Blitz Tricks

It’s that time of year again – Blitz! I’ve (Tony Scannell) been playing a fair amount of it lately, on I am sure it has destroyed my long-time-control chess, but it certainly is fun.

I thought I’d show some neat tricks from a couple of my recent games. These were all 5-minute games played against opponents around 1600-1700 range. Killian, of course, beats GMs at 3-minute chess. I’m staggered at watching players bash out moves during those games and I find the pace just too much. Five minutes allows – I feel – a little amount of calculation at least.

Black to play and win.

I am playing black. White has just played the blunder 22. Bf4. I played the instinctive 22 … Rxf4! without a second’s thought. And after 23. gxf4 Ne3+  24. Kh3 Qg4#

The next game shows the value of quick development (I’m playing black again).

In the position above, white is terribly under-developed. But there don’t seem to be any clear ways through his defences and material is level.
After 17… Ne2+ 18. Kh1 Rd3 19. Re1 it still looks superficially level.

This is a move I spent over a minute calculating, which is quite an investment in blitz.

19… Rxf3!! I guess it is easy once you see it. 20. d3 (Of course, 20. gxf3 Bxg3#) Rf2 21. Be3 Rxg2? (Bxg2 is mate straight away!) 22. d4 Rg1#

In the next game, I am playing white and looking completely busted. After all, black is about to win at least an exchange and he looks comfortable enough. His king seems surrounded by pieces and pawns. But it is an illusion.

Here, I played 20. Qf2 which must have looked like capitulation to my opponent. I’m not even trying to win back the knight.
But after 20… Nxa1 21. Bxb7+ Kxb7 22. Qf3+ Suddenly white is closing in on the black king! 22… c6 (d5 is slightly better but is still losing).

23. bxc6+ Kc7 24. Na6+ Kc8 25. cxd7+ Rxd7 26. Qc6+ Rc7 27. Qxc7#
Even in that relatively short sequence, I missed many quicker alternatives. What about the amazing 23. Qxc6+!! which mates in 2. Or the relatively easy to find (but missed) 26. Qa8#? Even a winning combination can be far from optimal.

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8 Responses to Blitz Tricks

  1. shahram says:

