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How blitz and bullet rotted my brain (don't let it rot yours)

  • #101
    torrubirubi wrote:
    chuddog wrote:
    Robhad wrote:

    Great game chud!! Congrats on winning the tournament.

    Thanks. I hope the game + my analysis is useful to people. I might post another one when time permits.

    I saw that you are doing tactics here also, 2865, strong. I am trying to think longer in the exercises and got 100 points yesterday and 100 points today. Somehow I lost the habit to think in tactics and lost also my self-confidence. Any advice to get so strong in tactics? I mean, if I train 30 minutes everyday for a year can I expect something like 1900 in tactics, or things are more complicated than this.

    Here are several specific things I do that you may find helpful:

     

    - I never worry about the time it takes to solve a problem. I think as long as it takes and don't make a move until I believe I've solved it.

     

    - I always put in the effort to figure out why my proposed solution was wrong, when I get it wrong. TT is a bare-bones tool. It only plays out one line and never plays out the refutation when your proposed try is wrong. The hidden blessing of this is that it puts the onus on you figure out what you missed. This is a very important part of using TT to improve your tactics, at least as important as figuring out the correct solution.

     

    I never let the results or rating changes affect me emotionally. It's nice to gain rating points, but if I'm getting problems wrong and losing rating, I don't worry about it. Rating is not the point. And I certainly never complain that TT is "unfair", whether in telling me I'm wrong when I'm sure my proposed move works or in how in changes my rating,

  • #102
    chuddog wrote:
    torrubirubi wrote:
    chuddog wrote:
    Robhad wrote:

    Great game chud!! Congrats on winning the tournament.

    Thanks. I hope the game + my analysis is useful to people. I might post another one when time permits.

    I saw that you are doing tactics here also, 2865, strong. I am trying to think longer in the exercises and got 100 points yesterday and 100 points today. Somehow I lost the habit to think in tactics and lost also my self-confidence. Any advice to get so strong in tactics? I mean, if I train 30 minutes everyday for a year can I expect something like 1900 in tactics, or things are more complicated than this.

    Here are several specific things I do that you may find helpful:

     

    - I never worry about the time it takes to solve a problem. I think as long as it takes and don't make a move until I believe I've solved it.

     

    - I always put in the effort to figure out why my proposed solution was wrong, when I get it wrong. TT is a bare-bones tool. It only plays out one line and never plays out the refutation when your proposed try is wrong. The hidden blessing of this is that it puts the onus on you figure out what you missed. This is a very important part of using TT to improve your tactics, at least as important as figuring out the correct solution.

     

    I never let the results or rating changes affect me emotionally. It's nice to gain rating points, but if I'm getting problems wrong and losing rating, I don't worry about it. Rating is not the point. And I certainly never complain that TT is "unfair", whether in telling me I'm wrong when I'm sure my proposed move works or in how in changes my rating,

    Very good advice. I've never really put in the effort to figure out why my wrong try was wrong when solving tactics puzzles. Sometimes it's evident upon finding the correct solution. But sometimes it's less evident until that line is investigated further, and that investigation could be valuable. The thing is though, often times you get the answer wrong, not because there's anything wrong with your idea or line of thinking, but simply because there's something better present in the position, and in that event it becomes a little frustrating to spend time searching for the fault in your particular line when no such fault exists, except for the precense of a better line that you didn't see.

  • #103

    As a complete novice I can only say Blitz has helped me allot to improve on the really stupid blunders really quickly.  The moves become instinctive and the patterns more easily recognised.  I like the fact guys occasionally miss my blunders (or don't take advantage of them and it gives me a breather) also I am learning at an exponential rate.  I have had ~750 games in a couple of months more or less - it would have taken me years to play as many games in traditional chess.  So I think it very much comes down to your level.  For me it really helps, but I imagine for high rated players I am not sure what value it can give other than thinking fast - rather than thinking things through properly.

