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Grace time of 30 minutes for play startProposalsIndex ->

posted at 2016-07-12 18:31 by RiceFarmer

I am not sure if this is in the board already, but if a player arrives 29 minutes late and makes his opponent wait, is it possible to reduce that from the late arrival's clock? After all this is what happens in OTB. You start the clock at the appointed time

posted at 2016-07-13 13:57 by tseltzer

I like this idea espoused by RiceFarmer. 30 minutes is too much time to allow for arrival and deducting the time from the offender's clock would be an effective, but not unnecessarily harsh, penalty.

posted at 2016-07-13 14:06 by joshuar

Although it makes sense, how could it be implemented in practice? When does the delay start? For instance, if you only have forty-five minutes at the start, and you are "merely" ten minutes late, you will start with a pretty severe clock detriment for a minor inconvenience. Since we are playing worldwide opponents with everyday jobs, it's not always easy to be "perfectly" on time or early for every meeting, and I feel the spirit of fair play and having as many interesting games played as possible outweighs the inconvenience for what has been, for me, a fairly rare occurrence.

And how to practically administer such a punishment? The bot uses the "log" command, finds the person who logged in last, and if the login was after the scheduled start time, starts the clock accordingly? What about when both players are logged in and one is afk? How about when both are late, even by a few minutes? Is it gentlemanly to then force users who do NOT wish to punish their opponents to then go to the game forum to reset the start time for a future time just to ensure neither is penalized?

posted at 2016-07-13 19:40 by ricefarmer

All valid points. But what happens in an OTB? If the first player is white he makes a move and starts the opponents clock. If the first player is black he starts white's clock. Lack of technology should not be an excuse.We should find a way

I don't subscribe to this spirit of fair play theory. How fair is it to make some one wait 30 minutes? I have suffered this many times. I always claim forfeit if someone wastes hours of my time - if I cannot make it on time I will gladly forfeit too - most times I have informed in the forum that I cannot play at that scheduled time and offered a full point

posted at 2016-07-14 02:30 by smallblackcat

It's not so much the lack of technology as the logistical difficulties that make this idea impractical. The reason for this is that TL, as distinct from an OTB tourney, does not run on a fixed schedule.

As it stands now, when people are late by more than 30 minutes, or miss games entirely, some human intervention is needed to resolve these issues. Fortunately, this can be done in the TD's own time, as he/she can simply assess the situation based on the player's logs and posts in the game forum. By contrast, disputes resulting from clocks being set for players being late (and you can be assured that there would be disputes) would have to be resolved in real time. This would require a TL TD or admin to be online at all times, which is simply not possible.

You can't just find a technological solution to this for the same reason that you can't do so with forfeits in general - the human element is essential. In OTB events this is no problem, you simply need an arbiter (or several) on hand in one venue. TL is different from OTB tourneys in a number of ways, and unfortunately this is one of them.

Now, if we were talking about reducing the grace period, that would be another matter. I can't recall this matter being discussed in the past, though I recall that OCL tourneys had a much shorter grace period back when they were running. I can't see a particular need for the grace period to be as long as 30 minutes; the only rationale I can see is that this is the grace period used in OTB events. However, as I have pointed out in the previous paragraph, TL is not run the same way as OTB tourneys, so it seems illogical to follow their grace period rules.

That being said, I have no idea where the broader TL community stands on this issue. We certainly couldn't change this rule before T54 starts next Tuesday. However, if people do feel as strongly about this as RiceFarmer does, I can certainly envisage this being changed in the future.

posted at 2016-07-14 03:48 by ricefarmer

Thanks sbc for a balanced and wise answer! I see your point.

But I think something should be done about players abusing the 30 min grace period

posted at 2016-07-14 05:39 by pchesso

A shorter grace period was denied by jaberwock years ago. I cannot find the thread - perhaps it was on the old discussion board.

In Snailbucket it is 15 minutes. Most of those who show up late, do so in the first 15 minutes. Who isn't online by minute 15, will in all likelihood not either make it by minute 30, e. g. those who overslept or forgot the game.

Btw., unlike ten years ago, many people own smartphones now and may sometimes be able to post about their being late on the Game forum even before game start, so the opponent does not have to wait in vain (if he/she has email forwarding set).

In my opinion, there is less reason than ever to let people wait for 30 minutes.

posted at 2016-07-14 13:01 by joshuar

I wouldn't mind a reduction to something like 20 minutes, though again I have had less of an issue with this in my games. I'm already expecting a multi-hour game, and although it's annoying to wait thirty minutes before finding out the opponent won't show, I simply go over to the game forum, claim the forfeit, and then play another game with my remaining time. During the thirty minutes I'm usually refreshing myself on my prep for that opponent anyway, so it's not completely "lost" time.

