The World Rapid Chess Championship is supposed to be all about managing time because it tests players’ ability to play well in time trouble. In Rapid, each player has only 15 minutes plus 10-second increment. Ideally, the same applies to the organizers. In 2021, not so much.
Rapid Championship playing hall in Warsaw, Poland. Spectators are able to watch from the mezzanine. Photo: Mark Livschitz, FIDE
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, one of the world’s strongest players, voiced a rare complaint this morning about the Rapid Championship starting almost one hour later than it was supposed to: “It would be more reasonable to focus on having water available for players, metal detectors for all players before entering the playing area and respecting a schedule (almost one hour late) than to pay full attention on an outdated dress code”, — tweeted MVL.
The Rapid Championship is notoriously tricky to organize because of the sheer number of players and the Swiss format where you need all 200 players to finish their games before you can pair them for the next round, inform them of the pairings and change the name signs on tables. However, time management is even more important for the Rapid Championship because it’s broadcast on live television in Norway as well as online.
MVL is usually very reserved and it probably took a lot to issue a public complaint.
The event resumes today with round 6. You can follow it live on worldchess.com. The players to watch along with the leaders are: Nepo, Dubov, Firouzja, MVL, and Nakamura.