Blitz Chess Players Hall of Shame
For a long time I've wanted to let off some steam and write about a subject that makes my blood boil when playing online blitz chess. If this blog offends you, please try to remember I'm just venting. It feels good to just get it all off the chest every now and then. So without further ado, here is the...
Blitz Chess Players Hall of Shame
Most of us chess enthusiasts have found ourselves often in that sitation where you're playing online and you get the undesired opponent. You don't know it yet at the start of the game, but you soon will. You want to just play chess with honorable and decent fellow chess players, but instead you are attacked in ways far more sinister than a mere checkmate threat. The beast can take many forms, with the most common as follows:
You've reached a meterially equal endgame, but you've got an active knight versus your opponent's bad bishop. As you begin to make progress, your opponent attempts to fool themselves that you're 'boring' them by making them play out what they want to believe is a drawn endgame. Draw offers are repeatedly made as your position gets stronger and stronger with advancing your knight and king up the center of the board. Right as you're about to win material using zugzwang, your opponent resigns 'out of boredom', hoping to feel superior on how they have better things to do since you don't understand such easily drawn endgames.
The opponent suddenly can't move in a lost position until their time runs out. Then, by some miracle recovery, they can move again and continue to play a new game of chess with somebody else.
The opponent seems to have internet connection problems ONLY when they reach a dead-lost position. The problem sort of fixes itself when they log back in to play a new game, only to resurface if they start losing again.
This is the pond scum that decides you're not allowed to play your opening against them, so they abort three moves in to avoid a rating loss.
The opponent, having just played a barn-burning complex game where the outcome wasn't decided until the very bitter ending, escapes with a lucky win and runs with the speed of a rabbit combined with the courage of a chicken to avoid playing you again. You enjoyed the game (other than losing at the end) and would dearly love to play them again. Unfortunately, they will never agree to play you again and are off playing someone else. Any attempts to challenge them are declined indefinitely.
Similar to the Rabbit-Chicken, only instead of a close difficult game, they spring an opening trap that only works once, but once is all they need to escape with a winning record after the first game. You are generally the much stronger player and seek to redeem yourself for getting hoodwinked, but they know this too and are keen to avoid ever playing you again. "Lol, you suck! Thanks for the game, loser!"
This opponent is more sinister than the Rabbit-Chicken and more of an ass-clown than the Hoodwinker. After the first barn-burning game where you choke after playing brilliantly, they agree to a rematch. Hey this person has some courage and honor... Or so you thought. Instead, they proceed to play garbage moves, blatantly giving you free pieces & placing everything en prise as though they were participating in a variant called loser's chess. You resign disgust, attempting to save some form of dignity rather than take the charity of a jerk.
You've managed to reach an ending that is easy to win after a hard fight. Your opponent, knowing full well that you can deliver the checkmating blow, decides to play the entire sequence out... Except for the last move and resigns instead. This is designed to make you go through the motions of the mating pattern and effectively wasting your time, but not actually give you the satisfaction of delivering the final move. They aren't doing this because they think you can't handle it. They know you can. They just want to mess with your head as a final "screw you for getting lucky" attack.
This is perhaps the biggest scumbag of all chess players. This is an expert/master or very strong club player that intentionally loses to beginners in order to maintain a beginner rating. Then they seek to play people with correctly established stronger ratings and beat the tar out of them repeatedly. The cycle repeats as they then go back to losing to beginners in order to lower their rating back down. A classic example is a 1500 blitzer that CONSISTENTLY beats anyone in the 1700-2100 rating range, yet consistently loses to other true 1500 strength players. I fell victim to this recently, and upon investigating the sandbagger, I found they had logged wins against full-on FIDE Masters and had a bullet rating of over 2000, yet their blitz was kept to a flat 1600 with blatant losses to beginners. Whenever they played a stronger player, they mopped the floor with them virtually every time. That's a classic example of a sandbagger, and of a complete scumbag as well. Why do some people do this? Because they get a kick out of making stronger players feel like they just lost to a rank beginner. It's purely a mind-game tactic, and an indication of a sociopath you're dealing with.
In OTB tournament play, it's been abused in the past in order to win prize money in a lower section. USCF has since put ratings floors in to prevent this. Basically you cannot lose more than 299 points from any given rating you have, or it stops lowering. For example, if you're a 1799 and try to lose as many points as you can, your rating will stop at 1500. If you had reached 1800 at any point, your floor raises to 1600 and so on.
The Centaur in Sheep's Clothing
This is the sorry sack that, upon realizing you are better and going to win, suddenly takes a long time on the current move when they played quickly before. What are they doing? Well as it turns out while you were waiting, they were bringing up a chess engine and quickly plugging in the current position to get instant chess analysis. After a long wait (2 or 3 minutes) they then start moving again, only the moves are some of the toughest resistance any chess player could face in his/her entire life: Engine defense in an open but worse position. Their moves come at the same cadence of about 7 to 10 seconds per move, no matter how complex or simple the reply is. Slowly but surely, your advantage is chipped away until you are now in a losing position, which they then exploit with perfect accuracy. Afterwords, you plug the game into your engine and discover the exact spot where they suddenly took a long time is the same spot where the moves became computer-exact on their part. Fricken scumbags...
The Centaur in Centaur's Clothing
Wait, what?? Yes, this is the undefeated-blitzing-machine-wannabe-master-retard that tops the blitz ratings list. No other master can beat them, and when they end up facing another centaur, the result is an epic engine-engine match that lasts 80+ plus moves until one of the two runs out of time trying to copy the engine output into the game. Other times the result is a draw. Most of the beginners watching think they are seeing true human genius players at work and sing their praises for such talent. You know what's really going on. It's just two cheating retards that had the misfortune of playing eachother. These fools are less of a nuisance for most of us as we can easily spot them and avoid playing them. They are perhaps the least clever of all shameful chess players.
The Devil's Advocate
This is the person that, upon reading the above types of shameful chessplayers, seeks to try and argue on their behalf as though there was some sort of excuse for it. You find these types on any chess forum, and you may even find them replying to this blog. I suspect they are merely trying to excuse their own blitz chess shame, though they'd have you believe they feel no shame whatsoever.
So of all these, I must confess I am guilty of having been a "Rabbit-Chicken" a few times in my life. I'm not proud of it, but I remember a couple times swiping a lucky victory against a master and then running away from a rematch. At the time, I made a childish excuse that it was "muscle memory" to quit on a win like that. I knew better and I'm ashamed of myself for having done that.