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Digital without delay

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Old July 12th 03, 11:44 PM
John Fernandez
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Default Digital without delay

Subject: Digital without delay
From: (Eric Mark)
Date: 7/12/2003 4:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time

"Bill Smythe" wrote in message
(It's about time to bring the name of this part of the thread into
compliance with what is actually being discussed.)

"Ernest W. Schlich" wrote:
.... I thought it was primarily Bill
Smythe that advocated or stated he used a procedure of not allowing 14H

as punishment (encouragement?) for players who started a game with delay

off while using a digital clock. ....

"Advocated" is closer than "stated he used" as a description of my


At my tournaments I post (and hand out to new players) a sheet called

Pool" which reads, in part:


It is DIRTY POOL to use a digital clock without setting the delay. Such a
setting can confuse the opponent into believing there is a delay when there
is none. This confusion can result in questionable time forfeit claims and
unnecessary disputes.

If you furnish and use a digital clock without the delay set, any or all of
the following may happen to you:

1. The TD reserves the right, at any time during the game, to point out to
your opponent that the delay is not set.

2. The TD may allow your opponent, at any time during the game, to
substitute ANY other clock, digital or analog, furnished by him.

3. If you claim a draw by insufficient losing chances, the TD may

disallow your claim and subtract time from your clock. Your opponent,
however, will receive the usual kind, gentle treatment should he make such


4. If you claim a win on time, the TD may dismiss your claim and give your
opponent up to 5 minutes, plus delay time, to finish the game or reach the
time control. No such consideration, however, will be given to you, if the
shoe is on the other foot and your opponent claims a win on time.


As it turns out, the threat is worse than the execution. Few players in my
tournaments furnish a delay-capable clock with the delay turned off.

There is one player who used to do this, pretending (or perhaps actually
exercising) ignorance about Bronstein mode on his Saitek. I would always
make it a point to inform his opponent, just as the game was starting, that
the delay was not on, and that a 14H claim might therefore become
appropriate eventually.

I've never actually invoked point 3 or point 4 above, and I hope I never
need to. I'm not sure I'd even dare, even with prior notice. But, as I
said, sometimes the threat is worse than the execution.

Bill Smythe

I wonder what would happen if a player in time pressure in this
scenario just said to his opponent, "OK, let's turn the delay on now."

Or even just stopped the clock and wordlessly turned the delay on
himself. Or, best of all, if it was the opponent's clock, just stopped
the clock and demanded that the opponent set the delay.

That would make an interesting appeal from either side....


Perhaps if the USCF stopped trying to make money off of delay and went to
increment, more people would turn it on.

Just a hunch...

John Fernandez
Old July 13th 03, 04:03 AM
Bill Smythe
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Default Digital without delay

"John Fernandez" wrote:
Perhaps if the USCF stopped trying to make money off of delay and went to
increment, more people would turn it on.

I doubt it.

First of all, anybody that prefers increment over delay would, if they have
even one gram of logical reasoning ability, prefer delay over nothing.

Second, if USCF makes money off of delay, why wouldn't they also do so off
of increment?

Third, although money probably was, at least in part, USCF's motivation in
the early days of the Excalibur GameTime, I doubt if it is anymore, to any
significant extent.

Bill Smythe


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