Friday, February 10, 2017

Simple Chess: Bullet, Blitz, and Onward.



A lot of higher rated players will tell you that playing a lot of blitz and bullet chess will not improve your chess. Even more people will tell you that analyzing your bullet and blitz games is useless. While I agree that it will hurt you if all you play is bullet and blitz, I think that there is a time and a place for both speeds of chess to enhance and improve your tournament play with the correct mindset. 

I will explain my reasoning for using both methods of the faster time controls. 

Bullet 
When I talk about bullet, I am specifically talking about 1 minute chess. I use this method to continue to work on seeing simple tactics (hanging pieces, forks, pins, skewers, bank rank mates). Bullet chess also helps when you play long tournament games and you get down to only a few minutes or seconds on your clock. It takes away the panic of only have a minute on your clock because you are used to playing entire games in only a minute. 

Blitz
When I talk about blitz, I am specifically talking about 5 minute chess. I use this method to work on practicing my openings and also with tactics. After a few games in my openings, I will compare with my database to see where the opening left the book/plans of the opening. This is a great way to not only increase opening knowledge but also making it more relevant. 

Onward
With all of the above points, I have to caution you from ONLY playing bullet and blitz. You have to play slower time controls. I play 45|45 or 90|30 games through a Slow Chess League on Chess.com. This way I practice actually playing slower and taking my time during my moves. Also playing once a week at the Charlotte Chess Center with a 75|15 time control. 

I used to play bullet and blitz with the intention of just playing, but once I switched my mindset to these reasons it has improved my chess time management during long time controls. I have no doubt this will help improve your chess as well. 

Until next time,
David 




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