Does Chess Have A Time Limit?


Does Chess Have A Time Limit?

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Are you a smart person that loves a good game of chess or even a person that doesn’t necessarily consider yourself super smart? Chess has been considered a smart person’s game, but it’s really not. 

Anyone can play it and have a good time. As long as you know how to strategize, you are good to go. 

There is a question that some people may not know the answer to, and that is, does chess have a time limit?

A traditional game of chess does not have a time limit for moves or for the game to end. However there are chess variations that have a time limit for each player to make their moves or a time limit per game. 

There are a few different ways of playing with a time limit depending on the level that you are playing at. 

Blitz has typical time limits of 5 minutes for each player for all of their moves (meaning the game will take no longer than 10 minutes to play). 

Rapid play is played with typical time limits of 30 minutes for each player for all the moves (an hour total for the game). 

Local league chess has typical time controls of 35 moves in 75 minutes and then perhaps 15 or 20 minutes to finish the game.

When I said that it has a time limit in a way, each player has so much time to make all their moves on these times variations. There is a clock that has a time limit on it for each player, it is stopped when the player pushes his button and the opponent’s clock is started again. 

They will then push the button after they have made their move.

Although timed chess is pretty typical in tournaments or chess clubs when playing a friendly game there is traditionally no time limit. You or your opponent can take as long as they would like to make a move or finish the game. 

To see the most popular chess sets on the market just click here. 

What Is The Time Limit For A Chess Move?

Have you lost a game of chess simply because you ran out of time or you forgot how much time you had left?  Did you even know that you had a time limit when playing in a tournament? 

Well, there are rules as to how much time a person in chess has to make a move, that is if you are playing using the tournament rules. 

For a friendly game of chess there is no time limit for a move. So unfortunately if your opponent is seemingly taking forever to make a move that is totally fine. 

However in most chess tournaments or clubs there will be an overall time limit that each player has so if a player takes a long time on one move they could be hurting themselves in the future by running out of time. 

For all major FIDE events, the World Chess Federation has set a single time control. This means a standard 90 minutes is given to both players. This limit is enough for 40 moves after which the players can still get an extra 30 minutes to complete the entire game. 

An addition of 30 seconds per move is given.

These are the rules for people that play on a professional level. If you want to play like them, that is the proper way to do it. 

When playing a friendly game of chess you can set your own rules and time limit. You could set a limit of 2 minutes per move and just time it with your watch or phone. You could also just agree to not “take forever” after all it is a friendly game. 

If you do plan on going pro someday, I would start practicing with these rules now so that you are used to it and know what you are doing by the time that you get to the professional level.

Can You Run Out Of Time In Chess?

Normally in a strategy game such as chess, you want to take your time and be careful as you plan out every move that you want to make. There are some people that know at least 10 moves ahead what they will do, that’s also considering the possible moves that their opponent might make. 

That’s insane!!! 

But they have to do that in only so much time, because in chess it is possible to run out of time.

For tournaments or chess clubs you can run out of time as there are specific time limits. On friendly games of chess time limits are not enforced so you can’t run out of time. 

Generally you will lose the chess game if you run out of time, unless your opponent cannot mate you, in which case it’s usually a draw. Say you have a queen and a king, and they have only a king; that would generally be a draw. 

If they also had a pawn, it would be a loss for you since they can move that pawn forward and turn it into a Queen. 

It stinks, thinking that you could lose simply because you didn’t budget your time wisely in a game, what kind of game is that anyway? 

However it is probably a good rule, because in a game like chess, it could go on for a very long time if each person is trying to strategize for multiple minutes on each and every move. 

Without the timer, each person could just go on forever while the opponent is just waiting to make a move that they have been planning for a while.

What Is The 50 Move Rule In Chess?

Did you know that there is a rule that has to do with the amount of moves in chess? Because I sure didn’t know about it when I started playing. 

It’s not quite what you think it is though. It is called the 50 move rule and here is what it is.

The fifty-move rule in chess states that a player can claim a draw if no capture has been made and no pawn has been moved in the last fifty moves. For this purpose a “move” consists of a player completing a turn followed by the opponent completing a turn.

Say that you are playing a game of chess with someone and it’s moving along pretty smoothly, but nobody has captured any pieces for quite some time. And you also notice that a pawn has not been moved either. 

If this is the case for you and you may think that you won’t win, you are allowed to call a draw and the game will end.

What Happens If Only The Kings Are Left In Chess?

If you aren’t the greatest chess player and you see all your pieces being captured right before your eyes, do not fear; this does not mean that you are going to lose the game. you still have a chance to win, but what about if your king is the only piece that you have left?

Under modern rules, a player with a single king does not automatically lose and may continue playing. Now, if both players are left with only a king, the game is immediately a draw. 

It is a draw because neither king is able to capture the other king without putting themselves into checkmate. So without any other pieces besides the kings on the board, the game is a draw. 

At the same time, if one player has only a king and bishop or knight while the opponent has a king, the game will typically end in a draw as well. 

The reason that the game is a draw when both players only have a king left, is that there is no possible way to capture the king with only a king. 

The game ending in a draw almost always happens as well when you only have a bishop or knight (or both) because the way that these pieces move, there is virtually no way to capture the opponent’s king before the 50 move rule applies and the game is declared a draw. 

Recent Posts