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is chess in the Olympics

  There is currently no chess in the Olympiad. The Chess Olympiad is a chess competition officially organized by FIDE since 1927 and takes place in even-numbered years. Before World War II the event was occasionally held every year. There was also an unofficial Chess Olympiad series that ended in 1976. Although chess is covered in the sports sections of many newspapers around the world, it is not one of the recognized sports in the Olympic Games. However, FIDE is now a member of the International Olympic Committee and follows its rules. This means that chess could one day become an Olympic event, although most knowledgeable observers say this is unlikely. The World Chess Championship is a competition held annually by the international chess organization FIDE to determine the World Champion of chess. Both men and women are eligible to participate in this championship. The World Champion does not have to be the player with the highest Elo rating: the 2006-2007 World Champion, Vladimir Kr

10 Tips To Win At Online Chess: Blitzes and Bullets

Chess has progressed into the digital age as rapidly as any other field in sports and it is probably the most successful board game to adapt technological advances that it is now easily accessible to anyone just by a click of the button.

However, along with the fun that online chess brings by allowing players from all over the world to battle wits with someone in front of their computer screens, there are barriers and external factors that can affect your chances of winning.

Now being part of the internet phenomenon, chess has truly diversified. But players are still subject to the limitations of their internet connection speed and bandwidth which, as I have experienced, can rob you of a victory that you supposedly deserve. So, here are a few tips to win at online chess, blitzes (5-min or 3-min games) and bullets (1-min games or less).

1. Have High-Speed Internet Connection
Internet lag is probably the most annoying factor of online chess since there is an inequality of speeds that would, as I have mentioned, steal your victory from your hands. Imagine that you are one move from delivering checkmate to your opponent but then the game stops and a windows pops up saying that you lost on time or that your opponent won on time. Frustrating, isn't it? But this is the way things work and if you really are serious about winning bullets and blitzes, then have a really stable high-speed internet connection.

In addition, you better check that your computer and mouse are functioning perfectly as well because you would not want your computer suddenly turning off at the middle of your game and you would not want your mouse flinging about on the screen causing you to make 'mouse slips'. 

2. Let Loose and Relax Your Muscles
I have experienced playing online chess when my hand was vehemently shaking and it was not easy to move your pieces to the right squares. Even when you are playing chess on the board, it is also best to have a steady grip and to be able to firmly move your pieces. Just try to shake out the nervousness from your hands or arm muscles before playing because it will not help your chances if you would be doing the 'jazz hands' every now and then.

3. Stay Cool, Calm, and Collected
Although you only have a short amount of time to make your move and even if there is the 'lag factor' where sometimes your time would just suddenly lose some seconds depending on the speed of your connection, you have to stay calm and concentrated on the game because when you start to panic, as I have done countless times before, you will not be able to calculate on point and would even miss certain brilliant moves. 

Never allow your opponent to scare you or to make you nervous. Keep on fighting when you still have a chance like being just a minor piece down or the exchange down. But if you know you are losing already, it would not hurt to resign as well.

4. Formulate a Plan of Attack
To do this, you must know the strategic principles of the opening that you have chosen but if you have no idea of what you are getting yourself into then try to search for weaknesses in your opponent's camp and if he does not have any weaknesses then you can try to induce weaknesses by sacrificing pieces to open up lines or diagonals to activate your own pieces. 

Sometimes, especially in blitzes and bullets, brute force can work but you have to time it perfectly. It is also a prerequisite to have your pieces on solid squares or 'outposts' and to have your king relatively safe from any attack or checkmate. But, in general, you must figure out how to attack your opponent's king wherever he may be although having a king trapped in the center is usually easier to deal with than the castled king but even a castled king can sometimes be overrun when there is a lot of pressure on certain squares around the king which is often the h2 or h7 squares. In my opinion, queenside castling is usually more pliant for defense but it still depends on how you maintain your position and playing style. 

