The ICU rating list is for classical chess, i.e. for games played with a reasonably long time control. Games played with rapid (fast) or blitz (even faster) time controls are excluded from the list. Note that FIDE's definition of rapid chess spans the range 15-60 minutes per player per game.
To calculate the total time allotted per player when increments (from move 1) are used, add 60 times the increment (in seconds) to the time allotted to each player to get the total time. For example, if a player gets 75 minutes plus 15 seconds per move from move 1 then the total time allotted is 90 minutes. The use of increments is not required to comply with minimum time controls but is recommended as good practice for the sake of both players and arbiters.
FIDE Time Controls
For tournaments which are to be both ICU and FIDE rated, the minimum time controls of both systems must be satisfied. FIDE's current minimum time controls are:
- Where at least one of the players in the tournament has a rating 2200 or higher, each player must have a minimum of 120 minutes.
- Where at least one of the players in the tournament has a rating 1600 or higher, each player must have a minimum of 90 minutes.
- Where all the players in the tournament are rated below 1600, each player must have a minimum of 60 minutes.
In practice, if the minimum FIDE time control is satisfied, then the minimum ICU time control (below) is lilkely to be satisfied as well.
ICU Time Controls
The minimum time control rules below are the result of a consultation between the rating officer, experienced tournament controllers (including Gerry Graham and Rory Delaney) and other interested parties. The general principles that emerged from this discussion and keeping in mind the lead given by FIDE are:
- To make a sharp distinction between rapid and classical chess.
- For this distinction to be sharper for stronger players.
- To accomodate the tradition in Irish chess of up to 3 games per day.
Minimum ICU Time Controls
For a game to be ICU rated each player must have the following minimum periods in which to complete all the moves:
- Where at least one of the players is rated ≥ 2100, each player must have a minimum of 105 minutes.
- Where at least one of the players is rated ≥ 1500, each player must have a minimum of 75 minutes.
- Where all the players in the tournament are rated < 1500 or aged < 15, each player must have a minimum of 60 minutes.
Games played at a rate faster than the above are excluded from the list.
Exceptional ICU Time Controls
For time controls faster than the above to qualify as exceptions, controllers must obtain permission from the rating officer before the tournament begins. Such requests should be accompanied by arguments in support of the proposed time control.
Only tournaments listed below currently qualify as allowed exceptions. All other tournaments must satify the minimum requirements above.
LCU Div 6 Bodley Cup - 60 minutes per player per game. Supporting arguments (supplied by C. Talbot):
- To promote the popularity of chess amongst minors.
- Games are played in the evening and parents tend not to like their kids arriving home late.
- Players rated over 1600 can be allowed 90 minutes providing that both players and the team captains are in agreement and that the longer time is administratively possible in the host premises.
- A blind player who requests a 90 minute time control in advance of a Bodley game should be accommodated.