Thursday, December 16, 2004

Internet Chess

Having read a chess column in a newspaper, I thought I'd avail myself of the "week's free trial" at the Internet Chess Club.

The software is really well implemented. Registration is quick, the software downloads and installs itself, and runs from your desktop - not in a browser. I tentatively put in a request for a game - and about two seconds later was matched with somebody who trounced me very quickly. Well, to be honest, any "Blitz" games are very quick - typically, you are allowed two minutes plus 12 seconds per move. I lost three straight games in a row, and got my rating down to about 1050, before managing to win anything. It's very easy to pick an opponent of whatever level you like, and pick a game structure of whatever format you like - yes, you can play suicide chess if you want, and any of loads of other variants, together with time structures to suit.

However, a word of warning. If you are playing Blitz, make sure there is nobody else in the house. Make sure the phone is off the hook. Put a "do not disturb" sign on the front door. Don't have a family! I've had to offer draws or resign three times just because something has happened in the house that I couldn't ignore whilst I was playing.

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