General Topics
Rating and Tournaments
Chess Related

Why should I register?
Registering on gives you many advantages over playing as a guest. Your games will be saved, you can chat with other players, see their profiles, you earn a rating, you can participate in tournaments - there are dozens of good reasons to sign up for free.
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What are the differences between free and premium account?
A free account will give you access to all basic features you need to play on and enjoy this great community. If you want to take your chess experience to the next level, a premium account really puts you in the driver's seat. Play many games in parallel, filter results or games, see who's watching a game, download finished games in pgn format, view older chat messages, examine other player's games, stats and tournaments, and many more. We also appreciate that you support our work by upgrading your membership to premium.
Please consult our membership comparison graph for more details.
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How private is my data?
We take privacy seriously. We will not sell your data, nor publish your email address without your permission. We will not read your chat messages. You should consider your profile data (username, avatar, country, etc.) and your games public.
To ensure and improve our service, server communication and client information (for example type of brower and operating system) is logged on the server.
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How should I behave?
Seriously? As nice as possible. :-)
We regard our platform as a place of enjoyment. Young and old people play here alike. Please don't use harsh words in chat messages, and always keep in mind that you may are connected to people all over the world in different time zones. Some may not speak your language, some have other political, religious or cultural background. This is just not the place to question someone's beliefs.
On, people connect because they love chess. The best way to contribute to the great experience is to be fair and friendly.
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What are those badges on the avatars?
Your friends are marked with a blue badge, users you ignore are marked with a red badge. You are highlighted by an orange badge.
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Why should I provide information about me?
It adds a personal touch to your games. If you find yourself looking at other members' details, you probably should share some data, too.
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What's that antenna symbol ("connection")?
People connect to from all over the world, some with an ultra fast connection, some with a slow mobile connection. Technically speaking, this represents the ping time for the given user. The more bars visible, the better the connection. A bad connection is most noticeable in very fast games but doesn't really matter in slow games.
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What happens when I disconnect?
As long as you are a registered member, your games (and clocks!) will keep running. So if you disconnected within a live game, you want to get back online as fast as you can.
Pending game challenges for live games get removed, your correspondence game challenges will stay alive for about a week.
Guests will lose their games on disconnection, and will appear as a new user when they reconnect.
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What happens to my challenges when I log out?
Your open live game challenges will get removed, your correspondence (including untimed) challenges will remain active.
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How can I see more information about a member?
Most of the time, you can just tap the members name to open the member's details page. On an open game you need to press a little longer in order to prevent accidental move input. If there is an 'i' next to the member's name simply tap on that.
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What's that Game Results chart?
The game results chart puts the outcome of a member's games into perspective. It is broken down by the type of time control, and can be filtered to a specific opponent. Lost games are shown in red, drawn games are shown in yellow, wins are shown in green. The horizontal line marks the 50 % line.
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How and why to make "Friends"
You can mark other members as friends on their "About" page. This makes it easier to see what your fellows are doing, and you'll notice when they log in or out. The friendship doesn't need to get confirmed, and the other player will not get a notice about it.
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What are "Ignores"?
You can put other members on your ignore list on their "About" page. You won't get chat messages or game requests from users in your ignore list. Please note that you still might be matched in a tournament.
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What images can I use for my avatar?
Feel free to use any image that doesn't conflict with the law, is offending or advertising. Please be careful not to violate personal or copyright laws when showing any products or goods. We suggest not to use symbols with political or religious background. Feel free to show yourself and give your games a personal touch. Or pick a landscape that represents your mood. Pictures of your pets are highly regarded as well.
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What clients are available to play on
At the moment, you can play using a web browser ( or using the native iOS client on iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
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How do you handle latency ("lag")?
Network communication takes some time, and it can vary greatly depending on location and connection, with mobile devices adding some unpredictable twists. We handle lag management for you, and the players' chess clocks will get adjusted properly. This is noticeable when the clock seems to gain some time.
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Can I delete chat messages?
You can delete chat messages from your archive. Please note that they will not be removed from your partner's chat so you cannot 'undo' an already sent message.
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I got an offending message. What should I do?
The easiest and best solution is to put that user on your ignore list, so you won't be bothered by that member again.
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Are my settings synchronized between devices and the web?
Many settings are synchronized among all clients, i.e. settings for premove, animation, move confirmation, sounds. Some settings are synchronized client specific, like your chess board and chess pieces selection. So if you move from iPhone to iPad, they will look the same, same across web browsers. You can however set different boards for your browser and the native iOS client.
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Can I use multiple accounts on same device?
Yes, but please only use one account per player. Also only one account can be set to receive push notifications for one device.
Using multiple accounts to give you an advantage in rating or ranking is not allowed.
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I did misbehave - now what?
If you don't play to our rules of fairness and friendliness, we will take appropriate action, which will include but is not limited to temporary or final account deactivation, exclusion from leaderboards, rating adjustments and disabling or restrictions of functionality. There will be no refund in those cases.
