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  1. #1
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Why not add time after 40 moves?

    Since I haven't got an answer to why (or in which official documents!) it is a compelling rule that electronic clocks may not add time for the next period after for instance 40 clock presses but may only do it when one of the players has used up all his time for the 1. period, I will instead turn the arguments upside-down and argument why I think it is better that the clock adds extra time after 40 moves, to really test if there are any valid arguments for the opposite.

    In the good old days (which we still are part of in the sense that still some games are handled by analog clocks), a solution had to be found for 2 hours for 40 moves and hour for the rest of the game. Since there is only flag fall on whole ours, it is necessary that the arbiter jumps in and add the hour manually so that the next flag fall will happen on the whole hour instead of the half hour (where there is no flag). It is pretty clear that this has to happen manually and can only happen when the players actually have 40 moves on the scoresheet. Probably it has been determined over time that the best solution is to only allow that when both 40 moves are present on the scoresheet and a flag fall of one of the players has happened, to avoid this scenario: Both players agree before any flag fall that 40 moves have been made, and ask the arbiter to add hour to both clocks, and play goes on. Suddenly one player figures out that 40 moves have not been made, and claims that the opponent lost on time. In this case it would be necessary to check flag fall at the half hour (an impossible task) in addition to reconstructing the moves - conclusion, in the analog clock it is best to wait until one of the players time has completely expired, before the times get adjusted. So far so well.

    Perhaps this argument has just been "transferred" directly to the electronic clocks? But if that is the case, no attention has been paid to that flag falls on an electronic clock always can be checked by simple calculation, you don't even need the shown flagfall (or red button) to determine that. Every second on the clock has been clearly defined and can be used to calculate down to the second how long time has been used by either player.

    Let us look on the 2 scenarios:

    (A) Electronic clock adds time to the 2. time period after 40 moves (i.e. clock presses):
    When overstepping time at move 37 (if both players have fumbled with the buttons and pressed extra times when no move was made on the board) the players will not discover the flag fall because time has already been added, unless they manually check the scoresheet. But checking the scoresheet, the players must check that time for the 2. period is not added until 40 moves have been written on the scoresheet.

    (B) Electronic clock adds time to the 2. time period when one of the players uses all his time for the 1.st. time period:
    When overstepping time at move 37 the clock will automatically add extra time at flag fall. Again it is possible to check that the clock has added extra time before the 40 moves have been written on the scoresheet. I really don't see much difference between the two examples. In this example, although the time has been added to both clocks, the player that has less time than hour is the one who lost on time, even though his time is 29:58 against 35:11 for the other player.

    So what is the reason that I feel that (A) is a better definition than (B)? Apparently they are equivalent in that what must be checked is that time is only added after 40 moves have been completed on the scoresheet?

    There are several examples that the electronic clocks work better under (A) than under (B). I do not doubt that some of them works fine under both definitions (for instance the DGT XL). But we have several examples that electronic clocks don't work that well under (B). The DGT 2000 if 1. period is set to 0 moves instead of 40 moves, will simply backlock after one of the players time run out, showing "-0.00" and not adding any more time to the clocks. In my clock the Excalibur Game Time II (B) works in the way that time after the flag fall is correctly counted, but the flag fall (and red button) will never be acquitted no matter how many more moves are made. In fact to remove this intermediate flag fall, the arbiter (or worse, one of the players!) needs to stop the clock, "adjust" the time by just clicking OK on all settings, and after this operation the flag fall is acquitted (no red button anymore).

    I have no doubt that there are more trouble with electronic clocks managing (B) while most of them work correctly under (A).

    This means there are 2 arguments (there might be more depending on other clock models) that (A) is better than (B). Are they at all any arguments from arbiters for situations where (B) is better than (A)?

  2. #2
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    Some electronic clocks dont show seconds until under 20 minutes, is their a way to retrieve this data from the machine.

  3. #3
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CameronD
    Some electronic clocks dont show seconds until under 20 minutes, is their a way to retrieve this data from the machine.
    I think most clocks can be stopped, and then asked to adjust the time, and then it will be possible to see the seconds for each player. Some clocks can be set up to always show the seconds too in normal mode (like Excalibur Game Time II).

  4. #4
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    I believe the following scenario highlights the problem with adding extra time automatically at move 40.

    Players A & B have pressed the clock more times than the moves actually made.

    After the clock thinks 40 moves have been made it adds 30 minutes additional time but neither player notices the time added.
    Player A's clock now shows 33 minutes and players B's 31 minutes.

    A & B both make a move (or 2).

    7 minutes after the clock added the 30 minutes Player A notices that it is only move 39 on the score sheet.

