The "Draw Problem" and other Flawed Reasoning

The author's intention is to provide an alternative to chess that is not too different from regular chess, but provides a sufficiently unique environment that is even more challenging and exciting. The author is not of the opinion that chess needs to be fixed or that excessive draws are a problem for chess. The author, however, does recognize that too much opening theory knowledge has made the game less exciting especially in games between 2100+ rated players.

The author specifically rejects dubious claims that chess is flawed as well as moronic charges that chess is "broken"! These idiots who barely learned the rules of chess then propose to eliminate the concept of stalemate from chess!

This is a stalemate.
Stalemate draw ending White has surrounded black but not checked the black king. Black has no legal move and this is considered a draw.
Does the player with the white pieces having clumisily positioned his pieces here deserve anything more than a draw?

Visualize it as follows: White wasted its forces in surrounding the escape squares, while the black king found an outlet - a place to hide so he will never be seen again. He never "makes a move" again!
Or think that the objective is for you to behead the enemy king! If the enemy king commits suicide, and sets himself on fire - you cannot behead it!
Or think of it as requiring a King's crown, and the King has time to destroy it during stalemate.

So is there are draw problem in Chess? NO! No! There is no draw problem. What are you? A GM? A 2220+ rated player? Only high rated players experience more draws (when playing other equally high rated players!)

The problem is that at high levels of chess, the openings that have been analyzed to death, are more important in securing an advantage, and once Black has equalized in the opening lines, there is not much that two high quality players can do except try for a unsound attack, which they will not do. This is not an intrinsic flaw of the game but a problem with playing a game where every single line has been studied so much so that it is very difficult to find a novel continuation.

This is a problem unique to very high rated players, and the majority of players need not worry about opening lines that run forty moves deep. And if they do, they will get slaughtered by competent players who will mostly likely deviate from the "accepted" lines of play.

The other problem slightly related to this is the tendency of GMs to agree to a draw too early. This is clearly something that the governing bodies can prevent. For example, disallow draw offers unless the position can be deemed to be a draw by qualified arbiter..

Clearly, this has nothing to do with the game itself and merely with GMs, their conduct and high level competition rules. So who are the people making these charges?

Most people making charges such as banning stalemate etc are losing players who have not understood that you must learn tactics and generally play the game to improve. Instead, they read opening books, follow up on GM games and generally waste time on the internet arguing that chess is flawed.

Blocked Pawns: - Another idiotic charge that is commonly made. Sure you can design a chess variant in which the pawns are not blocked, e.g. see Capture the Scepter. But, to deny the fact that this game has been played without complaints for so long is a bit too much. Most likely, the player does not possess sufficient skill in unblocking actions such as sacrificing a piece or pawn to make a run for the backrank.

Three-Move Repetition Draw: - Some idiots actually suggest that this should be eliminated. They point to Shogi's somewhat flawed rule that perpetual check is disallowed.
Since the morons who tout this nonsense are C-Class players who can never achieve more than 2-3% draws at most, their opinions are worthless!

There is no doubt that the Stalemate, Three-Move Repetition, Perpetual Check (that leads to 3-move repetition or 50 move draw), and 50 move draw are improvements over the original (and lost) game that originated in India. It does seem like the chess variants in the East do not seem to address draws as well as the Western chess game. Additionally, it seems that the lower piece power in the Eastern variants make those rules more palatable than if was applied to Western Chess.

Note, even though a version of chess arose from India, Chess is derived from multiple sources with China having quite a strong claim to its origin as well. Xiangqi is Chess in China.

Controversy within? - Or just a few stupid patzers with nothing to do? - A Response to comment by Gene M (who is btw a 1200/1300 Player and possible con artist / hack writer with zero understanding of chess nor chess variants)

Repeat after me - " I, Gene M am a Patzer. There is no draw problem in chess! It is I Gene M who cannot understand what the GMs are playing and cannot comprehend why the game is drawn!"

The real problem at GM level is the GM draw. It is a problem because spectators are dissapointed to see the two GMs battle for a mere 10 moves and call it a day. The draw by mutual agreement should be banned in most public events, and some sort of reward should be given out to fighting chess-players i.e make it more enticing for the player to go for a win. This should be done not necessarily by changing the scoring system but by subtle changes - banning the draw offer and giving more brilliancy prizes out is a good start.

Still, one must ask can't the spectators watch the bloodier matches between lesser rated players - the answer is yes. What's wrong with watching games between IM's? And even better if tournaments have a wide variety of players from low rated Ims to higher rated GMs - it would be a blood bath. If you think chess is a spectator sport - compare it to boxing and notice that that it too has the same problem. Highly skilled boxers don't always produce the best fights dueling each other - the fights are normally very "drawish" just like the chess battles between top GMs.

The minor issue is as I described above, that opening lines have been so well analysed that HIGH CALIBER players of approximately equal skill level find it difficult to press for an advantage since they both are highly knowledgeable of these lines. This is the ONLY case for chess variants over chess, other than just being interested in them.
A chess variant on a slightly bigger board with more pieces might interest such high caliber players if they find the game appealing enough.

All this rubbish talk about early 60% represents a gross failure by any sport will not cut it with real chess players. Everyone knows that only people who dislike chess, or have become disinterested in it are the ones making these stupid allegations. Oh yeah, and really bad players make this allegation too!

