Tag Archives: blitz

More blitz fun

I was asked recently when I would play a regular tournament again. I don’t really know – I’m sure that I will play a tournament at some point, but I just don’t know when. At this point, it’s been 19 months (and counting) since my last tournament. I try to take the USCL seriously, but for these purposes, I’ll discount it because it’s not FIDE (or even USCF) rated.

I haven’t really been playing on ICC either. I wasn’t an ICC addict beforehand, and I regularly go months without ever playing a game on there. However, in the past month, I’ve played more blitz games on ICC than in those previous 18 months combined!

(As a side note, this isn’t even my longest break from tournament play. During my senior year of high school, I didn’t play a FIDE rated event for 8 months after the World Youth U-18 Championship. Then after a brief flurry of 3 events packed into 1 month, I didn’t play a FIDE rated event during my first two years at UC Berkeley.

Amusingly, I made my first GM norm after that 8-month break during my final year of high school. I made my second GM norm after another 8-month break, following my graduation from college. The pattern broke for my 3rd GM norm, but I also didn’t give it a chance as I didn’t play for a year after my 2nd norm. Does this mean anything? Probably not.)

Anyways, I thought I’d share some recent blitz games that I found interesting.

(FEN: r1bqkb1r/pp1n1p1p/2p2np1/3pN3/3P4/2N1P3/PP1B1PPP/R2QKB1R b KQkq - 0 8)

This is from a game (I have the black pieces) against an FM in the 5-minute pool. White’s last two moves, 7.cxd5 and 8.Ne5, really surprised me. It took a little while for the old grey cells to start working, but I managed to come up with 8…Nxe5 9.dxe5 Ng4 10.f4 d4 11.exd4 Qxd4 12.Qf3.

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Almost a Brilliancy

I haven’t played regularly on ICC in years, but earlier today, I decided to play a couple blitz games. I joined the 5-minute pool and found myself with the white pieces against IM Garun Nureev. His 5-minute rating was about 100 points higher than mine at about 2540.

It began as a Classical King’s Indian, with Nureev choosing the old …Nbd7 line.

(FEN: r1b2rk1/pppnqpbp/3p1np1/4p3/2PPP3/2N1BN2/PP2BPPP/R2Q1RK1 w - - 0 9)

Black surprised me with 8…Qe7 and after a little bit of thought, I played 9.Re1. Not apparently the most popular move (that’d be 9.Qc2, while 9.Re1 seems to have only been played once in the last 15 years according to my database), but it seems kind of obvious to me.

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On a Less Serious Note

I don’t have any recent tournament games, so I decided I’d share a few blitz games I played last September in Montreal. After the Category 16 (2628 FIDE average for me) Montreal International, there was a blitz tournament involving most of the players and some other strong players who were in town. GMs Bacrot, Naiditsch, Onischuk, Moiseenko, and Tiviakov headlined the main event, and all but Bacrot participated in the blitz, which was a swiss with 6 double rounds. This was blitz at 5 minutes apiece, no increment.

In the first round, just as in the main event, I was paired with GM Alexander Onischuk (2699 FIDE at the time). I didn’t have much luck in the slow phase of the event, getting thoroughly outplayed as white in a Queen’s Indian. In the first blitz game, though, I had the black pieces.

(FEN: r3k2r/1p1n1ppp/1qp1p1b1/p2n4/PbBP2P1/1QN1PP2/1P1B2NP/R4R1K b kq - 1 15)

I played my usual Slav and we followed a somewhat theoretical path up until this point. His 15.Kh1 (to reach the above position) was new for me, though, but I think I might have come up with a good response.

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