resty: I was really stunned after learning that there are individuals (Filipinos, in fact) who belittle GM Mark Paragua’s feat in the Individual Blitz category in the 1st World Mind Sports Games in Beijing, China.
For those who still don’t know Paragua’s accomplishment, he ‘simply’ placed fourth in the said chess event category – a feat punctuated by defeating the tournament’s top-seed GM Wang Yue (2736) of China and IM Martyn Kravtsiv (2549) of Ukraine, the eventual champion.
The main reason for demeaning Paragua’s exploit is anchored on the chess category that was participated in by this Filipino mind warrior – the blitz category.
Well, those who shrugged off Paragua’s 4th place finish said that his achievement does not mean so much since it was just a BLITZ chess. As plain and dead as that – just BLITZ chess.
The non-believers of blitz said that this category is not real chess, that it is not rated by FIDE, that it is an inferior kind of chess compared with standard or classical chess.
I respect their opinion, but I have my own opinion, too. And I completely differ from them.
Is there a better form of art? Is there a better form of science? What I believe in is that there are different forms of art as well as there are different forms of science. Differences do not necessarily translate to which is superior or inferior. They are simply different.
Just take boxing as an example. There are different forms of it. We have kickboxing, chess-boxing, K-1, for amateurs, for professionals, for women, for men, even for the third sex – meaning, there are different forms of it. Is there a superior category among all of them? It depends on who says what, right?
Same thing goes with chess, as with other areas, aspects and disciplines of human lives.
Simply because blitz is not rated by FIDE would mean that it is not real chess. In fact, the 1st World Mind Sports Games is in the calendar of events of FIDE. The FIDE website carries the news about the developments of chess events in this event. Even the leading chess websites such as Susan Polgar’s blog and Chessbase publicize this event.
The event category is participated in by a number of super GMs from different parts of the globe – an event that is still of no significance to non-believers of blitz. Don’t we have a world championship for blitz chess, too?
Blitz chess is a category of chess. Let me say it highlights speed more than depth. But still, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have depth. Even if blitz is more of the element of speed, it also requires correctness of thinking. In short, blitz is not ALL speed, but rather both an element of speed and logic.
Standard chess is also an element of speed and of depth, but let me say it highlights more of depth than speed. One thing for sure, standard chess is not pure depth. There is a time element, too. The correct statement to say is that there is more time for standard chess than in blitz to think of the right moves.
There are good blitz players as well as there are good standard chess players. There are those good in blitz but not as good in the standard, and vice-versa.
But of course, there are those good in blitz while at the same time good in the standard, too. A real good player in chess CAN excel in whatever category, be it in blitz, rapid, or standard.
If you’re good in the standard, don’t demean somebody whom you can’t beat in blitz. If you’re good in blitz, don’t demean somebody whom you can’t beat in the standards.
To completely demean blitz as a category – and worst, to label it as not real chess – is totally detrimental to the totality of chess as a mind sport.
And, oh boy, to demean your compatriot’s achievement in an international competition that is participated in by a number of super GMs and GMs from different countries and well publicized worldwide is plain and dead unpatriotic.
(NOTE: I originally posted this article on my blog at http://malibaychessclub.blogspot.com