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Simen Agdestein vs Loek van Wely
Remco Heite Tournament (2008), Wolvega NED, rd 3
Neo-Grünfeld Defense: Misc. with 5.Nf3 (D73)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-30-08  waustad: With this one you get to see part of why Carlsen keeps playing when a draw is obvious. His teacher certainly does. Why go on after move 57 unless it is blitz with a flag hanging? Van Wely hasn't been in great form of late but even I know how to draw this one.
Nov-30-08  waustad: <unless it is blitz with a flag hanging> After looking at the time specifications on the official site, that could be exactly what happened. A set time to move 35 and the rest in 15 minutes.

<Het speeltempo is 1 uur en 45 minuten voor de eerste 35 zetten, gevolgd door 15 minuten voor de rest van de partij.>

I couldn't generate any Dutch, but I can figure that much out speaking English and German.

Dec-01-08  Eyal: From Dennis Monokroussos' blog:

<[...] Now van Wely played 57...Bxg5+, when the players could have agreed to a draw. All Black has to do, as even class D and E players generally know, is to stick his king in the a8 corner and go to sleep. It's so simple, even a caveman or a Notre Dame football head coach could draw this, so on the merits it's ridiculous, even insulting, for one grandmaster to play it out against a colleague. But play he did:

58.Kxg5 Kc6 59.Bxa3 Kb7 60.Kf6 Ka8 61.Ke6 Ka7 62.Bc5+ Ka8 63.a3 Kb8 64.Be3 Ka8 65.Bf2 Kb8 66.Ke3 Ka8 67.a4 Kb8 68.Bd2 Ka8 69.Bc1 Kb8 70.Ba3 Ka8 71.Bc5 and only here did Agdestein acknowledge the obvious: draw.

So what happened? Why did Agdestein bother? The answer, I'm sure, was the clock. According to the tournament website - not that tournament websites are infallible, by any means - van Wely had only nine seconds left at the end of the game. As far as I could tell from the website, there were no increments or further time controls, so if Agdestein had wanted to he could have tried for about another 200 moves to put van Wely over on time. (46 more moves until a5, 50 moves until a6, 50 moves until Bb8 Kxb8, and then 50 more moves until a7.)

That would be pretty low class, but he had already made 13 moves. So I wonder what happened. Did a feeling of sheepishness or shame overcome his competitive instincts, or did van Wely make some sort of protest to the arbiter to put an end to the nonsense? If someone knows, please tell me. And what would you do? It's easy to ridicule someone who plays such a position out, but lots of us do the same thing in meaningless online blitz and bullet games; why would we fare better when a norm or big cash prize is on the line? It's an interesting man (or woman) in the mirror question.> (

As one of the people who responded to this pointed out, there's article 10.2 for such situations, and Van Wely may have invoked it:

<Article 10: Quickplay Finish


A 'quickplay finish' is the phase of a game, when all the (remaining) moves must be made in a limited time.


If the player, having the move, has less than two minutes left on his clock, he may claim a draw before his flag falls. He shall stop the clocks and summon the arbiter.

a. If the arbiter agrees the opponent is making no effort to win the game by normal means, or that it is not possible to win by normal means, then he shall declare the game drawn.> (

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