03 January 2009


It was not my New Year's Resolution to give up blitz, but merely to limit it. Nevertheless, I have yet to play my first blitz game of 2009. On the other hand, I have played several rapid game online, including this instructive melee at game/16.

Opponent (1737) - Stripes (1659) [C10]
Online Chess, 01.01.2009

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6

White to move

6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Bg5 Be7 8.Bd3 b6 9.0–0 Bb7 10.Re1 0–0 11.c3 c5 12.dxc5 Bxc5 13.Qe2

Black to move

13...Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Qd5 15.Qxd5 Nxd5 16.Rad1 h6 17.Bh4 a5 18.Be4 g5 19.Bg3 Rad8 20.Rd2 Nf6 21.Bd3 Kg7 22.Red1 Nh5 23.Bc7 Rd7 24.Be2 Rxd2 25.Rxd2 Nf6 26.Be5

Black to move

26...Be7 27.Rd7 Re8 28.Bh5 Kf8 0–1


  1. I guess its 0-1 since opponent lost on time?

    Otherwise after 28. ... Kf8 white wins with 29. Bxf6 Bxf6 30. Rxf7+ Kg8 31. Rxf6

  2. Yes, I couldn't figure out the 0-1 either until I recalled the time control. But in my view it's almost criminal to only make 28 moves in a 16-minute game. In Rolf Wetzell's book Chess Master at Any Age he has a good formula--you should plan on an 80-90 move game (sudden death games are often played out until mate) so at G/16 that's about 12 sec./move. Given that in this game the players were in "book" for at least 7 or 8 moves (I'm guessing) White took too much time in the middlegame. I must add that this is no criticism of Black--winning on time is totally legitimate in my book, and I myself do so with relish.

  3. Actually my opponent lost due to disconnection, which is more or less legitimate than winning on time. It may have been a bad connection, an angry wife, the boss's attention, or any of many other possible factors.

    I find instructive the tactics that had me all wrapped up--my pieces all became immobile as one after another was attacked--not the result, which is deceiving.

    I do favor the sites where disconnection leads to forfeit over those where some adjourned games remain so in perpetuity. I have a technical win left from the summer of 2007 in my saved FICS games. But, my advantages--better minor piece, superior pawn structure, mobile king,--while elementary, are not clear enough for full confidence in the adjudication process.

    I'd rather lose or win a won or lost game than have such games hanging forever.

  4. Oh, that's a tough one to lose on a disconnection. He did play well. I withdraw my criticism of his time management. Wetzell's recommended rate of play for sudden death remains legit, though.

    After I read your comments on my "giving up" blitz I did go ahead and start playing a limited number of games on FICS, but what I do now is play only 2 5, avoiding the temptation to take up higher-rated player's seeks at 3 0. I find that I can usually win a won game with the five second increment, and makes me happy.

    I have four adjournments right now, and I think three are totally won, one from about two years ago. I need to submit them. I think ending the game on disconnection makes a lot of sense.

  5. Your specific criticism regarding time control may not apply in this instance, but it is sound advice. Moreover, many wins have been logged that have fewer moves and longer time controls because some players fail to recognize the clock as part of the game.

    I have yet to play a blitz game in 2009. I'm starting to go through withdrawals ... the DTs are next. ;-)

  6. You shouldn't have made the trades on moves 13-15, leaving White with the bishop pair in the endgame. 13...Be7 is better.