A few years ago I got a great deal for a set of wireless mouse and keyboard (less than $40 CAD in total). And it’s been serving me great because cables annoy me (there is already too many of them around my desk). The only times the wireless mouse bothered me was when replacing batteries, and when playing blitz games: the control over the cursor is just not as tight as with a regular mouse. Recently I played a few games with a different mouse and noticed that my blitz EXPERIENCE is dramatically better. I feel a lot more confident and in the last game – I managed to outplay an opponent from a completely hopeless position and win on time. That got me thinking. With a bad mouse, I surely play moves a bit slower, but I rarely drop a queen. A better mouse may gain me 10-20 seconds per game, but is that really what makes such a difference? Sometimes it does, but I realized that the level of concentration I am able to achieve – is what really loses or wins 3 minute online games. I have not read Hikaru Nakamura and Bruce Harper’s recent book Bullet Chess: One Minute To Mate, but I am sure it talks about this. This also is true for regular games. Garry Kasparov in his foreword to Secrets of Chess Training by Dvoretsky, mentioned that ability to concentrate is one of the most important factors for success in chess.
When I win blitz games online
- The pieces and the board are convenient to see, the user interface is quick and responsive (I don’t need to think about it)
- The mouse is not there, the moves come from my brain, not from my fingers
- There is nobody talking to me while I am playing. TV is turned off
When I lose blitz games online
- I am tired before the game even begins
- I need to keep resizing the board to get it to be convenient
- I keep banging the mouse against whatever surface it’s on, because the surface is crap, and every move costs me mental energy that’s being wasted on getting the mouse to do what I want (move that darn pawn one square forward, not two, will you?)
- Someone starts talking to me to right when me and my opponent are down to the last 30 seconds
Cordless Mouse? Thanks, but no thanks!