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This page is designed to give more in depth explanations of certain sections of the website and provide help on some of the features. You can read this at your leisure, or whenever you see a question mark icon click it to be taken to the relevant section of this page. Current sections in this page:
There are several ways to start a new chess game:
It is polite to only create or accept a game if you intend to play it to the finish. Please note that some players may take a while to make their moves, so a game may last several days or weeks.
Why Can't I Create a Game?
There are several reasons why you may not be able to create a new game:
When creating a game you may see a list of recommended opponents at the top of the user list. These are players that the site calculates will be a good match for you, and there are a variety of parameters used in this calculation. You can, however, adjust these parameters to your own liking so that the recommended players list suits you. To do this go to the Recommended Players page, select your settings and then click apply. You can tinker with these settings as often as you want to suit your needs.
When you create a new game you can designate it as being unrated. This means that the outcome of the game is in no way recorded to your statistics. This feature can be useful for many reasons, such as if you want to play an instructional game with another player, or you simply want to have a fun experimental game with a friend without it affecting your stats. Unrated games are clearly marked as unrated before you accept them.
Hiding Open Games When You Are Inactive
When you create a new open game invitation you can specify that the invitation is hidden when you're not online. This means that unless you're online no one will be able to see or accept your invitation. Whilst this may seem strange at first, it means that a user can't accept one of your games just as you're signing out for the rest of the day, and so they won't get frustrated by having to wait hours or days for you to come back online.
To create a tournament you should go to the Games Lobby page and click on the Create a Tournament link at the top of that page. On the tournament creation page you are presented with all of the options needed to create your tournament, such as player entry requirements, number of participants and the scoring system to be used. Once all of the desired options are set, click the Create Tournament button and your tournament will be created.
Please note: Creating a tournament does not guarantee your entry into it. You will still have to join it just like everybody else.
Why Can't I Create A Tournament?
There are three main reasons why you might not be able to create a tournament:1) You haven't completed at least 5 rated games. This rule prevents players eagerly joining the site, creating a tournament and then never coming back. We want to be sure that only those players who are likely to stick around can create tournaments.
2) There may already be too many unstarted tournaments on the site. The site calculates the maximum number of open tournament seats that there can be in unstarted tournaments based upon the number of players who have been active in the last 7 days. If there are too many available seats then the unstarted tournaments won't get filled and so will never start. This limit prevents new tournaments being created when this is likely to become the case.
3) You may have had your tournament creating priviledges revoked for a number of reasons including: cheating in games by using a chess computer; artificially altering your rating by using a dummy account which then resigns in all games against you; abusing the tournament system or repeatedly joining tournaments but not playing the games in them.
Games In Knockout Tournaments
Games in knockout tournaments will be automatically created with the lower rated player being white. An invitation will be sent out to one of the players and they will have 14 days to accept the game. If they don't accept the game then they will be automatically removed from the tournament and their opponent will progress to the next round.
If a player takes more than 14 days to make their move then they will automatically lose the game, [b]regardless of whether or not they are on vacation[/b] and their opponent will progress to the next round. Their opponent doesn't necessarily have had to prompt them for this to happen.
In the event of a draw the game is replayed with each player swapping colours. If another draw occurs the colours will once again be switched for a new game, and this will go on until one player wins.
Chess 960 (Fischer Random Chess)
Chess 960 (also known as Fischer Random Chess) is a popular chess variant. The pieces on a player's back rank are shuffled randomly (within certain parameters) in the starting position. Pieces move as they would in a normal game, and castling is performed such that the king and relevant rook end on the same squares that they would in standard chess.
Subscribed members can choose to create a new game as Chess 960 games, and anyone is eligible to accept them. Separate statistics and graphs are maintained for Chess 960 games and these are visible on a player's profile page.
Making Chess Moves
If you so wish you can use both methods of input in conjunction with each other. For example, you could type the coordinate of the first square and then click on the second square, or vice versa.
Once you have selected the squares you wish to move from and to click the "Submit Move" button. The supplied coordinates then go through three stages of validation. The first is a quick check that the coordinates passed are valid coordinates within a chess board, i.e a total of 4 characters, letter-number-letter-number, and that each letter is between a and h and the numbers are between 1 and 8. The second stage is checking that you have moved one of your own pieces and it was a legal move (i.e no pawns moving sideways etc). Stage three is checking that you will not be in check after making your move. Only after passing all three stages of validation will a piece actually be moved, otherwise you will see a message explaining what is wrong with your move.
To castle in standard chess simply move your king either two squares to the left or two squares to the right, your rook will automatically be moved appropriately. If castling in Chess 960 then move your king to the appropriate final square (the C or G files) and if legal the rook will automatically move too. In the event of an ambiguity in the move's intention (in Chess 960 a valid castling move might be to move the king just one square, which would also be a valid non-castling move) you will be asked whether it was your intention to castle. To avoid ambiguity it is also possible to move the rook instead of the king to initiate castling.
