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    Entries in blitz chess (17)

    Sunday
    Nov062016

    Know Thyself: Speed Chess and Human Decision-Making

    Blitz chess is fun and can be a useful way of practicing one's openings, but it turns out to have had another, far more subtle benefit. Psychologists have accumulated and analyzed data based on loads of speed games, and have apparently discovered that regardless of whether one is a "lark" or an "owl" (i.e. someone who prefers mornings or evenings, respectively) a similar pattern holds: we tend to play more slowly earlier in the day, trying to avoid errors (thus demonstrating a "prevention" focus) while later on the tendency is to play more quickly but less accurately (a "promotion" focus).

    Plenty of further questions are possible. If one compares the games of players who only play in the morning and compares that product to those who only play at night, will there be differences? Or let's say I play 10 blitz games in the morning, and then 10 at night. Will I play more slowly and perfectionistically in my 10th morning game than in my first night game? Also, which way does the causal arrow go. Do we just play faster (and thereby get slightly more error-prone), or does our attitude change, resulting in faster play? Still another question: is it our specifically "chess willpower" that is affected, or will any depletion in our willpower make us more promotion-focused?

    Regardless of the answers to the further questions, it is still potentially useful to be aware that we - and our opponents - are likelier to be a bit "freer" in night games than morning ones.

     

    Friday
    Sep302016

    Carlsen vs. Nakamura Blitz Battle Set for October 27

    More info here.

    Wednesday
    Aug242016

    The Grandmaster Blitz Battle Continues: Carlsen-Grischuk Yesterday; Nakamura-MVL Coming Up

    No spoilers here for those of you who missed yesterday's action, fear not. You can watch the semi-final match between Magnus Carlsen and Alexander Grischuk here (the report is here, for those who don't care about spoilers); while the second semi-final in Chess.com's Grandmaster Blitz Battle Championship, between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Hikaru Nakamura, will start at 1 p.m. ET. (Viewing instructions here.)

    Monday
    Jul042016

    Dates Set for the Grandmaster Battle Blitz Championship

    The semi-final matches Magnus Carlsen vs. Alexander Grischuk and Hikaru Nakamura vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave have been set; they will take place on August 18 and August 24, respectively.

    Friday
    Jun242016

    A Report on Amonatov's Win in the Eurasian Blitz

    I mentioned Farrukh Amonatov's shocking win a few days ago, but here's a nice, full report on the topic.

    Friday
    Jun242016

    Ding Liren: World #1 in Blitz(!)

    Magnus Carlsen's win in the match with Petrosian wasn't FIDE-rated of course, and although Leuven was rated the net effect was that he's a touch lower than Ding Liren on the live blitz list! (Ding Liren is 2875; Carlsen "only" 2873. Nakamura is third at 2841 and Ian Nepomniachtchi is next at 2840, in case you were wondering.) But will it last...

    Friday
    Jun242016

    Carlsen Massacres Petrosian in the Fourth Chess.com Quarterfinal

    In earlier matches Alexander Grischuk, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and Hikaru Nakamura won quarterfinal matches against Levon Aronian, Fabiano Caruana, and Wesley So, respectively, and in every case there was some drama going into the bullet phase of the competition. In the fourth quarterfinal match in this Chess.com blitz event, there wasn't any. Tigran Petrosian won a very strong qualifier to earn a match with Magnus Carlsen, but that's where the fun ended: Carlsen defeated him by a gruesome 21-4 margin.

    The full report is here.

    Monday
    Jun202016

    Amonatov Wins Eurasian Blitz Chess Cup

    In something of a shocker, Farrukh Amonatov of Tajikistan won the Eurasian Blitz Chess Cup on tiebreaks ahead of the well-known GM and blitz specialist Ian Nepomniachtchi. (A blitz event concluding in tiebreaks rather than a playoff strikes me as bizarre, but that's how it ended.) Both players scored 16/22. Baadur Jobava of Georgia and Russian youngster Vladislav Artemiev tied for third (half a point behind), with the former enjoying the better tiebreaks. Three players tied with 15 points apiece: Sergey Karjakin, Peter Svidler, and Vladimir Onischuk.

    Some of the other players further down in the table (in scoring and/or tiebreak order): Igor Kovalenko, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Ruslan Ponomariov, Boris Gelfand, Rauf Mamedov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (who led after two days' action), Wang Hao, Alexander Grischuk (the current and three-time World Blitz Champion; he finished 20th on tiebreaks), Le Quang Liem (the 2013 World Blitz Champion), Alexey Dreev (39th!), Laurent Fressinet (46th!).

    It was a brutally strong tournament, so it's incredible that the Amonatov, the 24th seed, managed to win the event.

    Games available here.

    Saturday
    Jun182016

    Eurasian Blitz Chess Cup

    In case the action in Leuven isn't enough for you, there's a super-strong blitz event going on in Almaty, Kazakhstan: the Eurasian Blitz Chess Cup. It started Friday and finishes Sunday, and includes monsters like Alexander Grischuk, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Sergey Karjakin, Le Quang Liem, Boris Gelfand, Peter Svidler, Ruslan Ponomariov, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and many more. After 14 of 22 rounds, Mamedyarov leads with 11.5 points, a point ahead of Karjakin, Farrukh Amonatov, Baadur Jobava, and Kasimdzhanov.

    I haven't spotted any video coverage of the event, but the games are available here and here.

    Tuesday
    Jun072016

    Grischuk Wins ICC Open (Blitz)

    The event featured an impressive cast of characters that included world champion Magnus Carlsen, but the chess was so dreadfully bad that the best thing to do is acknowledge its existence and promptly forget about it. That, and at least for me, to issue at least a semi-retraction to all the people I've told over the years that increments in blitz are only there to prevent people from "manning up" to accept that they've lost on time. I still feel that way about blitz as a participant (even on those occasions when I'm the one losing a winning position on time), but as a spectator it's another story. A huge percentage of the games were utterly ruined, as you can see for yourself if you're so inclined.