ChessWorld User Guide

To get the maximum enjoyment from your ChessWorld experience please take a little time to read this User Guide.

You can return to this page at any time for information and guidance. If you have any specific problems then you may find it helpful to refer to our extensive FAQ pages. If you still cannot resolve the problem or you cannot find any relevant information in our FAQ's please message the HelpDesk.

Some of the features discussed this User Guide are available to Full Members only.
For a summary of the ChessWorld features available to Guest and Full Members please visit Help ... Site Features.

Navigating around ChessWorld

The easiest way to navigate around ChessWorld is to use the menu. Each of the menu options provides a number of choices and, in many cases, there are also subsidiary choices available to you. Whichever page you are currently viewing, if you click on the ChessWorld logo, which appears at the top left of the menu bar, you will always be returned to the playing area.

Because of the importance of the playing area there are also a number of direct links built in to the page. Depending upon the configuration that you have chosen, you will find the game related buttons, (  Analyse  ,  Play Through  ,  Planning Notepad  and so on), grouped at the left hand side of the board. Most Members will have chosen to use the unique ChessWorld tabbed display which appears to the right of the board. Each of the tabs are easily identified and clicking on any one of those will reveal further, related, information. Below this tabbed area are grouped the playing action buttons, (which will change according to the type of game that you are playing), including the  Draw  and  Resign  buttons.

If you are playing in an All-play-All tournament you will see a  Tournament Crosstable  button which will take you direct to the crosstable, giving you a convenient over-view of the current state of all games in the Tournament.

If you are playing in one of the popular Knock Out Tournaments, you will see a  Tournament Table  button which takes you to a display showing the results of all games completed so far, and the state of play in the current Round. This can be a very useful tool if you wish to check on your current Opponents’ playing strategies, for example.

return to top

The ChessWorld Play page

The ChessWorld playing area can be configured in various ways, according to your personal preferences and level of Membership. The information in this section is based upon the most optimum settings and you may find that some of these features are either not visible at present or are not available at your level of Membership. Please check the My Stuff ... My Interface page where you will find details of all configurable options.

Play page layout
The board style can be changed to suit your preference; below some board styles   + Board Size -   and  Store  links will be available. The Movelog for the game is displayed at the left hand side and below this, if the opening being played has been identified, two links, separated by a colon, will appear. Depending upon which of these links is selected you can access various levels of helpful information and other resources to explain the opening and assist your play. Below these links you will find a set of play related buttons.

On the right hand side of the board an information panel is provided that can be navigated by the various tabs provided. Most of the tabs are always available, but further tabs become visible when appropriate.

 Chat  - always open by default. This is an important focal point for the page because this is the area where your Opponent may leave any messages; you may also see, from time to time, a graphic to notify you that your Opponent is on holiday. Within this tab there is a row of 'quick links' to give you direct access to messages on your Home page, any System messages that you may not have read or have not cleared from your screen and the number of Friends currently online. If you are enrolled in one of the ChessWorld pyramids you may also see an icon advising you if there are any challenges currently available to you.
 Msgs  - repeats some of the information detailed above and also provides a number of topical links for your convenience.
 Game  - provides brief statistics for the current game and will also show you if you have any previous 'match history', in the order, 'wins - draws - losses', with the current Opponent. If you are currently playing more than one game with this Opponent, you will also see the game numbers displayed. If you wish, you can click on a game number and visit the game board immediately.
 Goto  - provides you with a convenient way to enter a game number. You may use this so that you can move directly to any game that you specify, even if you are not a participant in that game.
 Tips  - will only appear during the early stages of the game and provides you with brief information about the opening and the opportunity to record the opening as one of your 'favourites'.
 Vids  - provides a brief summary of the latest ChessWorld videos. For access to our full range of videos we suggest that you visit the Videos menu which will offer you a number of detailed options from which to choose.
 Note  - will only appear if you have selected the appropriate option from the  Planning Notepad  page.

Use the  X  tab to minimize the tab display, which will also have the effect of moving the various game action-related buttons up the page to increase their visibility.

Below this area a set of game-action buttons is available. These include the  Tournament Crosstable  ,  Tournament Table  and  Pyramid details  buttons which appear as appropriate to the particular game that you are playing at the time. Buttons for  Draw  and  Resign  are always available: the  Draw  button will offer you several alternatives, depending upon the current state of the game. These are fully explained in the Game Board section of the General FAQ's. When an Opponent has exceeded the time limit a  Claim Win  button will appear.

Play-related buttons
The  Analyse  and  Play through  buttons offer dual functionality. If you prefer to use these features 'full screen' click on the larger, left hand button, but if you prefer to use the more compact pop-up version use the smaller, right hand button. Many users will find this the most convenient option as it is possible to retain focus on the main play page whilst using the relevant screens. There several minor differences between these two options but these should be fairly obvious after a short period of familiarization. The  Analyse  button allows you to plan your next (few) moves at leisure. Any moves that you make on this board will not be transferred to the main playing area. The  Play through  button allows you to play through the game, from the first to the last move. The board can be printed at any time and for convenience the FEN string for the current displayed position is available. This page also offers access to more powerful analysis tools.

If you feel that you need further assistance, or detailed information, the  Opening Identified  button will provide a number of relevant links which you may wish to explore in detail before you make further moves in your current game. The  Position search  button will allow you to check for similar positions and also to make more detailed searches of the ChessWorld 'position warehouse' for the maximum amount of information. Be aware that as the game progresses this button will become unavailable and, later in the game, be replaced by an equivalent  Endgame Search . The  Tactics Training  button provides a convenient link to the ChessWorld puzzle library, which you may wish to explore at any time to improve your general understanding of the finer points of the game.

Game-action buttons
The functionality of each of the game-action buttons on the right hand side of the board is discussed in some detail in the Playing section of the Chess FAQ's and in the Game Board section of the General FAQ's. In particular we would advise you to become familiar, both with the full power, and the limitations, of the  Draw  button, which, when invoked, follows all of the standard FIDE conventions. The  Resign  button offers you a chance to resign from the game but your decision must be confirmed, or rejected, on the intermediate screen that will appear. At that stage you will see a small graphic showing the current position, which we advise you to review carefully before confirming your decision! Once you have confirmed your decision to resign a new screen will appear which will offer you a range of options, any or all of which you may wish to explore.

When it is your move you will see further game-action buttons,  Prev ,  List ,  Next  and  Skip Game . If the current game is in the very early stages, less than 5 half moves have been made and it is not a Tournament or Team game, you will also see an  Abort  button. You may use this to terminate a game without affecting your current Rating. For further information on the action of these buttons, please refer to the Computer section of the General FAQ's.

The board will always default to showing you at the bottom of the screen and your Opponent at the top, whether you are playing with White or Black. However, if you wish to change this simply use  Flip  button which appears below the board.

return to top

Playing a game

The way that you move your pieces will depend upon your chosen configuration as defined in My Stuff ... My Interface. The default setting is 'Click and Click', but it is possible to change this to one of two similar 'Drag and Drop' alternatives. If you select  Drag and Drop Enabled  you simply left-click on the relevant piece, and, holding the button depressed, slide the piece across to the intended destination square. If you attempt to make an illegal move a pop-up will appear offering helpful information and a list of all legal moves that are available to you at that time. If you feel that this pop-up option is unnecessary then change your configuration to  Drag and Drop ; the My Stuff ... My Interface page will provide guidance on this selection when you make any changes. If you select either of the 'Drag and Drop' options you will also be able to use the 'Click and Click' function at any time, if you so wish. These options may also be selected via the My Stuff ... My Moves page.

As an aid to your playing experience there will always be an appropriately colored icon,  White  or  Black , next to a player name, to indicate which color has the move. Although it is a reasonable assumption that you will be aware of not only your playing color but also when it is your move, we provide these icons in recognition of the fact that, at times, Members can be forgetful or get a little confused. In the event that you find that you cannot make a move always check the position, and color, of the move indicator icon.

