Help and FAQs

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General FAQs | Online Chess Rules | Chess Against the Computer

General FAQs

What is is a safe chess site for kids around the world to learn chess and play with other kids from around the world.

Who owns is owned by the same chess players and programmers who created, the #1 online chess site! We created so that all kids (including ours!) could have a fun, safe place to play chess online.

How do I get better at chess?
Get involved! Play chess, study chess, read chess, talk chess with people, and most of all - don't worry: you will get better with time. Chess should be enjoyed, not stressed over!

What are the site's policies?
In very short terms - be good to each other, and we promise to do the same! Click here to read our official policies and terms of service!

Online Chess Rules & FAQs

What are the rules for playing?
You many only have ONE member account. You may NOT get any help from any person or any chess engine that analyzes your specific position, including tablebases. You MAY use books, magazines, or other articles. You may also use computer databases.

How does Online (Turn-Based) Chess work?
Each player gets from 1-14 days to make a move. This allows for a lot of flexibility in when and how you play the game. If you do not make a move within your allowed time, you lose. You can play as many simultaneous games as you like.

I can’t move or see the board! Help!?
This could be caused by many different factors. First off, you must be using a browser that support JavaScript. This includes Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 8, FireFox, Opera, and some others. We recommend FireFox as the best browser. Second, try hitting “Control+R” on your keyboard to hard-refresh. This will get the lastest JavaScript files. Finally, try rebooting your computer and reloading the page. If this does not work please contact support!

Can I have multiple accounts?
No. This is considered cheating. You may only play chess under one account.

How do the ratings work? uses the Glicko rating system. Basically, each player starts at 1200. As you win or lose games your rating will go up and down. Your rating is also affected by a rating deviation that says how accurate your rating is. So when you haven’t played many games, your rating can move up and down more quickly. Similarly, your rating moves less when playing an opponent with a high rating deviation because his true rating is less known. As you play more and more your rating will become more accurate and will therefore move more consistently with your performance. For more information see this site:

Can I takeback a move?
No takebacks are allowed. You have plenty of time to view and prepare your move.

My opponent made an illegal move!?
You think his pawn captured in an illegal way?! Or, he got two queens! or His king and rook moved funny?! Please review the rules of chess first. If you are still convinced there was an illegal move made, please contact support.

The game ended and my rating didn’t change at all. Why?
There could be two explanations: 1. The game was not rated (check the DETAILS tab to see if it was a rated or unrated game). 2. There were fewer than 4 moves made. Games under 4 moves do not count toward ratings as they are too short to be meaningful.

I had a bad start on Can I close my account and start a new one?
No. Playing badly does not mean you should close your account and start over. Just keep playing and your rating will quickly adjust to be the most accurate rating!

Can I make my opponent play faster? He’s taking forever.
Relax. Everyone has their own time for playing. Each game has it’s own alloted time controls. If you want to play faster then play more games at once so that you always have a ready opponent, or play our Live Chess!

I’m totally winning – why won’t my opponent resign?
The game isn’t over until it is over. Don’t worry, if you are really winning it will end soon.

How do I change my board size or pieces?
You can change a lot of stuff by going to your settings page. You can choose from a bunch of different kinds of pieces, board colors, and sizes. You can also set your move preferences, etc.

I’m going to be out of town for a while, but I don’t want to lose my games!
Don’t worry - everyone has some vacation days! Just go to your settings page and click on the VACATION button and your games will be postponed for up to 30 days.

Playing Against the Computer

Have questions or problems when playing against the computer?

I can't see the board when trying to play against the computer!?
You need to make sure you have the latest version of Java installed. Click here to download it!

Hey, the computer made an illegal move!
You think his pawn captured in an illegal way?! Or, he got two queens! or His king and rook moved funny?! The computer doesn't make illegal moves, so please review the rules of chess first. If you are still convinced there was an illegal move made, please contact support.

What do the numbers above the board mean?
You are seeing the computer think! Depth is how many moves deep he is looking. Time is how many miliseconds it took to decide on it's move. Nodes is how many moves it looked at. Score is how much better than you the computer thinks it is. For example, if he thinks he is "1 pawn" better then you, he will be at 100 points. If he thinks you are way ahead, he will show -500 points, etc.


Still have questions? Contact us!