How to improve digital chess clocks

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DavidLevyLondon
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How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by DavidLevyLondon » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:04 pm

I would like to collect suggestions for improving the digital chess clocks which are currently on the market.

All ideas will be gratefully received and considered.

Many thanks.

David Levy

Roger de Coverly
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:13 pm

DavidLevyLondon wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:04 pm
I would like to collect suggestions for improving the digital chess clocks which are currently on the market.
Display the press counter at all times and enable it to be adjusted if out of synchronisation with the score sheets.

Allow a move rate which adds increments only in the last two or five minutes. The idea of this is for Leagues or "fast" Congresses where you play all the moves in 90 minutes but wish to prevent as far as possible games overrunning their time slot whilst eliminating "unable to win" claims.

Nick Burrows
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by Nick Burrows » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:25 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:13 pm

Allow a move rate which adds increments only in the last two or five minutes. The idea of this is for Leagues or "fast" Congresses where you play all the moves in 90 minutes but wish to prevent as far as possible games overrunning their time slot whilst eliminating "unable to win" claims.
This is an excellent solution for evening league chess. The Oxfordshire league came very close to changing to an increment, but narrowly chose not to - in part due to the difficulty of finding a suitable control.

Don't the latest DGT clocks have this feature? In the armageddon playoff in the IOM yesterday, the increment started at move 60 i believe.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by Alex McFarlane » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:25 pm

Hi Nick,
The DGTs do not do what Roger suggests.
They can be set by giving an initial increment of 0 which is changed for the second session. The second session will start either when the clock has been pressed x times or when the first clock reaches 0.

The closest that current clocks can achieve would be, for example,
Initial time 88 minutes and increment 0. Move counter set to 00 (ie second session starts when first clock reaches 0).
Second session is set for 2 minutes with 2 second increments.
This would achieve what Roger has suggested but is a very awkward way of doing itas a player has to 'run out of time' before getting his last 2 minutes and the increment.

Peter Shaw
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by Peter Shaw » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:15 pm

Why not use the byo-yomi setting? E.g. All moves in 90 minutes and once you run out of time you get 5 seconds per move for the rest of the game. I've always thought this was the ideal solution but for some reason it's never been tried. No 10.2 nonsense and the playing session isn't going to be extended by very much, for example if the clock reaches 0 for both players at move 60 then a 150 move game extends the session by a maximum of 15 minutes.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by Alex McFarlane » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:23 pm

In answer to the original question-

The time control set is visible - not just the mode number chosen (possibly at press of a button)
It is clear which session the clock is in
Move counter visible at all times
Quiet rocker arm even if hit hard
Rocker arm which shows who is on the move easily from a distance. (Eg the Leap clock has a body of one colour with a rocker arm which is second colour on top but the sides are a third colour. A stripe is thereby shown on the clock running.)
‘Add minute’ button on underside which allows arbiter to add penalties but players cannot without lifting clock. Ideally if this is pressed an ‘illegal move’ icon will show on the clock.
Ideally come with an app which allows time control to be set on a computer/mobile and at the press of a button sent to all clocks in ‘reset mode’. Also easily set manually.
Retains a number of settings which can be chosen easily (for clubs playing in different leagues for example)
Body shape which is stable but stackable
Will attach to DGT sensory boards
Cost no more than £30

Roger de Coverly
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:35 pm

Alex McFarlane wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:23 pm
Quiet rocker arm even if hit hard
If it has a mechanical arm rather than a touch screen or pad (like a phone or Chronos clock), a feature that if the clock is hit so hard that it dislodges the battery connection, that the times on the clocks are retrievable. Or more generally, when you switch a clock off and on, it doesn't automatically reboot.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by Alex McFarlane » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:23 pm

A very valid point from Roger about retaining time which was a problem with the early DGT XLs.
The touch sensitive Chronos clocks seem to have a mixed reaction with many preferring the models with buttons. I've heard of a few cracked screens from people using their phones as a clock. How do you stop someone hitting it with a piece when short of time?
If they don't have buttons or a rocker arm then how do you show which clock is running? The Saitek with the button illuminating option quickly had that option ignored in clubs which use them as it was distracting.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:39 pm

