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Note: This has practical implications if that's what you were wondering about. How can Hikaru in 2022 WFRCC be a successor of Wesley in 2019 WFRCC if 32.5min & 60min aren't in the same time control range?


I don't think I've ever heard these terms 'slow rapid' and 'fast rapid' outside chess960. Just now I tried looking up "slow rapid" "chess" "fast rapid" and "slow rapid" "fast rapid" and then almost everything there is chess960.

Link 1

In the 2019 WFRCC, the following I believe applies for the semi-finals and finals besides just the quarter-finals:

Each match of the quarterfinals consisted of two “slow” rapid games (45 minutes for 40 moves plus 15 minutes for the rest, without increment), two “fast” rapid games (15 minutes plus 2 seconds increment) and 2 blitz games (3 minutes plus 2 seconds increment). The games were weighted differently: 3 points for each slow rapid game, 2 points for each fast rapid game and 1 point for each blitz game.

Link 2

In the 2022 WFRCC, whatever 'slow rapid' means, FIDE categorises their 25min games as slow rapid, same as their 45min games but unlike their 15min games which are 'fast rapid'.

The time control is so-called 'slow rapid': Each game is 30 moves in 25 minutes, plus 5 minutes for the rest of the game after move 30, plus 5 seconds increment per move starting from move 31.

Question: How does FIDE define 'slow rapid' and 'fast rapid' ?

Note 1: Actually about the rapid WCC, I read just now:

In order to promote viewership, time controls were set at 15 minutes per player, rather than the pre-2012 standard of 25 minutes.

  • In chess, 25 is in the same category as 15
  • But in 960, 25 is in the same category as 45.

Note 2: If rapid is just 10-59 minutes, then I don't think slow rapid just means above the midpoint of 35 minutes since '25 minutes per player for the first 30 moves, after which each player will receive additional 5 minutes on the clock and an increment of 5 seconds per move starting from move 31' converts to 32.5 minutes and is considered slow rapid.

Link 3

Update: Chess stackexchange re 2024 Grenke Chess Classic. - oh there's a new thing 'fast classical'. I think synonymous.

How does FIDE define fast classical?

Link 4

Chess.com calendar archive

https://www.chess.com/article/view/chess-tournaments-calendar-archive

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This actually says

FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship Wesley So won the first FIDE sanctioned Fischer Random World Championship. News report. (Slow rapid & rapid)

Meaning 'slow rapid' in 2019 WFRCC could be different from 'slow rapid' in the others.

Link 5

Chess24 Calendar 2023 (archive since RIP chess24) - The FIDE Women's World Team Championship in Poland for 2023Sep was 'slow rapid'.

https://web.archive.org/web/20231126214851/https://chess24.com/en/read/news/chess-calendar-2023

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This 12-team event combines round-robin and knockout elements with the teams of four players competing in a "slow rapid" format with just under an hour per player in each game.

Then the website says https://worldwomenteams.fide.com/

The time control is 45 minutes for the whole game with an increment of 10 seconds per move starting from move 1.

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2 Answers 2

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Quoting from the FIDE Handbook

Appendix A defines "Rapid Chess":

A.1 A ‘Rapid chess’ game is one where either all the moves must be completed in a fixed time of more than 10 minutes but less than 60 minutes for each player; or the time allotted plus 60 times any increment is of more than 10 minutes but less than 60 minutes for each player.

Appendix B defines "Blitz:":

B.1

A ‘blitz’ game is one where all the moves must be completed in a fixed time of 10 minutes or less for each player; or the allotted time plus 60 times any increment is 10 minutes or less.

No other form of game is referred to - so all other time controls fall under the same heading. I think most people would call this "Classical" but note FIDE uses no such term. It also does not talk about "Slow rapid" or "Fast rapid". So the short answer to the question on the title is it doesn't. IMO the use of slow and fast in the quoted text are merely qualifiers to the term rapid, indicating at which end of the spectrum the time controls fall, rather than an official designation.

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  • Ah because the average of 60 and 10 is 35 so slow means > 35 and fast means < 35 ?
    – BCLC
    Jan 29, 2023 at 14:34
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    I think you are reading too much precision into the terms. Slow means at the slow end of the spectrum in the opinion of whoever uses it, fast at the quick end. I really wouldn't try and define it any more than that - after all neither are terms that are used officially so they don't need precise definitions.
    – Ian Bush
    Jan 29, 2023 at 14:39
  • Ian Bush, see edit. Brian Towers♦ calculated that '25 minutes per player for the first 30 moves, after which each player will receive additional 5 minutes on the clock and an increment of 5 seconds per move starting from move 31' converts to only 32.5 minutes while the midpoint of 10 and 60 is 35.
    – BCLC
    Jan 30, 2023 at 16:42
  • I think you are reading too much precision into the terms
    – Ian Bush
    Jan 30, 2023 at 17:32
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For regular chess, there's no official definition other than "Blitz", "Rapid" and "Classical". Distinctions inside each of these three categories would be a matter of opinion.

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  • 1 - Whose opinion? FIDE's you mean? Aha so FIDE just arbitrarily decides what's slow rapid & fast rapid? 2 - This is kind of a devil's proof question maybe: But are you sure there's no distinction of slow rapid & fast rapid in regular chess?
    – BCLC
    Jan 29, 2023 at 12:19
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    @BCLC I think my answer is pretty clear. FIDE definitions of Blitz, Rapid and Classical are the ones that apply for official purposes. Everything else is non-official. Adgamator's opinion is not more valuable than yours or mine
    – David
    Jan 29, 2023 at 12:50
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    @BCLC Could you show me the official regulatory document from FIDE where they define "slow rapid"? By the way, 60+ is always classical
    – David
    Jan 29, 2023 at 16:35
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    @BCLC This is not a FIDE regulatory document, just some article written by a different organization about an event that isn't even regular chess, but rather chess960. "Slow rapid" is an informal term used to refer to games with time controls closer to the upper limit of the rapid format.
    – David
    Jan 29, 2023 at 16:42
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    @BCLC Think of it like this: if FIDE president gave a speech and mentioned the term "strong player", would that mean FIDE now has an official definition for what constitutes a strong player?
    – David
    Jan 30, 2023 at 23:26

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