I have divided the playsites for games in real time in three different categories, webbased, those which require special clients and those which offer both opportunities. Besides I have listed a number of playsites for e-mail and correspondence chess. I dare say that this list is one of the most comprehensive lists on Internet, maybe the most exhaustive one, which also is commenting. If a playsite is not represented on the list, it depends on that I simply do not know about it or I have not been able to register myself on the site.
It must be easy to find an opponent, which means there must be a sufficiently number of players, at least 200, present at the same time. It is good if it is possible to carry through tournaments. The interface must be simple. There are clients, which contain a lot of functions, which you can not memorize but you almost have to sit with a manual in front of you. Too many technical problem may not arise such as the website or the client just lock. The lag may not be too long. It is frustrating to play a 3-minutes blitz game, which in reality takes twice so long time. The rating must be serious - many playsites have a too generous rating. If there are several players on a playsite with a rating above 2900, then something is definitely wrong.
It is important that you can save the games on the playsite, or have them mailed to you. It is an advantage if there are game statistics, players biographies and opportunities to chat while playing. It is also important that the administrators have a tough attitude to cheaters and nuts, who abuse their opponents.
A club player with a rating above 2000 has probably most to benefit from ICC; a club player with a rating of 1500 - 2000 can as well play at chess.net, FICS, Playchess.com (Schach.de) or WCN; and a beginner or an amateur player can as well use free playsites as Yahoo, Pogo, Game-Colony or Playsite.
There are of course others, who have reviewed various playsites:
Ajedrez online Chess describes itself is a chess portal, providing information about the best chess-playing zones. There are also sections, where the visitors can improve their game, free of charge. Language: Spanish.
Edward D. Collins compares primarily a playsite like Yahoo with the pure chess servers.
Chess Online publishes in-depth reviews of chess playing sites.
Complete Chess Server Guide, by GM Roland Schmaltz, better known as Hawkeye on the ICC, 4 time winner of the World 1-minute Chess Championship, has finally published his first book about internet chess.
Robert Pawlak reviews also different playsites in an article. I am more positive to chess.net than he is - for the rest I agree.
Susan Polgar has written this article, "The new Age of Internet Chess" (2005), in which she discusses Internet chess, weighing its Pros and Cons as well as reviewing the most important chess servers.
Where to play chess online - About.Chess has made a thorough review of a great number of playsites in series of six articles.
Ajedrez Digital - playsite in Spanish with few players and limited functions - for example there were no functions for giving up a game or deciding the length of a game.
AjedrezJuego.com is a free playing zone for chess, against human adversaries as well as chess programs. You can also follow games being played, take part in simultaneous matches, tournaments and chess training online. The players can take part in nearly 100 events daily. The site uses the same interface as the multiplay site Buho21. Language: Spanish.
AjedrezOnline.com - Spanish-speaking playsite. User-friendly interface. A player had played no less than 17000 games on this playsite! 206 players were present at 01.10 P.M. on January 3 2004.
Beat the king - a new (12/1 2008) German webbased playsite, which, when these lines are written, still is on the beta stadium. However it is fully functional.
Blip.se (previously TV 4 i Sverige) has amongst others a playsite for chess. Blip.se has been the only Swedish playsite for chess in real time. The playsite uses the same concept as Yahoo, Pogo et cetera, that is you create a chess board, challenge a player or wait for somebody to sit down. 233 players were logged in 10.16 P.M. on January 28th in 2005.
BrainKing.com - web based playsite with 21263 users - 188 players online at 08.21 P.M. on the 19th of November 2005. You can play a lot of different chess variants as well as other board games. User-friendly playsite. Languages: Fourteen, including Esperanto!
BrowserChess was created in June 2002. You might play against a computer as well as a human visitor. One-man project. Free.
Buho21, founded in 2006, is a free multi-play site with a lot of various games, including chess. On the 5th of January 2013 10.28 PM 1851 players were online. Languages: English and Spanish.
Caissa´s Web - the website is user friendly, but the interface (or the server) is slow. You are often met with lag while playing blitz. Therefore I have finished playing blitz at Caissa. On the other hand Caissa is a good place for correspondence chess (if you are prepared to pay a fee). Caissa invests a lot on the social side. There are comprehensive game statistics, a debate bulletin, extensive space for member biographies and you can save 250 games on the website. 137 players were logged in 9.44 P.M. the 7/4 2001. 30 days free - then you have to pay.
Chess17.com - a free playsite for both blitz games and slow games. Languages: English and French.
ChessAnyTime - for the time being (8/2 2003) 50 to 80 players are logged in simultaneously. The interface is very good. Good free playsites are needed.
ChessBoss - playsite on the beta stadium with the latest chess technology, according to what they say. You can not only play standard chess but also other variants. The site´s sole purpose is to promote the healthy and competitive game of chess to the entire world. There are also chess news and an educational section for beginners.
ChessCanada.net - new Canadian playsite. Only about thirty players were registered and nobody present, when I registered the 9/5 2002. The interfaces are special.
Chess Club of Kavala - new playsite using the same concept as Yahoo, Pogo and others. About 60 players were logged in 9.57 P.M. the 14/4 of 2002. Languages: Greek and English.
Chessfriends.com - here you can play chess live as well as via e-mail, against humans as well as chess programs. More than 600 players were logged in on the 26th of November 2011.
Chess Here - a new, free playsite for chess in real time as well as correspondence chess. You are also encouraged to visit their chess database, which contains thousands of grandmaster games.
Chess Informant also has a playsite. Does anybody play there? Free!
Chess Line - a playsite, which is managed by Antonio Vilei, Italy, for chess in real time. Not an especially advanced playsite in comparison with well-known playsites. The interface does work. Not so many players. Language: English.
