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Let me start by saying, I am a great believer in making moves promptly out of consideration for my opponent. Most of my matches are three day ones and rarely am I in a position with less than half that time left to make a move.
Generally I try to make a move at least once a day and often it is twice or more, depending on my opponent and the state of the game (it is easier to find sound moves at the start than later on, for example).
I have mostly overcome my grumpiness when people play significantly less quick or, even worse, slow down when they are in a losing position. But I have found, in my own case, I do tend to slow down when my position worsens and it is not due to gamesmanship on my part.
One of the frustrations of playing fair chess is deciding on moves to make. Often when I am in winning position it is easier than if my position is theoretically lost. Added to that there is a desire to get something out of the game - come up with a brilliant tactical manoeuvre etc. and this takes a lot of thinking time, including several visits to the board.
So next time you see your opponent slowing down when he is losing, he may indeed be indulging in unsportsmanlike play but he may also be looking to salvage something from the game, which is his prerogative of course, which might happen but more often it won't - provided you hold your nerve!
I think that you are 100% correct. I've been accused of playing with unsportsmanklike conduct because in a bad position, I really DO slow down... usually because I played too fast and screwed up, and now am trying to dig myself out of that hole. Interestingly, it often works, or at least holds a draw. Just little improvements, and my opponents often playing too fast and sloppy, make all the difference.
Forget 'sportsmanship' or 'consideration for the opponent' - there is a time control for a reason, you are allowed to take as long as you want within that time control to make your moves and worrying about upsetting the other guy will make you play too fast, you'll blunder away and you may as well have resigned. If you can see the position is totally lost, I.e. you can see your opponents route to forced mate, then up to you if you resign in the spot. But if you genuinely think you can get out of something then there is nothing wrong with using every second of your time to try and figure out how to do it.
Here's my blog on playing slow chess on Chess.com:
4/19/2014 - Tisdall - Lee, London 1981
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