Commentary on Section 7 of the IECC Guidelines


The discussion below applies only to games played within IECC itself and not to Team games played against other e-mail chess clubs. Team games have different time keeping rules (see the Team Events page on our web site.)

IECC's time keeping for games played within IECC is unique among all e-mail chess clubs. Whereas other chess clubs use cumulative time keeping, IECC does not: Time saved CANNOT be accumulated for IECC games.

IECC does NOT require that players show reflection time or player entered transmittal dates in their emails; in fact it STRONGLY DISCOURAGES it. Eliminating the showing of send/receive dates and reflection time entries in e-mails helps to avoid player misunderstandings. EcTool, for example, does not show correct reflection time since it displays cumulative time instead of non-cumulative time. IECC reflection time is concerned with only the LAST 10 moves, independent of all other moves.

What IECC does require, and this is clearly stated in the Guidelines in Section 7.12, is that players keep copies of their own e-mails and their opponents' e-mails for the LAST 10 moves in the event they have to submit a time complaint to Arbitration. Players should also keep a record of moves for their own reference. A simple format, created by a former member, is shown below, but of course players may choose their own method of time keeping:

Players White and Black complete their first 10 moves with White making move 11 and taking 3 days to do so.

White's time keeping BEFORE move 11 -

White's last ten moves: 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 = 11
Black's last ten moves: 1 2 1 4 2 4 1 2 6 1 = 24

White's time keeping AFTER move 11 -

White's last ten moves: 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 3 = 13
Black's last ten moves: 1 2 1 4 2 4 1 2 6 1 = 24

After each move the leftmost entry is deleted and a rightmost entry added.

Penalty for sending an illegal move is covered in section 7.8 of the guidelines.

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is irrelevant for time keeping purposes and should not be considered. The DATE an opponent's e-mail ARRIVES on a player's email server is the only consideration. Due to time zone differences there may be at most a 24-hour differential and this would be taken into consideration if a time complaint were to be filed with Arbitration.

Conditional (If) moves count as only one move. According to Section 7.6c of the guidelines.

IECC requires that if there is no response after 5 days there must be a resend. If a player then responds, all of the time he/she took to respond is counted. A player may state he/she did not receive the original e-mail and therefore only the time after the resend is counted. But if a player continually states he/she is not receiving the original e-mails, then Arbitration should be notified to resolve the issue since an ISP problem may be involved.

IECC requires that all players submit time complaints when:

a. A player takes more than 10 days for any one move.

b. A player takes more than 30 days for any 10 consecutive moves, in other words, not more than 30 days for moves 1 to 10, not more than 30 days for moves 2 to 11, not more than 30 days for moves 3 to 12, etc.

In multi-round matches, the respective TDs have set limits for round completion but in single round matches there is no limit. However, single round matches players are encouraged to keep their games moving along according to the IECC time controls as well as not abandoning their games without notifying the appropriate TDs. The Event departments and Administration department spend a considerable amount of time checking the status of single round matches that appear to have been abandoned due to their long duration of play.

Some questions about time-keeping in IECC games arise frequently in the Arbiters' daily work. They often come from new members, who have been playing correspondence chess in another organization before. There are frequent Questions & Answers.


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