    Its a bit like Test Match Cricket (traditional chess) v ODI's (Blitz) / 20/20 (Bullet) - only the most talented can be good at all 3 or enjoy all the formats.

  • #104

    Exactly! I have always said that players below 1300 should stay away from any game that is longer than 10 min per side. Because it will only waste your time. You can learn faster by playing lots of blitz games. I am speaking from my experience. My rating rose from 700 to 1700 in 3 yrs by playing lots of blitz games. But people follow the advice of some IM or GM who tells them to play long games. This only wastes their time and they don't really improve. Most IMs and GMs have no idea on how to improve a chess student from 700 to 1700. Because they can't understand or relate to player in that rating range. Their advice ends up being counterproductive.

    At lower levels(up to 1800), the main problem for players is blunders. Blunders are caused by deficiencies in board vision. And simple calculation mistakes. Blitz is useful in training board vision, simple tactical calculation, pattern recognition, opening experience, time management, end game and game pressure. In short, you get to train the full spectrum in a short time. And you can do this many times by playing lots of blitz games.

  • #105
    Ashvapathi wrote:

    Exactly! I have always said that players below 1300 should stay away from any game that is longer than 10 min per side. Because it will only waste your time. You can learn faster by playing lots of blitz games. I am speaking from my experience. My rating rose from 700 to 1700 in 3 yrs by playing lots of blitz games. But people follow the advice of some IM or GM who tells them to play long games. This only wastes their time and they don't really improve. Most IMs and GMs have no idea on how to improve a chess student from 700 to 1700. Because they can't understand or relate to player in that rating range. Their advice ends up being counterproductive.

    At lower levels(up to 1800), the main problem for players is blunders. Blunders are caused by deficiencies in board vision. And simple calculation mistakes. Blitz is useful in training board vision, simple tactical calculation, pattern recognition, opening experience, time management, end game and game pressure. In short, you get to train the full spectrum in a short time. And you can do this many times by playing lots of blitz games.

     

    I disagree will all of these.

     

    You can't based your improvement alone on your blitz rating here. Do you play over the board tournament? What works on blitz might not work at longer time control. Mistakes that you can get away at blitz will be punished at longer time control.

     

    Players at below 1300 rating playing games longer than 10 minutes is not a waste of time and is actually helpfull as longer time control allows them to develop their ability to calculate longer variations and explore more what they learned from books or their game experience. A beginner playing blitz only can make them develop bad habits and superficial thinking. They might develop bad habit like laziness.  Bad habits are hard to remove.

     

    You can't say that most  IMs and GMs have no idea on how to improve a chess student from 700 to 1700 becuase at one point these IMs and GMs are also beginners. So what they are telling comes from their own experience. I have seen many beginners players here playing countless blitz games for many years, but not improving at all.

     

  • #106
    jambyvedar wrote:
    Ashvapathi wrote:

    Exactly! I have always said that players below 1300 should stay away from any game that is longer than 10 min per side. Because it will only waste your time. You can learn faster by playing lots of blitz games. I am speaking from my experience. My rating rose from 700 to 1700 in 3 yrs by playing lots of blitz games. But people follow the advice of some IM or GM who tells them to play long games. This only wastes their time and they don't really improve. Most IMs and GMs have no idea on how to improve a chess student from 700 to 1700. Because they can't understand or relate to player in that rating range. Their advice ends up being counterproductive.

    At lower levels(up to 1800), the main problem for players is blunders. Blunders are caused by deficiencies in board vision. And simple calculation mistakes. Blitz is useful in training board vision, simple tactical calculation, pattern recognition, opening experience, time management, end game and game pressure. In short, you get to train the full spectrum in a short time. And you can do this many times by playing lots of blitz games.

     

    I disagree will all of these.

     

    You can't based your improvement alone on your blitz rating here. Do you play over the board tournament? What works on blitz might not work at longer time control. Mistakes that you can get away at blitz will be punished at longer time control.

