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Death of the Draw?

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American GM Maurice Ashley (the first black GM, as his e-mail address does not let you forget!) is putting his tournament where his mouth is. He has put together the "Generation Chess International Tournament" taking place from April 23 to May 2 at the Marshall Chess Club in New York City. It's a ten-player GM-norm tournament with three Grandmasters and seven hungry IMs.

The concept behind the tournament is that "no player is allowed to prematurely stop the game by offering a draw before move 50." This format concurs with Ashley's article of earlier in the year about abolishing the draw offer (or at least postponing it to avoid GM draws).

It's also an interesting field that includes 2002 US Champion Larry Christiansen. The official site of the event says they invited players who play "risky, cut-throat" chess, although it's hard to see how Leonid Yudasin fits in there! But he's in the NY area nowadays, so we'll give him and his high percentage of short draws a break.

Fans always push for a 3-1-0 scoring system, as exists in many professional team sports. (Instead of the current 1-1/2-0 system in chess.) Many believe it would create more exciting games and avoid draws. First of all, I doubt this is true unless the rating formula is also changed to reward wins more. Secondly, we don't need to change the game itself by forcing GMs to play wildly. Just getting them to PLAY all the time is good enough for now.

We'll be keeping an interested eye on this experiment in "long games by legislation" by Ashley's new company. I'll be stopping by the event myself and you can check Chessbase.com for updates.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 23, 2003 9:26 AM.

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