Claiming a win on time

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Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:44 am

Sean Hewitt wrote: Surprisingly, the chaps at DGT have thought of that and put something called "instructions" in with every clock!
<CJ Voice (Reggie Perrin CJ, not Chess/eggheads CJ)> I didn't get where I am today by reading instructions.

The problem with the London league would be the central venue. If you're playing at a chess club's venue and they have digital clocks it's not unreasonable to expect that they know how to set them - although by 'they' I suspect we're talking about two or three people at most.

With the amount of teams that use Golden Lane, for the London League to use digital clocks it would be necessary for dozens of people to know how to set them - and for at least some of those people to be there on match day.

Another consideration for the London League to use digital clocks would be the various time controls that are used at the moment. Given that we're often only let into the building about 10 minutes before games were due to start it would be quite a job to reset up to 30-35 clocks from one time control to another in time. It would probably be necessary to define a single time control for practical reasons.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see digital clocks introduced and a standard time control along the lines of G60 + 30 second increment* used in the London League. I just don't see it happening in the immediate future.

(* we'd probably have to ask Chris Kreuzer not to keep playing games of 80+ moves though if we we're going to do that)

Sean Hewitt

Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:47 am

Jonathan Bryant wrote:we'd probably have to ask Chris Kreuzer not to keep playing games of 80+ moves though if we we're going to do that)
:D :D :D

David Sedgwick
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:59 am

Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote: Surprisingly, the chaps at DGT have thought of that and put something called "instructions" in with every clock!
<CJ Voice (Reggie Perrin CJ, not Chess/eggheads CJ)> I didn't get where I am today by reading instructions.

The problem with the London league would be the central venue. If you're playing at a chess club's venue and they have digital clocks it's not unreasonable to expect that they know how to set them - although by 'they' I suspect we're talking about two or three people at most.

With the amount of teams that use Golden Lane, for the London League to use digital clocks it would be necessary for dozens of people to know how to set them - and for at least some of those people to be there on match day.

Another consideration for the London League to use digital clocks would be the various time controls that are used at the moment. Given that we're often only let into the building about 10 minutes before games were due to start it would be quite a job to reset up to 30-35 clocks from one time control to another in time. It would probably be necessary to define a single time control for practical reasons.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see digital clocks introduced and a standard time control along the lines of G60 + 30 second increment* used in the London League. I just don't see it happening in the immediate future.

(* we'd probably have to ask Chris Kreuzer not to keep playing games of 80+ moves though if we we're going to do that)
I don't think the problems you mention are insuperable.

I believe the London League only uses two time controls. You could have two pools of clocks with each pool having one of the time controls pre-programmed.

As an arbiter I've found that my biggest practical problem is that some organisers (not Sean) seem to delight in removing the instructions thoughtfully provided by DGT and other manufacturers and (presumably) throwing them away. On more than one occasion I've been faced with the task of setting dozens of clocks of a design I've not previously seen and no instruction booklet in any of the boxes.

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Sebastian Stone
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Sebastian Stone » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:30 am

matt_ward wrote:In this modern day, I am amazed Alex that not every chess congress nor club use Digitals
I can count on my hand the number of times I have used digital clocks.

3.
AKA Scott Stone

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That's Mr Stone to you, f**kface.

Neill Cooper
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Neill Cooper » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:32 am

Jonathan Bryant wrote:The problem with the London league would be the central venue. If you're playing at a chess club's venue and they have digital clocks it's not unreasonable to expect that they know how to set them - although by 'they' I suspect we're talking about two or three people at most.
For Surrey league matches, where there is a total of 4 possible finishes, I've written out a brief summary of what settings to use for each finish. Most of the club can set the clocks using this information - and it reminds players of what the possible finishes are.

Simon Dixon
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Simon Dixon » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:39 pm

Take this scenario, I have less then 2 mins left, my op has 13 mins left. It's a rapid transit, I am ahead on material so I claim a draw because my op can't beat me. Draw agreed under the 2 minute rule. :wink:

Anyway...... clocks, the rule should be plain and simple to understand, ie no external intervention should be allowed by budding arbiters or captains or cluless spectators. Chess is after all a game between 2 players, not for all and sundry to join in, which is also a rule in chess.

It should be up to the players involved to call time. If both flags are down then the game is drawn because player A or B failed to notice a win on time, in much the same way as a player can miss a 1 move mate and stalemates.

