The TimeControl formats I've found on the web split the TimeControl in time periods separated by a special character, for instance:

G/90 (one period with 90min to end the game)

G/90+30 (one period with 90min to end the game and 30sec of increment)

40/90, SD/30+30 (two periods, 90min to play 40 moves followed by 30 min to end the game with 30sec of increment)

Now, in the last example the increment is related to the second period (the sudden death).

According to http://www.fide.com/fide/handbook.html?id=39&view=category for all major FIDE events the TimeControl is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. Here the increment starts from move 1.

How can I describe that in a formal notation? Is 40/90+30, SD/30+30 the correct way?

PGN standard has a different approach (the separator character is ":" and the increment is allowed only in the sudden death period, which is simply expressed in seconds):


but it seems the increment is not allowed for the first period (in case of a multi-period time conrol).

How can I express the FIDE TimeControl in the PGN tag as well? I tryed to download PGN games of FIDE events but I couldn't find any of them with TimeControl tag.


but it seems the increment is not allowed for the first period

As far as I can see from the standard it is allowed in the first period only if there is only one period. Specifically it is allowed only in the last period.

•The fifth TimeControl field kind is used for an "incremental" control period. It should only be used for the last descriptor in a TimeControl tag value and is usually the only descriptor in the value. The format consists of two positive integers separated by a plus sign ("+") character. The first integer gives the minimum number of seconds allocated for the period and the second integer gives the number of extra seconds added after each move is made. So, an incremental time control of 90 minutes plus one extra minute per move would be given by "4500+60" in the TimeControl tag value

The only suggestion is the standard one regarding these questions about PGN which is to put the information in a comment field. The standard is old and no longer maintained as far as I know.

  • I've corrected the text according to your good comment about the increment in the first period.
    – maxqua72
    Jan 4 '15 at 14:18
  • Anyway is there any example of PGN tag with FIDE time control?
    – maxqua72
    Jan 4 '15 at 14:24
  • I have never seen PGN files with FIDE time control. I guess if it is a major FIDE standard chess competition then they know by default what the time control is and so there is no need to specify. It is a shame because if FIDE defined an addition to the PGN standard for this then it would become the standard.
    – Brian Towers
    Jan 4 '15 at 17:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.