08 June, 2015

Blitz chess : strange resignation

Blitz chess for me, is addictive, and almost pointless, often together.

It is easy to waste hours online playing it ( hence 'pointless' ) , with practically no "chess" knowledge-gain at all, whilst losing an immense amount of time. That's not to say it isn't enjoyable, just that you need to be honest with yourself about why you are doing it !

I am sure that used properly, in a focused and controlled manner, something can be gained from it, I mean, of course,  something in 'chess' terms, not just an aimless whiling-away the time...

However, I am equally sure that such a gain will work primarily for players who already have the appropriate tactical skill level and so can concentrate on the positive aspects they want out of blitz, rather than constantly avoiding tactical mistakes in the limited time available ( or is that "suffering from the inevitable blunder"  ? ).

This positive aspect is often presented as 'gaining experience of new positions' or  'trying out new openings', ie playing a lot of quick games to end up with a feel of what positions arise from the opening, and then using this as input to the next stage in opening practise, that of adding (more) theory.

For my part, I have re-appraised how I spend my blitz time on the Net.

Blitz chess played at less than 3 minutes has been abandoned. 

I only occasionally play at 5 minutes, prefer to play with at least 10 minutes and invariably play with an increment, however small.

This generally gives me a decent game, and an enjoyable experience, plus sometimes a few lessons sink in.

I still make glaring errors in time-pressure as well as the occasional and brutal mouse-slip.

Here's an appalling example, although I doubt if it is that rare in internet blitz.

Castling intended, Kf1 the result. Ugh.

What a mistake !
The only good effect was the fact my opponent took almost 30 seconds to reply, so I had the time to re-adjust my mind to the situation.

I could have resigned, but remarkably, through very passive play, he didn't immediately take advantage of the mistake.

Eventually, after a bad decision in time-trouble, I ended up defending a piece down (  Rook, Knight and pawns vs Rook, Bishop , Knight and pawns),  where Black, yet again, took an age to get anywhere.

I suspect he did not know how to proceed, and instead of actively playing to exchange pieces and reduce to a simple, and winning endgame, it took 15 moves to remove a knight and bishop of each side, from the game.

Another 10 or so moves later, he returned my mistake by leaving his knight en prise, mistakenly defending a pawn instead, and bringing us back to equal material.

Even to my amateur mind this is a dead drawn endgame : Black is in his castle, White uncornerable on the open plains.

Black to play : he resigned !
Instead, Black resigned. 

Maybe he was disgusted with his mistake, or perhaps its just easier to resign with one mouse-click , than offer a draw with two !


Anonymous said...

Blitz is indeed a huuuuge time waster. We are not talking about some games but many, many hours.

I have uninstalled the GUIs for chess.com and icc and finally have time to do something useful, like playing through master games gtm style or seriously studying my chess books. Sometimes I want to go back and "just try out" an opening line or sth. else but so far I could always resist.


Signalman said...

Good to read you , Scotch Yeti ! been a while...

I agree, but equally other games are as bad ( it used to be Rome Total War or CKII for me as well :)

I have never succumbed to chess.com nor play blitz on ICC. I stick to FICS for blitz and ICC for 'serious'.