When you are satisfied that you have made the best move, simply press the  Confirm  button, otherwise you may cancel the move you have just made by pressing the  Undo  button. Be aware that once you have pressed the  Confirm  button, the move cannot be revoked! If you have not configured your interface for  Instant move confirmation  your move will be made instantly and you will have no opportunity to review it. We advise you to ensure that the move has been registered at the ChessWorld server after you press the  Confirm  button by checking that the 'color to move' icon,  White  or  Black , has appeared below your Opponents name before you proceed to your next game or log out.

If you attempt to move into check, or if, by moving a piece, you allow a discovered check, a brief message will appear at the top of screen; you will not able to make any illegal move.

Many Members find it helpful to make use of our Conditional Moves feature whereby you can attempt to predict up to five of your Opponents expected moves and pre-select your own, appropriate, responses. This feature, which is fully explained in the Conditional Moves FAQ's will only be functional if both players have activated the feature by making the appropriate setting in My Stuff ... My Moves.

return to top

Different styles of play

With ChessWorld you can choose to play individual games, rated or unrated, or you can join Tournaments or Teams, whichever is your preference. Whichever style you choose, you can select a time limit, from 1 to 15 days per move, or you can choose to play using the '10 in 50' variable time limit. Before you choose this option please make sure that you have read, and fully understand, Q. What is the '10 in 50' Variable Time Limit and how does it work? which you will find in the Time Limits FAQ's. This is particularly important because some Members may overlook the critical ' ... 10 days per move ... ' qualifier!

The time limit can be observed rigorously if you wish when playing in individual games, but in most cases Members are generally quite tolerant. However, in Tournament and Team games the time limits are a fundamental part of the game, just as in 'OTB' play, and once you have exceeded the time limit for your move in any such game your Opponent is entitled to claim the win, regardless of the relative state of the game. However, if you have booked holiday time, whilst the ChessWorld clock never stops, the  Claim Win  button is not available to your Opponent. However, as the annual holiday allowance is limited to 35 days in total you are advised to use the time wisely. We cannot grant extensions to holidays for any reason!

Playing in either conventional ChessWorld Tournaments or in one, or more, of our many Teams is essentially the same. You are committed to time-limits and, depending upon the result of each game, you can either gain or lose Rating points. In Tournament play the winner is awarded a ChessWorld All-play-All or Knock Out 'norm', as appropriate, both of which can be accumulated. Members of the winning Team in any of our League based games are awarded a 'Team norm'. As the number of your combined Tournament ‘norms' increases you can be awarded one of the ChessWorld Titles. Full details of these awards can be found by visiting the Tournaments' FAQ's.

When choosing a Tournament to enter you should consider the potential game-load. Our most popular All-play-All Tournaments feature just four players, giving each player a total of six games, three with each color. As the number of participants increase the number of games increases rapidly. For example, in a 15-player tournament you would be committing yourself to 28 games, fourteen with each color.

In Team play there are a maximum of seven players, although it is possible to have several additional players to act as 'reserves', and the games are allocated, on a board by board basis, by the Team Captain. Normally, players with the higher ratings are allocated to the higher boards, but this is always at the discretion of the Team Captain. As in real life, Team play can be fiercely competitive and rivalries can continue from one season to the next. (Just like real life!)

If the gameload, or perhaps, the stress of playing in such competitive environments does not appeal to you you can join one, or more, of the many ChessWorld 'Pyramids'. Pyramid play is a little different in style because in any Pyramid you will never have more than two games, one with each color. Every player starts at level One and the aim is to climb the Pyramid to the higher levels; each successive level means that you will be meeting stronger players. You are free to choose an Opponent from the list of available players on the same Level as you, or one Level above you, who will play Black. Equally, any other player can challenge you, if you are available, when you will be playing Black. You should be aware though, that in a Pyramid, you cannot refuse a challenge: as long as you are a member of a Pyramid you can challenge, and be challenged. Depending upon the result of the game you may be moved up or down the Pyramid although you can never go below Level One. The full details of entry and the rules for promotions and demotions can be found by visiting My Stuff ... My Pyramids.

return to top

Joining or creating Tournaments

Visit Join Games ... Join New Tournaments or Join New Games ... Create New Tournament.

Join New Tournaments
When you click on this link you will be presented with a page based upon your current ChessWorld Rating. You will be able to choose either a Knock Out or an All-play-All Tournament in one of three styles.
- Strength Tournaments are based on the categories of Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
- Class Tournaments are based upon four separate rating groups.
- Open Tournaments are open to all-comers, regardless of their ChessWorld skill level or Rating.
The  Join  buttons show you the levels available to you - once you have decided which type of Tournament you wish to play, simply click!

Create New Tournament
When you click on this link you will be presented with a page which allows you to specify all of the various details before the Tournament can be created. Although each section has default values already selected we recommend that you always carefully review these values to ensure that your Tournament will attract the quality of entrants that you are seeking. We suggest that you carefully consider your entries for the  Tournament Nickname  and  Ideas behind the Tournament  boxes as these comments can help to make your Tournament stand out and appeal to more Members.

The  Tournamen type  should be considered carefully because this can affect the gameload of any entrants. If you create a Knock Out Tournament, of course, this will only generate one extra game for each entrant and this will be unchanged as they, hopefully, progress through each round. However, if you prefer to create an All-play-All Tournament the number of players can make a significant difference to the size of the gameload. A four player All-play-All generates just six games, (three with each color), for every entrant. However, if you choose to create a 15-player All-play-all Tournament then the game load increases to 28 games for each entrant. It is important that you understand these implications because many Members prefer to keep their gameload quite small.

You can place restrictions on the ability range of any potential entrants to your Tournament so that you can provide each player with a fair chance of success. The default setting of  Open to all  will allow Members with ratings across the whole range to enter and you may consider this to be potentially unfair, and even discouraging for intending entrants. We suggest that you consider setting maximum and minimum ratings to allow a range of around 200 - 400 points; however, the choice is yours alone.

The default time limit for Knock Out Tournaments is 5 days and this value cannot be changed. The default time limit for All-play-All Tournament is set at 7 days but you may choose whichever time limit meets your own preferences. Bear in mind that the special ChessWorld limit of '10 in 50' is an attractive alternative if you want to give the entrants some flexibility in managing their games. If you choose this option please make sure that you have read, and fully understand, Q. What is the '10 in 50' Variable Time Limit and how does it work? which you will find in the Time Limits FAQ's. This is particularly important because some Members may overlook the critical, ' ... 10 days per move ... ' qualifier!

If you would prefer to create a theme based, (Thematic), Tournament then you may use either of the relevant selection boxes at the bottom of the screen. These Tournaments are always popular but if you do decide to create a Thematic Tournament please make it quite clear in either or both the  Tournament Nickname  and  Ideas behind the Tournament  boxes so that there is no possibility of confusion for potential entrants. We are aware that, from time to time, some Members will join a Thematic Tournament and then become somewhat confused when they find that the initial opening moves have already been played before they can make their first move.

return to top

Joining or creating Teams

Visit Join Games ... Join New Teams or Join Games ... Create New Team.

Join New Teams
When you click on this link you will be presented with a page offering you three boxes, each offering different options. The first choice is to apply to join a Team that is presently on the League schedule. Clicking on the  Join Teams in the League Schedule  link offers you a list of currently active Leagues; you may click the  Join  button to apply to join your chosen League.

You may choose to use the box listing various categories which gives you an indication of which categories need new Members. Where there any potential vacancies you will be able to click the  View  button and then make a further selection on the resulting page.

Finally, depending upon the number of ChessWorld 'Friends' you may have, you may also see a box listing all of the Teams in which any of your 'Friends' are playing.

Create New Team
When you click on this link you will be presented with a page which requires you to select the specific league in which you wish your Team to play. This is an extensive list and you should be able to find an affinity group which appeals to you. It is not possible for you to add any new League name to this list; if you feel that there may be a case for such an addition you should contact the HelpDesk to make your case. The creation of a new League is at the sole discretion of the WebMaster.

Once you have selected a suitable affinity group, enter the name of your intended Team, keeping it brief and appropriate to the context. You should make some effort to compose an informative, and compelling,  Team philosophy  as this is always one of the main attractions for any Members wishing to join a Team.

