Now that from this answer, I know what the time control is, why is it 90 minute base time for the first 40 moves, an additional 30 minute base time for the rest of the game plus a 30 second increment for each move, and not a 2 hour base time with 30 second increments per move? It doesn't seem to make any sense. If the directors already have time to stay more than 4 hours and 41 minutes after the tournament begins, the maximum amount of time that could go by before the 41st move is completed, why are they rushing them to complete the 40th move a whole hour before then? They would still have the same amount of time to complete the 41st move if it was a 2 hour base time and 30 second increments. Are they specifically trying to rate them on their ability to play with that time control so that they'll know that the ones with a really high rating know how to adapt to playing well with that time control?

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    This is basically a duplicate of Why have more than one time control per game?, although that one is about multiple time controls in general and not FIDE-specific. – itub May 14 '19 at 11:01
  • @itub I'm not sure I had a way to see that before I posted this question and saw it as related. I know that sometimes before I post a question, it lists other questions as possibly related but think it also sometimes misses listing some. I didn't pay attention. Maybe it lists that one as related before I posted this one and I didn't pay attention. I believe I would have been able to recognize it as similar enough that this one doesn't need asking. – Timothy May 16 '19 at 15:02
  • Don't worry, sometimes it's hard to find previous questions. In addition to the "related questions" feature while you post, you can also try the search box, or you can browse by tag. FWIW I didn't downvote your question. – itub May 16 '19 at 22:30

We can't really answer what all the reasons for the decisions were, as there are many people involved with the committee that decides on the FIDE time controls and they haven't published their reasoning.

So I just want to point out two things:

One, history. A slightly older time control are for instance 2 hours for the first 40 moves, then 1 hour for the next 20 moves, then 30 minutes for the rest of the game. Before that, games were adjourned after move 60. Earlier time controls were similar but with more time per move. So there is a long tradition of time controls for parts of the game and not for a long time period for the whole game.

The reason is that organizers want to ensure that players have sufficient time left in each period of the game. As players don't know in advance whether their game will last 35 moves or 115, it's hard to decide how much time to use on the first 30 moves. A player who wants to have sufficient time left to play the endgame well has a middle game disadvantage against a player who just burns all his time assuming he doesn't reach that point. We want players to be able to play all parts of the game well so we add the time only if it is needed.

Another thing is to save time in case the game is short. Someone on the losing side of a game is going to use all his time to try to save it, so short games would take very long if all that time was given at the start. Tournaments are already very exhausting.

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  • In that case, even if the time control were a 2 hour base time with 30 second increments, wouldn't a player come to their own senses and not move so slowly near the beginning of the game so that they will have more time for the later moves? Maybe after a really large number of moves, you have enough time to notice the general pattern of how the game is going and it's easier for you to make the next move well within 30 seconds then it would be for somebody else to make a good move within 30 seconds if they just took over from you and never saw and learned how the earlier part of the game went – Timothy May 14 '19 at 16:57
  • and had the huge amount of time to process it. – Timothy May 14 '19 at 16:57

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