Mastering Premove Techniques on A Step-by-Step Guide

Looking to improve your chess game on One strategy to consider is using premoves. Explore the benefits of using premoves, setting them up on, using them effectively in a game, and potential limitations. Gain valuable tips on leveraging premoves to your advantage.

What Are Premoves in

Premoves are the ability to make two moves in a row in — one with pieces on the board and the other as a speculative response to the opponent before the opponent’s move is registered. This helps players save time on their clock and outmaneuver opponents who move slowly. When the opponent finally plays, the premove is already in place. Premoves save time in blitz games and in games played with a time increment.

How to Set Up Premoves?

You do not need to set up premoves. Just click your piece, and if your mouse is any good at all, then you will have it registered into your opponents’ client before the moving sequence begins.

Remember the proper premoves activate settings. If you are playing on a PC, you need to hold down the control key before making a premove. If you are playing on a mobile device which enlarges anything you click on, you will need to simply change to “quick mode” in settings, so it won’t get mis-clicked during automatic enlargements.

Enable Premove Option in Settings

To change your premove settings in, start on the main home screen. Click on your profile picture in the top right and select Settings. Scroll down till you see Movement Preferences and you see Enable Premove pieces. This is off by default. Slide this to the right and make sure it is clicked to enable it. You can also make sure whether you want premove moves or both pieces and moves enabled just below the previous setting. Do not disable the Allow Premove self captures option if you want to make premoves where your own piece could capture itself during the premove.

Choose Premove Time Limit

Beneath the premoves settings panel where you can enable or disable premoves at Settings > Gameplay Settings on the Desktop App and Web App under Premoves in the board tab there are the options to set a time limit to complete the premoves. You can opt not to have a time limit at all but the premove is done instantaneously with no time loss when the condition arises. The other two options allow you to toggle a time limit and configure the maximum time you can take to complete a premove.

Understand the Premove Indicator

  • The Premove indicator is shown by default on the right side of the move list.
  • A check in the checkbox means a legal premove can be made. A grayed-out checkbox means a premove is not legal on this turn.
  • If for any unforeseen circumstance it appears you will not be able to make a legal premove, move the piece for a flexible move or cancel the premove.

The Premove Indicator is displayed by default. However, you can view or hide the Premoves indicator by clicking on the “?” between the Move Evaluation and Notation settings on the right side of the live game.

The premove indicator on displays checks in the box or a gray box. One check (if a piece is highlighted with a green arrow) means a premove is valid. A premove can only be in place up to the last move so if a piece is moved post-last move on board, the premove will be automatically cancelled.

A gray box means a premove or multiple premoves for the next sequence of moves are not valid. If attempting to make a premove while still under the validity of the original premove, will balk at the attempt and the method or direction of moving will be activated. If attempting to activate a premove the application will balk at the attempt and the method or direction of moving will be activated.

How to Use Premoves in a Game?

Use premoves in a game Drag and drop correctly by performing them before hit your move timer of 0 for games that do not build up lag. If you are playing faster time controls, set this earlier to ensure your moves will be executed in time based on your internet connection and whether servers have lag on that day. Remember that lag is more likely on touch devices that are on long range Wi-Fi.

Make a Move as Usual

The first step to doing a premove in during a game is to actually make a move as usual. In this case, simply left-click the piece and right-click the square you would like to move to. This will set your premove, and the current move will play out even if the opponent does not make their move. If you make a valid move, will show a purple rectangle where the piece should go to move your premove, as shown in the screenshot below with the premove Nf1.

Make a Premove Move

After selecting your move during premoving and once your opponent finishes their turn, the Make Premove button is replaced to a Send Premove button. Click on Send Premove before inputting your next move in order for the premoved piece(s) to move automatically. Once pieces are moved, the platform will ask you to make a new premove with the piece(s) you wish to move.

