I received this letter a few days ago: 07/12/2004
I again read your discussion
on draw games.
Hangin's take :
Well Charlie, I could not disagree with you more. Its the draw that keeps the fight in the game. You can be down material and still force a draw. A lone king can draw against a king, bishop and rook pawn. The draw can be achieved if the lone king can get to the queening square, provided the bishop is of the opposite color. Also in some bishop of opposite color endgames the side down material can draw even though down several pawns. The draw allows a player who makes an error and gets behind in material to continue the fight. Saving or drawing a lost game, is just as enjoyable as winning a game.
Also perpetual check is another great drawing mechanism that can save a player when down material or facing unstoppable mate.
Chess fans don't want to change the rules to see more wins at the expense of reducing the fight. Changing the rules to remove the draw would caused many games to end prematurely. In fact it would destroy the fight in many games. Chess fans want to see fighting chess. Like we are seeing in the FIDE Knockout Tournament Final. Adams and Kasimdzhanov are having a very exciting match. In order to make chess exciting you need two players going for the win. You need players willing to fight for a win from both sides of the board. You need players willing to fight for the draw when down material or with positional disadvantages.
Lets not change the rules to make winning easier, but lets try to encourage professional players to fight harder to win. I have suggest some scoring changes to encourage more winning. I think since white has a slight but lasting advantage of first move, we should encourage black to win more by giving black 1.2 points for winning. We should also give white more incentive for winning by giving white 1.1 points for winning. The draw should count .5. I don't think two draw should be worth a win.
Here are some more ideas about fixing the short draws: