I feel embarrassed and awkward and a little confused-
When we reduce the time down to a game in 10 minutes- suddenly I am below average!
Perhaps I just Got no BLITZ Skills….
I think that even though I don’t play FIDE standard chess, my Rapid Games offer a clear contrast to games three times faster. I think there are skills that are unique to blitz- and I think it is interesting, that is poor as my Blitz is- I was making clear improvement for most of year and then… My Blitz skills took a sudden downturn in February and March, Just when I played A LOT of correspondence chess!
Clearly what patterns and habits are good in correspondence is NOT good in Blitz chess.
What Skills are Unique to Blitz then? He’s a list as I see it….
KEEP IT SIMPLE! So this then is unique to blitz. In slow chess and particularly in correspondence you should NOT be afraid of complications. Instead you need to calculate them. Instead in blitz- there isn’t time for long calculations! Getting all uncertain and using lots of time means you Might not have time to convert; even if you plans yield material. Only a solid Calculation of checkmate is worth Lots of time? but how do you know if you if you got a certain checkmate? You don’t…
So this advice I think goes beyond just tricky uncertain attacks (a No-no in blitz)… instead it must be the watchword in Blitz; you want simple plans and familiar situations; You want pieces exchanged- especially if your ahead of time or material (next point). You want positions you’ve seen over and over again (next next point) and advantages and blunders you recognize in an instant. Once the opponent slows down to get out of a bind; he’s in a bind with the time.
THE CLOCK is Worth a piece.. At least! Its Not just that you need to keep it simple, one must take more responseability for ones time. its Critical to keep it close to the opponent and you needs to be ruthless about about trying to push it below the opponent.
Its important to realize that if the game goes long- the clock competition may become the dominant factor who wins (and who loses).
This is not to say that you speed along SO quick that your miss blunders. BLUNDERS become a real factor in blitz. And you must always wonder- what Can the opponent do?
Cut time by not looking SO hard for tricky tactical moves! Instead be more a Little MORE passive- but ever aware of simple hanging pieces and obvious tactics.
THE ENDGAME is a real factor in blitz; & is defined a little differently… In slow chess the endgame is when both opponents have simplified their pieces and are seeking final clarity in who will win and who won’t. but IN BLITZ the endgame occurs when the clock , both clocks, approach zero. When that Occurs, the Game will be decided. Who will win? I’ve LOST several games with massive material! In the very last minute (for me) of the game- the exact count on the clock matters more than queens- and usually it is A) the position of the king and B) the exact difference in clock time that resolve the game. If you are TWO moves to forced check mates- but the opponent has a few more seconds than you and YOU can’t find it- YOU LOSE.
This is the New and Hardest part of chess for me! There is a fine line to between getting a small but game winning advantage in the clock and in giving the opponent just enough blunder to checkmate me in the last few seconds…..
IN BLITZ, nearly memorized openings and very familiar Positions are important. I would say as the game speeds up. That you should Know your opening; from memory, better and better. But of course, there is an important Caveat.
One should not spend time memorizing what the masters play. such lines will rarely occur in the games between patzers. Instead one should spend real time to figure out what your “peers” play against a standard development ; such as d4-c4 or the French.
I’m always amazed how in dozens of games, patzers from all over the world more or less plays similar moves.. few of which are Masters moves. The key is the stuff in Point one. Everyone who studies blitz chess realizes they need to play simply and naturally in the opening.
Since blitz games need to be played in greater quantity. Blitz games are a natural way to check for wholes in your opening. The key is thorough investigation of what works and what doesn’t. this is a big plan of mine. I figure- in blitz learning to bullet proof and speed up the opening is practically as useful as tactic puzzles (which by the way, become MORE important – as you need to spot tactical opportunities QUICKLY). Obviously then, you don’t want complicated puzzles. You want easy ones. You want to be able to see them in seconds!
You have no time in a normal basket ball to calmly work up the shot. Instead you must rush towards the best position possible and make the Good game winning move you see.
You must NOT hesitate- you have limited time to work it out.
Don’t “look for a better move” only make sure the move is actually good.
Also, since blitz games are shorter one ought to play more games. This seems straitforward to me – if in two hours I can play 3 rapid games—I should be able to play 9 Blitz games! This makes the inevitables blunders (you made bc you were rushed) a little more reasonable… you still might win on time. and so long as you win more than you lose You Progress!
WHAT IS THE POINT OF WORKING ON BLITZ SKILLS? Lastly I’ll say this… I don’t think you have a good education of chess without the ability to blitz and Blitz well… What OF they Blitz skills
- Time pressure which is inevitable in even some long OTB games. At that point, You are playing Blitz—if you have good blitz skills you maximize your playing strength when pressed.
- Blitz is a Great way to work out your opening. Since your openings see so many different replies this becomes a good way to brainstorm what an opponent, naturally, do against it. you can review your openings against what masters play, too… but in most cases your opponent will play more like a blitz player than a Gm. (even OTB).
- Blitz teaches you put your thinking in order. In Blitz you must see the blunder, and the opponents threat FIRST if you are to excel at it. Any regular reader knows how focused I have been about Blunders. The guy is Seeing your blunder afterwards and seeing if it re-occurs in game after game. Learn that Pattern! prevent opportunities for your opponent.
- Blitz helps Intuition. Since your thinking is simplistic- and you are seeking simpler positions… you can go into quiet and reoccurring positions in game after game. Learn what moves create tactical opportunities. You must train your intuition on simple Positions before you can expect it to find Tal-like crazy tactics. Tal was very good at blitz
- Lastly, Strong chess players are progressively good at Faster and faster game controls. That Can’t be a coincidence. Some might attribute this superior chessic skills; but quick thinking like running sprints can be developed and strengthened.