Opinion: We should not ban draws

NM linlaoda
Oct 13, 2015, 10:52 AM |

In the recent Millionaire Chess Open, Hikaru Nakamura and Luke McShane agreed to a 9 move draw. The tournament organizer Maurice Ashley was displeased, but despite many efforts to get them to play on, the result stood.


If we were to only look at the "number 9" then we might think that this is bad for the game of chess. The spectators like to see blood - so why don't we just ban draws?

First, I want to say my opinion that we should not just ban draws outright - games that are fought hard but still drawn are still interesting!

Further, we should not ban short draws, despite the good intentions. The main argument against short draws is that the opponents may have agreed to the draw before hand, which definitely is not completely innocent.

However, we must remember that we play chess for ourselves. A big reason why we love chess is because we are in control of the game, what opening do we want to play? How aggressive do we want to be? It's all up to us.

If the tournament is rated, then I think it should be up to the players how they want to play the game, their rating might get affected by having to avoid a draw.

But this is just my opinion - I recommend that if tournament organizers do not want draws, that they make their events unrated (but maintain the high prize funds...) This way the players might be more willing as they are not risking their ratings...