What will happen if all the games in the World Chess Championship are draws? Who will be considered the world champion?

  • 5
    In the 1972 world championship match, 24 games were scheduled. If the two players had equal numbers of wins, Spassky, the reigning champion, would have retained the title. Nov 29, 2021 at 10:23

1 Answer 1


From the Wikipedia page of WCC 2021:

The match consists of 14 games, and a score of 7½ wins the world championship. If the score is equal after 14 games, tie-break games with faster time controls will be played:

  • 4 rapid games with 25 minutes each + 10 seconds increment starting from move 1. If a player scores 2½ points or more, [they win] the championship.
  • If the score is equal after the rapid portion, up to 5 mini-matches of 2 blitz games will be played. Time control is 5 minutes + 3 seconds increment. If any player wins one of these mini-matches, the tie-break ends and [they win] the championship.
  • If all 5 blitz mini-matches are drawn, 1 sudden death (Armageddon) game will be played, where black has draw odds and 4 minutes, and white has 5 minutes. Players receive 2 seconds increment starting move 61.

Meaning, if they draw the Armageddon match, it is counted as a win for black.

See also: Regulations for the FIDE World Championship Match 2021 (section 4.3.2)

  • 3
    Armageddon and chess go together like ... [draws a blank] Nov 29, 2021 at 10:08
  • 3
    after a tie in the main set of 14 games, a tie in the 4 rapid games, and five draws in blitz games, one might think just sharing the title might be in order. :) I wonder how the colors are chosen for the last sudden death game, randomly?
    – ilkkachu
    Nov 29, 2021 at 13:12
  • 1
    @ilkkachu you can find more and detailed information on FIDE Handbook of WC, which is also the source of Wikipedia in this case.
    – Minot
    Nov 29, 2021 at 13:37
  • 3
    "...one (1) sudden death game is played. The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the colour." -- yeah, no surprise there. Wikipedia only had a broken link to the 2020 handbook.
    – ilkkachu
    Nov 29, 2021 at 13:43
  • So if I'm counting right, once all the games are drawn and the players reach the Armageddon stage, it should be the contestant for the title who play black, right?
    – kopaka
    Nov 30, 2021 at 10:39

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