I am a slow but strong player. I can get into winning positions against masters but there is just one problem:

I always run out on time!

The amount of games that I have lost on time while on winning position has now become unbearable. I usually stick to rapid games. One unfortunate instance was when I nearly beat a WFM in a Nimzo-Larsen with the white pieces, but had to draw because there was 30 seconds on the clock.

What is the best way to become faster? Is there a way to get faster? Would alloting 10-15 seconds per move be acceptable in a rapid game?


1 Answer 1


Have an opening rep you can play quickly.

Get a time advantage early and maintain it.

Create problems for your opponent so they have to use their time.

Use your opponent's time to think.

Work on basic tactics (one to two move) and focus on seeing them quickly. What I used to do is take a basic tactics book and run through it 7 times (or more) and each time cut the time it takes to go through it in half. Kind of a modified De La Maza system.

You should know basic endgames and be able to play them quickly. For example, time yourself in a KQ vs K and work to improve those times.

  • I know basic endgames, I have a repertoire, but I always lose the time advantage. I like the idea of running through a tactics book multiple times.
    – DdogBoss
    Jun 11, 2022 at 5:40
  • To clarify, what was saying was I usually play the first 5-8 moves really fast and that usually gives a small time advantage and then I use that time advantage to think on my opponents time and continue build that advantage.
    – Savage47
    Jun 21, 2022 at 20:28
  • As far as openings- Pick good blitz openings that you can 5-8 moves without really thinking. System-types openings are good but there's other openings. The Tarrasch for example you play the same first 8 or 9 moves regardless of what white plays with only a couple of exceptions. Also, you can put together a cohesive rep like for example combining the slav and caro kann and they're pretty much the same moves regardless of whether white plays e4, d4, c4 or whatever.
    – Savage47
    Jun 21, 2022 at 20:36
  • Also you want to avoid theory and try to create problems for opponent. Get your opponent thinking as early as possible. Im not say to play trappy lines but play good lines that aren't common and give your opponent a problem in the first few moves.
    – Savage47
    Jun 21, 2022 at 20:47

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.