Bullet Game Strategy


I have difficulty staying above a 1300 rating on bullet games and would like to learn more from those who have achieved ratings above 1500.

I like bullet and blitz games because I no longer have the time or inclination to memorize openings and variations. Nor do I have much time to play long games. Short games enable players to use what they don't forget -- basic strategy and tactics and a good feel for positional play. 

Premoves are one way to gain a time advantage on your opponent, though they can come with some risk.    One can also play and premove very defensively, avoiding conflict, setting up defeneses,  to last through the short game period, not giving the opponent enough room to mate you. Sacrificing pieces can be  valuable, much more than in a long game.

Also, making unexpected or seemingly illogical moves, can cause your opponent to waste time trying to figure out what's going on.

Any thoughts?


develop  play aggressive tactics etc


 I like to play with others that have a very high, or a least much higher than myself, ranking- especially if it is unrated. Watching how they move and combos they do really helps me. Although some more "superior" players tend to brush off us that are lowly as "boring". Well maybe it is an easy win, but they should help us develop our skills and not be discouraging.


i agree


because the way points are earned or lost,  many highly ranked players simply won't risk losing 15 points if the lose, and win 1 point if they succceed.   one reason why i enjoy the unranked games.


Play against the computer on hard, make fast moves, your rating will go up.


Knowing basic openings and variations still helps even in bullet games. You just have to think very fast. I have a book on chess theory by Siegbert Tarrasch, and every time I read it for couple of hours and play out specific combinations on the board, my game improves immediately. The problem is that I don't study theory enough. Once I start playing, I just can't stop. That's why I can't rise higher than 1400's...... 


The best bullet players in the world happen to be some of the best "slow" game players in the world. Hustler tricks only take you so far, pattern recognition that comes with playing really strong opposition in slow games is really where you become more dangerous, no matter what time control.

Though if you are interested in short-term gains, I'd advise you to consult the book Blitz Theory by Jon Maxwell. Lots of amusing ideas on how to weasel your opponent on the clock. :)

I also heard that Nakamura co-authored a book on Bullet chess recently ...

GoodGppd odea Diroa;/

I was not aware of the book. Bullet/Blitz games are new to me, since I played long games for most of my life.   I agree that pattern recognition and a good understanding of general strategy, tactics and positional play are key.   You do learn that from long games.  If you only ever played ultra short games, you might as well play pinball machines.  


check out my friend dmason2000 he's played 10,000 plus 1 min games

before they redid the site he's goodthanks for the games

hartofgold wrote:

Premoves are one way to gain a time advantage on your opponent, though they can come with some risk.

Never make a premove that involves any risk. It's just not worth losing a piece because you were trying to gain a fraction of a second on the clock.

I also recommend against trying to set up a purely defensive structure just so you can move quickly. This will actually cost you time on the clock later. Typical "solid" defensive positions can be attacked at many points. Even if the position is solid enough to withstand these attacks, you have to react accurately to them. Being in a position where you are reacting instead of having the initiative costs you time on the clock. It may be fast to play ... e6, ... d6, ... Nd7, ... Ne7, ... g6, ... Bg6, ... b6, ... Bb7, ... 0-0, and you may be ahead slightly on the clock after throwing out these opening moves. But now what? White is coming after you and you are reacting. White will make up the time difference easily because he's in the driver's seat.


Play aggressively. Attack something. Your opponent has to move very quickly, chances are they won't react correctly to your attack. Lots of times they move before they even know what you've done.


That's good advice. I also stress defense in nearly all games.  The object is not to win, but outlast your opponent.  I like to make unexpected moves, since it makes my opponent take more time to figure things out.   Knights help the cause too. They can be confusing to deal with.  I also make moves knowing exactly what my next move will be.  That gives me more time, and my opponent somewhat less.


My bullet rating is currently 1502; I win most of them on time. That's how I win, by running my opponent out of time. A few tips on this: Put the opponent's king in check as much as possible, it usually takes a few seconds to get it out of check if they don't notice it right away. Have a plan of action, it is hard to make good moves if you have no idea what you are trying to do. Discovery checks against the queen are handy; it's fast chess so your opponent might miss it. Have an opening memorized before you start, and stick with it to save you time. Be mindful of your opponent as he/she is planning somthing just like you are. Play against the computer on the hard level; it punishes you severely for every little mistake, but the more you play against it, the less you will make those mistakes. Most importantly, look back on your games for where you made your mistakes, and make a mental note not to make the same mistakes again. The key to success in bullet chess is to make as few stupid mistakes as possible, and to notice when your opponent makes those stupid mistakes. It's bullet chess, there are tons of mistakes, so don't be ignorant to the free pieces that your opponent might give you because of panic.

20,000 minutes worth of bullet chess?! That is like300 hours.

Here is an example of what happens when you try to play some weirdo defensive setup because you think you can play it real fast.


These posts on this topic have been most enlightening and often amusing.  Thanks for taking part.  

Right now, I am exploring the hypermodern master, Reti. He had interesting takes on controlling the center from the corners; then pouncing when it was right.


Or you could just play some real chess. You know - that game where you think about stuff....


I usually just try to play aggressively and attack under bullet time controls.  There is a certain psychological pressure that comes into play when your king is under fire, and I've found, from personal experience, that a certain degree of hesitation comes into play.  In short, defence is more difficult than offence.


I agree that defence, especially when dealing against knights, eats up the clock.  I like to be aggressive, plan my next set of moves, sometimes premove, and run like crazy when I am behind in order to at last my opponent's clock.