Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Mick Norris
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:13 am

AustinElliott wrote:
Mick Norris wrote:Chorlton play Stockport League, Manchester League and Summer League so you must have 3 "normal" settings as there are different time controls in each league
Good point, but.. I don't think there's been a Chorlton home fixture in the Stockport League yet this season, so no-one's had to set increments. Could be a bit of a train wreck tomorrow night...
Altrincham want to play increments in the Manchester League, and Urmston agreed but Bury :oops: and Chorlton (twice) did not

Hopefully playing in the Stockport League will help make it more widespread in the Manchester League
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by MartinCarpenter » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:32 am

Think we've refused someone else increments in the Manchester league too. Might have to complain if such tendencies continue :)

People refusing to use a digital clock at all? That really is impressively luddite :) There's a few reasonable arguments against incremental controls but anyone actively preferring to use a rickety anologue deserves to have their flag fall a minute early or something!

Clive Blackburn

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Clive Blackburn » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:48 am

MartinCarpenter wrote: People refusing to use a digital clock at all? That really is impressively luddite :) There's a few reasonable arguments against incremental controls but anyone actively preferring to use a rickety anologue deserves to have their flag fall a minute early or something!
I think the problem is that they just don't understand how digital clocks work. The usual argument is that the extra time is not added on at the first time control (as it would be with an analogue clock) and so they are unclear how much time is remaining.

In our match last Tuesday we were at home and provided digital clocks but 2 of the 4 players in the visiting team asked for analogue instead.

J T Melsom
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by J T Melsom » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:23 pm

Clive - having now used DGTs in all club home fixtures, I am now more sympathetic to those who are confused by the delay in adding the time. But this is ultimately a question of familiarity, and people won't become familiar if they don't use the clocks. I don't think we should underestimate the impact of even relatively modest change, but nor should we be hostage to innate conservatism.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:24 pm

"So I went back to the league and they said: "we don't want it anyway, nobody could set the clock"."

Usual daft delegates. It could have remained as an option where clubs or players agreed beforehand.

"Would that be the league whose rules say "Where digital clocks are offered, either player may insist on the use of an analogue clock."? If so, are you surprised by the response you got?"

That decision was to spite Coulsdon who were the first to use digital clocks and had the annoying habit of winning all the trophies.

It was also the league where the option of having QP finishes by agreement was blocked by people who didn't like QP. I pointed out mildly that if you didn't like QP you didn't have to have them - that's what "agreement" meant. The noisiest idiot (who said "QP ruins the game") played against Redhill IV the next season and was on move 55 after 90 minutes play... QP start obviously wasn't a problem!

When the new Laws came in, I mentioned appendix G4 and G5 at the start of tournaments, just to observe a sea of puzzled faces wondering what I was talking about. In a tournament, suddenly changing clocks is not really an option, as whilst you're setting the clock, half a dozen other problems will occur.

I played without increment a few weeks ago and wondered why I hadn't gained time, despite making 4 or 5 quick moves!

Gareth T Ellis
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Gareth T Ellis » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:21 pm

Excluding the makes that aren't suitable for regular heavy usage including QP finishes, digitals are now the same price or cheaper than analogues, and still dropping in price whereas the analogue's price will start to rise due to smaller more expensive production runs.

Even the xenophobic/techno-phobic clubs will be dragged into the modern era or pay over the odds when replacing equipment.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:41 am

We did use increments in the end, because I set them. Which confirmed my previous prejudices really - the interfaces on these things are objectively terrible. You can learn to use them by knowing which program then what each thing you're clicking through means but that's about it.

In fact with how tech has gone, its also cruel and unusual to have to set each clock for a match/tournament individually - build a simple application on a mobile phone for setting up a time control and synchronise the clock(s) using that. Basically free in terms of component costs/programming time.

Not that I'm holding my breath :)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:11 am

MartinCarpenter wrote: build a simple application on a mobile phone for setting up a time control and synchronise the clock(s) using that. Basically free in terms of component costs/programming time.
Just use borrow the phone to use as the chess clock. There are several apps available that cope with one session time controls, with and without increment.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:29 am

You really wouldn't want to be bashing on a normal mobile the way you can on these chess clocks :) The physical design of DGT's is very good indeed.

Totally dumb clocks linked to a mobile each perhaps, but the sort of intelligence that is in a chess clock is basically free in terms of components nowadays so there really isn't any reason not to have multiple slightly intelligent clocks with one mobile setting their initial time control.

