Vacation change for 3 days minimum


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Thibault de Vassal    (2013-03-10)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Hello all,

It seems that the current vacation system can be used in various ways to recover days at the clock while it is not particularly dedicated to.

We have 45 days of vacation per year, it is now possible to leave 45 times 1 day.

An idea could be to take a minimum of 3 days while there are more than 2 days remaining. Thus one could leave a maximum of 15 times.

Any opinion on this possible change?

Heinz-Georg Lehnhoff    (2013-03-10 17:12:40)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I'm against this change!

Thibault de Vassal    (2013-03-10 18:29:58)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

It seems just more realistic this way, why are you against this idea?

Neel Basant    (2013-03-10 18:37:47)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Thib you are right.About 3 games are saved due to that.My opponents took advantage of that.

Heinz-Georg Lehnhoff    (2013-03-10 18:41:09)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

It should not be the role of rules to regulate my use of the leave. If 45 days is too much, then reducing the number of days.

Heinz-Georg Lehnhoff    (2013-03-10 18:43:00)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

To Neel: You can also take advantage of it :)

Peter W. Anderson    (2013-03-11 13:30:40)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I think this would be an excellent change.

Daniel Parmet    (2013-03-11 13:45:25)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I think this is a terrible change.

Garvin Gray    (2013-03-12 16:15:46)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I think the main question here is: What is vacation meant to be used for?

The original premise for vacation time is that it is in place for people who go away on vacation or are sick and need some time off without having to risk timing out to do so.

This means they can still enter a tournament without having to worry about timing out or being at such a time disadvantage.

This is the purpose of vacation time.

It is not meant to be used to allow players who have chosen through their own choice of time management to avoid timing out games.

Therefore the rules should be changed to match the intention of vacation time.

Hence the proposal of a minimum of 3 days vacation and that it can not be used at all once a player gets under 3 days initial time.

Also, I would probably add that there should be a limit to how many times a player can take vacation blocks, but this might be hard for the server to calculate for each game a player is involved in.

Heinz-Georg Lehnhoff    (2013-03-12 17:38:02)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

At work I can take a single day off, but not in my hobby? That sounds strange ...

Garvin Gray    (2013-03-13 09:46:51)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Not quite the same Heinz. If you repeatedly took one day off, especially if was every second day or so, then there would be questions asked.

Same thing here.

Daniel Parmet    (2013-03-13 13:28:44)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Not true Garvin. It is the same thing. Work will even allow you take half days off - no questions asked. Maybe we should move to 12 hour increments?

Thibault de Vassal    (2013-03-13 13:42:07)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Not an easy topic after all... Well, right now I think that 1 day is more "natural" or "intuitive", at least an easier rule but it's true that vacation can be used to help in some games. Let's see if others have an opinion on that.

Jose Carrizo    (2013-03-15 16:28:10)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I'm against this change. One day minimum is OK.

Garvin Gray    (2013-03-16 11:09:33)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I am wondering if everyone has read each of the replies before posting.

I am sure some have, but I do suspect that some have just replied without considering the consequences of their replies if they were enacted, or not.

Instead of changing the minimum days for vacation to 3, how about there is a maximum cap for the number of times a person can take vacation in any one single game?

This would prevent a player from repeatedly using vacation just to avoid timing out, which is not what vacation is designed for.

Rolf Staggat    (2013-03-17 15:09:17)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

45 days are 45 days are 45 days are 45 days.
Why make another rule how to use them ?
Shorten or cancel the vacation, but do not make anything more difficult.
When I am one day absent, then I am ONE day absent. So it works on ICCF and everywhere.

Daniel Parmet    (2013-03-17 17:11:41)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I agree with Rolf.
I think the problem Garvin is you have to first ask if someone seems it as a problem that vacation could be used to stop from flagging. In my mind, that is a resounding no without any sort of question. Why would it be a problem is someone chose to use vacation that way?
I can't think of a single reason.

