Maria Yurenok wrote:
I can see there is a good discussion going on about reverting 4NCL back to 11 rounds all-play-all in the new season. Well how about updating the time limit to something a bit more modern from the start of the new season?
I've played in a lot of international chess competitions in the past 1.5 years and I haven't come across 7 hour time limit in any of them, although Hastings is pretty close to that. I think that the time limit at the British Championship is the same as at Hastings although I haven't played there. However, that may be non-existent time limit outside England if my experiences are anything to go by, so are we going to keep up with the rest of the world or stay firmly entrenched in the tradition?
Is it viable to introduce incremented play, are there enough digital clocks available at least for the 1st division? I don't think I've played any non-incremented chess abroad in the past 1.5 years. My preferred time limit would be something very popular these days like 1:30hr for 40 moves plus 30mins to finish with 30 sec added after each move. Or could we at least cut last 30 mins from 4NCL to be 2hr for 40 moves plus 1hr to finish?
Like Maria, I have played in numerous tournaments abroad with incremental time controls. They are fine for individual tournaments, preferably with one round a day, where there are few problems caused by excessively long games. However, I would be most unhappy with the introduction of increments to the time control for the 4NCL mostly because of the difficulties this would cause with travel arrangements. While it is less common than when the venues were in town centres, we still have players who attempt to travel to events by public transport. It is very important to know that (fire alarms and power cuts permitting!) the Sunday games cannot last beyond 6 pm. I have in the past had a booking on a 6.03 train, in the full knowledge that I might have to use only 3 hours rather than 3½ hours. With increments, such tactics would not guarantee finishing in time. It is not just a matter of the delay - it is also a question of having a seat for the journey! Even Wessex 2 have had a player in each of the last 3 seasons who has had a plane to catch after the last round. How can he decide what time plane he can book if there is an incremental time control?
Teams with players travelling long distances are already severely handicapped relative to those living closer to the venues. They rarely have the luxury of being able to field players for just one game in a weekend. The introduction of increments would make matters worse.
My views are of course coloured by my infamous 125 move loss to Simon Williams at Liverpool in 2007 where I was playing on increments for over 3 hours before blundering. Fortunately this was an individual tournament and I didn't have a car load of passengers waiting hours for me to finish. Unfortunately it was a day when there was a double round.