Offering a Draw
When it is your turn to move in a game you will see a tick box to "Offer a Draw" If you tick this and then make your move then this will cause your opponent to be offered a draw. Before they make their move they must either accept or decline the draw. If they accept then the game will end as a draw, otherwise it will continue as normal.
When it is your turn you can chose to resign from the game if you wish. To do this simply select the "Resign" option under the submit move button, and then click the submit button. This will cause you to instantly resign and your opponent will be awarded the appropriate rating points.
There may be times when an opponent seems to give up on their game with you and not make any moves, or they may simply have forgotten that they were playing a game at this site. However, it's not fair on you if you get a list of built up games which have become stagnant so there needs to be a way of prompting absent opponents, and if necessary, forcing them out of the game.
To address this issue, if an opponent doesn't make a move against you within 7 days of you making your move then you will be given the option of prompting them. This will send them an email stating that you wish to remind them about your game, and it contains a link directly to the board. If after another 7 days they still have not made a move then you will again be given the option of prompting them, but you will also be given the option to force them out of the game. If forced out of the game then the game will end as though they resigned, giving you all applicable rating points and game statistics. There is no limit to the number of times you can prompt a player, and you're never forced to prompt them if you don't want to.
It is fully acknowledged that a player may go on holiday or be unable to play for an extended period of time for some other reason. In these cases it would be a good idea to let your opponent know (via the chat window) that you won't be around for a while, and this should be enough for them to not prompt you after 7 days.
Tournaments differ in that a player maybe prompted after 3 days of not moving, then evicted after a further 3. In knockout tournaments a player will automatically lost a game if they don't move for more that 14 days, regardless whether they were prompted or not and whether they were on vacation.
In a standard game each user will have a clock which shows their total thinking time in the game. Thinking time is defined as the time between first viewing a game when it is your turn and submitting your move. The time between your opponent making their move and you logging on to the site and viewing that game is not counted as thinking time. For example, if your opponent moves against you in Monday evening, you might not log on to the site until Tuesday morning. At 9am you view the game and see that it is your turn. Before making your move you visit another part of the site, and then come back to the game and make your move at 9:15am. In this case 15 minutes was added to your thinking time because that's the length of time you were potentially thinking about the move.
Subscribed members can created games with more advanced time controls. An example of this might be a game which allows a maximum of two hours thinking time per player for the entire game, or a game where 10 minutes are allowed for the first 10 moves, then an hour for the next 30 moves, then 15 minutes for everything after that.
In games with time limits, if you run out of time then you lose the game along with any rating and tournament points that might be associated with it.
Although only subscribed members can create time controlled games, anyone can accept them.
Declining Resignation Points
Sometimes your opponent may resign prematurely and you feel it's a little unfair that you get rating points for that game. To help with this problem, for 24 hours after you win any game due to resignation you have the option to decline the rating points for that game. So, if you gain 15 points for a win but decide to turn those points down they will be deducted from your current rating. Your win total and game total will also be moved down by one, so effectively the game became an unrated game. However, your opponent's points are not affected at all, so if they lost points they do not get them back.
Different players prefer different types of move notation. This site currently offers three types of notation which can be applied to games.
The Rules of Conduct
This site has some rules of conduct which users must agree to before becoming a member. These should be common sense to the majority of users. However, they needed to be stated and agreed to so that we can cover our backs if some action requires taking.
Similarly, users must confirm that they are aged 13 or over before joining the site. Many websites use this policy and it is to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. If you are under the age of 13 then I'm afraid that you cannot join this site. Sorry. You can however get a parent or guardian to join for you (but in their name) and get them to make all moves for you.
In most games there are measures of how good a player is at that game. Chess is no different and on this site (like many others) all members are given a chess rating. The initial value of this rating is 1000, and you gain points if you win a game and lose points if you lose a game. However, if a player rated at 1000 beats a player rated at 2000 then the 1000 player has done considerably better than they would have done if they played another 1000 player. Therefore, the 1000 player will gain more points than if they had played another 1000 player.
You can use a player's ratings to judge how well you expect to perform against them, and also use it to monitor your own progress as your skill increases.
You can see a graph of how your rating has changed over time by clicking My Profile. The statistics section also shows how many games, wins, losses and draws you have under your belt.
This site can also display other player's ratings, for comparison with your own. Click Graphs. This allows you to select up to 6 players to compare their ratings. Start by selecting the time period for which you want to see the ratings, for example 10 weeks, by choosing from the drop-down box at the top of the page. Then select 6 players from the member list below by clicking in the boxes next to each name. Then press 'Submit' to see the graph. To change players untick the box next to the name by clicking it.
