Some tips which may help before you start
- This site is completley free, you will never be asked to pay anything, there are no ads anywhere on the site, and the e-mail address you use will never be sent e-mail advertisments. I run this site out of the sheer joy of chess and programming, and the costs of running it are offset by donations from a few generous players.
- Note that all of the games played here are correspondence games. This means you start a game (or games) and come back every day or two to make your move(s). A single game normally lasts a month or so, so most players play several games at the same time.
- By default you're not notified by e-mail when it's your turn to play. You can turn this feature on by clicking on "My Profile" from the main screen.
- It may take a few tries to get a game going. We have a problem here of people starting games and never making a move, so many established players avoid playing with newcommers who haven't played 5-10 games. The end result is that your first several games will be against other newcommers who will probably time out before making a move. To help get started, try posting (or joining) a 10 player match; most of the games will time out, but you'll get 5-10 "real" games going.
- Before joining a match, check the time controls and make sure you can abide by them.
- Be courteous to your opponents. Resign when you're down, and offer or accept a draw when appropriate. Otherwise you're just wasting everyone's time, and no one will want to play you again.
- Use the "Challenge To:" field when posting a match. You can use the "User Stats" page (the link appears just above the daily stats on the main page) to find a worthy opponent. Also use the "Game Search" and "Archive Search" functions to review a player's history.
- If you would like to see a sample of what the board interface looks like, click Here. This will pull up a list of all of the games the administrator is playing. Click on any one of them to see the game in progress (please dont laugh out loud at my chess skills though).
- Regardless of the time controls for a match, you're required to make your first move within 10 days of it becomming your turn. This rule holds true for both white and black. For example, when a match starts, white may wait 9 days before making a move. At that point, black much make a move within 10 days. Any games that time out in under 10 moves will not be scored as a win for the winner, but are scored as losses for the looser.
- The administrator of this site is Greg Miller. My preferred method for receiving questions about the site is to have them posted in the forum. This will allow other people to answer your question if I'm not available. The second preferred method is to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. But note that this e-mail address get's a lot of junk e-mail (SPAM), so try to make your message look as unlike SPAM as possible. Include a good Subject line, and try to mention "chess" in the subject also. The third option for getting ahold of me is to e-mail me at gmiller at gregmiller.net, and this e-mail gets even more SPAM than the admin one, so double goes for providing a good subject line.
- Using more than one account is OK, but please keep it reasonable. A lot of players will set up one account as their "serious" account, and then have another where they try a bunch of outlandish manovers so their rating and record are not affected if they loose.
2. Getting a list of matches you can join.
Joining is very simple. Simply fill out this form, and press submit. There are absolultley no fees invlolved. Your initial rating only effects your ability to enter your first few matches. After your first five games are completed, your rating will be calculated as if you had no initial rating. If you have an established ELO rating with another organization such as USCF or FIDE, e-mail the administrator to have your rating automatically promoted to established. Your e-mail address will not be revealed to any other users, nor will it be given to any third party.
Note that profanity of any kind is grounds for removal from the system.
4. Playing a game in progress.
You can get a list of matches you can join by clicking the "Start A Game" link on the left side of the home page. The button below will also pull up the same list: I recommend you join a match with at least 6 players. A couple of the players will time out before making their first move (no doubt), and you'll be left with games against 3-4 people. The match may not start immediatley, it will only start after the required number of players have joined the match. For a 6 player match, it might take a day; 10 player match might take one or two days before it fills up and the games start. After a match does start, you'll be notified by e-mail listing all of the games involved. At that point, come back to the site and log in, and you'll be presented with a list of the games it's your move in.
Please make sure to read the directions at the bottom of the "Start A Game" page, particularly the explanation of the time controls.
Once you've got a match started, you'll be e-mailed all of the pairings for that match. Then come to the site and click the "My Games" link from the main page. This will present you with a list of all of the games which you have in progress. Click on the game you want and this will display the game board which you will use to make your moves. Anytime you make a move, your opponent will be e-mailed the move.