The fate of chess has been discussed for a long time and in recent years it has become more and more common. Examples of this include the 2018 World Chess Championship(12 draws) and the 2016 World Chess Championship(10 draws). It has become a problem to the degree that now major super tournaments such as Altibox Norway have a straight-up Armageddon for breaking ties. I was wondering if the idea of having classical time control Armageddon (say white 90 minutes and black 120 minutes) has been debated. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of having such a game?


3 Answers 3


I would tend to think that you are the very first person to propose that, mostly because I really do not think it would work for this reason:

Even with the control you proposed, 90 minutes to 120, the guy with 90 minutes still has A LOT of time to think not only on his time, but also on the opponent's time. That makes draw odds a MUCH larger advantage at that control than in blitz.

I tried thinking about alternative controls that might even it up some, but they would have to be so unbalanced, that the players would be playing under radically different time controls like 15 or 30 minutes to two hours. Whatever the control, you would need to create a situation where white with the extra time has some reasonable chance to out-think black and win, and that is hard at that level to begin with, but it is all but impossible with that much extra time that black can think on while white is thinking.


As pointed out by GeneM here

Armageddon Chess is a fair tie-break system only if the two players bid for how much time Black should have.

But any predetermined amount of time may have problems depending on the players' preferences.

Well I don't really know how much GeneM's answer depends on the time control for the losing bid (usually white). Recently, it seems armageddon is used for 15 minutes or less. In the 2016 USCC it was used for 45 minutes.


Not debated nor seriously considered. Just changing time controls will not change the results significantly. Only at the VERY top levels are draws a problem. Stats show that there are plenty of wins and losses for more normal people.

Far better to stop playing such slow games. And get rid of all those delays and add ons that confuse people so they can't do proper clock management.

Play more games that are shorter and the results would be more meaningful. G30SD no delay no add ons is plenty of time for anyone. Clock management would still be necessary. G15SD+0+0 would be good for ordinary people.

Play more games not fewer games because they are too bleeping long.

Chess is not a game it is a puzzle, albeit complicated one. Maybe tippy top GMs have solved it like tittattoe but for the VAST bulk of all people it will still be fun if it did not take so long to play.

For me anything over G30SD is like postal chess and just takes too much time.

  • What's the reason?
    – SubhanKhan
    Feb 11, 2020 at 3:32
  • What is the problem? Feb 11, 2020 at 3:45

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.