Box, Clocks, and Well-Thrown Rocks

by Jake Jacobs
10 September 2010

Jake Jacobs

Over the past year I've seen, in public and private forums, debates about the merits of baffle boxes, the use of clocks in tournaments, what sort of format works best in a tournament, etc. These topics have been kicked around for decades, but the kicking has been more active lately, and that is a good thing. Some aspects of the game are timeless - there is a reason you never hear proposals to change the doubler to a tripler, with each turn being the next power of three - but often tradition is just fashion grown stale. As a hypothetical example, if people are bored with Swiss movements, maybe it is time to go back to round-robins. Years ago many events used the Holland Rule, but as its popularity waned, it was scrapped. I've been on the sidelines during most of the recent debates, but I've had my two cents ready to put in, and having saved those pairs of pennies I now have a nickel at least, burning a hole in my pocket.

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