Thursday, 1 August 2013

Would you rather ....

A question put to me by my son the other day. In a sudden death blitz playoff, would you rather have 2m+3s increment, or 3m+2s increment?
I would probably choose the 3m+2s start time (as I am a pretty slow player anyway), although it may depend other conditions on offer (draw odds etc).
If you do add draw odds to the equation (for a necessary 1 off game), then this may become a variant on some game based bidding systems I've seen. The USCF experimented with such a system last year, where players nominated an amount of time on the clock to start with, with the lowest bid "winning". That player then started with that time, but received draw odds (and the black pieces). The other player started with the full amount (eg G/30m v G/23m).
Similar ideas have also been used in war/board games, where a players nominate the number of Victory Points needed to win the game, but the successful bidder (high bid), gets to choose the side to play.
And just to wander slightly further a field, in some simpler boardgames (eg Hex), there is a system where player A gets to move first, but player B can then decide to 'take' player A's move (ie become A while the old A then plays another move as B). This deals with the situation where the player moving first has an overwhelming advantage, encouraging the first player to choose a more neutral opening move!

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