2013 Championship

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Time to Manage Your Clock

Just as Jerry has written a great post on the first use of chess clocks, Chess Cafe has republished an archived article by Dan Heisman on time management. Read about mechanical clocks in the 1880's, 50 moves in 2 hours, adjournments and the advent of sudden death, and the insufficient losing chances rule. And read the 11 bullet points of Dan's recommended time strategies and methods.


Jerry said...

While Dan recommends 2 minutes with a 5 second delay for practice; Alexandra Kosteniuk (Tweeter 9:38AM, Nov 29th) says "To improve best is 3 min + 2 sec per move like at the Blitz World Champs,good luck!"

Considering that Alexandra is a GM who just finished playing in the "Blitz World Champs" where she defeated Anand, Carlsen, Polgar, and others; I think her advice may be the correct path to follow. While Dan has an excellent reputation as a pedagogue; he has not played in a rated tournament since the 90's.

Ernie said...

In my past talks with Dan, he recommends playing 5 minutes with a 5 second delay OR 2 minutes with a 5 second increment, to practice openings and for helping you get practice when in time trouble. This is for players who regularly play USCF regulation tournaments where a 5 sec delay or increment is required unless you are using an analog clock. In that particular case, playing on a delay or increment other than 5 seconds wouldn't make much sense for practicing time management.

Jerry said...

If you are playing 2, 3, or 5 minute games to practice playing in 30 minute games; doesn't it stand to reason that a shorter time delay would also be benificial?

Ernie said...

In my opinion, it's not as beneficial as playing the usual 5 second delay simply because that's not what we normally play. Let's say you are down to 20 seconds. There's a big difference between having a 5 second delay and no delay at all--especially when the game could go on for 30 more moves. No delay would mean you have 20 moves at the most, unless you can make your move in less than 1 second.

And so if you normally play using a 5 second delay and you get into severe time trouble, you shouldn't play your moves in 1 second because you might see something better using 3 or 4 more seconds. However as you get lower on the clock...let's say 1 second remaining...then play the first thing that looks good as quickly as possible. Spending a few more seconds when that low is dangerous.