People have been lamenting the draw-death of chess for ages, with various suggestions on how to get past that. SALC-armageddon comes from this website by a computer chess fan who's been playing several NN engines against other NN engines. Note the special rule:

SALC Armageddon means: White is allowed to castle short, only and Black is allowed to castle long, only (=SALC (Short And Long Castling)). And all draws are counted as a win for Black (=Armageddon), because these castling-rights are a advantage for White. So, there are no draws anymore. And no draw-death of computerchess. Read more and download more Armageddon stuff in the "Armageddon openings"- section of my website.

Amazingly, this seems to lead to 50-50 games where neither side has an advantage:

Games        : 3000 (finished)

White Wins   : 1492 (49.7 %)
Black Wins   : 1508 (50.3 %)
Draws        : 0 (0.0 %)
Unfinished   : 0

White Score  : 49.7 %
Black Score  : 50.3 %

Has this tiebreak rule been seriously discussed and/or tried in human play? If it really is 50-50 for both sides, it could even take over as the main format in classical tournaments.

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    That is a totally new game and not chess. Good luck getting the public to accept it. Feb 11, 2020 at 1:47

1 Answer 1


I think it is clear that it has not been seriously discussed, and it is not likely to.

First, at the highest level, the elite have spent their entire lives getting that good, and draws are just a part of it. There can also be beauty in draws as far as I am concerned. Overall, I doubt that they want to learn to play a different game just because it uses some of the same rules.

Second, Kramnik recently proposed a variant with no castling at all, and the kids they were coaching even played an informal tournament. It has not been heard from since. If Kramnik, and his idea was mostly panned in the comments to the various articles I read, cannot get a variant to be widely accepted, it probably is not going to happen on some very unknown website by someone no one has ever heard of.

Lastly, chess, while not a big industry in the grand scheme of things, still is an industry; and the people with money, who back it, are generally adverse to change for risk of losing any money they may have invested.

At best, and it would take a long time to gain the necessary popularity, if one of the main servers like chess.com were to pick it up as a variant, and it were to gain HUGE popularity there, something might happen...I would not count on it though. I have been around for a long time, and variants are still looked upon with disdain by most.

People do not like change, in general, and they love chess. It is not a problem at the lower levels, so it is not likely to catch on en mass, and work its way up.

  • 1
    Phishmaster beat me again my seconds:) I agree with all he said. Feb 11, 2020 at 1:48

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