Fischer timing?

At the AGM on 3 September it was agreed that Fischer timing could be used in standard-play games this season, provided both players agree to its use (and of course appropriate digital clocks are available).   In brief, this means starting out with and hour and a quarter on the clock, but instead of a quickplay finish after 30 moves, 10 seconds is added each move from the first move.   Thus, a game of 90 moves moves would last three hours.

Whilst this was approved at the AGM, other methods were also suggested.   Stowmarket’s Vicky Allen wondered why we shouldn’t simply play for 90 minutes each, with no quickplay finish.   This was supported in a comment to a previous article on the subject, when Clacton’s Melvin Steele commented, at some length, “Many of the advantages you quote for Fischer timing could also be gained by simply adopting a single, non-incremental, time control of all moves in 90 minutes… So isn’t it a good time to consider that too – because that has similar appeal AND can be equally applied to digital and analogue clocks (rather than being a separate digital option)?

“On analogue clocks, this of course also gets rid of the breaking off to ‘fiddle about’.   On electronic clocks it additionally avoids the situation that can occur if players omit pressing the clock for one or more moves, or if players give an extra press, such as an initial ‘check it works’, or to take back an illegal move.

“By mis-counting the 30 moves in the dual time control, this can cause the move-number-triggered type of digital clock to prematurely flash and stop, falsely indicating that the game is over because the first time control was not met, then needing an ‘expert’ to do the resetting.   Displayed time with a single Fischer increment would also be affected, and not so easy to reset.

“A final consideration for clubs investing in digital clocks – are 34 modes needed when at least 30 will be unused?  
Some cheaper models are quite adequate for both Fischer and single time controls – but some do not support the present double time control.   So a decision to keep/drop the present time control could determine how many clocks a fixed club budget might buy!”

It’s certainly something to consider for a future AGM, but doesn’t a single time control (all moves in 90 minutes) take some fun out of the game?

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