Play Chess on ICC

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If you have never heard of the Internet Chess Club before and you like to play chess then you are in for a treat! ICC is the world's most active chess club and the best place to play chess on the Internet. Just look at these features:

Play chess anytime of day
Watch broadcasts of major chess events.
Learn from Grandmasters
Meet and chat to people from all over the world.
Study ICC's huge library and database
Take part in tournaments
Attend lectures every hour on the hour
Play all types of chess variants
Play against Masters
Have your games e-mailed to you to study at your leisure
Build up your own online library of favourite games
And more!

Interested? Wondering how to get started? First you need to go to The ICC home page where you can download a free interface for your computer. I use Blitzin for the PC but there is also an interface for other platforms. These interfaces allow you to log on to ICC and start playing right away. With Blitzin, after dialling into your ISP, run your copy of Blitzin, select CONNECTION / NEW. A box will appear, click on the CONNECT AS GUEST button.

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You will then be connected to ICC! You will see a chessboard,

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a chat window,

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and a graph showing those people seeking a game. As a guest you can only play unrated games. The best way to get full benefit is to take advantage of the free 7 day trial membership. You are then able to participate in all activities like a full member. To register type register in the chat window and answer the questions. Then a password will be emailed to you. You will need to know your email address to register. Once you have registered and received your password log on to ICC again using your handle and password.

Select MATCH / SEEK to request a game or click on the little circles on the "matches sought" graph to accept someone's challenge. The blue circles are computer opponents, the green circles are human opponents and red circles are "wild games". The grey circles are players seeking games with people above or below your rating. Filled in circles mean the game will be rated. The outlined circles are unrated games.

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For an introduction to the commands type help quick or help introduction in the lower part of the chat window. To talk to someone type, tell <name of player> hello (or whatever your message is), to ask for help in the help channel type tell 1 <your question>.

ICC Commands

Here is a quick explanation of the most useful ICC commands.
Commands used before a game
match Challenges a player to a match at specified parameters.
accept Accepts a challenge from another user.
decline Declines request from opponent for match.
assess Shows predicted rating changes for specified opponent.
rated Defines that challenges you issue will be rated.
open Toggles whether you are open for challenges.
pending Lists current challenges pending.
Commands to use while playing a game
abort Sends a request to abort the current game.
adjourn Sends a request to adjourn the current game.
draw Sends a request for a draw to current opponent.
flag Calls opponents time flag in current game.
resign Resigns current game to your opponent.
moretime Adds moretime in seconds to your opponents clock.
takeback Sends a request for takeback to your opponent.
promote Promotes specified pawn to user defined choice of piece.
Commands used while examining a game
examine Enters examine mode of specified game.
backward Moves backward in examine mode.
forward Moves forward in examine mode.
unexamine Exits examine mode.
Commands used to communicate with others
i Broadcast message echoed to yourself and all listeners. For example, --> knightrunner notes Kasparov is here! :)
messages Send a message or view your messages.
say Sends a message to your current or last opponent.
shout Broadcasts a message to all users listening to shouts.
sshout Broadcasts chess related shout to all users with sshout open. For example, ROBOadmin s-shouts: A hush fills the room as GRANDMASTER Kasparov walks in! :)
kibitz A message sent to all observers and players of observed game.
whisper Sends message to other observers of game you are observing.
tell Sends a message to specified player or channel.
Commands to get information about other players
finger Shows finger file of specified user.
history Shows a list of past games of specified player.
stored Displays a list of stored games of specified player.
who Configurable list of all users currently logged in to ICC.
znotl To list people on your notify list currently logged in.
Other useful commands
date Shows current time and date.
extend Extend your ICC membership.
help Shows a list of all ICC commands.
info Shows a list of all ICC info files.
mailhelp Mails to you the specified helpfile.
mailstored Mails to you moves and info of specified game.
news Displays specified news message.
observe Allows observation of specified game.
quit or exit Exits ICC server.

ICC have produced a newsletter. You can read it and find out more about their activities by clicking here.

There are many other places to play chess on the Internet but I have found that ICC has the largest number of players playing at any one time (so it is never difficult to find an opponent at any time of day or night) and the standard of play is higher than anywhere else on the Internet. Give it a try. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I do!


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Copyright 1998, 1999 by Chess Corner. All rights reserved.
Last updated 12 April 1999

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