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From the FIDE Handbook:

III.2.2 These Guidelines shall apply only to standard chess and rapid chess games without increment and not to blitz games.

III.4 If the player having the move has less than two minutes left on his clock, he may request that an increment extra five seconds be introduced for both players. This constitutes the offer of a draw. If the offer refused, and the arbiter agrees to the request, the clocks shall then be set with the extra time; the opponent shall be awarded two extra minutes and the game shall continue.

According to this, if I crush my opponent in a rapid game using all of my clock time except for a minute, then I can simply request an increment of 5 seconds for continuing the game (my opponent gets two minutes, but that will not affect the game due to his/her hopeless position). Is this fair enough?

There have been many examples where this rule could be used but wasn't, for instance, the Unofficial Chess960 World Championship, Carlsen could have requested an increment and tried to win the R + B vs R endgame instead of flagging. Why didn't he do so?

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but that will not affect the game due to his/her hopeless position

Well, if your opponent has a hopeless position, they would be better off accepting the 'automatic' draw offer which is implied whenever you make this request: "This constitutes the offer of a draw."

Therefore, invoking this III.4 rule is only beneficial if you have a worse position and very little time left on your clock, which sort-of makes sense: especially in classical games, we want the stronger side to win on the board, not by simply moving their pieces around.

One of the strengths of this rule is that it's an objective rule. An older rule (III.5.1) is that the player in time trouble can claim their opponent isn't trying to win by normal means; validating this claim required a subjective decision by an arbiter. I had never heard of rule III.4; I wouldn't be surprised if once it's wider known, rule III.5.1 will be abandoned entirely.

  • I would think the primary advantage would be if you have an equal or stronger position but no time, and your opponent, hoping to win by time forfeit, refuses to accept a draw. If you have a worse position, and your opponent isn't in time trouble, (having received two minutes on his clock for every 5 seconds on yours) your opponent should be able to win without your having run out of time. – supercat Oct 31 '18 at 16:24
  • On a related note, I've sometimes thought a time-forfeit rule should be equivalent to giving one's opponent full control over one's pieces. A player who runs out of time should, as a matter of sportsmanship, resign if (as would usually be the case) a helpmate would be trivial. If a game would be two moves from being drawn due to lack of progress, however, and no progress could be made within two moves even in a help-mate context (e.g. because a player slipped up in a knight+bishop ending and the opposing king is in the middle of the board) running out of time should yield a draw. – supercat Oct 31 '18 at 16:28

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