Are quickplay finishes bad for endings?

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Paul Cooksey

Are quickplay finishes bad for endings?

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:12 pm

I thought I'd separate this out of the British thread:
AustinElliott wrote:
Michael Jones wrote:
Martin Benjamin wrote:I only have time to play evening league chess, but I am constantly amazed at how swiftly average club players will talk about "drawn" or "won" positions which actually have plenty of play left in them.
I think the first part of that sentence explains the second - at evening league time controls, by the time they get to an endgame both players will probably have less than ten minutes left, so whatever play there may be in the position, no-one gets time to see it.
Another reason might be that the player(s) hasn't/haven't any kind of idea where the winning chance/plan might be.
I have heard similar points often, but I find it a bit odd that players do not see the rapidplay finishes as a motivator to study endings.

Andrew Bak
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Re: Are quickplay finishes bad for endings?

Post by Andrew Bak » Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:53 pm

I started playing in the 4ncl this season, and I have deliberately played completely differently to how I would in the evening leagues simply because I can take more time and play the endgames much more accurately.

In evening league play, I play much more aggresively, trying to ensure that the game doesn't get past the middlegame. The endgames I do end up playing typically end up with very poor play from both sides.

It's also nice to see endgames like we saw in the British, particularly by Houska and Short. My guess is that we wouldn't have seen if there was a quicker time control.

Michael Jones
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Re: Are quickplay finishes bad for endings?

Post by Michael Jones » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:47 pm

I try to view evening league time controls not as 75 minutes for the first 30 moves, but as 90 minutes for the whole game. Since a game of chess can often last 60-70 moves and sometimes even longer, it makes sense (at least as far as I can see) not to spend 5/6 of the available time on what could be fewer than half the moves, so I usually try to reach the time control with 15-20 minutes to spare. Sometimes this works, I reach the endgame well ahead on the clock and thus achieve a better result than I may have done otherwise; sometimes it doesn't, I blunder thanks to trying to move too quickly in the middlegame and am completely lost before I get as far as the endgame - so overall the jury is still out as to whether this approach is any better or worse than the standard one of using almost all the first 75 minutes for the first 30 moves.

Laurence Ball
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Re: Are quickplay finishes bad for endings?

Post by Laurence Ball » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:08 pm

The answer to the question is, probably, yes.

However, in my book, they are manifestly better than the archaic system of adjournments that are simply unfair (Rybka, Fritz) and take the concept of actually playing just your opponent out of the equation

Andrew Stone
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Re: Are quickplay finishes bad for endings?

Post by Andrew Stone » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:28 pm

Quick time limits are bad for openings and middlegames also. However if you want to play a game of chess in an evening or a tournament in a weekend that's just how it is. You can always look up afterwards what you should have done. It is doubtful you will have the motivation to do this if you haven't experienced the position and you are probably more likely to remember it as you can relate to the position more. Next time the position arises in a quickplay finish you will be in a better shape. Most commentators stress how important the endgame is. I'm not so sure that professional players agree- one 2700 player (forget who) said that his chess study consisted solely of opening preparation.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Are quickplay finishes bad for endings?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:35 pm

Andrew Stone wrote:Most commentators stress how important the endgame is. I'm not so sure that professional players agree- one 2700 player (forget who) said that his chess study consisted solely of opening preparation.
That's probably not as inconsistent as it might seem. A 2700 player is likely going to know a tremendous amount of endgame theory already, and endgame theory doesn't change much compared to opening theory.

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Re: Are quickplay finishes bad for endings?

Post by matt_ward » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:16 pm

No Jack your right, I think rapidplay finishes do have a bad effect on endings but that is the fun part trying to find the right continuations in a matter of seconds left fighting for the game in a complicated ending.

Gives a sudden boast of adrenaline.

Andrew Stone
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Re: Are quickplay finishes bad for endings?

Post by Andrew Stone » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:21 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Andrew Stone wrote:Most commentators stress how important the endgame is. I'm not so sure that professional players agree- one 2700 player (forget who) said that his chess study consisted solely of opening preparation.
That's probably not as inconsistent as it might seem. A 2700 player is likely going to know a tremendous amount of endgame theory already, and endgame theory doesn't change much compared to opening theory.
Yep. Fair point.

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Re: Are quickplay finishes bad for endings?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:52 am

Gligoric once said to me he never studied endgames - anymore.
Quickplay finishes are unnecessary even in evening leagues. Try the delay mode which is virtually only used in the US.
Say all the moves in 40 moves in 75 minutes, all the moves in 13 minutes + 2 seconds for every move in the delay mode. It is most unlikely the game will exceed 3 hours and avoids quickply finishes. I would be prepared to play that in the London League but not the monstrosity of 30 moves in 75 minutes plus all the remaining moves in 15 minutes.
For those who don't know, the player receives an extra 2 seconds every move, but the 2 seconds are lost if the player plays more rapidly, it is not accumulated. If you can't defend an endgame with 2 seconds for every move, you don't deserve to draw.
Qucikplay finishes with no arbiter present are an abomination only slightly better than the swear word adjudication.
But the introduction of quickplay finishes before there were electronic clocks is one of the reasons that led to the English chess explosion. People early in their career now had to know something about the endgame.
Stewart Reuben

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