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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Wrong clock setting (from www.chesscafe.com)

    Geurt Gijssen's latest column is out on www.chesscafe.com and so I thought I would put up one of the situations mentioned and get some thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Wall
    Two TDs separately announced that there would be no time delay for the first time control of 40 moves in 2 hours. The second time control would be Game/55 minutes with a 5 second delay. Player A noticed Player B had set his clock for a 5 second delay on the first time control. Player B was up a rook in a clearly won position. According to the TD, just when Player B’s time delay had counted down to one second and he probably would have lost on time, Player A stopped the clocks and said: “There is not supposed to be a delay in the first time control.”

    The TD did not know what to do. Without the delay, Player B would have to make three moves in one second. Whatever the TD decided it would probably affect the outcome. Another TD saved the situation by offering both players a draw. Both players agreed since they both had lost positions, Player A on the board and Player B on the clock. Player B felt cheated, but if Player A had waited one more second or insisted on his rights to continue the game without time delay, he would have won on time. The discussion was handled in a cordial and friendly atmosphere. What would you have decided?
    Answer
    Quote Originally Posted by Geurt G
    This case was extensively discussed on American websites. Nothing is written in the FIDE Laws of Chess about what to do if a wrong time setting is fixed on the clock in a normal game. For Rapid and Blitz Chess it states:

    B4. Once each player has completed three moves, no claim can be made regarding incorrect piece placement, orientation of the chessboard or clock setting.
    In case of reverse king and queen placement castling with this king is not allowed.

    In my opinion, the fact that this rule mentions that no claims can be made after three completed moves means that apparently claims are possible in “normal” chess. But so far nothing has been written about it. In such a case, I would refer to the Preface of the Laws of Chess:

    The Laws of Chess cannot cover all possible situations that may arise during a game, nor can they regulate all administrative questions. Where cases are not precisely regulated by an Article of the Laws, it should be possible to reach a correct decision by studying analogous situations, which are discussed in the Laws. The Laws assume that arbiters have the necessary competence, sound judgement and absolute objectivity. Too detailed a rule might deprive the arbiter of his freedom of judgement and thus prevent him from finding the solution to a problem dictated by fairness, logic and special factors.

    I especially like the last part of the last sentence: a solution should be “dictated by fairness, logic and special factors.” With this in mind, I think it is quite unfair to change the time modus at the moment a player only has one second on his clock in such a way that he only has this one second left. Therefore, I see two possible solutions:

    * Change the time mode after the first period
    * Change the time mode at the moment of the claim, but the player should be given a reasonable amount of time (at least one minute) for the remaining moves.

    I prefer the second option.

  2. #2
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geurt Gijssen
    * Change the time mode after the first period
    * Change the time mode at the moment of the claim, but the player should be given a reasonable amount of time (at least one minute) for the remaining moves.

    I prefer the second option.
    I agree with Geurt, unless there is evidence that the player deliberately mis-set the clock to gain an unfair advantage.

    But players should not be setting their own clocks anyway; clocks should be set by arbiters.

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