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During the entire middle portion of the pitch, the batter must time the ball and decide where to swing. If the batter decides to swing, he must start when the ball is approximately 25 to 30 feet in front of the plate. The ball will arrive at the plate about 250 thousandths of a second later -- about the limit of human reaction time. The bat must make contact with the ball within an even smaller time range: A few thousandths of a second error in timing will result in a foul ball. Position is important, too. Hitting the ball only a few millimeters too high or too low results in a fly ball or a grounder.

Exactly how humans are able to estimate the expected position of a quickly moving ball is unknown. Obviously, this remarkable skill is learned through long practice. Eye-brain-body coordination is acquired only by going through the motions over and over; even so, the batter misses most of the time. Getting a hit three times out of ten at bat is considered an excellent average. It's interesting that George Schaller and other ethologists have observed that lions and cheetahs are also successful only about a third of the time in capturing their prey.

Blitz chess can go pretty fast:



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Wed Oct 30th, 2013 at 11:36:17 AM EST
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The speed in blitz chess is a lot about having the textbook knowledge to know directly which opening the opponent is playing and not wasting time analysing, but committing to a known and good response. End game in blitz can be a lot about just making not to terrible moves in the hope of your opponent running out of time or making a mistake. And at least decent hand-eye coordination so that you don't waste time when moving/punching the clock.

A somewhat interesting strategy for blitz is to play underused openings - not used because they are not that good if met with proper defense - in the hope that the opponent does not know it, and thus has to waste time coming up with a defense.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Oct 30th, 2013 at 03:41:07 PM EST
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