Thibault de Vassal    (2013-03-19 11:25:56)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I just received a long and detailed private message from a very strong chess player who explained how vacation have influenced some of his games and I must say it was quite a strong demonstration of the issue.

Obviously it is a problem for certain players.

I'm not really favorable to a change here as it will complicate rules and the use of the site but here are the facts:

- Vacation are just rules... vacation may mean anything. So it is ok right now.

- Is it normal to save games thanks to vacation by gaining day after day ? It is just a question of point of view but IMO the answer is no. At least it cannot be done for each game separately, which is a great thing.

So we have a contradiction here.

Finally my proposal is a change for 2 days minimum that I would install in 2 months from now.

I think it would be a fair compromise... It should reduce the effects on the games in the future and it is quite short yet.

Any opinion on this change for 2 days minimum? Acceptable or not?

Bogoljub Teverovski    (2013-03-19 14:34:11)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I'm against the change in question.

Don Groves    (2013-03-19 16:09:03)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

There will always be a loophole for some to take advantage of. Leave the rules as they are.

Garvin Gray    (2013-03-19 16:35:20)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

The easiest option is to increase the rapid time control to 40 moves initial and have no vacation.

Rolf Staggat    (2013-03-19 17:05:12)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Thib, the "very strong chess player" is a MINORITY here. If he does not want to talk in this forum, his opinion is irrelevant.

Heinz-Georg Lehnhoff    (2013-03-19 17:51:20)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I can not imagine how a player can gain an advantage from the vacation time. Ok, he can analyze his games during that time, but his opponent has the same option. So the additional time cannot be the key to a win.

In my opinion the problem for some players is that it is annoying when they have to wait longer for an answer. I don't think that this should be a reason to change the vacation rules.

If the rules are changed however, this should not happen until the beginning of next year with the new vacation period.

Daniel Parmet    (2013-03-20 00:32:02)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

My opponent just went on leave with 11 minutes left on ICCF. I don't see a problem with it. Can someone please explain to me the problem here?

Daniel Parmet    (2013-03-20 00:33:56)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Also, I have to comment on Garvin's idea. I love Garvin. He does wonderful volunteer work. He is a good player. And I've been on a team with him. But that idea is atrocious, why would you eliminate vacation entirely?! I request here and now for my account to be deleted the very second vacation is deleted.

Jose Carrizo    (2013-03-20 01:24:39)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I agree with Parmet, Lehnoff, Groves and Teverovski. Don´t change the rule, it's ok for me.

Thibault de Vassal    (2013-03-20 13:41:09)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Well, at the end the only problem may be that vacation should be specified in time controls... eg. 30 days + 1 day/move + 45 days leave per year.

Right now, vacation is actually a part of the time control.

Still thinking about all this.

Don Groves    (2013-03-22 00:49:44)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

What other reason is there for vacation except to stop your clock?

Kieran Moore    (2013-03-23 13:17:09)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

On another site vacation is divided into two blocks of 20 days.So in most games a player would only have 20 days leave. Its annoying if players use their vacation time to prevent Flag fall as Chess is about tactics and time management. Bad positions tend to cost time, so players shouldn't recover from bad positions by running their vacation days.

Heinz-Georg Lehnhoff    (2013-03-23 13:51:58)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

On other sites vacation can be taken per tournament. That's what I prefer. But I think the current vacation rules on FICGS are ok.

Daniel Parmet    (2013-03-23 15:16:30)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

So if I understand correctly the argument against vacation is wanting the flag to fall to win in a position they couldn't otherwise hope to win.

Thibault de Vassal    (2013-03-25 22:03:01)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Sorry Daniel, I did not get it... What do you mean here?

Daniel Parmet    (2013-03-26 00:00:47)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I was just translating Kieran Moore's complaint into the actual problem with vacation. People are complaining that vacation is preventing them for winning on time in a drawn position.

Don Groves    (2013-03-26 02:12:31)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?


Garvin Gray    (2013-03-29 06:50:22)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I am not sure about the others, but I have mentioned anything about a board position, or a result from it.

