Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The effects of the three-point rule in individual sports: Evidence from chess

Parinduri, Rasyad and Lee, Yoong Hon and Tiong, Kung Ming (2016): The effects of the three-point rule in individual sports: Evidence from chess.

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Abstract

We examine the effects of the three-point rule in individual sports. We consider chess in which most tournaments use the standard rule while some tournaments use the Bilbao rule, which is identical to the three-point rule in soccer: We observe the same pairs of chess players playing under both rules, a research design that fits fixed-effect models. We find the Bilbao rule makes games 33 percent more decisive, mostly to white players’ advantage who win 50 percent more games. We identify two mechanisms why the Bilbao rule works: It encourages players to play longer and discourages them from using drawish openings. These results suggest incentive schemes like the three-point rule work in individual sports in which efforts and financial rewards are directly linked and game dynamics and strategic interactions among teammates and with opponents are less complex.

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