Popular Time Control is G30/D5. What is the Best Time Management Strategy for Kids to Learn?

SeniorPatzer

In my area the most common time control for scholastic tournaments is G30/D5 (Game in 30 minutes with a 5 second delay). 

 

What do you recommend kids to play and know in terms of factoring the clock into their chess play?

 

Sometimes I see kids play and finish games when they both had 20 minutes or more left on the clock.  It seems like the clock is freaking them out and they're treating it almost like a 5 minute blitz game.  

 

And I've also seen it where one or both sides get down to 5 minutes on their clock, and one or both players freak out, and they just start making moves like every 2 seconds (it seems) with arms and hands just flashing about, and then they are blundering everything away, and when the game is over, they still have like 3 minutes left on their clock.

 

What's the best way to teach players how to manage their clock time in a tournament with a G30/D5 time control?  Any rules of thumbs that you use?

 

What do you think of the following:

o  Spend no more than 10 minutes of clock time for your first 10 moves.  By move 10, you should still have 20 minutes or more on your clock.

o  Once you get down to 5 minutes on your clock, you can stop writing down your moves.

o  When it's your opponents turn to move, think on his clock time!  What you should think about is _____________.  

o  If you see a good move, sometimes you sit on your hands and try to find a better one.  If you feel a little time stressed, and you know it's a good move, and even though there might be a better one, go ahead and play your good move!

o  If it gets down to 5 minutes on your clock, you still have time!  You don't have to race and get possibly rattled.

o  If it gets down to 1 minute, you can still probably get in 30 moves or so.

 

Do you have tips to pass on to kids (and adults) for G30/d5 time management?

DeirdreSkye

The only way for one to improve his time management is to improve his analytical skill. That will allow him to know when it is a critical moment where a lot of thinking is needed and where the choices are relatively simple and they don't need to think much.

     That needs a thorough analysis of the game after it ends. The player must remember where he spend so much time and why and  examine if his decision was indeed justified or he was simply seeing ghosts(imaginery threats). Becoming a better player means your ability to analyse the position accurately improves and that in turn means your time management improves.

    It is also a matter of confidence. A beginner often doubts his choices. He changes his plan with no apparent reason or he might not even have a plan. The opposite is also true. He often follows a plan blindly without paying any attention to what his opponent does. These mistakes are of course expected and we all have done them. Again analysing the game thoroughly after it ends is the best medicine. A player learns more about his deficiencies and improves all aspects of his game with the analysis of his games.

knighttour2

A lot of kids who play scholastic aren't interested in improving.  I've seen games finish when both kids have 25+ minutes left in a G/30.  They are impatient and just move instantly.  One of my students rated about 700 improved more than 100 points after I told him to simply wait 5 seconds before making any move.  It cut down on his blunders a lot and let him pick up free pieces.

To answer your question, I don't think time control matters.  What matters is if they take the time they have to study the board or whether they just blitz out a move.  

One thing I do advocate for is increment instead of delay, which allows people to write down their moves the whole game instead of stopping with 5 minutes left.  As a time trouble addict, I have a lot of really interesting endgames that I've lost due to my inability to write with low time.

My advice for G/30 is to play fairly quickly out of the opening if it's an opening that you know and also don't always look for the best move.  If you have two choices between a good move and a really complicated move that is at best only slightly better than the good move but requires a lot of calculation, take move #1 and preserve your time for later in the game.

SeniorPatzer
DeirdreSkye wrote:

The only way for one to improve his time management is to improve his analytical skill. That will allow him to know when it is a critical moment where a lot of thinking is needed and where the choices are relatively simple and they don't need to think much.

     That needs a thorough analysis of the game after it ends. The player must remember where he spend so much time and why and  examine if his decision was indeed justified or he was simply seeing ghosts(imaginery threats). Becoming a better player means your ability to analyse the position accurately improves and that in turn means your time management improves.

    It is also a matter of confidence. A beginner often doubts his choices. He changes his plan with no apparent reason or he might not even have a plan. The opposite is also true. He often follows a plan blindly without paying any attention to what his opponent does. These mistakes are of course expected and we all have done them. Again analysing the game thoroughly after it ends is the best medicine. A player learns more about his deficiencies and improves all aspects of his game with the analysis of his games.

