Bobby Fischer, as quoted by Jim Ratliff in a question about increment says:

The result of adjournments is often a skewing of a particular player's chess-playing ability since the success or failure of a player upon resumption of an adjourned game often depends on the amount of time spent analyzing the game during the adjournment as well as the quantity and quality of help that player had in analyzing the game during the adjournment.… Thus, the play of the game upon resumption of the adjournment does not necessarily reflect the ability of a particular player, but rather it may be more a reflection of the ability of his team of analysts, books and computers. There are many people, including the present inventor, who wish to eliminate adjournments for exactly this reason. A chess game should be an accurate reflection of the ability of a particular player and not a reflection of the strength and ability of his team of analysts, books and computers.

It's a good argument against adjournment, but what's the relevance to increments?

  • 1
    Who is Jim Ratliff? Is this a famous chess player I haven't heard of? Feb 11, 2023 at 21:22
  • 1
    The reason for increment is another : Without increment , there are too many games where a player loses on time in an utterly won position just because he cannot make the moves physcially fast enough. The idea was to prevent this , but still limiting the time the player has. With increment , a player can still run out of time , but he won't lose on time in "dedaly-won" positions.
    – Peter
    Feb 27, 2023 at 9:39
  • @SecretAgentMan The answerer of the linked question
    – isaacg
    May 5, 2023 at 18:11
  • @isaacg sarcasm May 5, 2023 at 20:04

2 Answers 2


The purpose of both increments and adjournments is to relieve some time pressure off of the players. Therefore, the relevance to increments is that increments, or additional time added to the clock after each move, can serve as a substitute for adjournment. It does so by adding a certain amount of time to the clock of each player after every move. This way, the game can continue without interruption, and players have less incentive to use outside resources during the game. It also is completed in one sitting, eliminating the need for a break (adjournment). Fischer was a strong advocate for increments.


"as well as the quantity and quality of help that player had in analyzing the game during the adjournment..." was clearly an issue when he was playing an opponent from USSR.

In any tournament in his prime years there were always many USSR top GMs that could help each other in various ways. Sometimes players could even go to sleep, leave the others do the analysis work, wake-up fresh, study the analysis, and go to the borad to play against an opponent that might have spent the night on the board.

Today with computers adjournment has lost any mening.

Today teams are also different: e.g. Calsen against Nepo had Dubov, a russian as Nepo, in his team.

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