09 June 2019

Armageddon in Norway

The short list for this month's video post was awash in instructional videos featuring Armageddon games. Here's one from Youtube's PowerPlayChess channel, last seen on this blog in Top-10 Games 2018 (January 2019).

Armageddon - The two bishops of the apocalypse - Ding Liren vs So | Norway Chess 2019 (15:25) • 'Published on Jun 5, 2019'

The description says,

Grandmaster Daniel King examines the game Ding Liren vs Wesley So from the Altibox Norway Chess 2019.

A convenient link goes to Altibox Norway Chess - Regulations 2019, where we learn:-

If there’s a draw in the classical game [120 minutes on the clock with an increment of 10 seconds after move 40] then the players will move on to Armageddon after all classical games are over. White pieces will continue with white in Armageddon. With this, there will be a winner in each game due to the fact that the player with the black pieces in the Armageddon game will win if the game ends in a draw.

The time control is unusual for Armageddon games:-

White has 10 minutes and Black has 7 minutes with an increment of 3 seconds per move, starting from move 61.

The scoring is also unusual:-

Players will get following points per round:
* Victory main game: 2 points
* Loss main game: 0 points
* Draw main game & victory Armageddon: 1.5 points
* Draw main game & loss Armageddon: 0.5 points

For more about the Armageddon format, see Leonard Barden 's Chess: Armageddon divides fans while Magnus Carlsen leads again in Norway (theguardian.com). If the Armageddon experiment works, expect to see more of the same in other tournaments. If it doesn't work, future pundits will point to the Norway tournament to explain why not.

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