Using ones own clock

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John Upham
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Using ones own clock

Post by John Upham » Fri May 30, 2008 10:48 am

In one of my local leagues (Surrey Border League) we have a good rule which says :

"In all matches, either player may insist on the use of an electronic clock, if one is available" :D

I believe this to be a very handy rule as I prefer to use my own DGT XL clock rather than some of the knackered old junk some clubs still use.

In particular, I dislike the GARDE style clockwork clocks which I find annoying to use in a time scramble. The flag drop point is difficult to judge. :oops:

Anyway, I wonder if other leagues allow one to use their own clock?
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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by Ian Kingston » Fri May 30, 2008 1:20 pm

The Nottinghamshire League has exactly the reverse rule:

'Where electronic clocks are proposed for use, either player may provide an analogue clock and insist on its use.'

Given the obvious practical advantages of digital clocks, this is a particularly daft rule. Unfortunately, the conservative contingent is vocal enough to keep the rule in place.

I won a game on time this season when my opponent misjudged how much time he had left. He thought he had about two minutes for his last three moves, but in reality he probably had less than a minute. A digital clock would have saved that embarrassment.

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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by James Toon » Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:11 pm

The rules are silent on this in the London League and the London Civil Service League and the London Commercial League. I'm fortunate in that the teams I captain (Athenaeum in the London League, and the Home Office & Justice Chess Club in the other leagues) have their own digital clocks and use them at home matches. Other teams just seem to accept this.

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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:23 pm

We use digital clocks - and were the first to do so although now half the first division teams have them.

We sometimes get people asking to use analogue clocks. We used to agree to such requests but not now - we just use the digital ones.

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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by TomChivers » Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:16 am

I am used to analogue chess clocks and so prefer them because of that.

Also when I first used a digital chess clock in a proper game, my opponent couldn't explain to me how it worked (how you turn the time back at the time control, that kind of thing, or rather how you don't) and neither did their captain when I asked. It sort of got laughed off as if how could I not know? and I spent the game wondering if I was getting cheated somehow, which was rather distracting.

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Greg Breed
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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by Greg Breed » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:49 pm

I think digital clocks are the way forward, especially in these days of quicker time controls and rapid-play finishes.
However, I don't think either one should be more important than the other. Leave it to the leagues to decide themselves.
I wouldn't mind having all digital clocks in the leagues and tournaments i play in but i won't be fronting the bill to upgrade them from analogues...
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Ian Kingston
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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by Ian Kingston » Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:42 pm

One issue that does need to be taken into account is the special requirements of blind players. I'm not aware of a digital clock that meets their needs.

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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by David Robertson » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:00 pm

I moved a motion, in precisely the terms used by John Upham, to the 'Rules' Executive Ctte of the Merseyside CA recently. Obviously I thought it was a good idea, moving with the times and so forth, and thought the rule change would go through on the nod.

So much for my trust in rational humanity. To my astonishment, the motion was voted down heavily - following the intervention of a certain pompous and opinionated International Arbiter - in addition because most people present had never seen, far less used, a digital clock.

So we must continue to labour with absurd Garde-style clocks in time scrambles, even though my own club, Atticus, is now fully digital, and would make such clocks available in matches.

Because of conduct like this by aged, pedantic and reactionary 'officials', the modernisation and efficiency of the game is held back

David
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Sean Hewitt

Re: Using ones own clock

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:13 pm

Presumably David Atticus can use digital clocks in their home matches (the usual convention being he home team provides the kit)?

Or have they banned their use altogether?

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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by David Robertson » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:03 pm

You presume correctly. We have, and will, continue to use digital clocks for all our Div 1 & Div 2 home games. We are the only club in our league to make them available.

But my rule amendment, as you gather, was intended non-controversially to open up the possibility that we might travel with them. Or, more pertinently, an individual might bring their own digital clock to a match, and be able to play with it. I would do that because, this past season, I lost on time in a winning position to a far weaker player because we were using the large box-style Garde clocks that require a mallet to press. In a time scramble, these clocks are grossly unfit for purpose. I certainly couldn't press them effectively.

I made this point in debate to no avail. The ludricrously officious mugwump who masquerades as an International Arbiter, but not as a chess player, stated that there was nothing in the rules of chess that stipulated choice of clock. Quite what this nonsense has to do with the matter is beyond me. But this 'International Arbiter' led the meeting to conclude that my motion should fall. And with it, access to the 21st century

David

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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by John Upham » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:15 pm

David Robertson wrote: because we were using the large box-style Garde clocks that require a mallet to press. In a time scramble, these clocks are grossly unfit for purpose. I certainly couldn't press them effectively.
David
I hate using Garde clocks : they are dreadful (IMHO).

They

1. can be used as a weapon to scatter the pieces as they tend to topple over
2. have a very small target for pressing which can get stuck
3. have a tricky flag fall judging criteria meaning one studies the clock rather than the position in a time scramble.
4. They stop at random despite being wound.

An item for my Chess Room 101 along with adjournments, adjudications, abuse of the 10.2 rule...
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Ian Kingston
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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by Ian Kingston » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:26 pm

I sympathise with David Robertson and others who would prefer to play with digital clocks. Unfortunately, the conservatism within English chess runs very deep, and the fear of having to cope with something new will keep digital clocks away from the mainstream for a long time. (More practically, the cost of replacing analogue clocks will provide the necessary excuse to avoid change.)

Nevertheless, digital clocks have advantages for everyone, even without considering Fischer time controls and other clever features. You know, to the second, how much time you have left. They have nice big easy to press buttons that don't get stuck at critical moments. You don't have to lean over the board to get an idea of how much time is left. They're impossible to knock over in a time scramble. They don't quietly run down and stop mid-game. And in essence they're just clocks that count down the time in exactly the same way as analogue clocks, but with greater precision.

So this is addressed to those people who don't like digital clocks: why don't you like them? What are you frightened of?

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Greg Breed
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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by Greg Breed » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:47 pm

Ian Kingston wrote:So this is addressed to those people who don't like digital clocks: why don't you like them? What are you frightened of?
First let me reiterate I'm for digital clocks, but in the analogue defence I would say that their simplicity is the main virtue.

Say you're in an important league match and a player makes an illegal move and presses their clock. Things get tricky now because the clocks also record the number of moves to get to the next time control. Unless there's someone impartial, technically proficient enough and of course available then it can all get more problematic than necessary.

A "back one half move" or "undo last move" button somewhere would be useful in that sense.

In any case, that's one issue I can see arising.
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:19 am

Actually, for any time control that you could reasonably use an analogue clock for, a digital clock doesn't need the move-counter set. (If, say, you have a time control of 35 moves in 75 minutes, followed by a 15 minute quickplay finish, you just set the DGT at 75 minutes, with both sides' getting an extra 15 minutes when one of the clocks reaches zero.)

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Greg Breed
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Re: Using ones own clock

Post by Greg Breed » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:20 am

FM Jack Rudd wrote:Actually, for any time control that you could reasonably use an analogue clock for, a digital clock doesn't need the move-counter set. (If, say, you have a time control of 35 moves in 75 minutes, followed by a 15 minute quickplay finish, you just set the DGT at 75 minutes, with both sides' getting an extra 15 minutes when one of the clocks reaches zero.)
Oh yeah, I hadn't thought of that. However, you might actually get there sooner than you think.

E.g. The clock may think you have made 35 moves because you've had to press the clock an additional time when your opponent made an illegal move so you are both really a move behind. In this scenario the clock would give you your extra minutes despite not having made the required number of moves.

Am I missing something?...
Last edited by Greg Breed on Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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