be used as a weapon, and this is MUCH more true now than it was in 1927 due to advancements in opening theory.
thirteen thirteen 9/19/2018 04:19
Get the odd numbers of CLASSICAL games right, 11-13-15, 21, job done! NO fast play as that is NOT any classic champion. Draw lots for the most whites, but draw equals champion retain.
Too many statistics favour only the statisticians, with always some haters.
If there is any favouring, slight or a bit more than that, it should be kept by the current champion, like it or not. Any 'short play/toss of a coin' ideas are NOT worth the chess viewing and will destroy our beloved game interest pretty fast. You'd better believe it.
BonTheCat BonTheCat 9/19/2018 02:59
And exactly how does this resolve the problem of having a match with classical time control not being decided in shorter formats? It's no better than tagging on a rapid-play and blitz tie-break at the end. In fact, it's worse, because your loading the dice against one of the players from the start. It just so happens that the current champion is better than most of his contemporaries in the tie-break, but that's entirely immaterial. Should Caruana wrest the title from Magnus, he'll actually be substantially worse than most of the current top 10 in blitz and rapid-play.

If we think there's a problem with the format, surely it's the fact that the matches are too short, and that a match played at classical time controls is tie-broken in a different format. Rather like letting the football World Cup be decided by a game of futsal if the final ends in a draw.
michaeldeguzman057 michaeldeguzman057 9/19/2018 01:16
Propose that a draw have different points defend on who has material advantage.

0.75 - has material advantage
0.25 - less material
0.0 - if material is even at the final position.

this can be applied to any match or tournament.
if in a match they are still tied after 12 games, then who will win or draw with more material wins the championsip.
nia_mac nia_mac 9/19/2018 12:54
Just as in other sports, a draw or a tie means the Champion remains the Champion. You can and should only become the new Champion if you DEFEAT or BEAT the current Champion, just like the previous Champion had to do it.

Boxing, for example, or mixed martial arts, if a draw happens, the Champion retains the belt.
KevinC KevinC 9/19/2018 12:53
Deciding a tiebreak before the match only makes the match worse, and a lot worse at that. Letting one side know that he needs less points to win is NOT the solution.
fons3 fons3 9/19/2018 12:44
This is the idea of playing a tiebreak before the match, something which has been proposed before.

(The winner of the tiebreak ("prologue") has draw odds.)

Also you're still deciding the match with something that is not "classic chess".

So not only is this idea not new, it also doesn't solve the problem it's purported to solve.

Other than that the idea has the benefit that the match itself has more tension, so I'm not against it. (You have to solve a tie one way or the other.)

Odd number of games and the challenger having an extra white - as proposed first by temujin64 - is also interesting. But most people would find that to be too much of an advantage for the challenger I would think.

I personally also don't mind the old rule of draw odds for the champion. The challenger has to win to prove he's better.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 9/19/2018 12:29
@malfa, what happens if the world champion and the challenger do not win the candidates tournament? Are both of them eliminated? Could result in a strange situation when a new world champion did not defeat the prior.

I do not agree with the current champion retaining the title in a tied match. It is not fair because he had to "earn it" before, as he may have faced a weaker opponent. Then an equal opponent is penalized depending on the time that he lived. If that system, at least seed the challenger who tied a world champion into the next candidates like @malfa proposed.

@tomohawk, interesting proposal, but would one option give a statistical advantage to the world champion? Should be calculable.
tomohawk tomohawk 9/19/2018 11:46
Odd number of games, all in classical format. WC gets to choose to play either with one extra white but must win the match outright or one extra black but needs only to make a tied match to retain his title.

This gives the WC some sort of advantage for being WC while not being so great that the challenger is significantly disadvantaged, imo.

Also no blitz or rapid games required.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/19/2018 10:37
It would be ridiculous to decide the Chess Blitz World Championship with classical games played at tiebreak. Yet, the invert is the standard nowadays and I think it is ridiculous as well.

