How Do You Play Blitz Chess?


Quick Answer

Blitz chess is a variation of standard tournament chess played under extreme time restrictions. Where a traditional chess match may allow 90 to 180 minutes for play, a blitz chess game is usually completed in under 10 minutes, with each side (starting with white pieces, then black) taking their turn as quickly as possible within the set time limit. A standard chess set, and a timer, preferably a digital chess clock, are required.

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Full Answer

  1. Set up the board and clock

    The board is set up just like any other chess match. Both players should inspect the board before beginning, because no changes can be made once the match starts. For standard United States Chess Federation rules, each player should be given a total of five minutes on the clock to make his moves for the entire game. Another variation gives each player three minutes, but adds two seconds to the clock each time a player makes a move.

  2. Begin play

    When the clock starts, the player with the white pieces begins to lose time from his clock. He must make a move as quickly as possible and then press the clock, which then begins the countdown for the black player. The black player makes his move and presses the clock again, passing it back to his opponent. Under standard rules, a piece must be moved once touched, and the same hand must be used to move pieces and press the clock.

  3. Conserve your time

    Standard chess rules apply to determine the winner through play. In addition, if one player runs out of time on his clock, he loses the match to his opponent.

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