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Not reminding your opponent to press the clock

Posted By: David Presser
Date: Wednesday, 24 December 2014, at 7:15 p.m.

In Response To: Not reminding your opponent to press the clock (Timothy Chow)

I used to play chess and I have been wondering about it too but adopted the backgammon norms. Nonetheless, When I play with a clock I am more focused yet not paying much attention to the clock. This leads me to not see cases where my opponent doesn't hit the clock. Those usually happen when I get a tough cube decision. If my opponent forgets to hit the clock I am likely to miss it because I am already in the process of analyzing the position.

Here is a dilemma that I encountered in my last Vegas tournament against Paul Magriel - Paul significantly under-performs with time pressure. I was trying to take advantage of that toward the end of our match (passing a clear take to get more games and trying to complicate). In the last game (I think it was 14-11 post-Crawford) I was holding to my ~1% race chance. Paul had 13 seconds left and took two checkers off but forgot to hit the clock as he was finally relieved and started talking to someone. I picked the dice and once I noticed he didn't hit the clock I stopped for a couple of seconds and then pointed with my face toward the clock as a reminder for Paul. This (except for my face gesture) can be viewed on the YouTube video (From the 36th minute). I understand that according to the rules you can lose on time as long as you are not 100% certain of a win (i.e. if you keep rolling and playing with 0 chance to lose you can't lose on time), and we were not there yet. I was later wondering whether I did the right thing and what if I hadn't pointed to the clock and he would not pay attention and lose on time. Without much thought I decided that I did the right thing because I wouldn't want to win that way.

However, now that Timothy raised the issue, it reminds me of that dilemma which can be a good example to illustrate his point. Do you guys think it is good sportsmanship to remind Paul about the clock or should you try to take advantage of the situation by waiting?

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