Classical is the default time control in chess.
This is something that you would know after watching a couple of chess tournaments, it seems that people respect the classical format more than any other time control.
Rapid, blitz, and bullet seems to be a sideshow, it is always about who is the best on classical.
The “world chess championship title” is reserved for the classical world champion.
The rapid and blitz world championship titles are separate from the classical title.
If you do not know this then I do not blame you, the attention given to these titles are not as much compared to classical.
In this article I will be explaining why people treat classical differently, it will show you the true essence of chess.
Keep on reading if you want to know what I mean by this. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Why is classical treated highly more than the other time controls?
The classical time control is respected highly because it shows who is the actual best player.
Back in the day there was no such thing as time controls, chess players could spend as much time as they wanted when making their moves.
Time controls are invented in order to make things fair, this way, players will spend an equal amount of time when playing.
This however introduces a new winning mechanic that some people take advantage of, the flagging rule.
Once a player runs out of time they would be considered lost even if their position is winning. If the opponent cannot deliver a checkmate then it will only be a draw, but still, not a bad deal if you are losing.
Let’s go back to classical, this time format is respected since the time factor becomes minimal.
Players don’t need to look at their clocks as much and they can spend time on calculations.
This is important since players will be able to use their full potential. Classical chess does not reward those that play fast, it rewards those that can play accurately.
It doesn’t make sense if blitz will be the standard, players will just move too fast without actually calculating.
Classical is held in a higher regard because the true strength of each player is shown, pure skills, no flagging tactics.
It has become the standard since it tests the true abilities of the players, not just how they can flag their opponent.
In fact, mastering the classical time control has been proven to also increase a player’s strength in other time controls. It is treated as the mother of all time controls.
Why do some strong chess players don’t treat blitz as “real chess”?
If you have seen some strong grandmasters describe blitz, they don’t really treat it as true chess.
In fact they will most likely recommend limiting the amount of blitz games since it can affect your classical game negatively.
You will have to wonder why this is the case?
Why is classical treated as the standard?
Even in formal competitions, the blitz time control is not treated as highly.
Well, the reasons that I have given earlier apply. However there is also another reason, and that is the fact that blitz games usually are not as accurate as classical games.
You can see some terribly played blitz games where both players keep blundering on every move.
You would think that this would not happen between strong chess players, but in fact it could.
I was just watching a video analysis by Ben Finegold titled “possibly the worst game ever played ever by anybody ever”, you can search it on youtube.
It is a blitz game between Ian Nepominatchi and Alireza Firouzja, clearly strong chess players.
The game itself is so bad, it is exciting, but it is full of blunders.
The only way that this can happen is because of the time control, blitz in this case.
If these strong chess players can produce terrible games in blitz chess, so can many people.
Making this the standard is out of the question, people naturally play worse when they are not given as much time to calculate.
This is why blitz is sidelined by most grandmasters, it is up to how much sleep you got the night before sometimes.
Does this mean that classical is the only time control that matters?
No , it does not mean that classical is the only time control that matters. Otherwise we wouldn’t have the blitz or the rapid world championship titles.
Those of course are very important time controls that test a chess player’s ability in different ways.
They cater to different people and their preparation is unique among other things.
Classical is just held to a higher standard since it is the ultimate test of all.
Competitive speaking, you would want to rank chess players based on their ability to win the game without flagging their opponent.
This means that classical will always be treated highly, since it will show who is really among the top competitively.
This is only for formal competitions though, in fact, blitz is probably more popular online. Blitz just caters to more people, and the games played in rapid/blitz/bullet time control are usually more exciting.
It really depends on what we are trying to measure, if it is competitiveness then classical should be the standard.
Will speed chess receive the same treatment in the near future?
No, I don’t think that speed chess (or even rapid in that regard) would ever receive the same respect as people give to classical chess.
There is a reason why the longest time control is called “classical”, it simulates the early days of chess where people can just think of the best moves for how long it takes.
Even in online environments, I don’t think that blitz will receive as much respect as classical no matter how popular it gets.
Blitz is only popular since it is really entertaining, but competitively, most of the games are not precise.
In the near future, classical will still be the foundational time control.
This is just my opinion, but I think that classical will still be the standard even in online chess competitions.
The classical time control is the most respected time control because it minimizes the cases of flagging.
Players can play to their best abilities without rushing and playing inaccurate moves.
Since chess players cannot flag in classical, their best abilities are displayed in raw form, they can’t rely on time control to save them.
Classical also has the most precise games which is not a surprise, people will just create the best chess when they have given a lot of time to think of the moves.
Even in the near future, I don’t think that the other time controls (rapid, blitz, bullet) will be treated to the same standard as classical.
I think that classical chess will still reign supreme since it really tests a player’s ability to calculate variations on a deeper level.
That is all for this article, thank you for reading.