Change format World Championship: a simple solution

Change format World Championship: a simple solution

IM RobertRis
Nov 30, 2016, 5:40 AM |

A lot of criticism was heard after the quick draw in the 12th game of the World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin. "Death of Classical Chess'' was a message spread on Twitter by several chess fans.


Personally I don't think Classical chess is death at all and will not be killed in the near future. Every day high-profile tournaments are being held with a younger generation taking over the game. So what's wrong?


I think the classical games throughout the match had its ups and downs. For me it was obvious that both players were trying, but didn't fancy taking too many risks. Magnus had been pushing, missed a couple of chances, overpressed in Game 8 but after tying the score again (5-5) he happily steered the match into the tiebreaks.



The approach of Magnus in the 12th game has been the talk of town. Chess fans were certainly disappointed by the quick draw in only 45 minutes, particularly the spectators on site who had been paying $75 to see their heroes live in action. They are right to expect more from a final, decisive game. But, you can't blame Magnus. In his goal to retain his World Championship title he estimated his chances higher in 4 rapid games than in 1 long rated game (and mathematically he is right!). So, blame the system!

My proposal:


I think 12 games is sufficient determining the World Champion. We shouldn't be too nostalgic about the K-K matches which took 3 months (!!) till the winner was known. The tiebreaks system is fine as well in my opinion.


But why don't we start the match with the tiebreaks? I mentioned this idea on my Twitter account a couple of days ago and it led to a lot of discussion. My point is that the winner of the tiebreak has an advantage before the classical games start. That means more pressure will be added on the loser of the tiebreak, forcing him to take more risk from the very start. I think the classical games will benefit and likely we will see more decisive games (or at least action on the board) and that's what we are looking for, right? All in all, we will have a match which is exciting to follow from start till finish.

Furthermore it doesn't mean if you lose the tiebreak that you are 1-0 behind. It only means that you need to win one more classical game than your opponent. Is that such an unfair task to become World Champion? I don't think so.

I understand there is no ''perfect system'' to determine the champion, but I feel the chess world is too conservative in this sense. If you want chess to be a bigger sport you need to make it more exciting for a wider audience and sponsors. So, I hope FIDE officials will read this suggestion and give it a go!

Looking forward reading your thoughts on this matter. And for now I hope we will have an exciting tiebreak later today and that the best may win!

Photo: AFP