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firegoat7
12-01-2005, 01:28 PM
Hello everyone,

Well the New year is upon us, so i thought I would start discussion on a wish list. First cab of the rank, is a suggestion to the ACF to raise the priority of blitz.
I would like to see the ACF and the governing state bodies endeavour to form an Australian blitz league. I think the Pros considerably outweigh the Cons.

PROs- 1.Extra revenue for the ACF through blitz ratings
2. More media interest in Chess as a product since blitz is more exciting then tournament chess as a spectator sport.
3. Increased chess activity
4. Ability for the ACF to cross promote on the World stage through established Internet facilities.
5. Recognition that Blitz, in all possibility, may possibly be the most popular form of chess for most chessplayers.

CONS- 1. Someone would have to organise it
2. The purist's might complain
:hmm:

Cheers FG7

P.S This thread was inspired by blitz discussion at the chessbase site.

Ian Rout
12-01-2005, 03:01 PM
I don't know what the purist's (sic) would say but I can make a few of my own comments.

Some people would describe blitz (or lightning or whatever) as a chess variant - the rules are almost identical to "classical" chess but the practical effect of the small difference is sufficiently marked to identify it as a separate form. Personally I think of lightning as more similar to netball than to chess, in that netball and lightning are both inferior forms of basketball (and I don't like basketball, though of course many people do).

When you consider that a cricket fieldsman at short square leg has less than half a second to react to and catch the ball, or that the world pole vault record is over six metres - and I don't need to tell the Victorians about the excitement of AFL - then chess played as a predominantly physical activity doesn't have a lot going for it.

We have for many years been hearing from advocates of lightning/speed chess that it is the way of the future for popularising chess. As far as curiosity value goes it may well be exciting a couple of times to non-players, but after that it just becomes tedious to see players making moves for no apparent reason and smashing the clock. After that something like boxing becomes more attractive, removing the pieces and clock and having the players thump each other directly. In fact if you log on to a bulletin board and read Americans dribbling on about their blitz games you will see that taking blitz seriously is as harmful to your brain as a few second places in the ring.

That is not to say that speed chess isn't fun, no doubt it is enjoyable to many players. But trying to turn it into something more won't enhance chess, it will just spoil the fun, not to mention distracting ACF from more urgent matters.

Libby
12-01-2005, 03:28 PM
Personally I think of lightning as more similar to netball than to chess, in that netball and lightning are both inferior forms of basketball (and I don't like basketball, though of course many people do).


Humphh! :P There are netballers out there who might disagree ... Different game altogether and many basketballers flounder dismally on the netball court. We had an ex-Canberra Capital fill in for our team and her positional game was horrid. Even had an ex (bench) Canberra Cannon play mixed with us and he just couldn't get it. Rather sad really. We just ended up standing him under the ring, telling him to stand still, and tossed lobs to him. Whole new set of skills required. Apart from a round ball and a goal ring, they have nothing much in common.

From a purist's perspective ...

Rincewind
12-01-2005, 03:54 PM
I don't want to sound too much like the purist IR but I agree with most of his comments except possibly the distraction thing. If this Blitz League thing was organised by volunteers who are committed the the Blitz cause then it could weel be done by volunteers who aren't willing to do anything for classical chess.

Anyway, just a couple of speciic comments on your pros...


PROs- 1.Extra revenue for the ACF through blitz ratings

The rapid rating list is not a run away success in adult competition and I think a blitz list would probably be even less so for the same reasons.


2. More media interest in Chess as a product since blitz is more exciting then tournament chess as a spectator sport.

Not sure about it as a spectator sport. The public don't understand the game. Doing it faster will just be more confusing.


3. Increased chess activity

If you consider Blitz chess. I think this is probably more of a con as it might distract players of all level and ages to concentrate and play less chess (and more blitz). This could lead to smaller turn outs in classical weekenders and a lower quality of junior being produced. I think the distraction to players to be a bigger potential problem then the distraction of administrators.


4. Ability for the ACF to cross promote on the World stage through established Internet facilities.

Many internet facilities also alow for longer time controls as well. EG the 45 45 league organised across ICS, FICS et al, by the STC Bunch. So that opportunity already exists.


5. Recognition that Blitz, in all possibility, may possibly be the most popular form of chess for most chessplayers.

It may well be very popular. Whether it is a form of chess is debatable. ;)


I'm interested in what you mean by Blitz League. Do you mean some club based interstate competition (presumable played over the ether) or do you mean an organisation (like a sub-committee to the ACF) to handle all things Blitz-related?

Ian Rout
12-01-2005, 04:12 PM
I don't want to sound too much like the purist IR
I don't really think I'm a purist (or did you mean the other IR?) - in spite of my comments above I don't see why blitz afficionadas shouldn't have their own organisation and events (if the NBL won't run them), just I don't think it appropriate to try to mix it up with or detract from "real" chess.

