The Internet makes it very easy to play real-time chess
and meet other chess players from all over the world. Many of the internet
chess servers require you to download special, easy to install software
to play and chat with opponents. However, if you do not wish to do this
then the Java sites enable you to play chess using nothing more than
a Java enabled browser but it may take a while to download the Java
needed to play at these sites.
There are many sites which offer multiple games but in
my experience these sites cater more for the occasional player. If you
want to take your chess a little more seriously then the dedicated chess
servers like the Internet Chess Club and the Free Internet Chess Server
are hard to beat.
If email chess is more your scene there are also details
of places to meet email opponents in the list below.
Most importantly, whatever form of chess you choose to
play - have fun!!!
The Internet Chess Club (ICC) is one of the best places to play chess.
There are always hundreds of people online wanting to play and the
interface is extremely easy to use. See the Chess
Corner ICC Guide for more information.
The Free Internet
Chess Server (FICS) is a free chess server similar to ICC and
Chess.net. You will need to download a graphical interface such as
You can play here as a guest but as it is free
to register you might as well become an official member. This
allows you to have your own unique nick-name, play rated games and
participate in tournament etc.
is a similar playing environment to ICC and FICS and thus shares many
of the same communication commands. However, I have always found there
to be the least amount of people playing here than either ICC or FICS
and so perhaps it is not as easy to find an opponent. Playing here
is free but chess.net has its own graphical interface which you have
to buy. It is also possible to play using the free interfaces chess.net
for Windows 95 Lite or if you have a Java enabled browser then
you can use chess.net
for Window Lite graphical interface.
This interface has Accuclock built into it which compensates
for any lag during the game but this interface is not very appealing
to me. However, there are third party interfaces which enable you to
play here too. It is possible to install accuclock to work with these
Vinco Chess Club Game Room
Once connected to the VOG server you can enter one of
4 rooms: a standard games room for games with 15 and more minute time
limits, Blitz games room for 14 minutes or less time limits, Simultaneous
Matches room, and a Tournaments room.
This graphical interface is very good and it is an interesting
experience playing at the VOG chess club.
Internet Gaming Zone Requires Microsoft's Internet Explorer
browser. Play chess for free in the five game areas which are further
divided into rooms. The areas include the Social Rooms (Park Bench
and Corner Pub) for casual and beginners, Competitive Rooms (Castle
and Checkmate) for serious competition, Rated Rooms (Knights Room,
Kings Court, Grand Masters, Queen Me) which automatically report
your scores to the Zone Rating System, Tournament Rooms for tournament
play and the Ladder Room for ladder play. Other games can also be
This is another site with multi-games. You will need a Java enabled
browser to play the games. The Java takes a while to download but
you can cut down on the download time by using the Castanet Tuner.
The Tuner downloads all of the code and graphics from Playsite the
first time around so that in the future you only have to download
Games: Chess Play chess for free using a Java enabled browser.
Rooms are divided into Social, Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced.
Chess Similar to Yahoo Chess.
A Java enabled browser is required to play online. Play e-mail games
This is a Shockwave-based game. You wander from table to table until
you find a table free, sit down and play. This is not as sophisticated
as the other sites with no ratings or options to play opponents within
particular rating groups.
Web This is the only site I know of where WebTV users can play
online chess. It is fee based but offers a free trial membership.
UK This is a UK gaming site which boasts the lowest dial-up
ping rates in the UK for Quake gamers. As well as other multi-player
games it is possible to play Bridge, Chess,
Poker, Draughts, Backgammon, GO, gomuku, Cribbage etc.