Monday, May 14, 2007

Is blitz bad for your chess?

An appropriately rapid post this one, just to throw the subject open for a wider debate: is the succinct answer to Alexey's request for rapidplay tips here ("My tip: Botvinnik didn't play lightning chess and neither do I") the whole story? Didn't both Fischer and Capablanca each play thousands of blitz games, to enhance their pattern recognition abilities, in today's parlance? Doesn't blitz provide good opening practice - or does it just teach you to be casual?

You tell me. Right now I've got to rush off, though.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

i like 5 minutes games , but games like bullets seems really to fast for
me ,i play bullet games when i'm really tired because i think too fast at that point and can't really concentrate much . Rapid games are need practising i think and timing is really important !

alexey hurricane

ejh said...

is the succinct answer to Alexey's request for rapidplay tips here ("My tip: Botvinnik didn't play lightning chess and neither do I") the whole story?

There are eight million stories in the naked city: mine was only one of them.....

Jonathan B said...

Were you naked in it though? That would account for your distaste for rapid chess.

I play it with clothes on - and find it reasonably enjoyable. Though I don't like to play too much and never in a serious tournament (after witnessing and then experiencing myself some blatant cheating).

Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

One says it's bad, the other one says it's good... Here's my take on it; Just do whatever you feel like doing.

Anonymous said...

I think the 1 minute game we played tonight on FICS was bad for both our games Tom! I think blitz can be useful if used intelligently though- don't play too fast a time limit and note down variations where you get into trouble- if you play 1 e4 or 1 d4, something is bound to slip through your opening net and this is a good way of finding out what. There may be say 100 lines you need to know with each colour- if you play 30 games otb a year then it will take a minimum of 7 years to face each line once, and probably in reality 30 years to face 90% of them. My experience is that the quicker the game and the lower rated the opponents, you will come up against a lot of junk/insipid openings eg 1 d4 c5 or French Exchange (without Tom's expert handling of this line). In summary I disagree with the purist view that blitz is bad, but not if it is junk blitz. Also it certainly is very useful to be able to make fairly decent moves very quickly- I beat a 190 last month in a QPF with 1 min each on the clock, he losit on time while I still had over 30 seconds. I am sure that blitz (well actually bughouse, where I normally make the first 10 moves in 5 seconds or less) helped a lot. To bring grist to ejh's mill though Botvinnik didn't play blitz but was very strong in time trouble (as in slow chess of course).
Andrew

ejh said...

I think rapidplay can be of use developing one's openings where you have a structured session: i.e. two or more people agree to try out a given variation and play all sorts of lines in it to familiarise themselves with different ideas. I think with internet blitz, although it's possible to learn, it's really not an efficient use of time or energy because the openings you want to play won't come up often enough, if at all.

Anonymous said...

Err... If anyone would like to play some rapidplay (30 minutes/player/game) and are free on Sunday then can I suggest participation in the 71st Richmond Rapidplay which Susan Lalic (also of S&BCC), Paul Dupre and I are running...

Angus.

Anonymous said...

In an off topic but somewhat connected comment, I would have thought that ejh doesn't much care for one day cricket and absolutely loathes 20/20? I would have some smypathy for this view.
Andrew

ejh said...

Far from it - I enjoy both, though 20/20 isn't to be taken all that seriously. But neither give me stress, which quick chess does.

Anonymous said...

I have entered Angus's raidplay. Hopefully some other Streatham players will also be there.
Andrew

Tom Chivers said...

I'm in Oxford on Sunday, visiting my sister. One day I'll get to enter one of these...

Ryan Emmett said...

I think all chess games you play - from blitz to 'standard' long time controls help you to become a better player. But, a mix of both is probably helpful to most people.

That said, I don't think online bullet games are good for anything other than improving mouse control!

Anonymous said...

I like to play quick games on the internet to see how normal everyday players meet my openings. My records of these games show surprising things which are useful in my preparation (such as it is) for OTB games. It is surprising how early even strong players >= 200 BCF deviate from mainlines so it is useful to have a feel for sensible-looking but sub-optimal opening lines. The problem for me is that I'm useless at blitz and lose interest and focus after the openings!

Paul Runnacles