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In most tournaments, a win is 1 point and a draw is 0.5 points for both sides. I'm aware of "armagadden matches" where a draw is 0 points for white, and 1 point for black.

Have there been any tournaments where a draw is 0 points for both sides?

This would seem to be another possible solution to the problem of too many draws, by removing any incentive to draw from both sides. (It might have a negative consequence of leading both players to play out draws for the full 50 moves hoping for the tiny off-chance of a blunder.)

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  • Why do you think it'd "remove any incentive to draw from both sides"? A tournament is not constant-sum. So, in a game, each player, as well as wanting to win, has a separate desire to prevent their opponent winning. If they've given up all hope of winning, why wouldn't they try to deny their opponent a point, and thus, to that purpose, try for a draw?
    – Rosie F
    Jun 26 at 8:33
  • Sure, that's true. Say there are 20 participants. In the first round, preventing your opponent gaining a point would be worth something like 1/20 of a point to you. (In later rounds it depends what their chance of beating you in the tournament is.) Jun 27 at 3:32
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Have there been any tournaments where a draw is 0 points for both sides?

The answer is "Yes" and surprisingly enough the tournaments where this was the case were the very top world tournament, the world championships!

After Fischer won the title in 1972 by the score of 12½–8½ in a traditional best-of-24 competition with draws counting, he demanded for the next match that this be changed to one where draws didn't count (i.e. scored zero), the first player to win 10 games won the match unless he reached 9 wins first. FIDE rejected his unfair "draw-odds-with-no-draws" proposal but accepted his proposal that draws not count.

The number of wins to win the title was dropped from 10 to 6 and Karpov then won the 1978 title match with +6–5=21. In 1981 he won again with 6–2=10 but when the 1984 title match was terminated by FIDE president, Campomanes, after 48 games with the score on +5 −3 =40 in Karpov's favour the system was changed back to best of 24 games with draws counting for the rematch in 1985.

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  • Ah, that's fascinating - I hadn't considered the case of a two-player championship event, which seems like a bad fit. (Less disincentive to drawing if your only rival is also getting zero points). Fascinating what Fischer tried to get away with with the 9 wins thing. Jun 26 at 1:44
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Never heard of. A few thoughts:

  • As we all know :-), chess is a draw.
  • win 3/draw 1/loss 0 tournaments do exist (same rule idea, less drastic).
  • In Swiss tournaments, I say this would be an invitation to even more "Swiss gambit" (although evidently you can't overtake in the last round, as all scores are integer)
  • It's also pointless for an 1:1 match, thus it probably could be tried only in a round robin.
  • Just for fun, I applied your proposal to a random GM round-robin: Candidate 2020. The ranking did not change much. (But that is obviously no argument, since they would have played differently.)
  • Evidently, you need even more fine scoring (and could use the standard one, naturally...)
  • The proposal would suit hazard play: Why not throw in a possibly incorrect sacrifice? You don't lose much if it doesn't work.
  • Coda: Might be worth an experiment.
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