Should we scrap adjournments?

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David Blower
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Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by David Blower » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:21 am

I don't know about anyone else, but as much as I enjoy playing chess, I would rather have the match over in one evening. Thankfully I have never had an adjournment yet in one of my matches. However I do not see why any chess league in England needs the match to take longer than one evening. It is NOT the world championship, its simply a hobby for most of us, who probably turn up to our local club one evening a week, or sometimes if there is an away match on a different midweek evening to your club night perhaps twice a week. Most of us of working age would have real life daytime jobs.

I think we should just scrap all adjournments.

Paul Dargan
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by Paul Dargan » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:34 am

It certainly makes me less inclined to play in some leagues e.g. non-1st Div of the London Lg. Every time I turned-up this season my opponent preferred adjournment ... not what you need to hear when you live in Newcastle!

MSoszynski
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by MSoszynski » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:25 am

Abuses of the adjournment system in league chess.

Where do I start?

In a league with both rapidplay finishes and adjournments one abuse is as follows. On its travels a team offers rapidplay finishes, but when at home it always plays adjournments. This is irrespective of what the team declared at the start of the season. I have seen that happen several times. "You travel to our place twice; we travel to your place once." (It would be interesting to see whether clubs on the periphery of a league cachment area are more likely to be adjourners - or am I being too cynical?)

What's almost as bad in a mixed-finish league is that a team often doesn't know what has been decided for it. The captain hasn't consulted his players. And sometimes it is one or two officials in the club who have decided on the finish without even consulting their captains let alone their club's members. Again, I have seen that happen several times.

My own club and its members are against adjournments.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:27 am

David Blower wrote:I don't know about anyone else, but as much as I enjoy playing chess, I would rather have the match over in one evening. Thankfully I have never had an adjournment yet in one of my matches. However I do not see why any chess league in England needs the match to take longer than one evening. It is NOT the world championship, its simply a hobby for most of us, who probably turn up to our local club one evening a week, or sometimes if there is an away match on a different midweek evening to your club night perhaps twice a week. Most of us of working age would have real life daytime jobs.

I think we should just scrap all adjournments.
I've arguably been leading the campaign in the Birmingham area to get rid of them in the Birmingham League. More teams choose to play quickplay finishes than adjournments now, but the problem is, the teams who choose quickplay finishes don't turn up to the meeting to vote on the necessary rulechange proposal to change the focus.

This notwithstanding, I'm 4.5/5 in adjourned matches. The 0.5 was when I sealed a move that blundered a pawn, and my opponent agreed to a draw. Three of the others were wins either by resignation over the telephone (because the position was sufficiently lost) or by "default" (the player never turned up). I've only actually played 1 game in a resumption, which was only the other month, when I ground out a win in a completely drawn rook and pawn ending. My opponent was so desperate to adjourn, she sealed 20 minutes before time, therefore putting herself in time trouble upon the resumption. :lol:

Fundamentally, I'd have played more chess had there been quickplay finishes than adjournments.

Mick Norris
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:28 am

The Manchester League has abolished adjournments, like Alex says, you need the right people to to turn up at the AGM and vote the right way
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:42 am

I can understand the arguments against, but I'd be sad to see adjournments go. I personally have poorer results in quickplay finishes, and it feels like you are playing two games in one. The first being the game up to the time control, and then the quickplay finish. My impression from asking strong players is that they do prefer to finish on the night, but they also prefer to use a longer time control if that is available, as using an option such as 30 moves in 60 minutes and then 15 minutes quickplay finish has (with some justification) been said to be little more than a slightly longer rapidplay game. Something like 42 moves in 90 minutes gives more chance that the game will be finished before the time control.

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Greg Breed
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by Greg Breed » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:18 am

I am not in favour of adjournments purely because I play too many matches already and there are no easily available dates for resumption. Invariably, those that like adjournments are those who don't, or no longer work; or who play relatively few matches a season (e.g. <20).
Additionally, as has been mentioned above, I find that it gets abused to force an away player to return or adjudicate at their cost either way. This happens all the time in the Thames Valley League and I'm certain some clubs coach their players/captains on this. Personally I prefer the quickplay finish purely because I want to finish my game on the night it started. I have no spare time to analyse it after or even to resume it and I guess there are many others like me out there!
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MSoszynski
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by MSoszynski » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:19 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:I can understand the arguments against, but I'd be sad to see adjournments go. I personally have poorer results in quickplay finishes, and it feels like you are playing two games in one. The first being the game up to the time control, and then the quickplay finish. My impression from asking strong players is that they do prefer to finish on the night, but they also prefer to use a longer time control if that is available, as using an option such as 30 moves in 60 minutes and then 15 minutes quickplay finish has (with some justification) been said to be little more than a slightly longer rapidplay game. Something like 42 moves in 90 minutes gives more chance that the game will be finished before the time control.
A rapidplay finish may "feel like" two games in one (to you), but an adjournment and resumption really is two games.

They are played on separate occasions - you can't even be sure beforehand when the resumption will be - which is problematic for players on shifts, with family commitments, who rely on team mates for transport (i.e. who rely on team mates to have adjourned and to resume on the same date as you), etc.

All the thinking pre-adjournment is overridden by the analysis of computers and stronger players.

You are literally starting afresh.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by LawrenceCooper » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:59 am

Should we scrap adjournments?

YES.

Ever since I had a Birmingham League season where 3 matches took ten sessions I've hated the whole concept. At least it's a maximum of two sessions nowadays.

