My last blitz blog post was back in June, it’s not that I haven’t been playing but I’ve been spending less time playing online and more time over the board. With all the tournaments being OTB my ability to transfer my online skills to the board in blitz hasn’t been easy. Going from the top down 2D perspective where it’s easy to see the entire board to a 3D tilted perspective is difficult to get used to and perform the same on. I did a few things to make the online board a little harder like removing the highlights for the previous move, taking away any indications of possible squares and even transferring longer games to the board while playing online. The last one I really hoped would help and while it does to some extent it also break concentration having to look at the screen and then board every move. Lichess has a feature where it will announce the moves when they are played so I may try to switch over to that, one less interruption might help.
I wanted to jump back into some blitz however so I played a little 3 minute the other night to good results, here are two of the games. A lot of the study I could tell was paying off, going from the board to the screen is way easier. I went into a Caro where I was able to equalize around the 4th move, White went for an early double attack on c7 with the Bishop and Knight but missed Qa5+ attacking the Knight. It was retreat and give me initiative or lose a piece.
The next game is also a Caro but in this one I traded the dark squared Bishop instead of the light in the opening. The main problems for White arose when I was able to get a Knight to e4 and squeeze the position.
The double attack on c3 also comes with an attack on the Queen, you have to lose one or the other. White saved the Queen but after the capture of c3 with the Rook the c2 pawn was very weak, stacking on the c file with Queen and Rook allowed me to trade down into a winning position. This game was slower than the previous one since White still had some defensive resources and their King wasn’t as exposed as the first game.
The last time I was at the club was back in May since school demanded almost all my time and when it didn’t frazzling my brain was the last thing I wanted to do. I’ve had been playing some 3/5 blitz and 10 minute games every day along with tactics for the last couple months which has clearly helped. My girlfriend and a friend of hers plays chess as well so that was another factor in chess becoming more relevant. Having people to talk and play with makes anything better. As for my last two tournaments I went 1/3 and then 2/3 but the most recent was 2.5/3. A steady increase over time and really the first game I played I should have won since I had a winning position from the opening but playing over the board after so long took some getting used too. That game ended in a draw with my Knight forking the opponents King and passed pawn.
This game I was looking to win quickly and end the night. I played the Italian looking for an attack on the f7 pawn, usually I would play a solid d4 Queen’s gambit instead. I kept the option of castling short or long open but after Black played Bg4 pinning the Knight as normal I played h3 and g4 to kick the Bishop around. I then proceeded with an attack on the c5 Bishop with c3 and b4, it was an all out assault from both side. My King stayed in the middle surrounded by defenders while took Black’s castling rights away and battered the already weakened King side. It lead to a double Rook mate with the Black King on h5.
I really enjoy intuitive and fast paced games, having the general knowledge needed to make moves or decisions on the fly is more attractive to me than being able to mull over a position and figure it out. Any one can figure out what to do when they have enough time but to inherently understand and have a plan worked out while making changes in an instant is what real calculation is. My first foray into the 3minute super blitz world was last night and my rating is surprisingly strong there, over 1522 after 14 games. The accuracy of play didn’t suffer as I expected, the game below had 4 inaccuracies and one mistake for an average centi-pawn loss of only 25ish.
Admittedly I find 5 minute games to be a little long when I’m really looking to get in an exciting chess game or looking for the equivalent of a first person shooter over the board. 5 minute offers the opponent too much time to consider and I lose the rapid and consistent calculation stream that a 3 minute match offers. This game highlighted use of principles and general knowledge to attain a strong position from the opening, how to take advantage of tactical opportunities and show cased some end game knowledge. The game ended with me having 1:20 on the clock still, a total of 1 minute 40 seconds used.