Examples of bad behavior are messages with insulting, advertising or spam content, doing tricks to manipulate ratings, rankings or clocks, use of computer help, etc.
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Can I transfer my premium membership to another account?
No, the paid membership is tied to your account.
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Can I buy a premium membership as a gift?
Yes, please visit and purchase one of the membership packages in our online store. You will receive a license code which you can pass to your friend.
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I get an error message that I cannot start games. What has happened? is a place to have fun. Unfortunately sometimes things happen that disturb our users, either on purpose or by accident. Some players do not show up at the board or try to manipulate an Elo rating. Instead of leaving the board in a lost position one can simply resign. Leaving a tournament with more rounds to go is very annoying for the opponents in the upcoming rounds. If we discover such behavior we will temporarily forbid that user to play games on, usually firstly for 24 hours. Our honest users deserve that we are taking care of this. Please contact us if you believe that you got blocked without making any mistakes.
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I have a question not covered here - how can I contact you?
Please see the "Contact" page - we're just one tap of a button away!
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What are "Time Controls"
The biggest invention for chess was the introduction of chess clocks. A typical chess clock shows the time each player has left to make all his moves. For example, in the popular 5 minute game, players must make all their moves in those 5 minutes. If one player runs out of time, he loses (with a few exceptions). The main benefit of chess clocks is that a game will come to an end - no longer endless waiting for the other player to move.
Time controls with increment are very popular, i.e. in a 2m+1s game each player starts with 2 minutes on his clock, and for every move another 1 seconds is added to the clock.
For correspondence games we use time controls like 7d (+2d). This means each player has 7 days for the whole game but the clock will start to run 2 days after the last move. So the clock has a delay of 2 days. This can also be interpreted as 2 days per move plus a time buffer of 7 days.
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What does "Bullet", "Blitz", "Standard", "Correspondence" mean?
Games are categorized depending on the total estimated time they will take to complete. Bullet games are very fast and are usually finished in 1 to 3 minutes. Blitz is what you could consider the normal type most people prefer when playing live games. They are usually finished in 5 to 15 minutes. Standard are games that typically last half an hour to several hours. Correspondence games are played over days - just log in, and make a move now and then.
We call Bullet, Blitz and Standard game "Live" games.
In each category, we offer several recommended time controls, but you can easily set up a custom one if you like.
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Should I play with or without clocks?
Both is fine, but we consider timed games the preferred mode.
Chess clocks do give lots of benefits, though. Your game will progress, and even with a long time controls ("correspondence" game), your opponent will have to play at some point or will lose automatically. That way, you won't be left with a list of stalled games. Remembering your friends to make a move in a losing position is no fun either. Games without clock are always unrated, so it may be difficult to get an opponent at the desired strength. However if you wish to play unrated games with your friends feel free to do so.
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What is "Abort" and how does it work?
Sometimes things go wrong even for the best players - you started the wrong game, chose the wrong time control, your opponent has left after making his first move, etc. In those cases, you can "abort" a game. This will just cancel the game, it will not count towards your rating, it will not be saved in your games database. This option is only available until both players have made a move. Please do not misuse this feature as it might be annoying for opponent if a just started game is cancelled.
Aborting a game is not available in tournament games.
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My opponent doesn't move any more
This can happen for a number of reasons. Often, the opponent is just thinking. Sometimes he might not be aware that it's his move. Maybe he just got interrupted by a phone call, the door bell, or his children. Maybe his mobile internet connection just took a rest. If this is a timed game (recommended), this problem will sort out automatically. Keep in mind that your opponent can partition his time balance in any way he likes to. With correspondence games, it is often seen that a game progresses a couple of moves at once, and then a break occurs. This is perfectly fine.
We just encourage you to resign a game in which you will lose and not just let your clock run down, which we consider disrespectful. If your opponent just did this simply put him on your ignore list and it won't happen again.
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Can I take back moves?
No, take backs are not allowed. If you want a safety net for your longer games please consider activating the move confirmation in the settings.
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May I use chess software to help me out?
Short answer: no, never.
Long answer: we kindly ask you not to do so. Most people prefer to play human players and feel cheated if their opponent uses electronic assistance. If they wanted to play a computer, they would have challenged one of our dedicated computer accounts in the first place.
Before accusing someone of cheating, keep in mind that even the weakest players can play the very best moves, sometimes even without knowing what they're doing. Also some humans are very strong and ar able to find brilliant moves, just like computers do.
If you feel uncomfortable with your opponent, finish your game and do not play him again - it's as simple as that.
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Should I play rated or unrated games?
Both are fine options, though rated games seem to get more serious attention. It allows tracking your strength and building lots of statistics. Thus rated games are recommended.
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What do the colored clocks mean?
The time controls are color encoded: red (bullet games), orange (blitz games), yellow (standard games), green (correspondence games), and grey (no clocks).