Once you are happy with your selections and your Team philosophy simply click the  Create Team  button.

You should be aware that by creating a Team you become the Captain and as such it will be your sole responsibility to find suitable recruits. If you need further guidance on the operation of ChessWorld Teams please refer to the Teams FAQ's.

return to top

Creating a Game

Visit Join Games ...Create New Games .

ChessWorld allows you to create individual games to your precise specification. When you visit this page you are able to specify the number of games that you wish to create; the default setting is one game but you may create up to 10 games at a time if you so wish. You can choose which color you prefer although for most creators of multiple games the default setting of  Mixture  should be suitable. If you feel that you wish to gain experience using a specific opening move then you have a wide choice. However, if you wish play games with a specific sequence of opening moves, (Thematic games), use the option at the bottom of the page, which has identical functionality to that described in the Tournaments section, above.

You may feel that the default time limit of 10 days is inappropriate and you may choose from any of the options available. If you choose the '10 in 50' option please make sure that you have read, and fully understand, Q. What is the '10 in 50' Variable Time Limit and how does it work? which you will find in the Time Limits FAQ's. This is particularly important because some Members may overlook the critical, ' ... 10 days per move ... ' qualifier!

Depending upon your preference you may choose  Rated  or  Unrated  although, in general, most Members prefer to play rated games. If you do not specify a rating range then you may be paired against Opponents with much higher, or lower, ratings than you would prefer; we advise you to consider an acceptable rating range before you submit your request.

return to top

Choosing an Opponent

ChessWorld allows you to choose Opponents in a number of different ways. You may choose by ability, or by Country, for example, or you may prefer to use one of the other options available, discussed below, when you visit the Join Games ...  menu.

Invite Your Friends
This option provides a convenient means to send ChessWorld invitations to any of your friends who are not ChessWorld Members. Just enter your friends name and their current Email address and then decide upon your proposed first move with White. To personalize your message we suggest that you complete the message box with some suitable greeting before you send the Invitation.

If you wish to invite any of your ChessWorld 'Friends' please refer to the final entry in this section.

Suggest Opponent
If you choose this option then we will offer you an Opponent who has a similar ChessWorld rating to your own. Before you make your decision, check the Time Limit, as specified by your Opponent, which will apply to your game.

Suggest Variety
If you choose this option we will offer you five Opponents who have similar ChessWorld ratings to your own. Before you make your decision, check the Time Limit, as specified by your Opponents, which will apply to your games. If you wish to play all five of the suggested Opponents then simply click the  Choose these players  button. However, you may feel that some players may have selected time limits that more closely match your requirements. In this case simply click on the chosen players name: this action will take you to the players Homepage. At the top left of that page you will see a special link  Join this Opponent for a game . Click on that and your game will be set up automatically. You can repeat this process for as many individuals on the list as you wish.

Search by Details
This is a powerful means to finding the exact type of Opponent that you may wish to meet. The initial search boxes contain a wide variety of specifications so that you can fine-tune the candidate list to be as selective as you wish. Be aware, however, that if you are too restrictive on your search you may find that no Opponents appear to be available. In such cases simply try again with less restrictive search criteria.

The settings for your selected Opponent can be left at the default values, which will give you the widest range of candidates, but you may revise those settings to suit your preferences. Once you have completed these basic specifications you can simply submit your request or you may wish to add further refinements. For example, you may wish to narrow down the list to a specific Country, but there may be few if any suitable candidates in some national groupings. If you find that this is the case, simply redefine your search.

Finally, you can add the ultimate refinement to your search by specifying any keywords which may be of interest to you. This search option will search all Member Homepage comments to find a match and this can be quite helpful if you are searching for an interesting affinity grouping. Be aware that not all Members choose to enter personal comment on their homepage so that there may be fewer candidates, but, to counter this, if your search is successful you will find higher quality candidates who will more closely match your particular preferences and interests. The name based search option may be useful in some cases, but these are probably less useful options for most Members.

Before you submit your request you should make sure that you have chosen an appropriate activity level for any potential candidates. The default setting for  Last logged in  is likely to be the most productive method of finding candidates; however, you can refine this criteria to use more specific time spans if you so wish. For the greatest number of candidates you could select the  Not important  option but this will quite possibly present you with a number of candidates who have not logged into ChessWorld for some considerable time and they may even have left the site.

Search by Interest
Use this option if you wish to find up to fifty Opponents with similar interests to your own or if you wish to learn about something new. This option will find any Members who have entered, or used, your chosen keyword on their Homepage. You may enter multiple keywords but be aware that the search will only find Opponents who have used those keywords in that specific order.

Search by Nickname
Use this option if you wish to locate a particular Member. Ideally, you will already know the correct nickname and, if this is the case, the search will rapidly produce the information. Once you are satisfied that this is the correct person, simply click on their name and you will be taken to their homepage.

However, in many cases you may not have sufficient information so that you will have to enter some near approximation of the name for which you are searching. We advise you to try and enter as many characters as possible if you are certain that the information is correct. Make sure that you allow for any possible included spaces or non-alphanumeric characters. A common mistake is to include a trailing space at the end of your entry which will almost inevitably result in a failed search.

By default the page will only search for Members who have logged two weeks or less ago. If you cannot find the name try extending the search by choosing one of the alternative time periods. If you get too many results you may prefer to try searching over a shorter time period.

Be aware that if you enter the minimum details the resulting list of Members may be excessively long. To conserve server resources and to protect other Members who may be online at the same time all search lists are limited to show no more than 100 Members. If you do generate a long and unproductive list we advise you to carefully refine your search pattern. For example, entering the Country, if you know it, will speed up the search and will generally be more accurate.

Search by Quick List
Use this option to produce an extended list of potential Opponents. Typically this may list over 100 Members and by default will present all currently available Opponents regardless of time limit or game status. You may wish to refine this list by specifying a time limit and game status, for example, rated or unrated games.

To help you choose, the rating of a potential Opponent is displayed as well as the number of games that they have played. Be aware that if a player has played less than 50 games their rating is classed as Provisional and may not give a true indication of their playing ability. If a potential Opponent has played less than 10 rated games you will see a cautionary note under their name. There is no reason why you should avoid such players but ratings based upon a minimum number of games can be misleading and tend, in general, to err on the higher side.

You may, occasionally, see a sequence of games generated by a single player, who may have taken advantage of our Create New Games feature, discussed above. If this is the case when you visit the page and you wish to find an alternative potential Opponent simply check further pages until you can make a satisfactory choice.

Search by Rating
To more closely focus your search you may choose to look for players within a specified range of your own ChessWorld rating. By default this page will produce a list of potential Opponents whose ChessWorld rating is within +/- 10 points of your own. This is a fairly restrictive limit and you can increase or decrease the range to suit your particular preference. If you fail to find any Opponents within the specified range we suggest that you increase the range. The maximum range of +/- 400 points should be more than adequate to provide you with a suitable candidate list of Opponents.

The search can easily be refined by specifying the relevant time period and / or by preferred Country.

Search by Country
This option offers a different process to choose potential Opponents. The list of Countries, in alphabetical order, makes it convenient for you to make your initial selection. Once you have chosen a specific country click on the  Homepage  link which will, with certain exceptions, present you with a list of up to 100 players. In the case of Australia, Canada and the United States it is necessary to first choose the State or Province before a list can be displayed.

The list of players allows you check their ChessWorld performance record before you make your choice by clicking on their Homepage.

ChessWorld Friends
You may use My Stuff ... My Friends to add various Members to your personal 'Friends' list. You can use this list to invite them to an individual game, to join a private Tournament or to join your Team. This page also allows you to keep private notes about each friend, for example, to record some of their favourite opening moves, or conversational topics.

return to top

Learning chess at ChessWorld

ChessWorld not only caters for the enthusiast at all levels but also provides guidance and information for those who are new to the game and who wish to learn not only the basics but also further information to help them better understand the ideas of tactics and strategies.

If you visit the Improve ... menu you will find a range of options, all of which are suitable to provide you with guidance and advice at all levels of the game.

