Chess Terms


What happens if you're about to deliver a checkmate, but your clock is ticking down to its last seconds? If you know what premoves are, you have nothing to fear! 

Here's everything you need to know about this important aspect of online chess.

What Is A Premove In Chess?

A premove in chess is when a player sets up a move that plays automatically as soon as it's their turn, independently of the opponent's move. Premoves are only possible when playing online chess.

On, players can set up as many premoves as they want. Whenever it's their turn, the moves will be played automatically and sequentially as long as they're legal. Each move costs the player 0.1 seconds, so you can still flag even if you have played a lot of premoves. 

Why Are Premoves Important?

Premoves are an integral part of online chess and one of the main differences between playing online and over the board. Because you can make a lot of premoves, you can still win a game even if you only have a little time left on your clock. Here's a clip of GM Eric Hansen winning a game despite having less than three seconds on his clock.

Premoves also allow for faster time controls, like one-minute bullet or the even faster hyperbullet games. While playing one-minute bullet games over the board is still possible, playing it online is much easier. Here's a video of GM Daniel Naroditsky playing a 10-second game against GM Andrew Tang:

How To Premove On

Playing premoves on is easy. However, you have to turn on the option to play premoves before you can do it. To do so, go to our Play page and click the cog icon to access your settings. 

Enabling premoves on

Then, go to the Play tab and then go to Live. You'll see a premove option with a toggle to turn it on or off when you're there. Turn the toggle on by clicking it (you'll see it turning green).

Enabling premoves on

Once the premove option is on, you can start premoving. To do so, simply move the pieces normally while it's your opponent's move. You'll see that the square where your piece will land turns red, meaning the premove has been activated. Your piece should move automatically as soon as the opponent moves.

Playing a premove on
Playing a move during your opponent's turn sets up a premove.

You can also premove multiple moves at once by following the same logic. Just make all the moves you want while waiting your turn. Notice that you can't premove multiple moves on mobile.

Playing premoves on
Playing multiple moves during your opponent's turn sets up multiple premoves.

How To Cancel Premoves

If you change your mind before your opponent has moved and would rather play another move, right-clicking anywhere on the board cancels all the premoves you previously had.

It's also worth noting that if one of your premoves is an illegal move, it will be canceled automatically. 


You now know what a premove is and how to play them on Head to our Play page and try premoving a few moves right now!

Explore More Chess Terms