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premium_steve 227 ( +1 | -1 )
Are quick draws ever a good thing? I don't think so.
However I did agree to a very quick draw two weekends ago in a situation where I didn't feel comfortable. Looking back on the game and the position, I still don't know whether I made a good decision or not. But I think my position could not have been much worse if it was any worse at all, so maybe that's good enough to fight on.

Here is the game: white - me VS black - opponent
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.cxd4 cxd4 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 dxc4 7.Bxc4
(I thought about playing 7.d5 here instead, but decided that sacrificing d4 gave me the best chance. whether that's true or not, I don't know.)

(declining the sacrifice. I was a little surprised by this as it also blocks in the B@c7. But developing the kingside first is probably a good idea.)
8.Nf3 Be7 9.O-O O-O Draw Agreed

My opponent and I went into this 3rd round of 5 as the only two players with 2 points (10 participants). I figured I could afford to take a draw here and if I win the rest of my games I would, at worst, be in a playoff for first later on.

I did feel uncomfortable with my position already actually. I felt that gambitting or losing the d4-pawn would not be very good anymore, and I was very worried that whatever I played on move 10, my opponent would play Qb6 - followed soon thereafter with Rd8, with some threats.
I was behind on time already and really, I felt I was worse, so I accepted the free 0.5 point.

Now though I think I could feel safe playing 10.Qd2, for example. Black still has a problem with developing his c8 Bishop.
He might try playing 10...Nd5, hoping for Nxd5 or Bxd5 at some point, where the re-capture ...exd5 frees up that piece.

Defending d4 might not be so difficult, and perhaps I might be a little better with my piece development.

What do you guys think?

I think I should have looked into the position longer.... and declined the draw.
There are some ethical issues with quick draws too I think. It looks bad when other players fight very hard for hours, and you decide to end the game with less than an hour gone - when the game has hardly even begun. Chess is a fighting game and if you really want to be considered good and improve at the same time, you ought to try to win most of the time, I think.
marinvukusic 35 ( +1 | -1 )
Depends on the position and circumstances I do not draw games without a fight when I play for myself, but in teamplay I have agreed to 2 quick draws and offered one (which was accepted). This was for the best interests of my team in all 3 cases.

In individual play I simply do not like to draw quickly and never did, but I would do it if I thought I benefitted me in some way (especially if I am sick or very tired).
ionadowman 159 ( +1 | -1 )
Now I'm going to go all puritan... ... and say that in no circumstances is a quick draw a Good Thing. My reason is this: if you play a non-game, why did you and your opponent turn up? Either you're there to play the game, or you're not. Seems silly not to play the thing out to a result.
As for agreeing quick draws in a team situation, that is something that completely passes my comprehension. If a draw is good for the team, how much better is a win? Very well, you are trading a possible win on one board for a likely loss on another. But then, why are you in a team competition if you can trade results without putting in the effort of playing the games to a result - win, lose or draw? Seems to me outside the spirit of the contest.
The same goes for titles and ELO ratings: "a charity" someone once remarked. Agreeing results for the sake of preserving one's chances of an IM or GM 'norm' or one's rating is in my view to falsify both.
Aye, well. No doubt this will provoke a lively correspondence, but I will make this disclaimer - well, not really a disclaimer, but to point out that I am speaking more or less as an outsider. I haven't played any competitive chess for many years, and even when I did play, it wasn't particularly often, even by New Zealand's standard of infrequency. At the level I have played at, there was never (so far as I know) any question of quick draws or any other deals - even to the extent of clear cut unfinished games still going to adjudication (much to the adjudicator's annoyance, I might add!).
I have no doubt that at level with which I am acquainted, world wide much the same experience is to be had as my own. Maybe at higher levels a different standard in expected.
marinvukusic 68 ( +1 | -1 )
Team matches The thing is really simple.

Here is an example from real life:

Two evenly matched teams are playing a league match. It is early in the season so there are no real pressures yet. Team A is disciplined and experienced, while team B is just a group of people who play on the same team.

Team A players that play with Black offer draws to their opponents after 10 or so moves. All 3 players accept the offers.

The result in the match is now 1,5:1,5 but Team A is playing 3 White boards and can reasonably expect at least a 3,5:2,5 win. We are talking about strong players here, so White pieces are a real advantage.

So how are those quick draws not good for Team A?
marinvukusic 19 ( +1 | -1 )
premium_steve The position you have drawn is well known and scores 56% for White.

White can always push d5 if things get rough, but I would play simple 10.Re1 and wait too see what Black will do.
ionadowman 107 ( +1 | -1 )
Marin... ... I agree that the situation is "good" for Team A - and it might even be "good" for Team B as well - a bargain for both sides. But this is to put the "result" - if you can call it a result if no game has been played - ahead of the game of Chess.

But this is where perhaps you, being one with a deal of experience in these sorts of competitions, and I, with for all practical purposes, none, have widely divergent points of view. The Teams competitions might indeed be about more than what is happening over the board. I wouldn't know. But from my position of ignorance, I don't think I would care for it a whole lot either. I'm inclined to think that it's the sort of thing that would diminish any enthusiasm I might be able to conjure for Teams competitions.

Incidentally - I recently discover there is a GM tournament in Spain that is awarding 3 points for the win, 1 for the draw, in the hope of encouraging combative play. It will be interesting to see how successful the experiment will be.
At any rate, it would seem the spectators aren't too rapt about quick or non-combative draws...


marinvukusic 38 ( +1 | -1 )
Wrong point IMHO Spectators are relevant for tournaments which have commercial organizers. Leagues are run by chess federations. The TEAM result is important in team competitions, even Tal had to play differently when in USSR team (you can surf the Internet for anegdotes about that).

Frankly I don't mind if teams I am playing against do not understand these issues, makes it easire to win against them :)
lighttotheright 61 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm inclined to agree with Marin on this issue. It does depend on the circumstances.

Ion we diverge on this probably in part because I think draws are exciting. I really do!

But the quick draw for no obvious reason (which happens all too often at the GM level) does "leave a sour taste". Two good players in an unclear position should continue whenever possible. The point is that the starting position of the game is unclear between equally matched opponents too. So what is the reason to sit down and play the game in that situation?

About the Spain experiment...I think it is a little too drastic.
marinvukusic 29 ( +1 | -1 )
Bilbao experiment... ... actually has no logic - it punishes players for playing games which end in the most logical result, and in cases of those super GMs the most frequent one. Draws are not a problem in chess at all.

Quick unfought draws in sponsored closed tournaments are the only issue that needs to be addressed.
ionadowman 118 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree... ... with lighttotheright that draws can be exciting. I've played quite a few on GK! But I think the thread opened with a question about the quick draw, by which I inferred the 10- 7 or 4-mover - or even the 0-mover as I recall happened in an Olympiad from several years back.

Now it seems that Marin and I might be somewhat in agreement when it comes to sponsored events with a large paying audience. As for the Federation games, nope, I still don't get it. Suppose I take the trouble of an evening to travel to the far side of the city (no mean distance in Christchurch) to play a team game. The team captain does a deal whereby I'm asked to agree a daw after a dozen moves have been played. My second thought - having probably suppressed the urge to spit in his eye - would be to ask myself 'Why am I here?'. I might as well have stayed home for all the chess I'm getting to play... He'd have the Devil's own job hoiking me out of my comfortable armchair for the second round, let me tell you.

Mikhail Tal strikes me as the likely sort of lad to toy with the notion of ocular expectoration at that! :)


marinvukusic 48 ( +1 | -1 )
You are kidding :) Tal was scared of Kotov and said so :)

In team play the captain has the responsibility for the end result so he can make such deals.

