The One-and-Done Plague

Apr 26, 2013, 9:49 AM |

A new plague has hit on-line chess, and it is making it less competitive, and therefore less fun. The plague is the single-game match, or as I call it, one-and-done. In my experience about 40 percent of on-line blitz players are willing to play more than one game against their opponent (on at least). 

Why do I care? I alluded to it earlier—it is not as fun. It robs blitz chess of its competitive nature. It is customary that blitz chess is played in a series of games not a single game. If I wanted to play one decisive game I would play standard chess (and even standard chess is usually played in a match i.e., a series of games).

Why one and done? I can only guess why people decline a rematch after only one game.

I imagine the root cause for most one-and-donners is that they are very score driven. By that I mean they are very concerned with their rating. They either just won a game they did not expect to win and don't want to chance losing the rating boost they just accumulated, or they lost a game and figure the odds of winning the second game are not in their favor.

I do acknowledge that they might only have time for one game, but I would submit that is an exceptional circumstance. Besides, the problem is occurring much too frequently for that to be the root cause. Also along that point, if you only have time for one more game then I don't think you have time to play at all. 

I just think that a true competitor would not be satisfied with a single blitz game against an opponent. Let's keep blitz chess competitive!