Almost always when opponents have shown up late, they have had good reason, and because I wanted to play the game anyway, we play without any kind of penalty.

Again, this is different for me since I usually play on my computer, and the internet has many things for me to read about in thirty minutes. Whereas those that play on smartphones or ipads and such are forced into a single window at a time, so I can imagine the nightmare for them just sitting there.

posted at 2016-07-14 14:15 by schachbjm

I support a reduction of the grace period to 15-20 minutes.

Nowadays, it is possible to inform sb. about the delay much more easily than a few years ago (smartphones,...). Personally, I always check the game forum 1 hour and a few minutes before the game starts. When there is a good reason for a no-show/delay, I am happy that there is an information and always offer to re-schedule/late-start the game.
There is no question that it is not possible to be always on time, due to work, traffic or internet problems.

Furthermore, there is the option to inform your opponent at an early stage that you might be a few minutes late. For instance, Nightfury informed me that he has to work up to xx:xx, so he might be 15 mins late. In such cases, I have no problems to wait for 30 mins or even 45 mins.

On the other hand, it is really annoying to keep a date, waiting for your opponent for more than half an hour without any information.

Best regards

posted at 2016-07-14 18:18 by KayVee

Agree with 15 minutes grace - that's 1/3 or allotted time ex. delay. Delay can be thought of as benefit for moves played and should not figure in grace calculation.

15 minutes should suffice for grace.

posted at 2016-07-14 18:54 by smallblackcat

Well we seem to be getting an unusual level of consensus over a reduction in the grace time.

As I said before, I don't think it's good practice to try to rush through a change before T64. The one concern I see with a change like this is that the old rule has been around for so long that many people may be taken by surprise if we change it, and the way to resolve that problem is by giving as much notice and information about the change before it happens.

Also, I want to consult with some of our veteran TDs and admins to see if there are any issues that I am missing. I don't doubt pchesso's recollection that this was considered and rejected in the past (although I personally don't remember it). Also, I note his excellent point that circumstances have changed too, making a longer grace period less helpful.

posted at 2017-06-22 00:58 by PankracyRozumek

So, what do you think about reducing the grace period to 15 minutes?

posted at 2017-06-22 05:18 by kurumim

I understand the need to prevent abuse of the grace period, but I also understand that a late arrival may be caused by an awful lot of circumstances (real misfortunes), and players rushing to claim a win after 15 minutes might be a really sad result out of this, IMHO. And no, I don't arrive late to my games and have never forfeited a game, I just think we're here to play in the first place and that's what I'm in favour of.

As pointed out above, deducting the time from the offender's clock is not a feasible solution, so how about punishing players arriving 15 minutes late to the game with -1 RR (reliability rating)? It's actually a simple adaptation of the existing rules, as a forfeit results in -2 RR (i.e., 15 minutes late would be 'half a forfeit', so to speak), and it may be enough to prevent abuse because no player can afford to lose a series of RR points. Just an intermediate idea.


posted at 2017-06-22 05:47 by kurumim

posted at 2017-06-22 09:19 by herrahuu

I like Robertos idea.


posted at 2017-06-22 13:43 by schachbjm

Hi Kurumim,

I like your idea, however I have a few remarks
... as far as I know the RR-system is not active at the moment
... it is quite some work for the TDs to check whether a player was 15 mins late. There is not a TD online at all times and in my point of view, it cannot expected that a player reports his opponent for being 15 mins late.

You stated that a reduction of grace period could lead to players rushing to claim a win after just 15 mins, which is right indeed.
Firstly, I would argue that it is possible to inform your opponent that you are still at work/in the train/have connection issues with a brief post in the game forum (almost everybody has a smartphone nowadays) and be there in a couple of minutes.
Secondly, I doubt that many player would claim a forfeit after 15 mins. My personal experience is that the players compete in TL to have fun and play chess; and not to claim wins. Most players try to re-schedule the game even if it might be bad for the team.

I would welcome a reduction to 15-20 mins, but I would use the topic to reform the complete TL statutes. It is obvious that some of the are outdated (quad formations, playoff system, reliability rating, ...) and need to be updated to the status quo. There were at least two discussions (about an adjournment and a double red card for misconduct), which would have occured, when the rules are clear and up to date. It might be a good idea to form a group of TL staff, veterans and captains to review the statutes. A "big reform" would be best for us players in comparison to a step by step change, since information process is easier.

Best regards

posted at 2017-06-22 15:23 by joshuar

I didn't realize RR was no longer enforced. I remember it as active when I was a TD. Otherwise I like Roberto's idea, though I agree in practice people won't report a person being 15 minutes late in the game forum if they show up at minute 16. That said, people could always message a TD through FICS to be more discreet, and that would allow any patterns of one person being late all the time to go up the chain.

