A Broken Clock to Influence Defining the Winner of Aeroflot Open Blitz

Время публикации: 14.02.2013 22:57 | Последнее обновление: 14.02.2013 23:01

Peter Svidler was close to accomplishing a feat, however Ian Nepomniachtchi has still won the tournament

The Aeroflot Open blitz tournament finished in a dramatic match between GMs Nepomniachtchi and Svidler. Ian Nepomniachtchi was dominating the tournament but close to the final Peter Svidler has unexpectedly started to catch him. The winner was defined in a match of two games; in order to finish first Svidler needed to win both games.

In Game 1 Nepomniachtchi most likely got nervous and went too far pushing his kingside pawns. His opponent took an advantage of Ian's mistake.

In the return game Peter played one of his his favourite openings Pirc defence and achieved... complications. Objectively White probably had a considerable advantage, but Svidler managed to defend his king successfully and at the same time pushed his a-pawn on the queenside.

The culmination came on the last seconds of the game.  

You can see two seconds on Svidler's clock. The competition was played with 3+2 time control. Black has just played Rb1+. After some hesitation Nepomniachtchi quickly took the rook and Svidler of course replied as quickly as it was possible.

So, Svidler just made his move, which is seen on the screenshot from the video. The clock dial shows he has 1 second, which is wrong even mathematically, because 1 - 2 = (-1), the clock can't show negative number, it stops working after it's 0.00. So, what's wrong?  

Svidler makes his next move Qh7 and his clock shows 0.00. Black's position is won.

None of the players noticed that the clock has broken. Both were just surprised by the outcome, and nothing more than that.
As a result Ian Nepomniachtchi took first, Svidler finished second and Alexander Grischuk became third.
Final standings

It's noteworthy the spectators and players say this wasn't the only time the clock has broken during the game at this competition.

You can check the video (starting from 21.23) which shows that the increment of two seconds didn't add to Svidler's time on last two moves.


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