Welcome to the Chesstempo User Guide. This document is designed to give instructions on all aspects of the Chesstempo site. Some of the features described in this guide are only available to Premium members of the site. To see more information on which membership levels have access to a particular feature, please see the Membership Description Page.
1.1. The Chesstempo Board
The Chesstempo chess board is central to many features. Below is a summary of features common to all boards used on the site.
1.1.1. Piece Movement
There are two methods of piece movement available, drag and drop and click and click. By default both are available and you can freely alternate between them.
- Drag and Drop
Drag and Drop piece movement works by clicking on the piece you want to move, keeping the mouse button down, and moving the piece to its destination, before releasing the mouse button. If you change your mind during piece movement, you can return the piece to its start position and release it there (no touch-move on Chesstempo :-) ). If you are uncertain where the piece started, and want to cancel the move, then drop the piece outside of the board boundaries and the piece will snap back to its original location.
- Click and Click
Click and Click piece movement works using two separate clicks to select the piece to move and its destination square. If a piece has been selected, it can be deselected by either clicking again on the piece, or clicking or a different piece of the same colour (which will then select the second piece).
1.1.2. Navigation Buttons
The navigation buttons allow you to move through the available moves on the board. The following navigation buttons are available:
- Jump to Start
Jump to the start of the move list, this sets up the board in the position before the first move has been played. For tactic and endgame boards, this also animates the opponent "pre-move", that sets up the position at the start of the problem.
Go back one move. Also available with Left
Go forward one move. Also available with Right
- Jump to End
Go to end of move list, this brings you to the position AFTER the last move was played.
Auto play the current moves , starting with the next move from the current position. Unless the stop button is clicked, play will continue until the end of the move list (or variation) is reached.
Stop auto playing moves.
1.1.3. Board actions menu
This is the blue circular menu shown under the move list.
The options available are:
- Board settings
Launch the board and move list settings panel.
- Play against computer
Launch a play against computer window using the current position as the start position.
- Toggle fullscreen
Toggle between full-screen and non-fullscreen modes
- Toggle autoplay
Auto play moves in the move list, select again to stop any auto-playing currently in progress.
- Rotate board
Flip the board orientation (also via r).
Bring up the annotation window, which allows you to add comments and graphical annontations, and manipulate any side variations you have entered.
- Show PGN
Shows the PGN of the current game, and allows you to download the PGN to your own computer.
- Explore in DB
Go to the database page where you can view the current game, and use the opening explorer, and compare to other games played with similar lines. The chess database offers many options for examing your game in the context of other database games, and in controlling how the opening explorer works. Please see the Chess Database for more details
1.1.4. Board Settings
To change board settings click on the blue rotary menu beneath the move list (or on the old site the button in the top left corner of the board). Unlike user settings in the preferences panel, the settings here are stored in your browser rather than on the server, this means you can have different settings on different machines, for example, a larger board size on your desktop machine compared to your mobile device.
- Board Size
This option allows you to select the size of the board in pixel units.
NOTE: This option is only available if the board resize handles on the edge of the board have been disabled, as that is the default method for board size selection. The handles are disabled for compatibility reasons on some touch devices.
- Piece Type
The style of image used for pieces.
- Board Style
The colour or texture used for the board squares.
- Icon Style
The style of the icons used for navigation and other board related actions.
- Icon Size
The size of the board icons such as navigation and action buttons.
- Coordinates Size
The size of the border around the board used to display the board co-ordinates.
- Move List Style
The style used to display the moves. Indented style displays main line moves one after another, and indents to a new line for a new variation. Two Column style presents each white and black move on a separate line in a two-column format.
- Highlight Move
Moves can be highlighted with either arrows or by colouring the source and destination squares. Both methods can be used, and highlighting can be turned off by disabling both methods of highlighting. The highlighting option applies to both the last move, and to pre-move indication for the board that have pre-move enabled.
- Board Sounds
This option determines if sounds will be played on this board. Sounds include piece movement sound, but may include other types of audio notifications, depending on the context the board is being used in.
- Auto Promote
Allows you to turn auto-promote on, and choose the piece to auto-promote to (usually the Queen).
- Drag and Drop
Turn on drag and drop piece movement.
