The following system was used by chess players in 18th and 19th centuries when playing for money stakes (in increasing handicap level; the stronger player gets white unless otherwise indicated):
- Move: Weaker player gets white.
- Two moves: Weaker player gets white and starts the game by making two moves.
- Pawn and move: Weaker player gets white and the black pawn on f7 is removed from the board.
- Knight odds: Stronger player plays without a knight. Usually this is the queen's knight on b1.
- Rook odds: Stronger player plays without a rook. Usually this is the queen's rook on a1, with the white pawn on a2 being moved to a3.
- Queen odds: Stronger player plays without the queen.
In modern times, Bobby Fischer once claimed that he could give knight odds to any woman player in the world and still win , but never demonstrated this. In 2001, London businessman Terence Chapman played a match against former world champion Garry Kasparov with Kasparov giving odds of two pawns in each game (the pawns to be removed being different each time); Kasparov won the match by two games to one, with one drawn.
Time handicaps are most often practiced in blitz games. The stronger player gets less time. For example, the stronger player might get 2 minutes per game with the weaker player getting 5 minutes.