I've just read the proposed incremental time control use in MCCU county matches. The agenda supporting information reads:
The proposal wrote:
Following the 2010 AGM enquiries have been made about this.
The strong recommendation from David Welch ECF Chief Arbiter is that the time control adopted should be straightforward i.e. x number of moves in y minutes with z seconds per move added and no additional time control. This is because it minimises the number of things that could go wrong, especially bearing in mind that there are only a few people around who are experienced in both the use and setting of digital clocks.
The most straightforward combination that comes closest to the existing 5 hour session is 40 moves in 100 minutes with 30 seconds per move added. For the graded sections with a 4 hour session 36 moves in 75 minutes with 30 seconds added is the nearest logical equivalent.
We leave the meeting to decide whether to adopt the above or propose something different. The meeting also needs to address whether where digital clocks are available the existing time controls should be the default, unless both captains agree to use the incremental option.
This shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how any time control in chess works, let alone an incremental time control. I'm certain that Dave Welch would provide no such advice to this effect, and what he actually said has been misinterpreted. For example, what happens after move 40 or move 36 in the graded sections? If you just get the 30 seconds per move, then there should be no mention of reaching move 36 or 40 beforehand as an intermediate step.
So I'm hoping that the MCCUites who read this might be willing to discuss a more sensible option, so that we can throw out the current proposal without a debate about it.
I'd propose the following time controls:
Open - 40 moves in 90 minutes + 30 minutes + 30 seconds per move from move 1
Graded sections - 90 minutes + 30 seconds per move from move 1
Both are equivalent to 5 and 4 hour sessions respectively, which are the most appropriate for what we've got now. What's more, the Open time limit is the official FIDE time control, and the latter is the old official FIDE time control.
30 seconds per move has:
(a) the theoretical problem of games that may last a long time beyond the expected end of the game
(b) the advantage of the players always having to write their moves down
To get around (a), but fall victim of (b), a 10 second per move increment may be preferable. Hence something like:
Open - 40 moves in 110 minutes + 30 minutes + 10 seconds per move from move 1
Graded sections - 110 minutes + 10 seconds per move from move 1
Both give 5 and 4 hour sessions respectively. I would propose we adopt the above time controls ahead of the current proposal, and that teams using digital clocks should use the 30-second increments by default, unless the teams agree another time control between themselves, which might be the 10-second increment, or the non-incremental version.
Obviously any team using analogue clocks has no choice in the matter!