- Click and Click
Turn on/off click and click piece movement (i.e. the movement of the piece by clicking the source and then the destination square).
- Figurine Notation
The figurine notation option allows you to choose if you want move list notation to replace piece letters with small piece images for each piece.
- Force PNG Images
The board will attempt to use the SVG format for piece images on browsers than provide good SVG support, however some browsers may perform better if PNG piece images are used. This option allows you to force the use of PNG images on a browser that would otherwise choose SVG pieces.
- Move List Font Size
The size of the font used in the move list.
- Autoplay speed
The delay between moves if the play moves button is clicked.
- Piece Movement Speed
The speed of the piece animations.
- Confirm Moves
Turns move confirmation on or off. The move confirmation option allow you to confirm each move before it is sent to the server.
1.2. Other Buttons
- Launch Analysis Board
Launch analysis board using the current board position as the start position, and the following moves from the current position as the initial analysis move list. If you want all the board moves to be loaded into the analysis board then use the Jump to Start button before clicking the launch analysis board button. See the Analysis Board section of the manual for more details.
- Copy FEN
The Copy FEN button allows you to view and copy the FEN description of the current position, which can then be pasted into other applications, or other parts of the Chesstempo site that accept FEN strings as input. The dialog which shows the FEN, will also show a 'copy to comment' button, it is relevant to the context. The 'copy to comment' button allows you to create a static image of the current board position in a comment.
NOTE: FEN strings are a format used in most chess software as a shortcut for describing a particular position in a game. It holds information on the piece configuration, move number, castling status, colour to move, and information required to process en-passant captures and adjudicate the 50 move rule. You don’t need to understand the actual format to make use of the notation, as most chess software will have a way of accepting FEN strings as input, and producing them as output. A common use of FEN strings is to setup a position you have seen on Chesstempo in your own chess engine, in order to do further analysis of the position on your own computer.
1.3. Play Position vs Computer Button
Play Position vs Computer The Play Position vs Computer Button launches the play versus computer feature with the current board position set as the starting position.
2. Tactics Training
Chesstempo tactics training allows you to test and train your tactical ability. Tactical positions from real games are shown , and you are expected to find the best moves leading to an advantageous tactical outcome. Where possible, the moves will match those played in the source game, however if the opponent played sub-optimal moves or resigned, then the best computer moves will be played instead.
Rated training modes provide you with a tactics rating which can be used to track progress, as well target problems at your current ability level.
Chesstempo tactics training is aimed at improving two important aspects of tactical ability, pattern recognition, and calculation skills. Blitz and Standard tactic solving modes target both these areas. Mixed mode allows you to merge both these skills, with a solve time rating adjusment more closely reflecting time available in longer over the board games, and includes positions where the best move may leave the position even, but is the only move which avoids entering a lost or losing position.
2.1.1. Blitz Mode
'Blitz' mode is a training mode that emphasizes speed, and is useful for seeing a large number of positions, which assists in learning tactical patterns, a very important part of improving tactical strength.
In Blitz mode, your rating adjustment is partly determined by how quickly you are able to solve problems.
2.1.2. Standard Mode
'Standard' mode is a tactics training mode that allows you to take as much time as you like on each problem. Standard mode is suitable for calculation practice, and gives you a chance to see harder problems, that require more thought and deeper calculation than you will see in blitz mode.
In Standard mode, your rating adjustment is based only on whether you get the problem correct. Time taken is shown on the screen, and recorded in your results, however it is ignored for rating adjustment purposes.
2.1.3. Mixed Mode
The mixed rating type uses a hybrid standard/blitz rating adjustment, and includes both winning and non-winning (sometimes called "defensive") problems. Problem attempts are rated the same as standard mode if they are solved under 5 minutes, i.e. time will not be used as part of the rating adjustment, and only correct/incorrect matters. If the time exceeds that level, the problem is rated in a similar way to the blitz rating method, i.e. you start to get less reward for a correct solution if you take longer than the average solution time across all users.
The main differences between blitz and mixed mode after the 5 minute threshold has been reached is that there is no bonus for fast solving, there is no "time after first move" penalty, and the minimum average time you are measured against will be at least the no time-adjustment threshold of 5 minutes. This means for problems at your current rating you should be able to take at least 10 minutes before you start to lose rating points on a correct solution.
