Game times: how to find fast games

I have a question about the timing in the games. In general, I don’t like long games. I like to play at total not longer than 5 a 10 minutes, and with a thinking time of max. 30s per move (at most!). However, I often click on a game that states “10m + 5x30s” (or something similar) and then actually I find out that new time keeps on getting added to the total time, so in the end a game can last 30 minutes or more. Normally, in these cases I resign, but still: is there a way I can easily recognize that a game lasts 10 minutes tops (possibly with later some “extra periods” of at most a few minutes)?
It’s a bit of a pity to resign so often and I guess for my opponents it isn’t much fun either.

The most straightforward way is to create games with your preferred time controls.

And when you find people who like playing at your speed, start building a network of people to play with. You could probably populate a friends list or group with people who are into what you’re into.

You might want to look into Fischer time controls with main time, increment, and max time that suit your style.

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Sure! In general on OGS you can mostly see games using Fischer, or Byo Yomi.

more info on time control here


If you absolutely need a game to be not much more than 10m you could try something like 10m + 1x30s but even then theoretically it could go for any length of time as long as each player plays within 30s so for a guaranteed 20 minutes game total just put byo yomi 10m + 0x30s and you’ll only get the main time (please note this is the best way to get a fixed time game as simple time controls are unusually bugged)

There’s also the option of the Absolute time control. If you want the game to be done in 10 minutes, set up a game with 10 minutes of Absolute time.

Be aware though, there is currently this discussion about the current problems with absolute time.

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Yes, but the way I read the thread (and a similar thread in which I participated) this isn’t really a problem with absolute time as much as an objection to how some people may choose to play in absolute time.


Still good to be aware of.

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*5 minutes of absolute time (5m per player = 10m in total), otherwise you end up with a <=20m game.



Sloppy wording, good catch.


I think it is important to understand how time is added to games if you are concerned about game length.

Byo-yomi: indicated by 5m + 3x30s Each person has 5m of thinking time to use, plus an infinite number of moves that they can play with 30s thinking time. They also have 3 moves that they can play with > 30s thinking time (to a total of 90s of extra thinking time)

Fisher: indicated by 5m + 30s up to 1m. Each person has 5m of thinking time to use, plus an infinite number of moves they can play with 30s thinking time. They can also save more thinking time, up to a minute, if they use less time each move.

Simple: indicated by 30s per move. Each person has an infinite number of 30s per move. If they go over on
any move, they lose.

Absolute: indicated by 5m. Each person has 5m time to play, when that expires for one play the other wins.

Surely, absolute should be absolute time per player so you can’t burn the other person’s time?!


You forgot Canadian, which gives a certain amount of time to play a certain amount of moves. I’m not sure of the terminology.

I believe this is the case, but if you are faster at playing junk moves, or alternate between playing junk moves and playing “obvious threats” then you can potentially burn down your opponents clock faster than your own diminishes.

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Absolute time really isn’t a broken idea. It just means each player gets a specific amount of time in which to make all of their moves.

When planning out the amount of time you may need for your game, you should prepare for the fact that you may encounter some players who play goofy moves in hopes of making you burn your time thinking of appropriate response moves.

This doesn’t make absolute time broken, despite the very strong feelings some people have about the poor sportsmanship of some of their opponents.

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Yeah, my mistake. It sounds like absolute is what the OP wants :slight_smile:

The problem is rather that some people who are ahead on time, but hopelessly behind in game start not just playing goofy moves, but filling up their own territory or suicidal moves in the opponents territory. With go you can easily play a game with 700+ moves like this, which is about double of what you expect. Even if you’re winning and don’t “need to” respond, you’re forced to use up at least a second or two every move, because of reaction time.

You should prepare for reckless moves, but you shouldn’t have to prepare for your opponent filling up their own territory or start a passing war to waste the remainder of your time.

Anyway, if you encounter such behaviour, you can use the ‘call a moderator’ button.


Did the answers here help, alasala?

Thank you all for your answers. I understand that I have mainly to look for Byo Yomi and - maybe - Absolute. It’s true that I have had one or two bad experiences with someone who on purpose kept on making nonsense moves in order to make me lose on time, but I find it much more frustrating when the time keeps on increasing during a game.
Thanks everybody for your help!

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