In target rifle shooting "off-hand" shooting refers to what is more formally known as the standing position. In chess, "off-hand" games are fun games, unrated and usually without a clock. I suppose "skittles" are the same, unless they're candy.
Last Monday at the Juneau Chess Club there were just two of us, Tom and me. Tom is a guy I played a few tournament games against 15-18 years ago, and though I won them all he was a pretty tough opponent, rated in the 1400-1500 range.
On this night we played off-hand games, as he didn't want to use a clock, and I decided after the first game to record them in case any interesting positions arose. Tom wasn't having a good night, and I won most of the games in short order. The following was no exception, but something about this short game appealed to me, so here it is. I am White:
1. g3 e5 2. d3 d6 3. Bg7 c6 4. e4 (this position has actually been reached by masters; Black played 4. ... f5) Na3 5. Ne2 f5
6. 0-0 g5? (Black should know better) 7. Nec3 (moving the same piece twice in the opening!) Bh6 8. Qh5+ Kf8 9. exf5 Bxf5 10. Ne4 Bxe4 11. Bxe4 d5 12. f4!
Qd6 13. fxe5+ 1-0
Obviously Black made some blunders, but for me there was a certain charm to this brief game. I've rarely played without a clock in the last 25 years, and this little game refreshed my appreciation of the "off-hand" game that was the staple of Philidor, LaBourdonnais and Morphy.