How to Play Blitz Chess

Playing Blitz chess creates a literal flurry of moves, as both players hustle to complete their respective halves of a chess game in 5 to 15 minutes, depending on which rule set they're playing under. Other than the blazing-fast speed required to complete a full chess game in such little time, the standard rules of movement, capture and game ending apply.


  1. Image titled Play Blitz Chess Step 1
    Face off against your opponent over the chess board. The person playing White gets the privilege of moving first, but the person playing Black chooses which side of the table to sit on.
  2. Image titled Play Blitz Chess Step 2
    Inspect everything about the table, including how the pieces are set up, the time on the clocks and the clock's orientation. Once play begins, none of these can be changed.
  3. Image titled Play Blitz Chess Step 3
    Move first, if you're playing White, or wait for your opponent to move if you're playing Black.
    • After every move, you must hit the plunger on your side of the chess clock with the same hand you used to move the chess piece. This pauses your clock and starts your opponent's. If you forget to hit the clock, and your opponent moves. And you catch it before they correct the mistake, it is considered an illegal move and your opponent loses the match.
    • The standard chess rules are as follows. Pawns move only 1 space straight forward, except on the first move, during which they may be moved 2 spaces forward. Pawns capture by moving on space diagonally. The rest of the pieces capture and move in the same way. Bishops on the diagonal, rooks or castles along the rows and columns, queens along either the diagonals or the rows and columns. Kings move (and capture) 1 square at a time in any direction, and knights move 2 squares in 1 straight direction, then 1 square at a 90-degree angle to the first direction. Knights are the only piece that can "jump" over other pieces between their starting and ending positions.
    • Remember that the point of Blitz chess is playing a fun, fast chess game. If you take too long to agonize over your moves, you'll lose.
  4. Image titled Play Blitz Chess Step 4
    Continue playing until 1 player wins or both draw. Ways of winning include:
    • Mating (checkmating) the king, by threatening to capture him on the next move in such a way that he cannot escape.
    • Your opponent can resign if there is no way to win.
    • The small plastic flag on your opponent's clock falls before yours, indicating that he has run out of time. According to some rule sets, he can keep playing until you notice the flag fall and comment on it.
    • You notice that your opponent made an illegal move before your next move.
    • The chess game can also be declared a draw by mutual agreement; if there's no way for either to win; if the kings are stalemated; or if your opponent runs out of time or makes an illegal move, but you don't have sufficient resources on the board to checkmate his king.


  • Under the World Chess Federation Rules, a Blitz chess game may offer up to 15 minutes of game time to each player, or an incremental time such that the base allotted time, plus 60 times the increment equals 15 minutes or less.
  • During Blitz chess, players are not expected to record their moves.
  • According to the United States Chess Federation Rules, Blitz chess is usually played with a total of 5 minutes playing time per player, per game. However, USCF rules allow the game organizer to introduce the use of delay or increment time. When increment time is employed, once the base time expires you have a set increment of time to complete each successive move. If time expires before you play and you have enough resources on the board to checkmate your opponent, you lose.


  • Do not look out of the chess board.
  • Do not get much time for think.
  • Watch the time which you have left after two moves.
  • Do not make an illegal moves.

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Categories: Chess