Lancashire Correspondence Chess Association

North west correspondence chess news and views

The Triple Block Time Control

Originally Published by Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation

Austin Lockwood  Thursday, October 12, 2017

Triple block is an experimental time control introduced by ICCF in 2017; ICCF plan to run some test tournaments to determine how acceptable this time control is to players and organisers.

The time available to a player over the course of a game is allocated in three blocks:

Block 1: The Clock

This is the usual 'clock' we are used to. It is the amount of time a player has available at any given moment during the game. As usual, it counts down one day for every reflection day used.

This is always set at 50 days per player at the beginning of a game, no matter what the scheduled duration of the event.

This is, by analogy, like 'the money in your pocket to spend'. It is what you have to spend that is immediately available to you.

Block 2: The Increment

The second block is called the 'increment'. This is additional reflection time that becomes available automatically after each move made (like a 'paycheck', after earning the new income, it replaces some of what you already spent, with any remaining going into the bank).

The increment replaces the current 'buffer' time that rounds reflection time up to the nearest full day.

The number of days in the increment is exactly determined by the tournament organiser’s decision concerning the length of the event.

The increment is similar to a Fischer clock except for two things:

  • The increment only applies for the first 50 moves of the game, not indefinitely
  • The increment is only added to a player’s clock if the clock has gone below 50 days. A player’s clock cannot be greater than 50 days, ever. Increment time is not lost, however, as any extra goes to the third block, the 'bank' (by analogy: what you do not need to replace in your pocket spending money goes to your savings)

Block 3: The Bank

The bank replaces 'leave time'. There will no longer be any concept called leave time.

Players can 'take leave' any time they wish, but they can never stop their clocks! Players can only replenish their clocks from their banks, until the bank is empty.

Players can even take more than 50 days on a single move, but only by moving time from the bank to the clock within the initial 50 days. If the clock hits zero, the player loses/defaults, no matter what remains in the other two blocks.

Duration of tournaments

Triple block is not intended to speed up play!

Tournament organisers have a great deal of flexibility in setting tournament duration, this can be anthing from 300 days to five years or more.

The advantage of Triple Block is that the total amount of time available to players is determined before the start of the tournament, end dates can be predicted exactly, and adjudications are no longer neccessary except in the case of withdrawals.

Possible future enhancements

One of the concerns raised about Triple Block is the risk of 'sudden death' endings, where a player gets into time trouble after the fiftieth move and no longer recieves any increments; until the test tournaments have been completed, we don't know whether or not these concerns are justified. A possible future enhancement of the system is 'Sudden Death Protection' (SDP), which guarantees a minimum amount of time for each move, however this is not yet implemented and would involve a trade off against the predictability of end dates.

Further details are in the attached document.


States and Regions Correspondence Chess Championship (S&RCCC)

Originally Published by Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation

Austin Lockwood  Friday, August 4, 2017

Entries are invited to the States and Regions Correspondence Chess Championship (S&RCCC); this is an international tournament for teams of eight players from any country of the world, representing subdivisions of that country (counties, states, provinces, etc.).

The tournament will use the Hutton Pairing System, so each player will only have two games against the same opponent.

The Triple Block time control of 50/75/1 will be used; all games will be completed within 350 days, there will be no adjudications except in the case of withdrawals.

The entry fee for each team is £10 GBP; all entries should be sent to the WCCF Secretary ([email protected]) by 30th November 2017. Payment can be made by PayPal (via the WCCF website or directly to [email protected], please state the name of your team), direct bank transfer, or by cheque.

The start date will be 1st January 2018 (please note the updated deadline and start date).

Further details are available here:

Teams already entered are:

  • Australian Kangeroos (other states) Australia
  • Chiriqui (Panama)
  • Lancashire (England)
  • New South Wales (Australia)
  • Panama City (Panama)
  • Panama West (Panama)
  • Queensland (Australia)
  • US East (USA)
  • US West (USA)
  • Victoria (Australia)
  • West Wales (Wales)
  • Yorkshire A (England)
  • Yorkshire B (England)


Updated Wednesday, September 13, 2017 by Austin Lockwood

ICCF Congress Report 2017 - Day Two/Three

Austin Lockwood  Sunday, August 13, 2017

Number Proposal For Against Abstentions Outcome
003 Allow Congress to Fix Known Problems 39 1 15 Passed
022 Combining 8 ICCF Rule Documents into 1 22 11 23 Passed
021 Move All Playing Rules Only Described in the TD Manuals to the Playing Rules       Withdrawn
007 Delete Unnecessary Sentence from TR 5.1 38 0 18 Passed
008 Clarifying Player Eligibility 28 10 18 Passed
034 Two Clarifications for the Playing Rules - Server 30 6 20 Passed
006 One Team per Team Captain 33 5 18 Passed
004 When an Active Player Fails to File an Adjudication Claim 38 1 16 Passed
027 Claims in Cases of Withdrawal 33 3 20 Passed
030 To Extend Usage of Nalimov TB up to 7-man 14 18 24 Defeated
015 Eliminate 50-Move Rule when a 7-Piece Ending is Present 25 13 18 Passed
005 Simplifying Adjudication/Cancellation Procedures 38 0 18 Passed
029 Alleviating the Draw Offer Rule 27 8 21 Passed
017 Proposal Regarding Live Transmission of Moves 19 15 22 Passed
014 Establishment of ICCF World Zone 31 7 18 Passed
013 Regulating Zonal Membership Changes 31 2 23 Passed
Internal Matters
018 Use of the Online Voting System Should Not be Compulsory        
026 Increase ICCF Governance of Member Organisations        

Updated Wednesday, September 6, 2017 by Austin Lockwood

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ICCF Congress Report 2017 - Day One/Two

Austin Lockwood  Sunday, August 13, 2017

Number Proposal For Against Abstentions Outcome
Qualifications Commissioner
012 Games in National Events to Count Towards the IA Title 19 20 17 Defeated
024 Count ICCF Free Matches to TD`s Qualification for IA Title 25 8 22 Passed
025 Award SIM Title to ICCF World Cup Winner 27 7 22 Passed
032 Title Norms -  70th Final of European Individual Championships - Postal 35 1 20 Passed
028 Title System for Chess 960 to be Integrated into Regular Chess Events 8 28 20 Defeated
019 Awarding Medals for CCE/CCM Titles 30 6 20 Passed
Services Director
031 Improve the Player Experience for Tournament Registration and Entry 32 4 20 Passed
009 Credit Card Module or Alternative Payment System 37 0 19 Passed
011 Approve Services Committee Budget for 2018 37 0 19 Passed

Updated Tuesday, September 5, 2017 by Austin Lockwood

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ICCF Congress Report 2017 - Day One

Austin Lockwood  Sunday, August 13, 2017

I will report daily updates from the 2017 ICCF Congress being held in Albena, Bulgaria, here from Monday 4th September.

Number Proposal For Against Abstentions Outcome
001 Approve the 2016 Congress Minutes 37 0 19 Passed
Membership Matters
002 New Member Federation Application- Indonesia 38 0 18 Passed
033 Member Federation - Dismissal - Tunisia 33 1 22 Passed
016 Clarifying the Status of Isolated Players 35 3 18 Passed
Financial Matters
023 Allow Member Federations to have 210 Games Each Year -- Free of Charge 25 13 18 Passed

Updated Monday, September 4, 2017 by Austin Lockwood

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Lancashire Teams in the S&RCCC and C&DCCC

Austin Lockwood  Tuesday, August 8, 2017

LCCA are currently recruiting teams for the States and Regions Correspondence Chess Championship and the Counties and Districts Correspondence Chess Championship.


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