When chess clocks fail

Digital chess clocks are roundly disliked by a lot of players who are never sure how much time they have left to complete a game and are equally unsure that clocks have been set properly.

Lichfield’s Birmingham Division 6 fixture at Kynoch  ended in a dispute when the home team decided there was too much time left on the clock of Lichfield skipper Brian Jones in his match with Heilbrunn. Brian’s clock was showing 40 minutes left when his opponent claimed the game on the basis that Brian must be out of time.

Heilbrunn was a piece up but Brian had a strong position and was confident of a win.  Commonsense prevailed, a draw was agreed and the match was tied 2-2.

There was a similar instance in a Birmingham League match last season in which a draw was agreed.

Rules Committee chairman Mike Biddle’s view feels that there is no need to introduce a new rule for such instances and that clubs should take a pragmatic view, agree a draw or perhaps agree a revised time to complete the game.









Grandmaster Keith Arkell must be beginning to think that Lichfield is his bogey team after another unexpected result.

On his last two visits to Lichfield, Keith lost to former leading player Paul Wallace who has now returned to his native Ireland. This season, playing at home for Halesowen, Keith was held to a draw by Lichfield newcomer. David Hulme.

Considering that David, a former vicar, has a grading of 151 compared with Keith’s 237, it was an outstanding result.

David is one of  seven newcomers to the club this season. Secretary David Short said it was a very encouraging situation, particularly as some Midlands club have been gradually losing members.

The club’s playing results have also improved dramatically from the same time last year when several teams were propping up their respective divisions.






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