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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:19 pm

Simon Dixon wrote:Anyway...... clocks, the rule should be plain and simple to understand, ie no external intervention should be allowed by budding arbiters or captains or cluless spectators.
The rule is that the arbiter can point out a flag fall in standardplay. It sounds like you know this, but thought it was worth clarifying!
Simon Dixon wrote:If both flags are down then the game is drawn because player A or B failed to notice a win on time, in much the same way as a player can miss a 1 move mate and stalemates.
Not quite right; if both flags are down the game is drawn only if there's no way of telling which flag fell first. For example, a digital clock may show 0:00, but one side of the clock will have a flag to tell you which flag had fallen first. So there is evidence, so it isn't a draw.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:00 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:Not quite right; if both flags are down the game is drawn only if there's no way of telling which flag fell first. For example, a digital clock may show 0:00, but one side of the clock will have a flag to tell you which flag had fallen first. So there is evidence, so it isn't a draw.
If one side's clock-hand has advanced several minutes forward, and the other clock-hand is right on the 12-o-clock mark, suggesting that it is that flag that has just fallen, is it possible to surmise which flag fell first? Would you accept one player saying that they were "sure" that their flag was up a few seconds ago and had only just fallen, and that therefore their opponent's clock (which shows something like 12:04) must have fallen many minutes ago? You wouldn't think this would happen, but I've seen players carry on for at least a minute after one flag has fallen. I suppose carrying on for 4 minutes is pushing it a bit, but I'm sure in some cases it would be possible to look at the difference in times. I'd expect any such claim to be rejected, however, and a draw awarded. Are arbiters allowed to accept evidence from spectators? Is there any way to have evidence for an analogue clock? I suppose footage from a webcam might count, though if that is present you would expect digital clocks to be in use. But not always. Some visually-impaired people use special large clocks - which can cause problems when they are used in the same event as digital clocks, as arbiters have to pay a different sort of attention to that board.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:56 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:Not quite right; if both flags are down the game is drawn only if there's no way of telling which flag fell first. For example, a digital clock may show 0:00, but one side of the clock will have a flag to tell you which flag had fallen first. So there is evidence, so it isn't a draw.
If one side's clock-hand has advanced several minutes forward, and the other clock-hand is right on the 12-o-clock mark, suggesting that it is that flag that has just fallen, is it possible to surmise which flag fell first? Would you accept one player saying that they were "sure" that their flag was up a few seconds ago and had only just fallen, and that therefore their opponent's clock (which shows something like 12:04) must have fallen many minutes ago?
No, it isn't possible. The other guy could have just taken four minutes over his last move. With an analogue clock, you can't tell whether it really is just after 12 o'clock or not.
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Are arbiters allowed to accept evidence from spectators?
It very much depends on whether the spectators are interested parties or not, if you're talking about league games. Otherwise, if a spectator points out that flag(s) have fallen in a game, I'd get over to it PDQ to make a decision! I wouldn't take the spectator's version of events into consideration. I'd treat it as notice that my presence is required at that board.
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Is there any way to have evidence for an analogue clock? I suppose footage from a webcam might count, though if that is present you would expect digital clocks to be in use. But not always. Some visually-impaired people use special large clocks - which can cause problems when they are used in the same event as digital clocks, as arbiters have to pay a different sort of attention to that board.
Looking at a webcam or video footage of the end of a game would count as evidence to see which flag had fallen first. So why not use it?

matt_ward
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by matt_ward » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:12 am

I think using video footage is taking things to the extreme, I mean they do of course use it in many sports. But chess I can't see the reason, it certainly is not cost effective. In contrary to this another point regarding the Analogue clocks is when two players have less than 1 minute each this is were a problem is bound to arise.

Especially when there is not a arbiter present, then a arguement could persue by player A saying " His flag had fallen first." Then player B could reciprocate by saying " NO! his flag had fallen before mine."

Then how would the two captains present make a decision for example if they were both concentrating on their games. Digital clocks simply provide honest chess, when coming to time scambles. :oops: :oops: :cry:

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:42 pm

6.8. A flag is considered to have fallen when the arbiter observes the fact or when either player has made a valid claim to that effect.

6.14. Screens, monitors, or demonstration boards showing the current position on the chessboard, the moves and the number of moves made, and clocks which also show the number of moves, are allowed in the playing hall. However, the player may not make a claim relying solely on information shown in this manner.

Thus it is like the Bishop Berkeley philosophy. A flag has not fallen until it has been observed by the arbiter or a claim has been made by a player. Thus Matt Ward's scenario only exists if the Laws of Chess aren't known and not immediately available. If both flags are down, then they are down simultaneously, it doesn't matter if outside evidence (whether mechanical, video or a spectator) is available as to which one fell first. Only if it is in the last stage of the game that both flags have fallen that the game is drawn. If it is in an earlier stage, the game continues, applying the next time control.

