(Also see kids and clocks)

We do not make the mistake of using adult time controls in our children's tournaments. Why?We do not believe in torturing children.

Typical time controls for an adult tournament would be 2hrs for each side for the first 40 moves. After the 40 moves are completed they usually get more time for an allocated number of moves. It is not uncommon for an adult tournament game to go for 8, 9, even 10 hours. These type of time controls were originally designed for Grand Masters who are playing knowing that the entire chess world will be reviewing and scrutinizing their games for years to come. Because weaker players like to emulate Grand Master tournaments, these type of type controls were adopted even for amateur tournaments.

We at Academic Chess have custom sculpted our tournament rules to be more suitable for kids, and at the same time within acceptable parameter of the USCF. We use what's referred to as sudden death time control. This means that the kids are given an allocated amount of time for the entire game. If they run out of time before the game is over they lose.

At AC Tournaments we currently use either 30 minutes per side per game, or 1hr per side per game. This is considered relatively quick for adult standards, but for kids we have found this to be more than enough time. There are several reasons for this:

  • Kids play naturally quick. It is hard to teach even the strongest chess kids to calm down and use their time to think.

  • 1 out of 100 AC games end with one side losing on time. Since it is such a rarity to lose on time..time is not such an issue in a child's game.

  • There are only a handful of kids in the country that are rated high enough to need slower games to play better moves. Once your kid achieves this rating, (2200 or above) your child will rank as one of the top kids in the nation and should be playing in adult tournaments anyway.

Benefits of faster time controls for children's tournaments:

  • Kids, especially younger kids, are not made for spending hours and hours indoors sitting and thinking. With quicker time controls, the excitement level is elevated and results are faster and more conclusive.

  • More rated games per day. In an AC tournament your child can play multiple USCF rated games in one day..as many as 9! And be able to complete the tournament on the same day it starts. With slower time controls they would only be able to play 1 or 2 maximum games per day. For example most adult tournaments are 6 rounders stretched over a 3 day weekend. We believe our kids have funner more healthier things to do on their 3 day weekends!

  • More exciting games that are fun to participate in. The faster the time controls the more exciting the game is. Even adults love speed chess (5 minutes per side) and adults refer to our 30 minute sudden death time controlled games as "Action Chess Tournaments.

  • More difficult to abuse time. For example some dastardly chess players have been known to make their opponent sit for hours and hours in a game that is known to be completely lost for one side. To punish the winner, the loser will sit and use all his allocated time, forcing the game to drag on for much longer than it should.

  • Our parents are on schedules and need a clear idea when the tournament will end. With sudden death time controls we can easily predict when the tournament will end.

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