The ChessWorld Masters Collection
We offer several options to access our unique Masters Collection which features in excess of 2 million games, all played by Internationally recognized players, with some games dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Visiting any of the four 'Masters' links will provide you with a page offering a wide and powerful selection of search tools. The full power of these pages is best understood by simply visiting them, but, before you do so, we suggest that you first visit the Masters Collection section of our Features FAQ's where you will find detailed and comprehensive instructions to help you make the most of this ChessWorld facility.

Site Games
As one of the longest established on-line chess playing sites we have a very comprehensive range of past games which are available for Members to explore. Visit either of the two options provided and you can explore the rich diversity of our database. The search options are much simpler than those for our Masters Collection but they are more than adequate to give you every result for which you may be searching.

Annotated Games
In both the Masters Collection and the Site Games sections you will find options to search for annotated games. We suggest that these might be the ideal choices to start any research and learning plan that you may have. Virtually all of the annotations have been authored by ChessWorld Members including a number who are FIDE rated. Studying a carefully annotated game is a proven way to improve both your understanding and your standard of play. Of course, if you find sections and comments that seem at first sight, to be too complex, it is easy to return and re-read the annotation until you have fully grasped the content.

Self help resources
As an alternative to intensive study of past games, or perhaps as a relaxation between your own games, you may wish to investigate our Play the Computer, Puzzles and Tips sections, all of which can provide you with stimulating mental exercise. If the Puzzles section is of particular interest to you ChessWorld provides several options allowing you to simply tackle puzzles at your own pace, (until you have solved them!), or against the clock. The latter option may provide a challenge that you will find hard to resist as you can monitor your puzzle solving skills to check for your own weaknesses and check your score history. Be aware that your ChessWorld puzzle rating should not be confused with your official ChessWorld rating.

Different phases of the game
Rather than study complete games you may prefer to concentrate on those parts of your game where you wish to make the most improvement, or to increase your understanding. Selecting one of the Openings, Middlegame or Endgame options will take you a series of topic specific pages which will provide you with links to a variety of authoritative content. A number of these links will provide you with technical articles written by a highly experienced FIDE rated player and are all well worth spending some time reading and digesting the content.

Other sources
In addition to our own material we also provide a number of links to external sites, each of which we have carefully checked for their quality and content. You may visit any of those links, which you will find by visiting Improve ... Learning Links, with total confidence.

return to top

ChessWorld Coaching

Visit Improve ... Coaching Resources

If you feel that your game could be improved by some extra help then you may be interested in using some or all of our Coaching resources. ChessWorld offers a range of help from videos to game annotations, any of which can be accessed easily. However, we are aware that there are always Members, perhaps new to the game or new to ChessWorld, who feel that they would benefit from the advice and assistance of another player.

If you are in this category we suggest that you check the  Member Coaches  link which will offer you a list of all of our volunteer coaches. These are all Members who have offered to share their expertise and time by helping others; you will find that each of them will be patient and understanding whatever problems or difficulties you may have. If this default list is a little overwhelming you can refine the list by selecting one of the options at the top of the page. By checking the different options you may gain a better impression of some players, but the choice is entirely yours and whichever player you choose you can be assured of genuine help and interest.

Before you make your selection you should consider whether you want a proper coaching game or an ordinary game. In either case the games will be unrated so that you will be able to play without the fear that you may be risking any of your hard earned rating points. Once you have made that decision, when you click on the relevant link you will be taken to a page showing the games that the prospective Coach has played. You can easily check either category of course. If you want to check further, click on any of the game numbers listed and you will then be able to see the game in its entirety. In virtually all such games you will be able to read any messages and chat that the two players may have had and this particular information can be most helpful when you are trying to get a 'feel' for a particular player.

In many cases you will find that your selected Coach will have made use of the unique ChessWorld stem game analysis feature. This may sound rather intimidating but is in fact, extremely simple to use and extremely helpful to you as a student. If your coach chooses to use this option they can stop your game at any time and open a new board, retaining your present position, and then explore some alternative moves with you. In an extended coaching session you may find that your coach will open a number of such games, all of which are preserved on our database so that you can return at a later date to review your progress and understanding. To check if this is the case with your prospective coach click on the  Game  tab on any coaching game page that you visit. The top line in this tab may read  Friendly Unrated Coaching game , in which case the coach did not use this feature. However, if the top line reads  Friendly Unrated Coaching Group game  the coach did use the feature, which you will be able to explore by clicking on the  Coaching Group  link. In such cases you will be able to see exactly how this feature works and you will also see that in each case an extra message space is included so that you can have a series of discussions with your coach.

Once you are completely satisfied that you have made the best choice simply click on the  Invite  link next to the players name and plan your winning moves!

return to top

Understanding chess terms

Visit Improve ... Chess Glossary, a ChessWorld feature that is almost encyclopaedic in its content. Within the many pages you will find clear descriptions and explanations of virtually all specialised chess related terms as well as playable demonstrations and discussions on various aspects of the game.

return to top

Measuring playing ability

All Members are given a rating of 1400 when they join ChessWorld. This will vary, in either direction, depending upon the results of any rated games that are played. The ChessWorld rating system is based upon Internationally recognized standards and may be regarded as a reliable measure of your performance whilst playing games on ChessWorld. However, in common with all online chess playing sites our rating is not directly comparable with real life ratings. You may gain some idea of the relative value if you compare the ChessWorld ratings of any Members who also have a published, and Internationally verified, FIDE rating. However, we suggest that you use our rating values as a measure of your personal progress on this site only.

To provide the best possible measurement ChessWorld uses two systems. For the first 50 games we use a simplified system that will show quite significant changes in your rating from game to game. However, as you get nearer to the 50 game total your ChessWorld rating will tend to be much more consistent and a more reliable indication of your playing performance. Once you have completed more than 50 rated games we use the Elo system which will provide you with a consistent measure of your progress over time and over an increasing number of games. For a full explanation of the ChessWorld system, and to use our Elo calculator  visit the Ratings FAQ's.

Although you can measure your performance in numerical terms, many Members prefer to make use of our powerful Rating Graph feature which shows all of your results, color coded to distinguish wins, draws and losses, over a default period of 50 games. Optionally, you can choose to superimpose the ratings of your Opponents so that you have an instant graphic display of your performance against players of different abilities. The default period of 50 games can be changed, in increments, up to the maximum number of games you have played, so that you can measure your performance over several years if you so wish. As a further refinement you may choose to display your last 50 wins, draws or losses only, but in this case it is not possible to superimpose Opponent ratings.

The easiest way to access your rating graph is by visiting your Homepage and clicking on the  Rating  tab, or, alternatively, click on My Stuff ... My Rating and then click on the appropriate link. The Homepage display is a simplified, non-configurable, version but there is a convenient link below the graph which takes you to the full, and colorful(!), version.

return to top

ChessWorld statistics

We understand that many chess players like to keep detailed records of their performance and their playing characteristics. With the help of our massive database and some skilfully designed and optimised data analysis methods we can present information about your playing performance is almost microscopic in detail.

At the most basic levels a visit to Play ... My Current Games or Play ... My Completed Games will give you a summary of each game, its duration and opening moves. In addition, where it is appropriate, we provide links to one of the many ChessWorld videos that may be instructive for you. As a convenience to Members we also provide, on the My Current Games page, a small icon to indicate the recent on-line activity of your Opponent(s). This is only a guide and, like the equiivalent comments in the ChessWorld 'Friends' list, does not guarantee that your Opponent is actually on-line at the moment that you check the icon.

The My Completed Games list is limited to your last 50 games, but by visiting My Stuff ... My Rating you will be able to access every game that you have played on ChessWorld.

You can access a much wider range of information by visiting the My Stuff ... menu.

My Games
This is an important page that offers you various options to list your games by result and by color played. This page may be helpful to you when checking on a potential Opponent because you can easily access it from their Homepage and, after opening the  Rating  tab, scroll down until you can see and click on the  See detailed game statistics  link. You can also use this page to check the number of rated, unrated and coaching games that you, or your prospective Opponent, have played.

