Free Internet Chess Server - Frequently Asked Questions.
There are several ways to get help. The best way may depend on what the question relates to. For general server help (e.g. commands or attracting someone to help deal with a problem), channel 1 is used for registered users and channel 4 for unregistered users.
For help with interfaces, channel 6 is used for registered users and channel 4 again for unregistered users. You might also want to contact the interface author.
Please do not hold non-help related conversations in channels 1 or 4; it makes it hard to help people and therefore may attract sanctions.
To ask a question to a channel you have to use the tell command. If, for example, you want to ask a question to channel 1, use tell 1 <message>. e.g. tell 1 How do I shout?
SR stands for Service Representative. They are specially designated users whose job is to provide assistance to the server users. While the server Admins can deal with changes of personal details, abuse issues and general questions, Service representatives (SR) deal only with general questions.
If an admin or SR is not available or is playing, it is possible to email your question to email@example.com It will be dealt with fairly promptly.
Admins and SRs are unpaid volunteers so please do not expect instant service all the time.
Users sometimes get disconnected from the chess server while playing games. Disconnections occur for various reasons such as:
Try to return to the server again as soon as possible. When you return, contact your opponent immediately in a tell or a message. Explain to your opponent what happened. If the game is stored, ask your opponent to continue the game. If your opponent contacts you about continuing the game, do not ignore him/her. Please resume the game as soon as possible as this represents good sportsmanship. If you lose connection and refuse to continue the game, you might be placed on the abuser list.
Refusing to accept a resumption request is not necessarily misbehaviour: the time control might be too long for the time the player has, or the player may be lagging.
Give your opponent several opportunities to resume the game, and a week to do so. If he refuses to continue it or ignores you several times, then follow the adjudication procedure.
No you don't. If it's forced mate, you can ask an admin to adjudicate the game there and then (no wait necessary). The admin is not obliged to do this, but if he or she is free they may.
If it is clear the user has a trend of not finishing their adjourned games or disconnecting in lost positions, they may be sanctioned by the admins and placed on the abuser list. If however, adjourned games are not adjudicated, this behaviour may go unnoticed. Admins simply do not have the time to patrol the system looking for such abuse.
It is not necessary to get an adjudication to resign an adjourned game, use the resign command followed by the opponent's name, i.e. resign <opponent> command. Only resign games that are losing for you. If the opponent has disconnected on purpose, resigning the game only encourages that behaviour.
To offer or accept a draw or an abort on a adjourned game, the commands sdraw <opponent> and sabort <opponent> do this. You can see outstanding requests with spending <opponent>. When an offer is made the opponent is messaged. It is not possible to withdraw an abort or draw offer on an adjourned game.
Follow the adjudication guidelines and send the account adjudicate a message. If adjudicate's message box is full, send a message to adjudicateII. Adjudications may take several days as there is usually a queue of requests, so please be patient.
Use the stored command to see the adjourned games you have. When you log in, you are notified of the players who are online whom you have adjourned game with. You are also notified when a player whom you have an adjourned game with logs in.
Normal players can have 16 adjourned games, computers 50. After this you will not be able to start any new ones. Irrespective of who disconnected, you are responsible for maintaining your adjourned games. Ensure games are completed as soon as possible and adjudicated if it is not possible to complete them. Do not wait until the last moment.
In most cases, the game is stored (adjourned). However, these special cases apply:
Admins are responsible for changing these details. You can contact one by using the showadmins command and choosing one that is not idle, off duty (though they may still answer you), or playing. If no admin is available, do not message one, they may not see the message or go away for a vacation, but instead email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you forgot your password, you need to contact an admin or to email email@example.com to ask to send out a new one. It is not possible to retrieve a lost password.
If you know your password, and need a password change, you can do this yourself with password <old> <new>.
The Ratings Deviation is used to measure how much a player's current rating should be trusted. A high RD indicates that the player may not be competing frequently or that the player has not played very many games yet. A low RD indicates that the player's rating is fairly well established and can be fairly well trusted.
Once your RD is 80 or less, your rating is considered accurate enough to be active.
In order to be listed on the ranking list your rating needs to be active, i.e. your RD must be 80 or less.
Your best rating is updated only if your rating is active, i.e. if your RD is 80 or less.
The variable provshow controls this: set provshow 1 to turn on, set provshow 0 to turn off. When set to 1, this adds either a P, E or a space to the rating to indicate activity. Some interfaces also do this automatically.
Ratings changes are based on the ratings of both players when the game is completed or adjudicated.
Use the assess command, i.e. assess <opponent>.
Admins do not reset ratings. If you feel your rating is wrong, then it should quickly change to what it should be during the course of playing
Best ratings can be reset by asking an admin.
You cannot compare your rating here against any other rating federation or server. Ratings are based on a particular set of players, as well as the time control used and other factors.
On FICS normal chess has three different ratings, lightning, blitz and standard, depending on the time controls. A game is blitz if the expected duration (etime) of the game is between 3 and 15 minutes per player. The expected duration is determined by the following formula that takes into account both the Start time and the Increment (Inc) value assuming 40 moves are played:
If your rating doesn't seem to update, it could be that you played a different category without realising it, or it was unrated. Type history to see your last 10 games. The letters l, b, s indicate lightning, blitz, standard and the letters u and r indicate unrated and rated.
Using the command +censor <player> stops a user from communicating with you. If it is an unregistered user set tell 0 and set ctell 0 have the same effect on all unregistered users.
Using the command +noplay <player> stops a user from challenging you.
Censor also includes noplay, that is if a user is censored, they also cannot play a game with you.
Censor and noplay lists may be bypassed during tournaments and adjourned game continuations.
If a user is swearing or being unpleasant, you should censor them. Do not retaliate. Admins usually will not get involved as it is one person's word against another's, since private communications between users cannot be monitored.
If you censored a user, but they return using another account or as an unregistered user, then contact an admin and this will be dealt with.
The two most likely reasons, when you cannot start the web interface, are that you have java not disabled in your browser or that you do not have it installed at all.
Enabling java depends on the browser. On Internet Explorer you need to check if you have avaliable a Java (Sun) menu in Tools->Internet Options->Advanced. If yes select the option given there. Otherwise select
Tools->Internet Options->Advanced->Jit compiler for virtual machines enabled.On Firefox you need to select:
Tools->Option->Web features->Enable Java.
If java is not installed the next answer explains how to download and install it.
If you are on a computer using windows, you need to follow these instructions to download java (the procedure for linux is similar):
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