Correspondence Chess FAQ

How do start playing?
Use the Step By Step instructions. This page will walk you through the steps you need to take to get a game started. After that you can use the navigational bars on the main page to find and play games you have started.
How do I get information on another user?
Use the about command. Type in your username and password, then the user's ID.
I've got a match started, now how do I play the games?
Use the about command. Type in your username and password, then the game ID you received in your e-mail notification. This will present you with the board display where you can type in your move in standard algebraic notation.
How does the Elo rating system work?
The Elo rating system is fairly complex so I'll just provide a link to a good explanation:Elo Rating System.
If I'm going to be out of town, can a game be paused so I don't run out of time?
No. Consider this as an equivelant of running out for a snack during a face to face timed match.
I made a move I didn't intend to, can the move be taken back?
No. This is the equivelant of Touch Move in face to face matches.
What if the computer mis-interprets a move I make?
Report the error to Greg Miller as soon as possible and the problem will be corrected. If the problem was a result of computer error on this end, the time between the report and the fix will not count against you. If the problem was a result of your doing, the time will count against you. But, in general, the chess engine should catch all invalid moves.
Can I remove myself from a match before the match starts?
Yes. Use the revoke command to remove yourself from a match. If there are other players still joined, the match will remain posted with your name removed. If you are the only player in the match, the post will be removed.
How can I list the current games/users/matches?
Use the list command. Just type in your username, password and click the button for the list you want. You can then use the about command to get more information on a particular ID.
Can you explain how the time controls work?
The time controls are defined by two parameters. The first is the amount of time each player will start with, the second is the amount of time that will be added to a player's time each time he or she makes a move. For example: 7d+1d means each player starts with 7 days of think time, and for each move a player makes 1 day is added to his or her time remaining.
How do I offer a draw to my opponent
Type the word "draw" in as your move for the game in question. Your opponent will either accept this draw by entering the work "acceptdraw" as his or her move, or your opponent will reject the draw by making a move. When a move is made (by either player), the draw offer is withdrawn. So you should make your move, then offer a draw.
Can I automatically file/delete e-mail notifications?
All of the messages sent to you from this system will contain the following header:
X-Mailer: Chess
Consult your e-mail client's documentation on how to filter mail based on header fields. NOTE: All messages sent contain this header, including messages from other players, as well as warning messages. If you automatically delete all messages with this header, you could be deleting something important.
I just won a game, but my rating went down. Is there something wrong?
You have a provisional rating. A provisional rating is based off of the average of the ratings of all of your previous opponents. So if you play a game against someone rated significantly lower than your previous opponents, your rating will likley drop regarless of whether you win or loose. Of course the same applies in the other direction, you can loose a game and still get an increase in your rating if the opponent you're playing has a very high rating.
After you complete 20 games, your rating will become established and your rating will behave much less erratically. This behaviour will probably appear rather odd, but trust me, the rating system is mathematically sound.
Do I have to make a certain number of moves within a certain time frame?
You must make your first move within 10 days after the start of the game. After that you only need to ensure that you make your moves within the amount of think-time you have remaining.