My Rating
This page will show you a quick summary of your performance since you joined ChessWorld, and, below, a list of your last 50 games played. This is the default setting and if you wish to check for details of all of your past games click on the relevant link. You should be aware that if you have played a high number of games the search may take several seconds. As this page is based upon your rated games you will not be able to view any unrated games that you may have played although you may still access them by using the  My Games  link.

My Pyramids
This page only provides statistics relevant to your current Pyramid status. However, it does also provide you with convenient links to the 20 most popular of our Pyramids, where you can look for an affinity group and check how many active Members are playing on a particular Pyramid. For convenience, and perhaps to help you make up your mind to enrol in your first Pyramid, this page also provides a detailed outline of how ChessWorld Pyramids are managed, with particular reference to promotion, (and demotion), between successive levels.

My Teams
This page may be useful if you are a Member of one or more Teams as it provides details of current Team Members and their Board rankings.

My Tournaments
ChessWorld Tournaments, in all formats, are extremely popular and this page allows you to check on your complete Tournament records, either in their entirety or in specific formats only. The ability to select only those Tournaments which are currently 'In progress' may be especially helpful if you wish to check on the progress that your fellow -competitors are making. In the case of Knock Out Tournaments it can be particularly helpful to check how an Opponent has played in earlier rounds of the Tournament. If you are the Tournament Organiser you will also find useful tools to help you manage the Tournament, some of which will only be available before play commences.

For further advice on Tournaments please refer to our Tournament FAQ's. These FAQ's contain useful guidance for all players explaining how you can create and manage various procedures. The award of Tournament Titles and Tournament norms to Tournament winners can be the cause of some confusion and these processes are dealt with in detail. We advise all Members to make themselves familiar with these FAQ's before they start playing in their first Tournament.

My  Other Stuff ... My Opening Statistics
This page can help you to assess your frequency of use, performance, and success, with all, or any, of the classified openings that you may have used as a ChessWorld Member. All of your openings are identified both by their common name and by their ECO code.

The information is presented for all of your games by default but you can easily select your games played as White or Black. You may also choose to display these results ordered by ECO code if you find that that would be more convenient.

If your interest is in a more detailed search you can use the  Search games by Move Entry  option. This presents you with a board with the pieces in their starting positions and you can enter any sequence of (legal) moves, using click and click, that you wish to explore before pressing the  Submit  button. If there any games in our database with those specific moves you will see tables listing game results and number of games with White and Black. There is also a convenient link that will take you to a list of your own games where that sequence of moves has been played.

For Members who may wish to explore their Openings in a tree view format the relevant option displays results in an ordered list showing Opening move(s) together with Win, Loss, Draw statistics. In some cases the sequence of moves that you played led to games being won by you. If the overall performance was significantly beyond normal chance then you will also find a brief assessment of 'Good' or 'Very Good' appended to the display. In these cases you may feel encouraged to work further with the openings and build upon previous successes.

You should be aware that not all games can be easily classified and it is possible that some of your own games fall into this category, for example when you or your Opponent have made one, or more, quite unconventional opening moves that are not normally classed as 'standard' and may not have been allocated an ECO code. You can attempt to more properly classify any such games by using the ChessWorld 'Retrospective Opening Classification Tool'; simply click on the  Try and classify ...  link at the top left side of the page. This powerful and unique tool will re-examine all of your unclassified games and attempt to classify them into the appropriate ECO grouping or code. Initially you will see a summary of the number of any such unclassified games that you may have played. The tool then tries to index each game in sequence, and if successful moves on the next game. If a match is found you will see a brief note showing the common name of the opening and the reference number that identifies that Opening in our database. In some cases a number of similar matches will be found and you may see that a game has been matched to two or more entries in our database. However, although this is a powerful tool, there may be times when it cannot find any corresponding entry in our database. In such cases you will see message explaining that the game has been skipped.

My Other Stuff ... My Positions
This page does not present any statistical information but you may find it useful after using the My Stuff ... My Other Stuff ... My Openings page. For example, you may have found that even after attempting to re-classify one of your games there is still no entry within our database. You may feel that this is, perhaps, an omission on our part, and you may feel that the position in question deserves wider recognition. In such cases you could submit the details using this page; however, you should be aware that any such submissions are always checked for their intrinsic value to ChessWorld by Admin before they are finally accepted. This process may take several days so we advise patience. If Admins find that you are submitting frivolous or irrelevant material you may be referred to the WebMaster for a final decision.

return to top

Using statistics to improve your game

There are various ways that you can use ChessWorld statistics to improve your game. The most obvious, and perhaps simplest, is to take care in your choice of Opponent. Playing Opponents much stronger, or weaker, than you are may give you a misleading impression of your playing ability. Playing very strong Opponents can give you some practice in dealing with complex situations but if you are being outclassed your level of understanding may be inappropriate to fully appreciate some of the subtleties of the game. If you are playing against very weak Opponents, you may find that winning is relatively easy but equally, there may not be enough quality in your Opponents play to really test your own capabilities. We suggest, as a rough guide, that you look for Opponents in the range of +/- 200 points or so of your current ChessWorld rating, although of course, the choice, as with everything at ChessWorld, is yours.

Once you have decided upon an appropriate level of playing strength with which you feel happy, you should perhaps consider the quality of your prospective Opponents. This can be assessed quite easily by visiting their Homepage and clicking on the  Rating  tab. The default display may not be too helpful in providing you with the depth of information that you are looking for so we suggest that you click on the  See more detailed Rating Graph link. This will present you with a full analysis of your Opponent’s performance for their past 50 games, which you can amend if you so wish. A quick check will probably show that your Opponent has had a mixture of wins, draws and losses over that period. This is quite normal and may reassure you that you have chosen wisely. However, if the graph shows a preponderance of wins, for example, you may feel that the player is rather stronger than you initially thought. To check this in greater depth, select the  Default + Ratings  option. This will superimpose the ratings of all players that your prospective Opponent met over the course of the past 50 games. If the majority of those ratings, (shown as a line graph for clarity), show that the various players had a lower rating than your prospective Opponent you may begin to feel that perhaps the preponderance of wins may be due more to playing weaker Opponents rather than a demonstrable ability level. In such cases you may wish to start again and look for a more 'balanced' player. To summarise: a typical good quality Opponent will usually have a Rating graph that shows a mixture of results played against a mixture of playing abilities. If you see that then you have chosen wisely.

Another way to improve your game is to make sure that you allow yourself sufficient time to plan, and make, your moves. Remember that you need to allow some time for this, depending upon your personal approach to your game, and also to allow for the various restrictions that your lifestyle and working arrangements impose. If you choose a short time limit, and find that you have limited free time and availability you will be forced into a situation whereby you will make ill-planned moves and by so doing begin to lose games. We suggest that you choose a time limit that is convenient for you, allowing you time to plan and make your moves and, above all avoids putting too much pressure on your other time. If you can find players who also share the same preference for the time limit that suits you and, as a bonus find players who tend to make most of their moves within the time limit then you will feel more relaxed about playing. Many Members find it hard to play against an Opponent who makes virtually every move at the last minute, even when a response is obvious. Although such extended tactics are quite within the rules, Members frequently express irritation about such Opponents. Of course, in such cases, there is always the obvious, and unavoidable risk that a sudden computer failure, or a lack of Internet connectivity, will mean that such players can be claimed against on time. To give you reassurance that your proposed Opponent is a typical player, who tends to move well within the time limit on all of their games, we suggest that you visit their Homepage and check out the ChessWorld 'Average Time to move' clocks which you will find in the  About  tab.

However, despite all of the above, one of the most effective ways to improve your game is to study the results that you get from using different Openings. Do you play better with some Openings playing White and with different opening responses when playing with Black?