- Lithuanian website, which consists of two parts,
a playsite, and a part, which could be described as a portal. The latter informs
about the chess world: clubs and federations in Lithuania and abroad, articles
and news and a tournament calendar. In average 3000 games are played
daily on the playsite. It is no problem to find an adversary there. If you
have played more than 1000 games on the playsite, you will become a member
in Club 1000 (about 1700 players have already achieved this). Languages: Lithuanian,
English and Russian.
- Lithuanian website, which consists of two parts, a playsite, and a part, which could be described as a portal. The latter informs about the chess world: clubs and federations in Lithuania and abroad, articles and news and a tournament calendar. In average 3000 games are played daily on the playsite. It is no problem to find an adversary there. If you have played more than 1000 games on the playsite, you will become a member in Club 1000 (about 1700 players have already achieved this). Languages: Lithuanian, English and Russian.
Chillboard.de - here you can play chess via your browser. Language: German.
Cyberchess.net - free, webbased playsite. Simple but beautiful design.
- French playsite for chess in real-time, which also ha a club page (see above).
296 players were present at 01.05 A.M on August 17 2003.
Well-done and user-friendly playsite.
Echecs.com - French playsite for chess in real-time, which also ha a club page (see above). 296 players were present at 01.05 A.M on August 17 2003. Well-done and user-friendly playsite.
Echess is a chess server, where you can play chess in real time as well as turn-based chess, against players of all levels. Language: French.
FlyOrDie.com - multi-playsite with among other things chess. The chess pieces are futuristic. Hitherto it is hard to decide how many players who actually are playing there. Languages: English, German and Spanish.
Funcom administers several games on its playsite, now also chess. The company is originally Norwegian, but it is also represented in Swiss and USA. You enter a virtual room and sit down at a table (see also Yahoo, Pogo and several other playsites). The playsite has been launched by Chello in Sweden. Swedish version.
Game-Colony - this is a playsite, which was established during 2000. It has been initiated by the same persons, who created ChessLab, the first inter-active game database on the net. The playsite is very beautiful, well designed and user-friendly. I miss tournaments, game statistics and players biographies. 205 players were logged in simultanously 10.57 P.M. the 10/1 2001. Free! A twin-site seems to have been created, PlayJava.com, with the same design and password.
Gamespark - former Clever Chess, a playsite with amongst other things chess. Simple interface, but with a voice comment. A couple of players wanted to play chess the 18/12 2001.
IChess is an awkward playsite. You have to get tangled up in a number of passwords, before you can create a game. Then you have to agree with the opponent about time control and so on. It is impossible to judge how many who use the playsite, which probably is managed by one or a few enthusiasts. Free.
InstantChess is a playsite, where you are paired automatically with an opponent. Then you have several alternatives: You can agree on a new time control, chat, take a break and so on. 403 players logged in 00.01 A.M. 26/4 2002. Free!
Internet Chess Kingdom is a playsite located in Ukraina. Awkward - I have not managed to play a single game there. Ventures in tournaments and plays for money in the size of 10 dollars. I would not do the latter out of security reasons.
Kurnik - Polish multi-game playsite. 225 players were connected at 10.22 P.M. the18/2 2003.
Live Chess - free chess playsite, but you can also install this platform on your own website by pasting a HTML code.
LudoTeKa.com - multi-lingual (Spanish, Basque, English and French) multiplayer site with among other things chess. Pale but fully functional interface. 31 players were present at 13.40 P.M on 5 May 2003.
Lycos Gamesville - with rooms and tables. 91 players were logged in 00.05 A.M. the10/8 2002. Simple interface. You can get a played game e-mailed to you.
MeinGames contains a lot of different games, including chess. Language: English and Russian.
OnlineChess.com, formerly Chessed. You can also play chess about money there. Not especially well frequented playsite - only 54 players were logged in 10.09 P.M. the 7/4 2001. Free!
Onlineschach.eu is a brand new, webbased and free playsite. You can chat, while you are playing in real time. Language: German.
PawnStar.net - a playsite, which, when this is written, still is on the beta stadium. But some non-Danish players have already found the way to this site. Languages: Danish and English.
Pimpernel puts into practice the same concept as Pogo, Yahoo and other playsites. About 50 players were logged in 8.35 P.M. 16/5 2002.
Playsite is not a pure playsite for chess. Chess is only one of the games. The interface has its lacks - among other things no move list is displayed.. 222 players were logged in at the same time 10.50 P.M. the 7/4 2001. Free.
Pogo has a lot of games on its website, including chess. You go to a room with about 100 players and sits down at a table. Pogo is not alone in using this system, which results in a limited view of the number of players present (and also diminishes the chances to find an opponent!) The average playing strength is probably not so high. 1349 players were logged in 9.23 P.M. the 9/4 2001. Free.
RealChess.com - webbased playsite for e-mail chess. Games are displayed directly on the site for eventual onlookers. So far the number of players seems to be limited.
Schach-Brett.de - a new German playsite for chess in real time as well as e-mail chess. Chess engines are not allowed. Schach-Brett places a strong emphasis on social interaction by using an integrated chat and an integrated discussion forum. The playsite contains several features; you can for instance follow ongoing games.
Schach spielen auf Zeit Online - the big, German newspaper Die Zeit has recently created a playing zone on its website. You can play against both humans and chess programs. Language: German.
Spillekrogen is the name of TV2 Danmark´s playsite, which also has a chess section. The playsite is divided in rooms and tables just like Yahoos, Pogo´s and others. The Java version did not function especially good 10.12 P.M. the 2/9, when 55 players were logged in.
