In blitz games, I sometimes have to choose between sharper positions that I suspect will put me at some slight positional advantage and positions easily played by my side but difficult for my opponent which, if they play correctly, they should win.

For example, I might have the option to exchange down to a queen versus rook endgame where I have a 1-minute time advantage or go for a rook and bishop versus rook endgame where I have the extra bishop but where I might have to use up a lot of time to get there. Given that choice it seems to me that holding a rook versus queen endgame is relatively easy if my opponent is under time pressure (assuming the endgame is not easily converted into the Philidor position) but winning the bishop endgame is less certain.

That said, when I start sacrificing material for no real advantage except to temporarily solve my opponent's most recent attack, it seems to me that my opponent is likely to get irritated that I am trying just to win on time. I'm not sure what the appropriate etiquette is in such situations regarding play, however.

  • This is one of the reasons I barely play Blitz. Unknown opponents may use ethically dubious tactics.
    – Mast
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 14:07
  • Does this answer your question? When losing in blitz, is it rude to play to win on time?
    – amalloy
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 18:38
  • @amalloy I read that one, but I wasn't sure about if it is different to specifically play to force a loss on time rather than to win by checkmate. Not as a thing you end up doing because you are losing but because you think certain situations will cost your opponent too much time or you are capable of physically moving the pieces faster than them or whatever. That question is about accepting a win that results from time rather than specifically choosing lines that are losing because they will take your opponent too much calculation and you know them well. Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 19:40
  • Again, despite the same basic answers, this is a different question. THAT is the criterion, not if it is somewhat similar in the answer. Vote to reopen. Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 21:04
  • Also, I think that since this seems to happen all too often, that admins should stop being a single vote to close, and that they should leave it up to the community. Use your one vote, but only one. Note that despite this being up for 15 hours, not one other member voted to close. Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 21:13

2 Answers 2


All is fair in love, war, and blitz (at least with regards to winning on time, and short of outright cheating).

In blitz, time is a major factor in the game, and it is fine to try and win on time in any situation.

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.

I have seen Grandmasters check with a queen right next to the opposing king that can be taken for free to win on time, just because it requires that split second to realize what happened.

P.S. If someone does not like being flagged, they can always play with an increment.


There is nothing wrong with winning on time. You just have to understand the risk losing game by position. In a competition time is also the factor. To avoid brutal play on time Fisher and similar time controls where invented, but if your competition uses old style controls without increment is totally fine to win on time, especially a blitz game. Managing ones time is required skill of tournament player.

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