Blitz is played everywhere. Whether it be just for fun between friends in the skittles room or in tournaments, blitz is arguably one of the most common forms of chess played. However, blitz chess sometimes has the reputation of “ruining” your chess or being bad for general improvement. While blitz chess can arguably have some negative implications, I believe, with moderation, there are benefits and things you can learn from playing chess.
Firstly, Blitz can be a wonderful way of improving your intuition. In contrast with classical chess, blitz is very fast paced. With not a lot of time to think per move, you often have to trust your gut and just move it. This causes blitz to be a big test on how well your intuition and your understanding is of the type of position you’re in when you’re making these high-speed decisions. Playing blitz can be good practice and a good check for how well you understand unique positions that often result from chess, and studying these positions post-game can be a great way to learning and discovering how to play in different types of positions.
Secondly, blitz can be used to improve your overall chess ability is by testing how well you know an opening. Learning move orders and opening nuances is an integral part of understanding and learning how to play an opening. Luckily, blitz chess is perfect practice for learning these things. In blitz, move order slip-ups, while common, can prove disastrous during games. As a result, it’s very important that you know your stuff when going into a game. As such, playing blitz can show you how well you really understand and know opening theory. Blitz can also serve as a testing ground for any opening ideas you might have and their practical usages.
Another use of blitz can be used to positively benefit you is by making your tactical awareness stronger. Blitz chess is far from perfect. Often, especially in time scrambles, blunders are followed by blunders and blunders and blunders. Because of this, blitz can be a great way of testing how well you are at catching these blunders in a fast time frame and taking advantage of them and punishing your opponent. Blitz chess is essentially a practical tactics trainer.
Finally, blitz chess is a great way of checking how well your time management is and how well you operate when you’re low in time in time scrambles. As previously stated in the beginning of the article, blitz is generally fast-paced and it’s very common to end games with seconds on the clock. This characteristic of blitz means that not only is blitz great practice for how you act when you’re behind on the clock, blitz can also help your ability to think when you’re low in time in classical chess. Blitz can also teach you how to be pragmatic with how you use your time per move in classical chess and when to spend low amounts of time and when to really invest in your clock when making key decisions.
Clearly, blitz chess is not deserving of the bad reputation it often gets. Hopefully, this article has helped you see how blitz is not so bad, and how it can actually help you as a chess player get better and faster.