That has nothing to do with the subject, in my opinion.

The issue is solely to do with players, who generally, allow their clocks to get very low on time, then use vacation time to avoid timing out.

There is no objection whatsoever to a player using vacation time when they go on vacation, or who needs to take a few days off for whatever reason. That is not the issue.

I only proposed a work around idea to this issue of having no vacation time at all and instead adding more initial time.

I do believe there should be a limit to the number of times a person can be on vacation in a single game.

Daniel Parmet    (2013-03-29 23:58:55)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

It was not you Garvin it was Kieran.
Anyways, I have yet to hear the problem with vacation.

Robert Knighton    (2013-06-05 20:16:22)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

If you

1. Prevent people from logging in and viewing their games while on vacation then they cant use vacation time to analyze changes in their games. This may not stop vacation abuse but it would make it less convenient.

2. Garvin Gray said "Instead of changing the minimum days for vacation ... how about there is a maximum cap for the number of times a person can take vacation"

I like this suggestion better than all others i read here.

So limit vacation to 45 days to be split as chosen by users into a maximum of maybe 20 blocks? So you could take 1 day or 5 but you cant take 1 day at a time 45 times. I suspect that 99.99% of legitimate vacation needs would not be negatively impacted by this sort of system.

I know this is a couple months old now.. just catching up. :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2013-06-06 10:21:21)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Hello Robert,

The 20 blocks proposal is very near the 2 days minimum one (I was quite favourable to this change), the real problem is that it complicates the rules and obviously many players were against it.

But late is always better than nothing :)

Michael Aigner    (2013-06-06 11:45:47)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Hello everybody,
I read the whole thread and in my opinion it is not clear what we are discussing about. The trigger for the discussion was some kind of abuse of the existing rules but I, and I guess some others too, got no idea what the problem is.

Could someone please describe how the existing rules can be used in an unfair way. Before that happened we will run in circels.

Robert Knighton    (2013-06-06 22:58:06)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

@Thibault: a 2 day minimum is bad because what if I only need 1 day this time? I must lose 2. Maybe I need 1 day only 5 seperate times and I need 40 days straight around christmas/new years.

this scenario my/Garvin's suggestion works (20 blocks split however) and yours leaves me with only 30 days for christmas/new years; just as an example.

I dont think this is complex at all.

You may take vacation up to 20 more times this year.
You have a total of 45 days of vacation you may use.

No more complex than a chess clock ;)

@Michael: I think the specific complaints were probably sent privately but I can use my imagination to come up with some possibility.

Lets say you're playing a difficult opponent in a close game in some major tournament maybe.

In order to get a time advantage your opponent goes into vacation mode immediately after you make your moves.

While in vacation mode he can still view and analyze the game without running down his clock which effectively gives him 45 extra days of clock time. This can be a significant advantage (more time = more analysis)

People can argue that it works both ways but what if the victim in this story has used his/her vacation for legitimate reasons?

Maybe the person exploiting this technique only plays a few tournaments a year to make sure he has that 45 extra days if he runs into a hard game?

As for how to solve this issue... well that is the topic of the discussion. How to prevent vacation abuse without hurting legitimate vacation needs.

Garvin Gray    (2013-06-08 04:30:30)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I think Robert Knighton has explained one of the issues regarding this issue very well. In that a player can use the vacation time to gain a time advantage, and another player who had to take vacation legitimately ie this would normally involve taking a few days to 14 days with no game analysis.

The legit vacationer gains no advantage from having taken vacation time, except they avoided timing out, which is of benefit to everyone in the long run.

The second reason why the current situation is undesirable is that it encourages players to not get on with their games. They can run their clocks down to almost zero, knowing they can use an unlimited amount of 1 day vacations to save their games. Playing inside the allocated time controls is part of the game.
Vacation time is for a reason and is not there to be abused to allow players to avoid timing out.

