8 Most popular types of chess

The number of players playing chess and chess popularity is getting increased day by day. There are various types of chess games. Which one could be the most popular among the players?

Blitz is the most popular type of chess game. In blitz players used to play 3|0, 3+2 and 5|0, the most. After the blitz games, bullet games are also popular.

Here are the most popular types of chess

  • Blitz
  • Bullet
  • Fischer Random (Chess960)
  • Crazyhouse
  • 3-Check
  • King of the Hill
  • Rapid
  • Classical chess

People nowadays like to watch speed games rather than long format games, which take hours to finish the game. In the majority of online chess platforms, people play blitz and bullet the most. FIDE is also providing an official rating for blitz.

Let’s look at each type in detailed


Blitz games are played in a short time format. The main time control for blitz games is 3|0, 3|2, 5|0 and 5|3. In most blitz official championships, the time control is 3|2, which means each player will be given 3 minutes each and for each completed move 2 seconds will be added to each player.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen had the record highest blitz rating of 2986. Hikaru Nakamura also ranked among the highest blitz rating with a peak rating of 2934.

In blitz games, players usually have the tendency to play aggressive chess openings. The main idea is to create very good pressure on the opponent so that the player will get into time trouble.


Bullet chess is much faster than blitz. Most bullet chess is played with the time control 1|0 and 2|1. Bullet chess is mainly played on online platforms. According to, there are over 550,000 bullet games played per day on their platform.

It is found that bullet chess is played by beginners to pro chess players. World champion Magnus Carlsen used to play bullet chess. The major advantages of playing bullet chess are:

  • Helps to play faster in the game
  • Helps to calculate faster
  • Helps to work on tactics faster
  • Will able to tackle time trouble.

Even though bullet chess has these advantages it has disadvantages as well. Beginner players tend to play faster without much thinking, which results in mistakes and blunders. Some players are addicted to speed games, especially bullet games, so when they try to play long format games, it is seen that they play much faster without proper calculations. These are some of the issues that could happen by playing bullet games.

Fischer Random (Chess960)

In Fischer Random chess the starting position of the pieces on the player’s home rank is randomized. Fischer Random chess is also known as chess960 and it was invented by the former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer. There are possible 960 starting variations in Fischer Random Chess.

In chess960, the white side has a slight advantage over the black side. In 2019, the first Fischer random official championship was held. Wesley So emerged as the champion by defeating World Champion Magnus Carlsen.


Crazyhouse is the type of chess in which the captured opponents’ pieces can be reintroduced to the game as one’s own. This type of chess is mostly played by young players. The rules of playing crazyhouse are very much different from normal games.


3-Check is the type of chess in which you can win the game if the opponent’s king is given 3 checks. All normal chess rules are applicable in this type of chess. The double check is only counted as one check when calculating the total check.

In 3-check games players used to sacrifice their pieces, to win the game by providing checks. Here players are not concerned about the values of the pieces, since their aim is toward the king and to be victorious.

King of the Hill

King of the Hill is a chess type player will be victorious if he brings the opponent’s king to the 4 centre squares (d4, e4, d5, and e5) on the chessboard. It follows all other normal chess rules except bring the chess king to centre squares.

When playing endgame positions it will be more tricky, since the king cannot advance to the centre squares. If you ever want to play this variation make sure you didn’t advance your king to centre.


Rapid chess is the chess type which is played with a time control of more than 10 minutes and less than 60 minutes. Rapid games are played with or without time increment. World Rapid championships is played in 15|10 format.

The World Rapid Chess Championship was introduced by FIDE in 2012. Sergey Karjakin was the rapid champion for the year 2012 and Magnus Carlsen was in the second spot.

Classical chess

Classical chess is a long-format game, which is played with the time control of more than 60 minutes. The World Chess Federation FIDE has a single, classical time control for most of its major events, 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an addition of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

Most of the FIDE rated championships are played in classical time format. In this type of chess players are able to bring out their best games.


Understanding the different types of chess is very much important. Each type of chess has got its own playing style and strategy. For years Classical and Rapid chess were most widely popular. With the emergence of blitz and bullet the trend of chess games changed a lot.

About Harikrishnan A

I am an International Fide Rated player with 10+ years of experience. Played many International Chess Tournaments and Commonwealth games.
View all posts by Harikrishnan A →

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