Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
MartinCarpenter
Posts: 2690
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:58 am

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:47 pm

Is that last point pedantically clear? Its hardly unusual for captains to end up standing in for arbiters.

They'd definitely have to in the initial case for a 10.2 claim. I know which one I'd rather be responsible for!

Mike Gunn
Posts: 800
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:45 pm

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Mike Gunn » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:00 pm

I proposed using clock substitution in our league and somebody said "you can't do that, see the wording of G6 etc". I then spoke to an ECF senior arbiter who confirmed that the intention had been clock substitution could be used with no arbiter present - they had just mucked up the wording (I think it was the Presidential Board that did that). So I went back to the league and they said: "we don't want it anyway, nobody could set the clock".

MartinCarpenter
Posts: 2690
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:58 am

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:31 pm

That's the practical worry :) The numbers of people who can set electronic clocks really is a bit shockingly low. Given that chess players are hardly luddites in general, this may have something to do with the clock designs!

Could always get the manual and figure it out of course, but that would tend to take long enough that it'd basically spoil the game.

NickFaulks
Posts: 6146
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:38 pm

Brian Towers wrote: This would suggest that the default option when using digital clocks which are capable of having increments but increments not being used with one of the players worried that he might end up losing on time a position which he should draw...
But surely that is exactly what the league wants, otherwise there would be a small increment from the start. I don't see the point of using digital clocks, setting them with no increment, and then at some point saying "I wish we were using increments, can we switch?".
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

NickFaulks
Posts: 6146
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:49 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote: Given that chess players are hardly luddites in general, this may have something to do with the clock designs!
Sorry, but I do think it's mostly to do with chess players being Luddites, or at least a bit lazy.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Brian Towers
Posts: 1255
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:23 pm

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Brian Towers » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:02 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
MartinCarpenter wrote: Given that chess players are hardly luddites in general, this may have something to do with the clock designs!
Sorry, but I do think it's mostly to do with chess players being Luddites, or at least a bit lazy.
Surely the root cause is the shortage of juniors?
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Mick Norris
Posts: 8431
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:10 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:That's the practical worry :) The numbers of people who can set electronic clocks really is a bit shockingly low. Given that chess players are hardly luddites in general, this may have something to do with the clock designs!

Could always get the manual and figure it out of course, but that would tend to take long enough that it'd basically spoil the game.
I think adjusting the clock under pressure is hard - I know the MCF arbiters have practiced this precisely because it will come up at the end of rounds during congresses i.e. awarding players an extra 2 mins (having a spare clock can be handy for this)

Like Brian, I have noticed the juniors are much better with digital clock setting than the adults like me :oops:
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

NickFaulks
Posts: 6146
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:56 pm

Mick Norris wrote: I think adjusting the clock under pressure is hard
Yes, that's certainly true, but I find that many ( most ) players are unhappy even about setting the clock for the time control they use every week.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Brian Towers
Posts: 1255
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:23 pm

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Brian Towers » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:38 pm

Here are some tips.

1. As Mick says, practice is all important. Try and be there to help set up the clocks before a big event when the setup is different from normal on a manual setting rather than preset so you have to go through the full process. Example: normally your clocks are all set for 90+30 on custom set. You need to set them for 20+5 for a rapid. By the time you've mechanically gone through setting up 20 clocks you've pretty much got the hang of it. Same thing for the first normal club night after the rapid / blitz when you reset them all to 90+30.

2. For those 2 minute penalties, adding 5 second increment etc., make sure you write the current times down first on a piece of paper. If you're tired because it's been a long day you may want to write down your target times too. Two reasons for this. One, if you are an arbiter the chances are you've reached the age where short term memory starts to be an issue. Even if you're a stripling you will occasionally get an awkward customer who will start arguing with you after you've adjusted the clocks - "What are you playing at? You've given him 2 minutes too!" or "Oy! I had more time than that!". No worries, just point them to the times you wrote down before you started adjusting.