TodoAjedrez.com - Spanish-speaking playsite, free. Simple interface. Only 9 players were logged in 9.30 P.M. the 1/7 2001.
U Chess.com - a new (26/6 2004) playsite with less than 200 members. The site is under development.
ultim8games.com is a new (2007) Slovak chess server, which allows people to play online directly from their web browser. Their goal is to improve functionality as much as possible to became able to compete with the others all over the world. Languages also Hungarian, German and English.
Urban Chess - the initiator means that chess in the U.S. has been referred to as a ”rich white man´s game”. Contrary to that belief chess spans a multitude of races, incomes and cultures. It is his “dream that this site will unite urban chess players from around the world and enlighten future generations for years to come.” You are welcomed by music. Free.
Webchess has been down for a period, but the activity has been revived. How the playsite functions is hard to say, because I did not find any opponents there, when I visited it. 977 games have been started since the 12/5 2001.
Webchess.ru is a webbased Russian playsite. The website also organises sale, downloads as well as it contains a link collection. Language: Russian.
WebDesign Chess Server Gamow II - webbased playsite under construction.
Winnerzone.com - playsite with several games, inclusive chess.
Worldwinner - chess is only one of the games. You play for money and give away your VISA-number. Plug-in program needed.
WuChess.com is designed for chess enthusiasts addicted to hip-hop music. Music and entertainment is important on this community, which already (15/6 2008) has succeeded in enlisting many members. You can take an introduction tour.
Yahoo Chess - the playsite has about the same arrangement as Pogo´s, but with more - and better - functions. You can for example get a game e-mailed to you. 1326 players were logged in at the same time 9.55 P.M. the 11/1 2001. Free!
Zagraj - Polish multi-game playsite. 16 players were present in the chess room at 03.30 A.M. the 25/5 2003.
Arkadium - playsite for many games, including chess, but no chess players were present on 1st September 2003.
Blitzchess.com - a playsite for blitzchess with more than 5000 members according to their own information. BabasChess is used as a client.
British Chess Federation has a playsite, also open for non-members.
Chess by Cellufun - play the game of chess against others online, or practice against your phone or Cellufun´s server AI with a variety of difficulty levels.
Chess Planet - this playsite has been started by Convekta, producer of the chess database ChessAssistant and various chess training programs. According to the presentation the best Russian chess professionals play at this portal. The tournaments of the Russian Federation Open Internet Cup 2004 take place every day (total prize fund amounts to $20,000 USD). Each day tournaments are conducted in which more than 30 Russian Grandmasters and Masters play. The interface is somewhat sallow and the registration procedure complicated. Languages: Russian and English.
Czech INFO web about double chess - Bughouse double chess is a chess variant that involves two boards placed side by side, two sets, four players, and two clocks. The players sitting side by side are partners and play opposite colours. When you capture a piece, you give it to your partner. When it's your turn, you can either move one of your onboard pieces, or drop one of your offboard pieces on an empty square. Your team loses if you get checkmated or run out of time. Download a client and start playing! Languages: English and Czech.
Esches - French playsite under construction. The client is a beta version. When I registered the 2/9 2001, 349 players were already registered, but only I were online.
Fabrica de jogos - Brasilian playsite. Language: Portuguese. The client had at least been downloaded more than 29000 times the 4/1 2002. Well-visited page according to FIDE´s TCS.
Fuchs-Schachspielserver - a Berliner working-team has created this small, free chess server, which is based on the Lasker Chess Server. Arena or WinBoard are used as clients. Language: German, but the commandos are in English for the time being.
Gamedesire - 49 players were logged in at 03.18 P.M. on March 4 2005, all of them in the Polish game room. You have to download a plugin program. Languages: English, French, German, Polish, Spanish and Turkish.
Game Site 2000 is a site with many games. Only 3 (three) players were logged in the chess room 6.53 P.M. the 11/4 2001. The interface was more substantial than for example Pogo´s and Playsite´s. 30 days free.
Gamestorm - a playsite with chess among other things. 30 days test period, but you have to state your VISA-number already from the beginning. Strange. Thereafter 9,95 dollars per month.
Geeks with chess - play free online chess games with people at all levels, socialize, compete and express yourself. Whether you are an outright beginner, an occasional player or a regular visitor to clubs, you are invited to play here. The chess applet is free and can be installed on any other chess site.
Global Chess Network has 5171 players registered in virtual clubs according to themselves. GCN is based in Brasil. Languages: English and Portuguese. For me the client, Chess Clubber, has so far only gone wrong.
Hastajuego.com - Spanish-speaking playsite with chess among other thing. A plug-in program must be downloaded. 81 chess players were logged in 11.35 P.M. the 19/8 2001.
InfiniaChess.com - a new (12/4 2007) playsite. Besides standard chess you can play chess variants as Crazy House, Fischer Random and Loser Chess.
InterAjedrez - Argentinian playsite. You need a plug-in program to play on-line. I have not yet tested the playsite.
InterChess has been started by the Russian GM Yuri Averbakh. When I visited the playsite 01.03 A.M. the 11/4 2001, only 3 (three) players were logged in. Strange. The interface also has limitations. 30 days free.
Internet Xadrez Clube - Brasilian playsite.
Kalgan - Spanish-speaking multi-game site. 112 players were present at the same time at 01.53 P.M. the 8/2 2003.
MSN Gaming Zone contains a lot of games, including chess. You go to a virtual room, sit down at a table and challenge a player. Out of the playsites, which use this concept, MSN Gaming Zone is one of the better. Unrealistic rating - two players above 2900. Free. 1380 players were logged in 9.48 P.M. the 4/7 2001.
