Limiting the zoom function (top right, yes) is a good rule for a speed run. I think I did this playthrough in about 5 minutes. (I also discovered the variation by accident, as I posted below.) Altering the skill vs luck knob this way makes competitive mode a little more accessible to casual players.
And it's also a bit of a geography test. I guessed Moscow (wrongly, it was Minsk) and had to test my knowledge of where in the giant unlabeled shape of Russia that was. Similarly, pinpointing Montana out of all North America (with no country or state boundaries) is a lot harder than guessing "somewhere in Montana" when you can see the outline of Montana.