3. Note that when you setup a bunch of clocks for a 4+2 blitz the clocks all had a start time of 4:02. That's because when you set an increment the clock gives the increment before the move! That means that particularly when there isn't much time left (less than 20 minutes on older clocks) you have to take this into account. So, for a 90+30 time control if the clock times are 3 minutes and 2 minutes and the first player does something to warrant a 2 minute penalty then when you reset the clocks you have to actually set 2 minutes 30 seconds on the first clock and 3 minutes 30 seconds on the second. Once you've pressed the last button this will appear as 3 minutes and 4 minutes as desired. Hence the suggestion in 2. that you write the "after" times down first as well.

The biggest difference between the different clocks is usually just the number to select for full manual set. For just adjusting an already set clock (eg for a penalty) some clocks will have a combination you can press to do this. For example press and hold the "pause" button for 3 seconds and also hold down the "forward" button. The first player's hour field will flash letting you adjust up or down, then his minutes etc. To be honest this isn't that much quicker than doing a full reset since you still have to step through all the elements.

One final tip. For resetting clocks in between rounds just switch off and on and then press the "forward" button and it will jump to the end of the process.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Ian Thompson
Posts: 2677
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Awbridge, Hampshire

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:50 pm

Mike Gunn wrote:I proposed using clock substitution in our league and somebody said "you can't do that, see the wording of G6 etc". I then spoke to an ECF senior arbiter who confirmed that the intention had been clock substitution could be used with no arbiter present - they had just mucked up the wording (I think it was the Presidential Board that did that). So I went back to the league and they said: "we don't want it anyway, nobody could set the clock".
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?

Ian Thompson
Posts: 2677
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Awbridge, Hampshire

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:13 pm

Brian Towers wrote:Here are some tips.

3. Note that when you setup a bunch of clocks for a 4+2 blitz the clocks all had a start time of 4:02. That's because when you set an increment the clock gives the increment before the move!
That's correct.
Brian Towers wrote:That means that particularly when there isn't much time left (less than 20 minutes on older clocks) you have to take this into account. So, for a 90+30 time control if the clock times are 3 minutes and 2 minutes and the first player does something to warrant a 2 minute penalty then when you reset the clocks you have to actually set 2 minutes 30 seconds on the first clock and 3 minutes 30 seconds on the second. Once you've pressed the last button this will appear as 3 minutes and 4 minutes as desired. Hence the suggestion in 2. that you write the "after" times down first as well.
I don't think this is right for Black. What you have to do is ensure a player doesn't get an increment twice for one move. For example, if White completes an illegal move (which means he's pressed the clock and got the increment for the next move through doing so), the clock adjustment would be 30 seconds off White's time and 2 minutes on Black's time, before restarting White's clock. So what you've said for White is correct, but not for Black. Black's clock should be set to 2 minutes more than it was before the adjustment. His 2 minutes in your example already includes the increment for the next move he is due to play, and the clock won't give him another one until he plays that next move (which will be for the following move).

MartinCarpenter
Posts: 2690
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:58 am

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:58 pm

NickFaulks wrote:Yes, that's certainly true, but I find that many ( most ) players are unhappy even about setting the clock for the time control they use every week.
True. Generally seems to be one person at the club who has been motivated to learn it :) Think this particular problem probably is more lazy than luddism.

In general it seems entirely fair to expect arbiters to learn how to do this, but for normal players you just have a setting configured to use for normal matches then anything else is something you'd only do every 5 years or so at the most, so it really won't stick unless its really easy.

Mick Norris
Posts: 8431
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:26 pm

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
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

AustinElliott
Posts: 651
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:01 pm
Location: North of England
Contact:

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by AustinElliott » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:48 pm

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...

Clive Blackburn

Re: Increment Time Controls in Leagues ?

Post by Clive Blackburn » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:57 am

Our local league (Coventry) does not use incremental time controls and I can't really see that happening in the near future.

Some clubs have digital clocks, others do not. Digital clocks are always used in Division 1 but in Divisions 2 and 3 they are optional.

Also, some players simply refuse to use them even when they are provided by the home side and insist on being allowed to use an analogue clock, whatever their opponent might prefer.

Post Reply