Some tactical positions have moves, which are good, but are not deemed to be the 'best'. When this occurs, you will receive a 'try again' message, and you’ll be given another chance to find the 'best' move.
The reason the problem set includes positions with these alternative winning moves is because it is important to provide training in as many real game situations as possible. Real games often have positions where you need to choose between multiple good moves, and so it is important that training includes such positions. Positions where two moves are given the same computer evaluation will not be used, so one should always be better than all others (at least from a computer evaluation perspective).
2.3. Rating System
The Chesstempo rating system for tactics and endgames is based on the Glicko Rating System. Problems and Users are both given ratings and the user and problem rating are updated in a manner similar to the updates made after two players have played a game against each other. Generally, if you get a problem correct, the problem rating goes down , and your own rating goes up, and the opposite will occur if you get a problem wrong.
The default difficulty level for tactics problems targets problems that are on average 100 points below your current rating. This means that on average you will lose more rating points for problems you get wrong than you will gain for problems you get right. In return you’ll get a success rate over 50%. If you’d like to get the same amount of points for correct and incorrect attempts (on average), you can change your problem difficulty in your preferences to 'hard' which targets problems at your current rating and will get you a roughly 50% success rate over time.
2.3.1. Standard Rating
The rating adjustment for standard mode tactics is the same as that outlined above , correct problems will give you a full 1-0 result, with you gaining points, and the problem losing points. Problems you get wrong will give a 0-1 result, with you losing rating points, and the problem gaining rating points.
Time is not part of the standard rating adjustment.
2.3.2. Blitz Rating
Unlike standard ratings, blitz ratings do use the time taken as part of the rating adjustment. This means if you take too long to solve a problem, you may lose rating points, even if you get the problem correct. Usually chess results come in three varieties, 1-0, 0-1 or 0.5-0.5, however the blitz rating system extends this to have values other than 0,1 and 0.5 as results, so for example a 0.25-0.75 result is possible, and when this result was fed into the Glicko rating system it would produce a rating adjustment that was worse than a draw, but better than a complete loss. The blitz rating system adjusts results in this way to account for time taken during the problem.
When you solve a blitz problem, you are competing against the average solve time of all users who got that problem correct. If you solve the problem faster than 1 standard deviation from the average solve time, then you get a solving bonus and instead of a 1-0 result, you are given the equivalent of a 1.25-0 result. If you solve slower than this, but faster than the average time, then you receive a full 1-0 result. If however you solve the problem less than the average time, then you receive a result proportionate to how much slower you took compared to the average. So for example if you took 20 seconds, and the average was 10 seconds you will receive a 0.5-0.5 result. As your solve time increases, your result will approach zero, for example if you take 40 seconds and the average was 10 seconds, then you will receive a 0.25-0.75 result.
Incorrect problems in blitz mode get a standard 0-1 result, where you lose rating points, and the problem gains them in the same manner as a normal loss. Note that blitz problems can gain points when you get a problem correct, as they receive 1 minus whatever value you receive as a result (with a minimum of 0), so as shown above if you receive a 0.25 result, your opponent will receive 0.75.
To discourage guessing, and incremental solving, blitz problems also take account of time taken after the first move and ads an extra penalty for time taken after the first move. Essentially time taken after the first move is counted twice when accounting for total time taken. So a solve time of 10 seconds where 5 of those seconds were on the moves after the first, the total time used to calculate your rating adjustment would be 15 seconds (10 seconds + 5 seconds).
2.3.3. Duplicate Problem Rating Adjustment
To help reduce the impact on the rating system of users seeing problems multiple times, a reduction in the reward for successful attempts on problems that have been seen before has been implemented.
Duplicate reward reduction only applies to the top 1-3% of users in each rating type. This prevents the top 10 lists from being a list of users with the best memory for past problems, rather than the people with the strongest problem solving skills, but still allows lower rating users who are not getting large memory benefits from past attempts to get full reward for problems.
