How does game abandonment work?

You may have noticed that if you take a while to move at the start of a new game, you’ll get a warning that if you don’t move soon the game will be abandoned. Likewise, if you take too long to make a move in the middle of a game, sometimes the same thing can happen. What is going on here? 

No one wants to have to wait around for an opponent that isn’t there, so we have a few ways to prevent players having to wait for an unresponsive player. 

First move timer

When a new game starts, you have a certain amount of time to make your first move, or the game is considered to be abandoned. If you don’t make your first move in 5 seconds, a timer will appear. How much time you have depends on the time controls of the game: 

  • Bullet: 10 seconds to make a move 
  • Blitz: 15 seconds 
  • Rapid: 55 seconds

If you don’t make a move when the timer runs out, the game will be counted as a loss for you by abandonment. 

Disconnect timer

Another way a game can be ruled as abandoned is if you disconnect for too long. How long you can stay disconnected before the game ends is based on the time controls. The rule is, if you’re disconnected, you have 10% of the base time plus 40 x increment, with a minimum of 30 seconds and a maximum of 3 minutes to reconnect. If you can’t reconnect in this amount of time, the game will be ended. 


Bullet 1 | 0 -- The base time is 1 minute plus no increment is 1 minute, times 10% equals 6 seconds. Since the minimum is 30 seconds,  you’d have 30 seconds to reconnect. 

Blitz 5 | 5 -- The base time is 5 minutes (300 seconds), plus 40 x 5 seconds increment is  500 seconds. Multiply by 10% and that’s 50 seconds to reconnect.

Rapid 10 | 0  -- The base time is 10 minutes (600 seconds) plus no increment, times 10% is 60 seconds to reconnect

Rapid 15 | 10 -- The base time is 15 minutes (900 seconds) plus 40 x 10 seconds, which totals 1300 seconds. 10% of that is 2 minutes 10 seconds to reconnect. 

The formula for any disconnect timer, where B=base time and i=increment: 

(B + 40i) x 0.1

NOTE: If a player disconnects in a totally lost position (say. -5 or worse), the game will be ruled abandoned after only 15 seconds, regardless of time control

Long move timer

The last, and little known way to time out is if you are still connected, but take a very long time to make one move. 

This can only happen before 10 moves are made in the game. After 10 moves, you can use as much time as you like on any move, but before ten moves are made if you use more than 50% of the main time on one move, you will be considered to have abandoned the game.


Bullet 2 | 1: Half of 2 minutes is 1 minute, so if you took more than 1:00 on a single move before the tenth move, you would be considered to have abandoned the game. 

Blitz 5 | 5: Half of 5 minutes is 2:30, so if you took more than 2:30 on a single move before the tenth move, you would be considered to have abandoned the game. 

Rapid 15 |10: Half of 15 minutes is 7:30, so if you took more than 7:30 on a single move before the tenth move, you would be considered to have abandoned the game. 

NOTE: If a player in the Poor Sports pool (already having a high rate of disconnection) uses more than 35% of their initial game time on a single move, we send an "Are you there?" notification. Unless they click on the notification or make a move, the game will be ruled abandoned. (Only affects Poor Sports)

If the information in this article is out of date, incorrect, or unclear, please let us know!

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