Visit My Other Stuff ... My Opening Statistics which was discussed in detail in the ChessWorld Statistics section, above. The default display shows information for all of your games, but you can choose to display your games by color if you wish to simplify the display. Select the entry which shows you the most games played with a specified opening. Click on the ECO code link which appears in the right-most column, headed  W/D/L for ECO Group . This will take you to a page showing you your performance over all games in which you played the chosen Opening, displayed both numerically and graphically. You will need to look carefully at the statistics displayed but, as an indication of what can be deduced, assume that in your chosen Opening you have played 100 games with each color. Your statistics may show that, with White, you won, or drew, the greater majority of your games, but, when playing with Black, you actually lost the majority of your games. This may suggest that your responses, when playing with Black, are in some way lacking in sharpness. You may therefore decide to study a number of games, (perhaps from our 'Masters Collection'), and attempt to learn some better strategies. You may, of course, decide that, based upon this evidence, you should try and avoid playing with Black when faced with that particular opening. This may improve your overall statistical performance but it will not help you to improve your game!

When viewing this page you could also check the results for every individual game, by color, and select several of those games for further study. In that case, simply click on the  Play through  link which will allow you to scroll backwards and forwards through the game to better understand each move. If you click on the  Game number  link in the left-most column you will see the normal ChessWorld play page which would allow you to read any messages that may have been exchanged with your Opponent but will not allow you to play through the game until you click on the appropriate link that appears on every play page.

Remember that, with many Openings, the optimum responses can vary depending upon the color with which you are playing. As a very general guide, you may see that some Openings have been allocated a range of ECO codes; this suggests that there are a number of variations any or all of which you may wish to explore further. You can explore many of these variations in greater detail by visiting  Improve ... Learn about Openings  or by clicking on the  Opening Identified  link which appears on all play pages for both current and completed games.

return to top

Using the tools on the play page

There are several tools available on the play page which may be helpful in studying your game before you move, or in preparing for several potential responses from your Opponent.

The  Analyse  button provides a convenient area to examine potential moves. You may either opt for the large or small versions of this board, although most Members will probably find that the smaller display, accessed via the 'smaller' button, is more convenient because it does not obscure the playing area.

This board allows you play through the game up to the current position, to help you identify any potential errors or weaknesses and then, when the current position has been reached, allows you to experiment with various moves and expected countermoves from your Opponent. Any moves made are restricted to this board only and are not copied to the main play page. When you have found a suitable response return to the play page and enter your move in the usual manner. This procedure is intentional and protects you from making any inadvertent errors.

The  Analyse  button is also available on the My Current Games page, on any Tournament Crosstable and for games listed on the Rating Information page.

The  Play Through  option acts in a similar manner to the  Analyse  option but does not give you any opportunity to plan future moves. This board is probably most convenient for any post game analysis that you may wish to carry out.

The  Planning Notepad  feature allows you to keep your own, private, notes for any game - your Opponent cannot see them! If you open this link you will be presented with a thumbnail graphic showing the current position, with a link to the smaller Analyse board underneath. You can open the Analyse board and still be able to use the Planning Notepad by toggling between the two. There is a convenient link on the Planning Notepad that allows you to attach the notepad to the play page which you may find helpful if you prefer to simply make your own private notes rather than carry out any detailed analysis. When this link is clicked a new tab, (  Note  ), is opened at the right hand end of the tab row which you can use as you wish. The notepad works in exactly the same way as the Message box; simply enter your text in the input box and click the  Note  button to the right. When there is any text stored in the Planning Notepad an asterisk, (*), is added to the  Note *  tab as a reminder when you return to the game later. Any text entered is automatically duplicated in the main Planning Notepad so that you can switch between the two whenever you wish without losing any important information.

To remove the Planning Notepad from the play page simply visit the main  Planning Notepad  and click on the  Remove private ...  link at the top of the screen. The contents of the Planning Notepad are only visible to you, but, if you choose to utilise the play page display option, take care not to confuse the Planning Notepad with the ordinary message box! Although your Opponent may be happy to know what you are planning, it is unlikely that you will share their point of view!

The  Export Game PGN  link is useful to those Members wishing to copy their game to their own local database or into their own analysis engine for post game analysis. The file conforms to the current PGN standard and should be compatible with any third party software that you choose to use. This feature is not intended to assist in the analysis of current games with chess engines, a practice which is in breach of our Terms and Conditions.

For the convenience of Members an equivalent  PGN  button is provided on completed games in any Tournament Crosstable. The Completed Games page also includes a  PGN  link.

Depending upon the state of the game other options become available:  Opening Identified ,  Position Search  and  Endgame Search . The use of any of these options utilises our powerful database of past games and will offer you various choices, as appropriate, to help you. The use of these features is permissible during any game and is recognised as being equivalent to manual research procedures utilised during conventional 'correspondence style' games.

The  Tactics Training  option is provided to encourage use of our extensive Puzzle library. Although the solution of conventional chess problems and puzzles does not necessarily appeal to everyone, nevertheless, any time and effort expended in solving our puzzles helps to improve your tactical strengths and powers of deduction.

return to top

Other ways to improve your game

Apart from the range of analytical tools that ChessWorld provides we also offer several convenient alternatives.

Many players can benefit by a careful study of older, sometimes ‘classic' games, and our Masters Collection contains over two million such games. Any of these can be opened by visiting Improve ... Learn from the Masters or Improve ... Play like the Masters. Within these two sections you will find a selection of powerful search tools which enable you to find games, players and even opening moves that will meet your current interest. If you need further guidance on this unique database resource visit the Masters Collection section of our Features FAQ's

Even though a careful study of past games can be helpful, many players may find it difficult to manage their available time, due to the pressures of work and everyday life. In such cases we strongly recommend that studying any of our unique ChessWorld videos is a profitable use of valuable time. These videos concentrate on the important points of the game and emphasise those points where a detailed understanding is needed. You can pause and rewind as often as you like to review the content, and return at a later time to refresh your understanding. There are several thousand of these videos, with further videos being added on a regular basis, all hosted on YouTube, so that you can access them at any time. Each video has been produced by the WebMaster, an experienced and highly rated FIDE player, so that each video can be regarded as being both instructive and authoritative. There are various links to different video selections that you may find around the site but the most convenient and efficient way to access them, and to more closely focus your search, is to visit the Videos menu which offers a range of choices and a continually updated list of the latest ChessWorld video releases. The content ranges from informed discussions about past Master games, current Championship games and the innovative 'live' commentaries where the WebMaster records his thinking as he moves against his Opponents in 'blitz' games. Although ChessWorld is dedicated to, and encourages, 'correspondence style' play, an appreciation of how a highly skilled player analyses his moves against the pressure of time can be helpful when playing conventional chess.

For the convenience of Members, we provide, via the Improve menu, the option to use our Play the Computer feature. This allows you to make use of a fully functional chess engine which provides you with several levels of difficulty. As a means to improving your game we suggest that you play a few games at the lowest level until you feel that you can 'win' on a regular basis, before you try playing against the next higher level. Even playing a few games on a daily, or weekly, basis should help you gain insights into the game and your responses to specific counter moves. You can change the color with which you play and select a preferred opening from a short list of options. This engine is not suitable for post-game analysis. The use of a chess engine to provide assistance when playing any current game is in breach of our Terms and Conditions.

Books are often a much undervalued resource when trying to better understand, or improve, your game. Many Members have extensive collections of Chess books and list them on their homepage under the  Content  tab. Many of the books listed have been reviewed by Members and you can click on any one of the relevant links to check if the book you are interested in offers you the quality and content that appeals to you. We also provide a convenient area for Members to discuss their own, and others, books. Visit Forums ... Chess Books and check the latest posts.

return to top

Annotating games

Any ChessWorld Member, with a rating higher than 1500, is able to make use of our Annotation feature. This powerful and instructive feature allows Members to critically analyse their own, and others, games, exploring possible errors or interesting variations. Although annotations are usually composed after a game has been completed, it is possible for Members to make a start, but not publish, whilst a game is in play. By default, all annotations are hidden from public viewing, (marked as being 'in progress'), until the author is satisfied with the quality of the comments and analysis. It is considered to be a basic courtesy to the other player(s) involved to inform them before any annotation is published. After publication it is always possible for Members to offer feedback and in such cases the original author is able to make corrections and enhancements.

Although the use of computer based analysis is permitted in any annotation, it is important that any such analysis is clearly explained. A brief acknowledgment of the engine used is also helpful to other Members.

