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NSWJCL Recommended Chess Servers

Many chess servers are now available, some free, some not. Below are some that are recommended by the NSW Junior Chess League. Unlike some other sites, these are accessible from government schools (not blocked by the NSW Department of Education).

Notes:

    Parents (and school chess coordinators) should be wary of users on some servers a small minority may engage in offensive or unsportsmanlike chat. For this reason you may wish to consider servers where chat can be suppressed.

●    Each player is identified to other players by a name that he or she chooses, not by email address (which would provide an opportunity for other users to send unsolicited email). For large servers with millions of players some inventiveness may be needed to select a name that has not already been chosen by someone else.

●    Schools wanting to play matches against other schools could consider choosing names that identify their school and the board number for matches, e.g. StTrinians1, StTrinians2, etc. this will make it easier to match up players on the correct boards.

●    Ratings used on these servers are not equivalent to NSWJCL ratings they are on approximately the same scale as adult ratings (ACF and FIDE). Conversion formulae (very rough):
     Adult to Junior:   J = max (0.5A, 0.8A-360)
     Junior to Adult:   A = min (2J, 1.25J+450)

●    Some servers may not work with all browsers please note the browser recommendations.

Lichess  (pronounced "Lee-chess")   www.lichess.org

●    A free server (without advertisements) a popular site with tens of thousands of players of all standards playing at any one time.

●    Kids Mode can be selected to suppress communication (ideal for children and school students as it avoids offensive or unwanted chat) this option is set by password and can therefore be controlled by parents or schools.

●    Select a time limit that suits you.

●    Games can be casual or rated (giving you a rating).

●    Select an available opponent from within a strength range (based on rating).

●    "Play with a Friend" option allows selection of particular opponents (use this to play with school mates and friends or forarranged matches with other schools).

●    "Play with the Computer" option (select standard of computer's play)

●    Puzzles to improve your skill.

●    Instructional videos available (free).

●    Watch games in progress between top players.

●    Coaching available from professional coaches (for a fee).

●    Recommended browsers: Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

Chess.com www.chess.com

(Not to be confused with chess.com.au, which is a paid service for tournaments run by a commercial chess coaching organisation in Melbourne)

●    Free (basic) or paid (premium) a popular site with over 37 million members and tens of thousands of players of all standards playing at any one time.

●    Select a time limit that suits you.

●    Select an available opponent from within a strength range (based on rating).

●    "Play with a Friend" option allows selection of particular opponents (use this to play with school mates and friends or for arranged matches with other schools).

●    "Play with the Computer" option (select standard of computer's play)

    Can suppress communication (ideal for children and school students as it avoids unwanted or offensive chat) or restrict it to only when playing with friends.

●    Free instructional lessons and videos from beginner level to master.

●    Puzzles to improve your skill.

●    Millions of master games to play through.

●    Recommended browsers: Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

ChessHere www.chesshere.com

(We originally recommended this site as it was the first chess site to be unblocked by the Department of Education we now prefer the chess servers listed above)

●    Advertisements, which can be distracting.

●    Free (basic) or paid (extra features, such as no advertisements).

●    The website states that is not for players under 13 years of age, presumably because there is no option to suppress unwanted communication.

●    Relatively few players, therefore less variety of opponents, but this does not matter when using the server to play selected friends.

●    Select a time limit that suits you.

●    Select an available opponent from within a strength range (based on rating).

●    "Invite Your Friend" option allows selection of particular opponents (use this to play with school mates and friends or for arranged matches with other schools).

●    Puzzles to improve your skill (limited number).

●    Over 2000 selected master games to play through.