Blitz style of play

Hi, I would like to play some blitz game but I’m scared to death! :smiley:

I usually play correspondence, so I have all the time in the world to make a move. Will I be destroyed with blitz timesetting?

What kind of playstyle should I expect? A safer one, just because it’s difficult to read in few seconds? Or a very fighting one?


I, too, play correspondence games. I’m now trying to spread my wings and play live OGS games with a minute or less per move.

I’m getting my undershorts fed to me…and without catsup. :poop:



I think i got the overall meaning, but I can’t understand the joke, sorry. :slight_smile:

Good luck for your live games!

BTW, I like your profile picture! Looks like Adam Hughes

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i also played correspondence games almost exclusively until recently. now i am playing live more, but im not blitzing yet xD. my experience with the transition (that is still going on) is that youll probably underperform compared to the rank you achieved by playing correspondence games.

in other words, youll be …


for me, the difference was about 2-3 stones.

one thing to get over when playing fast games is the comparatively high standards we correspondence players hold our moves up against. since there is time, we simply dont wanna make mistakes (not to speak of self atari…). in fast games things are different. there will be mistakes, bad mistakes! but youll get used to it and once you aquire some form of routine, the mistakes get less and less bad xD, and youll stop feeling as stressed out about time, as your reading gets faster and more efficient.

as for the playing style, i seem to notice, that in fast games fights tend to escalate and spread. i assume thats because the time doesnt permit reading that would be exact enough to be certain a tenuki is ok.


Veteran blitzer speaking. The only correspondence games I’ve played in my Go career were tournament games, which probably number in the tens. The rest, I’ve mostly blitzed.

I did start off with 20m absolute on yahoo, then moved to 10-15min + 30s byo on KGS, then after about a year, 1m / 10 byo. I figured if my moves were bad anyway, I might as well make more of them in a shorter period of time. That and my idol back then, rapyuta, exclusively played blitz - sometimes up to 40 games per day. [his alter ego accounts were, probably among others, habanero and daien]

Let’s get one thing right. You will have to practice reading much faster than you’re used to. Thankfully OGS doesn’t lag as much now as KGS used to, because at times you had fewer than 10 seconds to move or you’d time out. You will mainly be involved in running fights, considering people play unreasonably aggressive. You will need a very solid understanding of shape in these situations. Maybe look at rapyuta’s records to get an idea. He is the most prolific blitzer i know.

You will also have to judge board positions more quickly, so you will have to finetune your intuition about when tenuki is okay. If you want to excel at blitz, there’s nothing like doing boatloads of tsumego in very quick succession, every day.

If you’re up for a whoopin’, send a challenge :wink:

Good luck!


I made the switch from correspondence to live games a little over a year ago, and I’ve lost an appalling number of games in that time. If your experience becomes similar to mine you’ll likely find that a lack of mental stamina holds you back more than anything. It’s very easy to become mesmerized by what you see on the screen. Suddenly, without realizing what’s happening, you abandon thinking altogether and follow your opponent around the board in a kind of zombie state. It can really creep up on you.

Recently I developed the habit of closing my eyes at regular intervals, taking a deep breath, then opening my eyes again on the understanding that I will first check the status of my groups, then try to figure out where my opponent’s biggest point is. I set up an actual schedule for concentrating, absurd as that may seem. It seems to be helping, but I have a long way to go.

That sort of approach may have limited use for you, depending on the severity of the time setting. The point is that mental stamina certainly takes time to build, and it probably could benefit from something more systematic than vague promises to do better next time. It’s a largely overlooked aspect of go training, in my opinion.


I can only speak from my experience with online chess, but yeah you’ll probably get your @ss handed to you A LOT before you start winning any games in blitz if all you’ve played is correspondence.

Fighting, probably. Aggressive tactics work well with rapid time controls, because there just isn’t as much time to calculate and accurately refute bold but unsound moves.

Don’t let fear of losing/failure deter you though. While correspondence games are great for improving your overall understanding of the game, blitz games will give you good practice applying your collected knowledge instinctively. You can really gain a lot of experience quickly with short time controls. Just don’t overdo it. Best to have balance, IMO.


Thank you all.

I feel very uncomfortable about blitz timesetting, but I want to play live games and I have big problems to arrange 45’ or one hour of “leave me alone y’all!” :slight_smile:
So just hope to have short games with shorter timesetting… I just have to try!


Yeah man just dive in with thick skin and you’ll be fine.
Playing online chess all my live games are with 10-minute time controls or less. Otherwise it’s either online correspondence or a leisurely game with friends over the physical board. I have yet to feel like I’m missing out by skipping longer live games.


Yesterday I played with byoyomi 10min + 5x30sec.
It was fast but not frenetic. 25 min overall: not bad.

I lost. :slight_smile:
I lost against 15k, now I’m 11. I guess this new timesetting will lower my rank for a while. :smiley:


Lysnew, I have taken to offering unranked games as a challenge created by me and I
generally get accepting opponents. There seem to be those willing or wanting unranked play, particularly with short clocks.


Yes, this is an option.

But, since I felt in the last months to be quite overranked (I won many tournament games by timeout), a drop in rank isn’t an issue. :wink:

My first try, yesterday evening, was against a 20k who was offering an unranked game. Very comfortable for me: weaker player + unranked game. Unfortunately he resigned after only 13 moves! :astonished:
Then I made up my own challenge and had my game.

You might want to start a separate account for your blitzing… a perfectly legit thing to do.


It’s legit indeed. But I need to balance the amount of correspondence games, so one account will be fine.

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I’m trying to make an “experiment” of playing correspondence games only for now just because like you said you have all the time you need to review and think about a situation, even more so with the analysis tool. It’s a change of mindset when compared to live or blitz games, and I think it’s helping me to be able to see the biggest points of the board more quickly. I’m sure when I get back to live games I’ll find myself in a bit of a drawback, but I’m thinking this will be at first and then I’ll quickly improve once I get used back to it.

So don’t be afraid of mixing every type of game, even if it costs you a bunch of loses in a row, you’ll get past it!


You will be destroyed. Again. And again. Then. You will start to win some. And more. And more. Nobody knows how far you’ll get, unless you actually do it. Play as many games as you can. Really. Just do it. Repeatedly experiment with the same strategies and tactics. 10 minutes sudden death is a great setting, allowing just enough leeway to think about some moves. Your reading will improve by leaps and bounds, as will your intuition and decisiveness. You’ll get a better feel for the game. Choose opponents close to your level, if possible a little above it. Have fun.


Do you mean: 10 minutes overall, no byoyomi? :scream:

Yes. 10 minutes sudden death == 10 minutes overall, no byoyomi.
Playing many games with an investigative attitude is paramount. Focus on learning, not winning. Learn how to confidently make mistakes and learn from them. Experiment with the same openings, josekis and fighting shapes repeatedly to see what happens. Try to improve something each game. Analyse your games, preferably together with your opponent or with help of a strong player. Analysis of online games is a piece of cake, the server takes care of remembering your games. In the old days, we had to do this by ourselves :slight_smile: For the record I have to state that I’m a former European blitz champion. However, anyone can learn a lot by playing many fast games with the right attitude - did I mention you have to analyse your games? (You don’t have to spend hours analyzing a blitz game, just going over some salient points will go a long way.)


Just beware that absolute time settings can be trolled really hard.