Sunday, October 14, 2007

The middle skill

I have selected all the blitz games of Karpov from my database and I'm busy to analyze them. In a blitz game there is no time to think much. Yet the grandmaster outplays the amateur in blitz games. Since there is no time to think, that must be done by skill. I'm trying to find out what skills we are talking about. The restriction of blitz games rules out other qualities of the grandmaster that might influence the game.

My first impression is that there are 3 types of skill needed:
  • The first 10-15 moves are usually right from the book.
  • Simple positional moves follow.
  • Then tactical skirmishes are fought out
The moves in the end often contain blunders, like mutual not seeing a mate in one for 10 moves.

The middle skill, seeing simple positional moves à tempo has drawn little attention. Yet such moves form the meat of blitz games. Everyone who has ever played in a simul probably agrees, you are outplayed by simple logical moves, not by genial strategical concepts or tactical brilliancies. Just by sound moves and LPDO.

Our 2100 rated clubchampion and I don't differ all that much in tactical ability. But his ability in the complex middlegame to steer away from complications to a favourable endgame is unsurpassed.


  1. yea... i only just NOW finished my bullet games tonight: 49 games in 4.5 hours, and time to go to sleep at 8:40 am PST.

    crazy, but, the funny thing is, you do get a rythm. why quit if you are not AT ALL tired??

    but seriously, i was too tired all day to play, but after a second 25 minute nap after three GM reviewed games and 66 CTS tries and Mr. Euwe laying in bed to sleep--i felt great. two 25 minute naps for me are like an entire nights sleep for most mortals.

    after being up for 20.6 hours, i am NOT tired, thats how good two naps can be.


  2. I can't remember whether you were familiar with henrik danielsen's site, but he has 100+ live 3min blitz games online as videos, which he has commented while playing. to me it has brought valuable insight on how a GM thinks during a blitz game.

  3. lovely videos. lovely dear man. one more thing we can multitask on while eating! system overload!

    so many opportunities so much now on the web--a great many of which are 'free' (no charge or cost) or easy to access, or BOTH free and convenient. the downside is, is that sure as day, some of this free stuff CAN be just 'bad' or of dubious value... yes, in we call that 'freedom!' fail or succeed.

    but, in the end, we come to our spot and do our work, day after day, sometimes with no software of web application, but just a board, and as they say:

    'you cannot kiss all the girls'

    that is to say: you cannot see all the games, you cannot know all the variations, you cannot know all the tactics, you cannot know all the plans, you cannot know all the endgames, you just cannot live forever, and prepare forever, but sometimes you just have to do [wormwood/BDK/tempo, i am not suggesting you dont, you all do plenty, but still the notion remains indisputable beyond any doubt in all of us...]