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I find that even one day per move for turn-based chess is slow. It is especially slow for tournaments in which there always seems to be one player who takes the maximum time and makes everybody else wait. The result is that it can take a year or more to finish a tournament with multiple rounds. Even one-day, no vacation tournaments limited to fast players often get held up by one slow player. Some fast players, play slower in tournaments. So I have two ideas. First is a 12 hour turn-based time control. Most of us can at least make a move twice a day. Many of us work at our computers and have mobile apps that allow us to make moves very quickly. Second is a "Live" format with very long time controls that allow logging off during the game. You could have a time control of say 3 days. This would mean that you would know that every game would take no more than 6 days, most much less. A four round tournament would be completed in less than a month. Maybe 3 days would be too fast since a player who stays up late and makes his move before bed might cause his opponent to use 6 hours or more every night and get into time trouble. But perhaps that would be offset by the other as an early riser who causes his night owl opponent to lose a few hours in the morning. In any event, it would take some experimentation to see what works. Maybe 7 days or 14 days. But something that would put a limit on how long a game could take.
If "Live" chess allowed signing off, you could even have 3 or 4 hour time controls. This might be popular for a weekend game when you are doing chores around the house and checking back in to the game every few minutes to make a move.
In any case, it seems that there is a lot of room between the slowest Live settings and the fastest turn-based settings and there is an opportunity to capture another chess playing experience that is between these two extremes.
Would any body be interested in these settings?
Wrt. turn-based, I would also welcome a clock that adds and sets a limit to total time used (or abused). I find it somewhat frustrating when I stumble on the "exaust the time available" opponent. A 3 day per move standard game can last 6 months, even if the one player reponds fast, and over a year (!) if both players are of the same persuasion.
Only way out I can think of is to employ an aggregate time clock for each player, e.g. 3 days per move/ 60 days per game, something like that.
himath2009 - I like the idea of the dual time control also. I have a game right now in which I have Q, R, B, N and 5 Ps vs Q, B and 4 Ps. I am all for playing out such positions. I usually do not resign as long as I still have my Q since the Queen always keeps alive the hope of a surprise checkmate from the blue or a perpetual check draw. But my opponent is taking his full 3 days for every move and as you say, at that rate, it will take another month or two for me to finish him off. And this game is part of a team match so the result of the match is held up for this one game.
The team matches are not as bad as tournaments since your are not holding up the beginning of the next round for months, still it is annoying and it would seem that there would be some fairly easy steps that could be taken to avoid such situations.
I learned a good "benefit of the doubt" lesson about people taking the maximum time for each move. I was playing someone I thought was doing that. Started chatting a bit. Nice guy - turns out, his computer is dead and he has had trouble making moves with his phone. Always best to assume people have good reasons for doing what they do even if most of the time they don't.
Indeed, games can stretch over weeks and weeks, even between "fast" players with a 1 day time control. Going through (or witnessing!) this kind if games is despairing when it comes to tournaments.
I like the idea of the second, aggregate total time control. But maybe we could enhance this idea from the live chess practise: each player could receive a bonus time every move they make.
An example: let's begin with a one or even two days, standard time control (because I sometimes cannot connect every day!). Let's say both players start with an initial 4 days of aggregate time. Then, for each move, they get a 3 hours bonus time.
With those settings, a short game of say... 24 moves cannot be longer than:
2x (4days + (24moves x 3hours)) = 2 weeks,
and a much longer game of 80 moves would take at most:
2x (4days + (80moves x 3hours)) = 4 weeks.
Those figures certainly need twitching, but I hope you get the idea...
stepht - Great idea!! I like it.... Bien dit!
Thank you! Let's get this implemented... Where do we apply?
I am hoping to get enough activity in the forum to be able to show the site developers that it would be appealing to many members. Let's talk it up among all our fast playing friends.
The problem with games of less then one day per move time control, is that part of the tactics become playing your move at the right time. If people know you timezone, they can play their move when they predict you will be in bed, forcing you to play when you get up and before you leave for work.
Also it seems hard to believe that many people do not have days of the week when they do not check their computer twice a day.
No doubt, that would be a problem for some, perhaps most, but those people would not play this time control. There are many, like me, work on the computer all day and have the moble app on their phone and can easily make make two or more moves a day.
Still your comment is valid and it may limit the interest in such a time control. Therefore, perhaps a total time control as others suggested here would work better.
It seems that there ought to be a way to limit the maximum time a game will take so that tournaments do not get held up for months for one slow player. There is a lot of room between 30 min "Live" games and one day per move "Turn-based" games to provide a format that would be appealing to a certain group of players.
The more I think about it, the more I like stepht's idea of a total time control like in live chess that would limit the total time allowed to complete a game and would allow tournaments to progress from round to round at a more predictable pace. There would be some challenges. As cofail points out, making a move at a strategic time to cause your opponent to use time while sleeping would certainly be an issue. But, my guess is that the people to whom this time control would appealing, would manage to get their moves in within the perscribed time limit. Those who could not, would not play this time control.
It would be interesting to know the distribution of average move times among members. Mine is currently 1 hr 33 min. I have seen some as low as 30 min. I have a few friends who play quickly and it usually takes us a day or two, three at the most to finish a game. For players like us, it would be nice for tournament rounds to take about a week allowing a four round tournament to be finished in a month.