Planeta de Ajedrez - free playsite in collaboration with Convekta, chiefly aimed at Latin America. Tournaments with prizes are organized every day; there are educational groups and chance to play against strong GMs or IMs. Language: Spanish.
PlayerPlaza.com is a playsite, where you can play chess or checkers about money. Macromedia Flash Player must be installed and all pop-up blockers must be off in order to play Player Plaza games.
Playlink. Com - a lot of software to download. I did not find any human opponents on the playsite, when I visited it 11.00 P.M. the 26/10 2001.
PlayOnTheNet - website with chess among other games. 30 days test period.
Playchess.com (Schach.de) is the name of ChessBase new playsite. I have only played there a couple of times. The client, that has many features, resembles Fritz 6 in its design. It was not very easy to send a challenge to every present player. If you buy Fritz 7/8 or Shredder 6.0 or later versions, you may connect directly to the playsite via those programs. This playsite is as good as WCN, chess.net or FICS and will certainly become very popular. 1133 players were logged in 5.34 P.M. the 4/1 2003. Language: German or English amongst others.
PTChess.com is a brand new (15/4 2004) chess server on Internet. According to the initiators the server is “faster, more reliable and feature-rich than any other chess server on the Internet”. Free. However the playsite will charge people for entering in tournaments, and then distribute prize money to the best classified in those tournaments. I have played some games here. My impression is positive, but whether it is the best playsite on the Net or not, is a quite different matter.
Vinco Online Games (VOG) - Russian playsite with many games. So far the client has only gone wrong for me. The client contains a spyware, which can follow the traffic on your computer. 32 players were present in the chess room 7.26 P.M. the 11/4 2001.
World Chess Network, which was created during the year 2000, is a pure chess playsite. The interface is extremely well designed. The attitude from the administrators is serious. Many players use their real names and the player, who logs out from a losing position, is expelled without pardon. Several IM´s and GM´s play banter matches (show matches). It might even happen that an IM or GM challenge you, a nice attitude concerning the fact that there are too many players on internet, who reject a match because they have a few hundred more rating points than yourself. There is of course tournament activity. 735 players were logged in simultaneously 10.18 P.M. 11/4 2003. You can still play free here, but if you want to share all benefits, you have to pay about 40 dollars a year.
Zonejeux - French playsite, where chess is one of the games. Free. 74 players were logged in 9.51 P.M. the 3/7 2001.
Up! Main entrance!
Chessgate Spielzone - German website (see also Match- and tournament coverage), which also has a game zone, that is fully acceptable. The board in the client is however rather small. Languages: German and English. 94 players were logged in at 9.50 P.M the 22/8 2002.
Chess Hotel - at Chess Hotel you can play regular chess and Fischer Random Chess in real time against players from all over the world. Just register and join one of the game rooms. There is also a client. Languages: English, French, Portuguese and Swedish
Chess.net was once my favorit free playsite. The average playing strength is high, but of course not so high as on ICC. Many blitz tournaments. Both the Java version and the client are well designed. To get a full membership with various benefits, you must pay a fee, 30 dollars a year. You can play a limited number of games free. 640 players were logged in 10.37 P.M. the 10/4 2001. The number of players seem to have decreased the last years.
ChessOK.com, that is associated with Convekta, has also a well-frequented playing zone, which both is webbased and can by reached by a client.
Chess Park – a new (28/1 2007) playsite. You can either play directly via your browser or via a client. This playsite could be more user-friendly.
Chessville has a free playing zone, whose interface has been constructed by Convekta. You can either play directly on the website or download a client.
FICS - Free Internet Chess Server keeps about the same standard as chess.net and WCN. I have never encountered technical problems on FICS. 346 players were logged in 01.35 A.M. the 11/4 2001. The whole idea behind FICS is that playing chess on internet should be free. Support FICS by playing there!
GGS (Generic Game Server) - a playsite, which have similarities with ICC and FICS in its construction. You connect via telnet or via a Java Applet. Complicated - something for people with computer experience. Low activity at the moment. There is a Manual . I am not sure of how to categorize it.
Internet Chess Club attracts the absolutely strongest chess players on internet. 1883 players, out of them 13 GM:s and 22 IM:s, were logged in 10.30 P.M. the 10/4 2001. A strong player, who wants to be absolutely sure of encountering qualified resistance and besides is prepared to pay a fee, should of course play here. Many tournaments. Manual in many languages. 7 days test period - subsequently 49 dollars per year.
US Chess Live is a playsite connected to US Chess Federation. US Chess Live has now opened up free membership for all chess players, and is no longer limiting membership to USCF members.
Actually this category consists of two subcategories: Firstly correspondence- and e-mail organizations and clubs, which arrange and organize matches and tournaments. The foremost representant for this subcategory is ICCF (se below). You send a move via ordinary e-mail or use a special e-mail program for chess. Secondly web based playsites, whereby the so called turn-based are technically the most advanced and consequently the most user-friendly. It means that you play on a web based interface, whereby an e-mail automatically is sent to the opponent. The opponent clicks on a link in the e-mail and the chessboard appears on your screen, or he/she is transferred directly to the playsite. Very practical.
As the first subcategory regards, I have experience of playing on ICCF. As the second subcategory concerns, I have had three years of experience of playing on Caissa´s Web, which I however left in favour of free playsites. I have played on The a1-h8 Chess Club, GameKnot, It´s your turn, Goldtoken.com and Stan´s Netchess. Just now I play on ChessWorld.net.
When playing at a free e-mail and corrchess site, you must be aware of the risk that your opponent will not finish the game. This risk decreases drastically, if the playsite contains only paying members.
3movesnet - playsite for slow chess games. Free. Languages: German and English.
