Total Average Timing

    Keywords: Tournament


Total Average Timing is the time system where

  • one gets an initial period of time,
  • time used for each move is deducted,
  • and an extra period of time is added after each N-th move.

Extra periods are of same size, the initial one may differ.

In other words,

  • one is required having made at least P x N moves before the first P periods have passed.


|------|         time before
|---|            time for N moves
    |--|------|  time after


This system is a generalization of Fischer Timing.

The difference to Canadian Timing is that the remaining time after stones were used up is added to the new period.

The advantage of Total is that it is non-spilling and less restrictive than Steady Average Timing (and, of course, Canadian Timing).

Exir: What exactly IS the difference between Steady and Total? The description & diagram on both pages look the same.

This follows when one modifies Total such that it emulates Steady:

Don't deduct a stone if at least one period is left.

With appropriate clocks, players and organizers therefore should favor Total:

  • it is least restrictive on players
  • but still ensures organizers their average.

With only a plain clock, however, Total Average has to be emulated -- see below.


The player gets

  • the initial period,
  • N stones,
  • and no coins.

If the player runs out of time with no coin:

  • the player loses on time.

If the player runs out of time with at least one coin:

  • the opponent stops both clocks,
  • the player pays one coin,
  • the opponent puts one extra period on the player's clock,
  • they check,
  • and the opponent starts the player's clock again.

If the player runs out of stones:

  • the player stops both clocks,
  • the opponent hands over one coin,
  • the player counts out N stones,
  • they check,
  • and the player starts the opponent's clock.

xela: I think it's simpler than you're making out. The number N is the same for both players, right? So after the second player has made their Nth move, you stop the clocks, add time for both players, count out the next N stones, and continue. No need for coins or for multiple "if" statements.

This is the system that was used in chess tournaments for many years, and noone had a problem with it (except for tournament organisers who wanted games to end in a bounded time).

(In the description above, if both players start the game with no coins, where do the coins come from?)


3 moves ("stones") in 3 minutes.

  #    Time   Stones left    Used
  1     3:00    3       0:40
  2     2:20    2       1:50
  3     0:30    1       0:29
  4     3:01    3       1:10
  5     1:51    2       1:45
  6     0:06    1       0:03
  7     3:03    3       2:10
  8     0:53    2       0:53
  9     0:00    1       lost

Total Average Timing last edited by voja on March 2, 2016 - 04:00
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