I find it strange that the dominant time controls for online blitz is 3 min and 5 min instead of something with delay like 3 increment 2. Fide blitz tournaments have increment too. Any insight on this trend?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Brian Towers, GloriaVictis, SmallChess, Herb Wolfe, Phonon Aug 28 '18 at 21:36

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    How do you conclude it is the dominant control? My experience - FWIW - tells otherwise. – parvus Aug 26 '18 at 8:30
  • 35+ million games for 3 minute blitz with 1 to 5 sec increment: lichess.org/games/… – GloriaVictis Aug 26 '18 at 15:20
  • 90+ million games for 3 minute blitz with no increment: lichess.org/games/… – Wais Kamal Aug 26 '18 at 15:23

The main reason, I think, for online blitz sessions not including increment/delay is the possibility of premoving. You can't premove in OTB chess, so you will use the increment for the 'motion' time.

Personally, I feel 3+0, where you have to keep good track of your clock, is more challenging than 3+2, where you just have to liquidate to a winning endgame using your time more freely and then play on the increment until checkmate. In sudden death games, you can flag your opponent if you are losing, so once they get a winning position it is not game over :)


Online chess without increment is more popular because it's quicker to finish. It's also much more exciting as anything can happen as time goes to zero.


A possible reason is cheating. Easier to manually cheat on increment time than in a short time. I have been playing a lot of online games lately and I have seen this.

You play on your computer and use a secondary device (phone) to cheat. Increment makes it easier in shorter time control. One way to tell is to observe sudden rating increase for the offending player if you check their profile (ie, I use lichess).

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    I don't believe an increment of 2" or 3" is enough to use a second device if you are short on time ; If you plan to use it from move1 anyway, the increment is a slight help but it is no less possible in any KO time control above 5'. – Evargalo Aug 28 '18 at 14:42
  • machines are so better than human in short time that if you are set up your chess engine for 1s per move and if it takes you to a middle game where you are in a very good position you can the take the rest of the game from there. It's not that hard. You don't need to win all games, just most games. and chess engines helps cheaters do that. – bran Sep 4 '18 at 15:40
  • so, there is no reason the cheater wouldn't do that in 3+0 or in 5+0? – Evargalo Sep 4 '18 at 18:31
  • Easier, not impossible. With increment, you have the option to rapidly increase your allocated time with quick moves, not with limited time control. Of course, you can do with 3+0 or 5+0, I don't think I ever said you can't. It's just easier with increment. – bran Sep 5 '18 at 8:48

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