Just the Rules: Time Control and Ratings Quiz

Tim Just, Chief Editor of the 5th, 6th, and brand new 7th edition of the rule book.
This month's column is a test! Strap yourself in and test your own time control and rating knowledge. 1. For a game to be Regular rated only the base time control in minutes + the delay (or increment) in seconds must total more than 65 minutes of playing time per player. Which of the following time controls will be regular rated? A. G/60, d/5 B. G/45, inc/30 C. G/55, inc/10 D. G/65, d/5 E. 40/90, G/30, d/5 Show Solution
 Answer: Your winners are B) 45 + 30 = 75; D) 65 + 5 = 70; and E) 90 +30 + 5 = 125. All of those time controls total more than 65 minutes of playing time—E) was a give away from the start with that 90 minutes of playing time in the primary time control—that already far exceeded the 65-minute cap. And what about A) and C)? Well, A) 60 + 5 = 65 and C) 55 + 10 = 65 both do not have total playing times larger than the magical barrier of 65 minutes of wood pushing. But they do qualify for a Dual rating—more on that later.
2. For a game to be Quick rated only the total playing time—those minutes + seconds—must be less than 30 minutes, but more than 10 minutes. Can you find the Quick only rated time controls below? A. G/25, d/4 B. G15, inc/30 C. G/20, d/10 D. G/4, inc/25 E. G/5, d/5 Show Solution
 Answer: The only Quick chess rated time control is A) 25 + 4 = 29 minutes of individual playing time. Why? That total of 29 is more than the lower barrier of 10 and less than the upper barrier of 30. Answer C) 20 + 10 = 30 does not meet the requirement of being less than 30 minutes of wood pushing time. While B) 15 + 30 = 45 is way over the 30-minute mark. That lower hurdle of 10 minutes is met exactly in answer E) 5 + 5 = 10, but to be Quick rated the total individual playing time must be at least greater than 10 minutes. BTW, if you selected D) 4 + 25 = 29 than you tripped over a little-known rule that requires the base time control to be at least 5 minutes for all Quick, Dual, and Regular rated games—D)’s basic time control is only G/4.
3. Now let’s take a peek at Dual rated time controls—yes that’s right, Dual ratings. You get two ratings for the price of one. When the total time a player receives to essay their contest is from 30 to 65 minutes, the game is dual rated; i.e., then the game is rated as Regular rated AND as Quick rated. Why Dual rated? That is a column for another time. The short answer is that the Ratings Committee needed more data to analyze and this was the solution they came up with. Now, which of the following time controls calculate as Dual rated? A. G/60, d/5 B. G/20, d/10 C. G/15, inc/30 D. G/5, inc/30 E. G/20, inc/10 Show Solution
 Answer: All of the above—don’t you just love those multiple guess exams with “all of the above” and “none of the above” as a solution? Any total playing time that slips below 30 or above 65 is not Dual rated. All of these choices total 30, 65, or something in between.
4. The last time control that impacts a player’s rating is Blitz—Blitz is the new kid on the block. When you are the general of a chess army with time controls starting at a total of 5 minutes through (and including) a total of 10 minutes your game is Blitz rated only. And remember that Blitz rules require that the primary (base) time control be at least 3 minutes Can you spot the Blitz time controls below? A. G/3, d/7 B. G/5, d/0 C. G/3, inc/2 D. G/5, inc/5 E. G/3, d/10 Show Solution
 Answer: A) through D) are all legitimate Blitz time controls. Their totals—base time in minutes + delay/increment in seconds—all meet the rulebook criteria. On the other hand, E) 3 + 10 = 13 is outside the bounds of US Chess Blitz rating limits. Be aware that the standard rulebook suggested time control is B) G/5, d/0.
And then there are FIDE time controls—that is a topic for another time. The US Chess Rules (Chapters 1-2+11 from the 7th edition rulebook) are now downloadable and available on-line. Past “Just the Rules” columns can be viewed here. Tim Just is a National Tournament Director, FIDE National Arbiter, and editor of the 5th, 6th, and 7th editions of the US Chess Rulebook. He is also the author of My Opponent is Eating a Doughnut & Just Law, which are both available from US Chess Sales and Amazon/Kindle. Additionally, Tim recently revised The Guide To Scholastic Chess, a guide created to help teachers and scholastic organizers who wish to begin, improve, or strengthen their school chess program. Tim is also a member of the US Chess Rules Committee. His new column, exclusive to US Chess, “Just the Rules” will help clarify potentially confusing regulations.


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Thank you. Nice article. However, I do have one minor suggestion. Please change the answer options to be listed with letters rather than numbers as the hidden answers are listed with letters. It's a tad bit confusing.

In reply to by Louis Reed (not verified)

Thanks--I will notify the editor. Somewhere along the way those letters changed to numbers. A mystery to be solved.

In reply to by Tim Just (not verified)

And now....perfection; thank you sir!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

If the intent is to distinguish between Regular and Dual -- question one should still say "regular ONLY" because some of the (wrong) answers will indeed be regular rated.

In reply to by Chesspride (not verified)

Hmmm...I am confused. The first sentence in question one says: "For a game to be Regular rated only..." So could you help me better understand?

In reply to by Tim Just (not verified)

Some people will read just the final sentence with the question, and others will not consider the word "only" from the first sentence to be applicable to the final sentence. An additional "only" in the final sentence would be seen as necessary by some and redundant by others. 1. For a game to be Regular rated only the base time control in minutes + the delay (or increment) in seconds must total more than 65 minutes of playing time per player. Which of the following time controls will be regular rated?

In reply to by Jeff Wiewel (not verified)

Got it--thanks. You are right it is a close call regarding the use of "only."

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