Bullet/Blitz Workout Chess!

I thoroughly enjoy playing blitz and bullet chess online.  Maybe I even enjoy it too much; I now and then find myself embroiled in playing sessions that last for several hours straight.  I’m sure at least some of you, whether you are a beginner or a strong titled player, can empathize with this scenario.

One of the many problems associated with such marathon gaming sessions is that your concentration usually tends to waver over time.  You start calculating less, increasingly play on instinct, and your emotions can start getting the better of you.  Yet you keep the games flowing, with each win providing just enough adrenaline and “push” to keep you going, and each loss just leaves you craving for revenge.  It can be an endless vicious cycle.  Alas, the chess addiction is fed at the potential cost of your physical and psychological health. 

            Here is one solution!  I call it Bullet/Blitz workout chess.  All it requires is the right attitude and for you to be at home.  Here is how it works:

 ** Do 25 (adjust accordingly) pushups immediately after every game you lose.**

Yep!  That’s it, but the benefits are deceptively numerous. 

         Stepping away from the computer every now and then to do your exercises breaks the monotony of the playing session.  It also lets you redirect your frustration onto your body, instead of negatively affecting your mental state during the next game.  It is pretty hard to go on psychological “tilt” during bullet/blitz workout chess simply because your mind is cleared and “reset” during the physical exercise.  Of course, you have to be careful about the physical exhaustion negatively impacting your play, but at least from my experience, this does not become an issue unless you are losing way too much.  If you are losing so many games to the point where you either a) can’t complete your “punishment” pushups or b) you can’t think because your heart is beating too fast, it is a good sign that you should stop and take a break from playing more games.  

            The last bullet workout chess match I played was against Talentzeker (http://www.chess.com/members/view/talentzeker).  He is a very strong bullet player with a chess.com bullet rating consistently over 2600.  I ultimately lost 21 to 25 in our grueling series that took about 2 hours.  I wanted to play more, but my body simply wouldn’t allow me to (25 losses x 25 pushups =625 pushups).  I suppose this is a triumph of my system because we both easily could have wasted time on 50+ more games under “normal” circumstances.      

            Last but not least, bullet/blitz workout chess will definitely help you get into better physical shape.  It can help you achieve that beach body for the summer of 2012.  Getting in shape also indirectly helps your chess game.  If you are interested in learning more, please check out this article written by GM Sam Shankland, http://blog.chess.com/Shankland/staying-strong.  I’ll end with a quote from one of the world’s greatest chess champions:

I think it is very important for a top chess player to be as physically fit as possible. At the very highest levels, games can often be decided by whether a player was in good physical shape or not.” –Garry Kasparov 

            So please go ahead and try bullet/blitz workout chess, especially if you find yourself locked into one of those long and grueling gaming sessions.  You might just find that it is the cure you need.  It could even be the jumpstart you need for a successful chess-boxing career Wink

           -FM Evan Ju 


  • 17 months ago


    when do you got to bathroom or eat?

  • 24 months ago


    Thats seems both ridiculus and fantastic idea at the same time. However you have taught us to stay fit and play chess at the same.By the way your artticle just helped me figure out why bullet is not very popular at highest levels of chess. Continue doing articles,it its our pleasure reading them.

  • 2 years ago


    Really cool idea. However maybe better would be to vary the exercise by doing squats or joggin on the spot for some set time. Sitting in a hunged position and doing 625 pushups can't be good for posture because the pushups workout the chest muscles which will be constantly in a shortened posotion from slouching.

  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


    Evan! Thanks for sharing that creative and positive approach to improving or enriching your blitz sessions. The idea had never occured even remotely to me. Now to just turn that idea into a 2400 reality with big buff arms...Tongue Out

  • 4 years ago


  • 4 years ago


    great idea---maybe just 5 pushups per loss for those over 60---of course cutting out total number of bullet games to a measley 10 per night---maybe I could use the off time to study my tactics!!--UMMMM???

  • 4 years ago


    this is really unfair, the number 1 in the world who never loses will be too fat :P

  • 4 years ago


    Thank you for your brilliant advice. I will do my best to follow your wise teachings. 

  • 4 years ago


    Eily the terrible

  • 4 years ago


    Do you play starcraft2 i pretty sure you do. Intresting idea by the way

  • 4 years ago


    How about the logical inverse?

  • 4 years ago


  • 4 years ago


    You are awsome eily,you are not just making us to become a good chessplayer you are also making us to become physically fit...Interesting idea.

    LaughingThanks Evan,Regie 

  • 4 years ago


    625 pushups in 2 hours in between lost games?!?! I call BS.  That figures more distorted than Rush Limbaugh talking points.

  • 4 years ago


    Intresting idea

  • 4 years ago


    i gonna love muscles

  • 4 years ago


    Awesome article!

  • 4 years ago


    that's a awesome idea! i hope that'll make me win more!

  • 4 years ago


    he must be pretty riped after the games with network chess... lol

Back to Top

Post your reply: