Running out your clock is perfectly legal in chess

I am legally allowed to let my time expire in a chess game. This is not against chess rules.

If another player agrees to time controls then that player also agrees the other person might use up all of their time. A player consents, when agreeing to time controls for a game, that they may have to wait for their opponent to use up all of that time before winning on time. Again, this is not against official chess rules.

Banning or limiting player access to chess on this website based solely on using up one's allotted time, however one sees fit, is unfair and not in accordance with chess rules.

Stop trying to control how a player uses his/her time. If a person consents to a game, they are obligated to allowed their opponent that opponent's remaining time, and lichess nor you have any say in how that person uses their time. If you don't want to wait for someone to run out their clock, then don't accept long games. If you accept long games and someone runs out their clock, start another game or just wait. Deal with it. If I accept a 30 minute game, for example, then I had better be prepared to sit there for up to 30 minutes of my opponent's time, and I have no say or control over how the opponent uses his/her time.

You have to be a blessing to your fellow human beings, do not stop changing the world for the better!

First off, your initial claim that this is legal in the laws of chess is wrong--Article 12, Section 12.6 states that "It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever. This includes unreasonable claims, unreasonable offers of a draw or the introduction of a source of noise into the playing area." And I'm certain any arbiter in a tournament would rule that refusing to play and letting your time tick down for two hours would count as a significant annoyance to the other player.

Even ignoring that--yes, one has the right to use one's time as they see fit, but there is also a distinct difference between, say, spending 10 minutes on a difficult move, and abandoning your game whilst in a severely losing position so as to force your opponent to wait for twenty minutes to receive their legitimate victory--or worse, letting your time burn for a long period, and then subtly making a move in the hopes that the other player will have already left. The banning system is used more to prevent the second and third cases, for despite the rules of chess not explicitly banning this practice, it is still unquestionably rude and petty to do so.

#1 You're probably right but maybe wrong on a technicality:
"Users, both registered and unregistered agree to behave with good conduct whilst using Lichess’ Services. This will always be determined at Lichess’ discretion. Users who don’t behave with good conduct may have their account banned or closed without warning, and their content removed from the site. In all circumstances we withhold the right to ban or close an account for any reason without warning, and without having to provide evidence that Fair Play and Community Guidelines have been breached."

#2 I detect sarcasm which really isn't necessary. Please review rule 5 on

#3 Also incorrect: while FIDE rules make a great deal of sense, we're not FIDE (and to those who think that means we use USCF rules, that certainly isn't the case). The actual rules can be found at

@OP I've been hanging around here a while.. pretty much lichess does what it wants --> And in doing so has created one of the best user experiences in online chess.

In my experience, Lichess will usually be the first to consider and extend a "good faith" approach in most cases surrounding matters of conduct.

It's my understanding that letting the clock run out by accident won't amount to anything more than a warning if it's truly an accident. I know I've definitely done it once or twice by mistake myself.

With that said, if it's peoples' practice to punish their opponents for earning a won position, and that instead of resigning, the idea is to retaliate by wasting their opponent's time, then, this is obviously the kind of anti-sportsmanlike conduct that any establishment would implement policies to avoid.

We all have bad days...I know that I was once warned for yelling at my opponent...but it's only the most irredeemable among us that would argue that Lichess should bend it's policies around our temper tantrums.


"Lichess won't let me punish my opponents by running out the clock on them!" - You

"Thanks for the free publicity!" - Lichess


You're reight that running out your clock instead of resigning is perfectly legal - both in OTB and online chess.
Yet doing so repeatedly will lead to organizers excluding you from future tournaments - again, both in OTB and online chess.
It's just that there are fewer assholes in OTB tournaments, so organizers usually don't have to deal with things like that.

You should start a chess site advertising that this is the policy. It's honestly a win-win for everyone. You get to play with like-minded players on your new site, and the Lichess experience will improve for everyone here. Startup idea, you're welcome.

Everyone's right, as always. But #8 is number 1.