Not pressing the clock

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Roger de Coverly
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Not pressing the clock

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:22 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:34 pm
He was even more unimpressed by his loss on time to an 11-year-old after he (Nigel) forgot to press his clock...
Something of a modern trend perhaps, that younger players appear trained to sit with a poker face when their opponent has failed to press the clock. Otherwise they could play a move or otherwise indicate that the wrong clock was running.

It's sometimes a characteristic of older players to forget to press the clock and when they remember, to do so with the wrong hand.

I was wondering whether a small adjustment to the routine of play move, press clock, write move would be to force yourself to look at the clock immediately after writing the move before continuing to ponder as to how to play the position.

NickFaulks
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:32 pm

Thanks for starting a more appropriate thread for this topic.

On the understanding that we don't know the exact circumstances, what do think Nigel's opponent should have done? What would other people have done? Strictly speaking, what do the Laws even allow you to do?

For reference.
NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:16 pm
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:34 pm
He was even more unimpressed by his loss on time to an 11-year-old after he (Nigel) forgot to press his clock...

https://twitter.com/nigelshortchess/sta ... 6290144258

(Bangkok Open 2018, Nigel currently on 3.5/5)
This does raise a serious point. Should you draw your opponent's attention to his failure to press the clock? Strictly, do the Laws even permit you to do so?

I was involved in a fairly high profile case a few years ago, and have never known. This was in the US, so FIDE Laws were immaterial.

Nick Burrows
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by Nick Burrows » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:46 pm

In a game of mine on the weekend, my opponent twice offered me a draw in an overly loud and clear voice that made everyone turn round and smile, I refused both times. Later, still a pawn up but down to about 90 secs left I couldn't see a way to make progress so I offered a draw but uncharacteristically forgot to press the clock. After sitting there for a minute I happened to notice my opponent make a sneaky glance with eyes only towards the clock. I pressed it with seconds remaining. My opponent then instantly accepted the draw.

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Allan Hodgkinson
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by Allan Hodgkinson » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:05 pm

I would always draw my opponent’s attention by pointing to the clock and if necessary quietly saying ‘clock’. There may not be a legal requirement but there is a moral one.

NickFaulks
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:10 pm

Allan Hodgkinson wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:05 pm
I would always draw my opponent’s attention by pointing to the clock and if necessary quietly saying ‘clock’.
How many times per game? There surely comes a point when you get fed up with it.

Eric Gardiner
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by Eric Gardiner » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:11 pm

On the first occasion, I generally I gesture towards the clock if my opponent fails to press it (does this count as disturbing your opponent?) but don't do anything if it happens again. Although I don't recall failing to press the clock myself I once pressed a digital clock after moving but not hard enough to start my opponent's clock. Similarly to Nick's opponent, my opponent moved straight away when I noticed what I'd done after about 5 minutes ...

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Allan Hodgkinson
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by Allan Hodgkinson » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:16 pm

Indeed, Nick. I think after two or three times I would probably feel that my opponent should live with the consequences.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:17 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:10 pm
How many times per game? There surely comes a point when you get fed up with it.
I would do it once, after that it's my opponent's problem if he or she should repeat. Against a really confused opponent you have the additional risk that they might move twice.

If a past world championship contender can do it, what should the rest of us do to minimise the risk?

NickFaulks
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:19 pm

My most notable experience was against the late Walter Browne. In extreme time pressure, something like 5 moves in 10 seconds, he was trying to win a position that had somehow become totally drawn. He wasn't forgetting to press the clock, but was slamming it so hard that the button was bouncing straight back up. The first time I noticed this I alerted him, the second I allowed his final seconds to tick away. I had plenty of time.

The view of the watching masters was that I had been more generous than any of them would have been.

Brendan O'Gorman
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by Brendan O'Gorman » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:29 pm

Nick Burrows wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:46 pm
In a game of mine on the weekend, my opponent twice offered me a draw in an overly loud and clear voice that made everyone turn round and smile, I refused both times. Later, still a pawn up but down to about 90 secs left I couldn't see a way to make progress so I offered a draw but uncharacteristically forgot to press the clock. After sitting there for a minute I happened to notice my opponent make a sneaky glance with eyes only towards the clock. I pressed it with seconds remaining. My opponent then instantly accepted the draw.
Four draws, Nick, all with people I know. I'm pretty sure I know which one was the cad. :)

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JustinHorton
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:51 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:22 pm
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:34 pm
He was even more unimpressed by his loss on time to an 11-year-old after he (Nigel) forgot to press his clock...
Something of a modern trend perhaps, that younger players appear trained to sit with a poker face when their opponent has failed to press the clock.
Do we really have anything to back up "trained"?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by Chris Goodall » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:54 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:51 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:22 pm
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:34 pm
He was even more unimpressed by his loss on time to an 11-year-old after he (Nigel) forgot to press his clock...
Something of a modern trend perhaps, that younger players appear trained to sit with a poker face when their opponent has failed to press the clock.
Do we really have anything to back up "trained"?
Well that's why he said "appear trained" rather than "are trained", isn't it.
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:17 pm
NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:10 pm
How many times per game? There surely comes a point when you get fed up with it.
I would do it once, after that it's my opponent's problem if he or she should repeat. Against a really confused opponent you have the additional risk that they might move twice.

If a past world championship contender can do it, what should the rest of us do to minimise the risk?
Play lots of 2-minute chess. You won't play very good moves, but you'll certainly drill pressing the clock into your muscle memory.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Nick Burrows
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by Nick Burrows » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:05 pm

Brendan O'Gorman wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:29 pm

Four draws, Nick, all with people I know. I'm pretty sure I know which one was the cad. :)
Impressive work Inspector O'Gorman :wink:

NickFaulks
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:11 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:51 pm
Do we really have anything to back up "trained"?
I don't think they are trained not to do that. For games played at a serious level, I am in two minds about warning an opponent that he hasn't pressed the clock. Most top players - Nigel Short characteristically being an exception - do seem to take the view that this is an occupational hazard.

I am less ambivalent about irritating draw offers when it is clear that the other player is trying to win, and wish juniors could be trained to refrain from this practice.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Not pressing the clock

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:15 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:51 pm
Do we really have anything to back up "trained"?
Anecdotal experience perhaps, but watching a morning game at Hastings, I observed a local junior player sitting very quietly while his opponent's time ran down. Eventually the opponent pressed the clock and the lad moved immediately. Mentioning this after the game to one of the other spectators, himself fairly local, he suggested that juniors were advised to act in this manner.

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