How the Internet has changed chess: Part 7

In my opinion there are three kinds of amateur chess players. Some just want to play chess. Others desire to improve their play. The rest haven't made up their mind which way to go yet.


In real life over the board chess tournaments there are two kinds. Very slow time controls and fast time controls. Most everyone should know that the path to chess improvement as well is winning substantial cash prizes lies with a very slow time controls. Chances are you will not improve your play to reach the master level if you play the quickest time control in the United States of 30 minutes a game. You will never earn a FIDE rating and the chance for an international title unless you play a time control of 90 30.


I don't mean to insult any of you at all but a well-known titled player has gone on record by stating that “Chess is the only sport that rewards mediocrity”. Look at the results of the recently concluded World Open:


10 grandmasters shared just under $4000 each. Not too shabby you say. Many more GM’s and all the IM’s who played were left out in the cold. At the same time the next several sections below this, starting with under 2400, produced winners of over $12,000. Even the under 1400 winner pocketed $7,400. Myself as a NM, would have been in the running for one of these huge prices had I played. If you translated every participant’s chess ability to golf and put us on the professional golf circuit none of us below international master strength would ever win a penny, let alone even have a shot at. So I guess that means I wallow in mediocrity with most of you reading this article. Let's make our mediocrity work for us.


At the same time the higher a title a player has does not mean how good of a chess coach they are. I read one IMs suggested paths for improvement here at and not only did I find it confusing once I got the gist of what he was suggesting, I realized that it would require an investment of at least a few thousand hours with no clear plan how to start and how to monitor progress. One of the most respected coaches in America only has the title of NM, and that is Dan Heisman. I'll let my ability to coach speak for itself, but as noted in my last blog, I am fairly certain I am the top-selling coach on this site.


Now the next question is would you like your plumber to perform open heart surgery on you? Of course not. You want someone with career experience. I have outlined a program for chess improvement and it was placed on YouTube before I became active here at As noted already, I have put into place two groups to assist players who follow my program to improve their game. As noted in an earlier blog, practicing long standard time control games from home will increase your ability without affecting your real rating. I can't promise any of you will go on to win some of the huge cash prizes as noted above but I can promise I have a good system in place. My groups were created by someone who knows, (me), and therefore I confidently say they are the best two groups for your chess improvement and standard play here at I don't want to say there are plumbers (low rated coaches, fast-moving time control groups, etc.) running around trying to help you improve your chess when they may wasting your time. All I can say is there is no reasonable argument against what I have to offer. Fact beats opinion every time and I have the facts on my side.


By the way I would like to add that anyone who wins a substantial cash prize no matter what his rating will need every minute of time he can get on the clock. No one is winning these kinds of outrageous prizes by moving quickly. A quick glance at the major tournaments held in America in the pages of Chess Life will prove long time controls, similar to 90 30 prevail. The Internet has changed chess and 90 30 does have a following and it's time to increase its use for your benefit. I was approached recently by a volunteer who helps set up 90 30 events for another chess server. He was willing to help direct events here (provided I set up a website) and thought it would be popular but I politely told him no. Negotiating times with your opponent is an antiquated system created by administrators (who didn’t understand the road to improvement lies with longer games) of another organization who shortened time controls. My standard time control group allows you play when you want to prepare you for the real world. Besides let's drive to make the world's leading Internet chess server in all areas. 90 30 on demand is a step in that direction.


So let's go back to my opening statement were kind of player you? If you just like to play, keep at it however you are doing it. If you’re one of the latter two types of players then my groups are the right place for you. Remember, a good game of chess should last at least three, and up to six hours. There is no shortcut to chess improvement. I wish I could reach every chess player in the world but I can't. I'll just preach my message and trust the wise to follow and hope others are not led astray


Yes the Internet has changed chess. Those that understand history and how one may take advantage of technology by playing from home will improve their play and save the travel costs that are necessary when you frequent a real club.


Thanks for your time.


  • 3 years ago


    It is true, I can secure you in a 90'+30´' game you really do your best. When you are in a fledged endgame after 4 hours of game you discover what do you have in mind and what is your true chess level. Even more in a team match when your point is the last, it can change the match result, and all your partners are watching you (...).

    There is a lot of work to do at the internet but we are at the beginning. Poker players, with the money in mind, know really the difference between pressing a button alone and playing in a table. Also you can have the feeling you are not playing with a human. That's a trouble if you are going to spend all the afternoon.

    Anyway this is an excellent platform to avoid this trouble (you can have personal information) and we allways have to keep in mind the best of this technological outburst is that it can arrive to millions of houses and connect us to do what we love :)

    good luck and enjoy playing all!

  • 3 years ago

    NM aww-rats

    RJ-Action...We played one online match and I asked for a rematch and it hasn't happened yet. A lot of people are members of both groups, and thus couldn't play for either side.


    However, we are working together in that between us, even more long time control games are being played than ever before. As noted, there are two possibilites for to implement. Add start times longer than game 30 to their default times in Live Chess, or auto-start 90 30 one round tournaments around the clock so people can know when to get a game. My group only has 5 global start times.., we can't man more than that. I believe it is important to use technology to our benefit to cut out all that paperwork of pairings, and reminders, and so on. As noted, this concept was invented when ICC, or the STCBunch admins, butchered the original 60 60 league. They had it right to begin with, one start time. All they needed to do was add another start time for Europe! Then, later, one for Asia. More playing days could have followed later. No, instead they thought they should put all the players in one "pool" and let them negotiate times to play. Cutting the time control down was an unneccessary compromise. Team4545League only became popular because there wasn't a viable alternative! 90 30 is the way to go, and I am happy the DHLC has added this time control to what they offer. Maybe they will do away with 45 45 one day, and make it 60 60, who knows? That would do knightrunner justice, he started the league with the 60 60 time control that should allow a 3 hour game...

  • 3 years ago


    I see that you talk about Dan Heisman's group alot, and you and him are both very passionate about loooong time controls. But I haven't seen some interaction between the two groups, when is that going to happen?

  • 3 years ago

    NM GargleBlaster

    Thanks for organizing the slow time control groups, they're awesome. 

    One caveat: I suspect, perhaps out of a zeal to market things over the internet, that the benefits of online learning have become a bit exaggerated.  In general, I've found that actual clubs (or even informal cafes) with actual people in them will always have major benefits over any website and that it would be something of a shame for chess in general if the latter drove the former to extinction.  That said, I don't see anything wrong with the internet as a suppliment for tournaments and clubs, but when preached as being somehow superior then I start to wonder if a fairly essential part of the game and its charm is being missed.

    In any event, I think what you're doing by promoting slow online chess is great and hope you'll keep up the good work, just hopefully not at the expense of "real clubs".

  • 3 years ago

    NM aww-rats

    elirub: in Live Chess, click games, then click "time" to sort them

  • 3 years ago


    Could I be advised how to watch long time control games ,eg, 45 45 , 75 30 , 90  30 on the Live Chess I tried to click GAMES but I could not find any

    Thanks Laughing

  • 3 years ago


    Excellent article! Right now my goals are to hit 1600 rating on online chess and 1500 on live standard chess. I have watch a bunch of videos from the team 45 45 league on youtube and they are great! Keep up the work and one day I will challenge you and play the best game possible :)

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