FAQ & Help

Q1. How and why to register?

Registration to learn chess is free of charge and requires no personal/private/secret information.
Your registration will enable our Online Chess School to tailor the chess courses to your needs, and provide you with additional services such as:

  • Evaluate your chess with our Masters
  • Take part in our lectures
  • Play in our tournaments
  • Take courses in different groups
  • Have the private coach analyzing your games and working on your chess

Q2. How to get connected to the Chess Learning Platform?

The latest version of the Chess Learning Platform is always located here . All you need to do is download the Chess Learning Platform, run the setup file and it will install the application on your computer. IchessU icon will be created on your desktop.
If you are already taking chess lessons and have a previous version of the Chess Learning Platform installed and you download a new version, don’t worry, the new version will overwrite the old one and you will be always using the new version by default.
In order to be connected to IchessU for chess lessons, you have to be connected to the internet,
which means you must start your network or dialup connection.

You can login as a guest, register, or fill your login name and password if you are a registered member. Members may also save their password (will be remembered in the next login) and browse accounts (if have more then one user on the same computer, for example a family). All other advanced options should remain default, unless you were guided by IchessU administrator to set one or more of those fields to some different values.

Q3. How do I become a student in IchessU? How long are the courses?!

Chess lesson is a lesson where coach and students present at the same virtual room. All the lessons are according to the programs fitted to every student level.
In IchessU all lessons are highly interactive using Video and Audio. As being an International Chess School, we encourage long terms chess learning, rather than random lessons. Normally, to see results, it’s recommended to stay in IchessU programs for at least 6-12 months. Click here to visit our courses syllabus page for more details.

Q4. How can I chat on the Chess Platform?

General chat: You can talk to IchessU users and share your thoughts regarding any issues you want, as long as it doesn’t offend anybody.
IchessU administration sees in curses and insult expressions severe violation. Such a behavior disrespects your opponents and hurts our community. User speaks “dirty” language will be warned at first time. If the behavior repeats, IchessU may cancel his/her membership in the Chess University and prevent him/her from further joining up the community.
As a part of our chess learning activity, the chat is displayed in the main console window. On the left side of the white text-strip of your game board window is a popup menu. You have the following choices:

  • Type the username of a person you want to talk to
  • Choose the username of a person you want to talk to from the drop down list
  • Audience: talk to everyone in the room during a chess lesson or a game. In a lesson – talk to all your group mates and the teacher, while playing/examining/observing a game – talk to all examiners and observers of that game.
  • Whisper: talk to everyone in the room during a game, but not to the current players.
  • Opponent: talk only to your opponent while you play a game.
  • Friends: talk only to your friends from the “My friends” list
  • Chatting during a game: You can choose to stay or leave chat while playing a game. The control is done through “Game->Talk while playing” following menu

Q5. How can I chat on the Chess Platform?

General chat: You can talk to IchessU users and share your thoughts regarding any issues you want, as long as it doesn’t offend anybody.
IchessU administration sees in curses and insult expressions severe violation. Such a behavior disrespects your opponents and hurts our community. User speaks “dirty” language will be warned at first time. If the behavior repeats, IchessU may cancel his/her membership in the Chess University and prevent him/her from further joining up the community.
As a part of our chess learning activity, the chat is displayed in the main console window. On the left side of the white text-strip of your game board window is a popup menu. You have the following choices:

  • Type the username of a person you want to talk to
  •  Choose the username of a person you want to talk to from the drop down list
  • Audience: talk to everyone in the room during a chess lesson or a game. In a lesson –  talk to all your group mates and the teacher, while playing/examining/observing a game – talk to all examiners and observers of that game.
  •  Whisper: talk to everyone in the room during a game, but not to the current players.
  • Opponent: talk only to your opponent while you play a game.
  •  Friends: talk only to your friends from the “My friends” list.
  • *Chatting during a game: You can choose to stay or leave chat while playing a game. The control is done through “Game->Talk while playing” following menu:

Help

“Receive all messages” will enable others to talk to you in public and private chats during games and lectures, while “Chat disabled” will prevent them from sending messages to you.

