South Hams Chess Club
South Hams Chess Club

Club Competitions will Use Incremental Time Controls from 1st January 2017

At the Committe Meeting on 22nd Devember 2016, it was decided that, from 1st January 2017, internal club competitions will use incremental (also known as "Fischer") time controls. Each player will have 75 minutes for the entire game, plus 30 seconds per move (starting from move 1). So, for example, if a game has 40 moves, each player will have 75 + (40 x 0.5) = 95 minutes. Our DGT 2010 digital clocks should be set into the appropriate mode using Option 18 (rather than Option 5 which is used for the current time controls). Once the clock has been set in this way, every time you press your clock button 30 seconds will automatically be added to your time - it's as simple as that.

Incremental time controls are increasingly popular, and have a number of advantages:

  • They prevent a player with a losing position, but with his opponent short of time, from playing out moves until he has won "on the clock" - because now, with every extra move, his opponent will gain an extra 30 seconds.
  • With the old time controls, there have been numerous games in which the quality of chess has plummetted as the clocks have counted down towards zero. The proposed incremental time controls give both players enough time to put at least some thought into every move.
  • There should no longer be confusion about whether the checkpoint of 35 moves in 75 minutes has been achieved - an issue which has arisen several times over the last year.

With incremental time controls, both players will have time to write down all their moves, and under club rules are obliged to do so.

An exception will be made for games involving club juniors, who may have a parent picking them up at a fixed time, or who may need to get to bed as early as possible because of school the next morning. Therefore, if before the start of the game a junior asks to use the old time controls, this request will will be honoured. A further exception will be made for Zak Zaffiro who will not normally be able to start his games before 7:30pm due to swimming training; unless otherwise agreed before the start of the game, Zak's games will have time controls of 35 moves in 60 minutes followed by a 15 minute Quickplay finish.

We will review our experience with the new time controls, and decide what time controls to use next season, at the club AGM on 11th May.

Torbay League games will continue to use the current time controls (35 moves in 75 minutes followed by a 15 minute Quickplay finish). However a switch to incremental time controls has been discussed at the last two Torbay League AGMs, and, if the club's experience of incremental timings between now and the end of the season is positive, we will advocate that the Torbay League switches to incremental time controls next season.

Logged-in club members can see the full minutes of the Committee Meeting here.