Chess by Message

1.Lennis Pittman Jr. (2360)
2.Rabakah (2229)
3.Chess Star (2220)
4.remo7272 (2189)
5.Mikedu78 (2135)
6.Aleksandr Novikov (2015)
7.Ninja (1998)
8.george1955 (1990)
9.Brin (1986)
10.Jamaican Jerk Chicken (1946)
Site Statistics
651 recently active players
1067 games in progress
2282 moves in the last 24 hours

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chess by Message?

Chess by Message is a free email chess website. Players view the game board and make moves through their web browser. When a player makes a move, an email is automatically generated to notify their opponent.

Players have a limited amount of time to make their moves. If this time limit is exceeded, the offending player's opponent is declared the winner.

My opponent won't make a move. What can I do?

Your opponent has a limited amount of time allowed (normally 30 days). If he/she doesn't move within this time limit, you will be awarded the win.

Your opponent is automatically notified when it becomes his/her turn. He/she is notified again every seven days until he/she makes a move or the time limit expires. So, please be patient.

Why aren't I receiving email notifications when my opponent has moved?

If you're not receiving our notification emails, it is almost certainly because the email is being blocked somewhere along its path.

By its very nature, Chess by Message sends a lot of emails. Some mail servers can interpret this as spam, and will send our emails to your "spam" folder, or block them entirely. The administrators of your mail server might be able to help you more.

If you've tried everything and still can't solve the problem, you could try a new email account, on a different mail server. Other users have found this to be the best solution.

How do player ratings work?

Chess by Message uses the Elo rating system. It's a statistical algorithm that rates a player based on the player's wins and losses and the ability (or rating) of the player's opponents.

If a player has played less than 20 games, his/her rating is considered to be "provisional". In this case, a simplified algorithm is used in an attempt to quickly estimate the player's rating. This simplified algorithm is calculated from the player's historical win/loss ratio and the average rating of the player's opponents.

While a player's rating is provisional, it's possible that some seemingly odd things happen. For example, if a player rated 2000 beats a player rated 500 then his/her rating may decrease despite winning the game. This is because, while his win/loss ratio will improve, his average opponent level may be greatly reduced. Similarly, a provisionally rated player who loses to a higly rated player may in fact see their rating increase. After the player's twentieth game, his/her rating becomes "established" and the true Elo algorithm is used.

Unfortunately, when a player has only played one or two games, the algorithm has very little information on which to calculate that player's rating. Hence you will see very eratic changes in a player's rating until that player has played a few games.

Chess by Message ratings are also highly dependent on a player's choice of opponents. A player who only plays against highly rated opponents (eg. around 2000) and LOSES every game will initially be rated at around 1600, but a player who plays opponents rated around 1000 and WINS every game will be rated at only 1400.

So a player's rating alone cannot be relied upon heavily, at least until the player has played over 10 games with some wins AND some losses. You can see more detailed player statistics on the "Start Game" page.

© 2006 George Bradley - This page was generated in 624 milliseconds.