It is also possible for any Member to submit one, or more, of their games for independent annotation by using the  Request Annotation  link that may be found on any completed game page or, perhaps more conveniently, on the Completed Games page. Adjacent to these links there is also an  Annotate this Game  link which provides a convenient way to access the 'Annotation' feature.

For further, detailed, information on the Annotation feature please refer to the Annotations section of the Features FAQ's.

return to top

Move notifications

For the convenience of all Members, whenever a player makes a move ChessWorld sends an Email to their Opponent. If you do not wish to receive such Emails you can change this default setting by visiting My Stuff ... My Email and unchecking the  Turn Chess Move Email ON  box. Full Members may select the option to have the move notifications sent in HTML format which describes the move made and also includes a graphic display of the board awaiting your move showing the pieces in their current positions.

ChessWorld Emails, regardless of topic, are despatched immediately from our servers. However, in common with all Internet based operations, once our Emails have left our server we have no control as to the speed, or reliability of delivery, nor have we any control over the way that your ISP handles their traffic. We advise you to make regular visits to the site to check for any important information, and particularly Opponent moves, rather than rely solely on Email.

You should be aware that we use your Email address, which is shown on the My Stuff ... My Email, page for all of our communications with you. If you suspect, or experience, any failure in delivery we advise you to check your Email configuration. For further, detailed, information on managing your Email settings please refer to the Email section of our General FAQ's

return to top

Messaging my Opponent

ChessWorld encourages all Members to take advantage of our messaging facilities. We provide a convenient message box in the  Chat  tab, which appears on every Play page, so that you may, if you wish, hold a 'conversation' with your Opponent during the game. If you find that the box is a little small and inconvenient when entering longer messages you can simply scroll down the screen where you will be able to use a much larger box, which also has the added feature of a preview function which can be used by clicking on the  Prev  button. Whichever message box you use you are able include any of the range of emoticons which you can access by clicking on the 'smiley' button to the left of the message box. Select your icon and click on it - the necessary code will be automatically added to your message. When your Opponent sees the message he or she will see the appropriate graphic.

As all game pages can be viewed at any time by any Member it is possible that, from time to time, another, visiting, Member may add a few comments to your conversation. This is quite acceptable provided that any such contribution does not include any game related comments or make suggestions for 'better' or 'winning' moves. If you feel that a visiting Member has added some unfair comments or has provided undue assistance to your Opponent please contact the HelpDesk immediately. We view all such breaches of game ethics most seriously and we reserve the right to take any action that we deem necessary to protect the quality and integrity of our games and Tournaments.

You should be aware that our Terms and Conditions give clear guidelines regarding 'Member Conduct'. In particular, any use of offensive, provocative or derogatory language is not permitted and in such cases we reserve the right to take whatever action we deem necessary to resolve the situation.

return to top

Messaging other Members

You can message any other ChessWorld Member in two different ways. You can go to their Homepage and simply click on the  Leave Message  link, or you can visit My Stuff ... My Messages and open the  My Compose  link. This will take you to the same message creation page but you will need to add the Member nickname in the appropriate box.

We suggest, however, that perhaps the most convenient means to create a message, and to keep a copy of that message, is to visit My Stuff ... My Notepads and use the features provided therein. You can create your message and refine it as you wish and then save it. When you wish to forward the finished message you simply click on the  Msg  link that appears to the right of your message. This will take you to the same outgoing message box, with the text already entered, leaving you to simply add the Member nickname.

Be aware that there is a limit on the total length of any message that you post although, as this is around 1500 words you should not have any problems.

It is not possible to send copies of any message to multiple address simultaneously as we do not permit any bulk postings that could be misinterpreted as 'spam'. If you wish to communicate simultaneously with fellow Members in one of our Tournaments you may wish to consider the option of using a dedicated Tournament Forum. If such a Forum has not been set up, contact the Tournament creator, who will make the necessary arrangements.

You should be aware that our Terms and Conditions give clear guidelines regarding 'Member Conduct'. In particular, any use of offensive, provocative or derogatory language is not permitted and in such cases we reserve the right to take whatever action we deem necessary to resolve the situation.

return to top

Sharing personal details with other Members

ChessWorld respects the privacy of all Members and we do not, under any circumstances, disclose your Email address to any third party. If you wish to change your Email address at any time you should visit My Stuff ... My Email and make any necessary corrections or changes. We cannot do this for you as your account details are protected by your password. If you forget your password you can use the appropriate link on the ChessWorld login page which will send the information via an automated email to the address that you have entered on our database. To protect your privacy and security we will not forward password details to you by any other means.

If you wish to share your personal details, such as your Email address, with any other Member then that is at your sole discretion; we cannot accept responsibility for any dispute, harassment or offensive mailings in such cases. If you intend to exchange any such details with another Member we suggest that you use our Homepage message service which allows you exchange private messages that cannot be seen by any other Member.

We strongly advise you to exercise caution if you are asked to provide personal details by any other Member or you are asked, by another Member, to sponsor their membership. If, and at your sole discretion, you do offer to pay for, or provide a gift subscription, using any method of payment other than that provided by our Service Agents, PayPal and WorldPay, you do so at your own risk.

If you are experiencing technical issues and you contact the HelpDesk, we may, exceptionally, ask you to provide your Password so that we can investigate in detail. All communications and their content, between you and the ChessWorld HelpDesk are entirely confidential and, other than yourself, may only be accessed by the WebMaster and members of the Admin team.

return to top

ChessWorld Forums

ChessWorld provides a wide range of Forums to cater for most Chess related interests. We also provide a popular Social Forum, the ChessWorld Cafe, which is always active with social chit-chat.

We encourage all Members to visit our Forums, if only to read what other Members are discussing. Of course any and all contributions are welcomed, subject only to the restraints of relevance and good taste. We are proud of our reputation for maintaining vigorous discussions without causing offence to any of our Members.

In addition, all Tournament creators have the option to set up their own private Forum that is only open to the players in that Tournament, giving them a chance to talk about their games, their ideas or, indeed, anything in which they share a common interest.

We also encourage all of our Members to view, and when they feel it is appropriate, contribute to the Suggestions Forum, (the Site Improvement Forum). Many ChessWorld features have been refined and enhanced as a result of Member contributions to this Forum. Members of the Admin team read all posts to this Forum but, in general, do not respond. However if a completely new feature, or a major enhancement, has been suggested, we may add comments to explain any specific points in detail, or, exceptionally, to comment upon the practicality of the suggestion.

Check out some of the most interesting Forums by visiting Forums ... Latest Posts or Forums ... Index.

return to top

ChessWorld Awards

All players can earn an exclusive ChessWorld rating giving them an easy way to compare the abilities of different Opponents. However, an alternative measure of performance is the number of Tournaments that have been won.
      - Winners of our All-play-All Tournaments are awarded a ChessWorld norm, indicated by a 'cup' icon.
      - Winners of our Knock Out Tournaments are awarded a ChessWorld norm, indicated by a 'medal' icon.
      - Players in a winning Team are awarded a ChessWorld norm, indicated by a larger 'cup' icon.

As soon as the first norm in each category has been awarded, the appropriate icon appears alongside the player name on the Play page; the actual number of such norms achieved can be viewed by rolling the mouse over the relevant icon. As more Tournaments are won, and as the number of norms accumulates, we award players with one of a range of ChessWorld Titles.

For details of how norms are awarded, and the range of Titles that may be achieved, visit the Tournaments FAQ's where you will find full explanations.

It is also possible to earn one of our more specific icons such as a 'scroll' when you have welcomed or referred Full Members. Other icons that may be awarded are a 'parchment' when you have annotated a minimum number of games and satisfied the quality checks that we always make on such content, a 'jigsaw piece' if you have successfully solved more than 5 of our Puzzles and a 'light bulb' if one of your suggestions has been judged by the WebMaster to be exceptionally good. These icons are automatically awarded when you have satisfied the relevant conditions.

