Ruben Mantel: A "Rapid Interview" with Germany's fastest blitz player

by Arne Kaehler
12/29/2020 – In rapid, blitz or bullet the players have between one minute and one hour to mate or flag their opponents. In Hyperbullet they have only 30 seconds. But why not speed this up a bit? How about Ultrabullet, where each player has only 15 seconds for the entire game? "That's silly and has nothing to do with chess anymore", some might say. Ruben Mantel, Germany's best Ultrabullet player, partly agrees with this statement, but not entirely. In a "Rapid Interview" he talks about the attraction of very fast chess, how he came to like Ultrabullet, and whether this form of blitz destroys the game of chess or might help to improve it.

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Rapid Interview with Ruben Mantel

Interviewer and guest face each other in an epic rapid chess battle. The chess guest has to not only face the questions by the interviewee, but also concentrate on the chess game simultaneously. This leads to interesting answers, and chess positions at times.

Keep in mind, this is only a "club player" level from my part. Don't expect too fabulous games.

Ruben Mantel is a chess player from Germany. He isn't a titled player yet, but with his elo rating of over 2100, he will soon pursue that wish.

Ruben Mantel has achieved his notoriety through a special form of chess. He plays Ultrabullet (15 second chess game) better than 99.9% of the world. Ruben is on par with the chess elite and regularly beats opponents such as Andrew Tang, Sergei Zhigalko or Nihal Sarin in just a few seconds.

What takes this to the extreme is that he streams his Ultrabullet chess games on, sometimes even commentating on them simultaneously!

Lately, Ultrabullet Chess seems to be getting a bit too slow for him, and he decides to cut the time in half, to 7 1/2 seconds.

  • 2:12 - Who are you?
  • 3:51 - Can you beat players like Andrew Tang (Penguingim1) in Ultrabullet?
  • 4:47 - How much "chess" is still left in Ultrabullet?
  • 6:55 - Can you improve your chess with Ultrabullet?
  • 8:16 - How come you are so good in Ultrabullet?
  • 10:16 - Do you want to become even better in Ultrabullet?
  • 12:03 - How can you keep calm in such a fast game?
  • 13:40 - Where and when did you learn to play chess?
  • 15:21 - Pieces are falling!
  • 16:50 - What are your goals in life?
  • 20:00 - Pawns are being counted!
  • 20:54 - Who is your favourite chess player?
  • 22:39 - Who are the fastest Ultrabullet players?
  • 24:42 - "I really hope this is working!" (Spoiler - it isn't working)

How did this interview work on Playchess?

You probably have noticed at the beginning of the video that Ruben and I are using the video & audio option of for having this interview.

You can do the same thing as a premium member with a friend, family or strangers from all around the world, to have a nice game of chess, while seeing, and talking to each other. A great alternative, if you are missing the direct connection of an overboard chess game.

Have a look at the video and tutorial of how to arrange a virtual club evening.

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Play bullet against Germany's fastest chess player on playchess!

Wednesday - 30.12.2020 at 19:00 CET

You can be one of the nine lucky players facing him in a double 9-round tournament, with the time setting of 1 minute with no increment.

To participate in the raffle, you need to fulfil these requirements:

  1. You are a Premium Member
  2. You have a Webcam
  3. You have a Microphone (or Headset)
  4. Your English language skills are good

Everything fulfilled? Great! The only thing you have to do now is to email us to:

Subject: Video Bullet Tournament Mantel

Please add your:

  • Full name
  • Playchess Handle/Nick
  • Country

Good luck and see you Wednesday !


Arne Kaehler, a creative mind who is passionate about board games in general, was born in Hamburg and learned to play chess at a young age. By teaching chess to youth teams and creating chess-related videos on YouTube, Arne was able to expand this passion and has even created an online course for anyone who wants to learn how to play chess. Arne writes for the English and German news sites, but focuses mainly on content for the ChessBase media channels.


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