Playing the rapid and blitz tiebreak as a prologue would be an improvement over the current system, but I still do not see why champion retains would be such a bad idea. The champion earned the title before and the challenger has not yet earned it. In that system somebody has a match advantage: it is either the player having more wins or the champion having draw odds, so the other player will have to try to win.

If we cannot do without a tiebreak, then classical chess 960 games seem to be a better choice than rapid and blitz to be played as a tiebreak. Yes, chess 960 is different from classical chess as well, but at least it is not a time scramble if it is played with classical time controls.
malfa malfa 9/19/2018 10:20
Whether they are played before the real match or after, I do not like quick tiebreaks at all: it is like deciding the winner of 10000 meters by having the first two run further 100 meters. I would rather go back to the rule which allows the chanpion to retain his title, but with two significant additions: 1. that the challenger be granted direct access to the next Candidates tournament (after all he was not defeated so he should get some reward for it); 2. that the champion have to play in the next Candidates tournament too (after all he did not defeat the challenger, so he must be somehow penalized for this). This avoids any unnecessary mixup between different time controls while ensuring a certain amount of fairness.
peterfrost peterfrost 9/19/2018 09:34
My recollection is that the "prologue" concept was widely discussed after the disagreeable end to the 2016 match. I think in feedback to Yasser Seirawan's well expressed concerns. It seemed an excellent idea and appeared to be well received by those following the debate. And then nothing happened.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 9/19/2018 09:10
@grimmlac, that proposal is not fair because in a 2-game match, whoever gets the first white may get a win in virtue of having the white pieces, and the 2nd player is forced to play extra aggressively in her white, but if she had gotten white first, the positions would be reversed.

Just extend the number of classical games, discount draws, and make the winner have to win by a certain margin. Cost is not really such a factor, these are professionals and it is their livelihood. Do not choose the most expensive venue. There will be advertising revenue. Look how long the Kasparov-Karpov match lasted. An upper limit on the number of games can be determined so it does not go too long. If a player does not win by the required margin, then have some tiebreak method, but if the chances are sufficiently reduced, it is unlikely to go to tiebreaks.
Azzur Azzur 9/19/2018 08:21
I've seen this proposal in some form already and I already like it. I'll propose the following slight modification: The World Champion will be play white first in the prologue, thus giving the WC a very slight advantage.
Rama Rama 9/19/2018 07:54
Instead of all that complication simply allow (not require) the World Champion to participate in the Candidates just like he is currently allowed to participate in the World Cup. In a World Championship match with an even number of games the winner of the Candidates will have draw odds. If the World Champion wins then the runner-up will be the challenger. In this way the tiebreaker has been played before the match - and the tiebreaker is all classical games.
GreenKlaser GreenKlaser 9/19/2018 07:13
The proposal gives the prologue winner the advantage that the champions used to have in the 24 game matches. If the score in a 13 game match is 6-6, the prologue winner has draw odds. The advantage starts with game one. That advantage can be called earned. The advantage the champion had in the 24 game matches could also be called earned in their previous match wins. It would be more neutral and require both players to try to win if a tied match resulted in neither player being called the champion. The number of games could be increased without games at other time controls before or after the match. The tied players should be placed in the next cycle with equal chances. The players could prepare for a match at a single time control and not consider exposing or hiding preparation in a prologue.
grimmlac grimmlac 9/19/2018 06:55
Make the number of games to an even number of classical games, say 12 games, for both players to have equal number of black and white games...If score tied, say 6-6, then set of 2 games, each with black and white pieces. If tied, say 1-1, another 2 games, and so will continue until someone scores 1.5 or 2 points. Equal number of black and white game and all games are classical games...and be able to determine the rightful champion.

or agree that if after 3 or more sets of 2 games for tiebreak, and the score is still tied, the champion retains his title because the challenger hasn't prove to beat the defending champion...