Why I Won't Play With A Time Increment

Jan 6, 2010, 11:02 PM |

A few weeks ago I played a blitz game on chess.com that made me swear not to use a time increment anymore.  Since starting to play blitz games at chess.com I had come to the realization that I don't play 5-minute blitz games on the computer very well, at least not yet.  So I was experimenting with different time controls.  For this game, I had set the time controls at 3 minutes plus 6 seconds per move.  I figured that an average game lasts about 40 moves, so that would be about 7 minutes each if it lasted 40 moves.

kevingong vs. ravence007

I lost the exchange on move 23, but I had won back a piece by move 31.  In time trouble I misplayed the endgame, but by move 55 it was clear it was going to be a draw.  I offered a draw but my opponent declined.

On move 68 I sacrificed my bishop to take his remaining pawn, thinking that the resulting rook (him) vs. knight (me) endgame was an obvious draw.  I offered another draw and he stubbornly declined.

We spent the next 120 moves (count 'em) mindlessly moving back and forth.  I figured it was pointless to offer a draw since he clearly just wanted me to give up.  At one point I typed "zzzz" into the chat area and he actually replied "bwahahaha".  Grr.

I was hoping chess.com had implemented the 50-move rule, but the game just kept going.  I didn't know I had to click the draw offer button again.  Finally, after we repeated the same position about 7 times, I clicked the draw offer button and the game mercifully came to an end.  Not because he accepted it, I'm sure, but because the draw was automatically enforced because of the repetition.

The ironic part is, he actually wore me down to the point where I made a mistake and he could have won the game.  After 166. Nd4?? he should have played 166. ... Rd8, pinning my knight and winning it on the next move.

I've since decided that I'll stick to 8 to 10 minutes per side, no time increment.