Upgrade to Chess.com Premium!

6 Things You Should Always Do in Blitz

  • pete
  • | Aug 25, 2014
  • | 28413 views
  • | 123 comments

Playing live online chess can be great fun, but sometimes you just want to play another person over the board.

As we all know, playing over-the-board chess has its own set of rules and guidelines that must be followed in tournament play. Breach of these serious rules could mean a loss of the game or even expulsion from the tournament.

Not all chess, however, is serious business. Most chess games are quick and casual, played to pass the time or for the sheer enjoyment of the game. In these contests, good sportsmanship often replaces the letter of the law.

Even casual blitz games, though, have well established rules of etiquette that players should respect. After all, what good is winning if you can’t happily shake your opponent’s hand afterward?

In order to properly respect chess, there are certain things you should always do at the board. Following these customs can help you win and make the game more fun at the same time.

6. Always offer a draw by extending your hand.

Kristina Crushes Phil by Deleted Account

Sure, you could offer a draw verbally, but then your opponent might not hear you. It's best to avoid all confusion at the board by wordlessly offering a draw with an extended hand. This way, your opponent can be sure you are proposing to split the point. 

Opponents respond so well to this magnanimous gesture, they have been known to accept the draw even in totally won positions! This can be a valuable last resort to save a lost game.

5. Always offer more than one draw.

handshake.jpg by Amy Goodman

Is there any facet of life where persistence doesn't pay off? If your opponent rejects your first draw offer, nothing shows more respect for both the game and your playing partner by offering it soon again. 

Making two, three, or even four draw offers in a row lets your opponent know you are serious about your proposal. It's like picking up the check at dinner. Often, your companion will want to split the bill until you insist on paying. It's the same in chess with splitting the point -- it's only polite to make multiple offers.

4. Always hit the clock as hard as you can.

Digital Chess Clock by Tom Conder

They say chess is 99 percent tactics. I say life is 99 percent confidence. It’s amazing the success you can achieve just by maintaining a self-assured attitude.

The best way to project this confidence at the board in a blitz game is to hit the clock as hard as you can after each move. Not only will this cement your image as an opponent to be feared, it will also boost your self-esteem each time you move a piece.

Your opponent will appreciate playing such a self-assured player, even if he has to buy a new clock after the game.

3. Always stare directly at your opponent.

81st of 2nd 365: Game over by Tim Regan 

Maintaining eye contact is polite in most social situations, and chess is no exception. In the corporate boardroom, eye contact can mean the difference between closing the deal and losing the account.

It’s no different at the chess board. Staring directly at your opponent at all times lets him know you appreciate the game and his role as your playing partner.

2. Always check your phone at the board.

"Marcel Duchamp en passant Mark Kostabi" by Miki

Even in blitz, it’s important to make good use of the down time while your opponent is thinking. Sure, you could use that period to calculate and plan your next moves, but you have your own time for that.

Quickly checking your phone at the board is a great way to keep up with your social networks and text conversations. What’s more, your opponent will know you are a well-rounded, sociable person with a life outside chess.

Bonus tip: Make sure your phone beeps for each incoming message, so your opponent knows just how popular you are!

1. Always offer your opponent a refreshment on his move. 

I can feel you're thirsty by Alexandre Duret-Lutz 

Calculating chess moves is hard work, especially in blitz when time is limited. To be polite, wait until you've reached a complicated tactical position, and then offer your opponent a drink or light snack while he’s pondering his move.

Your opponent will appreciate the refreshment, and especially that you offered it when he needed it the most. There’s nothing like a time scramble to work up a sweat in chess. Be ready to hand your opponent a bottle of water at just the right moment.


Let us know other things you should always do in live blitz games in the comments and on Facebook.

article image: Chess Beach, Santa Monica by InSapphoWeTrust 


GET THE MOST OUT OF CHESS.COM


Comments


  • 5 weeks ago

    couldplaybetter

    You didn't really take these ideas far enough; rather than just offering your opponent refreshments while he is thinking, you should chip in with your own ideas, mumbled softly but still clearly audible.... "He puts his bishop on c5, I castle, he plays Ne4...." etc, etc.

