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Classical chess, the game’s so-called ‘purest version’, has one major drawback. It does not have a designated time limit. Hence, matches that follow classical chess’s rules may take almost a day to finish!

Sometime in the latter half of the twentieth century, it was decided that shorter versions of the game needed to be invented to make chess attractive to the public. Hence came along what we now call ‘speed chess’. Speed chess is relatively much shorter than classical chess as it is bound by premeditated ‘time controls’.

With time, more than one short version of chess came into being. We now have three officially recognised speed chess variants – rapid chess, blitz chess, and finally, our topic of concern, bullet chess.

What Is Bullet Chess?

As the name suggests, ‘bullet chess’ is a version of chess that is super fast, like a gun’s bullet. Bullet chess happens to be the quickest variant of ‘speed chess’. According to the international governing body of the chess Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE), there are three types of speed chess: rapid, blitz, and bullet.

Blitz Vs. Bullet Chess

Each version of speed chess has a designated time limit attached to the gameplay. Where rapid chess gives each competitor in a match not more than 15 minutes, blitz chess allows a player to compete for a maximum of 10 minutes. Blitz chess is the most sought-after variant of speed chess and is favoured over rapid and bullet chess. In the case of bullet chess, each participant gets to finish their turn within three minutes.

How Long Is Bullet Chess?

The most popular bullet game formats include one minute per player with no extra time. Next to this lies the arrangement where a competitor gets two minutes plus an incremental one second to complete all their moves.

Anyone having a liking for chess can try bullet chess. It does not matter if you are a complete amateur or a seasoned professional; bullet chess is meant for everyone. The fastest variant of chess has millions of followers worldwide.

Data coming in from various sources point towards the fact that bullet chess is the second most liked speed chess variant played every day on a global scale. On the well-known online chess platform, approximately five and a half million bullet chess games are played daily.

Bullet Chess Online

If you want to try the game’s faster version, visit and register. It is pretty simple to join the millions coming for a dose of bullet chess on All you need to do is to visit the website of and take your cursor on ‘Live Chess’. Once you have fulfilled that part, the next step would be to find the ‘Time Control’ pull-down menu. When you get there, select the time control you wish to set for your game. You will get two options – one minute with no added time and two minutes with an additional one second extra time. After you choose your preferred time control setting, find the ‘Play’ button on the screen and press it to begin a new bullet chess match.

How To Win Bullet Chess?

To play bullet chess on, you do not need a playing partner, and the engine will find an opponent from among its other users. To win a bullet chess game, you must ‘checkmate’ your opponent within the time limit set beforehand. Other than that, the rules of the game remain the same.

It is common knowledge that the world championship series and other prestigious chess tournaments are held periodically for the game’s classical version. Similarly, elite bullet chess competitions are also held throughout the year to determine the best players of this version.

Bullet Chess Championship

For example, the 2019 edition of the World Bullet Championship saw several of today’s top professionals coming together. The presence of eight Grandmasters (GMs) graced the online competition. When the dust settled, and all the chess battles had been fought, it was Nakamura who emerged victorious. He defeated Alireza Firouzja in the first round, Levon Aronian in the next game, and Olexnadr Bortnyk in the title decider.

With the increasing pace of life, speed chess is getting more and more attention from the younger players of today. In the blink of an eye, one player gets to decimate their rivals on the chessboard. Although there are chess observers who argue against the quality of a bullet chess match, it has no doubt drawn a new group of players to the game. Bullet chess is, without a doubt, the most entertaining form of speed chess.

If you wish to know more about speed chess, check out ‘Blitz Chess: What is it and How to Play?’ In that article, you will find all the essential information one needs to pocket about blitz chess. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is bullet chess good for?

It is believed in chess circles that playing regular bullet chess can increase tactical acumen. It further reinforces a chess player’s opening prowess and goes a long way to heighten intuitive strength.

2. What is the difference between rapid and bullet chess?

Rapid and bullet chess fall under the time-controlled or’ speed chess’ category. Whereas in rapid chess, each player is given a minimum of 15 minutes to finish all the moves, the case is different in bullet chess. In the latter version, a chess player needs to complete the movements within the stipulated time limit of three minutes.

3. Who is the best bullet chess player?

As per current standings, the American GM Hikaru Nakamura holds the top position in bullet chess. Nakamura has dominated the game’s shortest version for the last few years. His live rating in bullet chess is a staggering 3303, followed by the GM Olexandr Bortnyk at 3270 points.

4. Does bullet chess take skill?

To become good at bullet chess, the basics of chess must be sharpened by first playing regular or classical chess. Any newcomer looking to climb the chess ladder should first master the basics and then try their hand at bullet chess.