 

What's the relationship between analysis and speed of thought/play?  Totally agree with improving one's analysis.  Yet how does a player incorporate analytical improvement with the pragmatic aspects of a ticking game clock?  Is there a fast way to do an analytical assessment of a position?

 

With regards to time expenditure, do you recommend players to write down in parentheses the time remaining on the clock after a move?

DeirdreSkye
SeniorPatzer wrote:
DeirdreSkye wrote:

The only way for one to improve his time management is to improve his analytical skill. That will allow him to know when it is a critical moment where a lot of thinking is needed and where the choices are relatively simple and they don't need to think much.

     That needs a thorough analysis of the game after it ends. The player must remember where he spend so much time and why and  examine if his decision was indeed justified or he was simply seeing ghosts(imaginery threats). Becoming a better player means your ability to analyse the position accurately improves and that in turn means your time management improves.

    It is also a matter of confidence. A beginner often doubts his choices. He changes his plan with no apparent reason or he might not even have a plan. The opposite is also true. He often follows a plan blindly without paying any attention to what his opponent does. These mistakes are of course expected and we all have done them. Again analysing the game thoroughly after it ends is the best medicine. A player learns more about his deficiencies and improves all aspects of his game with the analysis of his games.

 

What's the relationship between analysis and speed of thought/play?  Totally agree with improving one's analysis.  Yet how does a player incorporate analytical improvement with the pragmatic aspects of a ticking game clock?  Is there a fast way to do an analytical assessment of a position?

 

With regards to time expenditure, do you recommend players to write down in parentheses the time remaining on the clock after a move?

Improving your ability to analyse the position means you know when to sepnd a lot of time and when not. For example , I have seen beginners spending a lot of time in simple and obvious decisions like castling while playing fairly quickly when it's time for critical decisions.

      When I was playing  , I remember that I improved a lot my results when I could feel when I needed to make a critical decision that could be the turning point of the game. 

     It is also a matter of evaluating accurately. I remember  game McShane- Carslen. McShane lost a lot of time calculting a complicated double piece sacrifice which Carlsen didn't bother to analyse as he evaluated it as too dangerous for him and he was going to avoid it with a simple move.

    Overall , there are no tricks for time management. If you try to find tricks then you will do more harm than good. It is always a bad idea in chess to try to prevent beginners from doing mistakes. Let them do the mistakes and help them fix them. That way they develop important skills and that must be the goal. Does great time management matters if they don't have skills?   

SeniorPatzer

Thanks for counsel.  Question:  Does the 50 move rule apply in these G30/d5 games where players are in time pressure and not writing down moves?

 

Say it's King, rook, and knight versus King, rook, and knight with no pawns on the board.  One player offers a draw.  The other declines, playing to flag the other player.  

 

Is the 50 move rule null and void because they are not keeping score?   

knighttour2

I've seen people actually count on their hands or under their breath (1, 2, 3, etc) or a TD can keep track if one is watching, but I believe the onus is on the player claiming the draw to prove that 50+ moves have occurred.  I don't know the exact USCF rule but I think that unless the player counts, or a TD or spectators can verify with some level of certainty, then the game continues.  I know for sure that the rules isn't voided, but it can be very hard to prove that 50+ moves have actually occurred.

With 5 second delay, you should never flag in an equal position.  I've played 50+ moves in a R+P endgame with 1 second remaining + 5 second delay

SeniorPatzer
knighttour2 wrote:

I've seen people actually count on their hands or under their breath (1, 2, 3, etc) or a TD can keep track if one is watching, but I believe the onus is on the player claiming the draw to prove that 50+ moves have occurred.  I don't know the exact USCF rule but I think that unless the player counts, or a TD or spectators can verify with some level of certainty, then the game continues.  I know for sure that the rules isn't voided, but it can be very hard to prove that 50+ moves have actually occurred.

With 5 second delay, you should never flag in an equal position.  I've played 50+ moves in a R+P endgame with 1 second remaining + 5 second delay

 

Thanks for the above.  

 

I can imagine someone getting flagged in an equal position and being bitter about it.

knighttour2

I've seen it before, but typically it's people who don't have experience playing speed chess.  I think playing blitz is a good way to avoid flagging or blundering in low time

Dsmith42

There's one skill which is often neglected, and that is to KEEP THINKING ON THE OTHER PLAYER'S TIME.