[Yes, I know some people think that blitz is real, and as I think I once remarked to Denis Jessop (or it may have been about transfer) the same people tend to also think that wrestling is real.]

Rincewind
12-01-2005, 04:29 PM
I don't really think I'm a purist (or did you mean the other IR?) - in spite of my comments above I don't see why blitz afficionadas shouldn't have their own organisation and events (if the NBL won't run them), just I don't think it appropriate to try to mix it up with or detract from "real" chess.

No I meant you as a few of your comments would be interpreted by a pro-blitzer as definitely of the purist bent, it was far from fanatically so. Although I see the netball analogy copped some flak. :)

I agree that there is no "reason" why there shouldn't be a Blitz organisation that was self-sustaining. The question is whether the ACF should sponsor/support, oppose or remain neutral to it, which would be largely driven by whether it is to the longer-term benefit of chess in Australia.

First I think fg7 needs to clarify what he is proposing. Perhaps some national interclub blitz comp run via chess servers over the 'net could work. I doubt a rating list would unless it was an automated chess/server thing. Also the cost model would need serious thought as I strongly doubt there is much money to be made in blitz. Because while popular I don;t know how many people take it that seriously.

JGB
12-01-2005, 06:45 PM
I don't know what the purist's (sic) would say but I can make a few of my own comments.

Some people would describe blitz (or lightning or whatever) as a chess variant - the rules are almost identical to "classical" chess but the practical effect of the small difference is sufficiently marked to identify it as a separate form. Personally I think of lightning as more similar to netball than to chess, in that netball and lightning are both inferior forms of basketball (and I don't like basketball, though of course many people do).

When you consider that a cricket fieldsman at short square leg has less than half a second to react to and catch the ball, or that the world pole vault record is over six metres - and I don't need to tell the Victorians about the excitement of AFL - then chess played as a predominantly physical activity doesn't have a lot going for it.

We have for many years been hearing from advocates of lightning/speed chess that it is the way of the future for popularising chess. As far as curiosity value goes it may well be exciting a couple of times to non-players, but after that it just becomes tedious to see players making moves for no apparent reason and smashing the clock. After that something like boxing becomes more attractive, removing the pieces and clock and having the players thump each other directly. In fact if you log on to a bulletin board and read Americans dribbling on about their blitz games you will see that taking blitz seriously is as harmful to your brain as a few second places in the ring.

That is not to say that speed chess isn't fun, no doubt it is enjoyable to many players. But trying to turn it into something more won't enhance chess, it will just spoil the fun, not to mention distracting ACF from more urgent matters.

:clap: Well said Ian
I love playing Blitz myself, and its a really exciting 'chess variant' which helps train chess players, but why force it any further?

ursogr8
12-01-2005, 06:46 PM
As the sun sets on day 1 on this thread let us say congratulations to fg7 for posting the thread and first post, well done to all the interesting posters. No abuse. And sledging of the highest subtlety.
In my view, the best first day for a thread ever.
starter

firegoat7
13-01-2005, 07:42 AM
Hello Everyone,

Well to keep the clock ticking I thought I would post a link to the article that inspired this thread. It is an interesting article that provokes thought on the subject. http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2095

Cheers FG7

firegoat7
13-01-2005, 09:29 AM
Hello,

One complaint that is constantly weilded against blitz is quality ,but me thinks this is a myth pepetuated by poor blitz players. Although in fairness there is some quantitative basis for these disputed claims.

As an interesting discussion point consider this qualitative masterpiece from the 1 0 (yes that is true folks!) ICC library. When was the last time you saw chess like this at Linares or Hastings?



Hawkeye - The-Joker [B00]
03.07.2001

1.e4 Nc6 2.Nc3 e5 3.g3 Bc5 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.Nge2 d6 6.h3 Bb6 7.0-0 0-0 8.Kh2 Re8 9.f4 exf4 10.gxf4 Ng4+ 11.Kg3 Nf2 12.Rxf2 Qh4+ 13.Kxh4 Bxf2+ 14.Ng3 Re6 15.Kg4 Nd4 16.f5 Rg6+ 17.Kf4 Rxg3 18.Qf1 g5+ 19.fxg6 Ne6+ 20.Kf5 Ng7+ 21.Kf6 Rxg6+ 22.Ke7 Re6+ 23.Kd8 Bb6 24.Nd5 Re8# 0-1



Cheers FG7

P.S Am having a few technical difficulties here with the pgn, can anyone help out?

Rincewind
13-01-2005, 10:17 AM
Not sure that game is a really a good example of the Blitz players 'art'. It has some interesting aesthetics but White's play was of quite a low standard, particularly moves 9 and 10 and in the general failure to develop the Q bishop.

