I'm trying to establish what are the most common time controls for live chess (non-OTB and non-correspondence chess) on every chess websites.

And so I need to know what are the standard time controls (the ones that are suggested, if there are any) on ICC, FICS, ChessCube, Yahoo Chess, Chess.net, GameKnot, etc...

I checked on Chess.com, the suggested time controls there are: 1|0, 2|1, 3|0, 5|0, 5|2, 10|0, 15|10, and 30|0 (the first number represents the minutes, the second number represents the increment per move in seconds)

While on PlayChess and on Red Hot Pawn there is no predefined time controls.

So if you've got an account on any chess website please tell me what are the standard time controls there. Thanks in advance.

3 Answers 3


What defines, "standard time controls"? Do you want the most commonly played time controls? Do you want the time controls which are suggested per each server?

To me, a more interesting analysis is to plot the percentage of games played vs time control and find the time controls with the largest spikes (popularity). But, I'm not sure how to get that information.

On ICC, the most popular time controls would likely be 3 0, 5 0, and 1 0. They have different auto-pairing pools for some standard time controls as well, each has a separate rating. This includes, 1-minute, 5-minute, 15-minute, and 45-minute. Although, 45 minute online is not very common.



GameKnot's live chess uses time control ranges for matchmaking, so there's no single default. I've bolded the time controls that fall within the default matchmaking window below.

Available Time Controls (Minutes | Increment in Seconds):

  • 3|0
  • 5|0
  • 10|0
  • 3|3
  • 3|5
  • 3|10
  • 5|10
  • 5|15
  • 5|20
  • 10|20
  • 10|30
  • 10|60

I don't know of any non-experimental way to get stats on how often each of these time controls is used. You could do a rough approximation by searching for a bunch of matches in each time control and averaging your wait time.


On the playchess server you can list all the games being currently played. The most matches played are always the 3|0 ones, followed by 5|0, 1|0, 4|0, 3|2, 5|2 (dunno the exact order).

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