Rapid chess

GM Malev212
Mar 14, 2015, 9:25 AM |

Rapid events are common in Baltic states. The idea of rapid chess was introduced into practice years ago in Soviet Estonia. Later European and World Championships were held at the end of 1980-s.

The FIDE rapid and blitz Championships were organized few times in recent years.  There is official rating for both formats. Rapid games  is used in tiebreaks to determine the World Champion.  Usually the players who are dominating the field with normal time control are favorites also in blitz and rapid formats. Still there is always some talented players who are good in rapid format.

However specific training for this kind of chess is not introduced yet. In Soviet chess school the idea that too many blitz chess is not good was prevailing. Botvinnik did not like blitz at all.

Some specific tricks for blitz chess was discussed among professionals.  I remember that once Jossif Dorfman second of Karpov was explaining to someone how to move your hand while playing blitz. This advice I remember, but never used it myself. The stakes are not so high. There is not any coaching manual for this kind of chess. 

Rapid chess events are not so time consuming as normal time control events and some organizers already prefer this format. Alexey Shirov is one of them. Being active player himself he invited very strong field to this year’s Jurmala chess festival.  

The Vladimir Petrov Memorial took place in Jurmala Latvia 6th to 8th March 2015. There were blitz and rapid open events with a very strong field. Vladimir Malakhov won the blitz and Vassily Ivanchuk the rapid. All results rapid http://www.chess-results.com/tnr152848.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=11&wi=821 and blitz http://www.chess-results.com/tnr159882.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=10&wi=821


I had myself very strong start in blitz tournament winning first 6 games out of 10 rounds. Among others I managed to beat Hungarian star Richard Rapport.  In rapid tournament I beat Daniel Fridman in round 5 with black pieces, taking revenge for  the blitz tournament.  In penultimate round I lost to Rapport and draw in the last round gave me 19thplace. Russian champion Igor Lysyj finished 42. I had some interesting games, you may follow them here.

In blitz in my opinion there is many things you may train. One is patience, because in this time control the extra increment two or three like in Jurmala you can always use.

In Rapid tournament I had many interesting games, as I mentioned I lost in penultaimate round to Rapport and other loss to Russian champion in round 6 did not give me the chance to play in the first board.

My best game was againts Daniel Fridman in round five.

 Finally I like to present the blitz game, how I demolished Richard Rapport, probably one of the future World Championsips contender.


I hope to write here next time to cover the training and tricks for rapid and blitz chess.

Thank you,

Jaan Ehlvest