But since we are talking about short draws here, there are 2 cases:
1. The draws were not prearranged, so in team's interest the best team has to be seated
2. The draws are prearranged, in which case a player can tell the captain to put someone else in the team if available. This is actually what I did what I thought there was a "danger" of some kind if arrangement.
ionadowman 27 ( +1 | -1 )
Very well ... ... Tal no doubt swallowed his ... irritation. But it do sound as though he wasn't to chuffed about having to agree these draws. Nor do these 'undisciplined' players.

Hey, ho! I guess this correspondence has served to remind me, because I do sometimes forget, why I don't play OTB chess any more.

marinvukusic 99 ( +1 | -1 )
Tal & Kotov This wasn't about quick draws, it was about style of play. He was banned from playing wildly by Kotov because this kind of stuff disturbs the team. So he played normally and the team won (and Tal had a good score).

Of course if you do not play OTB and have little experience in teamplay then lets just give it a rest. I think my point is clear and if anyone wants to be a maverick in teamplay - that is their right (and the captain is the one who will decide whether or not to have them in the team).

- In any case team play is like 9-18 games a years at most, and draws might be an issue in only a few of those games. Person who is not a team player doesn't have to play in team competitions - or he can volunteer to be a captain of the team. Of course that takes some effort.
- A player can ask to be excused from the team if the draw is prearranged
- A player can play as many individual competitions as he wants to, and draw zero of those games if he feels like it
ionadowman 168 ( +1 | -1 )
I think we are agreed... ... on the points you make Marin. And after all, one doesn't have to join a team, neither. I didn't particularly want to get into a one-on-one argument with you (or anyone else) but to provoke a more general discussion around the central topic of short draws.
The thing is, quite a bit of what I've read (much of it I accept a long time ago) indicated that short draws were indeed a problem (not, be it noted, draws in general).
In the wargaming field - something with which I'm a deal more familiar - similar problems exist with competitions and Fabian play leading all too easily to drawn games. Efforts have been made to reward aggressive play by putting a premium on winning, for instance the point regime used in Spain. (Be it noted, though, I think Miniatures wargames competitions are silly).
I'm inclined to agree with lighttotheright on this, that the means is too drastic, and doesn't reward aggressive or combative play at all. How was any draw arrived at? Was it a tame affair with hands shaken after a couple of perfunctory moves, or a hard fought contest of skills with attack and defence finely balanced; a strong, imaginative attack held off by ingenious defence, or...
Maybe the points should be awarded at the discretion of the DOP: 1 for the win, 0 for the loss, and 1 point awarded to drawn games that in the DOP's opinion merit such an award, the point being split between the players.
But all this is beside the point of the thread, I feel. Are short draws ever a good thing? The jury is still out...
blake78613 53 ( +1 | -1 )
The times I have agreed to quick draws, have usually been Sunday mornings on a weekend Swiss following three rounds on Saturday where all three were hard long fights.

I do remember once going in on a Sunday morning and looking at my opponent, who arrived late and was holding his head like he had a migraine. I thought: pull yourself together, however bad you feel, he feels ten times worse. I played for complications and got a quick win, and much need recovery time for the final round.
ccmcacollister 317 ( +1 | -1 )
Guess I'm guilty here .... I've taken some short draws, especially in team events in postal. Or it can go something like this: Master-A vs Master-B. Draw? okay. Why did you offer it, I like your position and piece activity. (B) But I like your position with the plus pawn material~! So both players are at a level where you have to play Objectively in a theoretical position, but you may be on the side you don't like! :)

Or the one time i got to draw an IM in Ten Minute. French defense, enters known draw line of course since I'm way over-matched and Could do it. With trepidation, for I figure he is going to Improve on it! (yea!! Free knowledge to uncork on others!!) Well maybe he forgot about the line, or maybe he thought -I- had an Improvement to show him(??:).

