I believe chess sites should offer best of 3/5/etc match formats, rather than a one-off game. Basically, if you enter such a game, you don't "win" by just winning 1 game, you have to be the first to win 2 out of 3, or first to 3 out of 5, etc.

Why don't chess sites offer these formats?

The thing about chess is that it's a very stylistic game. You can end up playing an opening or a style that just happens to suit your opponent perfectly well, and you end up losing because of that. In these instances, being able to adapt your style to your opponent and win the subsequent games is a vital dispaly of ability that is best measured in best of X types of formats, rather than one-off games where you lose, and then your opponent refuses a rematch and runs away.

There's a reason why this format is used in chess finals. Yet ironically, no chess sites offer this format, instead its always one-off games with the option to rematch, which is obviously not optimal, since rematches can be declined.

For example, I recently played against an opponent that clearly had a well-prepared opening to the Ruy Lopez... he completely destroyed me, made moves I had never seen in the Ruy Lopez. Does that mean he's better at chess than me? No, it just means he's better at the Ruy Lopez. If it was a best of 3 format, I would play the second game with a very different opening indeed and not fall into the prepared trap.... i did offer a rematch but he ran away. Surprise suprrise.

  • 3
    There are many different reasons why someone is not doing something. Impossible to answer without inside knowledge.
    – fuxia
    Jun 30 '20 at 11:20
  • 1
    From a practical standpoint, how would you handle a disconnect in a best of X series? Automatically forfeit them all remaining games seems harsh and unwarranted. But otherwise, you can't really oblige players to commit to a full series. So players can just quit after 1 game if they choose anyway. Also, for random match-making purposes, adding series options further segments the player pool, which hinders good match-making. The rematch option exists if players opt-in. If you'd like to engage in more series, I'd recommend asking your opponent on move 1 if they're interested first.
    – DongKy
    Jul 1 '20 at 18:57

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