DGT/FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highly reduced rate

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Paul McKeown
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DGT/FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highly reduced rate

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:36 pm

What do people think of the ethics and legality of this action?

John Swain
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by John Swain » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:02 pm

For more details of this offer, see: http://www.englishchess.org.uk/new-dgt-clocks/

NickFaulks
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:25 pm

I spoke at length to the DGT man, and I think the title of this thread is completely wrong. It's not a FIDE offer in any way, it's a DGT offer. He has decided that chess must be viewed as a game played with digital clocks, and is willing to cut his profit margins to purchasers in all parts of the world in order to achieve this. Everyone was stunned by this announcement, and he was besieged by people wanting to check that it was not a misunderstanding.

I think he has made this a wonderful offer, and do not see how it can imaginably be considered unethical. As for illegal, words fail me. I hope this speeds the process of consigning analogue clocks to the bin, where they belong.

Paul McKeown
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:34 pm

Unethical? If it is carried out at high volume, the ethics (and indeed legality under EEA Internal Market competition law, if DGT is deemed to have a dominant market position, particularly if selling at or below cost) of this action might well be questioned, as it would put manufacturers besides DGT out the market, and is going to cause difficulties to intermediary suppliers, who may have large stocks which they will have to dispose of at loss, and who will be unable to compete with DGT in the supply of clocks, and indeed may find a reduced market after DGT has finished its action. Rather basic principles of free markets, really.

NickFaulks
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:42 pm

No good deed goes unpunished.

Paul McKeown
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:45 pm

It isn't a good deed at all, if the intention is to establish a monopoly player, destroying competition and harming the supply chain. If that is, indeed, the intention, with corresponding volumes. It isn't clear to me what volumes are intended to be placed at these prices, hence the question.

NickFaulks
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:49 pm

Perhaps I'm being naive, but he convinced me that he is just tired of hearing that people can't afford to play chess with proper clocks and wants to bang that concept on the head. I wish him well.

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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:51 pm

Even with all the best intentions, it may still be a bad thing. It all depends on the market outcome.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:20 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:It isn't a good deed at all, if the intention is to establish a monopoly player, destroying competition and harming the supply chain.
That would seem the outcome, if not the intention. DGT's near monopoly on digital clocks is challenged by Chinese lookalikes, although doubts have been expressed about the quality of their underlying programming.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by Roger Lancaster » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:26 am

Maybe I'm missing something but "if the intention is to establish a monopoly player" seems somewhat misconceived if a virtual monopoly already exists. Instead, this looks like a decision to cut out intermediate players in the supply chain. That will doubtless be unwelcome for the intermediaries but is unlikely to keep the ultimate consumer, in this case chessplayers, awake at night. It might, of course, also be seen as a pre-emptive step to deter those Chinese lookalikes.

Paul McKeown
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:23 am

Current manufacturers, besides DGT (NL), include Saitek (Switzerland), Visual-tek (USA), ZMF (USA), BHB (FRG), Leap (PRC), CN-Chess (PRC). I have no information regarding where the fabrication actually takes place. It might well be in "China", whether that is Taiwan, the People's Republic, Hong Kong or Macau, but the tone with which the name is used by some here is clear. Does anyone know where DGT actually has its clocks made?
Last edited by Paul McKeown on Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Paul McKeown
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:24 am

And, of course, everyone enjoys a good deal in the short-term, but monopolies don't exist to give markets a good deal in the long-term.

Alan Walton
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by Alan Walton » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:00 am

I a competetive match & tournaments I cannot remember when the clock used wasn't a DGT model; I think possibly it was in Malaga in 2010 when I used another model and this was so awful an experience you can see why DGT has become so widely used (I have used other models as well and they are just as confusing and un-user friendly to set up)

I also spoke with the DGT guy and his vision is to make over the board chess easier to broadcast over the internet; he showed me the new DGT boards which are half the size and half the price as the current models, they also utilise USB connections and not the current pin connectors; his future ambition is to make them fully WIFI capable but I gather he is waiting for 5G to be delivered before these are readily available

If this offer means Digital clocks are used as standard, and of a similar design then all the better; it doesn't surprise me in the English chess scene somebody always finds something to complain about, next thing we will see are the luddites smashing all digital clock with a slogan bring back analog

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:45 am

NickFaulks wrote:Perhaps I'm being naive, but he convinced me that he is just tired of hearing that people can't afford to play chess with proper clocks and wants to bang that concept on the head. I wish him well.

I’m sure the area where I’ve played most of my club chess - the absolutely poverty stricken City of London - would be most grateful.

Paul McKeown
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Re: FIDE Offer to Federations to purchase clocks at a highy reduced rate

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:53 am

Alan Walton wrote:I a competetive match & tournaments I cannot remember when the clock used wasn't a DGT model; I think possibly it was in Malaga in 2010 when I used another model and this was so awful an experience you can see why DGT has become so widely used (I have used other models as well and they are just as confusing and un-user friendly to set up)
True, but irrelevant to the point being made.
Alan Walton wrote:it doesn't surprise me in the English chess scene somebody always finds something to complain about, next thing we will see are the luddites smashing all digital clock with a slogan bring back analog
A strawman.

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