Tuesday, September 22, 2009

G/90+30 seconds is an abomination!

I recently sent an email back to my home state of Georgia, informing them I have decided to not play in the upcoming Georgia Senior. I wrote, " I want to support Senior chess, especially in the South, but now is not the most propitious time." Although there are many reasons, the main one is the time control. Although the organizers changed it from the FIDE time control of G/90 with 30 seconds added, to G/100 with 30 seconds added, I am simply not comfortable playing a totally new time control with which I have no experience.
Since I was told by a FM from Tennessee, a man whom I beat when he was a NM, I might add, that my opinion carries little weight because of my low rating, with him going on to tell me to "raise your rating, and you will have then have credibility," I will let others speak on the matter.
I sent out emails to many players, most Seniors, others who will be Seniors in the future, asking if they had played in a tournament with a G/90+30 seconds added time control. I received only one, that from Rex Blalock, a Master, via http://www.chess.com/. Rex is originally from the great state of Georgia, and will be returning next year. This is what he had to say: "You mention in one entry that an event was going to have G/90 but with 30 sec increments from move 1 and asked if anyone had ever played such a control. I have often played with that time control here in Europe in fide events. It is one of the 2 most popular controls here for Open tournaments. The other is G/2 hours. I can tell you from experience that G/90 +30sec normally equals about 4 hours/game. There is no significant difference in it and G/2 hours imo. Like you, I am upset that the game is speeding up but here I usually dont play more than 1 round a day so its not as bad as when you play more than 1 round a day."
This was posted as a reply on the USCF website in reply to my post: Teaching old dogs new tricks, by Thomas Magar, a NM from Pa.: "I played in several tournaments in Canada with the increment time control. The increment is fine for juniors, but it tends to lead to extended periods of time pressure or perceived time pressure. This can lead to potentially disastrous consequences for senior players.One tournament was at Game 60 + 30sec. Many of the players disliked it as there seemed to be little time to think because of the requirement of having to write out your moves. It seemed like time pressure lasted for about 45 minutes of the game and was very stressful. The tournament that was at Game 90 + 30sec was a little better, but the last half hour left some players exhausted. There was general agreement that the most fair time control with increment was Game 120 + 30sec. This would provide a 4 1/2 to 5 hour session with time for the normal number of "thinks" necessary to play a quality game. I don't think it is healthy to stress seniors out with a fast time control. We would like to play a good game rather than one filled with time pressure blunders. FIDE's messing around with traditional chess is insane."
Finally, I would like to submit a question to, and the answer by GM Yasser Seirwan in an interview on http://www.jeremysilman.com/:
Do you like the trend towards faster time controls, or do you long for the good old days when 40 in 2 was the norm?
"I strongly dislike the faster time controls. I prefer Blitz, Rapid and Classical controls. For the latter, 40/2, 20/1, 15 + 30 seconds is best. 90+30 seconds, the time control used in Bled is an abomination. It completely ruins the endgame and hence the whole quality of the games. Unfortunately, this fast time control of 90+30 is ideal for organizers as the rounds end quickly and efficiently. Unless the players revolt and explain that the games are being ruined, the organizers will contentedly keep this time control. There are very few memorable games played at this time control."

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