On the Graphs page you can also view graphs of statistics for this website including total number of moves, members, active players and games made.
Click here to read exactly how the ratings are calculated on this site.
Changing My Profile
Creating a personal profile is a nice way of letting opponents know a bit more about you. You can do this by going to the My Preferences page. Scroll down to the last section on this page - Optional User Details. In this section you can add a chat address and chat network (for example - MSN) if you wish to chat to members using chat programs. You can also enter your location (it is advisable not to write your postal address) and a section about yourself. This could include information about your chess experience, hobbies, vocation etc.
You can also set an away message which will be seen by all the people you are playing games against when you are logged out. For example this could say 'I am now on holiday until the 29th of August'. Below this you can choose an avatar for yourself. This is a picture which sums up your personality, or it could be a photo of yourself. (Note: Indecent pictures will be removed, please see the rules of conduct). You can either choose a picture that is on your computer by clicking 'Browse' and finding the file or you can enter a web address of a picture on the internet (you may need permission for this). Your avatar will be shown during games when anyone hovers their mouse over your name, or when you make a post in a forum.
There are many ajustable settings to tailor this website to your preferences. Change these settings by going to My Preferences.
You can change the number of e-mails you receive
from the website by selecting options from the drop down box titled 'E-mail alerts'.
Changing Your Password or Email Address
You can change the password you use to log in to the site and the e-mail address which e-mails from the site are sent to by going to the My Preferences page. These options are shown in the second section, titled 'Important User Details'.
If you have forgotten your password you should send an e-mail to webmaster@[remove this]ste-ware.com (don't foget to delete the spam trap - '[remove this]' from the address}. In your e-mail please include your username and the e-mail address you regisetered with. You will then be e-mailed your password in a short time. If the username and e-mail address given do not match our records the password cannot be given.
On a website such as this there are players from around the world, all residing in different timezones, so lunchtime for one player may be bedtime for another. This poses a slight problem when the site displays when a move was made. Whilst the displayed move time may be correct for one player, it might be completely wrong for the other. To combat this the site allows you to set your timezone relative to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). All dates and times are stored in the site's database as a GMT time, and then when the time is displayed the GMT time is offset by your timezone setting, making times be correct for anyone who views them.
All times on this site are displayed according to your personal timezone settings, unless otherwise stated. Please remember to take into account summer and winter time variations (also called daylight saving in many countries). For example, I live almost right on the Greenwich Meridian line, but my timezone is currently GMT+1.
Away Messages are a few short sentences that your opponents will see when they view their games with you but you are not online. This is designed to make it easier to let people know when you intend to be online, or tell them that you're going to be away for a few days but will return soon. You can set up and edit your away message by going to the My Preferences page. The option is in the 'Optional User Details' section of the page.
You will not see an away message if you view a game but are not participating in it, nor will there be one if a game has ended. All games will have the same away message that you defined, there is no way to specify a different message for different opponents - that's what the 'Chat' and 'Private Messages' features are for.
When You Go On Vacation
Sometimes you may need to be away from the site for an unusually long length of time and you don't want players inviting you to games during that time. Similarly you don't want to be evicted from games for taking too long to move while you're on vacation. The solution is to mark yourself as 'on vacation'. When you do this your name won't appear in the list of players to invite to a game, and all of your current opponents will be able to see that you are on vacation and will be unable to prompt or evict you.
You can apply this setting by going to the My Preferences page and scrolling to the section where you define your away message. Here you will see a tick box where you can set your 'on vacation' status.
It is highly recommended that you use an away message in conjunction with your 'on vacation' status to let your opponents know when you intend to return.
If you are set to 'on vacation' for an unusually long length of time (usually more than a month) and haven't given any indication when you plan to return then we may assume that you have abandoned your account and your games may be forfeited.
Being 'on vacation' will prevent you from making any moves on the site. Before you can start playing again you need to remove your 'on vacation' status.
Users are limited to 90 days of site vacation in any 12 month period.
What Is With The Wierd Dates?
Sometimes on the site you will see people have a lot of games completed on April 7th 2005, and these games are always registered as a draw. In fact, you'll be hard pushed to find a game that was registered as ending before then! The reason is that after April 7th 2005 automatic checkmate checking was introduced, but before then games simply couldn't end! This may alarm you, but there were only a small number of players back then who were all friends and family.
You might also notice some players have an "estimated" date joined, or no date at all. This is because the date a user signed up to the site was not logged until September 2005. An algorithm did its best to estimate the date that other players joined but couldn't do everyone. If you are one of these people and want your date correcting then just send me (SteRobson) a private message and it will be done
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File last modified: Jun 14 2013 19:38