Brian Valentine
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by Brian Valentine » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:02 am

I am a strong advocate of quick play finishes. In the Beds league I'm content with 35/75+15 midweek. However I also play in the Herts League where there is a peculiar situation where there are choices between adjournment, adjudication or all moves in 80 minutes. The decision at the beginning is between traditional and quick play. In traditional, adjudication or adjournment is sorted out at the end of days play (don't start me on that one).

When I first played in the Herts League I played quick play when I could, but got poor results. I put these down to the loss of discipline in having a time control and my time being cut by 10 minutes. Reluctantly I now adopt traditional.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:10 am

MSoszynski wrote: A rapidplay finish may "feel like" two games in one (to you), but an adjournment and resumption really is two games.
I should have said that you need to adopt two different styles/speeds of play within the same game, which feels wrong. Why start out slow and then speed up? It messes up endgame play massively.
MSoszynski wrote:They are played on separate occasions - you can't even be sure beforehand when the resumption will be - which is problematic for players on shifts, with family commitments, who rely on team mates for transport (i.e. who rely on team mates to have adjourned and to resume on the same date as you), etc.
Agreed. Which is why adjournments should be rare.
MSoszynski wrote:All the thinking pre-adjournment is overridden by the analysis of computers and stronger players.

You are literally starting afresh.
That goes too far. It depends entirely on the position. If the position is so simple that computer analysis will settle the matter, then most sensible people agree the result (i.e. resign or offer a draw). If there is play in the position, it is rare to stay in computer analysis for long.

In my view, the chance to on occasion sit down and properly play out over an evening session a complex late-middlegame or endgame position outweighs the disadvantages, at least for those wanting to play those types of positions and (possibly) improve their chess.
Last edited by Christopher Kreuzer on Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:10 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote: I personally have poorer results in quickplay finishes, and it feels like you are playing two games in one. The first being the game up to the time control, and then the quickplay finish.
You don't actually need to use the intermediate time control, even where there is one. Provided you can play quickly enough to meet the intermediate control, you just pace yourself to play G/90. As digital clocks spread, the need to adopt G/90 increases as it can be difficult to program the clocks to add the time at the move count and some arbiters would prohibit this anyway. With the adding of time at seventy five minutes and players playing to a G/90 tempo, there's an extended period of the game where the clocks are indicating an incorrect time.

As others have said, the key to abolishing adjournments is for those in opposition to the practice to turn up at club and league AGMs and vote them out of existence. You might have to vote the office holders in favour of them out of office as well.

One league I play in was required to reinstate them. A cunning rule change kept them at bay though. The default position is play to a finish on the night. If both players demand an adjournment, this substitutes for play to a finish only if they can agree to the place and time of resumption before the game commences.

Sometimes the history of league rule changes comes into it. I don't know what Birmingham did, but forty years ago, the London League was quite unique in having adjournments, so you had to be able to play chess up to move 54. In other leagues such as Bucks, Berks or the Thames Valley, you could get away with only be able to play chess up to move 30 or 36. It was to stop the practice of sitting on the position for adjudication that leagues like Bucks, Berks or Thames Valley adopted the right to continue the game after three hours. Bucks and Berks have long since had AGM majorities to make on the night finishes the default whilst the Thames Valley clings to its triple option rules. In the Thames Valley, you can force a single session game, but you risk your opponent selecting the option to end the game at move 36 and have the rest of the game inferred by a computer engine.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:16 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:In the Thames Valley, you can force a single session game, but you risk your opponent selecting the option to end the game at move 36 and have the rest of the game inferred by a computer engine.
Rest of the game? Really?

An important distinction between the Thames Valley League and the London League is that the TVL has the option to force adjudication at a move (I forget the number, it can depend on the initial time control used) at the end of the second session. The London League can carry on indefinitely, as I once experienced to my unconfined joy over some four sessions for a single game. I'm only being slightly sarcastic here, as I won that game. But it was much more pleasant to play a 100+ move game at a steady pace, rather than blitzing out the moves in the last five minutes (and not recording the moves) or doing so on a 30-second increment. I think adjournments and correspondence chess are the last places where this is actually possible in modern chess.

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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:27 am

MSoszynski wrote: What's almost as bad in a mixed-finish league is that a team often doesn't know what has been decided for it. The captain hasn't consulted his players. And sometimes it is one or two officials in the club who have decided on the finish without even consulting their captains let alone their club's members. Again, I have seen that happen several times.
That is a quirk of your local rules which gives undue influence to whoever sets club or team policy. Elsewhere it was usually up to individuals to decide on the night.

There's something of a rural/urban divide in that the more rural in character a league, the more likely it is to have long since abolished both adjudications and adjournments. Mid-Sussex are an exception, they haven't adopted adjournments for travelling reasons amongst others but cling resolutely to the adjudication concept.

Looking at it with a clean sheet, you have to devise a rate of play for a session lasting around 180 minutes. Do you elect to play a whole game in that time, half a game and come back for the other half next week or half a game and leave the other half unplayed?

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Should we scrap adjournments?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:35 am

Roger de Coverly wrote: Looking at it with a clean sheet, you have to devise a rate of play for a session lasting around 180 minutes. Do you elect to play a whole game in that time, half a game and come back for the other half next week or half a game and leave the other half unplayed?
It is slightly more complex than that. If you do anything other than finish on the night, you need to recognise that while every game potentially carries on, in practice only some do. So you have to factor in whether people who play 1 game a year are willing to risk that one game being adjourned, or people who play 30 times a year willing to play on in (say) five of those games. The one argument against adjournments I've not been able to answer to my own satisfaction is those complex mating attacks that occur at the point of adjournment and are decided by computers. That is wrong, I agree.

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