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"Official" USCF Clocks and Fischer Time Controls


  • 17 months ago · Quote · #1

    azbobcat

    A few years ago as I was debating weither I could make a "comeback" after not having playedin any tournaments in almost 20 years and in spite of having Parkinson's Disease. IF I could deal with the physical limitations of the Parkinson's, "The Plan" was to play in 1 or 2 "Senior" Opens each year. Towards that end I purchased a Chronos Chess Clock because of the low center of gravity making it almost impossible to knock over. I entered into 4 non-rated "charity" events to test myself. While I finished 1st or tied for 1st in 3 of them and 2nd in the fourth, showing me I still had the ability, I also was able to  answer the question if I would be *physically* able to play in a tournament, to which the answer clearly was NO!!! I now use my Chronos strictly for skittles and pick-up games. In the meantime I have been helping my "student" -- an 83 y.o. Gentleman -- prepare for several tournaments he plays in each year. He LOVES chess, and can't  get enough of it. I've watched as hwe has gone from a rating of 1100 to now of a rating of about 1500. Given that he plays in  at least 5-6  tournaments per year he purchased an Excalibur Game Time II Digital Chess Clock, which  the  USCF promotes as "The Official Chess Clock of the United States Chess Federation".  At the end of May he will be  playing  in the U.S. Am. West Championship Tournament. The Time Control?!? 40/90, SD30, inc(rement)/30 -- The so-called "Fischer Time  Control" !!! One week later he  will be playing in Las Vegas, and the  time control will once again be 40/90, SD30, inc(rement)/30 !!! After pushing people to get rid of their analo g clocks for the GREAT things  DIGITAL chess clocks could perform -- including DELAY functions -- and vowing to phase out analog clocks altogether, and  then actively PROMOTING the Excalibur Game Time II Digital Chess Clock, as being "The Official Chess Clock of the United States Chess Federation", he discovered that there apparently no way to set the "Official Chess Clock of the USCF" for a Fischer Time Control. Not sure if this is a true statement or not,  but he claims  it can not. My  Chronos?!? NO PROBLEM!!! I had to go online but with a little searching  found a way to  set one  of my modes for a Fischer Time Control. I then programed my the first two modes of my backup Chronos with two different Fischer Time Controls. I am going  to loan my "student"  my pre-programed back-up Chronos to take with him to both events.  My student is pissed to say the very least because  after looking at  several clocks, he purchased the one being marketed  by the USCF as The OFFICIAL Clock of the USCF, now the USCF has jumped to yet another tournamnet time control, yet this one, apparently can't be done by the USCF's own OFFICIAL clock!!!

    The USCF needs top PUBLISH an OFFICIAL LIST of ALL TIME CONTROLS that could be used in ANY OFFICIAL USCF sanctioned Tournament. ANY clock -- be it an "Official" or "Un-Official" but comon digitial clock -- should be able to be  set  to.

      When I bought my Chronos a few years  ago, I  bought it for a few reasons A) there were rumors that my beloved BHB Analog clock was going to be phased out, and ONLY digital would be allowed  B) I needed a clock that had a Low Center of Gravity  and would be hard to tip over  C) Built like a Tank  D) could be "programed" to handle any time control that  could be invented.  While EXPENSIVE and not the least bit intuitive to program, the Chronos met my needs, especially  the Low Center Center of Gravity part. The fact that the Chronos was the  defacto Chess Clock of the USCF at the time I bought it was also considered.

     In a post script note I not sure if the Excalibur Game Time II Digital Chess Clock was available at the  time I bought my  Chronos, but after  my  "student" bought his,  I would not have bought it anyway -- to me it is a cheap piece of plastic junk, probably made in China, that will wear out after a few years of use, and is probably easily broken; my Chronos will probably  still be  in use long after I'm dead.

    In the event my student is WRONG and the Excalibur Game Time II Digital Chess Clock can be set to run a Fischer Time Control of 40/90, SD30, inc(rement)/30 and also GAME /60 ,  Inc(rement)/30 which  seems to be  yet another of USCF's newer time controls that  is gaining popularity,  PLEASE post how you do it  so I   can pass along the information to my "student".