AustinElliott
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by AustinElliott » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:55 am

MartinCarpenter wrote:We did use increments in the end, because I set them. Which confirmed my previous prejudices really - the interfaces on these things are objectively terrible....
...Note that we did lose a game (and the match) arguably because our player wasn't familiar with how the increments work on the clock -he lost on time when his clock hit zero, but clearly thought it was going to add 10 sec on and let him keep playing.

Which highlights two things that have already been said.

First, players are bound to be resistant to things they're unfamiliar with, with some justification (see e.g. above story, or tales of demon juniors 'flagging' etc.). We've also had people insisting on mechanical clocks, in matches and in the club rapid play tournaments, for the same basic reason that they aren't used to them.

Two, only actually using increments will make players more familiar with them.

Related to the latter, we got past most of the doubts about digital clocks a couple of years ago by buying more of them and encouraging people to use them in the club rapid-plays and for casual games. Suspect wider acceptance of increments among ordinary club players who don't play in congresses (where increments are more common) will require something similar.

There are, however, inevitably going to be teething troubles. For instance, we currently have in Greater Manchester at least three leagues all using different time controls. Thus Manchester Winter League (30/75+20min to finish, option for increments by mutual consent), Stockport League (80 min + 10sec increment, option for game in 90 min) and the Summer League (game in 75 min). Hardly surprising some people get confused....

Brian Valentine
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Brian Valentine » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:15 am

Slightly off topic, but something happened on a digital clock last night that has never been seen on an analogue.

In away game digital clocks were clearly set for the first league time control. Absolutely no problem till my opponent started thinking about his sealed move (I know!). After a few minutes writing down all the closing details I looked up and noticed that his clock was ADDING time (one second at a time). We resolved the situation amicably, but the later time controls are not something that I would have thought of checking too deeply.

Mick Norris
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:34 am

AustinElliott wrote:There are, however, inevitably going to be teething troubles. For instance, we currently have in Greater Manchester at least three leagues all using different time controls. Thus Manchester Winter League (30/75+20min to finish, option for increments by mutual consent), Stockport League (80 min + 10sec increment, option for game in 90 min) and the Summer League (game in 75 min). Hardly surprising some people get confused....
The MCF recommendation for increments is 30/60+15 min to finish, with 15 sec increments from move 1, as I picked up a general feeling that the 10 sec increment used in the Stockport League wasn't enough - to be clear, as long as increments are used, I don't care what time control is agreed, the Manchester League has always left this at the discretion of the teams

To the best of my knowledge, before digital clocks the time controls in the 3 leagues you mentioned were different from each other anyway (the Summer League always being quicker at 30/60+15 min finish), and indeed the Bury & Rochdale League, Bolton League, Central Lancs League, East Lancs League etc often had different time limits

We coped for years with sitting down asking "what's the time control tonight" for those of us who played in multiple leagues, I don't think digital clocks should be blamed for player ignorance now :roll:
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:47 am

Brian Valentine wrote:After a few minutes writing down all the closing details I looked up and noticed that his clock was ADDING time (one second at a time).
I think that's the Scrabble setting. I gather that if you run out of time in Scrabble, you don't lose, but the extra time counts against you in the scoring.

If the League rules allow "playing for ever at x moves per hour", I don't think the newer digital clocks support this. Using the Scrabble setting might even make sense, so as to indirectly capture the clock time for the second session.

With all the modes of the digital clocks, the one very simple one they don't have is double clock mode. You just set a time and the clock adds seconds depending on which side is running.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:50 am

Depends what you're after with the increment. The 10 sec in the Stockport league is definitely enough to not lose on time when not thinking which is the big thing. Tricky to live off perhaps. Fundamentally of course, the playing session in evening leagues isn't really enough to hope for 'good' endings whatever you do.

I get thoroughly confused by all the time controls :) Quite recently I actually managed to set all the anologue clocks for a match to 1:15 rather than 1:45. It took about 5 minutes of play before anyone spotted it!

Reg Clucas
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Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Reg Clucas » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:24 am

MartinCarpenter wrote:Depends what you're after with the increment. The 10 sec in the Stockport league is definitely enough to not lose on time when not thinking which is the big thing.
No-one is going to play their best chess at 10, 15 or even 30 second increments. The main thing is to avoid the injustices and disputes which can occur in a 'guillotine' finish, and 10 seconds is adequate for this.

Glad to see at least one person at Chorlton knows how to set the clocks!

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