Elsewhere on the Web : Death of the Short Draw?

Sunday May 4, 2008

The month of May means M-Tel, the elite, six-player double round robin tournament held in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. M-Tel means Sofia Rules, designed to combat the agreed draws, sometimes pre-arranged, that are the bane of professional chess. The anti-draw measures are in the regulations on the tournament's official site, M-Tel Masters 2008,

The players should not talk during the games; additionally they should not offer draws directly to their opponents. Draw-offers will be allowed only through the Chief Arbiter in three cases: a triple-repetition of the position, a perpetual check and in theoretically drawn positions.

The Sofia Rules have been adopted for FIDE's Grand Prix 2008-2009, the series of World Championship qualifying events described in our recent article The FIDE Grand Prix : Past, Present, and Future. The Grand Prix version adds specific mention of 'the rule of 50 moves'.

Does the adoption of the Sofia Rules forecast the death of the short draw? Let's hope so! • Need to refresh your memory on the significance of draws in chess? See Chess Draws and Short Draws on About Chess. • Need help on the implications of other anti-draw systems like the Bilbao Rules (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw)? See Reader feedback: the great draw debate continues, including links to many recent Chessbase.com articles on the subject.

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