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How does correspondence chess work?
Correspondence games are somewhat different from live games (Bullet, Blitz and Standard). The time controls typically are composed of a base time and a grace period. For example, "7d (+2d)" means you start with 7 days on your clock, but your clock will only start after 2 days. If you always move within 2 days, you are fine and your clock won't run down. So each player has more or less 2 days per move. Those 7 days work as a time bank. When down to zero, you lose the game.
As correspondence (and untimed) games are generally offline play, your correspondence challenges will remain active for about a week even if you log out.
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What is 1m Hg. ("Hour Glass")?
Hour glass is a special time control that's different from the others. Both players start with 1 minute on their clock. While the clock of the player to move runs down, the clock of his opponent reloads. So if you are slow your opponent gains time. Both players need to play approximately equally fast - which can mean anything from extremely fast to rather slow. Try it - we like it a lot!
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What is the "My Analysis" tab good for?
You can use "My Analysis" to try your ideas on a chess board. Enter moves for both sides to see the consequences of a certain move or line. Take back that move and try something else if it doesn't seem to work. Do whatever you like or need to get a deeper insight into the game. Nothing what you do here is recorded or sent to the server. So no one will ever get to see what you are doing here.
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What is "Elo"? What is a rating anyway?
To measure the strength of chess players, the Elo rating system is very common in chess. It is named after its inventor, "Arpad Elo".
If you win you will gain Elo points, if you lose your Elo will drop. The Elo system takes the strength of your opponent into account, as well as how stable the ratings are, when calculating the new Elo after each game. If you win against a stronger opponent you will get more Elo points as if you win against a weaker play. New players will see bigger rating jumps compared to players with many games.
While the numbers on different platforms (i.e. national or international ratings, different servers etc.) differ a bit, the numbers are pretty similar and consistent within their respective domain.
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What are "Tournaments/Tourneys"?
Tournaments (or "tourneys" for short) are a great way to play games in a challenging way. We offer tons of tournaments in many flavors. Many of them are limited to a specific strength, making for a good competition. There are always tournaments waiting to start. Some of them will start at a given time, some will start as soon as a certain number of members joined (Sit & Go). Tournament games are always rated games.
Tournaments are played "round robin" (RR), "double round robin" (DRR), or swiss-system (CH). In round robin tournaments you will play every other player, in swiss-system tournaments you will be paired based on similar performing players. In tournaments with correspondence time controls all games will be played in parallel.
Please note that you will remain enrolled and will be paired accordingly even if you log out. You can only withdraw from the tournament as long as it hasn't started. Needless to say that we consider it rude leaving a running tournament giving your opponent a win by default.
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What are "Tournament Points (TP)"?
Tournament Points are earned when finishing a tournament and are calculated based on the number of participants and your final rank. So weaker players can earn a good amount of tournament points, too, if they perform well in tournaments of their strength. We offer a tournament leaderboard on the "Rankings" page, and you can see a member's tournament rankings on his user page ("Statistics").
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How do "Tournament Rankings" work?
If you participate in a tournament, this will earn you tournament points. Our weekly, monthly and yearly leaderboards are updated periodically.
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Illegal pawn move ("En passant capture")
This is probably the most frequent mail every chess software developer gets: "My opponent just captured a pawn on a square it was not standing on!" This is called "en passant" capture - if a pawn makes a double step (i.e. "e2-e4" or "e7-e5"), it can be captured by a pawn as if it only has made a single step. A black pawn on d4 can capture a white pawn after e2-e4 on e3. This is only possible in the very next move though. So this is not a bug but a feature.
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How does castling work?
To castle move two squares with your king in the desired direction. Please keep in mind that castling is only allowed if neither king nor rook have moved so far, the king is not in check, will not be in check, and will not pass an attacked square.
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What’s "One Tap Input"?
If you activate "One Tap Input", tapping on either start or end square of a move will immediately make the move if there is no other legal move to or from that square.
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How does "Premove" work?
Premove lets you enter a move while it's your opponent to move. As soon as your opponent has submitted his move, your move will be sent (if it is a legal move). This can be very helpful in fast games, but use it carefully as the position might change quite a bit with the next move.
The entered move is not stored on the server, i.e. when you close the board window or disconnect that move will not be played.
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Why should I disable "Animate Moves"?
Although the animation is fast and pleasing to the eye, it takes some time, and the animation runs on your time. So if you get into time trouble in bullet or blitz games frequently, you can shave off a couple of milliseconds here.
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What does "Confirm Move Input" mean?
Have you ever made a move in that long game, and directly after moving you regretted your choice? Or just wanted to play around, or moved by accident? Then this is the setting you want to play with. You will get prompted to confirm your move before any harm is done.
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Why can't I enable Notifications?
Most probably, you disabled notifications on your device, either all or just for this app. You can need to make changes using the settings app of your device.
Also keep in mind that you can only use notifications for one account per device.
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