Please help my blitz instincts [4 kyu]

So I’ve played 18 games in the Western Dan Challenge with fast time settings, and I’m losing a lot. I think I probably have systemic weaknesses with my instincts. Many of my recent losses have been about losing a large group that I recklessly allowed to become weak. Middle game fighting is my favorite part of the game, and I think I’ve allowed my opening principles to become sloppy.

Here’s an example game in which I felt myself at a creeping disadvantage. I know the lower side was badly split, and I didn’t have any good plan for attempting to salvage the overall board. I had a chance at a desperate fight with cut at move 132, but I missed it.

A glance at some of my other recent losses should show some similar weaknesses in my play, but I’m not sure what they are. Please help.


As the bot pointed out, you missed the key exchange (17) H5–G5. Two-move strengthening kikashi like this are quite important in blitz.

You can remember to do this by recalling the proverb “Don’t permit the bulge.”, the bulge being the overhead tiger’s mouth made by Black H5.

On (22), you commited to potentially heavy stones on the bottom side. Instinctive over-attachment to heavy stones is arguably the most common strategic mistake in fast-play Go.

From (52) to (56), you chased Black from your relative strong stones into your weaker stones, when your strategy should have been the opposite, ie. (52) H10 etc.

By (64) it looks like you lost the plot of what was going on, since the corner is urgent. A continuation like (64) F17 E16 F15 would have been ordinary. Maintaining concentration against either annoying or boring opponents is, regrettable, a big part of the blitz metagame, especially after the hundredth move.


I’d like to try adopt a new saying for this challenge

Don’t beat yourself up over blitz

It might keep me sane :slight_smile: (I’ve lost big groups in live time settings too, maybe I can apply that saying to live too)


Interesting game and interesting analysis. Hopefully I can apply some of those lessons in my own blitz games. Thanks to @Aumpa for sharing and thanks to @bugcat for the analysis.


I feel the same, sometimes I’m having a really bad losing streak against people ranked much lower than me. I think you should take a small breather every 5 games or so, to just look at other people’s games once in a while. (Maybe while you’re in a longer game :slight_smile: )
Blitz is mostly just intuition and luck and its hard to change that in the course of a few days or even a week. Its a style you’ve built up with every game that you played and reviewed.
Just imagine that when you play “actually serious games reading out 50+ variations” you’ll be back at the rank you should be. :smiley:


I have to take a breather every single game…


I’m not sure this is relevant to you, but I improved a bit at blitz so far by focusing on time management. I have to force myself to not hyper-blitz and instant place stones. I’ve been doing better since I started playing at 2 seconds left every turn no matter what. (Would be 1 second, but sometimes 1 second lag makes me lose a period)


If anything, I have the opposite problem, wasting time thinking about nothing in the endgame and timing out (even though I’m up by 30–50 points after all my opponent’s instant-move blitz blunders).


I’ve been creating custom games with Fischer timing of 1m 30s to start, +10s per move, 2m max. This is a lot more forgiving that 5x10s byo-yomi, which really makes me rush. I can more often take 20-30 seconds on select moves by banking up some time, and even still I think I waste a lot by moving faster than 10s while near the 2m cap.