How to play in oppontent’s time pressure

Chess piecesTime pressure. Every chess player knows it, some of us even live with it. Having 2 minutes for 15 moves before time check is something like sign of such players. Everyone knows that preventing time pressures and better time management is good for the quality of one’s play. But sometimes we meet an opponent who falls into the time pressure. How to treat this situation?

There are a few general rules, let’s name some of them.

1. Don’t start to play as fast as your opponent has to!

This one is probably the most important one. Although during each tournament you can see many examples of the direct opposite. It is probably a natural tendency to play fast as many players think that playing their moves fast makes little time for their opponent to think about the situation on the board.

That’s true from the physical point of view. But chess is not only about physics. The psychology has much bigger influence, I would say. And from the psychological point of view the similar behaviour is a fault. The reason is that the opponent knows about his/her upcoming time pressure much earlier than it actually happens. So he/she has a lot of time to prepare for it and once his/her time pressure is here, his/her mind is ready to play fast and is focused on finding good moves quickly.

But your mind is not ready to change its “setting” at the moment of the opponent’s time pressure and to start playing blitz game instead of the game with classic timing. So you can become a bit nervous just because you created your own time pressure in your mind. You begin to look for good moves quickly and many many times it happens that in such situations players lose their games even if they have much better time on the clocks.

If your oppopent falls into time pressure and you have enough time, do not change your time policy. Think about your next moves properly and do not start playing a blitz game inside of the classic game!

2. Complicate the game as much as possible!

This is another golden rule for the situation with your opponent in time pressure. If the situation on the board allows it (unfortunatelly it is not possible sometimes), try to complicate the game – look for threats, small combinations, sharpening the position, increasing your pressure, sacrifice for initiative…

Each of these “techniques” creates new problems for your opponent and he/she has to deal with them. What is worse – he/she has to deal with them within a few seconds and it increases your changes to succeed. Sometimes even in the case when your threat is not correct. But is your opponent able to find it with his/her falling flag?

Of course, at the end of the day everything depends on the concrete situation of your board. So don’t lose focus on threats and nuances of your game having the above mentioned ideas in your mind. It would be a pity to play the game for a few hours and then lost it needlessly within a few seconds.

Photo’s author: frankblacknoir

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2 Responses to “How to play in oppontent’s time pressure”

  1. chessx says:

    Hey dont leave us in suspence what was the answer to weekend tactic #4

  2. admin says:

    Don’t worry, I will tell you the right solution, but maybe the others will try their luck.
    Usually I will try to reveal the solution in two weeks after publishing the tactic.

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