The Most Popular Chess Mode: A Rankings Review

Choose the chess mode you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 18, 2024 06:55
Welcome to StrawPoll's ultimate showdown of the chess world! We bring you a head-to-head ranking of the most popular chess modes, where grandmasters and casual players alike can cast their votes to crown the ultimate fan-favorite mode. From the classic standard chess to the intriguing variants like Chess960, Bughouse, and Atomic Chess, our platform boasts thousands of polls and rankings that will indulge your passion for this timeless game. So, make your move and join us in determining the ultimate chess mode champion! Don't see your favorite mode on the list? Suggest a missing option and watch it climb the ranks as fellow chess enthusiasts join the fray. Checkmate boredom and cast your vote now, because the game is on!

What Is the Most Popular Chess Mode?

  1. 1
    The most widely recognized and popular form of chess played worldwide. It is played on a board with 8x8 squares and each player starts with 16 pieces. The objective is to checkmate the opponent's king.
    Standard chess is the most commonly played mode of chess worldwide. It follows the traditional rules of the game and is widely recognized as the standard variation of chess.
    • Board Size: 8x8
    • Initial Setup: 16 pieces per player: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bishops, and 8 pawns
    • Objective: Checkmate opponent's king
    • Piece Movement: Each piece has unique movement rules
    • Turn Structure: Players take turns making one move at a time
  2. 2
    A faster-paced version of chess where each player has less time to make their moves. The time control is typically less than 60 minutes for the entire game.
    Rapid chess, also known as Quick chess or Blitz chess, is a popular mode of playing chess that involves shorter time controls for each player. It is designed to provide a faster-paced and more intense chess experience.
    • Time Control: Typically, each player has a limited amount of time (e.g., 10 minutes) for the entire game. Sometimes additional time increments or bonuses are added after each move.
    • Faster Pace: Rapid chess is known for its accelerated pace, requiring players to make quick decisions and play relatively fast moves.
    • Tournament Standard: Rapid chess is an official format recognized by chess organizations and is often played in tournaments or as part of larger events.
    • Popular Time Controls: Common time controls for rapid chess include 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or 15 minutes for the entire game, with or without increments.
    • Increased Room for Errors: Due to the faster pace and limited thinking time, players are more prone to making mistakes, resulting in more unexpected outcomes.
  3. 3
    An even faster version of chess where each player has even less time to make their moves. The time control is typically less than 10 minutes for the entire game.
    Blitz chess is a fast-paced variant of chess that emphasizes quick decision-making and rapid gameplay. It is typically played with a very short time control, where each player is given a small amount of time (usually less than 10 minutes) to complete all of their moves. The fast tempo of blitz chess leads to intense and thrilling games, with players relying on their instincts and tactical skills to make quick and accurate moves.
    • Time Control: Usually less than 10 minutes per player
    • Number of Players: Two players
    • Board Size: Standard 8x8 chessboard
    • Starting Position: Traditional chess starting position
    • Piece Setup: Standard chess piece arrangement
  4. 4
    Fischer Random chess
    Ihardlythinkso · CC0

