Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

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James Toon
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by James Toon » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:23 pm

Also the Surrey League allows different time controls within the same match. One player offers two out of adjournment, adjudication and a quickplay finish, and the opponent chooses one of those two. So it's possible to have three different time controls in use. But again, clubs tend to use the same type of clock throughout, subject to available stock.

Mike Gunn
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by Mike Gunn » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:26 pm

In fact it is possible In Surrey to have 4 different time controls in a match as the quickplay finish option (30 in 60 mins +20 mins for the rest) now has an increment alternative (if both players agree + I have yet to find someone who will) - all moves in 75 minutes +10 seconds increment.

(We like to keep things complicated in Surrey.)

David Blower
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by David Blower » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:56 pm

At Brewood, the club committee have agreed to purchase one digital clock. 2 other club members have got their own digital clocks, but of course it relies on them turning up, and remembering to bring them. We have currently ordered the clock, and are awaiting its delivery.

Ideally I would have liked the club to buy about 5 or 6 (or maybe 10) clocks, but the club did not have the reserves for that.

MSoszynski
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by MSoszynski » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:45 pm

My own Club had the reasonable plan of buying a few digital clocks and then, when the funds became available, a few more. But beware! We started with the DGT2000 By the time we could afford some more the DGT2010 had been issued and the previous model was strictly unavailable. (I suppose that retailers/suppliers had their hands tied by the manufacturer/wholesalers.) So we swapped our 2000 models for 2010 ones. Now we find that the newest 2010 models (informally known as SG - Second Generation) are subtly different from the first 2010 model in both look and functions. Considering the difficulty or at least unfamiliarity that many have with these clocks, a set of completely identical digital clocks would be desirable. In my Club's experience, that is hard to achieve if clocks are bought piecemeal over several years.
Last edited by MSoszynski on Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:46 am

"In fact it is possible In Surrey to have 4 different time controls in a match as the quickplay finish option (30 in 60 mins +20 mins for the rest) now has an increment alternative (if both players agree + I have yet to find someone who will) - all moves in 75 minutes +10 seconds increment."

I think Redhill had one match with about four games using increments. A lot of people claim to be unaware it's an option. It can cause confusion setting the clocks to various modes and I fouled it up one evening. Now we have sheets available on how to set the different modes. But there are still few of us who can set the clocks...

Reg Clucas
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by Reg Clucas » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:49 pm

MSoszynski wrote: By the time we could afford some more the DGT2012 had been issued
I can't find any mention of the DGT2012 on the DGT website. Does it exist as such, or is it a 2012 update of the DGT2010?

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:09 pm

Reg Clucas wrote:
MSoszynski wrote: By the time we could afford some more the DGT2012 had been issued
I can't find any mention of the DGT2012 on the DGT website. Does it exist as such, or is it a 2012 update of the DGT2010?
I've never heard of it. The clocks I've just bought are still 2010s.

MSoszynski
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by MSoszynski » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:16 pm

Reg Clucas wrote:
MSoszynski wrote: By the time we could afford some more the DGT2012 had been issued
I can't find any mention of the DGT2012 on the DGT website. Does it exist as such, or is it a 2012 update of the DGT2010?
Sorry! I meant to be talking about the DGT 2010 and its predecessor the DGT 2000.

My point about models being superseded, and withdrawn from the market, remains.

Dragoljub Sudar
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by Dragoljub Sudar » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:04 pm

Another design flaw of the digital clock: no counter showing which time period it's in.

On Saturday evening (3rd game of the day so might have played a factor) both my opponent and I made the error of thinking we were in the 2nd time control phase when we were still in the first. We had played about 50 moves and both of us had fewer than 5 minutes left. My opponent made an illegal move. While Neil Graham was adding the extra time I offered a draw which my opponent accepted, then Neil informed us we had still been in the first time control, so there had been no need for us to rush our moves.

Although a black flag appears on one side when the display reaches 00:00 it does so for only one move, so if you fail to spot that you don't know that the time control has been reached. Yes, you should notice you've received extra time but when you're totally absorbed in your game...

At least with the analogue clock it's obvious that the flag has fallen, even moves later.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:11 pm

Dragoljub Sudar wrote:Another design flaw of the digital clock: no counter showing which time period it's in.
Assuming DGTs , if you are really familiar with the clocks, there's a small indicator hidden in the display somewhere, even on the original 1990s models. Pragmatically, I concluded the best defence against time period confusion was to write the clock times down, both at the time control and then every so often during the uncertainty period when the clock is showing misleading information about the time remaining.

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by Joey Stewart » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:55 pm

Or, even easier, don't idle your time away thinking needlessly.
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:52 pm

Dragoljub Sudar wrote:On Saturday evening (3rd game of the day so might have played a factor) both my opponent and I made the error of thinking we were in the 2nd time control phase when we were still in the first. We had played about 50 moves and both of us had fewer than 5 minutes left. My opponent made an illegal move. While Neil Graham was adding the extra time I offered a draw which my opponent accepted, then Neil informed us we had still been in the first time control, so there had been no need for us to rush our moves.
Had you stopped recording your moves?

