Not the End of the World: Free Tournament Will Study Armageddon Format
- Written by Larry Cohen
I have always thought that the standard time controls used in most Armageddon play-offs was too fast and an inaccurate way to determine a winner. In general the 6/5 Armageddon time control (6 minutes for White, 5 minutes for Black with draw odds) usually resulted in a “Win” for the Black side about 80 percent of the time. I recall that Bill Goichberg experimented with 7/5 Armageddon time controls, but this usually resulted in a “Win” for the White side about 70 percent of the time. Any percentage that is greater than a 60 percent advantage for either color I would consider to be inaccurate or a failure in terms of a true determining tie breaker.
The bid system that has been used for the US Championship play-offs does hold some promise. However, I am of the belief that a reasonably accurate set of Armageddon time controls can be determined. I believe that additional time may be the key factor in what time controls should be used for any Armageddon game. I am backing that idea up by running a FREE Armageddon tournament Thursday night January 6 at the Park Forest Chess Club from 7-10pm. Details are available on the ICA open tournament page. As the standard meeting room for the club has limited space I needed to limit the total number of players for the event. I will be using a 10/9 time control in order to see if additional time makes a difference in the results. Also, in order to try to factor out the color advantage each match/round will have each side play both colors against the same opponent. I am hoping to eventually amass a sufficient body of results to determine the best & most accurate time control for Armageddon play.