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Unwritten Rules of Bullet

  • #1

    I was wondering whether anyone had thoughts as to whether there were any unwritten rules to bullet chess. For example, if, when playing bullet, I notice my opponent's clock is running down, I often make a deliberate decision to play more aggressively, in the hope that it will force him/her to take more time to respond, causing me to win on time. This can result in unsound sacrifices, or even wild checks. I feel that this is simply part of bullet chess: the clock is as much a part of a game as is moving the pieces. I am, however, somewhat irked by the occassional opponent who will, for example, set up a hedgehog and move his/her king back and forth. It seems to me that this reflects a reluctance to engage with your opponent. I realize my two views could be seen as hypocritical, and I was wondering if anyone else had thoughts on the matter, or "taking advantage" of the clock in bullet more generally.

  • #2


  • #3


  • #4
    HurricaneMichael1 wrote:

    I did,but my coach banned bullet.

    Good coach!

  • #5

    Dang, that's the second time I've read "Bullet" as "Ballet"!

  • #6
    AndyClifton wrote:

    Dang, that's the second time I've read "Bullet" as "Ballet"!

    In ballet, pre-moving is frowned upon.

  • #7

    Both are usual strategies.  The 2nd part of the hedgehog or defensive type player is to go crazy and attack if his shuffling has gained him, say, a minute on the clock.  So at first it's Mr timid, then it's wild attacker.

    This makes blitz and bullet fun, there are no unwritten rules.  But for obvious reasons this skill doesn't translate into standard chess.  If you get tired of blitz shenanigans, play longer time controls.  If you want the clock to be your savior from bad moves costing you the game, have some fun with speed games.

  • #8

    The people who play really defensively I usually find I can beat fairly easily like this: Step 1 - build a big centre in the opening. Step 2 - directly attack the enemy king or start a pawnstorm, sac something to open lines if needed. Step 3 - checkmate, or even if the attack is beaten off I will win on time because defending requires more thought than attacking. Works nine times out of ten, because the opponents position is just so objectively flawed that the chance of them finding adequate defensive resources against even a speculative attack is very slim.

  • #9

    Yes, my strategy is similar, grab some space, bring out some pieces, then open lines at all costs.  The resulting attack may not be sound in a long game, but your space and development make it really hard to deal with in a speed game.  The type that are so bad as to do something like c6, d6, e6 usually fall apart. 

    The type that go for a colle-zukertort or reverse nimzo type setup, but keep the pawns flexible so you're not sure what they're going for are more experience and harder (for me) to deal with.  It may be I haven't been playing speed games as often and I fall into thinking mode which is a cardinal sin in speed games heh.

  • #10

    Definitely don't start thinking, that's the worst thing you can do, worse even than blundering pieces Laughing

  • #11

    Bullet isn't all bad for your slow chess. It helps your intuitive judgement and also improves your time-trouble skills. You've just got to remember when you're playing slow chess and when you're playing fast chess, understand they are different games, and not mix them up.

  • #12

    These are some of my rules for bullet (1 minute, no delay/increment).

    Generally speaking

    King safety = 60 seconds

    Queen= 25 seconds

    Rook = 10 seconds

    Knight= 10 seconds (because they are tricky, and predicting its movements is much more difficult in quick time controls)

    Bishop = 7 seconds

    This is of course, the time value for each of the pieces.

    If you are up, say 10 seconds, you are pretty much up a knight or rook (probably more actually haha) A pawn is basically worth nothing because you or your opponent will blunder it while pre-moving.

  • #13

    I'm not sure about measuring pieces against time like that. There's a massive difference between being a rook up with 40secs against 50secs (I'd expect to win) and being a rook up with 5secs against 15 (I'd expect to lose).

  • #14
    Estragon wrote:
    HurricaneMichael1 wrote:

    I did,but my coach banned bullet.

    Good coach!

    Stupid coach. 

  • #15

    Also, it depends on the situation. The priority in endgames where both players are running out of time (sub 20 seconds maybe) is to keep all your pieces protected. Thus keep them closer to your king and let a few pieces move while others provide the "glue", like a bishop on g7 or a rook on a central file. 

  • #16

    What game are you all playing? In true bullet (1 0), 20 seconds is still an eternity. It's also worth noting that the "correct" strategy for 1 0 can vary across websites. Even for chess.com, in the old days, they didn't have this minimum of 0.1 sec per move - so if you could somehow get it down to a completely premovable win, then you can get by with only 0.3 sec or less on the clock. 

  • #17
    fianchetto123 wrote:
    Estragon wrote:
    HurricaneMichael1 wrote:

    I did,but my coach banned bullet.

    Good coach!

    Stupid coach. 

    Hero coach

  • #18

    On another site, the good bullet players play just about the same stuff the good blitz and good standard chess players play. Bullet players just play that stuff more aggressively. They don't go for cheapos such as 1.e4 c5 2.Bc4 d6 3.Bxf7+, as we often see here, and they certainly don't try to hunker down from the very beginning.

    The best bullet player in the world, for a long time, was Hikaru Nakamura. I'm not sure if he still is. He'd play almost any opening, and he was very free with his pieces around the enemy king. He tried to pose concrete problems to his opponents from move one, and just kept on building up the pressure. If he had a won endgame, he wouldn't hesitate to trade down into it. He was certain of his endgame technique.

    That strategy works! Oh, and that strategy translates pretty well into standard time chess results too!

  • #19


    good joke

    for a second i thought you actually thought there were RULES in bullet.

     i thought you actually thought there was ETTIQUETTE in bullet.

    good joke!


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