I've tried finding statistics on the results of competitive armageddon games played at a high level (say, GM level), but to no avail. Evidently, these statistics must exist, as for example FIDE changed the time controls in the official rules from 6 minutes-5 minutes to 5 minutes-4 minutes in preparation for the Carlsen-Karjakin WC match (thus indicating that they felt that 6-5 gave black too much of an advantage compared to 5-4).

Basically, does white really have a ~50% win rate in GM-level armageddon chess games?

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    I am also not able to find any statistics online, but it seems apparent that black has a massive advantage especially at high level games where draws are fairly common. Personally I feel like there needs to be a massive time difference, like 5 minutes to 2.5 minutes for white to have a 50% chance of winning. If you even look at the quality of games of GMs at full time control and rapid, they are almost the same. Time is just not nearly as important when GMs have memorized almost everything. – Matthew Liu Nov 8 '18 at 22:47
  • Welcome to the site, great first question! – Glorfindel Nov 9 '18 at 8:41
  • @Matthew Liu I have to strongly disagree here. While GMs can play nearly identically in the opening, blunders later on in the game have a much higher chance of appearing. Also, shuffling pieces while trying to flag your opponent in an equal position is always a factor. I'd say 5-4 are fair odds for super GMs, but at the master level it favors White. – Inertial Ignorance Jan 5 at 3:49
  • @Inertial Ignorance A 5-4 minute advantage is practically nothing at GM level. Flagging your opponent in a dead drawn position is not really an option because there is a delay. Look at universalrating.com/ratings.php. If the blitz gap is only 28 then how can a 1 minute time odd do anything? Carlsen can play with 5 minutes to the opponents 90 and still beat everybody else. Also people berserk on lichess all the time in short time controls with no delay where flagging is a huge factor. – Matthew Liu Jan 7 at 16:10
  • If both opponents use 4 minutes of time, you're now down to a 2 minute vs 1 minute situation. What argument do you have that supports a super GM with 1 minute being on even footing with a super MG with 2 minutes? Even if there is a 2 second delay (for Armageddon I think there isn't one), you can keep your opponent on the brink for flagging for a very long time while you press. GMs are good at doing this. Finally, Carlsen is able to beat amateurs with 5 minutes vs 90 minutes, not other super GMs. – Inertial Ignorance Jan 7 at 18:52

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