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Links to Useful Chess Resources

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Relevant to Newbury Players

  • Berkshire Chess Association - this is our local league. The website has extensive details of clubs, players, fixtures, match cards, statistics etc.
  • Chiltern League - this is a regional league comprising county teams from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire. Matches between teams of 20 (A-team) or 16 (B-team) take place roughly monthly on Saturday afternoons. Several of our players participate.
  • English Chess Federation (ECF) - the governing body of Chess in England; most of our players are members (it gives them free grading of matches). Also on the ECF website is...
  • The ECF Grading Database - a player's grading is an indication of their relative strength. It is calculated using a formula that takes account of results and the grading of opponents. This grading defines (in some cases) eligibility for certain teams (e.g. players in Berkshire League Division 3 must have a grading below 175). The grading database is searchable by name or club.
  • FIDE (Féderation Internationale des Échecs (World Chess Federation - the international governing body of chess. It is FIDE rules that are followed in matches with some exceptions that are spelt out in local rules, e.g. slightly more relaxed conditions on penalties for mobile phones and number of illegal moves before losing a game.

Online Chess Servers

Computer chess engines are now so good that most can beat average club players. However, if you want to play against real people, then subscribe to a chess server. It's a bit like correspondence chess. For example, say 7 days are set for a move - you do yours, and your opponent has 7 days to respond (normally most users log in once or twice a day). Some servers allow real-time games, typically blitz games of 5 or 10 minutes per person. Most provide post-match analysis. Here are some servers that are or have been used by our club members:

  • Chess Maniac - lots of options; you can join clubs or teams; right now several of our members belong to the Royal Knights team, and have 50 or more games "on the go" at any one time.
  • GameKnot - another favourite chess playing website, once popular with some of our members.
  • It's Your Turn - game playing website, where some of our club members practice between club evenings.
  • - claims to be the world's most popular chess server, perhaps because if you buy the chess programme Fritz, you usually get 3- or 6- month's free subscription.
  • - well someone had to get this domain, didn't they? They also claim to be the number 1 chess site. Includes tutorials, videos and tactical training.
  • - also has some useful online tutorials and videos.

All of the above have several levels of subscription, including a free membership. If you pay more, you see fewer (or no) adverts, can play more games, make more moves in a day and take longer vacations!

The next two are not for human-to-human play, but for tactical training. You are given a position and have to work out your best move. The faster and more accurate you are the higher grading you get over time. As well as middle game tactics, there is also end-game training. Experts say that tactical training is the best way for a club player to improve. So try one of the following for your "5-a-day":

  • Chess Tempo - as well as training (on nearly 90,000 problems!), there is a 2 million game database, and the option to plays games against the machine (just in case you don't have a chess app on your smartphone or PC!).
  • Chess Tactics Server - has over 36,000 tactical problems to solve. As well as training, there is a 2 million game database, and the option to plays games against the machine (just in case you don't have a chess app on your smartphone or PC!).

General Interest

This page last updated 10th August 2016

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