Blitz chess online
The 21st century can truly be regarded as the golden era for all the connoisseurs of the chess game.
I have already written about huge positive impact Internet has had on our ancient game. This impact is especially significant in the domain of the blitz chess.
Considering that the tempo of life is faster than ever before, most people don't have time to play long chess games on a regular basis. Therefore, shorter time controls are slowly starting to dominate and not only on an amateur level; there are more blitz tournaments on a professional level than ever before.
The Internet is very important in that regard. Nowadays, it takes less time and effort to play a blitz game than ever before. With a decent personal computer and internet connection, it takes only a couple of clicks and you can play against anyone in the world.
Unfortunately, nothing comes without the price. The Internet has managed to bring the worst out of people. This should be familiar to anyone who has ever played a multiplayer computer game, visited an online forum or spent hours of his life in the youtube comment section.
However, the troll mentality is apparent in blitz chess arena as well. And it is not only the consequence of anonymity (although it certainly plays a role). Merely the fact that you don't see your opponent lowers the bar of acceptable behaviour. Previously, if you wanted to insult someone, you had to do it face to face. Today, three strokes on the keyboard are enough and you rarely have to fear the outcome.
Therefore, I have decided to write the following post, in honour of different types of blitz chess online players I have faced during my playing career. The list might seem too pessimistic to some; I have tried to amend myself with the last point which will hopefully serve as a light at the end of a tunnel.
Hope you will enjoy it. Let us start with the most obvious type of the player - the "I will only play one game" prick.
1. The "No Rematch" guy
We all know that feeling. You sit down, start a new game, get the Black pieces, screw something up in the opening, resign after 1 minute of play and 15 moves and then ask for a rematch.
After all, you are a slow starter, you haven't even played a normal game, your opponent hasn't lost that much time and there is no way he has to go already since the game has barely started before it was over.
Then, suddenly, after sending a rematch request, a crude reality in form of "xy has declined your rematch proposal" sobers you up. It may be just me, but I find it quite irritating; are we here to play some chess or to collect virtual rating points?
In my experience, this behaviour is typical for someone much stronger than yourself. As if they are saying: "You are not worthy of my time". Like they have never screwed anything during the opening phase of the game.
I think that not giving the opportunity to play with colours reversed is slightly rude, especially if the winning side has the White pieces in the first game.
Vladimir Kramnik knows a thing or two about not giving a rematch :evil laughter:
2. The "OMG You Are So Lucky" guy
There is nothing more frustrating than claiming a big advantage early in the blitz game and then ending the game in one of the two following ways:
- Not being to able to finish your opponent as quickly as possible and losing on time
- Getting swindled by your opponent and ruining a winning position
Quite often, instead of blaming ourselves for stupid mistakes we made, our first impulse is to blame the opponent. The "OMG You Are So Lucky" comment is often inevitable.
I think that anyone who plays blitz chess online on a regular basis has taken the role of "OMG You Are So Lucky" guy at least once.
I know I certainly have. Not that I am terribly proud of it, though. Because everyone who has played DOTA at least once in his life knows that luck is no excuse.
In any case, swindles and time losses are a natural part of the game. I often find it ridiculous when after mutual time trouble people lament that they have lost on time. Time management in blitz is almost as important as the position you have in front of you.
Therefore, don't hate the player. Hate the game.
3. The "Woody Wood Pusher" guy
I find myself mildly annoyed when playing against someone who plays 15 minutes in 3 seconds. Usually, such players are only fast and concern themselves primarily with quantity, and not by the quality of their moves.
When you are playing the "Woody Wood Pusher" guy, it is hard to avoid taking the "OMG You Are So Lucky " guy role. These guys are often tactically very tricky and alert and often punish your sub-optimal moves. Thus, they either swindle you, or you lose on time against them, which triggers your rage button.
