Until the middle of the 19th century, chess games were played without time control. Parties lasted several hours in a row, and sometimes even days. Some players in a knowingly losing position began to drag out time, forcing the opponent to be nervous. When the nerves were completely lost, the opponent could agree to a draw, or even lose. If the opponents did not have time to finish the game in one game day, the game was postponed. The player whose last move was before the game was postponed recorded the secret move. The game was played out on the appointed day.
The literature describes the match between Howard Staunton and Pierre Saint-Aman in 1843. The 21st game of their match lasted 66 moves for 14.5 hours. Continue reading