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Is It Possible to Get Better at "Chess" Playing Bullet/Blitz?

Reese Wisdom is a 3 Time Greater Philadelphia Chess Champion, and a 2nd place winner at the Phoenix Rising Chess Tournament.

It Is Not Possible To Get Better At Chess Playing Bullet and Blitz Games.

It is not possible to get better at chess playing bullet and blitz games. Yes, bullet and blitz chess can expose you to a lot of quick tactics and new ideas; especially in a fast pace game but it will not improve your chess skills.

Here are the reasons why:

  1. Without analyzing your chess games you will always make the same mistakes.
  2. Without overall knowledge of your opening, middlegame and endgame principles you will not improve.
  3. Average chess players make moves out of instinct instead of skill.
  4. Most importantly, bullet and blitz chess will not help you to calculate difficult and complicated positions; especially in tournament play.
Blitz Chess

Blitz Chess

What Kind of Bullet/Blitz Chess Player Will You Become

In my opinion, I believe one that consistently plays bullet and blitz chess can become a quicker time control player but never improvement of skill. In other words, you can have a complete losing position and your opponent has mate in 5 but your opponent time runs out and you win. Does that make you a better chess player? No. But you did out time your opponent.

I agree that one can remember certain mistakes and blunders made on the chessboard and try not to make the same mistakes but without proper game analysis and not mastering basic chess principles you will not improve your chess skills.

What kind of blitz chess player will you become

What kind of blitz chess player will you become

You Have To Develop Your Brain With Practice

Nicator65 from chess.com wrote "Chess is an analytical exercise for the brain. The brain makes a better job when a number of pathways have been developed. It's known that such brain pathways are better developed in competitive (stressful) situations.

For the outsider, there's no difference whereas no real competition or just seconds instead of minutes to make a decision. The experienced player, instead, knows that certain mental processes are required to achieve precision and that these processes often require more than a glimpse of the situation. In turn, the processes become faster with practice due to the new brain pathways developed or strengthened. The overall result, for the tournament chess player, is that he sees more and becomes more precise, using the same amount of time, because his brain is in training to search deep into the positions.

As for getting better because of blitz or bullet intense and exclusive practice, there are two levels to consider. Better results in those time controls? Probably yes. Better at chess? No, because the player gets used to making practical decisions (rival, clock) rather than improving his understanding and precision on the board, leading to what's known as "superficial"."


Don't Compare Yourself With GM Hikaru Nakamura

GM Hikaru Nakamura once said that he played bullet chess everyday for hours even all night and how his chess skills increase. However, you have to take into consideration that Hikaru Nakamura was coached at a young age throughout his youth life even in his adult life. So you can imagine that he has mastered the basic principles of opening, middlegame and endgame. So of course during his blitz games he input his creativity with the years of knowledge of the game on to the board.

GM Hikaru Nakamura

GM Hikaru Nakamura

In Conclusion

In conclusion, bullet and blitz chess can not improve your chess skills without mastering the basic principles of opening, middlegame and endgame. For most chess players it takes years of studying and game analysis. You have to learn how to calculate difficult and complicated positions. You have to know when to attack and when to play positional. You have to know how to defend when your opponent plays aggressively. You have to know the basic principles of pawn structures and when to take exchange pieces; including the psychology of your opponent. Everything that I just pointed out can help you dominate in bullet and blitz chess games but that comes with how determine and ambitious you are in your chess studies.

Level of Bullet & Blitz Chess Players

Amateur Chess PlayerAdvance Chess PlayersMaster Chess Players

Play off Instinct

Play off Skills Learned

High Skills & Experiences

Make Lots of Mistakes

Make little or few mistakes

Very Small Mistakes

Don't Know Basic Principles

Knows Basic Principles

Mastered Basic Principles

A Great Book Of Openings For Blitz Games (Great Place To Start)

Couples Chess

Couples Chess


Maurice Bishop (author) from Dover, DE on January 28, 2020:

30 minutes is actually a great time to start off at. There are many local chess tournaments that set their clocks to 30 minutes where as big tournaments set their clocks at an hour and 30 minutes. It really depends on who is the tournament director. But yes 30 minutes is great.

ProjectResolute on January 28, 2020:

Thanks for the confirmation! I like to play on chess.com and often play 30 minute games, and was wondering if I'd be better off playing games of longer time controls.

Maurice Bishop (author) from Dover, DE on January 25, 2020:

1 minute is considered Bullet Chess.

For the FIDE World Blitz Championship, each player has 3 minutes, plus 2 seconds additional time per move starting from move 1. The USCF define blitz chess as time

controls between 5 and 10 minutes per player.

ProjectResolute on January 25, 2020:

Great article, but I'm a little confused as to how much time is allotted before you consider it to be bullet/blitz or rapid/classical. I'm assuming over 10 minutes would be rapid, over 30 would be classical, and under 10 would be blitz/bullet.