Q6. How do I play online chess games at the Chess Platform?

Introduction:

In IchessU, you can enjoy to play chess online with real audio and video, which means that you can actually see and speak with your opponent during a game. You can also observe a game and see and hear both players! There are several ways to initiate a game: find an opponent by game’s settings, invite somebody personally by searching him/her, rematch last game opponent with last game settings, accept somebody’s direct offer to you or pick up an opponent from the seek graph. Accepting one of your personal incoming offers, or picking up a global game suggestion, are two ways to response to a current games propositions.

Find an opponent: You can propose a game to all IchessU online users, who are opened for challenges and currently not playing. Go to “Game->Play a game” and fill the settings as following:

Help

Initial time: game’s initial clock time in minutes.
Increment: the time in seconds to be added to you and your opponent after each move.
Rated game: “v” means that the game will be rated, empty meansnot rated. This field is disabled for guests, since they allowed playing only unrated games.
Color: you can choose your pieces color or set it automatic and let the IchessU software suit it for you.
Limit opponent rating: you can challenge all opponents if this box is not V or only opponents in defined rating range, if it’s marked.
Confirm game manually: if this box is unmarked and your game offer is accepted, the game will start automatically. If you mark “V” in this field, you will have to confirm the game beginning manually.
Challenge guests: if this box is marked your offer will be sent to guests as well, otherwise your game�s offer will be offered only to register users. This field is disabled for rating games, since guests allowed playing only unrated games.
Your game offer will be displayed on other users seek graphs. Your offer will be sent to all users who opened for games and match the game criteria you set.

Personal challenge: You can send your challenge personally to an opponent you select. Go to “View->Player search” and find a person you want to challenge according to variety of filters.

Help

You can look for an opponent by country, city, age, gender, username, first name or last name. You can choose opponents among online users, your friends, users opened for challenges, users from your group or only users you don’t avoid.
You have an option to use a combination of one or more different filters.
Results may be displayed in ascending or descending order and sorted by name or by different ratings types.
You can challenge only users online who are opened for accepting games offers and currently not playing or in a lecture. You should mark an opponent within the results shown, and press “Match”. “Match” button will be disabled for players who: are not online or are not opened for accepting games offers or currently playing or in a lecture.
Pressing on “Match” will open the following game’s settings window:
Help

You should note whether you want to play a rated game or not, set the time control: initial time (game’s initial clock time in minutes) and increment (the time in seconds to be added to you and your opponent after each move) and choose pieces color (White, Black or Automatic). Clicking “OK” will send the opponent an offer to play a game. You will be able to maintain your offer in the outgoing offers menu.

Rematch: You can rematch last game opponent with last game settings. “Game->Rematch” will send a rematch offer to your last opponent, suggests playing with the same settings as the last game between you two. You can maintain this offer in the outgoing offers menu.

Game status: You can disable or enable receiving games offers by controlling your challenges status, as shown below:
Help

Setting “Game->Game status” to “Opened for games” will enable you to receive challenges which match your incoming offers filtering.
Changing the games status to “No games” will make sending a game offer to you impossible.
While you are opened for games offers, you may set the following filters for incoming offers:
Game type: Blitz, Standard, Long, Unlimited

  • Blitz: less than 3 minutes initial time control per player
  • Standard: between 3 and 20 minutes initial time control per player
  • Long: more than 20 minutes initial time control per player
  • Unlimited: no time control at all

Rated game: “V” means that the game will be rated, empty – not rated. This field is disabled for guests, since they allowed playing only unrated games.
Color: you can choose your pieces color or set it automatic and let the IchessU software suit it for you.
Limit opponent rating: you can be challenged by all opponents if this box is not “V” or only by opponents in defined rating range, if it’s marked.

