Lightning Championship 2023-24

Reigning champion Ashley Freeman

Tuesday 3 October 2023

Synopsis of format

  • 10 second buzzer
  • Organiser: Mark Murrell, Controller: Ian Hunnable
  • The Rules for Lightning chess are given below;
  • October 2023 Rapid ratings will be used;
  • The Vega pairing software will be used for Swiss pairings;
  • Seven round Swiss, Vega pairings;
  • Lightning games are NOT rated.


To enter, hit the button!

Rules for Lightning Chess

For those of you new to Lightning Chess, here is a synopsis of the Rules:

1) A buzzer sounds every 10 seconds. The player whose turn it is to move must make his/her move while the buzzer sounds (two seconds); move on the buzzer, not before, not after.

2) The “touched piece” rule applies.

3) Completed illegal moves lose.

4) A move which is made after the buzzer has finished sounding (a “late move”) is counted as an illegal move and allows the opponent to claim a win.


a) A move is complete when the hand has released the piece on its new square…

  • in the case of a capture – …and the captured piece has been removed;
  • in the case of a promotion – …when the new piece has replaced the pawn on the promotion square and the pawn is removed;
  • in the case of castling – …the king is moved first, the rook second, using ONE hand, the move is complete when the hand has released the rook.

b) An attempt to replace an (incomplete) illegal move with a legal move (cf touched piece rule) will probably amount to a late move (see Rule 4).

c) A king left in check should be claimed as an illegal move. [Earlier versions of Lightning rules used to say ‘capture the king’ but capturing the king is an illegal move, so would lose! Claim the original king left in check as an illegal move.]