Intentionally Playing Slow

USL_Pony

I have been seeing a trend in daily tournaments; playing slow increases your chances of advancing.

There have been enough times I have seen the one player who uses two and a half of the three day limit to make a move gains an advantage because of people flaking from the site.  A person who made at least one move a day will end at least one if not both of their games against a particular opponent.  The slow mover however will end up gaining more points if a particular opponent flakes two months down the road.

Should everyone intentionally play a bit slower, or should there be some sort of mitigation to detract from playing slowly being a slight advantage in daily tournaments?

IMBacon

You need to learn what Daily Chess is.  If you have 3 days to make a move?  Then you have 3 days to make a move.  That's not playing slow.  That's called using your time.'

 

USL_Pony

Its in between.  If you *can* make a move in a day in a three day limit but choose not to, its intentionally playing slow.  Usually the people who use all their time are ones who have 200+ games ongoing.  Its still a question of is using all of your time in the hopes that someone flakes out, gets banned, etc is actually a winning tactic.

I see two people otherwise equal in a 3 day tournament; one makes a move every day, one makes a move with hours to spare. The second will consistently perform better.

IMBacon

I disagree...I have taken the maximum amount of time on move 1.  Why?  To train myself to slow down, and take my time.  If you sign up for Daily Chess, you should expect people to use their time as they see fit.

 

fpawn

I have noticed that players who always move slowly will frequently forfeit because they lose track of time. (Or perhaps some other real world distraction came up.) It is a bit annoying when the opponent suddenly drops in an interesting position, but that's the nature of the beast.

I always try to move within 24 hours. That doesn't mean I don't take 15 minutes (or more) to think about a critical move. If the time control is 2 or 3 days, I might take an extra day when I need it.

FuzzleOIL

From my experience slow moving players didn't benefit from flaking players.

The only advantage I see is that they can calculate better, e.g. if they can offer a draw in an unclear position because a draw is enough to advance.

Ekrabin

IMBacon speaks Truthfully. Using the amount of time you have is not an Offense.

Ill_be_black

In defence of IronPonyChef I think they were asking whether it was a tactic rather than an offence. 

USL_Pony
Ekrabin wrote:

IMBacon speaks Truthfully. Using the amount of time you have is not an Offense.

 

Not my point.  I have no problem with people taking time if they need it.  I tend to play 2-3 days per move, and depending on how much time I have available might only make moves in games under 24 hours.

 

My point is if you *do* have time not making moves is somewhat of an unethical tactic.  People flake from the site all the time in tournaments.  Most do it nearly immediately, but some may drop out randomly a few months into it.  Anyone with an open game against them immediately has an advantage over anyone who finished all games already.

 

Use your time if you need it.  I just think its a grey area tactic to slow down to gain points in the long run against possible flakes.  I dont know if everyone who plays slow does so intentionally, but it is an optimization tactic that will have direct impact on tournaments fairly often.

Cystem_Phailure

I've played in 20 official chess.com tourneys since 2010 and another dozen or so non-official, all 3 days or longer. I think most of my opponents who have timed out or cut and run have done so very early in the games, and I don't think a strategy of simply trying to outlast others in your group is going to get anywhere. Maybe once in a while, and probably not for more than one opponent in a group.

I very often don't play my moves until the third day unless I've already worked out a line and my opponent is cooperating by making the right responses. If I've got an interesting or difficult game/position I usually look at it for a few minutes and maybe make some notes, and then close the game and take another look at it later or the next day. Rinse and repeat until I like my move or am at least convinced I'm not going to find a better one.

In my current tourney I got a complaint that I should play faster, but that's only the second or third whiner in all the games I've played. Most people know better than to sign up for a tournament and then whine because their opponent is playing within the clearly stated parameters for the tournament.

Usually if there are complaints in the tournament forums it's because of excessive or repeated use of vacation (also legal, though it can be frustrating), which is not something I do myself.

Ill_be_black

Oh trust me...there's some dedicated feet dragging types on here. I seem to attract them, and have ended up resigning in frustration multiple times from superior positions. I'd rather lose than win on time, at least in daily or longer matches. 

Strangemover

Personally I have over 100 daily games in progress and have done for a long time. Thus I have a routine of logging on in the morning and making moves in games with around 12hrs or less time left for me. Then I go to work. When I return in the evening I will log on again and again make moves in games with around 12hrs or less time left for me. I don't scroll through my games looking for ones which are on move 2 or where my reply is forced. No plan here to hope opponents close their account or whatever, just how I do it.

MickinMD

I'm not sure playing slower gives you an edge, but sometimes you have a feeling there's a good move and you can almost smell it, so you don't rush to make the move.

Sometimes, I don't have time to study my positions every day - normally having 10 or more games going. When they get to 1 out of 3 or more days, I usually go through all the games that have 2 days or less time to move.  On some days, like the recent holidays, I might average 1-5 minutes/move.  When I have more time, I average more like 10-15 minutes/move.

So if I - or others - wait until there's less than a day left then it's likely we want to wait until we have more time to examine the position and that should result in a better performance.

MickinMD
Strangemover wrote:

Personally I have over 100 daily games in progress and have done for a long time. Thus I have a routine of logging on in the morning and making moves in games with around 12hrs or less time left for me. Then I go to work. When I return in the evening I will log on again and again make moves in games with around 12hrs or less time left for me. I don't scroll through my games looking for ones which are on move 2 or where my reply is forced. No plan here to hope opponents close their account or whatever, just how I do it.

Nice system!  I've been astonished when some of my opponents had 200+ or 300+ games going and I still struggled to get 1 draw out of 2 games!  I wish I had time to play more than the up-to-14 games I simultaneously play in daily chess for three teams (USA, USA Southeast, Maryland).

fpawn

A player with 100 games in progress who spends 2-3 days every move most likely does not spend more time thinking about each position than the player with 10 games in progress who usually moves within 24 hours. wink.png

Coffee_Player

I do believe in quality over quantity. Bruce Lee said once:

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."

Ill_be_black

I fear not the man who has practised 10,000 kicks once, or even the man who has practised one kick 10,000 times, but rather Bruce Lee offering me out in his prime. And then playing 960 against Bobby Fischer just to finish me off psychologically...