Not a good idea: Tournament with Time Control of 14 days


The Situation then

Way back in November 2015 I got into my first three chess tournaments ever and didn't have any experience. I needed my time to make my moves and thought that the chance to have 14 days of thinking for one move would be just perfect for me. So I joined the Unofficial 1st Long Championship. Sounded good to me!

What happened

My last game in the first round ended on July 8, 2016.

The last game of the first round started on March 28, 2018 and was finished on November 12, 2019. For more than a year it was the only game that was played in this tournament. Not only me, many others had to wait more than three years for the second round to begin.

The Situation now

The second round started a week ago and it seems that many players have disappeared. About 10 players didn't log into for months or years. In Group 5 not one move has been made yet! Well, there is another week for the four players to make their first moves.

There's a group of three and it seems that two players are not active anymore. What's the value then of advancing one round?

The Idea of Taking One's Time

Don't get me wrong: Sometimes one has other things to do. It happened to me too that I needed rather long just to make one single move: Being on vacation, someone was sick in the family — we all know that life can be complicated and that there are times when you don't even think of playing chess.

But if someone plays more than 70 games simultaneously and then waits 14 days for the last move (which is an obvious checkmate that a six-year old would recognize) in a game that lasts already more than a year — and 49 potential players are waiting for the next round to begin — then there is something wrong.

My Thoughts

This tournament has become a farce. It started four years ago and will probably last another eight years or so.

What to do?

I wonder if I should withdraw from the tournament. I am hesitating because it does not feel like good sportmanship (what about my two opponents in my group [the third one was not online for the last two and a half years]). Well, I'll make a decision.

My Advice to should not offer the Time Control option of 14 days for tournaments.

Will anybody from read this?



Nothing against correspondence chess!  As long as you are involved in that game as a player …

In the described case many players have to wait for years (!) for others to finish their games.  That's quite a difference, don't you think?



One thing I find unworkable is when someone has something like 50 games underway and only makes a move on the game that times out the soonest. So no matter how much free time they have for chess, they are only going to make a move on day 14. I find it frustrating when come one just does e5 and then it's another 14 day wait. Even a few conditional moves would help, but that never happens. For that reason, I only play 1or 2day tournaments with no vacation.


There are always going to be folk that take almost their entire time. If two of those kind of players happen to get paired against each other, that’s almost 1 month per move. So for an average length of game between those guys, you need to assume 3 years. Later rounds, you could expect to maybe be a bit shorter, but maybe not. 

I wouldn’t want to play in such an event, but I don’t really see the problem with offering it. If anyone signs up to an event like that, expecting it to be over in 6 months or a year, that’s just unrealistic. 

Compared to the guys who supposedly used to send each other a move in a Christmas Card every year, it’s quite fast! :-)


Yes, there 's not a problem, except most people have left the tournament, making it not much of a tournament any more.

Comparing online chess to games that rely on the efficiency of the international postal system, and world political and meteorological events is not realistic in my opinion.


There is freedom of choice when entering a game or tournament. Choose a format that will make you happy.


MSwisher14905 wrote:

There is freedom of choice when entering a game or tournament. Choose a format that will make you happy.

Gee, I never thought of that!


Some comments have been deleted in this thread. So my comment #2 does look quite unmotivated (if not stupid). It was an answer to someone who referred to correspondence chess (not online but on paper).

Deleting comments in an ongoing discussion is not very helpful.

Overall I must say that maybe I did not make my point very clear (well, jjupiter got it).

I'll try again: Offering tournament options that lead to events that are not very useful for how I think a tournament should be organized (fair play, no groups with two active players  only or even less when two advance) is not a good idea.

Especially as a beginner in online chess most players will not have the insight what it means to play such a tournament as decribed in my opening statement. I was a beginner when I joined this tournament and had no idea what it meant.

I wonder if offered the option of one move per year someone would use it.


MSwisher14905 wrote:

There is freedom of choice when entering a game or tournament. Choose a format that will make you happy.

EXACTLY. Just because you, and I, and most sane people, don't want to play a 14 day control doesn't mean that should make it unavailable. Just consider it a learning experience. I went through a similar experience with 7 day controls, and now I only sign up for 1 day or 2 day tournaments. Also, look out for tournaments that allow vacation time!

createsure wrote:

... doesn't mean that should make it unavailable. ...

You are right: It doesn't mean it. But it would be a good move to think it over in order to guide newcomers and help people to make the right decisions. 

"Freedom of choice" does not justify something that obviously doesn't work well, leads to frustration and forces poor sportsmanship.



I agree with you @Frank_Je But I think people just need to check before they join a 14-day tournament. I agree 14- day tournament are pretty stupid, but there may be people that enjoy them. This being said I don't think should remove the option, I think people just need to check before they join a 14-day.  But Very well- thought argument and a good job presenting it, Well done!