 

Many young players look away until the opponent moves, but if you can anticipate and analyze the most likely responses, you can spend less time when your own clock is ticking (except when the reply surprises you, of course).  Their time can be your time, too.

SeniorPatzer
Dsmith42 wrote:

There's one skill which is often neglected, and that is to KEEP THINKING ON THE OTHER PLAYER'S TIME.

 

Many young players look away until the opponent moves, but if you can anticipate and analyze the most likely responses, you can spend less time when your own clock is ticking (except when the reply surprises you, of course).  Their time can be your time, too.

 

I noticed the same thing!!  What would you suggest for them to think about?

 

I would suggest positional analysis and predicting candidate moves by the opponent. 

SeniorPatzer

I saw the last 10-15 minutes or so of the Youtube Broadcast of the Leuven Grand Chess Tour, Day 1 with Yasser, Maurice, and Lovely Lady (I just can't remember her name.)

 

Anyways, they were interviewing Wesley at the end of the day, and he thinks that there are going to be faster time controls, or that there's a trend towards it, and so, without coming directly out and saying it out loud, he's kinda sorta preparing for that, and implicitly, maybe that's why he had a good result in Day 1 of the Rapid format of 25 minutes, Delay 10 seconds.

 

An interesting hypothesis by Wesley.  Which kinda speaks to memorizing your openings and whipping them out quickly, so you'll have more time for the rest of the game.

HolographWars

Nay, it is fine to put them into longer time control tournaments. 30 mom is good enough for u500 but longer time is needed for stronger players

SeniorPatzer

On Chess24 they transcribed Wesley's interview after Day 1 of the Leuven Rapid/Blitz tournament and he did say what I thought I heard from comment #12.

When there was talk of Wesley becoming a rapid and blitz specialist he noted how much more important fast chess is becoming:

I have a feeling rapid and blitz will become more popular in the upcoming times, so players are going to have to get used to it now. It’s not all about classical chess anymore!

HolographWars

Oh yes it is, Classical chess gets you money while speed chess doesn't give you a cent.

SeniorPatzer
HolographWars wrote:

Oh yes it is, Classical chess gets you money while speed chess doesn't give you a cent.

 

At the Super GM level speed chess (Rapid and Blitz) does pay.  Witness the Leuven Grand Chess Tour prize money.  Also, the FIDE World Championship and this year's US Women's Chess Championship were decided by Rapid/Blitz tie-breakers. 

 

What this will do is arguably produce a trickle-down effect where it will be widely adopted by National Chess Federations and the masses.  I say arguably because perhaps it's been a bottom's up approach instead,  and the popularity of Speed Chess climbed its way into the Upper Echelons of Chess.

 

While "Blunder Chess" (my humorous term for Speed Chess) is certainly exciting, fun, and filled with drama which definitely increases its appeal for spectators as the clock is ticking down, I have made the argument in other threads that Rapid/Speed Chess should NOT be used in World Championship matches as a tie-breaker.  If after 24 games, the match is still tied, then the World Champ retains his crown.

 

Anyways, lot of kids like Rapid/Blitz Chess, a lot of tournaments have these time controls, plus it's being used in top GM tournaments, even Wesley So is anticipating this trend (whether right or wrong, good or bad) and so, it just seems that the pragmatic or practical thing to do is to combine both accurate and fast decision-making at the chess board for good time management because of the faster time controls.

DeirdreSkye

Maybe the thing that will keep classical chess alive is that you can't be good rapid chess player without being good classical chess player.

 

SeniorPatzer
DeirdreSkye wrote:

Maybe the thing that will keep classical chess alive is that you can't be good rapid chess player without being good classical chess player.

 

 

100% agree!

NelsonMoore

I'd like to see delays as an alternative to increments here too.

5 second delay means no flagging if your 30 minutes is nearly up in a totally won or drawn position.

By the way, I believe Rapid is fine, just no silly blitz. I'd reduce classic down to 30/45 too. 30 minutes plus 45 seconds per move. That would get you to move 40 with 1 hour of clock time, so including your opponents, within 2 hours.

To learn and improve you certainly do have to play slower chess.

 

knighttour2

The problem with huge increment controls like +45 seconds is the pros can blitz our 15 moves of theory and gain more time on the clock.  Ditto for repetitions in the endgame.  I don't see G/30 as ever being a commonly played time control at high level chess.