    Fischer Random chess

    Bobby Fischer
    Also known as Chess960, this is a variant of chess where the starting position of the pieces is randomized to reduce the impact of opening theory.
    Fischer Random chess, also known as Chess960, is a variant of chess that was created by the former World Chess Champion, Bobby Fischer. It was designed to address the problem of excessive opening theory in traditional chess, where players often rely heavily on known opening moves. Fischer Random chess introduces an element of unpredictability to the initial position, making it more challenging and innovative.
    • Number of possible starting positions: 960
    • Starting position randomness: High
    • Bishops starting on opposite-colored squares: Guaranteed
    • King placement between the rooks: Ensured
    • All pawns keep their initial position: Required
  5. 5
    Correspondence chess
    USSR government · Public domain
    A form of chess played over a long period of time through the mail or email. Players have days or even weeks to make each move.
    Correspondence chess is a popular chess mode where players make moves remotely over an extended period of time. It differs from regular chess in that players can analyze positions, consult references, and use chess engines to aid their decision-making process. Moves are typically exchanged through various communication methods, such as email, postal mail, or online platforms.
    • Timeframe: Moves are played over an extended period, often weeks or months.
    • Analysis: Players can extensively analyze positions and consult references.
    • Assistance: The use of chess engines or computer programs is allowed.
    • Communication: Moves are exchanged via email, postal mail, or dedicated online platforms.
    • Think time: Players have ample time to contemplate their moves thoroughly.
  6. 6
    The fastest version of chess where each player has only a few seconds to make their moves. Games are typically played online.
    Bullet chess is a fast-paced variant of chess played with very short time controls. It is characterized by extremely quick moves and intense gameplay, where each player has a limited amount of time to make their moves.
    • Time Control: Usually less than 3 minutes per player for the entire game
    • Number of Players: Two
    • Move Speed: Moves are made in a matter of seconds
    • Strategic Thinking: Requires quick decision-making and reactive play
    • Time Pressure: Players need to manage time efficiently to avoid losing on time
  7. 7
    Simultaneous chess
    Stefan64 · CC BY-SA 3.0
    A variant of chess where a single player plays multiple games at the same time against different opponents.
    Simultaneous chess is a chess mode in which a single player, known as the exhibitor, plays against multiple opponents simultaneously. It requires the exhibitor to move from board to board, making one move at a time on each board.
    • Number of opponents: Multiple
    • Exhibitor's role: Plays against all opponents simultaneously
    • Exhibitor's movement: Moves from board to board, making one move at a time on each board
    • Opponents' role: Each opponent plays against the exhibitor individually
    • Time control: Usually, the exhibitor has limited time per move for all boards combined
  8. 8
    A variant of chess where players compete as teams rather than individuals.
  9. 9
    A hybrid sport that combines chess and boxing, where players alternate between playing chess and boxing rounds.
    Chessboxing is a hybrid sport that combines the disciplines of chess and boxing. In this unique sporting event, two competitors face off in alternating rounds of chess and boxing. The match consists of a total of 11 rounds, 6 rounds of chess and 5 rounds of boxing. The game ends either when a checkmate is declared in chess or a knockout occurs in boxing.
    • Year of Creation: 2003
    • Round Composition: 6 rounds of chess, 5 rounds of boxing
    • Time Limit: 4 minutes for chess rounds; 3 minutes for boxing rounds
    • Ring Setup: A boxing ring with a chessboard positioned in the center
    • Alternate Rounds: Chess and boxing rounds alternate throughout the match
  10. 10
    Bughouse chess
    Daniel Shantsev · Public domain
    A variant of chess played with two teams and two boards. Captured pieces are passed to the other board, where they can be dropped back onto the board as a move.
    Bughouse chess is a variation of chess that involves teams of two players each, playing on two separate chessboards. The game is played at a fast pace with each player having their own chess set. When a player captures an opponent's piece, they can hand it over to their teammate to place on their board. The captured piece becomes a 'reserve' piece that can be dropped onto the teammate's board later as a move. The objective is still to checkmate the opponent's king.
    • Number of players: 4
    • Number of boards: 2
    • Turn-based: Yes
    • Capture and 'reserve' pieces: Yes
    • Objective: Checkmate

Missing your favorite chess mode?


Ranking factors for popular chess mode

  1. Number of players
    The number of people actively playing a particular chess mode can be an indicator of its popularity. Modes with a higher number of players are likely to be more popular.
  2. Online presence
    The popularity of a chess mode can also be determined by the number of online platforms that support it, the frequency of online games being played, and the overall online engagement it generates.
  3. Tournaments and competitions
    The occurrence and frequency of tournaments and competitions for a specific chess mode can give an idea of its popularity. More competitions and tournaments usually mean that the chess mode is more popular.
  4. Professional player engagement
    The level of interest and participation of professional chess players in a specific chess mode can influence its popularity. If more professionals engage in a specific mode, it can attract more interest from chess enthusiasts.
  5. Accessibility and ease of learning
    Chess modes that are easier to learn and more accessible to players are likely to be more popular. If the rules are complicated or the game mode is challenging to understand, it could deter players.
  6. Media coverage
    The amount of media coverage and visibility a chess mode receives can also contribute to its popularity. If a chess mode is often mentioned in articles or discussed on forums and social media, it's more likely to be popular.
  7. Historical and cultural factors
    Some chess modes may be more popular in specific regions or have historical significance that influences their popularity.
  8. Variety and novelty
    Chess modes that offer unique gameplay or introduce additional elements that make them different from traditional chess might attract more interest and thus be more popular.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular chess mode. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or chess mode is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 157 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each chess mode once every 24 hours. The rank of each chess mode is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular chess mode

Chess is a timeless and strategic game that has been played for centuries. With its origins in ancient India, chess has evolved and spread across the world, becoming a beloved pastime for people of all ages and backgrounds. As the game has grown in popularity, different modes of play have emerged, each with its own unique set of rules and challenges. From classic games of chess to speed chess, there are many options for players to choose from. But which mode is the most popular? Let's take a closer look at the different modes of chess and explore which one reigns supreme.

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