An unexamined life is not worth living.

Friday, July 30, 2010

How to learn the most from your online blitz games

  1. play with slower time controls. You won’t learn much from 1 minute games, and on ICC it does not take too long to find an opponent for a decent 15 minute game
  2. focus, focus, focus, don’t get distracted on other windows open on your computer while opponent is thinking (or even worse – during your move!). I already wrote a whole other post about that.
  3. don’t play online chess when you are tired. That kind of makes sense, since it’s hard to focus when you’re tired.
  4. make sure all your games are automatically stored into a pgn file
  5. review each game soon after it’s played
  6. don’t feed it immediately to an engine, analyse by yourself for a bit
  7. check the opening against a Reference DB to see where you and your opponent deviated from previously played games
  8. if your opponent played something you completely did not expect - update your opening repertoire afterwards
  9. don’t play too many games in a row
  10. don’t take online chess too seriously, remember that over the board tournaments is a completely different game from online blitz

To the last point, when I played in my first British Columbia Junior championship a few years ago, the highest rated player had been a bit rusty. He had not played tournament chess for about a year, and he did not do so well (finishing outside of the top 3 from what I could recall) in our little competition. After the tournament he told me with a smile that he had played a lot of 1 minute games right before the tournament. He was doing really well in those, and assumed he was in excellent shape for the event. Switching time controls is never easy, I am sure we have all discovered that!

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