Blundering in Time Trouble

Blundering in Time Trouble

Hikaru Junction

Blundering in Time Trouble

Three games today, each with a nice blunder from a strong player. I like seeing this type of game because it reminds and reassures me that these players are beatable. Sometimes when I am paired against a strong player, I am fearful. But watching blunders makes me feel courageous, and sometimes I even do beat them.

Siegbert Tarrasch–Emanuel Lasker World Championship 1908

An honorable mention, since several of these games are decided by mismanagement of the clock, is Carlsen’s loss in the first round of the 2015 edition of Norway chess. Due to his lateness, he missed the rules explanation, and wrongly thought he would get extra time on move 60.

Gata Kamsky–Alexey Shirov Tal Memorial 2007

The psychology of time trouble is also very interesting. Several factors, according to this article:, which is worth reading, are lack of confidence, using time trouble as an excuse, or simply needing a lot of time.

Alexander Ivanov–Alex Yermolinsky United States Championship 1993

What does chess psychologist Nikolai Krogius have to say about time trouble? His practical advice in “Psychology in Chess” is to not get over-excited when your opponent is in time trouble, and, in it, to concentrate on the game. Simple, but helpful!


Posted to Hikaru Junction

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  • Posted 1473 days 4 hours and 25 minutes ago
    Standard memberShallow Blue
    I don't think Carlsen can be excused. Being late for the briefing is also trouble with your timing!

    On another note, I recently won a game I definitely should've lost, because my opponent blundered in severe time trouble, leaving me one pawn up in a rook endgame, when I was a piece (minus that pawn) down. Meanwhile, I myself still play far too quickly :/
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