Saturday, March 29, 2008

20 Seconds Chess

Old friend IM Malclom Pein of Great Britain reported in a recent column in the London Telegraph that a new idea is sweeping across the UK.

"It promises to be a lot of fun and perhaps somewhat more pressured than conventional speed chess", Pein said. "The clocks will be in what could be described as egg timer mode ".

"Both players start with 20 seconds for the entire game. When play commences and White's clock is started his twenty seconds reduces as normal but the time elapsed is added to Black's clock. When White has moved and pressed his clock, Black's clock begins to run down and White's clock increases. If either side runs out of time they lose."

So, assuming I understand Malcolm's comments correctly, there will always be 40 seconds total time available, split anywhere from 39 vs. 1 to 1 vs. 39 depending on how much time was used by the players on previous moves. Obviously, no player will ever have more than 39 seconds for a single move. Sounds like watch!

Thanks to Chess Horizons, the official publication of the Massachusetts Chess Association, for passing the word in the April-June 2008 issue of the awarding winning magazine. I was privileged to serve as editor of Chess Horizons from 1984 to 1986. Current editor is Mark C. Donlon.