Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

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Ian Thompson
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Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:49 pm

The time limit for the games was 40 moves in 90 minutes, then 30 minutes to finish the game, with a 30 seconds increment from move 1.

After about 50 minutes play Black noticed that his clock was showing 1 hour 30 minutes remaining and White's clock was showing 40 minutes remaining. 14 moves had been played.

Clearly, something is not right because the total elapsed time on both clocks should be 36 minutes, not 50 minutes. That suggests that the increment had not been added. If the increment hadn't been added then Black's remaining time wasn't plausible because it ought to be less than the starting time.

Black called the arbiter. The arbiter found that the clock, a DGT model, needed an unusually firm press on the white side to stop White's clock and start Black's. White hadn't pressed it hard enough so his clock had been running for the entire game.

What should the arbiter do?

Michael Flatt
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by Michael Flatt » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:19 pm

The most important information is missing - What did the Arbiter do and did both players accept his decision?

If the equipment is faulty it should be replaced ! The Arbiter should set time remaining on each players clock as his thinks appropriate.

Is that what happened?

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:30 pm

We seem to have no evidence as to how much time each player actually spent, so I'd get a new clock and set it to 72' + 30' +30"/move, or, if you're using the move counter, 26/72' + G/30' + 30"/move.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:39 am

Michael Flatt wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:19 pm
The most important information is missing - What did the Arbiter do and did both players accept his decision?
You don't need to know that when the question is what should the arbiter have done. I'll tell you what he actually did (which was a reasonable decision under the circumstances, in my opinion) when people have had time to comment on the original question.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:41 am

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:30 pm
We seem to have no evidence as to how much time each player actually spent, so I'd get a new clock and set it to 72' + 30' +30"/move, or, if you're using the move counter, 26/72' + G/30' + 30"/move.
Correct, there was no evidence. However, both players agreed that White had spent longer than Black thinking about his moves, but neither player could quantify how much longer.

E Michael White
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by E Michael White » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:09 am

Did the arbiter subsequently replace the clock?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:44 am

Michael Flatt wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:19 pm
If the equipment is faulty it should be replaced !
It's one of those little things you can do, namely watch that the clock is counting down before making your first move. If there's no increment it drops immediately from say 1:30 to 1:29. With an increment you have to wait for the period of the increment for this to register, so perhaps you check for the setting being correct that your time has increased.

One other job for the away match captain, to check that the home team have used a correct setting for the time rate in use.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by Roger Lancaster » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:51 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:44 am
One other job for the away match captain, to check that the home team have used a correct setting for the time rate in use.
Entirely correct, of course, but doesn't work too well when many team captains remain blissfully unaware of the workings of digital clocks.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:45 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:51 am
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:44 am
One other job for the away match captain, to check that the home team have used a correct setting for the time rate in use.
Entirely correct, of course, but doesn't work too well when many team captains remain blissfully unaware of the workings of digital clocks.
If that's really true, it's a ridiculous state of affairs.

I have been very reluctant to accept that increasing the use of digital clocks will cause greater problems in England than it has done in other countries, including chess developing nations.

Unfortunately there seems to be some evidence that such is the case.
Last edited by David Sedgwick on Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:53 pm

One thing I would encourage all team captains who have digital clocks to do is practice how to set clock times as preparation for eventualities such as needing to replace a clock, or add time to a clock. I have seen several cases in recent seasons (more as digital clocks get used more) where time needed to be added to a clock after an illegal move, and it took some time for this to be done. As the player involved in more than one such case (both involving a different model of digital clock), it is quite difficult to sit there and wait while people try and work out what to do (it is difficult for the captains as well, as it puts a lot of pressure on them). It is something I would struggle to do quickly and accurately. Noting the clock times is essential in case anything goes wrong!

(Maybe players should learn how to do this as well, and offer to reset the clock times in such cases?)

David Sedgwick
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:57 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:41 am
IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:30 pm
We seem to have no evidence as to how much time each player actually spent, so I'd get a new clock and set it to 72' + 30' +30"/move, or, if you're using the move counter, 26/72' + G/30' + 30"/move.
Correct, there was no evidence. However, both players agreed that White had spent longer than Black thinking about his moves, but neither player could quantify how much longer.
Recommended practice in this situation is to try and give each player slighly more time than he would have had had nothing gone wrong.

I would be inclined to give White 72' and Black 82', thus lengthening the proceedings by ten minutes.

J T Melsom
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by J T Melsom » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:02 pm

I don't think it is fair to depict long-serving chess administrators as ignorant or stupid. In the Bucks League four of the seven clubs own digital clocks, capable of being set for a guillotine finish, a fifth has purchased digital clocks which would require manual addition of said time. And when playing a match at one of the four clubs, there are plenty of both players and team captains still unsure of what to do. At least one club probably won't use any of their clocks purchased through the FIDE offer in matches this season because of wariness about the method of operation, whilst their use at other clubs may be limited to the right person being available. I doubt its a shires v metropolitan thing, but it is a not insignificant issue.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:12 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:53 pm

(Maybe players should learn how to do this as well, and offer to reset the clock times in such cases?)
On the DGT2010 model, there is a straightforward way of adding time, but the instructions to do this are buried deep in the manual. From memory it involves pressing one of the buttons, probably the start/stop button for about 10 seconds to invoke the mode. The second idea is just to reboot the clock by switching it off and setting the new times remaining by hand. If you are in the second session, that's going to involve switching mode. But there again mode 1 is 5 minute which could be set to any sudden death you wanted it to be.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:29 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:02 pm
I don't think it is fair to depict long-serving chess administrators as ignorant or stupid.
Fair enough. I withdraw and apologise for that part of my comments.

J T Melsom wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:02 pm
In the Bucks League four of the seven clubs own digital clocks, capable of being set for a guillotine finish, a fifth has purchased digital clocks which would require manual addition of said time. And when playing a match at one of the four clubs, there are plenty of both players and team captains still unsure of what to do. At least one club probably won't use any of their clocks purchased through the FIDE offer in matches this season because of wariness about the method of operation, whilst their use at other clubs may be limited to the right person being available. I doubt its a shires v metropolitan thing, but it is a not insignificant issue.
A player could borrow a clock for a week, or come in on an evening when he was not playing, and spend thirty minutes to an hour (maximum) learning what to do. Is that unreasonable or impractical?

J T Melsom wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:02 pm
In the Bucks League four of the seven clubs own digital clocks, capable of being set for a guillotine finish, a fifth has purchased digital clocks which would require manual addition of said time.
I'm sorry, but for a club to have purchased clocks not designed for the typical requirements of League chess does seem to me to have been rather unwise, unless they never intended to use them for matches.

J T Melsom
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Re: Clock Problem - What Should the Arbiter Do?

Post by J T Melsom » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:52 pm

David',
I think there may be scope for more tuition so your idea may be worth considering at the relevant clubs - whether clubs would permit clocks to go off site is more questionable, you wouldn't be sure the clock would come back the next week for a match. As for the club that purchased the 'wrong' clocks I'm pretty sure they just wanted some cheap clocks for quick chess, so snapped up some of those. They may even have pre-dated the league rule changes on use of digitals. My post really just wanted to highlight the inertia that still exists to change in some areas and the relatively limited exposure to digital clocks in some areas. As I may have mentioned before, my club accepted the case for DGTs ahead of most (we have some reserves and the analogue clocks were getting unreliable), but I had to withdraw a motion to use increments in our internal club event.

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