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Move Rates for Television

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:47 pm
by Roger de Coverly
The latest blog http://stevegiddinschessblog.blogspot.c ... mania.html makes some interesting points about chess on TV, notably that occupying a wodge of TV time doesn't have to be a problem on a minority channel. He cites fishing as an example, but equally it applies to cricket.

Something that is a problem for long games is where a player goes into thought for an extended period. Even the most well briefed commentator will run out of things to say eventually. Game 5 of the Kasparov - Short match was a case in point.

So perhaps for televised games, you need to mess around with the move rate, not to make it faster in aggregate but to make sure something was always happening, or about to happen.

So start with an initial 10 minutes and award 2 and half minutes each move to 40. This sets the default time at 10 minutes and allocates 110 minutes to reach move 40. That's the same as FIDE's 40/90 with 30 second increments. At move 40, add an extra 10 minutes and reduce the increment to a minute and a half. So by move 60, you can use 110 + 10 + 20*1.5 = 150 minutes, again the same as the FIDE rate. Beyond move 60, the increment drops to 30 seconds, so the same as now.

The difference is that if you want a big think just out of the opening, you've only got around 30 minutes maximum assuming you've blitzed for the first dozen or so.

Re: Move Rates for Television

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 4:03 pm
by John McKenna
Must be a way to turn periods of extended thought into ad breaks.

Re: Move Rates for Television

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 5:12 pm
by Giulio Simeone
Roger, if they really want to transmit live chess on TV, when players think too much the spectators can simply switch channel, and come back later. Time rates have already been decreased too much, once the standard rate was 2h 30 min x 40 moves + 1h every 16 moves, now the majority of european tournaments are played with the sleazy rate 90 + 30, it's a real shame. In this way players often reach endgames with very few time on the clock, and don't learn to play them correctly. Even your suggestion to give less time in the opening and more time later doesn't convince me very much, because it may well happen that after 10 moves you get a highly complex position that you haven't seen before, and that requires thinking. In this way you risk to favour those players who learn variations by heart, they could set opening pitfalls that their opponents would not be able to avoid because of the early time shortage.

In my opinion chess shouldn't be ruined in order to transmit it on TV ... luckily the most important tournaments are already full - covered on the web, so probably TV chess wouldn't have so much success.

Re: Move Rates for Television

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:09 pm
by Paul Cooksey
Mr Toad might be onto something. My Gran was a keen snooker fan despite never playing, but also watched the Tour de France every year. She had no interest in cycling, but liked to have the French scenery rolling by in the corner of a room.

If we are after the retired lady/ fishing demographic the solution is simple. Move chess outside, preferably somewhere picturesque. Next year, we should have Vlad and Lev playing on the back of a flat-bed truck, touring serenely through spectacular Swiss mountainscapes.

Re: Move Rates for Television

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:10 pm
by Ray Sayers
The Master Game did it well; just play the game normally, then whisk the players into a room and record their thoughts. Hey presto, brilliant 30 minute chess program which also informs.

Such a pity it stopped.

Re: Move Rates for Television

Posted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:22 am
by Kevin Thurlow
"Must be a way to turn periods of extended thought into ad breaks."

They tried that in Kasparov - Short, but every time they came back, there had been a flurry of activity.

You get the same effect by watching American coverage of golf. You get live footage of someone walking down the fairway, go to an ad break, and first scene when they come back is, "while you were away, this happened".