Live Chess Updates: Fair Play & Tournaments

Hi everyone,

Today, we've made some exciting improvements to Live Chess! These aren't brand new features, but instead, things that make existing features a lot more fun. There are two themes here: Fair Play policies and Tournaments... Let's dive in!

Fair Play

In recent weeks, many people have been surprised to find their account restricted (unable to play open challenges) because they weren't following Fair Play guidelines; in other words, they were aborting too many games, and/or abandoning their games in hopeless positions.

It seems like the vast majority of these people were aborting games, far more often than abandoning or disconnecting - and in many cases, the reasons for aborting came from not knowing how to get the kinds of games they wanted to play. Clearly some adjustment was needed, so here's what we did:

  • Update Dec. 5, 2011: We have now permanently removed the full restriction on open seeks: Preventing people from playing was simply making it too difficult for them to make positive changes to their own Fair Play scores, and thus creating a dead end. Effective immediately, "fully restricted" members must instead wait 5 minutes between games (unless playing with Friends); this includes games that are aborted, so please read the Fair Play guidelines for tips on how to get the perfect game to begin with!
  • We put a cap on Aborts! If a user aborts too often, we will simply stop them from aborting. Users constrained in this way will either have to play or resign, right from the start of each game. (Closing the browser doesn't get people off the hook either; we log the disconnect against their Fair Play score.)
  • We automated aborts for games where nobody moves at the start! Even if you've lost your ability to abort, you shouldn't have to resign if you get caught in a game where the other guy has decided to walk away. Each player has 15-20 seconds to make their first move in the game. If no move is made, the server will abort the game. This impacts the Fair Play record for the player who fails to move. (So it's better to wait than to impatiently hit the Abort button yourself.) 
  • We made the Rating Options for new games much harder to overlook. A lot of people were aborting time after time simply to get an opponent with a desirable rating. Of course, there has always been a better way...


We recommend going with relative values here (use + or - to signify an amount higher or lower than your current rating for the Min and Max), since that will allow you to set this up once and forget about it, no matter what type of game you are playing, or how your own rating changes over time.

Finally, we have just adjusted the fair-play records for all restricted players, so now everyone may play again! It seemed only fair, given the nature of the changes we made... (Get it? "Fair"? See what we did there? Wink) Be good to each other (because we aren't planning on doing more of these resets)!

PS: If you're wondering what happened to the "New Analysis Board" link that used to be at the bottom of the New Game tab, please note that we moved it out to cut down on visual noise. Find a new "Analysis" option in the drop-down menu instead: If you "Start Game" with Analysis chosen, you get a new analysis board. Simple!

See the updated Fair Play Policy FAQ!



We made some strategic changes to make tournaments more attractive and more fun!

  • New Schedule! We reduced the number of tournaments per hour to 8 - one tournament every 10 minutes, plus 5|0 events at :15 and :45. We made an effort to alternate longer and shorter time controls to ensure that consecutive tournaments don't compete for the same registrants. The goal: more competitors in every event!
  • A new way of handling withdrawals! Most of the time, people who withdraw are basically eliminating themselves when it's clear they have no chance of a top result; however, these people still have a material effect on the outcome and are therefore now represented in the final standings. [Note: This feature requires a little more trouble-shooting, and will be implemented ASAP.]
  • Interface improvements! The tab for a specific tournament is now detachable. We've added a Help link. Premium members are now no longer withdrawn from tournaments if they are playing in another game when it begins: They simply have two games running. (Good luck with that.) And more!
  • Total # of participants is now shown in the Tournament End pop-up - by popular demand!

Whew! Ok, short version? Live Chess got a little bit more awesome today. Laughing Please enjoy responsibly!


Find this by accident? Don't risk missing news! Track the Webmaster!


  • 5 years ago


    Please see the update (first bullet) above. The nature of the restriction has now been changed (softened I would say!)... It's now easier for people to play their way back to unrestricted access. :)

  • 5 years ago


    It woul;d have been nice to have been pre-warned this was going to happen.  I haven't played for more than a week to find that when I logged on i dropped from 1523 to 1200.


    Anyway to ask forgiveness and get my had earned points back?

  • 5 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    It's amazing how you guys bring major updates one after the other. Thank you Smile

  • 5 years ago


    See this for some follow-up discussion of the changes to the Abort feature:

  • 5 years ago

    NM flashboy2222

    are you kidding me? look what happened in a 3|0 tourney game!

  • 5 years ago


    [...]and/or abandoning their games in hopeless positions.

    It is against fair play rules to abandon when in hopeless position??

  • 5 years ago


    if onlys more peoples in the worlds were like and striveded to make things actually fairs rather than just pull some messed up bs because they can, like you know when people take advantages of other people's ignorance or like, metaphorically speak, jump them from back in dark psychedelic alley when they are completely disorienteded, hallucinate, confuseded and distracts. this isn't fairs, obviously that confuseded person didn'ts knows what was happening AT ALLS and was for all practical purposes in another world. yous shouldn't, metaphorically or literally, attack someones like that, it's cowardly bs. BE A MANS. show youself in daylight, let both know the whos whats wheres and whens, specifically. BE A MANS.



    unrelate to this post but I would just like to say is the bestest chess site on internet I like to play me friends on it's good fun to know EXACTLY whos I plays against, and we set SPECIFIC times and dates that we BOTHS knows about. it's amazing, fun, simple and FAIR.


    I loves

  • 5 years ago


    Hey, I have laggy network and it takes it move than 20 seconds to load, what that means, that if that happens too often my account will be restricted? You have to fix that you know. And the website doesn't count the extremely slow network to load the entire board, so it counts as abort. Not fair.

  • 5 years ago


    Good Job!

  • 5 years ago


    i really like that.... especially fair play 

  • 5 years ago


    I like the changes. Especially fair play.

  • 5 years ago


    Each player has 15-20 seconds to make their first move in the game. If no move is made, the server will abort the game. This impacts the Fair Play record for the player who fails to move.

    I don't see why this is a good idea. I only accept challenges and not make challenges already, but this will keep me from ever making a challenge to avoid the chance that I grab a cup of coffee while someone joins the game. (or use the restroom, or answer the door, or ...)

  • 5 years ago


    Sounds like a great idea! but sometimes I have a very unstable internet connection. I lose lots of games because of this. I just got disconnected while I was trying to write this! :)  It might look like I have abandoned the game. I won't be restricted  if this happens a lot will I?

  • 5 years ago


    That's good news! Thanks for the nice features! Smile

  • 5 years ago


    Awesome thanks, glad to hear of this change, having had games aborted on me for seemingly no reason time and time again.

  • 5 years ago


    Thank you! Nice features.

  • 5 years ago


    Thank you all so much for the update. :D
  • 5 years ago


    Well done.

  • 5 years ago


    Good work Chess.commers! :-)

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