    If A's clock now reads 29 minutes and B's 28 minutes then if the 30 minutes had not been added the clocks would show -1 & -2 minutes respectively. However as the clocks have not hit zero (due to the additional time being added based on the move counter) the clock will not show which clock hit zero first.

    This scenario cannot happen if the second time control is not added until one clock hits zero.
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  5. #5
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    The reason that time is added after the first expiry and not 40 moves (in the analogue era and then carrying over to digital) is that it is the player's responsibility to know that they have played 40 moves. They are not entitled to get advice from a clock or arbiter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout
    The reason that time is added after the first expiry and not 40 moves (in the analogue era and then carrying over to digital) is that it is the player's responsibility to know that they have played 40 moves. They are not entitled to get advice from a clock or arbiter.
    Just out of interest, I know a lot of players who draw a line at the 40 move mark on the scoresheet, is this allowable??

  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CameronD
    Just out of interest, I know a lot of players who draw a line at the 40 move mark on the scoresheet, is this allowable??
    Technically it might be considered to be making notes but I have never known of any cases of anyone actually caring.

    Quote Originally Posted by FIDE Laws
    The scoresheet shall be used only for recording the moves, the times of the clocks, the offers of a draw, and matters relating to a claim and other relevant data.
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  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Garrett's Avatar
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    Interesting.

    I wonder if anyone objected, and the player was required to get a new scoresheet, if it would be okay to fold the scoresheet at the 40 move mark (therby leaving a crease) ?

    But yes, I cannot imagine anyone caring.

  9. #9
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Gletsos
    I believe the following scenario highlights the problem with adding extra time automatically at move 40.

    Players A & B have pressed the clock more times than the moves actually made.

    After the clock thinks 40 moves have been made it adds 30 minutes additional time but neither player notices the time added.
    Player A's clock now shows 33 minutes and players B's 31 minutes.

    A & B both make a move (or 2).

    7 minutes after the clock added the 30 minutes Player A notices that it is only move 39 on the score sheet.

    If A's clock now reads 29 minutes and B's 28 minutes then if the 30 minutes had not been added the clocks would show -1 & -2 minutes respectively. However as the clocks have not hit zero (due to the additional time being added based on the move counter) the clock will not show which clock hit zero first.

    This scenario cannot happen if the second time control is not added until one clock hits zero.
    I must admit that I had not foreseen this scenario. Quite ingenious! However, is this not biting it's own tail in a way? What you obtain as an extra is the benefit of being able to tell who first lost on time when it is determined that in fact both players exceeded the time control. If in fact just one player has exceeded the time control (the far more likely scenario) there is no benefit.

    But going along with this idea, then the first flag fall in the first period must be carried on indefinitely because we can't really tell how many moves have been made until there is an actual reconstruction of moves. This means that all along 2. period one flag will be continuously blinking. Suppose we talk about 3 periods like in the Gibraltar tournament. Now the scenario could be that the flag was blinking for Player 1 all along 2. period, but Player 2 hit zero first in 2.period, so all along 3. period Player 2's flag was blinking, right until both players perhaps exceed the final time limit, and then it depends on the last zero-hit whose flag is blinking. Quite confusing in my opinion! A big price to pay just to be able to tell if both players exceeded a particular period, who hit zero first. You would have a (possibly immaterial) blinking flag all through 3-4 hours of play, and shifting between players, in fact in every single game, still without meaning anything until it was in fact the last flag fall, or until it was determined that both of the players in some period had exceeded the time.

    With time added at 40 moves, and then 20 more moves, the flag would in fact not show until the very end, when one of the players exceeded the last time. Unless of course they both forgot to press the clock in one or several moves, when the flag would be shown e.g. when time was exceeded at move 39 according to the clock, when in fact there were 40 moves on the score sheet.

    There is an additional problem. If there is always added an increment to each move, you can't really tell from a blinking flag if the flag means that in this period the time was exceeded, and positive time was restored with the increment, or if the time was not exceeded, but the flag is displaying from the previous period, where it might have been immaterial because in that period sufficient moves were made.

    Quite mind-boggling stuff, and I might have overlooked something again, but it still seems to me that the (A) time control is more, shall we say, appealing to common sense. It will show in the last period who lost on time first, but will usually not show any false positives before that. With the (B) time control we are obliged at false positives all along the last 2 time periods.

  10. #10
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout
    The reason that time is added after the first expiry and not 40 moves (in the analogue era and then carrying over to digital) is that it is the player's responsibility to know that they have played 40 moves. They are not entitled to get advice from a clock or arbiter.
    You are right about the arbiter may not advice about how many moves have been made, but not the clock:

    6.14 Screens, monitors, or demonstration boards showing the current position on the chessboard, the moves and the number of moves made, and clocks which also show the number of moves, are allowed in the playing hall. However, the player may not make a claim relying solely on information shown in this manner.