64cases is a website, which permits you to play chess on the Internet at your own speed, at optional level and against opponents of your own choice. Language: French.
Ajedrez Magdalena Jalisco is a non-commercial playsite, located in Mexico, for correspondance and e-mail chess. Language: Spanish.
Ajedrezmail (ChessMail.org) organizes permanent email-based hess championships. 3045 registered users and 2583 “opened” games (30/5 2007). Languages: Spanish, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Catalan, Portuguese, Russian and German.
Antiblitz is a French playsite, free and complete: challenges, tournaments, ranking, play via a Java applet wit chat, statistics and forums.
ArenA is based in Holland. 517 players were listed on the rating list of ArenA the 12/4 2001.
Atlantic Chess has created a playsite for correspondence chess.
Bellum is a new playsite for e-mail chess. Games can also be played on the website. The interface is beautiful, maybe even flashy. The attitude is serious. Languages: Spanish or English.
Bepichess - free Argentinian playsite, which is webbased. Besides there are a discussion group, chess quizz and chess problems. Language: Spanish.
Caissa´s Web is a very well organized playsite. Caissa´s strength is its social nature. You may first test the playsite in 30 days, before you have to pay a member fee (25 - 50$). There is also a section for chess in real time.
CapaKaspa - new French playsite for slow chess. 27 players wanted to be challenged on March 4 2005. The playsite is also keen on teaching chess basics.
Chess Club Live offers the chance to play turn-based chess in an attractive interface, according to what the say. Chess Club Live also offers tournaments, team play, and casual games, both rated and unrated. Languages: English, Greek, Dutch, Turkish and German.
ChessComp.com - free online chess playing community. You can “participate in tournaments, teams and more all with high ranking lists”. 2821 registered users (significantly fewer active players however), who on October 10 2006 had played 21085 games.
Chess Corner - quite usable playsite, which has 14331 (27/12 2004) registered members according to their own information.
ChessDynamic - free playsite for e-mail chess. There is a special e-mail chess program, a game viewer and an option to play against the program Jester. Not too many members. Language: Spanish.
Chessfriends World is a site for e-mail chess, currently under construction. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed; there are no ratings and you make an agreement with your opponent about the time frame for your moves.
Chess Hounds is a playsite, that was created in the end of 2002. The games are played with flexible time limit. There are a chat and the like too.
Chess in Friendship was originally founded in Germany in 1983. Chess is a springboard for developing ties of friendship - presently 540 members from the whole world.
Chessica - turn-based playsite. 126 registered players on June 9 2003. Languages: German and English.
Chessish - a playsite which was constructed in the year 2002. The interface, which is simple, may be configured. Very few players so far.
Chess Legend Club is an free online chess-playing community. You can play with other players and also compete against different chess software. 1215 members and 617 active games on the 22nd of March 2008.
Chessmail - new German playsite for e-mail chess. About forty players were registered on the 26th of September 2003. Language: German.
Chess Mail - until now (April 15 2005) 159 tournaments have started. The time control is 5 days per move with additional time. Also visitors can take a look at the game positions, replay or download the games.
ChessManiac.com had 12985 members, 9546 games in progress and 76365 finished games on January 9 2005. Besides you can play games in real time, starting from 30 minutes. This chess community also offers the Comp WebChess platform, based on open source, which will allow many websites to set up playsites for e-mail chess without cost and with little time involved.
Chess Masters US - I have logged in here once, but I have not been able to start a trial game. The interface is very simple. The playsite shall not be confused with the well-known chess program.
Chessmoon is a new chess server, where you can play chess with members from the whole world, while you create your own social network. Matches can be played with different time limits as well as different chess variants (Crazyhouse, Losers etc.). Languages: Turkish and English.
Chess 'n' mail zone - new Danish playsite for e-mail chess. 358 players and 866 active games on the 26/1 2003. The start page is at least an appetizer.
Chess on The Web - is a browser based correspondence chess server. Up to now (June 17 2006) more than two hundred players have registered.
ChesSOS is a turn-based playsite, currently in beta-testing, but with many features already added. You can register and start testing.
Chess Team is a "free email chess club", started 1999. The idea is that the players start from certain given positions, which either are constructed or fetched from previously played games.
ChessWorld.net, a turn-based e-mail chess server, is a playsite, which has grown rapidly. 400000 members, 3205540 games and 63660 tournaments in progess on the 18th of June 2007. I began to play here in spring 2002 and am impressed by this well-arranged, very functional and substantial playsite. You can play free here, but full membership costs only 22 Euros (28,5 US Dollars/15 GB Pounds) a year. Click on the banner, if you want to test the playsite. If you later become member, my own membership will be prolonged with two months.
Clickandplay - privately managed German playsite for correspondence chess.
Clud de ajedrez Sinergia - the club was founded the 31/1 2000 by seven friends, who were fed up with chess games never being finished on a certain playsite on internet. Sinergia only insists upon their members – 371 at the moment (27/10 2003) – to finish their games. Rating is not executed for example. Language: Spanish, English and German.
CoffeeHouse Chess - new playsite for e-mail chess. You have to download a client.
Correspondence Chess Server (CCS) is a free turn-based correspondence chess server, which started in 2008. Membership is not time-limited and computer support is permitted.
Cyberpawn - an internet chess club for Spanish-speaking players. 360 players are active.
DavChess.com - the playsite is still on the beta stadium, but it is fully functional. 118 registered players on the 22nd of March. Language: Spanish.
Dawgs´ Virtual Chess - you can play both in real time and according to agreement and you have to find your opponent yourself. Good-looking interface. 83 games were being played 8.16 P.M. the 11/4 2001.
