I have a blitz rating of 1900 on Lichess and I can't seem to improve from there. My road to 1900 was fairly quick, but I have been stuck in 1900. My Classical rating is higher than this, so I know that it is a problem with shorter time controls. I have noticed that I spend too much time throughout the game and that is the reason. Can someone please explain how do I manage my time well throughout the game.

  • I think the reason your classical rating is higher, is that fewer strong players play at classical time controls. I think for most people rapid and classical ratings are higher than their blitz an bullet.
    – Akavall
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 13:45
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    Blitz can be many things. What are your typical time controls? Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 15:30
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    @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen Sorry for not putting it in the body. I almost always play 3+0.
    – SubhanKhan
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 21:23
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    Concert pianists alternate between playing slow enough to get it right and then fast. You may want to play 5 0 or even 10 0 once in a while. Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 21:26

4 Answers 4


Blitz is a bit of a different chess "animal". In order to play blitz well, you need a few things, and that is great tactical vision, good time management, and some positional skill so you can make decent moves quickly in quieter positions. It also helps to be young because you think faster when you are young.

The first part to getting better is obvious, and that is work diligently on your tactics. Do a lot of them in a short period of time for the best results. I also recommend reading games, especially fun tactical ones, without a board. This will also help your vision.

As far as time goes, personally, I hate falling behind on the clock at any time control, but it is more crucial in blitz. If you do fall behind, it cannot be by too much...ever. You simply have to play fast, and keep an eye on the clocks at all times to stay ahead on time, or at least, close. Only every now an then, can you afford a longer think.

The positional skill comes with time, and reading a lot of books about pawn structures, and other positional elements will help with this. I strongly recommend the Yusupov series of books as they cover all areas of the game. This may not be good for your regular play and long-term chess development, but also if you play openings that have very standard places for the pieces, like the Stonewall, or London System, you can save time in the opening.

Lastly, you just need to play a lot, although this may not be conducive to your classical rating as you can become shallow. Personally, while it is fun, for a serious player, blitz is not the best think for your game (Botvinnik agreed), but it can be especially useful for testing out your openings.

P.S. I know that 3-0 is a common control, but you can also play 3-2, or 5-3, which is still fast, but gives you a little more time to think. Conversely, you could also play some bullet, and when you go back to regular blitz, it will feel like you have a lot of time.

There is actually a whole book on the subject here. For the record, although I have a lot of books, I do not have this one, so it may, or may not, be any good.

Again, be aware that this may not be good for your tournament chess, if you play tournaments.

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    @SubhanKhan, I thought of one more thing too: In blitz, you cannot focus on playing the "best" move, but only "good", safe, moves. Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 13:25

I am not an expert, but I would say blitz is 'art' part of chess. It requires a few skills to be good.

  • Time management is obviously very important as there is not much time in a blitz game. I have few tips about time management, and you should know that most important ones are not to waste so much time in opening, not to waste too much time in forced moves ( exchanges, threats and checks ), play ONLY lines you are sure about, that are familiar to you

  • Knowing basic patterns Well, there is not so much to talk about this, better you recognise patterns, faster will you find a move.

  • Doing a lot of tactics Tactics have a lot of impact in a blitz game. Most of the blitz players are just good tacticians, and that is giving them a head start.

  • Knowing basic endgames This is important too, even if blitz games are fast and many of them ends in the middlegame, but if you come to the endgame, the deciding thing is resourcefulness, knowing of endgame principles and a bit of skill of fast-moving, especially if there is bonification ( like 3+2 or 5+5 ).

That would be just a short guide, more you play, better you are. I hope this would help you, maybe we can play, on lichess.org or on chess.com In both sites my username is Slobodan007.


There are multiple factors involved.

To improve blitz you must first improve your regular chess.

Clock management. You must make every move at the rate necessary to finish the game without flagging and never take more time for any move that that average. Learn to move at your time quota and not faster nor slower.

Your brain. It has a maximum speed it can work well. If yours is slow due to old age then you will need to use longer time controls. Playing faster then it can recognize things will cause mistakes and you will lose thus not improve your rating. When I was young I could play 5SD very well. When I was older I could still play 7.5SD, but when I was really old I had trouble at 10SD although did fairly well anyway but not as good as I had in the past.

Tactical skill. You must immediately recognize any and all tactics without having to think. That should be as easy as reading your name and knowing what the words said. Do more tactics practice until you are at the GM level or higher.

Openings. You must know them cold and avoid getting caught in early traps with 'obvious' moves that were bad. Or know enough oddball openings that are not too bad to use for blitz to avoid their traps.

End games. You must master end games so you can finish them off quickly before your time runs out in a long game. Know all the mates cold so you don't need to think about them.

If you also want to improve your OTB tournament play then do NOT play blitz. Play speedy chess but with at least ten seconds per move on average for the whole game. And use those ten seconds up, not make hasty moves. Learn to pace yourself. See Clock Management above.

Your classical rating and your blitz rating online will not correlate meaningfully.


I used to be pretty high up on chess.com bullet (1 min), what seemed to help me the most was:

  1. Tactics, ChessTempo is a fantastic site to use but there are many. Counter-intuitively, I would recommend not focusing on being fast, just go for correct solutions however long it takes you to be sure. Massively improves vision and pattern recognition.

  2. Go back over your games with an engine, there are a bunch of free ones you can download. go through move by move to see your mistakes and follow lines of play you didn't consider

  3. Opening lines, I'm terrible at actually learning these, so my focus was always taking my opponent off book with weird openings. Being more familiar with an opening immediately puts you in the lead time wise.

  4. Turn on premove if you haven't already

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