Problem with digital clock

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Robert Stokes
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Re: Problem with digital clock

Post by Robert Stokes » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:50 pm

Thank you for the replies. I only took over this team recently and I am quickly learning that there is more involved than just getting players to the right place at the right time on the right day.

While discussing DGT 2010's (and possibly other digital clocks) I think they have one design fault. After one player gets down to zero time and the 15 or 20 minutes is added a black flag appears to indicate this fact but it is only displayed for 2 or 3 minutes. If a player does not look at the clock during this short time then they can think that the 15 or 20 minutes has not yet been added. This happened to someone in our club last year. I realise that the player should notice that he has a lot more time than a few minutes ago but while considering moves to play this may not come to mind quickly.

Surely the answer if for the black flag to be displayed during the whole of the final period and then to flash when someone gets down to zero again.

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Problem with digital clock

Post by Joey Stewart » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:52 pm

Alistair Campbell wrote: Indeed. I witnessed such an unfortunate/amusing incident last night. White was queen for knight up, but black had a pawn on the seventh. With both players apparently having less than 5 minutes left, they started blitzing - in desperation W gave up Q for [edit]P, leaving him with K+3 v K+N. White managed to queen a pawn leaving him K+Q v K+N as his time ran out. Only it didn't, as the clock added on another 20* minutes each. White was so surprised he promptly walked into a fork.
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I can definitely attest to that being a problem, last 4ncl I played I got past the time control in a slightly tricky endgame and rushed a move thinking I only had 10 seconds left, which cost me a pawn and the game. Seen it happen in multiple other games on digital clocks.
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Problem with digital clock

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:56 pm

Robert Stokes wrote: I realise that the player should notice that he has a lot more time than a few minutes ago but while considering moves to play this may not come to mind quickly.
You could remind players that it's legal to use the scoresheet to record clock times and that they should do so at the first time control and periodically afterwards to remind themselves whether the clock is showing a true or false indication of the time remaining.

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Problem with digital clock

Post by Alistair Campbell » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:57 pm

Thanks for your responses. It would appear that the captain, had he not been involved in his own time-scramble, could not have legitimately intervened on this, and presumably would have had to bite his tongue.

Joey – I’m not sure if you are describing blundering on move 41 (say) as you have squeezed in an extra move to be extra sure of reaching the intermediate control, or whether you thought you were in the final phase. Sometimes the clock isn’t pressed properly and so only 39 moves have been recorded instead of the actual 40, which can cause problems.
Roger de Coverly wrote: I had a recent opponent cease scoring in one of my games shortly after the intermediate time control. Perhaps I should have objected, but it transpired he had overlooked that additional time was about to be added.
Reading 8.4 isn’t it actually permitted for someone to stop recording if their display shows less than 5 minutes (although they have to make up their scoresheet later)?
Brian Towers wrote:If you are playing seriously enough to have two time periods (but why are you not then avoiding these problems by using increments) then you should be playing seriously enough to obey 8.5c even in more normal situations.
A couple of different points here. We are years off using increments in league chess IMO. There is enormous resistance to change, particularly amongst older players (and I guess the average age of league players is rising). More practically, many premises have “kick-out” times that must be strictly observed; people also like getting home before midnight. In some ways it is the opposite of the adjournment argument, which was partly summed up as providing certainty at the expense of quality.

There is a line between applying strict rules, and a “common-sense” application that doesn’t interfere with enjoyment. Strictness and playing standard are probably correlated. For example, last night, I also witnessed:

One player repeatedly forgetting to press his clock;
One player offering a draw out of turn (and being told of his error)
The player’s opponent then proceeding to offer a draw out of turn
One player stopping recording when his opponent was down to less than 5 minutes
One player playing with a mobile phone, before getting their photo taken (so maybe it was just a camera that looked like a Samsung Galaxy)
One player recording the game in a scorebook

I suspect this level of irregularity is unusual – perhaps there was a slight end of term feeling to it. Mostly this is self-policed by the players concerned. And we all had fun. But when can an arbiter intervene? If a player starts off not recording any moves at all?

I thought of another incident in the game referenced before. White had pawns on f5 and g5, and played h2-h5. This was spotted. Black may have requested a two minute addition under 7.5b which would have allowed an arbiter to intervene. Could an astute captain have replaced the digital clock with an analogue, adjusted for the time control having been reached and thus conveyed this information to his team mate?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Problem with digital clock

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:17 pm

Alistair Campbell wrote: Reading 8.4 isn’t it actually permitted for someone to stop recording if their display shows less than 5 minutes (although they have to make up their scoresheet later)?
My understanding of 8.4 is that it applies in the run up to an intermediate time control. I don't see that an incorrect display of the time remaining on the clock is an excuse to not record the moves once the intermediate time control has been passed.
Alistair Campbell wrote: We are years off using increments in league chess IMO.