Der Deutsche Fernschachbund e. V. (BdF) - The German Correspondence Chess Federation - has nowadays also a game server.
Deutscher E-Mail-Schachclub (DESC) with more than 800 members (15/8 2009) organizes correspondence chess via e-mail. Language: German.
Die Schachgarde is a free chess server, which still is on the beta stadium. According to their own information the interface is user-friendly. Schachgarde also has upload functions. Language: German.
Digi Chess PlayZone with a simple interface. Turn-based.
E4EC - The E4 Emailchess Club is an independent community that helps its members to play chess by email via the Internet. At the beginning of 2002 the club was ready for public. Languages: English, German and Hungarian.
Echecs-Courriel.net - French playsite for e-mail chess. Instructions in English, French, German and Swedish. As an extra bonus you get access to a program for e-mail chess, ChessComment.
Echecsem@il – a free playsite for webbased e-mail chess, which seems to have been present on the net since 2002. Language: French.
EchecsNet addresses itself to chess players, who like the initiators of this playsite, want to play against adversaries, who do not use any external assistance, in an honest fight. Language: French.
Echecs Online with more than 1300 registered players, 468 games in progress and 20750 finished games on March 4 2005. The interface is quite acceptable, though the chess board is small. Language: French.
Echiquier de Vesone, club from Périgueux in France, also has a playsite for turn-based chess (”jeu en différé” in French). Well-done club site.
Eclipse, an abbreviation for "email chess links for international players seeking enjoyment", was founded 1998 and organizes e-mail chess matches and tournaments. Free. Use of chess programs are not allowed.
El Péon - a new (May 27th 2005), free, Mexican playsite for e-mail chess with a tempting start page. You can download your played games. Language: Spanish. (Playsites/E-mail and correspondence chess)
Email Chess Club - For Chess Lovers organizes this club for e-mail chess. The tournaments are often sponsored, which means that you can win simple prizes.
E-Mail Schach-Club - German website for e-mail chess.
E-skakklubben - well-designed Danish playsite for e-mail chess. Interesting initiative. The 21/12 2001 game number 100 had started.
Fernschach im Internet is also a German playsite for e-mail chess.
FICGS is a new (24/4 2006), international correspondence chess server. You can play for free in various kinds of tournaments or against opponents, whom you choose yourself. FICGS organizes special events as thematic tournaments, tournaments with money prizes, Chess960 and so on. Besides you can play go (go will probably be the last board game, in which computers will gain supremacy). The server is located in France, but the language is English.
Fischer Random Chess Email Club - here chess players can play a “chess variant in which chess creativity and talent is more important than memorization and analysis of opening moves”.
Fischer-Spassky E-mail Chess - 157 tables occupied the 31/7 2002.
FMO Chess Club is a new, free playsite for turn-based chess. The organization of the website is exemplary simple and easy to grasp. FMO Chess Club regards itself as a ”family chess club”.
GameByMail.net - server for e-mail chess. 23 users the 25/8 2002.
GameKnot had 20601 registered players 11.59 P.M. the 5/1 2002. Completed games numbered 131118 and 10512 games were in progress. GameKnot often tops FIDE´s TCS. You can either play on the website or via e-mail. Even though you play on the website, you will automatically receive an e-mail when your opponent has made a move. Very good. Free.
Genial Schach.de - a new German playsite with many exclusive features. More than 270 players are active when these lines are written.
Gerald´s Schachserver - Austrian playsite without rating and time control. Language: German.
Global Chess - a web based playsite, which was submitted to the net in the beginning of this year (2002). Ole Jacobsen from Denmark has initiated it, but he has a team behind him. The interface is quite okay. Language: English.
chess - a free turn-based and e-mail chess site. To play just register
to the message forums and post for a game, or set up your own e-mail board.
To view current games just click the games link in the chess forum. 31
registered members on April 5th 2004.
Gmta chess - a free turn-based and e-mail chess site. To play just register to the message forums and post for a game, or set up your own e-mail board. To view current games just click the games link in the chess forum. 31 registered members on April 5th 2004.
GoldToken.com is a playsite for e-mail chess, which functions without problems. Turn-based playsite - you get an e-mail when your opponent has made a move. 597 chess players were listed the 19/8 2001.
Hickenbotham is a free playsite for e-mail chess. The playsite is run as a hobby. The interface is very similar to that used by The a1-h8 Chess Club.
InterAjedrez - also has a section for e-mail chess. 500 members and more than 1000 games in progress (22/2 2003). Members, being inactive more than six months, are expelled.
International Correspondence Chess Federation, organizes besides e-mail tournaments also classical correspondence tournaments. ICCF is since long an established and serious organization with rules and routines, which are founded on long experience. Many playsites, which are listed here, are private projects, in many cases based on pure enthusiasm. Thousands of players participate in different tournaments on ICCF. As from the autumn 2004 you can also play correspondence chess on ICCF´s web server.
International E-mail Chess Club, which was founded 1995 by Lisa Powell, has today more than 3000 members in the world. Free.
Internet Chess is sponsored by interligence.com and is based in Massachusetts, USA. A free playsite for those who want to play e-mail chess at their own pace.
Internet Chess Tournaments seem to be a Russian playsite, but the language is English. 1835 registered players and 7000 completed games the 20/9 2001 according to their own information.
It´s your turn . You can create a game and then wait for a player to appear. So far I have not succeeded in finishing a single game on this playsite. Irritating. You get a message when your opponent has made a move. 1367 players were logged in 11.19 P.M. the 17/5 2001.
Jeu en ligne – the chess club L´échiquier de la Butte in Paris provides a playzone on the net, which is open for all visitors. You can play in real time as well as turn-based. Free.
