Archive for the ‘time controls’ Category

Technology Doesn’t Work

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

As a software engineer, I’m allowed (and qualified) to say that. ;)

But, let me elaborate. There’s more to the statement: Technology doesn’t work… if you don’t work it!  Seems obvious enough, right?

And yet, just this May, the chess-playing public watched on in horror as the US Women’s Chess Championship was decided by a blitz playoff, capped by an Armageddon game. Worst of all, with digital clocks now the standard in tournament play, there was no time-delay used for these games.

How is it right to take a cerebral art and turn it into a show of manual dexterity? Same goes for when the ICC conducts important qualifying tournaments, like the Challenge of State Champions, in which I once competed, at a rate of 3 minutes per side, with—you guessed it—no delay.

Irina’s explosive rook launch upon being flagged in this most critical of games is understandable: Video on ChessBase.

Reminds me of the time my freshman roommate at UNH chucked his King against the cement wall after losing a game to me. Why was that particular game so frustrating for him? Well, I was playing blindfold, and he had sight of the board.

So, what do you think about how the US Women’s Championship went down and about time delay in general? What’s your favorite time control? As a player? Spectator? Don’t be shy. Add a comment below.

Speaking of technology, a couple of my favorite books on the subject:
The Overworked American by Juliet Schor and
Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology by Neil Postman.



Serious chess. Serious fun!