The Q sac is visually impressive and requires White to play accurately but ultimately unsound (I think) White can probably survive by returning some material. Perhaps 15.Qh5 is the best bet in this strategy. However quite bad play got White in to his difficult position and Black could well have relied on White not finding this defence in the time available.

Ian Rout
13-01-2005, 02:15 PM
I don't think the issue of "quality" per se is the reason I find lightning/blitz unsatisfying as a form of chess. Many longer games (certainly of mine at least) are of pretty poor quality. Perfect chess can be boring too, blunders and missed opportunities add excitement. What I think is more the issue is the quality of the lack of quality.

First, blitz is first and foremost an attempt to play chess as a physical sport - if two players find equally good moves equally quickly the one who can implemement their moves quickest, or is sufficiently dedicated to think blitz matters and plays flat out, has a decisive advantage. Instead of being one of the best mental games chess becomes one of the weakest physical games.

Second, the game is not necessarily decided by playing chess. If your position is not so bad as to be lost against reflex moves you can just play for time with every hope of winning. If you're ahead, run down the shot clock. The world's top blitz player, in the view of many, died recently, before which he gave the advice that you should where possible play rapid random moves on the side of the board next to the clock to gain time - I think that speaks more eloquently than anything I can say.

Third - well yes, quality. The many blunders are not interesting or amusing, they are just incidents like pieces left en prise. It's a common tactic in support of blitz to find decent games like the above, sieving out the millions of games decided by flag fall and basic blunders. The reality is that the player making the good moves didn't really work them out with any certainty, but on the basis of seeing a few lines took the odds to it working or the opponent not having the time to refute it if it's unsound. And if it doesn't work, well just set the pieces/screen back up and play another few hundred until something dood appears.

The other reason I don't take blitz seriously is that success is about being prepared to live on the edge of the rules or just over it - knocking pieces over, playing illegal moves, distracting the opponent, arguing about where pieces are, etc etc. This is part of the fun of social lightning but not appropriate to serious competition.

However if the only impediments to more formalised lightning competitions are the need for organisers (not a problem if lightning is so popular) and objections from "purists" (so what, they can't stop it) then I suppose we'll get to see how it works.

Rincewind
13-01-2005, 04:50 PM
The other reason I don't take blitz seriously is that success is about being prepared to live on the edge of the rules or just over it - knocking pieces over, playing illegal moves, distracting the opponent, arguing about where pieces are, etc etc. This is part of the fun of social lightning but not appropriate to serious competition.

Speaking of Blitz gamesmanship, how about a player to keeps the pieces (especially rooks and queens) of his opponent which he has captured in his hands. If his opponent promotes a pawn he often becomes flustered as he cannot quickly locate a suitable promotion piece.

Any advice?

Libby
13-01-2005, 06:48 PM
Need an argument against blitz-anything?

What's this 20/20 cricket rubbish?

I was converted - against - in about the first 3 overs :P

firegoat7
14-01-2005, 11:28 AM
Hello,

Basically my arguement would go something like this Correspondence chess is to over the board tournament chess as lightning chess is to ......?

And a further proof would be Correspondence chess, Fischer random chess, email chess, Blitz chess, Golf. Which one is not chess?

I am not going to get into a pointless and non-sensical debate about which form of chess is better or worse, as a subjective measurement from every individual in Australian chess. All I suggested is that Blitz seems to be a form that offers some interest in chess (surely a good thing!) and maybe we could do better, as a community, then organising one offs during Doeberl or the Oz open (not detracting from these events).

Cheers FG7

Trizza
14-01-2005, 04:14 PM
Need an argument against blitz-anything?

What's this 20/20 cricket rubbish?

I was converted - against - in about the first 3 overs :P

At the WACA they had to close the gates after half an hour the crowd was so big. Ronchi's innings of 67 off 24 balls was pretty special - including some fine shots off Warne.

20/20 cricket is just like one dayers without the boring play between overs 15 and 40. Having said that, test cricket still remains my favourite.

My chess preferences are similar. Lightning is good as a bit of fun only while slow time limit games are the 'real' chess for me. Rapid chess I like the least, it's neither here nor there.

Alan Shore
14-01-2005, 06:38 PM
At the WACA they had to close the gates after half an hour the crowd was so big. Ronchi's innings of 67 off 24 balls was pretty special - including some fine shots off Warne.

20/20 cricket is just like one dayers without the boring play between overs 15 and 40. Having said that, test cricket still remains my favourite.

My chess preferences are similar. Lightning is good as a bit of fun only while slow time limit games are the 'real' chess for me. Rapid chess I like the least, it's neither here nor there.

One-day international > 20/20 > Test matches

Just as

Rapid > Blitz > Classical

:cool: