Suggestion: allow disabling time cap for Fischer time


It seems that Fischer time always has a cap here. Additionally, the cap cannot be set higher than 1 hour for live games. I’d like to propose an option to completely disable the cap (maybe a new option “unlimited” in the dropdown).

I don’t think that the cap makes sense in live games.

Yours aye


Well the cap is there precisely to keep the games in “live” category. I doubt many players would like a live game that can take say 20 days… To me that kind of defeats the purpose of calling it live.

If you want longer settings just switch to correspondence. There the cap for fisher is 28 days which might be enough? I guess unlimited could be added there if people really wanted, but anything above that you can just have no time settings at all if you ask me :smiley: (which is possible by selecting none)


Even a game with 1min per move would only take 4-5hours.
And Byo-Yomi allows for games with 4h+1h. That game could take some days.

I first thought removing the time limit would be an interesting idea, but after thinking about it
In what a game you need 1hour straight to think? With 30secs per move you have to blitz through the whole game to even reach the 1h limit in endgame. And then you suddenly start to think 1h about the last move of the game?
With 1m per move it’s still 60 moves per player blitzing before they reach the 1h limit.
With bigger time increments one can restore the used up time quickly.

@Harleqin can you describe in what case the 1h limit wouldn’t be enough?

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No, it cannot take days. A game of 300 moves can take only 300 times the bonus time plus two times the basic time. For example, a 20/10 game will never take much longer than 1:30 h. That’s an easy calculation. You do not need a cap to make sure that a game ends.

For the players, one of the nice things about Fischer time is that whatever time you do not use, you keep for later. A cap removes that and punishes players for playing fast.

If your argument is that you usually do not run into it, then why have it at all? Why not at least have the option to not have it? Right now, you’d immediately have a problem if you’d want to play e. g. 60/20.


Being a slow correspondence player, and sometimes getting a bit stressed out, I like the idea of having this as an option.


Ironically, in correspondence games, I rely on the cap to keep correspondence games going at a reasonable pace. Of course, this proposal is for an option anyhow, so that’s OK :slight_smile:

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If there was no cap and a player chose say 10 mins increment (which is not even the highes number) the game might be 2 days long, no?
300*10/60 = 50 hours (feel free to correct my math, it is not my strongest area)…

While I usually am happy to provide as many options as possible, in this case I am kind of afraid people might be getting tricked into a live game that can actually turn into a correspondence. And yes, byo yomi can theoretically also be super long, but it still at least requires people to make a move evey x seconds. So it does not really provoke the other player as much as not playing for 20 minutes while on move 250.

We could theoretically lower the increments as max-time increases, but that would super confusing interface-wise.

That is my worry, while I honestly do not really see why you would need much more than an hour for a move near the endgame…


The cap may help maintain a more consistent pace, but as @Harleqin said,

without the cap, you can get more accurate estimates of how long the game will take… and this might allow you to play shorter time controls since you can build up a bigger buffer.

Essentially, as you say, it’s worse for pace… but if you’d rather play 5 quick moves and then leave for 5 days rather than a move every day it works for that… or for a live equiv. you can play your opening really quick to build as much time as possible for the mid game wihtout worrying about hitting a cap which kind of has the effect of saying “you need to think equally throughout the game and cannot focus your thought on one specific point”

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People keep turning this into a strawman… sure it sounds ridiculous when you say “who would use an hour for 1 move” but what if you have an hour saved up you can use 20 mins per move on 3 consecutive moves whereas say the cap was 30 mins with an extra 10 mins per move maybe you can use 20 mins on 2 moves but then the third one you only have 10 mins

one move might not warrant an hour of thought, but a 5-10 move fight that maybe you can’t read out in its entirety (especially if you’re kyu) could well warrant such a commitment.

Really don’t see how this could be the case? Maybe at the moment of change people would need to start experimenting with what their new preferred settings are, but people would adjust quickly.

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There is no requirement to make a move within one and a half week. Even with a time increment of 30m per move the Fischer game would be twice as fast.

Crazy time settings are already possible, so why not enable the same for Fischer time as well?

I don’t think we will see a “Unlimited” option in the near future since it would need changes on the back end code. To add some higher limits to the drop-down list is more likely to happen. Lets say something like 1h15m, 1h30m, 1h45m, 2h, 2h30m, 3h, 4h


Haha, wow. Did not know that was possible. I would vote to limit those, but guess that’s another topic :smiley:

Well fine, you talked me into it, if people want those for whatever reason, no more objections from me. But probably at least flag them as unusual if it happens (@Eugene )

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I like the idea of having an unlimited max time fischer, but yeah would have to be either blitz, or correpondence. With normal ‘live’ increments it could turn into days long games, which might easily cause those games to end as timeouts.

But idea of having +1d/move without cap sounds great for a correpondence player like me, it would be really nice option to have.

Also for blitz games, gaining under 20 sec per move wouldn’t still cause overwhelmingly long games, so it might work quite well.

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I have one misgiving where live (and blitz) games are concerned. I like that OGS has an approach of allowing a wide range of options but:

In a real life, over a goban game, I can see if my opponent decides to invest his precious reserve of time in making a particularly careful move and I can spend that time thinking about the game too. Online I have no way of knowing if he/she is thinking or rage quitting. Do I spend an hour patiently waiting only to have them timeout or do I quit (as many would) rewarding possibly malicious behaviour.

Online is different from real-life. The cap on live fischer time limits the degree to which people can be ‘stuffed around’ by others. I can’t see any significant advantage in increasing the current 1hour limit for live-speed games but I can certainly see problems and opportunities for abuse.


I am not asking to remove the time cap option entirely. I am asking to add the option of not having it in a game.

I am not talking about correspondence games. I don’t know what makes sense there, when the players are not at the board at the same time.

I’m talking about live games, for example: 60 minutes plus 20 sec per move. It is a slow game, but it cannot take much longer than 3:40 h. If I want it faster, I reduce the basic time and the bonus time. If I want it slower, I increase them. I see no reason to additionally introduce a rule that punishes players for playing fast, and I want the option of not having it.


I think that at the very least ogs should permit games at egf class A level using fisher time. Live tournaments in the UK seem to be moving to Fischer time and for a class A tournament this means time for 120 moves of 75 minutes. That is 45min main time plus 15 seconds per move, or 55m+10s or 65m+5s. There is no cap for time accrual.


What happens now? Is there some decision process going on in the background? Or will this just be left and forgotten?

Discussions like these do need a prompt along from time to time to be not forgotten, thanks for that.

There is another problem with “options” on game settings, which is that people frequently don’t notice them. This means that people will find themselves in these long live games by accident, and Kosh’s concern becomes even more relevant.

That being said, if the discussion is largely done, and concensus hasn’t been reached that it’s a great idea, but the proponent wants to pursue it, then next things to do would be

  1. Get @anoek’s attention onto the discussion
  2. Raise a Feature Request in github.



I find it a bit irritating that the idea that a Fischer game without a cap might take a lot longer still seems to exist.

It doesn’t work that way. If I now play a 20/10 game with 60 min cap, the cap is irrelevant, as it will never ever be reached. If I play a 60/20 game, however, the site forces me to have a 60 min cap as well, and if I keep playing at a 20 s/move pace, it will punish me on average every other move. This doesn’t make sense, and it certainly doesn’t make the game faster.

If you want a faster game, use shorter time controls. If you fear that people might not realize the duration of the game, display it to them. You can calculate a rough upper bound very easily with Fischer time: for XX/YY (where XX is the basic time in minutes and YY the bonus time in seconds), the time for 300 moves in minutes is 2×XX + 5×YY. For example, a 20/10 game takes at most around 90 min =1:30 h. A cap only disturbs that calculation.

I’ll look into github.


And again, I’m not talking about correspondence games.

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And Chess sites manage to have Fischer time without causing undo confusion. It’s actually easier to explain to a new player, in my opinion, than byo-yomi or Fischer with cap. You get x minutes, and every time you move, you get y more seconds.