    below are some REAL tricks

    The “Oh my goodness” strategy
    The classic “Oh my goodness” ploy has been around forever. You can of course substitute your own expletive but be careful around children. The idea is that you play a move which appears terrible, e.g. leaving your queen where it can be captured. Then you utter something along the lines of “Oh drat”. The idea is that your opponent will think that you have made a mistake and quickly take the piece. He will realise too late that taking the queen was a terrible mistake and that you now have a forced win. The “Oh my God Attack”, (that’s its real name, sorry), runs as follows. 1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3 Nc6, 3. Bc4 Nd4. Then you say “Oh my goodness” or something similar. Your opponent plays 4. Nxe5 and then you calmly play 4. … Qg5, and await his resignation. (On account of 5. Nxf7 Qxg2, 6. Rf1 Qxe4, 7. Be2 Nf3#).
    The bluff
    If you play a really bad move it is usually a good idea to disguise it and not react when you see what is wrong with it. However, some people prefer to smile to themselves and even mutter “Aha, I’ve got you now”. The idea is that the opponent will think that there is some reason why he should not exploit the mistake in the way he intended to and will play some other move. In a desperate position you might even play an inferior continuation and accompany it with “well, that was a narrow escape”.
    The “it’s so easy I don’t even have to think about it” strategy
    This is when you are in the middle of an attack against your opponent or he has sacrificed material in return for an attack against you. The strategy involves memorising the position and then standing up and walking away from the board to go and look out of the window. The idea is to make your opponent think that you are so sure of what will happen next that you no longer need to analyse. This is bound to worry him. The trick is to continue to think about the position while you are away from the board so that you don’t lose any time. Be sure to look round every so often with a smug look on your face both to check that your opponent hasn’t moved yet and to encourage the grain of doubt you have planted in his mind to flourish and grow.
    The other “it’s so easy I don’t even have to think about it” strategy
    This is extremely risky but is sometimes worth a go against stronger opponents if you know that they have a tendency to get themselves into time trouble. Just play your moves very quickly. Choose moderately tactical continuations that you feel comfortable with. Try to steer the game into positions which are sufficiently complex to give your opponent something to think about, but not too complicated that you are likely to make serious mistakes playing quickly. Naturally, you still need to invest time ‘blunder-checking’ your moves before you play them.
    The distraction
    This is highly immoral/unethical but is often effective. Bring something to the board with you that will distract your opponent. A flask of some hot drink or a packet of crisps are the usual choices but sometimes people bring mascots or CD players. Silly hats are my favourite. If you are female then you don’t need to bring anything, just select appropriate attire.
    The intimidation strategy
    The most effective form of intimidation involves talking loudly with a friend (before your games starts) about some Grandmaster game you saw the other week. Tell you friend, (loudly enough that your opponent can hear), that you have spent weeks studying it and that you and your personal trainer have come up with a novelty which you think wins by force. Make sure that you don’t mention the opening or the name of either of the Grandmasters who played the game. Tell your friend that you tried the move on Fritz and won quickly. You might want to expand on this idea by having your friend say something like “well, the last time you sprung a novelty like that you crushed your opponent in less than half an hour”.
    The offbeat opening strategy
    As the name suggests, the idea here is to play a dodgy opening with the sole intention of gaining a psychological advantage over your opponent. The best offbeat openings for White are the Nimzo-Larsen attack which begins 1. b3, and the St George opening, which begins 1. b4. The latter is particularly popular with certain groups of juniors. A sample line runs 1. b4 e5, 2. a3 d5, 3. Bb2 Bd6, (of course not 3. … Nc6? 4. b5 winning Black’s e-pawn) 4. e3 Nf6, 5. c4 when the position is probably equal. However, White may have obtained a psychological edge in that his opponent may have the feeling that what White has done cannot be correct and that there must be some way of refuting the opening outright. There is not and so the player with the black pieces may become frustrated and overpress and will probably be behind on the clock. Equally, Black can select an offbeat opening strategy. The reversed St George (Polish Defence) – 1. d4 b5, or 1. e4 a6, 2. d4 b5 – is rather more risky a tempo down and 1. … b6 has a somewhat dubious reputation (except as a reply to 1. c4) so Black’s best ‘offbeat’ openings might be the Scandinavian (a.k.a. the Centre-Counter) – 1. e4 d5, 2. ed Qxd5, 3. Nc3 Qa5, – and the Budapest Gambit – 1. d4 Nf6, 2. c4 e5, 3. de Ng4, both of which are playable and may tempt white to overpress and again, use up too much time on the clock.
    Please don’t try any of these psychological tricks in important games or against friends because such unsportsmanly behaviour just isn’t cricket old boy.

  2. shahram says:

    I just pasted the above from a website ,

  3. leon fagan says:

    shahram are you sure you didn’t paste this from killians playing manuel lol.

  4. GM John Burns says:

    I have to admit the crisps thing works on me every time. I have occasionally been tempted to take said package of crisps and shove it down opponent’s gob, followed by the spare queens they sometimes leave handy for this purpose (i think)

  5. shahram says:

    According to Mayan prophecy The world will end @ 11:12 am GMT today , if it is true then it was nice knowing you all and if it is NOT true then happy xmas ,

  6. shahram says:

    How come Rathmines heidenfeld team has NO captain ?!! . Suppose to be playing in curragh this saturday and have had no contact yet about travel arrangements or anything . Any one knows the captain of curragh team or his phone number ? may be they like to come to Dublin to do their january sales shopping and play chess as well instead of us to going to the middle of nowhere ? . Hopes of getting a proper reply here is like writing a message and putting into a bottle and throwing it into the atlantic

  7. rathmineschessclub says:

    I got this message from the Curragh chess club (see main posting too)
    Could you make sure your Heidenfeld Team captain knows that the match v Curragh on Saturday 12th January is in Kildare town.

    Mark McLoughlin
    My contact number if anyone gets lost is 086-8723297

    Curragh Chess Club have moved…
    01-Jan-2013 The Curragh Chess Club have moved to new premises. From 1st January the club will be located at Teach Dara, Academy Street, Kildare Town (Exit 13 from M7). All club matches will be held here including Thursday night and Saturday Leinster League matches. The premises is fully wheelchair accessible with tea / coffee available. Access is from Exit 13 off the M7 same as Kildare Village Retail Outlet. Turn right at Tescos towards Town Centre (Monasterevin Road) and take next right approximately 200 metres from Tescos onto Academy St / Grey Abbey Rd. Teach Dara is 200 metres down this road on the left in the former De La Salle Brothers house.

  8. shahram says:


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