For me the challenge with tournaments that stretch on for months is that I sometimes stop playing for a few months. When I am playing, I am continuously on top of my games. But when I take a break, I take a break. But if I have a tournament going, I never know when the next round is going to pop up and all of a sudden, I will have a pile of game going and it might not be when I am playing.
It would be nice to gear up for a tournament and finish it in a relatively confined period of time. This may not be for everybody, but the reason there are lots of different time controls is that there are lots of different ways people like to play and to me, it seems like there is a big gap between the fastest turn based time control and the slowest live time control.
I like this idea. With those timecontrols it's more like "real" chess.
The increment of 3h is OK. If you look at the official quick chess.com tournaments, they allow a Max avg of 3h/move. So I think this is ideal.
The number of starting days is a bit arbitrary, if you want to play really fast, you can have only 1 day starting time. Maybe we could customize the timecontrols: 2, 4 or 6 days starting time with increments of 3, 6 or 12 hrs.
Anyway, here are some figures for 3h increment: the rows are #moves, the coumns #days starting time. First table is total time for 1 player in days, the second is the average time for one player in hours
I think the 2nd Idea in the original post is pure genius... at first I was hesitant.. I usually move quite quickly... I have an android phone, a tablet, and spend most of my free time glued to my laptop... I'd wager that some days I make 5-10 moves in 20-30 games... and sometimes way more... I go a little nuts sometimes and register for tons of tourneys, kick on the welcome games, throw out a few challenges etc...ive had over 75 games in my hopper a few times... which can be alot to keep up, but i usually have no problems... im typically moving within the first 5 or so hours at most... and I try to go only for the 24 hour ones so the games actually END at some point... I agree with everyone that chasing a lone king down in an endgame with an open board (I nearly always resign when im the lone king) and they take the full 3 (or 5.. or 14!) for every move is TURBO annoying. But my hesitation has two recent examples...a couple months ago I wrecked my car quite badly, I wasnt hurt seriously, but it was a very late night with the police (who were really nice) and the tow truck driver (raging a-hole), and i had been up all day driving so when I finally crashed out it was for like 15 hours. My score dropped from roughly where it is now, to like 1115. In one day. A commenter in this thread mentioned a guy having trouble with his phone... well a few weeks ago I went for a weekender and only had my tablet. My rom went belly up and I couldnt get online for almost a day and a half... another 60-ish points... I cringe when I see the 14 day per turn tourneys...it seems like ACTUAL correspondence chess (like with pen and paper and snail mail) would be faster...but a 14 day (or something like that perhaps more or less) single game clock could be really great...we could continue to filter entrants by time frames less than 24 hr but have a little more leeway in case of totalled subarus, or having fun *trapped* with older family members and no working device, or even better stranded overnight on mt hood during raging snowstorm with no webbernets..(forest dept sent a snow cat for me!) all of which have happened to me THIS YEAR (as in 2012) and each cost me over 50 points. LOVE the idea of the single long game clock. Just to get hyper-nerdy and also add my two cents... since it's all run by computers, these hypothetical long game clocks could use something similar to the fischer tourney clock style (i.e. the very popular live game 15min + 10sec) but with a simple reward algorithm that scaled up the time bonus the faster you moved...(move in <6hrs add 8 hrs to clock, move in <12 hr add 4 hrs to clock, move in <24 add 2hrs etc) this could let us keep the start times lower while giving players incentive to move quickly..and, coupled with, say, an under 12 hr per move average filter to register (maybe less?)... still keep the games moving and give players enough time to finish and not have too many time outs. Sorry for the short novel here but the idea in OP has me excited. More opportunities for me to lose horribly!
edit: okay I should have read more than a couple of the responses... looks like im neither the only one who likes the single long clock, or the only bonus time scheme proponent! Sadly from what I gather, "chess.com" (the developers, admins, etc) is like a handful of people and they are VERY busy running the most insanely popular chess site around. Hopefully this will catch their eye... but ive been crying for what seems like Æons for two VERY EASY fixes (themes in live chess so the glaring white everywhere display doesnt burn my eyeballs off, and to "tablet friendly" the android app a little... i.e. on my 10.1 inch tablet, in portrait mode the "submit" and "cancel" buttons are large (approx 1/2in x 2 1/2in) and spaced apart. in landscape mode they change (?) and become about 1/4in x 1/2in and are stacked, touching top to bottom. seeing that a tenative move would put your queen in check and trying to cancel only to accidentally submit really blows big big donkey units. Im no programmer, but both these issues seem like simple fixes and I know for sure that many people complain about the live chess look (why it can't use the SAME framework they use for turn based is a mystery to me for sure) but like i said earlier, from my communications with them, (exchanged a few emails after I applied for one of the email support positions they advertised a few months back, and again when a tournament player wouldn't stop with abusive and insulting remarks in the chat window (most comically infuriating was when she told me I was an old loser who is worse at chess than her cat, which was probably the nicest thing she said) I get the feeling they run in pure panic mode putting out fires all day between android support, servers & tech upgrades, moderating disputes, and handling accounts, that most 'development' hours go into android app bug fixes/device compatibility. I was told by support that app fixes is highest on their list... and basically to not hold my breath for "new" options or custom ROM support as they could hardly keep the site and app both functioning... I'll drop the support manager a line see if it can direct sauron's gaze this way...
Yes, I would support shorter time frames for online chess. Like regular OTB tournament times: 60 mins; 120 mins for starters.
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