Just say No
A public service announcement from Nancy Reagan.
Friends, I am here to talk with you about a horrible danger to the American family. It afflicts approximately 2 million of our households that we know of, but the stigma is so great that the real numbers are probably much higher than polls suggest.
I am here to talk with you today about Blitz chess.
Blitz chess afflicts many otherwise normal, or "real", chess players. While it may seem innocuous at first, Blitz chess can quickly become a daily habit. Indeed, studies show that Blitz chess is a gateway time control which often leads to bullet chess, the least "real" of all forms of chess.
How can you tell if you or a loved one has a problem with Blitz chess? There are no hard and fast rules, but the following questionnare offers a list of symptoms. If you answer 'Yes' to three or more of these questions, then you probably have a problem with Blitz.
1. You tell yourself 'Just one more game' more than five times a night.
2. You switch to a new group of friends because your old friends don't approve of your Blitz play.
3. Even in long games you begin making speculative sacrifices on move three just to "get your opponent in time trouble."
4. You must wear an ice pack around your wrist when playing online.
5. Every opening you play is a gambit which would never be used by a GM.
6. You find yourself enjoying chess more than you used to, even wanting to play it with family and friends (who used to get a raging bore on with your desire for 'a long game').
7. You get angry when players suggest you have a problem with Blitz.
8. You have thought, "I can go back to slow games any time I want, I just don't want to right now."
9. You have engaged in two or more blog posts defending the usefulness of Blitz play.
10. Your name is DK-Transform or XY.
Once you recognize that you want help, what can you do? Aside from attending BA meetings, you should work through the following steps at your own pace:
1. Admit you have a Blitz problem, and that this has made your life a mess.
2. Come to believe that only Dan Heisman can make you better.
3. Turn your will and life over to Heisman, and stop playing Blitz.
4. Make amends with your friends who play "real" chess so that, hopefull, they will let you back in their club.
5. Having had an epiphany as a result of these steps, become a proselytyzer for "real" chess, go into the blogosphere to badger, condescend, and generally spread your love of "real" chess so that others may know there is a way out.
Thank you for taking the time to read this urgent message about the dangers of Blitz chess. I know too many families who have been ravaged by this virulent form of gamemanship. Just say "No" to Blitz.