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Will a GM flag his opponent in a WCC game?

Any positions from either of the two contenders on this issue that someone can cite?

For those that don't know flagging is when you deliberately play very fast when you see your opponent is in zeitnot , time trouble, in order to increase the chances of your opponent losing the game on time. So let's say it's coming up to move 40 and one player has 8 minutes on his clock and the other has only less than a minute or a few seconds so the player with 8 minutes makes snap moves to deliberately cause the opponent to fluster and forfeit on time.

How often are WCC games won in this way.

Would this be considered dishonorable?

Honorable or not is one question and for me it's perfectly fine. The clock is a factor in the game. Both players start with an equal amount of time and if one player uses his time more wisely then it is only fair that it gives him advantage in the end of the game.

I don't know how Carlsen or Nepo feel about this, but I would expect that they take any win they can within the rules of the game.

However the much more interesting question is a pragmatical one:

If your opponent is low on time (with no increment) and you have more time... is it really smart to blitz out you moves and play as fast as you can?

On his Chessbase DVD Chess for Scoundrels GM Nigel Davies argues that it is the worst thing you can do.

It really helps your opponent, because your one advantage is that you have more time and can think longer. If you don't use that time you're evening things up and just playing blitz.

It is much better to take your time, make the opponent wait. He can't leave the board, can't get another coffee or a glass of water. Can't even go to the toilet while the pressure in his bladder starts to build and distracts him from the game. He has to stay focused all the time because he can not know when you will make your move.

You on the other hand can relax, take your time and prepare a sequence of moves. Decide the next move you're going to play. Think about your opponents most likely reply and prepare your next move in advance. Ideally you can find a good move that is not obvious. One that your opponent does not expect.

So you take a long time on the first move of the sequence and then when your opponent makes his (expected) answer you immediately blitz your second move of the prepared sequence. The one that will force him to think and burn up his time.

This is how the pros handle their opponent's time trouble. It's nasty. It's pure torture. It's what brings in the points!

Chess is the only game I know of where using a mechanic of the game to your advantage is considered “Dishonourable”.

@Shadow1414 said in #4:
> Chess is the only game I know of where using a mechanic of the game to your advantage is considered “Dishonourable”.
Chess is also one of the few games where resigning before the end is honourable. The way things are certainly gives chess a style like no other.

@Shadow1414 said in #4:
> Chess is the only game I know of where using a mechanic of the game to your advantage is considered “Dishonourable”.
Exactly, If you were in a car race and you try to block your opponent from getting ahead nobody is gonna call you DIRTY FLAGGER

@Sefegiru

Very interesting and thoughtful answer, and I can appreciate a lot of the strategic points. I've also found using a large amount of time to come up with a line and firing out the subsequent moves in that line to be effective in rapid games at sub GM levels.

I guess a big factor is when you are approaching move 40 there is a finite number of moves before your opponent gets his next time allotment. So if you lose evaluation blitzing after he gets his next allotment you're in big trouble. But compared to online, when he's down to a few seconds with zero increment , that's it. You can lose material big time. Sac pieces for pawns just for surprise checks lol. So it's quite a different situation trying this online. Just thought I'd point that out even though you didn't mention online.

I appreciate your stating your position on this subject but I'm still eager to learn more about how the elite chess community feels about this in general. The two candidates in this WCC seem to be pretty honorable people in general , so if it was thought to be really bad sportsmanship I'd bet that they would lean towards not doing it.

Maybe I'm being influenced though by watching a streamer called Sladgie aka sparklehorse. He's a serious tournament player and he always rails against people in his stream who try to flag him. "THIS STREAM IS ABOUT QUALITY CHESS NOT DRITY FLAGGING TACTICS" lol. So I don't know if that's just him or elite players in general.

But you could agree with that Sladgie above even if you didn't think flagging is dishonorable. You could think that making quick moves just to flag your opponent results in low quality moves, especially when the moves are intentionally bad just to make your opponent think longer. You could still accept this as a not-dishonorable tactic to win. Or you could think the player who doesn't resort to such tactics even in WCC stays more loyal to "Good Chess" (TM), without condemning someone who prefers the result of the game over the game itself.

@Haymarket said in #8:
> But you could agree with that Sladgie above even if you didn't think flagging is dishonorable. You could think that making quick moves just to flag your opponent results in low quality moves, especially when the moves are intentionally bad just to make your opponent think longer. You could still accept this as a not-dishonorable tactic to win. Or you could think the player who doesn't resort to such tactics even in WCC stays more loyal to "Good Chess" (TM), without condemning someone who prefers the result of the game over the game itself.

That's true. Perhaps Sladgie would defend it when done for a WCC but just not for his stream :P
I wonder.

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