Chess By Luke McShane
Sunday December 26,2010

FIGHTING spirit was much in evidence at the 2nd London Chess Classic earlier this month.

Much of this was down to the attitude of the players themselves, of course, as well as the ‘Sofia rules’ which forbid draw offers until all the normal play is exhausted.

But there was one controversial factor in play too – the ‘Bilbao scoring’ whereby, just like in football, the players are awarded three points for a win and one for a draw.

As it turned out, this system worked against me in London.

With the conventional scoring system I would have shared first place with Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen on 4.5/7, but Carlsen’s volatile string of wins and losses left him clear first with the scoring system in use.

Some purists would have preferred the traditional system, but I must admit I remain rather fond of the Bilbao scoring.

Naturally, it’s a strong incentive to play complex and interesting games, but perhaps one of the best features of this system is that it gives players a chance to catch up after a poor start, just as Magnus did in London.

Despite the games he lost, his determination to fight for the full point in every game was admirable.

Moreover, the Bilbao system keeps all the final standings up for grabs until the very end.

Full article here:

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