The current reductions are:
1st Repeat - 70% of full credit
2nd Repeat - 55% of full credit
3rd Repeat - 45% of full credit
4th Repeat - 35% of full credit
5th Repeat - 25% of full credit
6th and subsequent Repeats - 15% of full credit
There are also time decay adjustments made if the user has not seen the problem for a long time. So problems not seen for least 6 months receive a minimum of 45% of full credit, irrespective of how many times they were solved in the past. Similarly, problems not seen for a year are given 75% of full credit, no matter how many times they had been seen previously.
2.4. Screen Controls
This jumps to the next problem. It is only required if you don’t have automatic continue to next problem options set. The button is disabled until after the problem is over, so if you want to skip the problem, you will need to use the "Give Up" button first. You can also go to the next problem by pressing the space bar.
- Give Up
The Give Up button allows you to finish the current problem without playing any further moves. You will be marked as failing the problem, and your rating will be adjusted accordingly.
This jumps to the next problem. It is only required if you don’t have automatic continue to next problem options set. The button is disabled until after the problem is over, so if you want to skip the problem, you will need to use the "Give Up" button first. You can also go to the next problem by pressing the space bar.
2.5. Tactics session panel
The tactic session panels shows stats for the current solving session. The session starts when the page loads or after the End session button is used. The current session time, a graph of the last 20 problem attempts (green dots = correct, red = incorrect), and some summary stats for the current session are shown.
- Change Set
The Change Set button brings up the problem set selection dialog, allowing you to select a new problem set for the next problem. See the Tactics Problem Set Preferences section of the user guide for more information on set selection.
- End session
The End session button allows you to reset the session stats.
- Difficulty selector
Click on the difficulty drop down to switch between easy, medium and hard difficulty modes.
3. Endgame Training
The Chesstempo endgame training allows you to play through endgame positions, trying to find the fastest way to mate. Often you do not have to play all the way to actual mate, as converting to a more easily won endgame (by capture or promotion) is usually enough, although if a quick mate is available after conversion, then you may be asked to play it. Promotion or capture may not always cause the problem to finish if it was deemed that the opponent still had threats that needed to be dealt with, for example when the opponent had very advanced pawns , the problem may not end until you have neutralized the promotion threat. All endgame problems start from positions that appeared in real games.
3.1. Theory Mode
Theory mode forces you to play the fastest line to mate, if you play a move that is not one of the moves that leads most quickly to mate (and there may be more than one), then you will be asked to try again. This will continue until you find one of the fastest mating moves, or you play a move which loses or draws, at which point the problem will end and you will be marked incorrect. This process will continue until you have either failed, or reached the end of the problem. The main purpose of theory mode is to be shown the optimal mating line, and as such is useful for endgames where you may not know how to mate at all.
3.2. Practice Mode
Endgame practice mode differs from theory mode, in that it does not force you to follow the optimal line. You can play any move you like, including moves which dramatically increase the number of moves required to mate. Practice mode can be useful for practicing endgames in a manner closer to how you would play over the board, and can be less frustrating than being forced to play optimal moves at each point. However practice mode can also be quite difficult in endgames you don’t yet understand well, as it can be hard to get closer to mate when you are not forced to play optimal moves.
3.3. Rating System
The rating system for endgames is similar to that used in the tactic problems, the Glicko rating system is used to rate both endgame problems and players. For failed attempts rating adjustments are done based on a straightforward 0-1 result. Your rating adjustment for successful rating attempts depends on how many optimal moves you played before completing the problem.
For practice mode, successful rating adjustments are based on how much longer your number of moves was than the fastest number of moves. If you play the optimal move at each point then you will receive a full 1-0 result. However
Theory mode rating adjustments for successful attempts are similar to practice mode, except that instead of total moves played impacting the outcome, it is the extra moves that would have been used if the longer moves had been allowed. For positions where you attempt to play more than one sub-optimal move, the move with the longest length to mate is used for rating purposes.
The endgame training tool currently uses the shortest distance to mate as the measurement of best moves. This means that to make perfect play, all your moves must lead to the quickest mate. This can sometimes lead to situations where the most obvious move (for example promoting or taking an opponent’s piece) may not always be the quickest way to mate. In these situations the server will treat takes or promotions as equivalent to the shortest mating move (as long as capture or promotion doesn’t extend the length of the shortest mate by more than 2 moves). In addition, moves that might not immediately take a piece or promote, but may lead to a take or promotion on the next move will also be allowed as long as the total sequence doesn’t increase the moves to win by more than 3 moves. In the future, distance to conversion endgame tables will also be used, and this will allow a larger set of these "not shortest but still practical moves" to be allowed.
No matter how sub-optimal your solution, or how many times you use the "Play Best" button, you will never lose more points that you would if the problem is marked wrong.
The result notification for correct endgames has two extra lines. The first line shows the number of moves, and then in brackets the number of extra moves. The second line shows you the score you received, 50% means you received a result equivalent to a draw, i.e. 0.5-0.5, 25% means you received closer to a loss (or 0.25-0.75), and 100% means you received maximum points (i.e. the equivalent of a 1-0 result). After the percentage score, the actual number of moves you were punished for is also shown. Where you played sub-optimal , but allowed moves such as slightly longer moves that promoted or took a piece, this value may be smaller than the total number of sub-optimal moves shown on the number of moves line.
3.4. Endgame Played Move List
The list of played moves in endgame problems serves several purposes. It allows you to see the path you have followed while the problem is active, but it also provides extra details on the moves you played after the problem is finished. You can also play through different lines after the problem is over, and see the variations added to the move list.
The annotations on the move list after the problem is over show moves that were not the best move in the position. For example M10(M8) shows you played a move that was mate in 10 where the best move was mate in 8. L10(M2) shows that you played a move that leads you to lose (i.e. be mated) in 10 moves, where the best move would have had you mate your opponent in 2 moves. D(M3) indicates a move that draws when you could have mated in 3. You can hover your mouse pointer over the other moves to find out how many moves they are away from mate.
3.5. Endgame Legal Move List
The legal move list appears after you have finished solving an endgame (or when viewing the problem in problem viewing mode). For each position it shows a list of all the legal moves and the number of moves to mate (or to be mated) when a win or loss is the optimal outcome, or 'draw' when best play would lead to a draw. You can click on any of the moves in the legal move list to play that move on the board.
3.6. Endgame Blitz Mode
Some endgames can be quite easy to play to mate, but very difficult to play the fastest mating sequence, these problems can be particularly annoying as it can be easy to lose rating points on these type of problem. The "Blitz" button is designed to avoid some of this frustration.
The "Blitz" button allows you to take the option of solving endgame problems under the clock. The "Blitz" button is intended for use on endgames which you feel may be easy to mate , but not easy to play perfectly. After clicking the "Blitz" button, the clock changes to a count down timer and you have until the clock reaches zero to solve the problem. Similar to Practice mode (irrespective of whether you were in Theory or Practice mode to start with), you are able to make any move you like (as long as it is still winning). You will not be punished for moves that take longer than the shortest path to mate. If you solve the problem within the time limit, you will get full points for getting the problem correct. There are no rewards for fast times, you will be marked the same if you have 1 second left on the clock or 50 seconds. If you run out of time, get the problem wrong, or reach a drawn position then you will marked incorrect. You can only choose to blitz a problem before your first move. The number of seconds you have to solve the problem is defined by the function MAXIMUM(60,DTM*3.0+10) where DTM = Depth to mate. The time used before you press the blitz button is also included in the time allowed, so the longer you take to press the blitz button, the less time you will have to solve the problem once the clock starts counting down. When using the blitz button you are required to mate the opponent, currently there is no pruning done when using the blitz option.
To avoid frustration from having to play out endgames against a lone king when blitzing after having already converted from a harder endgame, there are specific conditions under which a blitzed endgame will prune when you reach a position where your opponent has a lone king. If you reach such a position that would normally be pruned in a non-blitzed endgame, and have not used so much time already that you would likely not have time to mate, and have never reached within 2 moves of checkmating up to this point, then the problem will finish without you having to mate the opponent king. Sufficient time to mate is defined by the formula MAXIMUM(10 seconds,DTM*1 seconds). Or in other words if you have at least 10 seconds or 1 second per move to mate left when you reach a lone king position for your opponent, then you will be deemed to have enough time left to mate, and the early pruning check will be made.
