Friday, 29 April 2016

Why Blitz is not Chess (Part 72)

I've just dragged myself out of bed to watch the Ultimate Blitz Challenge from St Louis, involving Kasparov, So, Nakamura and Caruana. The first surprise was that after 7 rounds all four players were on 50% (3.5).  The second was that is seemed Wesley So was Kasparov's nemesis, winning 2 games after Kasparov had started like he was going to own this event.
But watching round 8 it became a little clearer about what was going on. The outcome of the games was not necessarily about who played the best chess. Given that the players are evenly matched, factors uinique to blitz chess come into play. In round 8 Nakamura actually outplayed Kasparov for most of the game, only to see Kasparov turn the tables with less than 20 seconds on the clock. But given the limited amount of time, it was probably fated that it was Kasparov's turn to go wrong, and he soon did. However both players were down to their last few seconds, and it probably was more about who could move fastest, rather than best, and Nakamura emerged with the point.
Very good entertainment BTW, but not in a classical chess way. More in a 20/20 Cricket way.


Anonymous said...

Also important to note is the time control, 5 min with 3 second delay, not 3 second increment. Many positions that would be comfortable wins with 3 sec increment were lost or drawn.

Anonymous said...

Quite amazing how much greater the coverage, even in the chess world, was for this over Norway Chess or US Champs. Like he said already in 87 against Short, fast chess is publicity.