Last week a friend of mine advanced to the Champion League on Chess.com. To do that, you have to get lots of wins to earn trophies, and the people with the most trophies in your division advance to the next level. I usually don’t care about the league trophies. I’ve been in the Elite League for months. However, after my friend advanced, I thought I would see what I could do.

The trophy system is heavily weighted towards faster games. I usually play 30-minute rapid games. On average, those take 45 minutes. If I win, I get 15 trophies. That’s 0.33 trophies per minute (if I win). On the other hand, if I play a 3-minute blitz game and win, I get 9 trophies. If those games take 4.5 minutes then it is 2 trophies per minute, or 6x what I would get for rapid games.


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I was able to advance to the Champion League and ended the week with over 500 trophies and came in 2nd place. The first place person had over 800 trophies.

I played 120 blitz games, which is about 15-20 per day. Of those, I only won about 45% which meant my blitz rating went down. But it wasn’t about rating, it was all about the trophies. In a typical week I’ll play around 10 blitz games at most. In November I played 0 blitz games.

Interestingly, my average accuracy was around 75%. I noticed that I usually played pretty decent games, but then one blunder would end it for me. This could be a result of me not being used to faster time controls. However, I have seen similar things happen in longer games, when I lose concentration and blunder.

I found it interesting that most of my games, 54%, ended in the middle game, with 40% in the endgame. I think there is something I can learn here about my weakness in strategy in the middle game.

The worst stat was that in those 120 games, I had over 200 blunders. I also had over 1900 “best,” “excellent,” or “good” moves as well.

I also found that my go-to strategy in these fast games was to simplify as much as possible.

Impact on Chess Improvement

Since my goal was to win trophies, I applied some bad practices. As soon as I was losing, I would just resign and start a new game. This is a really bad habit for chess improvement.

Another bad habit was not reviewing my games. Early in the week I did review them, but then I did not want to take the time. Really this week was not about chess improvement at all.

I also had about a 40% reduction in the time I spent on studying chess since I didn’t consider these games to be very helpful. It was much less time playing longer games, as those were mostly replaced by blitz. But other study methods, such as tactics, I was able to keep up with.


Overall I treated this week as a break week. It was fun to not be so serious about chess for a week and remember that it is a game.

Now, back to my longer games!