3.7. Play Best
The "Play Best" button plays the best move for you in the current position. However there will be a large penalty for using the button, so be careful how often you use it. Each time you use "Play Best" there will be a certain number of moves added to your "sub-optimal" move count (used in calculating your rating if you succeed). The penalty for using "Play Best" will be a minimum of 10 moves. If you have made any previous attempts then the penalty will be the longest attempt you had made already for the current position plus an extra 5 move penalty (or 10 moves if this number is still less than 10). The purpose of "Play Best" is to provide an alternative to completely giving up, and thus to allow you a chance to learn more about a position which you may otherwise feel completely lost in.
3.8. Screen Controls
4. Chess Database
The Chesstempo database allows users to research openings and endgames, and study the games of the great Grandmasters. Powerful search and filtering features are provided to control which games are included in your opening research, or to help you find and study games of interest.
4.1. Opening Explorer
The Opening Explorer provides a way of studying the popularity and performance of different opening moves. The opening explorer allows you to play through opening lines, with statistics provided on all the moves, indicating how they have performed when played by others.
The figure below shows an example of the opening explorer in action:
You can interact with the opening explorer by making moves on the board, or by clicking one of the candidate moves. If you are playing through the moves in an actual game, the explorer will also be active, and will show the stats for the current position in the game.
4.1.1. Candidate Move Stats
The number next to each candidate move provides an indication of the popularity of each move. By default, this number shows the number of times the position after the move was reached in the database. Because this count is based on the resulting position, and not the actual move, this means that the count is aware of transpositions, and will also include the number of times the resulting position was reached via other moves. If you wish to see the count for only the moves that were played in the current position, and ignore transpositions into the subsequent position, then you can change the explorer stats settings from Explorer Stats Options section of the user guide.. This is discussed in more detail in the
The other columns in the opening explorer show the date the move was last played (or the resulting position reached, depending on the Explorer Stats
setting), the average and maximum rating of the player playing the move, as well as the performance rating of the move.
The performance rating uses the
USCF tournament performance rating calculation, and provides a rating for a move based on the rating of the opponents of the player who played the move, and the number of times the game ended up won or lost after the move.
If the performance rating is higher than the average rating of players who played the move, the performance rating is displayed in green, and if it is below the average rating, it will be displayed in red.
The colours can be used to see moves that lead to positions where the players of the move perform above or below their average rating.
White has a natural advantage in the opening, so white moves are more likely to receive green colouring than black moves. This factor should be considered when interpreting performance rating based colouring.
4.1.2. White Win/Draw/Black Win Percentages
These values show the respective outcomes for games where each move was played (or each resulting position arrived at). The bars allow the relative outcomes to be seen at a glance.
The order of white/draw/black is the same irrespective of whose turn to move it was, i.e. white’s win percentage is always shown first, even if it is black to play.
4.1.3. Filtering/Searching and the Opening Explorer
By default, Game Database subsets (2200+, SuperGM+ etc) and game searches (both advanced and quick search) impact the games used to generate the statistics for the Opening Explorer. So for example if you specify the database subset as SuperGM+ then the Opening Explorer will only include games where both players were rated 2700+. You may also want to look at recent theory in a line, and specify a date search criteria to include only games played recently. It is also possible to specify a player’s name to view the opening repertoire of that player. To make this useful, you probably want to look at one colour at a time (otherwise the opening stats will include moves played by the player’s opponents). For example, specifying Piece Colour as white will only have games where the specified player played with the white pieces, so all white move stats will be from the player’s point of view, and all black move stats will be from the opponent’s point of view. It is also possible to specify an opponent name to view the types of openings played between particular opponents, a Piece Colour setting should also be used here so that each colour’s moves are attributed to only one of the players, rather than showing a mix of choices across different games.
Currently, material search criteria will be ignored in Opening Explorer filtering.
4.1.4. Explorer Stats Options
By default, opening explorer statistics for each move are based on analyzing the position that is reached after the relevant move is made. This allows stats to account for transpositions into the resulting position from other lines. There may be times at which this is not the desired behaviour, and you would prefer to see the stats based only on the instances in which the relevant move was played in the current position. To do this you can choose the option from the Explorer Stats option selector. To return to the default behaviour choose .