    So the clock may show how many moves have been punched (not made)

  11. #11
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    The other issue is that by adding 30 minutes after 40 moves have been made (according to the clocks move counter) the the requirement of Article 6.3 is not actually met when the first time control period actually elapses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artilce 6.3
    Immediately after a flag falls, the requirements of article 6.2 a. must be checked.
    Quote Originally Posted by Article 6.2a
    When using a chess clock, each player must make a minimum number of moves or all moves in an allotted period of time and/or may be allocated an additional amount of time with each move. All these must be specified in advance.
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  12. #12
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Gletsos
    The other issue is that by adding 30 minutes after 40 moves have been made (according to the clocks move counter) the requirement of Article 6.3 is not actually met when the first time control period actually elapses.
    So that after move 40, if he just moved in the same second, and the clock added 30 minutes (for new period) and 30 seconds (for the move) and his clock shows 30:30 (as opposed to 30:31 where he still had at least a fraction of a second left) then he should have lost on time? Well, I tend to think that this should be checked by the hardware, so it should actually raise the flag in this situation. Hopefully most clock designs will have that functioning correctly.

    Or is your concern more than fraction-of-a-second? Well if clock makers have made their homework right, I think that since you can't move at exactly at 0 thousands of a millisecond, either you would have surpassed by a few milliseconds (in which case the clock should flag you) or would have a few milliseconds in reserve) in which case the clock should show 30:31 with no flag fall.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CameronD
    Just out of interest, I know a lot of players who draw a line at the 40 move mark on the scoresheet, is this allowable??
    On scoresheets I used in Victoria, one had to turn the page at move 40.

    I think I might invite a player complaining about his opponent's making such a mark to do the same.

    But then, I'm no IA.
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  14. #14
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper Norgaard
    Just curious, don't know the tourney or the clocks, have never tried the new FIDE time, but ... didn't FIDE make a statement that the clocks should not be set to automatically add 30 minutes at move 40 because that might lead to confusion. Instead 30 minutes are only added to both clocks when one player oversteps 90 minutes and 0 seconds. If this happens before 40 moves have been made by that player, he loses on time (at least if discovered before both flags fall)?
    I'm not sure about this. Haven't heard of it being added manually in Aus tournaments using this or similar time controls. A concern with stopping the clock only at flagfall for the stated time control is that since 30 secs/move are added from move 1, players might take a long time after move 40 to reach zero, if they even reached it at all. Sounds a bit confusing to administer.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 19-07-2011 at 09:16 PM.
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  15. #15
    CC FIDE Master Keong Ang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper Norgaard
    Just curious, don't know the tourney or the clocks, have never tried the new FIDE time, but ... didn't FIDE make a statement that the clocks should not be set to automatically add 30 minutes at move 40 because that might lead to confusion. Instead 30 minutes are only added to both clocks when one player oversteps 90 minutes and 0 seconds. If this happens before 40 moves have been made by that player, he loses on time (at least if discovered before both flags fall)?

    If both flags have fallen in the first period, if the clock indicates which flag fell first, the corresponding player loses. Otherwise, the game continues (in this case to finish).
    "90 minutes for 40 moves + 30 minutes with 30 seconds cumulative increment for each move starting from the first move" is a standard FIDE rate of play for a tournament to be eligible for title norms.
    I believe it is the same time control used at the Olympiad.

    ...it is also the same time control used at the George Trundle NZ Masters that is currently entering round 5 of 9.

    With DGT XL clocks, we set them up to automatically add extra 30 minutes on move 40.
    As far as I know, all international tournaments set up the clocks to automatically add the 30 minutes with 40 moves as the first time control. FIDE specifies 40 moves as the uniform first time control in games with multi time control rate of play. Players benefit from uniformity.

    One reason for manually adding 30 minutes instead of doing it automatically is because the clocks that are used are incapable of handling multiple time controls automatically. This only happens when the organiser forgot to check what rates of play the clocks are capable of beforehand.

    Errors with "add 30 minutes at move 40" occur when players click and counter-click the clock without making a move. The arbiter needs to regularly check that all clocks move counters accurately reflect that on the scoresheets. Usually the error that occurs is 30 minutes is added before move 40 is made due to the clock being clicked and counter-clicked repeatedly by the players.

    I have also experienced cases where a player complains that the clock did not add 30 minutes even though more than 40 moves have been made. Checking the scoresheets would show eg. 42 moves, therefore a valid complaint. Checking the move counter on the clock would show eg. 36 moves. Conclusion, the players have been making moves without clicking the clock. Simple solution is to click until correct number of moves registered. The extra 30 minutes would be added automatically and all 30 second increments would also be automatically added.

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