Alex asks, why not use video information about which flag fell first? It is because that is not the rule. Hed can try to get it changed in 2012.

The problem with using digital clocks is that people purchase different types. For example Saitek clocks do not comply with the Laws of Chess. Very few clocks other than DGT have been approved by FIDE. I failed the Garde digital clock, mark 2 after only one minute. They had not eradicated the fault pointed out the first time. I have about 9 different digital clocks at home, all having different ways of being adjusted. Albert Vasse of DGT has many more.

A League should announce one official digital clock. I would recommend DGT. It still doesn't solve the problem! The operating system is changed as the years go by.
Ideally the London League should have all its matches played in one division at the same time and place with an arbiter present.

I have always though the arbiter should NOT call a flag fall. It should be made by a player (as in many events in the US). But I lost that argument democratically in 1996 and have never revisited the issue. Using cumulative mode makes flag falls so rare it is no longer an issue anyway.

Stewart Reuben

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:52 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote: Using cumulative mode makes flag falls so rare it is no longer an issue anyway.
It's not as rare as you might think, particularly among players not used to increment timing. The current DGTs show you a picture of a flag and flash the display at you. They make it very clear that one of the players overstepped and which player that was.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:59 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Stewart Reuben wrote: Using cumulative mode makes flag falls so rare it is no longer an issue anyway.
It's not as rare as you might think, particularly among players not used to increment timing. The current DGTs show you a picture of a flag and flash the display at you. They make it very clear that one of the players overstepped and which player that was.
I've managed to lose on time with 30 seconds a move at least 3 times, maybe 4 times... In one of those cases it was a dead draw but I'd been trying to squeeze something out of the position, got into trouble and panicked and then forgot about the clock. The other times, I was losing in one of them (so the clock running out was a form of resignation), but one of the losses was possibly the most excruciating ever, as I found out after the game that I was one move away from a 3-fold repetition, but instead of making that move I ran out of time! :oops: :oops:

From what I've seen, habitual time trouble addicts will invariably end up with only 30 seconds for each move in positions that are still complicated, and more often than not lose those positions. Someone should write an essay on how to provoke mistakes from people playing with only 30 seconds left for each move. I'm sure there are several tricks that can be employed that may not be seen in 30 seconds, the question being whether your opponent will see them in your time as you look for them. What I would do is identify 2 or 3 traps, and then play the one that is most difficult to spot, not the strongest or most obvious ones, as the opponent may have spotted those. Trying to blitz someone with only 30 seconds left may backfire if you blunder and they can then win at leisure. Positions where both players have around a minute left at this time control are great fun, but only to watch.

Simon Dixon
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Simon Dixon » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:37 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
The rule is that the arbiter can point out a flag fall in standardplay. It sounds like you know this, but thought it was worth clarifying!


Not quite right; if both flags are down the game is drawn only if there's no way of telling which flag fell first. For example, a digital clock may show 0:00, but one side of the clock will have a flag to tell you which flag had fallen first. So there is evidence, so it isn't a draw.

The idea of having outside help even if it is only to call time is unsporting and goes against the spirit of the game IMO. Us chess players are considered to be a fairly intelligent bunch,(don't quote me on that) surely we can read a clock by ourselves, especially one with a flag on it. Maybe we should add alarms or include a third party to watch the clocks for us.

Do you see how ridiculous that sounds, almost unbelieveable isn't it.

Richard Bates
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Re: Claiming a win on time

Post by Richard Bates » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:38 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:6.8. A flag is considered to have fallen when the arbiter observes the fact or when either player has made a valid claim to that effect.

6.14. Screens, monitors, or demonstration boards showing the current position on the chessboard, the moves and the number of moves made, and clocks which also show the number of moves, are allowed in the playing hall. However, the player may not make a claim relying solely on information shown in this manner.
.....

Alex asks, why not use video information about which flag fell first? It is because that is not the rule. Hed can try to get it changed in 2012.

Stewart Reuben
Seems to me then that the laws are not well written when combined with
6.11

If both flags have fallen and it is impossible to establish which flag fell first then:
a. the game shall continue if it happens in any period of the game except the last period
b. the game is drawn if it happens in the period of a game, in which all remaining moves must be completed.
Define "impossible".

One could interpret 6.14 to simply mean that a player can't claim a flag has fallen just because the screen says so - ie. the flag must have fallen on the actual clock as well!

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