However, I personally don't look at it as "reporting" when a person doesn't show up by the grace period time limit, and I'll post in the game forum soon afterward that I can either play within "x" time or I plan to claim the forfeit. If they show up five minutes later, we'll play, but that message will be in the game forum, regardless, if they're that late.

All that said, I'm fine with 20 minutes, keeping as-is, or whatever.

posted at 2017-06-23 05:24 by kurumim

I also had no idea RR is no longer in use, so thanks for informing us, bjm. Of course that fact alone invalidates my idea, but I just wanted to come up with an intermediate solution, i.e., something not too drastic yet effective enough to show abusers they wouldn’t be able to arrive late to every game and get away with it.

Well, even if there were a way to detect the 15-minute delay automatically (something like what we see on the Pending Games page, where games are highlighted in red after a delay of 30 minutes), I suppose the system wouldn’t identify which player was late (and we’re assuming he/she would arrive sometime between minutes 16 and 29). Joshua’s comment made me think that maybe the offended party could simply choose whether to report the 15-minute delay in the Game Forum or not.

bjm, you and I are here for the same reasons and I’m sure that, just like me, you try to show as much goodwill and flexibility as possible in scheduling and even rescheduling games, but are we on the majority side? From what I’ve seen so far I’d honestly say I have doubts and I do fear that reducing the grace period might lead to an increase in the number of forfeits, which of course wouldn’t do any good to the competition.

I hadn’t thought about a complete revision of the statutes, but it’d be interesting to know more about your ideas on those many topics. As we’re talking about abuse, it seems to me that negotiations are much more a source of it than the grace period, and I think contact deadlines could be shortened in 12 hours without any problem. But maybe I should suggest that in another thread.

Thanks for the replies, guys. The more feedback and discussion, the better.

posted at 2017-06-23 06:46 by schachbjm

"Joshua’s comment made me think that maybe the offended party could simply choose whether to report the 15-minute delay in the Game Forum or not" quoting Kurumim

I would not support a penalty system which is based on whether the opponent reports the 15 min delay, since it would not be equal/justice. The reliability rating should not be dependend from the behaviour of the opponent.

posted at 2017-06-23 07:18 by schachbjm

I might be wrong, but I thought that points will be taken away no matter whether the game is declared a forfeit win or the player agree to re-schedule the game. At least the rule should be this way.

posted at 2017-06-23 07:22 by kurumim

I agree it's not the best, but by the current system a player's RR sort of depends on other players' benevolence/lenience/flexibility anyway. Let's say your opponent arrives 40 minutes late: if you agree to play, you've just saved him/her 2 RR points; if you claim the win by forfeit, he/she'll lose those points (possibly just 1 point with a good justification). Or maybe this is a reason why you think the whole RR system should be reformulated?

I know you said RR is not currently in use, I'm just taking the existing rules as a basis for discussion.

posted at 2017-06-23 19:27 by smallblackcat

I can confirm that RRs are no longer in use. The main reason was that it was extremely rare for players to end up with 0 RRs, and on at least one occasion where this happened, it was determined to have been a result of an errant captain keeping said player in the lineup without their knowledge. Therefore it was decided (mainly by me, I must admit) that it was better to manage unreliable players on a case-by-case basis.

So it seems I basically promised to reduce the grace period last year, and then promptly forgot all about it! In my defence, there's really only a small window between tourneys in which such changes can be done, and to be honest I enjoy having a bit of a break from TL.

However, you've chosen the perfect time to restart discussion on this issue. I've had a brief conversation with jaberwock, and we feel we can enact this change ahead of T68. We're intending to open the tourney at the start of July, so I will include an announcement of the rule change at that point.

At this stage I think we'll do a homepage announcement, an amendment to the relevant statutes, plus a mention in TDs' start of tourney message. I'm open to any further suggestions on how to advertise the change.

posted at 2017-06-25 07:02 by herrahuu

This is great and throughout discussion.

I like that the fundamental rule is to have as much chess as possible and as much fun while playing as possible.

I also like that there are some boundaries that protect both players in case one feels the other made it impossible to enjoy the game.

So, if game could be played even the secodary rules got broken, there is no unjustice in my opinion as fundamental rule got followed. :)

posted at 2017-07-04 12:40 by tseltzer


So the RR system is not being utilized. What about Yellow/Red cards?

posted at 2017-07-05 02:08 by smallblackcat

Yellow and Red cards are still used, sparingly.

posted at 2017-07-11 08:14 by smallblackcat

The change to the grace period is now law. I've changed all the relevant references in the statutes and handbooks that I could find, however it's always possible that I missed one somewhere. If anyone finds a reference to the old rule anywhere, please let me know.

posted at 2017-07-11 12:56 by tseltzer

Thanks for the update, as well as the updates to the relevant statutes and handbooks, sbc!