There are different game duration on chess.com. What do options 1|1, 2|1 etc. mean?


1 Answer 1


For example 3|2 means each player starts with 3 minutes and gets 2 seconds added to the clock for making a move (this is called an "increment").

When there is no "|", you do not get any time for making a move, and each player gets the displayed time in minutes at the start of the game.

Another notation you might see uses a "+", for example 3+2.

  • 2
    ah, that is why coudn't see a great difference between 1 min and 1|1. I noticed that the clock turns back to 1:00 during the first moves but after that it seemed the same as "1 min". Mar 18, 2021 at 10:58
  • Sometimes the clock will be capped at the starting time. So, even if the time is 3min+5seconds, and you make each move in 1 second, you can’t get more than 3 minutes on the clock.
    – Patrick M
    Mar 18, 2021 at 19:05
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    Another kind of time control, though I don't know how common it is for on-line play, includes a "delay". If a time control is 30 minutes with a 5-second delay, that would mean that a player's clock won't start running until five seconds after the opponent's move, but moves that take less than 5 seconds won't build up time on the clock.
    – supercat
    Mar 18, 2021 at 23:10
  • 1
    @supercat It's the standard time control in Shogi - including online Shogi - but I've never seen it in (Western) chess. Mar 20, 2021 at 3:00
  • @adam-chalcraft - delay time controls are common in US Chess Federation over-the-board play. A closely related type of time control is the "Bronstein delay", where a player's clock starts running as soon as they're on move, and the delay time is added back when the player presses the clock - but the add-back can never increase the available time. So, if there's a 5 second Bronstein delay, but the player only uses 2 seconds for their move, they only get 2 seconds added back, and they end up with the same amount of time on the clock as they started with.
    – patbarron
    Mar 20, 2021 at 9:35

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