KingChess - new German site for correspondence chess with 2239 members at the moment (22/8 2002). There are also thematic tournaments and a discussion forum. Free.
Le Club Echecs.com - French playsite, which so far has carried out 300 tournaments and with 100 ongoing tournaments. As a member (fee 39 euros) you also get access to 400 articles, commented games and courses.
Leichenicher Schachserver is a new server for e-mail chess. International Email Chess Group (IECG) and some other similar clubs have transferred their tournament activities to this server. The interface provides ten languages, including English.
Le Site de la Cojeli - a brotherhood for correspondence chess players, who have undertaken not to use whatever external assistance. Language: French.
Liga Internacional de Ajedrez por E-mail - Argentinean website, founded in July 2002, that organizes many different types of tournaments in e-mail chess. According to the administration "players of high world class take part". Language: Spanish.
Little Golem - turn-based playsite for e-mail chess. 290 tournaments and 2995 games in progress the 3/4 2003.
my-corner.de is foremost a playsite for correspondence chess, though you might play chess in real time there too. 414 games have been finished. Tomas Gerner is responsible for this site. Free. Language: German.
Myemailchess is a playsite, where you can use a special program. The 25/2 2001 357 players were registered and 431 games were active.
MySchach.de - new German, turn-based playsite for e-mail chess. It resembles ChessWorld regarding versatile functionality. Appealing interface. 271 players were registered on the 8th of November 2003.
Northern Lights organizes e-mail as well as "Snail-Mail" tournaments. More than 200 players have participated in different tournaments. Languages: Finnish and English.
NOST - kNights of the Square Table - organizes e-mail chess. Membership fee.
OnlineChess - Flemish playsite, that emphasizes the user-friendliness and the flexible thinking-time of the playsite. The playsite has been started in collaboration with Schaakklub S.K. Den Eik. Free.
Online/E-mail Chess - play chess with another person and be emailed when it's your turn to move.
PlayChess organizes on one hand tournaments and matches between humans (to keep computers out) and on the other tournaments, in which chess programs may be used. You play in different classes. Webbased. You can also get an e-mail when your opponent has made a move. Two thousands visitors every day according to their own information.
Portal Ajedrez - a new playsite, that also contains chess news, anecdotes and curiosities, a special section for beginners, chess problems and a download section. Language: Spanish.
On PostCardChess.com you can play e-mail chess via their server.
Queen Alice, the newest (9/7 2004) turn-based playsite on the net for correspondence chess, seems to have all necessary functions. The name has been inspired by the book “Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll. Free.
Ralfs Schach - a new playsite for slow chess. Language: German.
Red Hot Pawn is a new, free website for correspondence chess. You can also play against the chess program Rival online.
RemoteSchach - new German playsite for e-mail chess as well as playing in real time. There are also opportunities for chat, a discussion forum and a message system. 243 users and 970 finished games the 25/8 2002.
rhernando.net is a new (on September 19 2004) Spanish-speaking playsite.
Sachy.sk, playsite for correspondence chess, based in Slovakia. There is a training center, a discussion forum and an online shop.
Schacharena.de - anybody can play free here against other chess players. The registration is simple. You can choose between play in real time and e-mail chess. Language: German.
Schach dem langweiligen Alltag, or "chess when you are bored", is a one-man firm. You can replay finished games on the playsite. The program is not capable of identifying mate or draw positions. Language: German.
Schachduell with 110 permanent players (on December 19 2003), but you can also use the interface to play directly against a chess friend. Schachduell has its own rating system and also prices. Turn-based playsite. Language: German.
schackOnline manages a webbased playsite for correspondence chess – the first Swedish – with no less than 3272 users (February 4th 2005). The interface is simple, but fully functional. There is also a lively discussion forum. The playsite has become popular ”in secret”.
SchemingMin.com is a chess club for correspondence chess on the net. The playsite is turn-based. The rating is based on the Glicko system (see also Players/Rating). It is also possible to play Fischer Random Chess and four other chess variants on the playsite.
S.E.M.I, or Gambit Chess, was founded 1997, and its aim is to link all iniatives regarding free e-mail tournaments in Italy. Several types of tournaments are arranged. Language: English.
Shockwave.com has at least a section for e-mail chess - none for online chess. You must find your opponent by yourself.
SlowChess.com (previously Net-chess.com) has been moved to a new server to upgrade service and speed. According to information there are over 2000 users with approximately 200,000 games having been played on the site. Several masters and IM level players are currently on the site.
Stan´s Netchess organizes correspondence chess matches and tournaments. Somewhat aged interface.
Sveriges Schackförbunds Korrespondensschackkommitté, the Swedish Chess Federation Correspondence Chess Committee, connected to ICCF, organizes nowadays also e-mail tournaments. Language: Swedish.
TableroVirtual - new Spanish-speaking playsite for e-mail chess.
The a1-h8 Chess Club is a new playsite for e-mail chess. I am impressed by the interface. Turn-based. The playsite has had well organized tournament activity, but seems to have run into trouble lately. 484 games in progress 00.25 A.M. the 21/5 2001.
The Casual Correspondence Chess Server offers you to play casual correspondence matches against friends and opponents. Your opponent will be automatically e-mailed when you make your first move. 437 boards in progress the 20th of June 2002.
The Club of Chess is a new playsite for e-mail chess. The initiator wants to solve the problem with unfinished games, certainly a problem. Few players so far. Languages: Italian, Spanish and English. Free.
The Playground is mainly a turn-based chess playing site, promoting the aspect of team chess. On the Playground, you can part take in Swiss System and Round Robin tournaments. The Playground also possesses a beta real time chess interface.
