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This is not a new topic but it did happen in my game at chess.com. I was playing white and played the only legal move h7 and was checkmated on the next move.

My question is: What will happen if I just let my time ran out? Will the system give a draw as black has only one knight and the system will consider it as "insufficient material" even though there is a checkmate in 1 move?

[Title "Timeout vs Insufficient Material"]
[fen "5k1K/8/7P/6n1/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"]

1. h7 Nf7#

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Chess.com specifically uses these rules for a dead position:

Here are the piece combinations that lead to a draw by insufficient material:

  • King vs. king
  • King and bishop vs. king
  • King and knight vs. king
  • King and bishop vs. king and bishop of the same color as the opponent's bishop

Because you have a pawn your position does not meet any of these rules so you would lose.

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What will happen if I just let my time ran out? Will the system give a draw as black has only one knight and the system will consider it as "insufficient material" even though there is a checkmate in 1 move?

If chess.com uses the FIDE Laws of Chess then, of course, it is a win for black. Here is the relevant section:

6.9 Except where one of Articles 5.1.1, 5.1.2, 5.2.1, 5.2.2, 5.2.3 applies, if a player does not complete the prescribed number of moves in the allotted time, the game is lost by that player. However, the game is drawn if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves.

Not only does there exist a possible series of legal moves, that series of legal moves is the only legal series of moves.

If chess.com does not use the FIDE Laws of Chess (possible but unlikely, I think) then you need to ask them.

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    Yes, of course it is a win for Black. But your penultimate paragraph doesn't make sense to me -- Black has many legal moves (nine, I think) after White plays h7.
    – TonyK
    Sep 20, 2023 at 0:11
  • Chess.com uses USCF rules Sep 23, 2023 at 3:33

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