Chess Match

Chess Match

Do you know that there is a difference between a chess game and a chess match? Learn this important distinction, so you are better prepared to enjoy a conversation about chess.

Here is what you need to know about chess matches:


What Is A Chess Match?

A chess match is a series of chess games played in succession between the same players. During a match, players alternate the white and black pieces, in order to avoid repeating the same color for two games in a row.

The scores of the individual games are added to determine the winner of the encounter. When a player wins, they earn one full point, draws gives both players half a point, and losses do not provide a player any points.

Why Are Chess Matches Important?

A chess match is the fairest way to determine who is superior between two players because it rewards the person who can outplay their opponent consistently.

Players can have a significantly better or worse performance in any game. As a result, playing multiple games is a preferred method for determining the better player since it stabilizes both players' performances. For example, GM Bobby Fischer won the 1972 World Chess Championship even after starting 0-2 against GM Boris Spassky.

Fischer won the 1971 match against Spassky.
Fischer in 1972. Photo: Bert Verhoeff/Dutch National Archive, CC.

For this reason, chess matches have been used to determine the best players in the world for centuries. Players like Louis de La Bourdonnais and Alexander McDonnell, for instance, battled each other in a match that is engraved in chess history and awarded La Bourdonnais with the unofficial status of the best player of his time in 1834.

Many chess tournaments have matches to determine the best players. Even the most prominent chess competition in the world uses a match format—the FIDE World Chess Championship. Take a look at the 10 most exciting World Championship matches of all time.

World Championship match of 2018.
GM Magnus Carlsen vs. GM Fabiano Caruana, World Chess Championship of 2018. Photo: Pablo Martínez Rodriguez, CC.

Matches are not exclusive to over-the-board tournaments. Chess.com held the 2020 IM Not A GM Speed Chess Championship, where players faced each other in multiple online matches with different time controls. Watch the final encounter of this event in the video below.

How To Play Chess Matches On Chess.com

Playing a match on Chess.com is very easy. Whenever you finish a game, a window will pop up and ask you if you want to search for a new opponent or play a rematch. Click the Rematch button to invite your opponent to play against you again.

Play a chess match against your friends.

If both players agree to a rematch, Chess.com automatically keeps track of the score of the match. You can check each player's score by looking at the number that appears next to their username in Live Chess.

Chess.com keeps track of the match score.

Besides observing your current match score against another player, Chess.com also allows you to see your lifetime score against that player. You can find it by going to the player's profile and checking your score history against them—a fun way of seeing how you measure up against your friends!

Lifetime score.

Conclusion

You now understand what a chess match is and its importance to the world of chess. Head over to Live Chess and invite one of your friends to a chess match to see who emerges victorious!