chess openings

Chess Openings

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jstack 104 ( +1 | -1 )
Preparing for blitz I have decided to return to competitive chess after a 1.5 year absence. Normally I prefer to play slower time controls, but I am too busy to play slow games. So, I decided to play in the 10 minute tournament they have at the local chess tournament. I am a class C player(about 1550) and I expect to be one of the lowest rated players in the tournament. I expect to have to play class A players, experts, a few masters, and a few class B players. In order to prepare myself I am studying endgame and tactics. I plan to play more games on gameknot to study openings. I am also playing handicap games with my friend to prepare myself for time pressure....giving myself 3 minutes to my opponents 10 minutes. However, my opponent is lower rated than me. Anyway I would like more advice on how to play and how to prepare for a blitz game. Should I play tactical or positional chess? Should I prepare a bizare opening or just stick to the normal stuff both I and my opponent know well?


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ganstaman 155 ( +1 | -1 )
My 1538-rating's worth of advice I am much worse at blitz than I am at longer timed games. Most players are worse, but I am disproportionately worse. The reason is that I can't make decisions quickly. I end up analyzing too much and wasting time, forcing me to blunder in the final seconds (well, final seconds for me, final minutes for my opponent....). If I try to think less and force myself to just play, I end up blundering and getting caught.

So how does this help? Well, at least it should boost your confidence in your own game... Seriously, though, you need to be able to find the right moves quickly and have confidence in them. The only way to do this is to already have a familiarity with the position you're in, and to have good chess intuition (they're closely related, though). Play whatever you know best. You'll know without heavy analysis what pieces belong where. Your intuition will tell you what plans you should be making because you've done it so many times in the past. If you try to play a game that doesn't fit your style, you are adding in another disadvantage for yourself.

Besides actually playing blitz, playing long games helps (or at least several online articles say this). In a longer game, you can really get a feel for the position you're in. You can analyze all the choices and see what's really going on. If you only play blitz, you'll miss out on a lot. Think of it this way: if you play a long game now, you won't have to spend all that time analyzing in your blitz game later.

Good luck!
amenhotepi 29 ( +1 | -1 )
re Preparing for blitz
~ really; just agreeing mostly with what ganstaman, says......

