Altmax Chess Race – Can you be the first player to reach a rating of 2000? Interesting concept.
Clubs & Info
Brainsturgeon – Provides a framework and message boards for three different “chess pyramids” (similar to a ladder system). Fight your way to the top. Games are played on the Yahoo! games site.
Cheating On Internet Chess Servers – No, not how to do it, but how to stop it.
Chess Kamikazes – Home page of a club of gambit-players on the Yahoo! chess site.
Ed’s Ever-Growing Chess Page – Ed Collins’ page has lots of good info on internet chess, including comparisons of different servers and a page devoted to Winboard.
STC Bunch – Club of online players (ICC & FICS) dedicated to Slow Time Controls. Join them if you have a hard time finding a game longer than 5 minutes on the chess servers.
Yahoo! Chess Clubs – Whole bunch of chess clubs on the Yahoo! Games site. Most of them are a joke (the above Chess Kamikazes are an exception).
Places To Play (Real-time)
Note: In general, you will find stronger, more numerous, and more polite players on the chess-only based sites than you will on the sites offering multiple games.
One-on-One Computer Opponents
Amyan – A java chess engine to be your opponent.
BrowserChess – Play beginner-level chess against a remote computer.
GNU Webchess – Play against GNU Chess via the web.
Java Chess – Another java-based engine.
tkChess – Play this one using HTML or java interface.
The Turk – Experimental chess engine. Play using web interface.
Chess Only Servers
Caissa’s Web – Java-based server offers a 30 day trial; after which they offer a couple of different membership options.
ChessAnyTime – Chess-only server with java client.
ChessNet – Free chess server; a bit more blitz-obsessed than the others. They provide a graphical interface for download, or you can use a java interface from their web site.
Chess Rally – Online play is one of the features of this piece of software. Also includes the ability to play against an engine or over a peer-to-peer network. To get all the online features requires purchase of the full version.
FICS – Free Internet Chess Server. An excellent place! Although nearly identical to ICC, it is somewhat less popular. Totally free! Graphical interfaceneeded.
InterChess – A place to play online brought to you by GM Yuri Averbakh. You must download their proprietary software.
Internet Chess Club (ICC) – The most popular place to play for serious chess enthusiasts, and you can usually find at least one GM hanging around. Has a subscription fee (well worth it), although you can observe games and play unrated for free. Graphical interface needed.
InstantChess – Type in a handle, and you’ll be playing in seconds against a random opponent. Also has a subscription for a fee if you want to maintain a rating.
Kung-Fu Chess – Chess is now an action game! An amusing, if not nerve-racking diversion. Play online instantly.
U.S. Chess Live – Chess server provided by the U.S. Chess Federation. Previously open only to USCF members, it is now available to everybody.
World Chess Network – Free site offers live play (you must download their interface), along with some good extras GM lectures, news, etc.
Multiple Game Sites (with Chess being one of those games)
Blip! – Multi-game Shockwave (plug-in) site, trying desperately to be hip.
GameColony – Java game site from the Chesslab.com people.
GamesPark – Multi-game site requiring the Shockwave plug-in.
GameSite 2000 – Requires download of their software, but offers a pretty decent chess interface.
Internet Gaming Zone – Microsoft’s big multi-player site, offering oodles of games.
Playlink – Multi-game site. You must download their software.
Playsite – This java-based site offers rated play and tournaments, and has been around longer than most of the others.
Pogo – Yet another site featuring multiple games. They also provide the games for Excite, Netscape, etc.
Vog – Multi-game server from Russia. Decent interface.
Yahoo! Games – Yahoo!’s game site is very similar to the other java-based sites, offering a variety of games.
Places To Play
(turn-based / correspondence)
Note: Info on correspondence and e-mail chess is on the correspondence page, including sites which organize e-mail matches and tournaments.
A1-H8 Club – Basic interface and tournaments.
Atlantic Chess – Offering basic web-based correspondence style play.
Chessfriend — Commercial site organizes CC tournaments with cash prizes.
ChessWorld.net – Probably the best site for turn-based play. Offers tournaments, leagues for different skill levels, and team play.
GameKnot – Turn-based chess server.
GMTA Chess – Basic interface and tournaments.
GoldToken – Chess & other classic board games. Turn-based.
ItsYourTurn.Com – Very nice site. Also offers checkers, reversi, go-moku, etc.
Net-Chess – Good correspondence site automatically locating opponents for you and providing a web interface.
Red Hot Pawn – Email chess, web interface.
Stan’s NetChess – Stan runs a darn nice site with an attractive interface and an easy way to find opponents.
Note: If you are going to play on the Internet Chess Club, Chess Net, or FICS, you’re probably going to want one of these:
CoffeeHouse – Java interface (no download) works within your web browser to connect to the server. Workable. [ICC only]
Chess.Net Java – Play on ChessNet in your browser. [ChessNet only]
Jin – Cross-platform chess client written in Java.
Blitzin – Not my favorite, but a very popular interface for ICC (this is their “official” interface). Note: Blitzin reportably now has the capability to “spy” on your computer to see if you are running other chess software. [ICC only]
Chessbd / Slics – This shareware interface with lots of features has been around a long time. Very powerful, everything is customizable, but some people find it too complicated. Also works great as an PGN viewer.
Chess Client – Freeware program with decent features (including excellent bughouse support). No longer being developed.
WinBoard – This wonderful piece of freeware is probably the most popular of all the chess clients. It’s a triple threat: can be used as a PGN reader, as a front-end for many popular chess engines (including Crafty), and of course as a online interface. A must have!
Fixation – Popular interface for the Mac. You can find extra piece sets here.
IC Macintosh – Fancy interface for the Mac for ICC only. [ICC only]
Xboard – The Unix version of Winboard.
ZIICS – Old DOS program can only be used with a shell internet account, no PPP/SLIP connections.