Thursday, April 15, 2010


What do you fear in life? How is it limiting you? Wouldn’t you like to be free of this even if only for a short time?
If you ever thought chess was a slow-moving, serious even boring game, then think again. Just have a look at these two grandmasters go ‘hammer and tong’ in a version of blitz chess which lasts no more than one minute. It is a whirlwind of movement, energy, attack and defense, all while trying to win and keep up with the clock.
Now for the purists this type of accelerated chess is nor everyone’s cup of tea. For example, Malcolm Pein, the Daily Telegraph’s chess correspondent, fears that the faster contest loses the “purity” of the traditional game.
He also believes that it could lead to a reduction in the “highest level of the game”. His comments come as Kasporov and Karpov face each other in an exhibition chess match commemorating the 25th anniversary of their marathon first title bout.
“It is a little bit like one day cricket gaining pre-eminence over Test cricket,” said Mr Pein, an International master.
“As a little bit of a traditionalist I am just a little concerned with losing the purity of the slow game where you get the highest level of chess.
“But of course one has to move with the times and in a sense Kasparov and Karpov would not want to play a long match of what they call classical chess because it is just too exhausting.”
The two men waged one of the world’s greatest rivalries when between 1984 and 1990 they met five times for the world championship and pretty much drew even – Kasparov won 21 games, Karpov took 19 and they drew 104 times.
The first title bout started in September 1984 in Moscow and lasted nearly five months before it was halted with no winner declared on the grounds that both were exhausted.
Kasparov won a rematch in 1985 and captured his first world title, at age 22, becoming the world’s youngest-ever champion.
Traditional chess had a five hour limit but with speed chess it is reduced to 25 minutes ( 24/9/09).
But Speed Chess also has it benefits. It can help you to think and evaluate the opponents moves rapidly, identify positional play and develop new strategies. It is also more practical if you have only a short period of time or you are playing a painfully slow player (
My invention of Speed Thinking faces similar criticism from some quarters. Somehow it is not as elevated as traditional thinking and quality might suffer. My proposition is that Speed Thinking like Speed Chess is similar to the original game but it also is different (for better and for worse). It can help you improve your traditional thinking just by encouraging you to practice thinking more. Sure you might make more mistakes but you will also learn more. You will also do more and make many more decisions rather than procrastinating.
So if you only have limited time then start thinking without the fear of making mistakes. Speed Thinking like Speed Chess is great fun and with any skill you will become better at it, the more you do it.


  1. In Australia, we have this sport called cricket; cricket is naturally played over 5 days.
    But, a new version has been invented: Twenty20, which only takes 3 hours, player wear crazy clothing, there's loud music and fireworks.

    Once, while playing chess with my brother, and we imagine a game of Twenty20 chess.
    A player only has 20 seconds a move, big fireworks for every piece taken, and all the pieces have to wear coloured clothing.

    Rather ridiculous really.

  2. Nice idea Mikhail, but in Malaysia you be arrested for disturbing the peace !!
    But Twenty20 is pretty good idea. May be will try in next tournament to organise