Daniel Parmet    (2013-06-08 17:41:10)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

That is if one believes that is an abuse of vacation... I do not. Both players started with the same amount of vacation time and employed it for uses and different times. I think that is the whole idea behind vacation. For some people, vacation is finding a beach to lay on. For others, vacation would be freeing their normal hectic 16 hour that involves 1 hour of corr analysis and turning that day into a 17 hour corr analysis pound house.

Robert Knighton    (2013-06-08 22:37:01)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

@Daniel: The problem with your way of thinking is that it encourages me to play as few games on this site as possible so I can always be able to use my vacation time in that way.

Also if I have real vacation coming up in a few months I wont start new games because I dont have vacation time now to cover it.

end result being less games played on the site because vacation time is easy to abuse?

Even without hard rules being put in place, my opinion would be that using vacation time to get an edge in your games is poor conduct but I don't see how there is any way to completely stop the behavior. Limiting the convenience of it is about the best that could be done.

Daniel Parmet    (2013-06-08 23:26:11)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Unfortunately there isn't a problem with my way of thinking. It is simply whether or not you consider your point of view to be an abuse of vacation and the simple fact is I do not agree with you in the slightest. So what we have here is a difference of opinion. I believe you are creating a problem where there is none.

Robert Knighton    (2013-06-08 23:57:02)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

I'm not creating a problem. I'm agreeing with a point of view already expressed by others on this forum and trying to clarify that point of view as I understand it.

Also, unless we are discussing the rules of mathematics for example, then pretty much all rules that exist are someone's opinion of how things should be right?

So what I understand you to be saying is that you want to be able to use vacation time to buy more time for your games and you believe this is acceptable behavior even if it gives you an advantage over other players who use their vacation time to go on vacation. It isn't called "performance boost time" or "buy a way out of a difficult position time"; it's called vacation time.

I think the topic here was started because there are a lot of people who disagree with you and believe vacation time is not intended to be used to buy an advantage against your more challenging opponents.

Daniel Parmet    (2013-06-09 00:31:35)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Ah, I understand now. Because someone doesn't agree with you - you must put obscene words in their mouth to describe their untenable position. Everything you just said is COMPLETE horseshit. The fact that someone has a different point of view from you is what reality is.

I have yet to hear of a single example of vacation abuse and I am now coming to the understanding that there isn't a way to abuse vacation. Thank you for the enlightenment.

Thibault de Vassal    (2013-06-09 01:40:04)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

Well, I don't see the point anymore here... please let's talk about this (minor) point of the rules only, I wouldn't like to have to close this discussion.

As Daniel says, there is a question of definition of what vacation is or should be. And both opinions are ok for me, so there is no point to discuss it between the two sides, we can only wait for more opinions at the moment IMHO.

Michael Aigner    (2013-06-11 13:25:26)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

In my opinion there is no need to change the rules. As far as I understood some people see the normal use of vacation which is defined by the rules as abuse which in itself is a contradiction. Anybody (could) know the rules before starting a game.

I understand that it is kind of a little disadvantage when some people have to use their vacation for vacation or for emergencies while others use it for analyzing their games but that’s life.´
There are many other factors one could consider as unfair e.g. faster hardware, no family to care of, retiree, students versus people who have to work the whole day which have much more influence then this "abuse" of vacation time.

By the way, I think it is very hard to play “good” correspondence chess (in a complex position) by using just one day per move, so I am not unhappy if my opponent have to take one day of vacation to have the time to decide for a move to make.

Philip Roe    (2013-06-11 14:08:13)
Vacation: change for 3 days minimum?

There are players, who I could name, who always run their clocks very low and use vacation a day or two at a time to avoid loss. I have absolutely no idea why they do that. They gain no advantage, and in fact frequently lose on time. In consequence they are greatly underrated. Paired against one of them, you may in fact lose (against a low-rated player) or gain an unsatisfying forfeit. This behavior is legitimate under the current rules but extremely irritating.

It is true that all rules can be abused, but it is not unreasonable to set up rules so that abuse is less likely.