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Subject: Blitz Value?

I wanted to get the opinion of other players re: the value of blitz chess and if it can be used to improve/damage your ability to play at slower time controls...

My own opinion is that it does not really improve much other than your ability to see 2-4 move tactical cheap-shots. Blitz is really about what you know at present and doesn't/cannot lead to a deeper understanding of the game. Chess understanding, like everything else in life had depth and width, so seeing the same position 1000 times over blitz games doesn't imply greater understanding of the position. The same position could be better understood through one game of deep, careful analysis.

I came to this conclusion a few years ago when I realized that I wasn't getting any better at K+P, K+R+P and K+B+P vs. K+KN+P endings - even though I'd probably seen thousands of them over the course of my blitz playing. I spend about an hour going through Silman's, RYOC chapter on the Opposition and K+P endings and now they make more sense to me, even at blitz time controls.

Width of understanding: seeing zillions of similar positions doesn't lead to depth of understanding: seeing one position clearly - because depth of understanding can be transposed into numerous postions. e.g. Knowing what having/giving the Opposition means can be applied any endgame postion. Now, this runs upstream to some of our cultural common sense because we think that repetition breeds understanding {I blame the public school system for that bit of brainwashing} and so, playing zillions of games {width} will improve understanding...

In other blitz, understanding is whatever is left-over after all of your book-traps fizzle out.





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I type too fast for my own good...

For those of you now scanning your Chess literature to find out what a *postion* is... I believe it is simply a position in which *I* wouldn't play.




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I pretty much agree with what you say here. Blitz is for fun when you don't have the patience to play a slower game (or maybe you don't have the time).



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For me blitz is fun and my blitz rating is indicator of my shape. I use it when preparing for tournaments.

I can agree that blitz by itself doesn't give greater insight of chess or particular positions. But in blitz you can play some particular openings, see what problems you encounter, what opponents of your level (not GM's from whose games opening manuals are created) play in these opening. Then you can take a deeper look at these positions after the game.

The same is about the endgames. It is of course great to read a chapter on R+P vs R endgames but you still need to train your techique on fast time control (you will face these positions in a tournament game, you will likely be in zeitnot) and that can be done in blitz. And again -- you can still check the game afterwards, see what mistakes you made and by this improve your game.



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It's good for ...

practicing openings and getting an idea of which openings you get 'lost quickly' in.



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Sometimes in life you don't get all the time in the world to think about something, you just get a sec. And you must be pretty certain that the decision you're making is, at least, close to correct. Blitz improves the ability to think fast, to scan the board for possible problems. It helps in OTBplay.

Furthermore, when I play blitz; I don't play the pieces- I play the board. Instead of analyzing the position, I feel it.

I'm not sure whether this applies to anyone else here but, anyway- just my two cents.



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Testing ideas

For me, blitz is a good way to test my ideas I develop by studying. Of course it is not the final test but it is a good way to find out what kinds of positions I can expect in actual games. Because the games are so short I can test many different ideas in a short peroid of time. Also, if my openings are rusty blitz games will tell me so. Most blitz players know their openings pretty well it seems.

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