Some advice for playing blitz online!

As the Swiss Masters Chess Academy is launching a series of online tournaments, it seems to be a fitting moment to give you some good advice about playing blitz online! But before writing about it, I would like to refer to a Masterclass that we recorded in French (with English and German subtitles!) on this very subject for the Swiss Chess Federation last year. You can rewatch it here.

Since 2 hours is a lot of time, you can find specific topics by using the timestamps in the timeline that we have left.

In this article, I would like to write about a few other things.

The first important point when you play online is to determine the reasons why you are doing it. Whether it is part of your training or you just want to have fun, make sure you know why you sit in front of your computer and open that playing zone! Indeed, there is nothing less productive than moving your mouse for hours on end without purpose.

This brings me to a second crucial point. Always set a time limit! Take an alarm clock if need be, but make sure to be strict with yourself and stop when you have decided to. Let’s say you play for training purposes. You want to be as focused as possible, and concentrate as if you were playing a real game. This requires energy, but you probably do not want to use all your daily battery on this. In my experience, a good training session lasts about an hour. More than this, and you already become a “serial-blunderer” and generally start being less productive. No matter if you could not play the opening you were hoping for on that day, never mind if you lost the last 2 games. Stop! Playing online can be very addictive. Setting a time limit to your session will nip a potential addiction in the bud. The same applies if you simply want to have fun playing online. If you overstep the limit, the fun will soon turn into suffering, and negative emotions will get the better of you.

After that, I advise you to take a look at your games, so that you can try and understand what you did wrong. But this is already another topic!

Oh, and whatever you do, refrain from playing bullet! This will harm your chess, and possibly your sanity as well! 🙂 I know that Carlsen, Firouzja, and many other champions play bullet from time to time, but it does not mean that you should do, too. Even great players do not do everything right!

Frankly speaking, in my opinion, playing online blitz is by far not the best you can do with your time if you wish to work on chess seriously. But I admit that you can use this tool to try out some openings or simply get some playing practice. In any case, do it wisely and sparingly.

The SMCA online tournaments will be played on lichess.org , so make sure to be acquainted with the functionalities of this platform beforehand. There is nothing more frustrating than searching for the ‘premove’ function after the first round has started!

So good luck, have fun, and see you on Friday night!

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