Digital clocks are on the increase in Birmingham. My club has 12. We use them for all our home games.

The Birmingham League hasn't got over adjournments yet, so it hasn't got as far as quickplay finishes yet. When it does, I may broach the subject of increments. When I used such a clock two years ago, I offered to explain to my opposing captain how they worked. The look of horror on his face would have been less had I just taken the pin out of a grenade and offered it to him.

This notwithstanding, the Summer League has a default time control of 20 minutes plus 10 seconds per move, with two games in an evening. If there are no digital clocks, the time control is all moves in 30 minutes. The away team can bring digital clocks with them to their matches and insist on the incremental time control.

Dragoljub Sudar
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by Dragoljub Sudar » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:02 pm

I recorded 49 moves until I had about 1 1/2 minutes left. A few moves later my opponent made an illegal move when in check.

I should have noted that the playing session was scheduled to end at 10pm and it was only 9:25 (therefore the extra 15 minutes cannot have been added on) but was totally absorbed in the game so it would have been helpful for the clock to have had a counter showing '1' indicating we were still in the first time control.

In rounds 4 and 5 I wrote down the latest time the clock could add the exta 15 minutes (i.e. we started round 4 at 9:30 so I wrote 12:30 beside move 36), and I also wrote down the clock times every so often, as Roger suggests above.

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by Alistair Campbell » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:02 pm

J T Melsom wrote:Not the greatest thread title, but I am interested in the experiences of other forumites in the introduction of digital clocks particularly to club chess.
How have clubs handled the cost?

This is indeed a major expense and probably explains why relatively few clubs have them. My club in Edinburgh bought a batch (8?) of digital clocks several years ago. I think that the proposal had been trailed for a couple of years and so we had built up a little reserve, and we shopped around a bit to get a good deal, but we did take a bit of a hit financially. However, our stock of analogue clocks was beginning to exhibit operational frailty.

Have counties/leagues provided assistance?

No.

Have matches been played with a mixture of analogue and digital?

Yes. We run 2 teams in the league, and it was noticeable that initially the second team preferred to use the old analogue clocks. This was despite anecdotal evidence that at least one of the old clocks was “dodgy” in some ill-defined and unexplained way. It was never particularly clear which was the aberrant device, attempts to identify it typically being frustrated by a combination of the intermittency of the alleged fault, elementary repairs having been conducted, or a residual suspicion that the problem could be easily explained by someone simply forgetting to press it properly, or wind it up in the first place.

On the rare occasion that two matches are played simultaneously, necessity dictates that a mixture be used.

How soon after digitalisation have organisations changed rates of play if indeed such changes have been made?

Not at all. I note the Edinburgh League is proposing a modification, but that is allegedly to become more in line with other time-controls.

I am not aware of any league competition in Scotland that uses increments (although my knowledge is far from universal). Clearly the possibility of being thrown out of hard-to-find premises for over-running one’s time slot is an issue here.

I think the SNCL tried but failed to introduce increments at its recent AGM (although I wasn’t concentrating fully) but that was in the context of a two game a day schedule.

What other issues have arisen that might not be obvious to a club administrator?

My overall experience has been almost uniformly positive. Someone else programmed all the clocks with four or five common tine controls and that was pretty much that.

I think the main issue is someone neglecting to press the clock after their move, with the result that the clock's internal move counter gets out of sync with the number of moves actually made and hence very occasionally there is an erroneous “flag fall”.

The other issue is that once the time control has been reached, people unfamiliar with digitals expect something to happen, like a manual adjustment of some sort, and seem a little puzzled, after waving the device hopefully in the air for a few seconds, to be told to play on.

Although I guess clubs with digitals are still in the minority, I now find it slightly odd playing with an analogue. Certainly knowing to the second how much time one has left is far better than contorting yourself to get a good view of the flag and try to estimate the balance of time remaining.

I’m not sure if the scenario of losing on time because you get absorbed is more or less frequent with digitals, but certainly losing on time when you have overestimated the time left is much reduced.

Are there any practical suggestions for recycling the old clocks?

I think you need to keep a couple as spare, but a donation to a local school might be viewed favourably.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Digital Clocks - issues arising from introduction

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:51 pm

Dragoljub Sudar wrote:I recorded 49 moves until I had about 1 1/2 minutes left. A few moves later my opponent made an illegal move when in check.
Had the arbiter noticed, he might have intervened earlier, on the grounds that you weren't recording your moves. This would have made it clear which time period you were in!

If it was time-scramble time, which it sounds like it was, then the arbiters would quite reasonably have been watching other higher-priority time scrambles. (I.e. games where both players were well short of move 36.)

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