What is the best form of tie-break?

What is the best form of tie-break?

Aug 3, 2008, 6:51 AM |

Sometimes things are just too close to call...


The US Women's Chess Championship in May this year ended in controversy as the title was decided in an 'Armageddon' tie-break match.

The Chief Organiser of the event, Tom Braunlich, recently posted an interesting examination of the different types of tie-breaks possible and suggested firming up the guidance regarding tie-breaks in the FIDE (and USCF and other national) regulations, which are presently pretty thin.  His article is here.

I generally like the ideas presented, but I must admit to being baffled by one suggestion:

Two-Game Sudden Death - The entire time available for the playoff is used to play no more than two playoff games. One player is given white (by any method of chance). If the first game is decisive, the winner wins the playoff. If it is drawn, another game is played, using the same colors, in which black will have draw odds. 

Why would anyone want to be Black in these games?  I find it hard to believe him when he says that when he canvassed opinion among GM's they were evenly split on whether they would prefer to be White or Black under these circumstances.

However, it's a well thought out article and worth a read (although he's clearly touchy about the criticism that the US championships received as a result of the Krush-Zatonskih playoff). 

What do YOU think is the best method?