Friday 28 August 2020

Now I'm not that sure ...

 I've never been a fan of 'Armageddon' as a way of breaking ties in chess, preferring to see sets of 2 games continue indefinitely.  One reason for my dislike is that I've always assume that having draw odds is better than having the extra time (ie having the choice gives you an advantage). But the final game of the China v Ukraine Olympiad match has me thinking.

After the match as shared with two 3-3 results, a single Armageddon game was to determine the outcome. Ukraine won the toss and chose to be White (and start with 5 minutes). Black started with 4 minutes, but if the game was drawn, Black would win. What seemed to happen next was that Black decided to dig in for a draw, but wasn't able to move fast enough, as there was no increment. Eventually Black ran out of time, and Ukraine qualified for the next round. 


Shevchenko,Kirill (2425) - Liu,Yan (2427) [A00]
2020 FIDE Online Olympiad (3.1), 27.08.2020

1 comment:

Garvin GRAY said...

I think Armageddon is a terrible way to decide who progresses, or wins a tournament. I really do not see the logic in it at all.

The only basis I can think of is that organisers have to conclude the tournament by a set time. But this is rarely the case.

I agree that deciding a winner is better done with a mini match of two blitz games, but if time is a concern, then this can be slightly altered.

After say two blitz game mini matches, if there is still no winner, then who ever wins the next blitz game wins. The players alternate white/black for each game until there is a winner.

Either way of deciding a winner has to be more satisfactory than Armageddon, especially when black draws the Armageddon game and that deciding game is usually decided by clock punching monkeys, rather than some kind of actually chess.