 

Offers: You can manage both incoming and outgoing offers in “Game->Offers” window. All the incoming to you and outgoing from you pending offers are displayed in this window. Any incoming offer maybe accepted or declined by you and any outgoing offer maybe withdrawn by you. You have an option to pop-up or not this window on any new offer. In addition you can decline all the incoming offers to you by pressing “Game->Decline incoming offers” or cancel all your outgoing offers in “Game->Withdraw outgoing offers”.

Seek graph: It is easy to seek an opponent using your “Seek Graph”, as shown below. If you don’t see a window like this after you have connected, choose “Seek Graph” in the “Window”. Each dot represents somebody wants to play a game. Faster games are listed to the left, slower ones to the right. The vertical dotted lines divide between the different time controls: Blitz, Standard, Long and Unlimited. The highest rated players are listed on the top, lower rated ones near the bottom. Green dots are the game offers you may accept, gray ones are those you can’t (for example if your opponent wants to play a rated game and you are a guest or you don’t match his rating criteria).

 

Help

Search game:
In International Chess University we encourage people to learn. One of the best ways to learn is to analyze your games. If you are a register member, all your recent games are stored, including the timestamps! In order to see your games go to “View->My games history”. You can view your game in the IchessU software or save it to a file on your computer.
Being a registered member, also allows you to see all games played recently by all registered members. Analyze grandmasters games and you will figure out that they make mistakes too!

Help

You can search a game according to the following search parameters:
Game type: Game, Lecture or Examine
Game status: Active, Top, Finished or Adjourned
Time type: All, Blitz, Standard, Long or Unlimited
Game result (only for finished games): Any, Black won, White won or Draw
In addition, you may search games according to player’s name, color, different game types’ ratings or only your games.
Playing a game: While playing a game you get the following screen:
Help

On the left side you see your opponent, and you may decide if you want him to see or hear you or not, by setting appropriate audio and video controls.
In the middle you see the chess board. Chess board’s settings can be reconfigured by you in order make game experience as comfortable as possible for any one of the IchessU members and visitors.
On the right you see players’ names, the timers, game notation and the game controls. Resign will lose the game, and pressing on any other game control will send your request to your opponent. The opponent may decide to accept or decline your request.
For example, pressing on draw will cause the draw button of your opponent to start blinking. By making a move the opponent will automatically decline your draw offer and by pressing the draw button he/she will accept it. You can send each request type only 3 times during a game, beyond it your behavior will be defined as abusing and the buttons will be disabled till the end of the game.
You can also see captured pieces by pressing “Captured” or flip the board by “Flip” in the right bottom corner.

Save a game: Registered IchessU members are allowed to save any game in the IchessU database. You can find a game you want to save by “View->Game search”, mark it and press on “Save to file”. All games are saved in the pgn format.

Load a game: If you a registered IchessU member, you can load games in the pgn format of your own. Go to “Game->Load game from file”, choose file location and upload the game.

Live Top games on IchessU: You can observe live games of the best players, according to their average game time control ratings in IchessU. Go to “Games->Live Top Games on IchessU” or find a game you want to observe by “View->Game search, Game type: Game; Game status: Top”. Mark the game you want to observe and press “View”.

Observe a game: One of the best ways to learn is to observe other strong players’ games. You can watch other players’ games, see and hear them and even give your advices during the game. There are two ways to become an observer: through “View->Game search: find a live game you want to observe and press View game” or by “View->Player search: find a player you want to observe who plays currently a game and press Observe”.

Adjourn: You can halt a game you play and postpone it later, if your opponent agrees.
To postpone a game you should press on the “Adjourn” button on your game controls. It will send your opponent request to postpone the game. Pressing on adjourn will cause the adjourn button of your opponent to start blinking. The opponent may decide to accept or decline your request. By making a move the opponent will automatically decline your adjourn offer and by pressing the adjourn button he/she will accept it. You can offer to adjourn only 3 times during in a single game, beyond it your behavior will be defined as abusing and the button will be disabled till the end of the game.
Help

Resume: You can resume a game through “Game->Resume” or by “Games->Game search, Game type: Game; Game status: Adjourned, mark “V” in “Only my games” field. If the opponent with whom you want to resume a game is online, you will be able to send him/her the game restore offer. Mark the game you want to resume and press �Continue�. It will send your opponent restore game offer, which he/she can accept or decline. In case your opponent chooses to accept your offer, the game will be resumed from the point you adjourned it, including the time controls.

Rating: Your rating will generally change after each rated game you play. It will go up if you win, or down if you lose. It will also go up if you draw an opponent rated higher than yourself, or go down if you draw an opponent rated lower than yourself. It will not change if you draw an opponent whose rating is about the same as your own.
Your first 8 games are calculated differently, with bigger rating changes to adjust your provisional rating to your real strength.

Internet lag: Internet lag is the time it takes for your opponent’s move to reach you through the Internet. On your screen, your opponent’s clock continues to run but when a move arrives, the clock jumps back to what it was when he made the move. Usually it takes just a fraction of a second for each move to go through the Internet, but occasionally it takes several seconds or more. This is sometimes caused by a slow connection, and at other times it is caused by a “traffic jam” on the Internet.
IchessU system uses “time stamps” to keep the clocks accurate. Therefore, Internet lag affects both players equally. Internet lag never gives a player extra time on his own move, but always gives each player the same extra time while it is the other player’s turn to move. This is the reason that sometimes you may see that your opponent gets some extra clock time after each move. If your opponent’s time is run up because of a too big lag, you can demand to force win on flag or to abort.

Disconnection during a game: IchessU administration sees disconnection in purpose while playing a game as a severe violation. Such a behavior disrespects your opponent and hurts our community. User suspected in intentional disconnection at first time will be warned. If the behavior repeats, IchessU may cancel your membership in the Chess University and prevent you from further joining up the community.
Indeed, disconnection in most cases caused by bad internet connection. If you were disconnected during a game, you will have three minutes to return and resume the game. The next time you disconnect, your clock continues to run (even if it is your opponent’s turn to play!). If you put yourself in your opponent’s shoes you will see that this is only fair - you don’t want your opponent to keep disconnecting and resuming while you have to wait.
If your opponent waits for you to resume, but you don’t do so within three minutes, you will lose the game automatically. However, if your opponent accepts a challenge or disconnects during those three minutes, then the game is saved and you will not lose it automatically, even if your opponent is available to play when you return.

Adjudication: “Adjudication” means that the outcome of the game was decided by our server system or by a site administrator.
Our site administrators sometimes adjudicate saved games that are clearly drawn, or clearly winning for one side or the other.
Automatic adjudication may occur if we detect that you or your opponent is using computer assistance, while it wasn’t allowed by game’s settings.
Our site administrators may adjudicate a tournament game that is proceeding slowly due to Internet lag. Otherwise, that game can hold up the progress of the tournament.

Q7. How do I learn at Chess Platform?

Chess lectures: IchessU is the world’s first international chess university, dedicated to live chess education, using real audio and video over the internet. Students range from young to old. You are not too old, nor too young to attend IchessU. If you can move a mouse, you can participate in our chess classes. You can learn chess at almost every chess level:

* Starting from beginners, need to learn chess rules.

* Through chess players who occasionally play chess and just move chess pieces, without any actual strategic planning

* And experienced chess players “feel” the chess board

* Up to strong chess players at the level of chess masters

Registration to a course: First, you should register to IchessU through our website Registration process. As a register member, you can sign up to one of International Chess University courses through Join IchessU courses .
Joining a lecture: while your lesson starts, you will receive an appropriate offer:

Help 

Press on “Accept” will bring you into the classroom.
Another way to join a lecture is through “View->Lecture in progress”: it will display list of currently ongoing lectures. In case there are any ongoing lectures of your group, you will be able joining them by marking the lecture in the search results and pressing “View game”.

Help 

On the upper left side you will see your coach or a student from your group got right to talk.
Below it located your audio and video controls and their status is displayed � you can decide whether you want to be seen or heard.
Lower are placed the vote and move requests buttons. Vote request signals to your coach that you want to say something and move request means that you ask permission to show moves on the board to the whole group.
Beneath the buttons your current status is shown whether you can move pieces and talk or not.
In the left down corner you can see list of all students taking currently the lesson with you.
In the middle is the chess board. Chess board’s settings can be reconfigured by you in order make game experience as comfortable as possible for any one of the IchessU members and visitors.
On the right you see players’ names, the timers, game notation and the game controls.
You can also see captured pieces by pressing “Captured” or flip the board by “Flip” in the right bottom corner.

Q8. Can  I choose my username?

Your username is unique and needed to identify you on the server. International Chess University intends to create a real community. A place where people meet, talk and see each other in lectures or during playing games. We encourage people all over the world to communicate and create friendships. We want chess learning to be more interactive so that our users to know each other; therefore we create real usernames, according to members first and last names and not allow hiding behind nicknames. This makes your visits to the server more personal. It is the best way to win friends and join groups and learn chess. Please fill in those fields your real name using false names is forbidden. In this case IchessU may cancel your membership and avoid you from using our services in the future. If there already is a registered member with the same both first and last names, a number will be added to your username.
 

The email address is necessary in case you forget your password. It is also a security against misuse of the server. Accounts without an email address will be regarded as temporary and will be cancelled after a while. Your email address will not be used for commercial advertising.

Q9.  I have lost or forgotten my password or username. What should I do now?

On our website you have an option of retreiving your password in the Profile area or Contact Us

Q10. Can I login the Chess Learning Platform as a guest?! What will I get in this case?

Login as a member: It’s highly recommended to access IchessU services as a registered member. After a brief one page registration, you will be able to enjoy totally for free variety of International Chess University services: audio and video playing zone, rating following up, events coverage, chat, trial lectures etc.

Login as a guest: You can access IchessU services as a guest, if you want to look around a bit first. You still will be able to play, view games, chat, but you will have fewer rights on the server. For instance you will be restricted to have rating, participate or view examine games, adjourn and resume games, save your games, observe others games, use “My university” options and many other great IchessU features. After a while you should definitely set up an account which you can regularly use.

Q11. I have changed my email address. How can I update my account?

You can update your personal information in the “My Profile” area (you should be logged in to access it). Or simply Contact Us

Q12. How can I follow my friends at the Chess Platform?

My friends: Your Friends List is a list of members you like to challenge or talk to. You can add or remove friends from your Friends List in “View->Player search->Mark a user you want to add/remove->Press add to friend/remove friend”. You can use your friends list, for example, to talk to your friends or searching opponents among your friends only.

Q13. How do I get help?

We can be contacted:

Online: http://messenger.providesupport.com/messenger/ichessu.html

By Phone: +15625089020

By Email: info@ichessu.com

Or click here to submit a help form

Q14. Emails from IchessU don’t reach my inbox, what can I do?

At IchessU, we appreciate your business. And as one of our valued customers, we’d like to make sure you’re kept in the loop. To ensure our emails reach your inbox, please add our email address to your address book. Visit the “IchessU – add to Email Address Book” page for the instructions how to make sure that our emails reach your mailbox

Q15. I tried to login the Chess Learning Platform and received: “WARNING: Disconnected”, what should I do now?

Possible reasons could be: the server is down, no internet connection, wrong server hostname or IP number, incorrect ports, mismatch in login username and password combination or user is already in.

1. Check your internet connection.
2. Check in “Connection->Server status” that IChessU server is up.
3. Verify that in the Login details window:
a. Your login name and password are correct.
b. You are not logged in some remote computer.
c. Server is IchessU server.
d. Ports are 5000 23.
4. If all detailed above is correct, please contact IchessU administration by one of the Help options in IchessU software or through the web “Contact Us” form