Thorg, or Thematics Organization, organizes only thematic tournaments. About 150 active players. The playsite is initiated by the Belgian Denis Hebbelynck. Language: English.
Tiger-Schachclub - German club for e-mail chess with about 100 members (9/8 2002). Languages: German and English.
Tournois d´echecs par email - tournaments for e-mail chess. 12461 matches played since 15/3 2002. French playsite.
Universal Email Chess Club - besides you can play online here. 63 players were logged in 01.07 A.M. the 5/1 2001. Languages: Spanish and English.
Virtual Chess Club - German club for correspondence chess with slightly more than a hundred active players. The club follows the rules of ICCF.
Willeke.de - playsite for slow chess. The interface is also used on some other playsites. 754 games were in progress on March 4 2005. There is also a discussion forum. If a login window is displayed, write ”gast/gast” for a start. Language: German.
World Chess Email is directed by Donato Lombardi. The playsite has about 100 members. Languages: Italian and English.
World Correspondence Chess Federation seem to apply the same rules as ICCF, but is totally devoted to e-mail chess. 406 members were listed the 7/5 2002.
www.schachspiel.de is a German playsite, primarily for e-mail chess. According to themselves 21312 chess enthusiasts play here. It seems difficult to start a game.
Youvsyou (You against you?) - free webbased playsite for e-mail chess. Your move will be registered on a virtual chess board and simultaneously sent by e-mail to your opponent. Languages: Spanish, Catalan, English and Chinese.
Zona de Ajedrez is a playsite for turn-based chess, which is still on the beta stadium when these lines are written. You can of course play tournaments or join a team and play matches. The playsite has been created by a group of chess enthusiasts. Main language Spanish, but seven other languages are supported.
Buddha´s Asylum - not a really new list of chess playsites.
Charlie´s Chess Mess, contained previously the most comprehensive list of chess playsites on the net. It is a pity that the site has not been updated since June 1999. I list it as a memorial and as a reminder about web pages which come and go on internet…
Chessclub.de has a list of chess servers on internet. Language: German.
Chess Corner has a section, Internet Chess, with detailed and illustrated descriptions of a number of playsites.
Chess online has chosen the best sites for playing online chess.
How to play chess on the internet from Chessvariants.
Play Chess Online - A Quick & Simple Guide assorted by NW Washington Scholastic Chess.
The Chess Kamikaze Guide to Playing Chess on the Web with reviews worth reading about different chess playsites on the net.
Cevdetchess, a Turkish chess page, which among other things contain an extensive review how to discover cheating, that is when somebody uses a chess program online in stead of playing him-/herself, and how to cheat, on the chess servers. Language: Turkish and English.
Cheating on Internet Chess Servers, is comprehensively treated by Doctor Unclear. The best information in this matter as far as I know. Language English, but many parts have been translated to other languages.
La web del Chacu - the webmaster gives his views of accusations about cheating and abusive behaviour, which he himself has encountered on well-known playsites as ICC and Ajedrez21. This is about the other side of the coin. Language: Spanish.
The future of internet chess - online chess has disappointed Steve Lopez, columnist at the ChessBase website, more and more. During the years he has met an increasing number of abusive nuts as well as too many cheaters. He has even experienced how his time control at Yahoo Chess, suddenly changing from 20/10 to 1/0, was manipulated by a hacker. Because his mailbox was filled very quickly by responses, he decided to make a roundup of them, with comments, already after a week.
Anyone 4 Chess is an association for turn-based playsites. One of its main goals will be to follow the example of FIDE and gain recognition as a separate chess entity as for example correspondence chess.
Ce auke solutions is a playsite for 4-player chess.
Chess Companions participate with several teams in different tournaments on Internet and also organizes their own tournaments.
Chessfield Warriors - German online chess club, which first and foremost plays on Schach.de/Playchess.com. Language: German.
Chess-Friends, by Paul D.Fawcett and Martin Hamacher, provides addresses of chess players, who want to play e-mail chess, from all over the world. They also offer help to get started. Language: English and German.
Chessville´s Online Chess League organizes team tournaments at ICC and FICS for players, who prefer slow time controls.
e4e6.com seems to organize tournaments at GameKnot.
Gambit Gang is a subsection to Chess.com. As the name suggests, this site appeals to players with an agressive style who like to attack their opponents from the very beginning.
Gewinnspiel.123Chess - or ”Everybody against Marcus”. Marcus Schmücker, IM, plays against a group of opponents, whose size varies according to the number of applying players. The move which the majority of the players propose will be played, and the player who has proposed most such moves, wins and receives a prize.
ICCNoob.com for official and unofficial help on the Internet Chess Club. By the way, ”noob” means ”newbie”.
Internet Chess - Tim Krabbé tells in an article from 1995 how he discovered that he could play chess on Internet. It was a dangerous marvel, he was hooked, but after a while he got his percentage of life time spent on ICC down to 10.
Look up (Finger) Player - if you want to find out who is who in ICC.
Orangutang – German team, which plays at www.freechess.de/.
Brad Stone tells about the split between ICC and FICS in 1995, when the former began charging members $49 a year.
STS Bunch is an association for organizing tournament and other chess related activity on Internet, above all on ICC, FICS, USCL and CNET.
Teamchess.org is an association for players, who want to play in teams on the net, primarily on ICC and FICS.
The Avengers Chess Team - a team (for people who want to improve their games), that have lost all its games on GameKnot, but they ”will get better and avenged”.
The Official Lightning Page with among others Roland Schmaltz, a German GM. "Lightning" means that time control is two minutes.
World Chess League Club organizes tournaments for teams on ICC.