     

    Players at below 1300 rating playing games longer than 10 minutes is not a waste of time and is actually helpfull as longer time control allows them to develop their ability to calculate longer variations and explore more what they learned from books or their game experience. A beginner playing blitz only can make them develop bad habits and superficial thinking. They might develop bad habit like laziness.  Bad habits are hard to remove.

     

    You can't say that most  IMs and GMs have no idea on how to improve a chess student from 700 to 1700 becuase at one point these IMs and GMs are also beginners. So what they are telling comes from their own experience. I have seen many beginners players here playing countless blitz games for many years, but not improving at all.

     

    Totally agree with you. Studying a single,serious game of chess by great players of the past with good annotations can teach you about pawn structures,tactical and strategic ideas and far more than a 1000 meaningless blitz games.Chess is a serious game it requires analytical thinking which in itself requires a lot of time.

    The vast majority of players who are novices and play a lot of blitz games, have very low FIDE ELO rating and are poor players.

  • #107

    Here's your brain.  Here's your brain on blitz and bullet.

  • #108

    Congrats FM chuddog for your 5/5 clean sweep of your 2200+ to 2400+ opponents, achieving your highest ever rating >2450 USCF!

    Glad your preparation strategy paid off.

    Thanks for the advice & posting the annotated match, good creative tactical moves!

    1 move that you didn't mention was 29. Qxd5 where 29. Rxd5 seemed the better choice (analysis confirms this), but this didn't stop you from winning just 2 moves later, happy days wink.png

  • #109

    These players who are claiming their grading have shot up in blitz play are no doubt talking about blitz gradings. Blitz gradings I think are not the same as normal play gradings. I have two gradings and my blitz grading is very much lower than my "over the board" time control e.g. about 30 moves to the hour grading. These are actual grades recognised by the chess authorities. If I played more blitz chess my blitz grading might increase, but my normal time control grading would not change because I was not playing games in that time control it would at least stay the same, but I know intuitively that it would actually go down,in the case of then returning to the long game. The reason for this is that most games that are lost are lost because of blunders which are more likely exploited by opponents in long time controls. Playing quicker encourages blunders,because fewer combinations are considered, or analysed properly, which another poster on this site has already stated. Going from quick play back to long play then carries over the propensity to move quicker and carrying the blunders back into the long game. If you think you are wasting your time by taking longer over moves in chess, might I suggest you are wasting you time playing chess at all!

  • #110

    The journey is as wonderful as reaching the destination.  Fast games are only for reaching an outcome, nothing more.  Great article.

  • #111

    I gained 320 tactics rating points the last 4 days after reading this article and taking her advice on how to do them seriously and i think i will reach 2000 rating by tonight https://new.uschess.org/news/how-to-study-chess/

  • #112

    Bullet games are so addictive, but the quality is so much poorer. I had a go again yesterday and I only tended to lose to those who played proper lines, those who played aggressive openings with the queen I was able to pick off, which I never used to be able to do, I'm probably better at bullet after all the daily games I've played. I doubt it works on the opposite way though. Bullet encourages a mentality of "hope he falls for this trick" which slower chess doesn't really need.

  • #113
    drbob_mccord wrote:

    These players who are claiming their grading have shot up in blitz play are no doubt talking about blitz gradings. Blitz gradings I think are not the same as normal play gradings. I have two gradings and my blitz grading is very much lower than my "over the board" time control e.g. about 30 moves to the hour grading. These are actual grades recognised by the chess authorities. If I played more blitz chess my blitz grading might increase, but my normal time control grading would not change because I was not playing games in that time control it would at least stay the same, but I know intuitively that it would actually go down,in the case of then returning to the long game. The reason for this is that most games that are lost are lost because of blunders which are more likely exploited by opponents in long time controls. Playing quicker encourages blunders,because fewer combinations are considered, or analysed properly, which another poster on this site has already stated. Going from quick play back to long play then carries over the propensity to move quicker and carrying the blunders back into the long game. If you think you are wasting your time by taking longer over moves in chess, might I suggest you are wasting you time playing chess at all!

