Monday, 2 November 2015


When FIDE implemented faster times for the Chess Olympiad a number of years ago, there was quite an outcry against it. Chess was a serious game requiring serious thinking time, and a push to faster time limits was just a gimmick.
These days the outcry seems to have died down, and it seems that almost every big event is introducing their own time controls. Only having increments after move 40 (or even 60) seems to be a thing at the moment, as time scrambles are back in fashion.
The latest tournament to try a faster time control is the Zurich Challenge, which is moving to the even faster time limit of 40m+10s per game. So spectators won't feel cheated, they are planning to play two rounds a day under this format, so there will be around 4 hours of chess.
In my opinion this is veering very close to a rapidplay event, and in fact is rated as such. A number of years ago I experimented with 40m+30s per move (for a weekend event) but a number of players felt that this was too fast for "real" chess and the experiment was not repeated.
But it is the sponsors right to organise events however they wish, and if a player does not like the time controls they can always pass on the event. However looking at the invite list (Anand, Nakamura, Kramnik, Aronian, Giri and Shirov) it seems that the fast time control is something they can live with, although it is also a time control they all look comfortable at.


Anonymous said...

More relevant is that the sponsor is trying to have 40 +10secs rated as a classical game, and the FIDE President has indicated that he is inclined to agree.

Albert said...

1 hour + 30 sec isn't short enough?

Anonymous said...

Ilyumzhinov has always been pushing faster time controls, the most recent being through his "Committee for Modernization of Chess" (or whatever it was called) a few years ago. He aims for the trivialization of chess, in the musing hope that it will be marketable to a wider audience. Consider: how many people first got attracted to chess by going over great games (played at slow time controls), as compared to those who took up chess after looking at a list of yearly winners of some blitz/rapid event (where hardly ever are the games worth studying)? Which is more inspiring? Anand won Mainz ChessTigers rapid how many times? And how many of the games are remembered?