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I intend to play in a 30/90, G/60 class C tournament next weekend. I'm more used to G/15 to G/60. Any tips for preparing for a slower event?
I think I have read a nice Time Management article by Dan Heisman but the title eludes me...
speed through the opening if you can, save time for the ending if you can and dont forget to hit your clock! my first tournament i sat and stared at the board while my opponent "thought"...for almost 20 mins until i realized that MY clock was still running! i hit my button and he immediately moved! i lost that game on time but learned a valuable lesson
jpd303, thanks, I've competed in USCF G/30, G/45, and G/60 tournaments before... what's unique about this one are the slower and two-period time controls. I'm worried about pacing and about differences in the types of errors that will decide these games.
If you've played at G/60 well, then you probably won't have too much trouble adjusting to the new time-controls. For me, the thing I always try to do is pace myself with the speed of the game. I think the opening and middle game is where I spend the bulk of my time. Endgame can be complicated, but I'd rather go into the endgame with a favorable position and up in material with less time on my clock than down a pawn with a huge time advantage.
I think the trick is not to even worry about the clock for the first 20 moves or so. The most important thing is maintaining equality with the opponent and trying to get the edge.
If I'm playing G/60 and I use 35 minutes of my time for the first 12 moves but I'm up a Knight vs. my opponent who used 5 minutes of their clock, I know I'm going to win the game. Class C you should easily be able to mop up a board in rapid fashion if you have material and positional advantage. It's almost like I'm playing blitz but I still have 20 minutes on my clock!
You don't want to be the one to blunder first! I have no problem taking 5 minutes/move in the opening and middle game to ensure that I'm not dropping material. After like 5 minutes though, unless you're a GM, you've probably run out of things to think about and you're probably ready to make the best move you can.
Lastly, I think the second most important thing is to use the time your opponent gives you to think about his future moves and how you plan to respond. You save a lot of time doing this. Of course, it is really exhausting. If I had to go full time on a 30/90, I'd maybe want to play 2 games/day and then I'm done! :)
What does G/60 and 30/90 mean ?
The game starts out with each player having 90 minutes on the clock. Once white has made his 30th move, an extra hour is added to both clocks. So, 30 moves in 90 minutes plus sudden death (also called "game") in 60 minutes. Or.... 30/90,G/60 is the shorthand version.
So, of course, if white doesn't make it to the 30th move then the game stays at 90 minutes on each clock.
thank you storminMormon
brandonqdsh made a few great points, think on your opponents time...and unless your a GM youll run out of things to think about...ive over analyzed and forgotten where i started or thought too long and forgot what the best move i determined was, or thought to long went back to a move that i discarded earlier looked at it briefly then made it only to remember why i didnt play it 10 mins ago! also get up and walk around, stretch, breath deeply, clear your head occasionally and i suggest eating frequent small snacks full of carbs, protein and sugar...like trail mix, nuts, and fruits, for lunch eat a potato or small amount of noodles...nothing heavy and NO JUNK FOOD! i think im missing the pacing issue...prepare a few openings that you can belt out in a few seconds or minutes- i say spend as little time as possible in the opening...the midgame can go either way, you might be able to get through it quickly, but spend the time when you need it! the endgame if you got the extra time use it! if not hope you can do it on intuition
For longer time controls (games lasting 3hrs+), your physical shape is very important. Here are my suggestions :
My experience is that for many players, their level of play decreases after the 3rd hour of play (roughly 1h30 for each side)
Hmm I gotta recommend steroids here. Not only are they all the rage, but they work as an excellent intimidation tool!
if you are experienced in quick or blitz games, play a little faster then usually. This way you put time pressure on your opponent. Then you can think in their time, when they think for 20 minutes and they play a move, you are able to play one back real quick because you analyzed in their time. This will give you the time advantage, because he is always pressured to think for a long time while you think in his time.
Opening moves should be learned by heart so that they can be played quickly. Middlegame usually takes up the most time for me, because I have to go through a lot of tactics. Exercising regularly will help you with your mental thoughts. Try to spend time, if you are a positional player, in thwarting your opponent's plans. This will make him think longer about his next move.
brandonQDSH> If you've played at G/60 well, then you probably won't have too much trouble adjusting to the new time-controls.
Good to know!
brandonQDSH> You don't want to be the one to blunder first!
At these time controls I expect very few blunders. In my last G/60 tournament, 75% of my games were actually decided strategically. That's a shame because recognizing simple tactics quickly is one of my skills.
brandonQDSH> I think the second most important thing is to use the time your opponent gives you to think about his future moves and how you plan to respond.
brandonQDSH> If I had to go full time on a 30/90, I'd maybe want to play 2 games/day
2 games/day is the format, actually. :)
jpd303> also get up and walk around, stretch, breath deeply, clear your head occasionally
Good idea. At G/60 I usually can't afford to do that. At these time controls I should certainly have at least a few spare minutes.
jpd303> and i suggest eating frequent small snacks full of carbs, protein and sugar...
I've got Cliff bars. :)
jpd303> .prepare a few openings that you can belt out in a few seconds or minutes- i say spend as little time as possible in the opening.
Daniel3> Opening moves should be learned by heart so that they can be played quickly.
I have Bookup, which should help with this.
hicetnunc> For longer time controls (games lasting 3hrs+), your physical shape is very important.
Thanks. This is a key area I had overlooked that I will focus on this week... exercising, eating right, vitamins, a compatible sleep schedule.
sebas4life, if you are experienced in quick or blitz games, play a little faster then usually. This way you put time pressure on your opponent.
Playing too quickly can get you into trouble. Experienced opponents won't feel compelled to keep pace. They will capitalize on the minor errors you make playing so fast, and at these time controls they won't even run into time trouble.
One thing that would help immensely is to play a few training games using the same time control. It would be best if you could do this against an opponent a little stronger than yourself. I find I use most of my time in middlegames, the openings tend to go pretty fast and along known lines for both players and by the endgame one side is usually winning or losing so its a matter of "technique" from there as they say.... One of the main things I am conscious of during classic (slow) games is if I am behind my opponent on the clock or ahead or if we are about equal. I try very hard not to fall far behind on the clock because experience has taught me nothing good ever comes from this !
Even in the opening, take time to make sure you are on the line you think you are on. You're asking about how to adjust to a longer time control and so many people are telling you to play fast. It seems like strange advice. This time control is more than twice as long as what you've played in the past. Take your time!
I agree with Reb that you can judge how you are doing on pacing by not getting too far behind your opponent.
I would mostly not let the clock influence your judgment about when to calculate more.
People make silly, avoidable blunders with plenty of time on the clock at this time control way more often than they lose on time or make blunders due to time pressure.
The dual time control shifts more importance to the endgame, which is good news, right?
I sometimes use an "average time per move" method of time management.
Most games finish before move 60. So if in this case we leave half an hour for the rest of the game if the game goes over 60 moves then we have 2 hours for the remaining 60 moves which is an average of 2 min per move.
Also if you know your opening and are able to play quickly this will increase the time that you have for critical moves