If you have been to an online chess server, you will notice that almost all titled players always play quick games (3 0) at a max.

On the other hand, if you go to tournaments, it needs cool thinking and not instantaneous moves.

I am surprised, then how do they maintain this balance? Doesn't playing too many quick games spoil their overall playing ability?

  • I find when I play blitz games I sometimes perform worse in longer games, but that is because I lack the discipline to tell myself I need to think in a position and just go with my gut
    – ldog
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 17:51

11 Answers 11


When defending his title at the World Chess Championship 2012, Anand defeated Gelfand in the rapid round. He was able to put time pressure on Gelfand in all four games. In the second game with white, Anand played his moves so fast that Gelfand was forced to make moves with very few seconds to spare.

Being able to perform well in rapid chess is a must for GM's in the modern days.

  • 1
    This is a very good example (Anand-Gelfand match), which proves why blitz/rapid chess is preferred by GMs.
    – RajSanpui
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 7:11

They play quick games probably because it's more fun and doesn't take too much time. Blitz only damages one's tournament results if played to the exclusion of one's studies.


Good chess players who play online prefer quick games like 10sec + 1 or 1 min because nobody can cheat with a computer engine for such short games.

If a player tries to cheat with a computer, in this type of game, he loses the game on time.

After many quick games, these players can maintain this balance easily. Indeed, they train brain to think very quickly. And those who can think quickly can think slowly. Thus, there is no problem playing slow games after fast games.

Moreover, just for your information, blitz game refers to all chess games where each player has up to 10 minutes for all the moves.

  • I don't think they are too scared to lose rating because of cheating. I have seen many titled players beat even computers, and these days most of the online chess servers have strict vigilance against cheaters like ICC or playchess. So that's not the point i guess.
    – RajSanpui
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 14:15
  • 3
    When player against you play with Deep Rybka or other good chess engine, nobody (human) can win, even world chess champion ever. Elo rating of these chess engine are greater than 3100+.
    – Zistoloen
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 14:20
  • True, that's why i said these days, most online chess servers have strict vigilance against cheaters. So being scared of cheaters and playing quick games doesn't seem to be a valid point.
    – RajSanpui
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 14:22
  • 3
    Did I answer your question? If not, could you precise it?
    – Zistoloen
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 14:25

Who has the time for a nice 30 minute game anymore?

Being a titled player does not mean that all of your income comes from chess and that you live a life of luxury (If only! :P). Most titled players have jobs, families, or other endeavors to deal with on a daily basis. As such, it is nice to sneak in a few quick games when there is time to play. This is why it is popular, because it is easy to use no more than 6 minutes to play a quick 3 0 game and then be on your way.

Why play one when you can play many?

More than that though is the appeal to play a larger amount of games and positions. Playing one game which takes many hours has its place and is great for your chess (I think slow chess makes my Blitz better), but it is still only one opening that was played. In an hour, it is possible to play up to 10 openings by playing 10 3 0 games. Or, if you are feeling in the mood for a good sprint, 30 1 0 games.


It is also nice to build those natural reactions. When you play those 10 games in an hour, or perhaps in a week 100 games, then you begin to see positions that can be transposed into, or certain weaknesses in the opponent's position out of experience rather than a keen observation.


I am an active member on online chess server http://www.chessfriends.com. I played there more than 5800 games. My stats as white are exactly same as black. I prefer playing 1 minute games, but sometimes I play 3 minute or 5 minute games. My experience is, that playing bullet or blitz games improve my tactics skills a lot. I have 2300 Fide rating, and I am still able to play 6 hours National league games, without any problems.

  • Thanks. I really wanted to have an answer from someone who have been in this shoe (high rated or titled).
    – RajSanpui
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 16:49

Very simple, playing and winning in the faster games such as Blitz will give them confidence when they play games that lasts days together.


Blitz allows you to collect game experience fast. Blitz could improve you in:

  • Quickly test some new moves and get adequate response in a real game.

  • Learn moves so that you will waste less time for thinking in a real game.


Playing speed chess makes you concentrate more during a match.


They don't want to let weaker players beat them by using a computer, that's the real reason. If Chess engines didn't exist there would be a lot more correspondence games and longer time controls. If you are a titled player there will undoubtedly be thousands of patzers eager to make you look foolish and pretend they are strong players by handing you a loss online.

And even in games between two strong players, just the thought that one might be cheating is reason enough for them to play blitz/bullet games instead, where they can rest assured that no one is cheating.


I'm starting to get into it in a serious way for the first time since a kid and I never used set openings or piece plays. I also imagined the main mode would be classical, because it always was the more calculated respected mode. The thing I realize about blitz mode is that most people who find it fun will get to a point where they cannot improve. I started to realize that every time I played casually against friends, I always start differently, it leads to a different result. The main way to improve for the casual but intelligent player is to start working on a starting formation, building a foundation for set-piece plays in different lines. I imagine professionals get much more from a blitz match than an amateur, because you can mash pieces together really quickly all day long but if you have no real reason for it then there is no purpose. I myself have no need for a mode outside of classical 20/30 minute games while I still work on some ground based theory.


Think about taking a test. You're given 120 minutes for it. Under normal circumstances you may take all of the allotted time, even when you've adequately prepared for it.

But what about overpreparing? If you've assumed you only have 80 minutes for this exam, you may just begin preparing under over constrained time limits.

A chess game is an exam of your tactics and plans for enhancing your position. The faster you can finish it, the less pressure you are placed under. Blitz games help with this.

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