My first exposure to chess came before I was
six. My cousin taught me how to play,
well let’s say he taught me how the pieces moved. The first
game he tromped me
with scholars mate, I know the name now. We played often but
he always beat me
and did not offer any advice. He moved away and I had no one
to play against so
I did not get much practice for many years. Then while in
the Army I played
occasionally with a good friend of mine, but after that I
took another decade off.
About two years ago I found out about “Correspondence Chess”
and was hooked.
The next few issues will be reviewing the many different
sites that I have visited and
what each offers. This issue I will be taking a look at
ChessWorld.net was started in late 2001. It was
developed and is maintained by Tryfon Gavriel, aka
(KingCrusher), and his two fellow co-webmasters Janet
Loxham and Nick Gavriel. On the site there is a
statement by Tryfon that sums up why he started this
am very keen on chess, and want this playing server to
reflect my enthusiasm for the game.
I have great ideas for this server, and I am trying to
get the time to implement them. I want the site to meet
chess players needs, and to be a useful resource for the
chess community at large”
The site’s statistics
alone are impressive, as of the end of 2005 they are;
But what hooked me was the ease of play,
the number of players, the diversity
of the countries represented, and the many features. The
features for "guests"
are great and worth the visit to the site, but they are
limited for example, guests
can only play 5 games at a time, not import/export PGN's, no
move preview, cannot
take part in Polls or Forums. For a detailed list of
One could play here happily as a guest but
the little extras make it worth the
$22.50 US a year. The tools such as the Analyse,
Conditional, and "Wait for game"
options are fantastic! It is difficult to put into words how
many details Tryfon et al put
into this site so as the saying goes, a picture is worth a
thousand words and here is that picture.
In the following screenshot
you get to see what a normal members game screen looks like.
(Of course I show a game I am doing well in, what did you
Thanks John for allowing me to use this example)
1. Member and Board
2. Game Messages.
3. Conditional Moves
3a. Conditional Moves Pop-up board.
This is my favorite tool, a members only option. It allows you to play
your next move
in reply to your opponents . Excellent for forced moves, and
keeping the game moving.
4. This area shows your waiting messages,
game rating info, last move and
other important information.
5. Menu area. For those of us still learning
Openings the "Openings Identified"
button is great. This area is customizable as is almost every
option on the site.
6. Wait for Game Pop-up notification.
Another of my favorites. This option
allows you to go about your work and have the "Pop-up" tell when
you when you have
games waiting. I find it very helpful and am using it as I write this so
I can keep
on top of my games.
Mr. Gavriel was gracious
to answer a few questions for me, so lets hear what he
has to say.
Q. What is so special about ChessWorld.net in
Comparison with the other internet chess servers?
A. In a nutshell,
It's being driven and developed by a complete chess
I am trying to model my enjoyable experiences as a chess
enthusiast. For example,
I have played for Barnet chess club in a number of
Leagues. I wanted the site to have
team and league play as a high priority. I think
therefore the site is becoming a reflection
of my own passion and enthusiasm for chess. As well as
my own drive to make it an exciting place,
I think the members on the site are very enthusiastic
and they make it great. There is a continual
flow of improvement suggestions, which will keep me busy
for a long while.
Q. What are
your favorite features?
1. A true International
chess club feel.
2. When one goes into
the site, there is a sense of huge international chess
The international flags help create this feel, and
there are members from over 200 countries
to invite to play.
3. Team and League
play. You can join multiple teams as long as the are in
or even create your own teams. As team Captain you have
the capability to set board order
and reserve players, substitute players, etc.
When there are five teams in a particular league,
a league cross table can be automatically generated and
all teams are paired against each other.
Team play helps (sic) the site much more
4. Tournaments. The
tournaments are very flexible in that you can join as
many as you
want, and don't have to wait several weeks/months for
the next round to start.
You can also create your own customized tournaments by
'opening' - there is a huge
openings databases where you can select openings code.
You can even have the tournaments
as "private", where you can invite selected friends and
players if you want to.
There are knockout type tournaments which have recently
been introduced, and this
is the type for this year's World Championship event
(128 player knockout).
5. Friends and other
chat facilities. There are a number of features to help
contacts with friends, including a friends list page,
friends online notification,
instant messenger details, messaging facilities.
Communication is a central priority
of the serve to make it like a big social chess club.
There are a number of forums
on the site for a number of aspects of chess, and there
are forums dedicated to
the improvement of particular site features.
6. Rest of World
7. Powerful opponent
finding facilities. This means that you can search for
potential opponents by country, interests, voting,
rating, and a number of other combinations.
8. Annotated Games. You
can annotate games using an online tool, and have
others annotate your games (not necessarily you
opponent). You can also
request games to be annotated as well.
9. Tips and Learning
areas. Members can share tips, and there are now
in the Tips database. You can also find puzzles and
other learning tools.
10. My stuff
Customization options. As well as being able to
style- colour, size, piece, and sets, you can configure
several things about the
mechanics of moving including an "Are you sure you want
to move there?".
There is move highlighting of the last move played
before that, so you can
quickly reestablish the game context of a game you may
have not looked at
for weeks. The My stuff menu provides convenient access
to every element
of the playing experience.
11. What going on view facilities. You can view all
sorts of things from this menu,
including the top 100 and all the players rating list,
the tournament norm holders,
the members currently online, tournaments past and
present including all thematic
tournaments, check mate statistics and much more.
Q. What is the
general time control of the games?
A. The time
controls are as follows.
formula 1: 1 day per move
2 quick!: 2 days per move
Lightning fast 5: 5 days per move
Give me one full week!: 7 days a move
Give me 10: 10 days per move
10 in 50 (click to see stamps): 50 days for 10
consecutive moves, 10 days max per single move
Give me 15: 15 days per move
Q. Who are some of the strongest players on your server?
A. A few ICCF GMs have played Rest of
world matches here including JudgeDeat (ICCF GM Peter
Coleman), ICCF GM Hector Walsh, ICCF GM Thaler. FIDE IMs and
GMs that have played here include GM James Plaskett, GM
Patrick Wolff, IM Jeremy Silman, IM Michael Basman, WIM
Natasha Regan and WGM Dembo, who is currently very active on
the site. Of course IM George Botterill is playing a rest of
world match currently, and has played several other
individual games - he is a two times british champion and
has a 2500+ ICCF rating I think.
Q. How would the
top players measure up to the top ICCF or IECG players?
A. I believe that many of the
ChessWorld.net - Internationally rated FIDE players would
hold their own against the top ICCF and IECG players.
Perhaps a match between organizations will sort out the men
from the boys! But I do believe that because web-server
chess facilitates many of the tedious administrative tasks
associated with pure Email-chess, it maybe attracting a less
"hard-core" set of chess players who may just want to use
chess as a means of keeping in touch with friends.
Q. What's in store for ChessWorld.net members in the near
A. I am planning on implementing the
huge numbers of suggestions in the Site Suggestions and
So ends our little talk with
Mr Gavriel. I want to thank him for taking time to answer
the questions. I asked other members what they found to be
the most interesting function of this site and the majority
said "Meeting interesting/new people" and I would have to
agree. I suggest that if you are looking for a site that
offers competitive games, flexible time controls and plenty
of opponents give ChessWorld.net a try.
To see the BBC World
Broadcast about ChessWorld.net see below.
Here are the links to the recorded show
Real player for the Click
(Fast forward to 18:40 /23:05 - 18
minutes 40 seconds in...)
(Fast forward to 18:40 /23:05 - 18
minutes 40 seconds in...)
If you would like to challenge me click
the image, log on and look for Doc _Holiday
Amici sumus play well
and see you at the boards,