Submit Your Moves

Once you are ready, input the Enter keystroke to have all of your premoved chess moves play instantly. Here’s how you do it at

  1. Click on the board at the beginning of your first premoved move.
  2. Go to the input field for where you will normally input the move (where I would circled if possible).
  3. Enter your first premoved move. Only input one move at a time. This should move the piece instantly on the board. In the image below, white plays Nh3, black plays e5. This sends your first premoved move to the server and updates the clock.
  4. Premove the next move for white and black, then press the Enter key, which submits your moves and plays them instantly on the board.
  5. You should repeat the process for your next move. Make your move manually, select the square with the piece, and input once again.

If you want to cancel a premoved move, just click, drag the piece to where you want it, and the premoved move will be taken back and not sent to the server.

How to Cancel a Premove?

To cancel a premove in, you need to execute a stop-move command by beginning to move a piece. Once you begin moving a piece, it appears with a small transparent preview. While that piece is currently in the preview state after you have begun the move, you stop it by right-clicking your mouse.

Once you have clicked, the piece returns to its initial position. To cancel all premoves during play in the board settings section on, uncheck the box next to Confirm Move. All features described above for the mobile app and the website are the same. Even if you are new to premoves, you can use them in your games. You are always able to stop the premove process if you do not want it to execute just by clicking on the piece moving to stop the move.

What Are the Benefits of Using Premoves?

  1. You could save a lot of time on the clock, especially if your opponent is moving instantly from their side while you are still making your move.
  2. Your opponents may get off their usual rhythm and make mistakes reacting to different moves than the one expected, especially if you are pre-moving frequently.
  3. You can avoid falling into obvious traps or making blunders if you pre-move, as you will be forced to pause before making your next move.
  4. Your tactical abilities could be faster after pre-moving, particularly if you see a series of moves ahead of time. And those tactical angles would be correct more often because in the case that they are not, you are forced to pause and review the board.
  5. Until your opponent moves, you are incentivized to keep strategizing or attacking the board. This is opposed to an environment where you could dispense with tactics altogether.
  6. You are warmed up and ready to play or hit the clock as soon as the new move is made.

Drawbacks of using pre-moves

  • You might be helping your opponent strategize if you pre-move before they have made an expected move.
  • By pre-moving, you eliminate the ability to backtrack if a wrong move was made before the move was completed.
  • It could be risky to pre-move late in the game, particularly in end games or weak points, because fewer pieces are on the board and your mistakes become more magnified.

Save Time

For Blitz and Rapid games on, saving time and playing faster is most crucial. Premoving often gives you one or two free valuable seconds during the game which can help you build pressure on your opponent due to time constraints. As a contact example on December 4, 2018, in the World Rapid Championship, FIDE-rated player Sanikidze Nino ran out of time against Deac Bogdan-Daniel while having a better-ending position. If Sanikidze was using premoves to play faster and build time advantage during the middle game or start of the endgame, she might have won her game.

Increase Accuracy

You can do pre-moves to increase accuracy. By pre-moving, you get more practice with the interface and at predicting the exact timing between the game board and the move buttons. Calculating the effects of the enemy’s response gives you a clearer future understanding about which strategies you can and cannot implement against a given opponent or defending their previous actions.

By increasing your comfort with the mechanics of internet chess, you pre-move with more speed and less error at those times when premature moves are strategically possible or necessary. Thus, the more pre-moves done in practice on chess websites or in games against human opponents, the easier it will be to take rapid advantage of them.

Create Traps for Opponents

Creating traps is a tactic in chess where you set up a combination of moves that tempts your opponent to make a certain sequence of moves in reaction to an impending threat. The sequence of moves that the opponent makes typically unfolds as they anticipate the inevitable tactical next moves of the opponent and deduce that they have opportunities for foreseen tactical advantages and checkmate defenses.

With pre-moves, you can set up apparent weakend defensive positions with secondary or ‘foreseen’ traps in place. This is much more challenging in online settings versus those over the board because it’s harder to detect how committed the opponent is to an apparent trap. With pre-moves, it is difficult to gauge how fixed your opponent’s idea of exploiting a potential trap is before they dedicate their own turn and ropes your strategy into a more undesirable position.

What Are the Limitations of Premoves?