Alex McFarlane wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:23 pm
If they don't have buttons or a rocker arm then how do you show which clock is running? The Saitek with the button illuminating option quickly had that option ignored in clubs which use them as it was distracting.
You would have to have an illuminated button, which as suggested might be a problem. .

shaunpress
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by shaunpress » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:31 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:13 pm

Allow a move rate which adds increments only in the last two or five minutes. The idea of this is for Leagues or "fast" Congresses where you play all the moves in 90 minutes but wish to prevent as far as possible games overrunning their time slot whilst eliminating "unable to win" claims.
I'm not sure if I've misunderstood this point, but this feature already exists on various DGT models. The FIDE time setting (as opposed to Fischer or Bronstein) only adds an increment once time has expired on one of the clocks. Referring to another discussion here, Australian events used to use G/60m followed by 10s increment, in part because it was a default setting on early DGT clocks. But we dropped it because we had too many issues of players getting to 0, receiving an extra 10 seconds (or 30 seconds depending on) and then flagging. At this point the player would claim that they did not receive the extra time and the clock was at fault.

But to answer the original request. The ability to set the clocks via bluetooth/wifi from a central computer would be a great help for arbiters of large tournaments. Of course security measures (password or pin) would need to be built in to prevent electronic tampering. A starting point for experimentation of this feature could be here http://omzlo.com/articles/the-game-clock (NB I'm not endorsing this product in anyway)

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JustinHorton
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:06 pm

I'm aware I'm probably overcomplicating here, but could the I-never-got-my-extra-time problem be addressed by giving people a bigger initial chunk, e.g. you get an extra minute and then ten seconds a pop?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Roger de Coverly
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:46 pm

shaunpress wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:31 pm
I'm not sure if I've misunderstood this point, but this feature already exists on various DGT models.
Could you quote the setting number, or the parameters that need to be set to enable it?

Basically I would see it as G/90 without increment, but with an automatic clock substitution to add an increment when one of the players reaches 120 or perhaps 600 seconds remaining. It's not so very different from 80 10, which has become an evening league rate in the UK, but you get less of an overrun if someone decides to play out KRB v KR or similar endings.

Nick Grey
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by Nick Grey » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:56 pm

They need to be bash proofed from thumping, cheap, and materials that are environmentally friendly.
With Brexit on the horizon I would like to see UK manufacture & UK apprentices.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:58 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:46 pm
shaunpress wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:31 pm
I'm not sure if I've misunderstood this point, but this feature already exists on various DGT models.
Could you quote the setting number, or the parameters that need to be set to enable it?

Basically I would see it as G/90 without increment, but with an automatic clock substitution to add an increment when one of the players reaches 120 or perhaps 600 seconds remaining. It's not so very different from 80 10, which has become an evening league rate in the UK, but you get less of an overrun if someone decides to play out KRB v KR or similar endings.
On a DGT 2010, you can use mode 12. Set the first time period to 1:28 with the move counter off. Then set the second time period to add 0 minutes and a 2-second increment per move. I've just successfully tested that on a DGT 2010, but it's important to note one thing. As soon as the first player goes through the 88 minutes, then the other player will get the 2-second increment too.

shaunpress
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Re: How to improve digital chess clocks

Post by shaunpress » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:07 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:46 pm
shaunpress wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:31 pm
I'm not sure if I've misunderstood this point, but this feature already exists on various DGT models.
Could you quote the setting number, or the parameters that need to be set to enable it?

On the older DGT 2000 models it was setting 12 (FIDE Rapid 60m followed by 10s per move)
This setting has disappeared on the new models, but can be implemented using a manual 'Fischer' setting of having a fixed time for the first time control (eg All in 60m) and then a 'Fischer' setting for the second time control eg 0m+10 second increment.
To solve the issue of players not noticing the extra time, then the second time control could well start with 1m+10s per move (as suggested by others). I've tested this on the DGT XL and it does work.

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