    Obviously, blitz ratings are generally lower than rapid because players have less time per move which means there is higher chance to blunder in blitz. Yet, unlike bullet, you cant play only for time in blitz. So, you need a relatively good chess with less blunders in time pressure. And precisely for this reason, it is the ideal format for beginners to improve.

    And it is difficult to improve in any format of chess without improving in chess overall. The only exception is perhaps bullet or even 3 min blitz. In those formats, you can get away with playing for time. But, to survive in any format longer than 3 min per side, you need to play relatively good and blunderless chess.

  • #114
    ItWillHappen wrote:

    I only play bullet because I love fierce fights on the chess board. Checkmating left and right. Wild attacks, brutal tactics and mating attacks. That's what I love about bullet. 

    Sets the board on fire!

     

    Bullet is more of a test of reaction skills and accurate observations/instincts. Pieces can be thrown away anyhow just to distract the opponent and make him/her lose on time.

     

    Wild attacks, brutal tactics, mating attacks and so on. Hmmm...ItWillDefinitelyHappen.

  • #115
    ItWillHappen wrote:
    eric0022 wrote:
    ItWillHappen wrote:

    I only play bullet because I love fierce fights on the chess board. Checkmating left and right. Wild attacks, brutal tactics and mating attacks. That's what I love about bullet. 

    Sets the board on fire!

     

    Bullet is more of a test of reaction skills and accurate observations/instincts. Pieces can be thrown away anyhow just to distract the opponent and make him/her lose on time.

     

    Wild attacks, brutal tactics, mating attacks and so on. Hmmm...ItWillDefinitelyHappen.

    I agree with you on the reaction skills and accurate obersvation/instincts part.

    I don't play random moves to distract my opponent unless I'm really low on time and have to bang out a lot of moves. Most of the time I have an attacking plan or at least a mini-plan. 

    My moves have most of the time an idea behind them.

     

    For me I start to throw random moves when one player's time is low, but it also depends on the situation and my mood. I never use premoves at all (although the system occasionally lets one or two such premoves slip), so it is difficult for me to dish out many moves within one second.

  • #116
    ItWillHappen wrote:

    you don't use premoves? Premoves are essential, I premove whenever I see little room for error. Of course there are also occasions were it dit go horribly wrong but premoving saves so much time.

    Premovin in 1+0 is essential, in 2+1 it's nice because you can gain time this way which will help you make more quality moves (LOL).

     

    At the moment I am training to not use premoves yet (I usually make do with 0.3 seconds or 0.4 seconds per move), but I can see that premoves are really good during points which you can be sure that a move definitely works without backfiring at all.

     

    You came up with a very good point that the time gained by premoving in incremental games can translate to gaining sufficient precious time to make more quality moves.

  • #117

    I also noticed this. Move the king to the square two spaces diagonally apart from a Black knight. It actually helps regardless of whether premoves are being used or not. Bishops are easier; just move the king to a square of a different colour square from the square which the bishops resides on.

  • #118

    Good point. There are lots more to observe, but you would have probably mastered these small tips after long practice on bullet.

     

    I realise that bullet play has improved my rapid play to some degree.

  • #119

    I just started on chess.com short while ago. I feel the best chess experience is in person face to face, with no short time limit. Blitz chess pressures you to push past your analysis reflex and forces a nice you're never satisfied with unless it pays off later due to the other player making worse mistakes than yourself. I don't like blitz. I don't play blitz often but when I do, I've decided that analysis must be set aside. Only intuition should be played. The only analysis that skills be made is that if making sure your move isn't going to end in a pin or undefended loss of a piece. Period. Blitz will never be a depiction of your true skill in my opinion. It simply will never be because of those reasons.

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