We've all done it from time to time. You know what I'm talking about. You find yourself moving quickly in the games that are going well, and taking longer over difficult or losing positions. It's within the rules. But is it ethical ? Unless you're actually thinking more about the bad positions (which does happen), taking longer may be seen as a way of trying to get advantage. Maybe you're hoping that if you drag it out long enough your opponent will get sick, or disappear for a few weeks, and you'll win on time.
Some players do this more than others. One of my opponents who is usually a fast mover is taking 3 days over each move in our current games. (Yes, it's a 3 day timeout).
What can be done ?
1) Collate statistics which show how fast players actually move. For each player, the site could display the average number of days they spend on every move on RHP. Alongside this, it could show average days per move in completed games which they lost, as against days per move in completed games won or drawn. This would make interesting reading, and would encourage further debate as to whether something needs to be done.
2) Experiment with time limits which include a penalty for slow play. For example :
a) Timeout starts at seven days, but can progressively reduce to three days for one player if they repeatedly spend more than three days on a move. So every third time they spend longer than 3 days, their timeout could be reduced by a day.
b) If a player's average number of days per move is greater than 50% of the timeout over a calendar month, their timeout is reduced by one day. So if the timeout is 7 days and one player is taking an average of 5 days per move during December, their timeout becomes 6 days.
c) Within the same tournament, a player must not spent more than 50% longer overall on some games than others. If this happens over a period of at least one calendar month, their timeout will be reduced.
I'm sure you'll be able to pick holes in some of these ideas. But are there some of you who think that it's worth trying to discourage this sort of behaviour ?