We also award a 'globe' icon that can be displayed after you have played Opponents from more than 20 different countries. In this case we do not add this to your play page automatically; to display the icon simply visit Join Games ... Search by Country and click on the appropriate link which you will find near the top of the page.

return to top

Booking a holiday

The ChessWorld holiday scheme is simple to use. Every player is entitled to reserve up to 35 days in any calendar year as 'holiday' time. This means that when you are on a booked holiday none of your Opponents may claim a win against you on time. However, as the ChessWorld clock never stops running it is possible for you to make a similar claim against an Opponent who is not on holiday. We are aware that the use of the holiday period can be the cause of some misunderstanding: the following explanation may be helpful.

We allow any Member to book holiday time; we do not restrict their activity whilst they are 'on holiday' so that it is possible, if they wish, to continue to make moves. For example, a player may be travelling to a distant destination for a family holiday where they would normally expect to have a complete break from the game. However, they may take a laptop with them, or visit an Internet Cafe and log on to ChessWorld to make a few moves. This is perfectly acceptable and we place no restrictions at all - after all you are free to use your holiday as you wish in real life!

There may be occasions where you suspect that an Opponent has deliberately placed themselves on holiday simply to delay making their next move - they may be in difficulties or they might be applying some degree of 'gamesmanship'. There is nothing in our Terms and Conditions which prevents such behaviour although we certainly deplore it. However, regardless of how or why the holiday is taken the upper limit is 35 days so that any reckless use of holiday time to manipulate ratings or results cannot be continued indefinitely.

To book your holiday visit My Stuff ... My Holiday and enter the appropriate details; we have provided a simple, clickable, calendar to help you enter the dates in the correct format. Please be aware that we automatically add an extra day to your holiday booking, as long as that does not exceed your 35 day limit. This is however, optional, and you may uncheck the option if you do not wish to allow yourself an extra day in case your return from holiday is delayed for any reason. When you return to base on schedule, or early, simply visit the My Stuff ... My Holiday page and cancel any unused whole days which will then be added to your remaining annual entitlement.

return to top

Encouraging newcomers

As a thriving community, ChessWorld welcomes all players, of all abilities. We understand that, for newcomers, navigating around the site can be quite challenging. Our team of Welcomers have all volunteered to help newcomers during their first few games and are always willing to answer any questions that may arise.

Apart from the game(s) that may be played with Welcomers, all newcomers also have the option to join one of our Guest Welcoming Tournaments. These are based on the four-player, 3 days per move, 'All-play-All' format and are automated so that as soon as there are four players enrolled, the Tournament begins. Players in these Tournaments, especially if they are new to Tournament play, need to be aware that in such a Tournament there are six games to be played, three with each colour. Of course, as with conventional games, the player with White has to make the first move; if they fail to do this it is possible that their Opponent will simply wait for the time limit to expire and then claim the game.

As an incentive to our Welcomers we do offer them a two month extension to their ChessWorld subscription for every newcomer that they have met and encouraged to become a Full Member. For further information on our Welcomer programme please visit the Welcomers FAQ's where you will find guidance for both the newcomer and the Welcomer.

At a more general level, the ChessWorld Admin team can also offer advice and suggestions at any time. Visit Help ... Contact the HelpDesk or view our comprehensive FAQ pages.

return to top

Configuring ChessWorld

Although we have tried to provide, by default, an attractive interface, we understand that many Members, for a variety of reasons, like to tweak their browser interface to suit their own preferences and circumstances. Although it is not possible for a Member to change certain fundamental components of our many pages it is nevertheless possible to change a number of the visual aspects of the pages.

Visit My Stuff ... My Interface to check out the numerous features that you are able to tweak and rearrange.

We provide you with the choice of two menus, with identical functionality. The only difference is that one option, (Menu system 4), scrolls with the page and the other, (Menu system 5), remains fixed to the top of your viewport when you scroll a page.

The appearance of the ChessWorld menu and the ChessWorld buttons, background color, font size, style and highlight color can all be changed at will. However, you should be aware that even though you can increase the text size within the buttons, the button size itself does not change, so that in the more extreme cases you may have a visually unattractive effect.

It is not possible to change the font style, (font family), within the body of our pages. We have carefully chosen our default font style so as to provide text that is easy to read in all browsers. The background color for all of your pages can be changed to suit your personal preferences but we advise you to check that you do not reduce the legibility of our text.

The color of the playing board can be changed, selecting from a number of attractive options. Once you have chosen a board style that appeals to you it is possible, on all options except 'Meridia', to resize the board as well. You can resize the board from any play page using the   + Board Size -   link, below the board, to change the size. When you are satisfied with the result click the  Store  link.

You may find it helpful when reading the My Current Games page, or any one of our many statistics pages, to highlight alternate rows making them easier to read. This highlighting also enhances the readability of our Forums. You can change the 'light' and 'dark' row colors using the ChessWorld Color Picker, which also allows you to see the contrast between the text and the background color. If you prefer to select from a range of predefined color combinations either visit the My Current Games page, or click on the  table customisation  link which will take you direct to the same page. Once you are on that page click on  Customise colors  to view the current range.

When you are changing colors we suggest that you use the handy ChessWorld Color Picker, which is available where appropriate, to change or modify your color schemes. You may, however, prefer to use our Color Chart which offers you a side by side comparison with a wide range of colors, which you may use by entering the appropriate hexadecimal color codes.

You can reposition certain buttons to suit your own preferences and these options are clearly shown on the My Interface page. On the play page we provide, by default, a 'tabbed' style of presentation which gives you quick and easy access to a number of sources of information, all of which can be viewed without excessive scrolling of the page. You can combine this option with several styles of the message box, which appears on every play page, for the convenience of those Members who enjoy a 'conversation' with their Opponent during the game.

There are a number of other options that you may wish to explore before finally setting up your preferred configuration.

When you login, you can select the Auto-login option which you will find on the My Stuff ... My Login page. If you have already checked the Auto-login option on the login page and you wish to remove the option in future, you must visit this page to uncheck the option, otherwise you will still be automatically logged in next time you visit ChessWorld.

You may change a number of Email related options by visiting My Stuff ... My Email. In particular you can change your preferences for various invitations to suit your current preferences, depending upon, for example, your current game load. If you change your personal Email address at any time, please ensure that you record the change on this page, otherwise there is no way in which we can contact you in future!

We provide, by default, a continual move-log on the left hand side of the play page. However, if you find that the presentation does not meet your personal preference, visit My Stuff ... My Moves and select from one of the various options provided. These options are explained in detail in the My Moves section of the Preferences FAQ's.

You can also use the My Stuff ... My Moves page to set your preference for the movement of pieces, or adjust the action after you have made a move. An important option on this page allows to you to make use of our Conditional Moves feature, which is explained in detail in our Conditional Moves FAQ's.

Please feel free to explore the various possibilities but we do suggest that you make a note of your preferred settings so that you may reuse them in the future, or if you have tried one of our default settings.

return to top

Getting Help and Support

If you need help at any time we suggest that you first check our extensive FAQ pages, using the links below to take you direct to the relevant section. Our FAQ's provide advice and assistance for virtually all of the issues that you may encounter.

If you still have problems, or there is something that you cannot understand, please contact the HelpDesk by visiting Help ... Contact the HelpDesk. A member of the Admin team will answer your question as quickly as possible; we will notify you by Email when your post has been answered. You can also check the answer(s) at any time by visiting Help ... My HelpDesk Posts.

All posts to the HelpDesk, and the replies, are entirely confidential between you and the Admin team. No other Member can access them at any time.

See the following FAQ's for detailed information. . .

. . . or, for any other topics, see the relevant FAQ pages.                     

Can't find the answer you were looking for?        Message the HelpDesk.          To help us to help you, remember to include all relevant details, for example, Game number, Tournament number, Operating system or Browser type!

You may also wish to discuss any issues that you encounter, or seek advice from other Members, by posting to the Advanced Help, Newbies or Suggestions Forums which can be accessed by visiting the Forums  ...  menu. In common with all ChessWorld Forums, with the exception of the HelpDesk, postings to these Forums are visible to all Members.

Never post personal information, such as passwords or Email addresses, to any open Forum on ChessWorld!

return to top