THERE IS definately an advantage to be obtained by unusual-opening blitz. I am not as an expert as ganstaman, though, having played Chess for 30 yrs - : playing unusual-opening blitz game well, may be; good " compressibilty !"
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ketchuplover 1 ( +1 | -1 )
Go for broke!
mattdw 62 ( +1 | -1 )
Some thoughts.. I'm not very good yet at either OTB or CC, but my view on this (and taking on board lessons from other non-chess related activities I take part in) I would suggest long term practice for fast games should actually consist of almost all slow games, as with most things the ability to do something fast comes from the ability to do it well slowly. When you are much closer to the tournament then I would say it would be reasonable to play blitz and practice to hone the specific attributes required (practing under time pressure etc..) just to get in the right frame of mind.
jstack 93 ( +1 | -1 )
long games Thank you everyone for your replies. Yes, I understand playing long games is useful. Unfortunately, I am a busy college student and I don't have the time or energy for it. My preparation consists of studying tactics and engames when I am taking a break from my spanish and russian studies. About 10 to 15 minutes every hour or 2. I use my games on gameknot for my opening studies. I also analyze the games I play here. On the weekend I play some handicap speed games with my friend. I get 3 minutes while he gets 10. It is useful to get used to moving fast but I win many of the games easily and I know his level of play won't be anywhere close to what I will face in the tournaments where every opponent will be at least 200 points higher than me and some as high as 700 points higher! Anyway, I am hoping home analysis can take the place of playing the slower games. Any further suggestions will be appreciated.
ionadowman 141 ( +1 | -1 )
Play what you know... ...would be my suggestion. Even if your opponent knows more than you do, it will save time early in the game. Of course, you could learn some off-beat openings, and the best place to learn these is by playing them...
I'm no great blitz player, myself, but I found it paid not to worry overmuch about the time control (we used to play 5-minute chess - lightning - not 10) once past the opening. You need to play sufficiently quickly, but try to play to a plan and take the time if you see the need to calculate lines. This approach, I found, meant that when the hammer went down with 1 minute to play, one knew quite a lot about the position, which made choosing a move easier, and unexpected moves harder for the opponent to find.
So games were characterised by a fairly slow rate of play in the early stages speeding up as the game progressed. By the endgame, you might be playing a move every second or two - quite feasible in any straightforward endgame, i.e. one in which you have a fairly clear cut plan to follow...
This recipe ain't infallible, of course. Unexpected moves at the wrong time could easily upset the timetable. You just have to learn to take these on the chin. But if have yourself a fund of tactical knowledge (check out those 'Novice Nook' threads), you might be the one to unearth surprises!
Cheers,
Ion
wschmidt 52 ( +1 | -1 )
I play 10 minute blitz games here at GK occasionally. They're fun and they would be good for you in terms of getting a sense of how to pace yourself.
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However, it sounds like the competition at your club will be higher than most of what you'll find at GK blitz. My suggestion would be to play some 10 minute blitz against your computer program set at increasingly high levels, with varying personalities. When you've reached the point where you're winning between 1/4 and 1/2 of the games, you've probably reached a good training level. ws
ccmcacollister 212 ( +1 | -1 )
My big success stories online Have been the Dragon and the Scotch/Goring gambits. I think the latter is probably still good for what you want to do. But have some doubts with the Dragon. Perhaps if I study it more it would work in the situation you describe. But the success online is based on the fact that in two years, no one can even duplicate a 70's win like Karpov-Korchnoi. Probably a number of tournament type players Can. Or perhaps be familiar with the newer stuff anyways. Still I think you'd win a majority of those. Anyone who didnt know it inside and out would bobble a tempo and thats pretty much all black needs.
You can hardly play a theoretical KI in online blitz, 80% play garbage in reply. As you've probably found. But it would be an interesting opening for that 10 min situation I think.
What mattdw says makes sense too, about what you know Slow. But you gotta watch out for them FM m.b. types that will get you into blitz games just to pump out your knowlege for the next time they meet you in a tournament or even blitz :)
If you are going into tounament play too, I would not 'waste' a good tournement opening on blitz. Not my best stuff anyway. One thing the aforementioned FM does in blitz play is to prepare stock attacks, not just mating, but minority and such too,
I think, for when he plays one minute blitz. When something is just too good it has to be home prep or experience. But maybe just knows us all so well around here in these parts :)
Dont get overly interested in the position. If you are playing to Win, just play good moves, not great ones. Save those to boggle and amaze in the postmortum. Then when there is something wrong with that Great move ... you can always say "of course, the very reason I avoided it!" like our own m.D. does here. Our Expert who likes to convince lower rated players that his lost game is a win. Then they wont play it again! How far do you want to go to be a blitzy-killer James? haha G/L
}8-)
ccmcacollister 69 ( +1 | -1 )
I guess it was implied ... but to say it, for faster TC's I like sharp openings. Where they only get the one mistake and it can come early. Then it becomes up to you how much time you want to put into winning a favorable game. They should begin to play fast when they know they are losing, unless its a drastic case. Like getting mated. If they dont, then they just give you more thinking time, and have less time from you in an unfavorable game. There it is the time to take the Chance in fast play I think, when things go astray. There may not Be an Out and every second spent give the opp time to find the crusher, if he hasnt.
snakeplissken 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Practice Blitz The best way to prepare is to play as many blitz games as possible, the second best to study tactics which includes for me also endgame tactic puzzles. Just mix the type of puzzles (could also include defensive tactics) - then there is no need for a different type of training.

Try e.g. -> www.flyordie.com. The players are rated there and you can download your game afterwards for analysis.

Regarding the opening my advice is: choose solid setups and let your opponent make the mistakes.

Best regards

snake