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I've been trying out the FIDE Online Arena; while I've found a lot of marketing, I find very little useful documentation (possibly because the software is new).

FIDE Online Arena has four different Elos: bullet, blitz, rapid, and unmonitored.

Q: What specifically determines bullet, blitz, rapid, and unmonitored time controls?

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According to FIDE:

Blitz: <= 10 minutes

Rapid: > 10 minutes and <= 60 minutes

Source: http://www.fide.com/component/handbook/?id=171&view=article (See appendices)


According to Wikipedia and many online chess platforms:

Bullet: < 3 minutes

Blitz: >= 3 minutes and < 10 minutes

Rapid: > 10 minutes and <= 60 minutes

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_chess

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Yes, exactly. Blitz: 3-5 minutes per side, usually no increment. Bullet: 1 or 2 minutes per side. Rapid: 15 to 60 minutes per player. sometimes with a small time increment per move for example 10 seconds.

For me personally, i like it so far because as far as i know, FIDE online arena is one of the Premium Chess members which i suppose all of National Federations are also members of Premium Chess. And its very interesting to play with people from world federations. The interface indeed can be improved a lot, but i do like their design and website.

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I think all the above said is true - but i think most online chess platforms differ a little from the fide definition:

FIDE takes

Basetime + 60 * increment 

for their calculation and then says

  • Bullet < 3 minutes
  • Blitz <= 10 minutes
  • Rapid <= 60 minutes

While most other platforms take

Basetime + 40 * increment

as a base for their calculation - so the very weird timecontrol 0 minutes + 4 seconds per move is usually considered Bullet

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