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I've been to a 15|2 (Fischer) tournament where it was not necessary to record your moves and I've also played in longer games where it was expected. My question is at what time limit are you no longer expected to record your games (generally speaking)?

More specifically, would you expect to have to record your moves in a G30 tournament?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Anything less than or equal to G/29 does not require you to record moves, according to USCF. Otherwise known as Blitz and Quick, they have a separate rating for those time controls.

Reference: An Introduction to USCF-Rated Tournaments [PDF]

So, yes, you do need to record your moves in a G/30, because that is considered Standard time control.

There is a rule that allows you to stop recording once you (or your opponent) have less than 5 minutes on the clock, in Standard time control games. See #7: USCF - FIDE Rule Differences - 2 Columns

Additionally, if you have an increment of 30 seconds or more, it looks like you have to record moves regardless of the time left on the clock. (I wonder if people really have that sort of increment in tournaments.)

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Yes, some tournaments do have a 30 second increment throughout. For instance, from the regulations of the 2012 Tal Memorial: "The rate of play is 1 hour 40 minutes for 40 moves plus 50 minutes for 20 moves plus 15 minutes for the rest of the game with a 30 second increment per move, starting from the first." – ETD Sep 22 '12 at 19:27
Wow, that would make for some long games. I guess it makes sense for high end tournaments where you don't want to see someone lose because they blundered while out of time. – Eve Freeman Sep 23 '12 at 19:08
One more point, the tournament organizer can always announce different rules so long as they are announced far enough in advance. I have played in one G/30 tournament that did not require notating per the decision of the organizer, but this is the exception, not the rule. – Andrew Sep 27 '12 at 20:25

I always write my moves down even in 30 minute games; I get funny looks, but I can record 3/4 of the game before the position deems otherwise.

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