Chess Tournament Varieties

One of the oldest games known to the human kind, Chess, has developed its course over a tremendously long period of time and it is what has made it reach the diverse form in which it exists today. A popular way in which the spirit of chess players is celebrated throughout the world is through the chess tournaments. In a chess tournament, a series of games are held so that either a winning team or a victorious individual can be decided based on the performance displayed during the course of the tournament. It has been one and a half century now that the first chess tournament took place for it was held in London, England back in the year 1851. Since then, it has become a standard format in which the serious players of chess compete with one another and has maddened the admirers of chess at the same time.

Sameness is the mother of disgust, variety the cure.

-Francesco Petrarch

It is the aforementioned idea that fits well with the essence of the game of chess. Today, the game is played in various forms and each variety has its own splendour and way of attracting the attention of the chess players. The best thing about the varieties of chess is that they are skilfully included to be a part of various global level tournaments and get the fair admiration of the audience as well as the players who combat against one another with the chess board as the battlefield. The detailed insights of some of the prominent varieties of the game of chess are as mentioned below:-

  • Blitz Chess

Among the various popularly practised time controls of chess, Blitz Chess has become the most widely famous time control choice for the chess players. In common use, Blitz Chess is known as Speed Chess. This is because it has a very fast time control. This makes it fun to both watch as well as play. It is said that the rush that one gets while watching or playing a game of fast chess is absolutely incomparable. A game of Blitz Chess has pre moves, blunders, unusual and offbeat openings as its major ingredients and this is exactly what grabs the attention of the audience as well as the players so that they cannot let go of it even if they want to.


On the popular chess playing website ‘chess.com.’ the time controls of Blitz vary between three and five minutes per players. The statistics show that on this website, around three and a half games of Blitz are played every day. The time control of the FIDE’s World Blitz Championship stands at 3|2 currently. In accordance with records in the field of chess as per the year 2020, Magnus Carlsen is the present reigning World Champion of the Blitz time control. Apart from the limited availability of time, the rules of movement, capture and end game apply to a Blitz game in the same way as any other classic game of chess.


  • Bullet Chess

One of the well-known variants of Blitz chess is the Bullet chess. Anything that has ten minutes or less per player falls under the category of Bullet chess. It is indeed considered to be faster as compared to the Blitz chess. In a game of Bullet chess, the time controls are faster than 3 minutes per player. 1|0 and 2|1 are the most popular forms in which Bullet chess is played and appreciated by the admirers. This means that one minute with no increment per player and two minutes with a one second increment per player respectively. The data collected from the website ‘chess.com.’ portray that over 550,000 Bullet chess games are played on the website on the daily basis. It is thus, the second most popular time control after Blitz.


Also, it is one of the rules in the Bullet chess that if one of the players runs out of time and the other one is left with just the king then the match ends in a draw. Apart from this, if a player is running short of time to check mate and it’s possible to capture the last few pieces of the opponent, the former can save them from the loss. The craze for the Bullet chess does not leave the World Champions untouched. In the year 2019, the Chess.com Bullet Championship was organised in order to crown the bullet champion of the website. It proved to be a star studded field of the top players with eight famous participants competing in it. The event was won by none other than, Hikaru Nakamura.


  • Rapid Chess

In the matches of Rapid chess category, each player gets fifteen or twenty minutes and ten seconds extra for each move. In other words, in a Rapid chess game, either all the moves are supposed to get completed in a fixed time of more than ten minutes but less than sixty minutes for each player or the time which is allotted added to the sixty times any increment is of more than ten minutes but less than sixty minutes for each player.A Rapid game is recorded to usually end in around an hour’s time. It is considered to be roughly four times faster than a classical chess game. The notable thing about the Rapid chess games is that in these, the players get sufficient time to think and then formulate a strategy.


In order to acknowledge the talent of the players who look forward to play chess in the Rapid form, World Rapid Chess Championship is organised every year. The purpose of this is to determine the world champion in chess which is played under the rapid control of time. This has been a consistent scenario since the year 2012. Currently, Grand Master Magnus Carlsen is the present Rapid World Champion and Humpy Koneru of Indian origin is the contemporary Women’s Rapid World Champion.



  • Classic Chess

The world is becoming a victim of speed these days. Everything is being switched to their faster forms but the charm of playing chess with classic time control is unconquerable. For this reason FIDE,the World Chess Federation follows a single classical chess time control for the most of its major events. The insights of the time control are as follows: 90 minutes of the first 40 moves which is followed by allotment of 30 minutes for the rest of the game. In addition to this, 30 seconds are provided per move, starting from the first move.



Despite being played in several varieties, the best thing about the game of chess is that the essence, on which it is based, remains unaltered throughout the spectrum. Indeed, it is a treat for the players as well as the viewers.

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