Let's face it, bullet chess is the future of our increasingly ADD addled culture. With that depressing thought in mind, let's examine some ways to improve one's all-important bullet rating here on chess.com.
1) CLEAN YOUR MOUSE
This cannot be emphasized enough. An unclean mouse is a slow mouse, and slow blows. However, since most mouse cleaning videos on the internet are boring, here's one instead of a squirrel eating a lemon. Enjoy.
2) TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE
Look, I know this sounds silly. But the number one cause of bullet madness is something like your cell phone going off, distracting you momentarily. This leads to some silly blunder, which leads in turn to getting annoyed, which in turn leads to another blunder, which in turn leads to losing the game. That, in turn, leads to a general annoyance at the injustice of what happened last game which spills over into the inevitable rematch during which your cell phone rings again and finishes with a "new message" beep at which point you begin to suspect that the call was probably from a creditor or parole officer. At this point you can no longer concentrate and are yelling "Shut up! Shut up!" to nobody in particular, causing both your cat and your upstairs neighbor to seriously doubt your sanity. Eventually all this causes you to lose several more rematches from your merciless and undeservedly successful opponent/tormentor and so begins your rapid decline into demented rage.
3) BE SUBTLY OBNOXIOUS
Inevitably you will wind up doing something stupid during a bullet game and lose and this will be frustrating. Experience has shown that the only healthy way to get rid yourself of these negative emotions (which will otherwise lead you down a dark path of loathing, resentment, despair, and ultimately either some sort of satanic cult or internet marketing) is to annoy someone else. Of course, some take the cheap route of typing insults or aborting games. I don't recommend that, however, as it's lame. Better to cheeze your opponent by playing a joke opening (later in this series I'll detail some of the more popular ones) and winning, especially in some spectacularly cheap way and then declining the rematch. You will be amazed how rapidly your mood will improve.
4) NEVER RECAPTURE UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY (AND EVEN THEN SOMETIMES DON'T)
There are few things more satisying in bullet chess than avoiding an obvious recapture in order to exploit the almost certain pre-move your opponent is going to respond with. For instance, in a not uncommon line of the French Defense:
5) EAT BANANAS
The best type of food to eat before playing bullet chess has long been a subject of controversy in the upper echelons of the sport. Some say Jolt Cola, others suggest crack, and still more radical ones espouse Twinkies or Hot Pockets. However, there are serious health repercussions from any of these and so I can't in good conscience recommend them to the casual bullet aficionado. It should be noted that certain otherwise plausible foods have been shown to have deleterious effects in bullet as well. Here is a list:
- Chips: easy to prepare and eat, but salt/grease inevitably gets on fingers, mouse
- Ramen: has many economic benefits but tends to splash on keyboard
- Broccoli: makes you healthy enough to go outside and play in the sun
- Monkey Brains: the ideal food in many ways, but, alas, now illegal in most States
- Cannabis: unavoidably increases chip consumption, causes some to forget to move for a day or two
- A large block of cheese: tempting, but don't do it, trust me
- Salad: unknown, never been tried
- Jägermeister: best combined with Red Bull and a working gastric lavage kit, this approach, though popular, has nevertheless been repeadly shown to yield uneven results - definitely dubious if your local ICU lacks Wi-Fi
- The flesh and bones of your enemies: while an environmentally excellent choice, this is still classified as a bannable offense on most servers
- Chicken: save for Warcraft
Bananas are really the ideal bullet food: easy to prepare and eat, the potassium calms the nerves, and you can fling them at your monitor when you lose.
OK, that's enough advice for now. I will continue this series next week when we examine the art of the pre-move and how to move the horse.