It seems as though White can easily dominate the tempo in a blitz game through a strong, aggressive opening. Is this the case? What openings are strong for White when there is a short time limit (e.g., in blitz)?

  • Was this posted exactly 2 hours after this other one ? Especially considering the number of responses, I don't think there's much of a difference, really. (Flagging as duplicate.) Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 23:48
  • @NikanaReklawyks, you're right that these are very similar questions, and I've no doubt this question was directly inspired by the earlier one. However, I believe "blitz chess" and "bullet chess" typically refer to slightly different sorts of games, the latter being close to 1-minute games, and the former being somewhat longer time controls like 5 0 or 3 2. Because of that, I hesitate to call this a duplicate question myself.
    – ETD
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 2:27
  • The best opening for Blitz is one your opponent doesn't know. If you don't know your opponent, offbeat ones work well.
    – aschultz
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 7:39

4 Answers 4


I think this depends very much on how strong you are.

That said, I had some success with the Ponziani. It is not the "best" opening, but solid, and many players don't know it and lose some time thinking about the next moves. The theory is easy, and there are several traps black can fall into (my favorite is when black takes the "unprotected" e4 pawn with the knight and you can fork it with Qa4+).

Generally it might be a good idea to play aggressive (e.g. Steinitz' Qh4 in the Scotch game) and to try to throw the opponent out of the book as soon as possible. Of course the opening must be still playable, and you need to know some theory.


I personally don't think there is a best opening for blitz. I think you just have to get your pieces out as fast as possible and control the center. Blitz is more of a time issue rather than a material issue.


There are plenty of openings you could use in blitz, but I think the slow solid and positional openings need more thinking, thus you could lose. I would suggest playing like Mikhail Tal. That is, make sacrifices without calculating the move too much, and try to complicate the position for your opponent.

I have used this in many of my games. Complicating the position by making a complex, unsound sacrifice may confuse the opponent and make them lose on time or make a wrong move. Remember, clock is also a thing you will need to think about in blitz.

I'd suggest playing the king's pawn opening as White. Maybe the king's gambit, the open Sicilian, which is my favourite, Scandinavian, and such. French is a solid opening from black and either play advance and lose time for your opponent or play the exchange variation.

With the black pieces, against 1.c4 Nf6 is the best way to respond. After that try to enter the Indian system, Nimzo, or King's Indian Defense.

For d4, I would say Nf6 isn't bad but it involves more thinking, so I like to play the Dutch defence, the Leningrad variation (which is not a very popular a chess opening).

I would definitely suggest the Najdorf variation in Sicilian, though it seems very impractical because of the sharp lines and tactical, calculative play, as mentioned before you can confuse your opponent into time pressure. Of course, I recommend making unsound sacrifices wisely, when absolutely necessary. Remember, even if your playing online you are psychologically twisting your opponent into a very uneasy place.


You should analyze your results at blitz versus bullet before reaching any conclusions.

Here's a notebook you can use for that purpose if you are on chess.com



  • There is no way I'm better than 2100, but when I play the Halloween Gambit as white, my performance rating is closer to 2300, at least recently. We'll see how long it lasts! enter image description here

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