It is common advise that a chess player trying to improve should limit their blitz chess. Online chess is filled with people playing blitz and bullet and I often have trouble finding players to play longer time controls. Is there a chess site with a lot of rapid players? I'm thinking that unfortunately, chess.com is the best option, but sometimes I feel like it takes too long to pair up, and the opposition is not so strong. I've heard that ICC isn't too good for long time controls either. Anyone have any information?

2 Answers 2


The vast majority of online chess games played on any site are played with very short time controls. Because of this fact, if you want to play longer games, you will have to wait longer, on average, than you would for a game shorter time control.

If you are looking for quality chess games and you want relatively long time controls and decently high-rated players then you can try limiting your searches to high rated players.

You can select custom rating ranges on lichess and on ICC. This will allow you to, for example, filter out lower-rated opponents if you want a strong opponent.

Another possibility is to play in the long-time-control tournaments that most popular chess sites have on a regular basis. Both ICC and lichess have regular tournaments with relatively long time control. The advantage of this is that once the tournament starts, usually the wait time between games is not that long.

  • 2
    Tournaments don't seem like a good idea in my opinion. You have to play players of all strengths in a tournament, so you don't get to play "strong players" too often. Also, lichess tournaments with rapid time controls is 10 minutes, which isn't very serious, especially with the lack of increment. Aug 10, 2017 at 23:05
  • Some tournaments are restricted to rating ranges (e.g. U2000 or 1800+) ... but yes, if I were you, I would just search for high rated games and long time control, and during the long waits just do lichess puzzles (I think they are quite convenient) or chess tempo puzzles ... Aug 10, 2017 at 23:08
  • The issue with tournaments is that say if you play a 30 minutes each tournament, and you win your first game in 5 minutes because your opponent blunders or leaves, you (generally) have to wait 55 minutes for your next game to start. Most people don't "play" chess online to sit and wait for a game for so long. (The lichess arena system somewhat circumvents this issue, but for small tournaments with long time controls you'll still have to wait a while to be paired again.)
    – TMM
    Sep 19, 2017 at 22:30
  • Lichess doesn't seem to have the problems mentioned in the comments to this thread, but unfortunately the longest tournaments are 10+0 games. Nov 18, 2017 at 15:17

Chess With Friends

It is available as an app for android and iOS. There is a time restriction of 5 days per move. Falling foul of the time restriction forfeits the game.

The game has it's own ELO system independent of any official ones and it's not tremendously accurate (I am rated about 200 points higher than my real rating)

But it's matching system works really well and it picks opponents for me who are a good match for my skill level.

I am currently playing about 12 games simultaneously. Each night after dinner I will sit down and play one move in each game. If I miss a night because I'm busy or tired it's no big deal. Sometimes I won't be able to play a move because my opponent has not moved yet, but I will still spend a few minutes looking at the position.

That style of play won't suit everyone, but the app is definitely worth a look.

There is a free version which has 100% functionality but has quite a lot of ads. The paid version is quite cheap and worthwhile in my opinion.

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