Leagues that dumped adjudications and adjournments years ago are now adopting increment move rates. 80 minutes with 10 second increments seems to work fairly well. Over 60 moves that's a pace of play equivalent to all the moves in 90. Note that you don't have a confusing intermediate time control, so what it says on the clock is what you have left. If venue closing times are a bit tight, 10 minutes can be shaved off the playing session by using 75 minutes instead of 80. The later versions of DGT are discretely counting the number of times they are pressed, so give a means of validating draws by the 50 move rule.

NickFaulks
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Re: Problem with digital clock

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:32 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote: I've come to the reluctant conclusion that if arbiters are unwilling to allow clocks to be programmed to act on the number of times they have been pressed.
The trouble is that there are so many reasons why the number of clock presses often does not equal the number of moves played ( or is that just in my games? ).
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Ian Thompson
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Re: Problem with digital clock

Post by Ian Thompson » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:10 pm

Alistair Campbell wrote:Indeed. I witnessed such an unfortunate/amusing incident last night. White was queen for knight up, but black had a pawn on the seventh. With both players apparently having less than 5 minutes left, they started blitzing - in desperation W gave up Q for [edit]P, leaving him with K+3 v K+N. White managed to queen a pawn leaving him K+Q v K+N as his time ran out. Only it didn't, as the clock added on another 20* minutes each. White was so surprised he promptly walked into a fork.
I've seen this happen in a tournament with an arbiter watching. He didn't intervene, correctly in my view. With both player making mostly very bad moves, interrupting the game would have given the player to move a huge advantage, as he would then have been able to take his time and find a good move.
Alistair Campbell wrote:This raises a question - in lieu of an arbiter, could the captain have advised both players that they must maintain an up to date scoresheet (and in effect advise his player to slow down, take his time, and work out the win)?
No, for the reasons stated above, if he's properly fulfilling his responsibilities as an unbiased arbiter.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Problem with digital clock

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:49 pm

NickFaulks wrote: The trouble is that there are so many reasons why the number of clock presses often does not equal the number of moves played ( or is that just in my games? ).
The more recent clocks can tell you what they reckon is the move number. Just compare this to the score sheet. On increments you should reset the clock anyway if it's been pressed too many times so as to remove the spurious additional time.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Problem with digital clock

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:25 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Alistair Campbell wrote:Indeed. I witnessed such an unfortunate/amusing incident last night. White was queen for knight up, but black had a pawn on the seventh. With both players apparently having less than 5 minutes left, they started blitzing - in desperation W gave up Q for [edit]P, leaving him with K+3 v K+N. White managed to queen a pawn leaving him K+Q v K+N as his time ran out. Only it didn't, as the clock added on another 20* minutes each. White was so surprised he promptly walked into a fork.
I've seen this happen in a tournament with an arbiter watching. He didn't intervene, correctly in my view. With both player making mostly very bad moves, interrupting the game would have given the player to move a huge advantage, as he would then have been able to take his time and find a good move.
That kind of situation can be very problematic for the arbiter, particularly with a mechanical clock.

Suppose that Player A has four minutes in which to complete the game, while Player B has an hour and four minutes.

A stops recording, as he is quite entitled to do. Then B also stops recording.

Do you intervene and tell B that he must keep score, or do you do nothing?

If you intervene, only to find that B had not realised that he had a further hour, you have inadvertently helped B and thus been unfair to A.

If you do nothing, and B is therefore able to blitz his way to a win or a draw in contravention of the Laws, you have been unfair to A then also.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Problem with digital clock

Post by David Sedgwick » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:10 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:There was an (amusing for those watching, less amusing for those playing) incident in a recent match (I won't name it) ...
However, subsequent posts made it rather easy to identify the match in question.

Nick Grey
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Re: Problem with digital clock

Post by Nick Grey » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:17 pm

The subsequent posts are helpful. There is no complaint & situation was fine. It was an analogue clock.

Someone was quoting this at a match v Mushrooms last night. Also a few players asking about my health from both teams. Shame you were not there.
The point was quite clear - I'm not playing quickplay with an analogue clock & as evens are slowplay in this league that is what we are playing.
I'm quite OK with analysing over the w/e as I have to play on (losing 5-3 with 2 games playing on).

David Sedgwick
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Re: Problem with digital clock

Post by David Sedgwick » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:10 pm

Nick Grey wrote:Someone was quoting this at a match v Mushrooms last night. Also a few players asking about my health from both teams. Shame you were not there.
Had I been there, I would of course have joined those asking how you were.

I wasn't there because I am not currently eligible to play for Mushrooms 2. My grade has risen to a level which has necessitated my becoming a nominated player for Mushrooms 1.

That of course is a situation which I can only address by accident rather than by design.

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