Saturday, March 13, 2010

Is there a TD in the house?

Question about USCF tournament rules...

If players disagree on whether they want straight time, or five second delay, does the player playing as black get to decide? Also, is the choice to play with 5 second increment or five second delay? Or is that also a free variable?


Blogger dfan said...

You should get an actual TD to confirm this, but I am 95% sure that:

1) If either player wants to use (and has) a delay clock, they automatically get their wish, as delay clocks are always preferred to non-delay clocks.

2) It's always delay. USCF does not endorse the use of increment.

Probably either of these rules can be overridden by the TD if it is announced publicly in advance.

3/13/2010 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a TD. dfan is correct: delay is preferable even over black's option and increment essentially doesn't exist in the US except possibly in FIDE norm tournaments. The only thing I would add is that the delay is meant for time controls that eventually end in sudden death: e.g. G/60 or 30/90 followed by SD/60. But almost nobody runs tournaments with time controls that can theoretically go on forever any more, such as perpetual 30/30. That being said, I've run blitz G/5 tournaments where no player wanted delay because the clock is SUPPOSED to be a factor in blitz. There we decided by a vote.

3/13/2010 04:19:00 PM  
Anonymous darkhorse said...

Two great responses so far, but I'd like to point to an official document: Clock Rules. The section The Three Levels of Clocks clearly states that digital with delay is preferred over mechanical and digital without delay.

3/13/2010 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks darkhorse that is really helpful!

3/14/2010 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

I couldn't find a similar page at the new web site, but I assume that archived site is accurate. Is it true they don't have the rules on their web site, you have to buy the book?

WTF is this 1980?

3/14/2010 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve Wollkind said...

Yeah, the USCF is incredibly lame and tries to make money via sales of their official rules.

3/18/2010 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger wang said...

Actually I thought I read that delay/increment are the same. Even though they aren't the same. In other words if you have a clock that give +5seconds to before each move it is ok, as the clock will never allow you to have more time than the initial time control.

3/19/2010 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Wang: but +5 lets you go from 1 minute on your clock to 2 minutes on your clock. Delay is there to let you move, but not much else. Actually adding time to the clock is a whole new cannaworms.

3/19/2010 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

A whole nother. :)

3/19/2010 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Polly said...

Believe me you're not the only one who has griped about not having the rules online at the uSCF website. Unfortunately years ago they made a totally bass ackwards deal with the publisher of the rule book which gives the publisher total rights to the rule book. They are not allowed to put the rulebook online. They can post updates, and at some point a new edition may come out.

It's totally absurd. No other national governing body has signed away the right to publish their rules as they see fit. When I joined the other USCF (US Cycling Federation) members would receive a copy of the rules. Same thing when I joined USAT (USA Triathlon). Now they don't send out printed copies of the rules, but they're available online.

Attempts have been made to get out of the contract, but without success. There have been lengthy debates on the USCF forums about this topic.

3/20/2010 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Polly: good to know I'm not the only one who thinks it is nuts. What more would I expect from the USCF though. WTF. I, like Polly, am involved in a lot of different activities, and they seem to manage much better than the USCF. I guess chess players are pretty much a weird, socially awkward bunch.

3/21/2010 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Michael Goeller said...

Wow -- Polly's comment just blows me away....

I would add one more thing to the discussion, which is some of the rationale for preferring delay clocks over non-delay where available in sudden death time controls (which, as Soapstone points out, is pretty much all time controls these days). The reason for preferring increment is to avoid complicated claims of "insufficient losing chances" that typically result from using a non-delay clock in sudden death. Of course, the rules on "insufficient losing chances" are themselves a mess (see discussion on our website), but all the more reason to avoid getting entangled in that other can of worms. That's why increment is preferred: the TD can just say "play on!" if there is any uncertainty regarding losing chances because there is little chance that someone in a position you cannot lose should lose if increment is available.

3/28/2010 07:20:00 PM  

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