The main difficulty in facing the "Woody Wood Pusher" is a psychological one. You have to be calm enough and be patient in converting your advantage; while moving quickly enough in order not to jeopardize your clock situation. As you lose games against them, this task gets progressively harder; your emotions start to take over.
You might say that I am lamenting with justification. After all, I have just stated above that time is one of the assets in blitz chess online. Doesn't complaining against it suddenly make me a huge hypocrite?
Well, there might be some truth to it. But ignoring the position when your opponent has 10 seconds on the clock is one thing; playing purely for the time from the start is another thing. I mean, we are talking about blitz chess online, I am of opinion that movement of the pieces should be the most important thing up to a certain point of the game.
4. The "You are cheating" guy
Apart from "OMG You Are So Lucky" guy, another common way of dealing with the losses is accusing your opponent that he is cheating.
It has happened to me many times. Here and there I manage to play a decent game and see some nice tactics and unfortunately, I hear "you cheating prick" much more often than "congratulations". It is not particularly pleasant.
Naturally, I am also guilty as charged for belonging to this category. But one has to be very careful with similar accusations. It has happened to me that I have accused someone of cheating immediately after the game, only to find out during post-mortem analysis that his play wasn't as strong as I initially thought.
That the reason for my loss was me playing like crap.
In any case, the point of such allegations is non-existent. Even if someone is using computer assistance, writing it in chat accomplishes nothing.
I have never met someone who answered my "You are cheating" accusations with the humbling: "You are right, my bad."
5. The "Engine" guy
All right, there are instances where you accuse someone when even you are not completely convinced that he is using computer assistance; you act out of inertia and such a behaviour is not justified.
However, sometimes engine users are way too obvious to be ignored. The most obvious signs that something is 'fishy' with the account are the following:
- Anonymous account
- Registration in a far away country (Brunei, Antigua and Barbuda or something like that; it is a reality; there are zero racist intentions here)
- Low rating in bullet/tactical exercise
- Strange openings employed
And three most important ones:
- You have zero chance. I have played Grandmasters and strong players; over the course of 10 games I manage to draw or win at least one; they are human and they make mistakes. Engine user crushes you mercilessly without giving you any chances whatsoever.
- 3-second delay on moves. The most obvious sign. Most engine users have this delay. They have to play the moves on the computer board and then replicate them online, which takes time. They even do that for most obvious recaptures or moves when they king is in check; therefore this is the most reliable method of detecting that you are not playing against a human.
- Play terrible when low on time. Consequence of the previous note. If you manage to survive long enough, you might succeed in flagging them. Most often they don't know chess basics, like executing a queen checkmate.
In any case, I don't advise adhering to the "If you can't beat them, join them" rule.
"If you can't beat them, then avoid them" is to be prefered here.
Borislav Ivanov knows a thing or two about cheating
6. The "Too Weak Too Slow" guy
Over the years, I have tried different ways of dealing with the frustrations caused by blitz online chess and can proudly say that I have finally discovered a winning formula.
Being the "Too Weak Too Slow" guy.
There is nothing more satisfying then provoking a pissed opponent even further with a timely "Too Weak Too Slow" comment.
It is especially powerful when you face a player who simply refuses to resign, but waits for the time to run out. In turn, I love to reach the position where I am mating next move. In such a situation, waiting for the moment when you have only 1 second remaining on the clock, and delivering checkmate followed by a "Too Weak Too Slow" comment does wonders.
If you wish to employ the comment, but don't yet know how you can learn the method by observing its inventor in action.
The World Champion Magnus Carlsen.
7. The "Nice" guy
Finally, let us conclude this article on a more optimistic note. More often than not, you have the chance to play against someone and enjoy it from the very start until the very end.
There aren't any dirty moves, bitter comments, badmouthing or anything of a sort. You two meet as two chess enthusiasts, enjoy the battle and congratulate yourselves on the fighting spirit and good moves displayed.
And if you are feeling particularly adventurous, you even analyse a game or two together and become internet friends.
And it is the way it should be, really!
Be a Nice Guy.