Premoves have only one limitation – you can’t choose two moves ahead. This means you have to wait for the opponent to move from your currently premoved position in order to move.

The possibility of using this limitation to your advantage is very low, but the following example demonstrates that it may marginally help. In the below example, if the white queen attacks the black bishop on e7 with 1.Qe5, then the black knight should move to c6 and the white queen should move to Qc7. But if at this disconnect, an opponent’s careless move allows is to send the bishop for example to Bc4 (which the opponent would never choose if they could see the unmoved queen on c7), then Queening to Qc7 will cost you the game.

Limited to One Move Ahead

The default maximum number of moves one can premotion on the site is five moves according to Jason Lee‘s answer to Is there a limit to premove?. However, in many other answers inside the FAQs, it is stated that premotion is only allowed a maximum of one move ahead.

On the new Advance Keyboard in, press and hold the Shift key to use Capital Letters, and press A-P to toggle on and off the premotion of positioned pawns selected in standard move. From the premoves help page, premoves are a system where players can make moves ahead of time while waiting for their opponents to make their move. Players can choose to have their premove cancelled by making other plans during the opponent’s move, using the premove as a saved option should the opponent choose to make the move a player was expecting, or to simply save time.

Cannot be Used in Certain Situations

In the Notation UI and Blindfold UI modes, premove will not work. Prime notation is user input. It is a players’ decision to whether to add, edit, delete, or replace moves. So premoves are also not available on this UI.

Note that a key move, otherwise known as a special move, may disable premoves. A key move is a move that has consequential effects outside the immediate context of the game. An example, the en passant rook capture move (as described above) has an impact beyond just the immediate two pieces.

May Lead to Mistakes

Premoves may backfire and lead to mistakes. Failure to cancel a premove does not necessarily result in forfeitable lost material. If the opponent moves differently from the expected move, the premove can still be a regular, competent move. However, in many situations a premove move that does not involve capturing may legally not be played without forfeiting the game.

According to rule 1.3.2.a of FIDE’s Laws of Chess of 1 January 2018: The act of moving the pieces according to Article 4 is complete when the player has pressed his clock. After this, the player is not allowed to make a move and is only allowed to use the touch-move rule. When waiting for the opponent to move allows time, it is always safer to undesirable moves if premoves will result in mistakes.

Tips for Using Premoves Effectively

There are a number of tips to successfully use premoves to save time. Generally, it is easy to worry too much about losing a piece and to become preoccupied with defensive premoves. Premoves are most effective when focusing on one’s own attack and playing them only whenever solving a serious threat. Using premoves to lay the groundwork for possible move upgrades rather than defensive maneuvers can be effective.

You can be open with your opponent about premoving. If you are losing and want to try and speed up the game, you may ask your opponent if it is okay to premoves. That way the skill remains sharp for when you may need to use them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Do Premoves in

Premoves are a great way to save time and stay ahead of your opponent in online chess matches. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you master the art of premove on

What are premoves in

Premoves are moves that you can make in advance during an online chess match on These moves are executed automatically when it is your turn, saving you valuable time in fast-paced games.

How do I enable premoves on

To enable premoves on, go to your settings and select the “Allow Premoves” option under the “Game Behavior” section. This will allow you to make and execute premoves during your matches.

Can I cancel a premove on

Yes, you can cancel a premove on by clicking on the “Cancel” button that appears next to the premove move. This will revert the premove and allow you to make a different move instead.

Are premoves allowed in all game modes on

Premoves are allowed in most game modes on, including Blitz, Bullet, and Rapid games. However, they may not be allowed in certain variants or special tournaments. Make sure to check the rules before using premoves in a specific game mode.

How can I use premoves to my advantage in

Premoves can be a powerful tool in fast-paced chess matches on By planning your next move in advance, you can save time and stay ahead of your opponent. Just make sure to use them strategically and be prepared to adapt if your opponent makes unexpected moves.

Do premoves work in live chess matches on

Unfortunately, premoves do not work in live chess matches on This is because live chess matches require both players to be actively present and making moves in real-time. Premoves are only available in online matches where a slight delay is allowed for each turn.

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