This game proves why the draw offer should be abolished

This game proves why the draw offer should be abolished

gmjlh
GM gmjlh
Aug 13, 2017, 10:54 AM |
10


In my opinion, this game perfectly illustrates why we should abolish the draw offer. The (much) higher rated player got himself caught in some home preparation, and realized he’s playing against a computer, not a 2470-IM. He’s unhappy about the imminent danger facing his king, and tries to bribe his opponent: Well done, you got me in the opening! But you’re black against a 2680-GM – let’s call it a draw.

Nobody knows what would have happened. Would white have found all the good defensive moves and retained his material advantage? Would black have been able to storm down the board with his a-pawn? The existence of the draw offer is the reason we’ll never find out.

Let me start out by saying I’m not against a draw as a RESULT. It’s supposed to be extremely difficult to win a game of chess. It’s the reason the World Champion played a dubious opening against me when trying to win as black – and it backfired – giving me a win I’ll remember forever. But there’s a difference between removing the result and removing one of the main causes of premature draws.

I’ve spoken to players at the highest level who thinks removing the draw offer would just be a gimmick, and not have any actual impact. “If two people wants to make a draw, they will find a way,” I’ve been told. And I believe that is right. But I do not believe abolishing the draw offer would have its main effect at the super tournaments. I think it would be just as effective in opens – like the one this game is taken from – where there are large rating differences between the players. Too many times have we seen higher rated players use the draw offer as a “get out of jail free”-card. And the lower rateds are unfortunately happy to comply – having too little faith in their own skill or too much faith in their opponent’s.

If a position is truly equal, players will be able to create repetitions by going back and forth without any detrimental effects on their position. The professional guys can cope with playing 15 quick moves to finish a dead-equal ending. It’s the positions with tension in them I want to see fought out. And abolishing the draw offer will make that happen.