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Time Controls Shock Norway Chess Round 1

There is a fantastic scene at the end of Star Trek Generations where Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Commander William Riker are walking through the destroyed bridge of the Enterprise. At one point, Commander Riker tells Captain Picard that he is going to miss the ship because “she went before her time.” Picard then proceeds to give one of the best speeches in science fiction film when he replies:

Someone once told me that time is a predator that stalks us all our lives, but I like to think of time as a companion who goes with us on the journey. It reminds us to cherish every moment because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.

Perhaps time can be a companion that guides us on the pathways of life, but for a chess player trying to score a victory in a tournament, time controls tend to be much more predatory. This was the case today with GM Magnus Carlsen, who was unaware of the established time control and lost on time in a position that was clearly won for his pieces.

Magnus Carlsen (2798) – Veselin Topalov (2876)
Norway Chess 2015 (Round 1) | After 60…Kf7.

Carlsen’s play was as strong as always, but his late arrival to the playing hall caused him to miss the crucial information from the tournament arbiter about the time controls. Carlsen believed that he had an extra 15 minutes on move 60, but lost the game when his clock flagged. This tragic end for the World Champion’s Round 1 is a memorable start to the incredibly strong tournament. Other wins include Anish Giri against Alexander Grischuk, Hikaru Nakamura with an easy victory over Jon Ludvig Hammer, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave over Levon Aronian, and a draw between Vishwanatha Anand and Fabiano Caruana.


Standings After Round 01
Source: ChessBase


Nakamura’s game was the only one I had time to follow live, and looking at the PGN results I think that it is one of the more interesting games. He wasted no time creating a highly complex position and forcing Hammer into a corner. The pressure in that game was intense, and even when it looked as though Nakamura held a compromised position, victory was all but certain to the very end. Play through all of the games from Round 1 below: