Tri-Bi Thinking

Sherwood, Russell  Friday, December 22, 2017

TrBi Thinking


Time controls in CC events are a permanent source of strife to players and organisers alike. In theory, the 10 in 40 system (or similar) should work perfectly without any issues but in reality, it does not for many reasons. In 2014 a number of piecemeal solutions were suggested from various sources but rather than trying to simply paper over the cracks a working group was created to come up with an alternative and the output of this group is “TriBi”. As of today (11/12/17) this has been loaded onto the ICCF server and is available for the first Trial events, one of which will be the Welsh organised “States and Region’s tournaments”


So what is TriBi?

So we now know the “rules” of the system but we now need to consider some of the consequences…..


  1. There is no Free day anymore – your clock runs down by the second not the day. This means the tactic some players do of letting their clock run down to less than a day, making a move a day for the next x moves to time control and then repeating process will not work, indeed to it almost certainly lead to a loss on time.
  2. Players need to make good use of their time as if your clock runs down, relative to your opponents you can put yourself at a serious disadvantage.
  3. Some players may adopt “bedtime” tactics – let’s say I am playing an opponent in my own or adjacent time zone – if I play the move just before going to bed – his clock is running for 8 hours before gets to see it in the morning or worse still 18 hours before he sees it in the evening. Of course, both players can adopt these tactics which tends to zero things out.
  4. A loss of time in a Blitz finish is possible but highly unlikely – note point (2)
  5. No more adjudication – this will stop the poor practice of delaying play for the adjudication date hoping to bamboozle the adjudicator.
  6. Players will need to be careful on their interaction with their opponent if the situation occurs in a balanced but not drawn position where the opponent is short of time and looks to complain if you will not accept a draw. This may lead to scurrilous Code of Conduct claims. This is not a problem as the player is under no obligation to accept a draw.
  7. You can now plan your playing activities much easier as you know when events will finish
  8. The onus is now on you to manage your time, this will be a shock to some players but not those who are fore-armed!
  9. Before a major holiday (e.g. Christmas) or anytime you will be not playing for a while (vacation, work trip etc) – try and make a move before you go, then at least some of the time will be on your opponent's clock! (Of course the same goes if your opponent makes a move just before a major holiday!)

Updated Friday, December 22, 2017 by Russell Sherwood

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