I’m reposting this comment as a blog post because I believe it’s all pretty much the truth and I don’t think I could have said it better myself. I have very little to add to it. It’s referring to blitz and rapid time controls for chess. While I definitely think there are some obvious ways to improve blitz and rapid tournaments like this one, the event still seemed like a big success. Thanks for the great thoughts “A French Chess Player”
“The actual numbers of viewers turned out to be way greater than Dailymotion’s (Vivendi group) best expectations. The same phenomenon was noticed for the world rapid and blitz championship in Berlin and in the Zürich chess tournament. In my opinion, rapid should replace classical as the main time control, for several reasons :
* It will make chess more popular, and more people will watch top events (they outnumber the advocates of classical chess), because the games will be shorter and less games will be drawn.
* The importance of the preparation will diminish. In rapid chess, obtaining an advantage in the opening does not matter as much as in classical. Pure chess skills will prevail.
* The best chess players in classical are the best chess players in rapid. Carlsen won both last rapid championships. Anand finished undefeated in Dubaï while Kramnik finished undefeated in Berlin, in 15 rounds. Other top players finished in the top places, and not the 2600s.
* It helps fighting against certain forms of cheating (going to the toilets at each move, talking with a stronger player during when the opponent is thinking, …).
* Those who point out that the quality will greatly diminish should be reminded that chess tournaments are competitive, and not about theoretical chess. You play your best chess under time constraints. By the way, top players can still play amazingly well in rapid.
* More amateurs will play in chess tournaments. I know many people who stopped chess when they started working, because they do not have much holidays as before and cannot spend 8 consecutive days playing chess. We need tournaments lasting around 3 days (they exist, but being >2200, I cannot play them …)
Fortunately, some top players are of the same opinion. Anand said this week-end that “the old wisdom of playing classical chess is dated”.”