Saturday, December 04, 2004


Over at Chess Underground, Pete reflects on the continuing compression of time controls in events ranging from World Championships to club tournaments and, of course, internet play. He points to scholastic play to suggest that things are likely to get worse (i.e., even faster - I know this is a value judgment on my part) rather than better in the future:
Consider this: the recent scholastic grades tournament had a time control of game in thirty minutes. The Junior Open? Game in 45. hour glassIn fact there has not been a scholastic tournament longer than G/60 in the Midwest since the Nationals and Supernationals in Illinois, and even then side events such as "5-minute" and "bughouse" tournaments accompanied the main event....Perhaps the true problem is how we are starting children out - they learn to play in G/30 tournaments (where notation is not only not required, but not even recommended!) and it is only natural to presume the game is to be played at this pace in the future.
Here in Massachusetts the situation is much the same:
  • Burger King Scholastics - G/45
  • BCC Sunday Scholastics - G/30
  • BCC Scholastic Quads - G/45
  • MACA Scholastics - G/45
And, of course, time compression is a way of life in club tournaments. In fact, the BCC tournaments which still run at 40/2, 20/1, SD/30 with adjournments (for example, The Championship; Hauptturnier; Reubens-Landey & Paramount) are really anachronisms at this point. For comparison take a look at typical weeknight time controls around the area:
  • BCC Thursday Night Swiss - 40/90 SD/25
  • BCC Monday Night Swiss - 40/90 SD/15 (recently changed from 30/75 SD/30)
  • Metrowest - 40/90 SD/30
  • Waltham - G/60 (or faster)
  • Newburyport - 40/80 SD/30
From Caissa's perspective, Mick didn't have right; time is not on our side (no it isn't).

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