How do time controls work on Chess.com?
Games on Chess.com are always timed, and there are a big variety of time controls, and custom controls!
To choose your time control, first go to Play, and you'll see a default choice displayed above the Play button:
If you clicked Play here, you'd be matched into a 10 minute game! This choice is the default, and after you play some games the default will change to your most recently played time control.
To change the time control, simply click on the time control box. This will open a new menu where you can choose from more options:
Here you can choose from any of the listed time controls, or click "More Time Controls" to see even more options, including a custom setting to create your own time control!
But what do all these time controls mean?
Two numbers describe the time control:
- the first number is how many minutes you have to make all of your moves. 5 |
- the second is how many bonus seconds you get for every move you make. | 5
So a time of 5 | 5 means five minutes for the game + 5 seconds of time added to your clock after each move you make.
18 | 10 represents an 18 minute game, with 10 seconds bonus time per move. So if you make six moves really quickly, those 10 seconds add up to an additional minute on your overall time.
Time controls without the second number have no increment (no bonus time) so 18 min would be an 18-minute game (no bonus).
Can I make my own time control?
Yes, you can! Under the 'More Time Controls' option, you will see the custom time control setting at the very bottom:
To set your own time control, simply fill out the fields. The first two fields (min and sec) will set the main time, and 'inc' will set the bonus time (increment).
So, if you put in the values 8, 23, 11, for example, this would give you a game with 8 minutes and 23 seconds main time, and 11 seconds bonus time per move.
Once you have filled out the fields, click on the arrow button on the right side to enter your time control! It will then look like this, above the play button:
Click Play to find a game with that time control!
NOTE: Custom time controls can take a long time to find a match! If no one else is searching for a game with that same time control, you may not find a match at all.
Please click here for a description of how these time controls relate to Live ratings
If the information in this article is out of date or incorrect, or if you have questions about it, please let us know!
keywords: live chess time controls clock clocks settings rating ratings bonus seconds minutes