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In Blitz games, with very little time left for both players, is it acceptable to keep on checking the opponent and waste their time and win the game on time? Is that true sportsmanship?

  • 3
    VTC as primarily opinion-based, as this question is completely subjective. – Voile Nov 6 at 3:19
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    What is the alternative? – Captain Man Nov 6 at 15:51
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    All is fair in love, war, and blitz:) – postoronnim Nov 6 at 22:35
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That only works in blitz time controls with no increment. If you accept games with no increment you are basically agreeing that flagging is part of the game and sportsmanlike. If you personally find it unsporting then always play with an increment and decline challenges with no increment.

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    I have even done very weird things in online bullet games - queen sacs that make the opponent go wait can i really take that? And I've trade my queen for 3.5 seconds of time. – corsiKa Nov 7 at 4:41
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In blitz, time is a major factor in the game, and it is fine to try and win on time.

If you used too much time, and your opponent thinks he can flag you, there is nothing wrong with that. It is part of the game.

32

Time is a resource in blitz chess, as much as or even more so than material. If it isn't unsportsmanlike to capture your opponent's material, how is it unsportsmanlike to capture their time?

In blitz chess, there is often a time-endgame. Otherwise pointless checks and random-looking moves are part of this endgame. From my perspective, this is part of what makes blitz fun. I have lost many blitz games because my opponent found ways to make me burn precious seconds responding to annoying checks at the end of the game, and have never thought of them as bad players for doing so.

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waste their time

If it's clear that they are able to win within the time they have left, this could be considered bad sportsmanship. However, in those situations the number of remaining checks is usually quite low.

win the game on time

If that's a possibility, I'd say it's perfectly fine to play on if you're losing on the board. At the beginning of the game, both players get the same amount of time to finish the game, not just to obtain a winning position. Time management is an important part of the game, and if you fail at it, you deserve as much to lose as you do with failing to obtain a good (or drawn) position.

  • "clear that they are able to win within the time they have left" - it might depend on your location, but when I played professionally, if you had time trouble but had a clear winning situation with no way for your opponent to win (most egregious case is king+rook versus king), you could call the arbiter and claim a draw. Whether it's applicable to all blitz tournaments or not, I don't know. – vsz Nov 6 at 5:40
  • I once had KQ vs KP and had to swap my Q for the pawn to not lose on time. – jf328 Nov 7 at 3:07

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