7 Bullet Chess Tips By Hikaru Nakamura

7 Bullet Chess Tips By Hikaru Nakamura

| 255 | Strategy

Editor’s note: Hikaru Nakamura is widely considered the best speed chess player in history. A vote by titled players confirmed this last year.

Nakamura will face World Champion Magnus Carlsen in the three-hour GM Blitz Battle Championship on Oct. 27. The match will feature both blitz and bullet chess .

Will these tips help Nakamura beat Carlsen later this month? Let us know what you think in the comments. 

1. Never Resign.

Another way of putting it: have no shame. Unlike in normal chess, anything can happen, even if there’s a mate in two or one, of if you’re down a queen. Never resign.

Grischuk resigns when Aronian has 0.3 seconds left on his clock.

2. Never Assume When Premoving.

Don't premove in a situation where if what you expect to happen doesn’t necessarily have to happen — and your move is still legal.

As Black, don’t premove Nxe4 assuming White will capture with the knight. White could capture with the pawn.

It’s OK to premove captures where the premove would only be legal if the anticipated move happens — but if there’s any doubt, don’t premove.

3. Don’t Focus On Time.

Keep the clock in your peripheral vision, but don’t focus on it unless the game is definitely headed for a time scramble.

4. Choose Your Thinking Time Wisely.

If you want to think for more than one second, do a quick check of time. If you have less than 30 seconds, NEVER think more than five seconds, unless it’s trying to find a clear mate.

5. Almost Any Opening Works.

As long as you can blitz out 10-15 moves, you can play any opening — which is specifically why theory is bad. In an open Sicilian (for example) you could get tricked on move 10 and also can't premove — you'd have to use precious extra seconds.

6. Simplify When Up Material Or Down On Time.

When you are up a lot of material — or down big on time — it’s important to eliminate your opponent's pieces to simplify the position. If you have two rooks vs bishop and knight, sacrifice one rook for the knight. Simplifying allows fewer chances for checks, counterplay, or complications.

7. Know When To Quit.

if you’re winning a lot of games on the board AND the clock, you know you’re on form. But if your wins are primarily on time in a lost position, then it might be time to quit and preserve your rating before the tide turns against you.

What do you think of Hikaru's bullet chess tips? Let him know in the comments. 

Can't get enough Nakamura? Watch Hikaru beat the entire staff in bullet below.