Anyway, he ends up apparently trying to use almost all his time LOOKING for an Improvement! I guess he didn't find it. I offered a Draw rather than run the clock out. Figured he suffered enough taking a draw with a mere Expert and such. heheh.
But it was not a Tournament, just an online game.

There certainly Are ways organizers can discourage Draws if they really want to. One simple one: simply make every Win vs 1.1 points for Tiebreaker calculations. One way that does Not work is telling GM's you must make at least 20 moves, 30 moves, whatever. Most will simply play thru a known Draw line such a Perpetual Check. Or just obviously chanceless. Then others will play some really silly 20 Queen moves perhaps, and hanging the Queen to "Takes" a couple times in the process. Which never gets taken . . .

While Captains can Tell a player, TAKE A DRAW or WE WANT A DRAW IN YOUR GAME ... they are not supposed to prearrange them any more than in Individual play, I'm sure. As a practical matter, I think it is like "using seconds in adjournment". "Everyone" (meaning almost everyone) is going to do it anyway, or if not then that perception still exists. imo. One the otherhand, there is nothing to stop a player who prearranged a draw from Winning it if the opponent does blunder, or deciding to nullify the arrangement while sitting at the board. Of course, some would not consider that honorable. Which is ironic considering it is not a legal agreement. But even so a case can be made that That is personal honor at stake to honor the Draw, and that the original arrangement being the Captains indescretion ... and if that IS a rationalization, well Chess players are very clever people :))

Still, I'd probably DO it for a team if the Captain arranged it. Or if I Had Agreed. Tho I cannot see that i ever would agree in the first place. Not that I am a Fischer-like points maximist. Rather I feel there is a responsibility to others in a tournament to play ones best, as your result may determine Theirs' as well. (At the same time, if one is uncomfortable with their position, I would see a draw as reasonable. Or if very overmatched. A tournament you are trying to place in may be a poorer place for a Learning Loss, than the post-mortum is, if you had a chance for a prize.)

I was very uncomfortable the one time someone suggested arrangement to me in an Individual otb tournament and don't engage in the practice myself.
ionadowman 45 ( +1 | -1 )
I've heard a good deal... ... about why short draws happen, and arguments affered in justification for the practice. No one has yet said that short draws are a good thing.

I'm choosing to interpret Marin as saying the deal is a good thing; the result a good thing, but the short draws themselves? Nah!

For the record, I think I have had one ever short draw, and I maybe offered one other (declined). I guess you have to "do it" once or twice to decide that it's not really for you.

blake78613 22 ( +1 | -1 )
When both players have migraines, a quick draw is win, win.

I grew to hate 5 round Swiss Tournaments over the weekend, and would only play 6 round Swiss over a 3 day Holiday weekend.
marinvukusic 197 ( +1 | -1 )
The whole topic is badly worded IMHO What is that "good" and "bad" stuff all about really?

Draws have their place in chess (some people refuse to accept that for some mysterious reason), and quick draws occur for different reasons.

- Like in some other sports (soccer comes to mind as the most glaring example), sometimes the draw is simply the competitive objective for one or both players. Whether that draw is quick or not is IRRELEVANT.
Example from my practice can be found on (Vukusic-Jurkovic, Bizovac Open 2007.), where I managed to steer the game into my preparation and the opponent did not want to risk a loss against a tactical player (I defeated a FM with Black in the previous round). With 2 rounds per day (this was a morning round, 5th out of 7) we both found interest in the draw.

- Sometimes the position is a dead draw after less than 20 moves. Against a certain level of competition it is disrespectful to play on if there is no competitive reason to do so, and a player who decides to grind some types of positions is practically always later a target of jokes about his lack of positional understanding (it is pretty rude to waste 2 hours of someone's time while nothing is going on in the position).
Example from my practice can be found in Chessbase Megabase (Vukusic-Strniscak, Zagreb Open 2007). I did not go for the draw in this game but was not careful and ended in a relatively dead position with no winning chances left. The fact that I extracted my wisdom tooth 2 days before did not help either so I took the realistic draw offer.

- About the "you owe it to chess" argument - I dare anyone to say with a straight face that two low level-low potential-low ambition anonymous players from 5th Croatian league are going to produce a chess masterpiece, and this is the reason they have to play X number of moves. Or they "owe" to anything to anyone except their team and then themselves :I
ionadowman 331 ( +1 | -1 )
I guess we had to assume what was meant... ... and I defined what I was talking about in my 15 September posting. I made it quite clear in an earlier posting that I had no objection to draws as such. A draw can be the fair outcome of a finely balanced game in which inventive attack is met by resolute defence. If you want an exciting draw game, check out the Portisch-Tal game (Amsterdam 1964) that I annotated recently. Now, that was a fighting game.

Yes, sometimes you do get into lines that are more or less dead after 20 moves or so. Now suppose two very experienced players, nothing said between them, play such a line and both realise by about move 10 where the game seems to be headed. Neither has any objection; a draw would be a satisfactory result for both, both tacitly agree to the draw simply by continuing the game into the dead draw position and shake hands. Nothing was said: all the negotiations were by medium of the moves and the players' understanding of the situation.

I can't see that this is a good thing, but nor do I see that there is any way to legislate against it. It might not even be a desirable thing even to attempt to legislate against it.

But suppose I were to play such a game. I am not so experienced, and at move 10 might well have no idea that the course being followed will lead to this dead position. Arrived at it, and realising that to push for a win will merely compromise my own game (much would depend on the strength of my opponent - especially in endgames) I would offer the draw myself, more than likely. I suppose the result would be a good thing in that I now know that that particular line peters out to nothing, and so to avoid it in future. Chalk it up to experience. But from a competitive point of view, I'd find it unsatisfactory and disappointing.
I don't buy the "owe it to chess" argument either (though this is the first I've heard of it). But the beauty of chess in my view is not always to be found in impeccably accurate play. The finest and most entertaining games I've ever seen have been the stand-up slugfests of two well-matched opponents playing the best they can, making mistakes, but also unearthing seemingly miraculous resources. Again, the Portisch-Tal game comes to mind, or game 13 of the Spassky-Fischer match of 1972, which "ought" to have been a draw. Or check out the game ian_want vs nathanman22 in which White pulled out a wonderful endgame Queen sac that might yet have won the game for him. Whatever you think of the overall quality, that one move - by the loser be it noted - just lifted that game into something out of the ordinary. I still play through it from time to time.

For mine, I like to see fighting play. Short draws just don't "do it" for me. I guess in the end, that's just a matter of taste. Marin and I, our experiences are different, and his far greater in competitive chess at a high standard than I will ever have. That will obviously influence how we respond to an issue like this.

I rather think this will be my last comment on this topic.

fmgaijin 87 ( +1 | -1 )
Times When a Short Draw Is OKAY! 1. Last round of national championship events (like Japan Open) where I could get clear first with a short draw.
2. Norm events where I could get a norm with a last round draw.
3. Last round of tournament in Chicago, USA, when the organizers tried to run a big money 4 Rd. Swiss sectional with a 40/90 control and no SD in one day. Going into the last round just after midnight, my opponent and I were the only 3-0 scores. He had just beaten the top-rated IM and I only out-rated him by 30 or 40 points, so I was pleased to draw in 5 moves, share 1st (about 750 each even when a 2.5 scorer won and caught up with us) and go sleep in the car while my friends battled on until 5 a.m.!!
4. Certain team events when the team needs a particular result (though I was not happy the time my captain at the Olympics told me to accept a draw vs. a GM when I had a big advantage!)
ccmcacollister 4 ( +1 | -1 )
And . . . 5. If I play fmgaijin, a short draw is O.K.~! }8-)
chessnovice 7 ( +1 | -1 )
... Quick-draws are pretty good in showdowns at high noon. >.>