Exhaustion As A Weapon

Since the abolition of adjournments and the arrival of SEVEN hour sessions there has been a considerable drop in the average age of top chess players. This is hardly surprising as younger players have far more stamina. Is it what the game should be about?

Some of us would argue that it should really be about chess skill and argue for shorter playing sessions. The arrival of powerful computers has made the chess authorities reluctant to have a break in the games but this is not the only option. I’d argue that there’s a strong case for a faster time limit over the first 30 moves which would foster enterprise over soundness in the early stages. And this saving could be used to make the playing session shorter.

The following recent game is a case in point with Neverov, 51, being well able to draw until his mistaken 206th move (most rook moves would have drawn). He was essentially driven to exhaustion by his young opponent and his knowledge and experience counted for nothing:

Nigel Davies

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in Southport in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Besides teaching chess, Nigel is a registered tai chi and qigong instructor and runs several weekly classes.