What are the best time controls?

12/11/2002 – While he and others were defining a new format for future world chess championships, Yasser Seirawan polled the world's top 200 players on the proper time controls for blitz, rapid and professional chess games. Even if you are not part of this illustrious group you can have your voice heard. We will collect votes and opinions and forward these to the relevant people. Please write to us and tell us what you think.

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This is the original poll that Yasser Seirawan sent out to the world's top players. At the bottom of the ballot form you will find instructions on how to send in your opinion.

Ballot Vote for Time Controls

Dear Chess Grandmasters,

In Moscow, June 1-3, 2002, a preliminary meeting of Grandmasters (the Committee) held discussions regarding the creation of the GMSC. On that occasion the issue of time controls was debated. The Committee decided that GMSC Voting Members, the world’s top 200 rated players, should properly decide and approve the time controls of Blitz Chess, Rapid Chess and Professional (seven-hour games). It was also agreed that these time controls should be approved for both mechanical and digital chess clocks.

Proposed time controls:
The Committee agreed that for both the Mechanical Clock and Digital Clock the time control for Blitz Chess should be five minutes per player for all moves (5/All). The Committee requests the top two hundred rated players to approve this decision by a majority vote.

For  ڤ                        Against  ڤ

The Committee agreed that for the Mechanical Clock the time control for Rapid Chess should be thirty minutes per player for the whole game (30/All). The Committee requests the top two hundred rated players to approve this decision by a majority vote.

For  ڤ                        Against  ڤ

The Committee agreed that the Digital Clock time control for Rapid Chess should be twenty-five minutes per player with a ten second bonus increment added to the player’s time for each move made (25+10/All). The Committee requests the top two hundred rated players to approve this decision by a majority vote.

For  ڤ                        Against  ڤ

The following time-controls for Digital Clocks for Professional seven-hour games were given the most consideration:

A) 150 minutes plus 30 seconds for all moves (All/150+30)

B) 40 moves in 100 minutes plus 30 seconds and 60 minutes plus 30 seconds for all moves (40/100+30, All/60 + 30)

C) 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by 20 moves in one hour, followed by 15 minutes plus 30 seconds for all moves (40/2, 20/1, 15+30/All)

D) 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by 20 moves in one hour, followed by 30 minutes for all moves (40/2, 20/1, 30/All).

(The Mechanical Clock time control.)

Choice A, (All/150+30) gives each player two and a half hours to begin the game, and players can use the allotted time however they wish.  The additional 30 seconds means that a player would have to make 120 moves before obtaining an additional one hour of thinking time, keeping the game well within the desired seven-hour period.

Choice B, (40/100+30 & 60 + 30/All) keeps a more constant rate of play.  Unlike the first time-control (All/150+30), it is unlikely that the two players will consume a great deal of time on a given move and on the reply to it.  Choice B is slightly slower than Choice A.

Choice C, (40/2, 20/1, 15+30/All) is the most conventional.  The first two time-controls of Choice C are exactly the same as those used for the Mechanical Clock. The third time-control of 15 minutes plus the 30-second bonus increment avoids the undesirable guillotine finish.  However, this time-control is the slowest.  It would mean that games that last beyond move 90 would probably go beyond the seven-hour playing session. 

The fourth suggested time control Choice D is the same for the Mechanical Clock.

These time controls were the ones most discussed.  The Committee welcomes suggestions for other Professional Chess time-controls for the Digital Clock. The Committee requests the top two hundred rated players to select the digital clock time control for Professional Chess by a majority vote.

Please check one of the following boxes.  Or leave the boxes blank if you’d like to propose a different time limit for Professional Chess.

Choice A)  (All/150+30) ڤ                   

Choice B)  (40/100+30, All/60 + 30) ڤ

Choice C)  (40/2, 20/1, 15+30/All) ڤ

Choice D)  (40/2, 20/1, 30/All) ڤ

If you would like to propose a different time control for Professional Chess, please write your preference below.  Any additional comments or proposed time controls would be appreciated.

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

Print your name: __________________________________________

Signed by:___________________________________________________

How to vote

  • Top players can send their replies directly to Yasser Seirawan.
  • If you are not a top player you can send your opinion to us.

Replies received so far

The players in boldface have sent in their votes. Yasser Seirawan is not releasing any specifics on who has voted for what. "I don't want folks to vote to 'go with others' or someone in particular," he writes. "I want them to give their independent opinion!"

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Khalifman, Alexander
Karpov, Anatoly
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Akopian, Vladimir
Polgar, Judit (GM)
Dreev, Alexey
Ye, Jiangchuan
Azmaiparashvili, Zurab
Lautier, Joel
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam
Short, Nigel D.
Vaganian, Rafael A
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Hjartarson, Johann
Lputian, Smbat G
Sasikiran, Krishnan
Tkachiev, Vladislav
Kharlov, Andrei
Seirawan, Yasser
Sadler, Matthew
Huebner, Robert Dr.
Tregubov, Pavel V.
Tiviakov, Sergei
Movsesian, Sergei
Landa, Konstantin
Graf, Alexander
Pigusov, Evgeny
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Lastin, Alexander
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Vescovi, Giovanni
Peng, Xiaomin
Radjabov, Teimour
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Milov, Vadim
Fressinet, Laurent
Epishin, Vladimir
Istratescu, Andrei
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Granda Zuniga, Julio E
Glek, Igor V.
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Novikov, Igor A
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Kobalia, Mikhail
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Sermek, Drazen
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Korneev, Oleg
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Rustemov, Alexander
Stefansson, Hannes
Hodgson, Julian M.
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Fedorov, Alexei
Gulko, Boris F
Hracek, Zbynek
Speelman, Jonathan S.
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Nunn, John D.M.
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Romanishin, Oleg M
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Galkin, Alexander
Bruzon, Lazaro
Ruck, Robert
Kuzmin, Alexey
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Harikrishna, P.
Nataf, Igor-Alexandre
Pavasovic, Dusko
Avrukh, Boris
Yegiazarian, Arsen
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15.10.1976
08.01.1978
18.06.1970
28.11.1985
10.05.1977
18.06.1951
11.04.1980
04.11.1969
26.11.1983
19.02.1967
10.08.1973
04.05.1970
19.04.1969
08.06.1959
  Others who have replied:
Rotstein, Arkadij
Villamayor, Bong
Stohl, Igor
Anjelina Belakovskaia
Gofshtein
Mikhalchishin, Adrian
Sergey Ivanov
Rogozenko Dorian

 


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