First of all you cannot judge a sport by the number of draws in a single game. A draw can be compared to a soccer game being scoreless in the first half. To compare a single game of chess to an entire soccer match clearly shows such depraved ignorance. A chess match is at least 6 games normally 12. So to make your silly comparison work, a win by 1 game say 1 win and 11 draws is similar to a 1-0 result in a soccer match.
There your go! Next time you watch a chess match between GMs think about this analogy and no worries!

Your concept of power in chess is fundamentally flawed. Hell, I make chess variants and I disagree with you on more power for the board. My game Asylum Chess is overpowered - do you think that would solve your non-existent drawing problem. No, because good players will have an early clash of powerful pieces that would soon be exchanged off. But it is a fun game to try out.
So try to understand what chess first before making incorrect allegations. And just remember, there is no draw problem in chess - THE GM DRAW has NOTHING to do with CHESS and everything to do with MOTIVATION TO PLAY FIGHTING CHESS!

And yes, perhaps you are unaware of it - but many people follow GM chess and are quite excited to follow the moves, it is not result that annoys a few , it is the tendency of these GMs to quickly agree to a draw rather than take chances. Any suggestions on a scheme to hand out prizes to fighting GMs would be more than welcome.

Chess players interested in variants however, can try out Asylum Redux.
Chess variants (esp games like Octopus Chess and ZigZag Madness can be played as alternatives to chess.

It is interesting to note that Gene M keeps posting on chess forums when it is quite clear he is trying to invent a chess variant -- a bad one of course! A word of warning: do not purchase books by writers claiming to have knowledge on chess 960 (Fischer Random) unless they proven to be either strong chess players or persons with clear understanding of chess rules and the implications of changing them.
The book this 1200 elo person wrote is: Play Stronger Chess by Examining Chess960: Usable Strategies of Fischer Random Chess Discovered. The author's full name is: Gene Milener

Read his views on obnoxious idiotic views on chess in other forums and ask yourself what is he an expert in? He cannot even design an adequate chess variant - a relatively easy task actually!

Disclaimer: The above is a rant on self appointed experts of chess esp on those who take a holier than thou attitude (inspired in part by reveleations from the trashing he got by the chess purist posters on - in no way should this be taken as a personal attack, just my rehashing of others' scorn and disdain for his views!

I do not necessarily hold the view that a low rating implies low understanding. On the other hand, you cannot claim to be an expert in something you hold no expertise in. If this guy actually invented some decent chess variants, then he can claim expertise in adjusting various parameters of board and pieces, but even this knowledge he sadly lacks.

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Posted by: jeff10 on 2014-02-11 22:33:44  
My favorite is Ruy Lopez 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5
Posted by: FMJanMathijsen on 2012-07-09 01:23:24  
Just posting some games from the Dutch Junior Championship:

Round 4 Board 2

Henriksen (2074) - Nievelts(2046)
1.c4 Nf6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 draw agreed.

Round 5 Board 1
Wijser(2104)-De Vrede (2055)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 draw agreed.

And Round 7 Board 5:
Mathijsen(1968)- Van der Schaand(2095)

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 Here my opponent offered me a draw, which I declined. 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 e6 draw agreed . Hurray! 9th!!
Posted by: Frisser on 2010-10-25 14:37:59  
Draws are for chicken-shit, cock suckers. The players with the most pieces should get a win. Any player "forcing" a draw should be banned from competition
Posted by: GeneM on 2008-05-13 15:28:13  
Before trying to solve the draw problemS in chess, we should investigate *why* traditioanl chess is so massively draw prone (at the elite grandmaster level) compare to shogi and Gothic Chess. I believe the problem is that chess has *insufficient piece power* in the game (only partly due to its unnecessarily high rate of equivalent value exchanges). This insufficiency has led to a "ceiling effect" whereby GMs are too close to perfect (even though they are imperfect). Unless piece power is increased, the draw problems in chess can never ever be fixed. A draw rate of nearly 60% represents a gross failure by any sport. A 4-4 tie in soccer can be very exciting, especially if one team came back after being behind 4-1. But in chess there is no mid-game scoring, so draws are like dull 0-0 ties. Yes of course some draws are very interesting. But books exclude draws because decisive games are considered more exciting. Action also happens on the cross-table, and a draw is low quality cross-table action: there is no "thrill of victory and agony of defeat" for human emotion in a draw. Also, the whole concept of narrative is dampened by the whopping 60% draw rate. Narrative is what sells tickets in successful sports. Is a chess tournament like Linaries more like (a) one baseball game of 9 innings, or (b) 9 separate games? The pawn separates the concepts of movement and capture. Another concept that could be teased into being its own atom is that of check: an enhanced rook (inspired by Capablanca's R+N piece) could have the powers of a rook -plus- the power to move and check like a knight, but no other power to capture like a knight. This would not be chess, but it would add piece power to the board, and have a serious chance of chopping the enormous draw rate in half. See newsid=4612.
Posted by: chessvariant Inventor on 2008-04-30 19:41:32
A few misguided people in the chessvariant community are pushing for stalemate=win etc but by no means should this deter an interested chess player from pursuing chess variants especially ones which do not attempt to insult the traditional rules of chess.
Posted by: chess variants? on 2007-10-01 18:50:07  
Aren't you chess variant people the ones pushing for this crap anyway?
Posted by: Bobby Fischer on 2007-09-05 15:55:54  
Don't forget take away stalemate and the entire concept of "opposition" is gone. All the endgame studies are useless too.