5. Place Your Pieces on Strong Squares and Solidify their Position
In blitzes and bullets, there is no time to analyze a deep variation of a certain position so you would rely on instinct and memory. But if you have none of these, then go back to the basic strategic principles of chess and as you formulate your plan of attack, coordinate your pieces such that you are able to execute that plan. When you see 'holes' in your opponent's camp or squares which cannot be protected by the enemy pawns and where your pawn has a foothold, it is common knowledge to put a knight or bishop there so that you can control important squares in the enemy camp and have an increased mobility for your pieces or prevent your opponent's pieces to acquire active squares. When you have your pieces settled in those 'outposts' as they are called, make sure that they will not budge and continue to increase the pressure on your opponent. 

6. Gain Space and Launch Your Attack
Once your pieces are poised and ready for the attack, it is time to launch your pawns to 'storm the barricades' as they say. Get your opponent's pieces cramped in and essentially paralyzed then just keep pushing your pawns and improving your piece placement whenever possible. Sometimes when your opponent is already deadlocked, it is keen to consolidate your position so that there will be no surprise attacks and last resort desperado moves from your opponent which can actually catch the aggressor in mating nets at times, so be careful!

7. Use Traps and Sneaky Moves for Quick Mates
Because of the short amount of time for the brain to process every move being made every second in blitzes and bullets, it is more likely to catch your opponent in traps and succeed in using sneaky moves to quickly mate him or get a big material advantage. Unless your opponent is a seasoned master, traps and sneaky moves can work. Although even grandmasters can actually fall for traps especially those subtle ones but only in blitzes and bullets. It is rarer for a grandmaster to fall for traps in standard chess but it still does happen though since they are still human and make errors. Check out the article from this blog, "7 Nifty Traps and Tricks to Win Quickly" for a list of some traps. 

8. Always Look for Tactics and Anticipate Them
Since both you and your opponent would be making callous moves and numerous mistakes, tactics would definitely abound in blitzes and bullets so you have to know all the different tactics and combinations so that you can quickly have a tactical victory. But it is also worth taking note that you too have to anticipate tactics from your opponent which is why there are times when retreating your pieces or consolidating your position is important at certain moments of the game especially when you feel like your opponent has an overwhelming number of pieces directed at your king and he can easily activate his pieces. 

9. Be Cautious in Premoving
Premoving is simply making a move before your opponent has moved one of his pieces. When I was just started to play online chess at Chesscube, I had the curiosity to play the 1-min games or bullets because I saw that most people are making a lot of gains from those games both in their ratings and their cubits, the Chesscube currency so I tried to play bullets and lost almost every game. I was in the 1600s back then. But I started to learn how to play chess through videos on Youtube and I started to understand concepts in openings, middlegames, and a few endgames so I was able to stock them in my memory. Then I learned how premoving can actually save some time for you and allow you to calculate a few moves ahead. But there was also a point when I learned that premoving would cost you the game even from the beginning because sometimes you would not expect your opponent to bring his bishop out and attack the queen while you make a move that does not defend your queen whatsoever and you lose the queen. So, my advice: be cautious in premoving!

10. Simplify the Position When Possible
Having too many pieces on the board can complicate your position and make the game unclear whether you or your opponent is better so when you are able to gain a material advantage whether it be just a pawn or the exchange (a rook for a minor piece) or a full minor piece, exchange all other pieces so that you enter an endgame which would make the game easy for you to win unless your opponent has an outside passer and your king is more than three files away from it or outside the 'square' of the passed pawn. But whenever you see the opportunity where you have the advantage then simplify the position and win the cleanest way possible.

Chess is a really fun game and having the chance to play it online makes it more interesting. But remember that in blitz or bullet, you do not have the time to analyze every move and play the best move in every turn. Do not get frustrated if you lose from a single blunder because the chances are you might have won if you were able to calculate deeper and analyze the position with much weight and substance but the thing is blitzes and bullets are mostly for fun and for really experienced players to pass the time. Do not take it too seriously.


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