Chess.com Blitz Death-Matches are grueling, all-out battles of wit, speed, skill, and endurance. To see a list of past winners, check here. To view recordings of past matches, go here. Here are the current rules guiding them:
1) The match lasts three hours. When the three hours expire, the participants must still finish the game they are in the process of playing, and that game will count towards the total match score.
2) There are three time controls: first 5 minutes + 1 second increment, then 3 minutes + 1 second increment, then 1 minute + 1 second increment.
3) Players will be informed via Skype when to switch time controls. After 1:15 the players will be informed that they are playing their final 5 1 game. They will finish that game, and then switch to 3 1. After another hour, another message will inform them that they are playing the final 3 1 game, and should switch to 1 1 after completing it. If the players should start a game in the current time control (for example, failing to switch to the 1 1 portion after being told to do so, and they start another 3 1 game), that game will count towards the final standings.
4) In the event that the match ends in a tie (ie, heads to "overtime") at the end of the 1 1 (Bullet) portion the players will continue to play Bullet, rotating colors appropriately, until someone wins a game.
5) Cheat Detection measures are taken during all matches, with the games being run through Chess.com's "cheat detection system" both during and (a more detailed review) after the match. That said, as an extra measure, we ask / require that both participants must have an in-person proctor observing them.
6) Scoring is simply 1 point for each win, 1/2 for each draw, with no difference based on time control.
7) Throughout the duration of the match, players are required to continue playing games (ie, there are no bathroom or other breaks - unless both players agree upon it). "Stalling" for more than a reasonable amount of time (judged by IM Danny Rensch and other hosts) may result in a forfeit point being awarded to the opponent.
8) Both participants are required to have played a minimum of 25 Blitz and/or Bullet games on Chess.com's Live Server before the start of their match date.
9) Disconnections will not stop the clock on the current game in progress. If a player disconnects and is unable to rejoin the live server/game before time runs out, that player loses that game. Continued inability to reconnect will result in further forfeit points being awarded, and eventually the match. So make sure you have a stable internet connection!
10) Change as of 4.18.13 -- The prize fund will now be broken up %75 to the winner, %25 to the loser. Example: $1k Prize fund, the winner receives $750, the loser receives $250 regardless of total match score.
11) The prize fund varies based on the participants in each match.
The participants must be available for video / webcam interviews before and after the match -- and this requires a webcam, microphone and Skype username.