  • 2 months ago

    wyrmslayer

    I agree with MCT Mike. Satire and irony don't work with this group,  because chess players take everything too literally. That's annoying. True literacy is the abilty to know when something should be taken literally or figurtively.

  • 3 months ago

    fsinal

    When I was actively playing chess (40 years ago) offering your hand was a concession, not an offer of a draw. I have seen photos of players doing so in world championship matches.

  • 3 months ago

    unusualkid

    Also, if you have a ballpoint pen click it back and forth to attract a lot of attention since your opponent might think you're popular if everybody looks at you.

  • 3 months ago

    Ormiston313

    I would take the hitting of the clock up a degree and always use a captured piece to slam the button. ESPECIALLY if it's the other guys equipment.

  • 3 months ago

    kiba13

    Not bad.

  • 3 months ago

    GollumForPresident

    A few of these advices can also be used online.

  • 3 months ago

    pawn_in_shiningArmor

    To impress your opponents, you should always tell them what moves you are planning to make. This way they get to see how smart you are to be able to think 2-3 moves ahead. It will also make them realise how useless their strategy is and they might even walk away in fear of you.

  • 3 months ago

    Goldname

    In fact, it would be better to use your chess engine on that phone during your spare time.

  • 3 months ago

    iLandaverde

    WOW! I cannot believe how American People make grammar mistakes. I am a Teacher and I have a Bachelor degree in Enlgish Career. I cannot Believe it hahaha . I live in Central America and I can say that I handle better the English. Even American Peolple need to learn very well the English. 

  • 3 months ago

    Simonmareki

    Such a bad article... It's not a well-written satire. It really isn't.

  • 3 months ago

    pete

    @taipei 

    I definitely understand your point. English grammar, unfortunately, requires writers to use singular personal pronouns when the main noun is also singular. You can work around this by using the phrase "he or she," but that gets very clunky with repetition. So most of the time, one has to use a generic personal pronoun, and the standard (in English and many other languages) is "he."

    The best option, of course, is to pluralize the main noun, and then use the gender-neutral pronoun "they." But this is not always possible.

    Rest assured I recognize that women play chess. The first picture in the list is of a victorious woman. Smile 

  • 3 months ago

    taipei

    I don't like the use of the word "he" as a generic player in this article.  "He" as a pronoun does not represent me or the countless other female chess players.

  • 3 months ago

    Empathy1

    Terrible article to be posted on a professional site. What if someone was a beginner or really did not know proper etiquete and read this article.  What a waste of everyone's time.

  • 3 months ago

    negotiate

    i just think the satire could've been done better... often in my life i am serious and people think im joking, this article is kind of like that, except it's impossible to tell... the tone of the commentary could clarify that or muddle it even more

  • 3 months ago

    Omgzorro

    The only thing funnier than the article is all the people missing the joke. Thanks for the tips!

  • 3 months ago

    12werty

    Playing in a rapid at my club ( meets in a seedy pub on the wrong side of town) Opponent had arrived in expensive new Mercedes come the time scramble one of kibitzer's looks out the window and in a loud stage whisper Gee those kids are really trashing the Merc won on on time

  • 3 months ago

    fantombug

    they can cheat if they r checking there phone. i would get really mad if you did check your phone. also nobody is gonna drink my drink im not gonna offer u to drink off my drink. get your own!!!!! and hit the clock as hard as i can. i would break. how about we firmly touch the clock> not like smash it. hulk smash lol?i do like to stare at my opponent trying to get him to make a mistake

  • 3 months ago

    King_undercover_vamp

  • 3 months ago

    MCTMike

    Satire really doesn't seem to work all that well with this group...

Back to Top

Post your reply: