Speed Chess Championship Official Rules

Speed Chess Championship Official Rules

IM DanielRensch
Mar 3, 2017, 12:00 AM |
19 | Chess.com Help

Below are the official rules and format of Chess.com's 2017 Speed Chess Championship. 

For the full list of players in the 2017 Speed Chess Championship, click here.

By accepting the invitation to play, players acknowledge they have read and understand the following information:


Rules And Match Format:

  • Matches start with 90 minutes of 5|2 blitz, continue with 60 minutes of 3|2 blitz, and end with 30 minutes of 1|1 bullet.
  • Games that start but "run over" the overall countdown clock will count towards the final score. Example: a game of 5|2 starts at the 85-minute mark, and runs until 97 minutes total, the game still counts.
  • There will be an approximately three-minute break between each time control to allow players to rest and for the official broadcast to recap highlights of each portion. Players will be informed via the Skype group chat that play is getting set to resume.
  • Chess.com's server will start the first game of each time control. Players are then expected to use the rematch command on the Chess.com live server until informed by tournament staff that it is the last classical game of each time control. If players do not use the rematch command, their games are subject to being auto-started and their clocks adjusted to reflect the delay. 
  • The last game of each time control will be a Chess960 game started by tournament staff. These games will begin immediately after the classical game that ended the section's time control. The match timer will be paused during all Chess960 games. 
  • The starting Chess960 positions will be randomly chosen by the Chess.com live server. 
  • Colors will alternate throughout the three segments. However, if one player receives White in the first two Chess960 games, the other player gets White in the third (bullet) Chess960 game, and colors will then proceed to alternate after that as normal.
  • Players will be informed both in the Chess.com live game chat and via Skype by Chief Organizer Daniel Rensch of the match score and time remaining in each portion at different times throughout the match. Any and all questions by the players can also be asked in the Skype group chat at any time.
  • The player with the most points / best score at the end of all three time controls wins the match and moves onto the next round.
  • Should the match end with a tie after the total scores of each time control are tallied, a best of three, with a single classical game in each time control, will be played to determine the winner (again with an approximate three-minute break before the start of the "overtime" period).
  • Should the match remain a tie with both players scoring 1.5 out of 3, a single Armageddon game will be played, with the higher-seeded player to start the match choosing between White with 5 minutes and 0 second increment or Black with 3 minutes and 0 second increment, with Black receiving draw odds.


  • Headphones will be permitted by a player to listen to music as long as the opponent does not have any issues with it. If either player has issues with headphones being used to listen to music or otherwise, then neither player will be permitted to use them during a match.
  • Players are prohibited from "listening in" to the official commentary team, either by Skype or by visiting Chess.com/TV
  • No mouseslips or takebacks. In other words, there will be no rulings made to allow for "mouseslips," "takebacks" or the reversal of any move or result that happens due to loss on time because of "lagging connections," disconnections or any other online-chess-specific glitches that may occur. The player is acknowledging to be comfortable with Chess.com's online board and piece play format, and guaranteeing his/her own stable connection.
  • At the sole discretion of Chess.com and its tournament organizers, the match timer may be paused once for a player experiencing connection problems between games. A player disconnecting during an ongoing game will have his/her clock run until flagged or a move is made. The maximum timeout between games will be 10 minutes and games will be forfeited as described above after the 10-minute timer expires. This timeout is not automatically granted and will only be used when Chess.com organizers can verify good-faith connection problems that do not affect the strategic balance of the match. Players are responsible to maintain their own connections to the internet and Chess.com's live server.

Player Requirements:

  • Players must be logged onto Skype to test connection and webcam with Chief Organizer Daniel Rensch 30 minutes before match start time.
  • Players must be logged onto Chess.com, and in the live play arena (Chess.com/live) 15 minutes before the start of the match. Failure to be logged in to the live server 15 minutes before the start of the match will result in up to a 15 percent reduction in a player's prize fund. 
  • If a player is not online and logged into Chess.com/live at the official and published start time of the match, or should the player disconnect for any lengthy period of time that delays the start of future games in the match, he or she will be docked the seconds and minutes that run from the total match timer of that portion and potentially forfeited the full point for as many rounds missed per the running countdown clock of that time control.
  • Players agree to be on an "open call" with no sound but video that can show them at any time during the official broadcast. This is both for entertainment value for the hosts to see what the players are going through at critical stages and exciting games, and also for match security.
  • Hosts will attempt to have the players on the same call both during the match (so they can choose to see each other while playing) and after the match for interviews.
  • Should the call be dropped or last due to connectivity issues, players (and on site managers / help) agree to attempt reconnecting the call as quickly as possible, and no later than during the break between the next time control.
  • Players are required to conduct post-match interviews, win or lose, with the official broadcast hosts. Interviews to start no later than five minutes after the match conclusion. Post match interviews will be conducted with the players together, but should technical issues not all a group call, the runner-up will go first and the winner will go second.

Chess.com Recommendations:

The following is a list of potentially critical steps players can take to ensure the highest-quality experience playing online blitz on Chess.com. Though these recommendations are not required, Chess.com believes these measures will provide each player with the best possible chances of success in the Speed Chess Championship, as well as avoid potential issues that might occur generally in the "online blitz chess format" that would not occur in over-the-board play:

  • Use a mouse that is comfortable to move quickly in time scrambles. Avoid using trackpads with laptops and touchscreen devices.
  • Play from a "hardwired" connection or on stable WiFi you've used for hours without interruption previously (Chess.com highly recommends a hardwired, Ethernet connection ). As stated above in the Rules And Match Format section, losses occurring due to disconnection and/or "lag" because of an unstable and slower connection will count towards the total match score.
  • Play from a fast, stable connection. We recommend minimum 10Mbps download speed, and 5Mbps upload speed. Go to SpeedTest.net to check the connection you plan to play with beforehand.
  • Play a minimum of 10 games in each time control (including Chess960) before the match begins.

Thank you for participating in the 2017 Speed Chess Championship!

Sincerely, Chief Organizer
International Master Daniel Rensch
Vice President, Chess.com LLC

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