Is the ultrabullet chess format (15 seconds for all your moves), which has been running on lichess for quite some years now, give chance to give good quality games?

I would like to know on which servers in the past, ultrabullet was played and its origins.

  • And maybe this is a new Q, but in that blog post is the postscript "After consultation with the lichess legal team we have decided to cancel the implementation of instant chess. There is apparently some physical danger associated with playing chess at high speeds. Research shows ... This is for real." — Are those first two sentences "for real"? What physical dangers? What research? Inquiring minds want to know! Apr 12, 2021 at 15:00
  • @Quuxplusone considering that "this is for real" links to an Ultrabullet tournament it is fair to assume that it refers to the existence of 15 second chess on lichess. The sentence on physical danger is in jest.
    – koedem
    Apr 12, 2021 at 17:58

1 Answer 1


The origin for Ultrabullet on lichess in particular is an April's fools that somehow stuck around https://lichess.org/blog/WN7V-jAAAAdH8ITR/announcing-instant-chess .

Does it lead to quality games? Depends on what exactly you mean by that. If it is about "objectively good" play in the traditional sense, then the answer is no. Strategically it is played very differently, because of the enormous time pressure. (even just playing moves that allow for a good premove followup as well as playing moves aiming to punish opponent premoves and so forth)

In that sense it may be fair to say that Ultrabullet is more akin to a chess variant with its own dynamics, similar to the likes of Crazyhouse or other variants.

  • Wow I did not know that ub was first an April fool's joke on a lichess blog. I do feel 15 seconds chess and crazyhouse bear a lot of similarities are pieces are flying all around the board in both variants. Apr 16, 2021 at 9:53

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