    P.S. For any USCF members out there, this issue of "Official"  clocks of the USCF, and the use Time Controls should be brought up to the Excutives of the USCF. At the very least the USCF should be FORCED to PUBLISH a LIST of ALL TIME CONTROLS permissible in a UCSF  Sanctioned Tournament, it should also PUBLISH a LIST of ALL allowable digital clocks that can be used in a sanctioned USCF  Tournament. If TRUE that the Excalibur Game Time II Digital Chess Clock can't be set to run in Fischer Time Controls, mark my words that the  TDs for both the US Am West tournament and the Las Vegas tournament which followes a week later are likely to have to quell a VERY ANGRY revolt among  players who bought the Excalibur Game Time II Digital Chess Clock because it was blessed by the USCF as its OFFICIAL clock.

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #2

    ivandh

    That is a lot of words about a clock.

    If you are not already aware, "Official USCF" is always to be read as "Let us gouge you for all of our worthless garbage."

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #3

    MJ4H

    Game Time 2 can be set for fischer time controls.  Use the "Accum" feature. I just played a 90+30 tournament a couple of weeks back with mine.  Works great.

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #4

    azbobcat

    MJ4H wrote:

    Game Time 2 can be set for fischer time controls.  Use the "Accum" feature. I just played a 90+30 tournament a couple of weeks back with mine.  Works great.

    Thank you  for the info. I'll pass it on. I assume the "Accum" feature is easy to find and set?!? Truly appreciate your post. 

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #5

    azbobcat

    ivandh wrote:

    That is a lot of words about a clock.

    If you are not already aware, "Official USCF" is always to be read as "Let us gouge you for all of our worthless garbage."

    Yep, I  agree. TDs can't be expected to be experts in knowing how to set every clock on the  market. My own view of introducing "Fischer Time Controls" into USCF tournaments was poorly thought out -- players -- and a lot of TDs as well -- are just getting around to figuring out how to set their clocks with 5 second delay, and now the USCF springs so-called Fischer Time Controls on them.... I truly  miss the good ol' days where analog clocks, such  as the BHB, were King....

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #6

    MJ4H

    azbobcat wrote:
    MJ4H wrote:

    Game Time 2 can be set for fischer time controls.  Use the "Accum" feature. I just played a 90+30 tournament a couple of weeks back with mine.  Works great.

    Thank you  for the info. I'll pass it on. I assume the "Accum" feature is easy to find and set?!? Truly appreciate your post. 

    It's definitely in the manual.  Basically, with the clock in pause mode, hit the select button 7 times to get to the ACCUM option.  You can turn it on from there.  When it is on, the main display will have an F in it to indicate that the clock is a fischer clock and the time will be added after each move instead of being used as a delay.

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #7

    azbobcat

    MJ4H wrote:
    azbobcat wrote:
    MJ4H wrote:

    Game Time 2 can be set for fischer time controls.  Use the "Accum" feature. I just played a 90+30 tournament a couple of weeks back with mine.  Works great.

    Thank you  for the info. I'll pass it on. I assume the "Accum" feature is easy to find and set?!? Truly appreciate your post. 

    It's definitely in the manual.  Basically, with the clock in pause mode, hit the select button 7 times to get to the ACCUM option.  You can turn it on from there.  When it is on, the main display will have an F in it to indicate that the clock is a fischer clock and the time will be added after each move instead of being used as a delay.

    Yep, I found the Manual on-line, copied the relevant portion and sent it off in an e-mail to my "student". It took him some time to get it to work. Seems there is something called "Accum" and a second function called "Accum All". He had to set the clock with the "Accum All" function. Thank you sincerely for your post. He has back-to-back tournaments coming up: The US Am West, at the end of May, followed by a BIG tournament in Las Vegas one week later. It sent him into panic mode since some clocks can be set to a Fischer Time Control and others NOT. I instinctively  knew my Chronos with some 200+ modes should be able to be set for a Fischer Time Control, but no one -- including an  experienced TD -- knew if my "student's" clock could be. I think last year both  these events had time controls of 40/2, SD/60, d5. This year, according to him, the time  control for both are 40/90, SD/30,  inc/30. Don't ask me why  the change.


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