4.1.5. Related Openings
Related openings shows a list of the openings that contain the current position. This display is transposition aware, so it will show openings that contain the current position, even if the move sequence in the move list is different from the opening’s actual move sequence. As the number of openings can be very large for some positions, it is suggested you only have this panel open when needed, as downloading the information can slow down other operations.
The initial board position will not show any related openings, if you wish to see a list of all openings, the Openings List page is the best place to see them.
4.2. Game Search
Game search serves two purposes, it allows you to find games meeting a particular criteria, but it also allows you to control which games are processed when displaying the opening explorer stats.
4.2.1. Results List
The search results are displayed under the search filter. You can sort most of the columns by clicking on the column headings, the sort order can be reversed but clicking on the column header a second time. There are three icons shown in the first column:
- Download PGN
The first icon on the left allows you to download the the PGN of the game.
- Open Game in New Window
The middle button allows you to open the game in a new pop-up window.
- Open Game in Current Window
The last button on the right allows you to load the game into the existing page.
When opening a game in the current window, the search results will remain, but any previous game and lines will be replaced with the new game, and there is currently no way of returning back to them, so if you have lines in the move list you still want to refer to, open in new window button is the best option.
If you click on any of the other links in the results list, they will take you to the relevant player or opening shown in the link.
4.2.2. Quick Search
Quick Search allows you to rapidly enter simple search criteria, without having to use the more complicated advanced search panel. Search criteria supported in quick search includes:
Any 4 digits e.g.
- Year Range
Two years separated by a hyphen, e.g.
2007-2009. All games played within the years will be matched.
Any ECO code, e.g. B52
- ECO Range
Two ECO codes separated by a hyphen, e.g.
B52-B56. This will search for all games with openings within the ECO range.
- Minimum Rating
A 4 digit number with a + at the end, e.g.
2500+, would match games where one of the player’s rating is 2500 or higher.
Any string preceded by the word
event:will matches games in events containing the following word. For example
event:Corus. If you want to match more than one word then you will need to put the words in quotes, for example:
Any string preceded by the word
site:will match all games played at sites that match the following word, for example:
site:London. Again, if you want to match more than one word them quotes are required, for example:
- Opening Name
Any string preceded by the word
opening:will match all games that used the specified opening, for example:
opening:Sicilian. Again, if you want to match more than one word them quotes are required, for example:
- Player Name
The name of a player, playing either white or black in a game. There is no special syntax for player names, you can simply type them directly, e.g.
- Player name versus Opponent name
The names of a pair of players playing each other. 'vs.', 'v' and 'vs' will also work as replacements for 'versus'. Versus can also be left out, as long as the result is not a player name for example
Kasparov Karpovis equivalent to
Kasparov versus Karpov. Order of names is not important here, so Kasparov versus Karpov will return games where both Karpov and Kasparov had the white pieces.
4.2.3. Advanced Search
Advanced search allows more explicit control over search criteria than is provided under Quick Search, and also allows access to some search features not made available via Quick Search. When the database page is first loaded, the advanced search is hidden, to show the advanced search fields, click on the Advanced Search link.
Game Details Search
Game Details Search allows you to specify criteria that are related to the game as a whole, currently the following criteria are supported:
- Player Name
The name of the player. The more specific the name, the more specific the results, for example if you type 'Kasparov' will receive results from not only Garry Kasparov, but also Sergei Kasparov and Tatiana Kasparov. The name format is fairly flexible, so the following should all return the same results:
Some player names are given aliases, so for example 'Gary Kasparov' will be equivalent to 'Garry Kasparov'. Several names can be added using semi-colons as separators for example:
Kasparov;Carlsen, will return games played by one of Kasparov and Carlsen (but not necessarily against each other).
- Player Rating
The rating range of the players to match. If no player names are specified, this will match all players with this rating range.
- Piece Colour
The colour of the pieces played by the player. There doesn’t need to be a player name entered for this to apply, for example if a rating range is entered and 'white' is chosen as the piece colour, then it will apply the rating range to games where the white player had the rating range specified, instead of either player. Similarly, if a colour is selected here and an opponent player name is entered, then the opponent name will only be matched against games where the opponent played with the opposite colour to the one specified.
Specifies the outcome of the game from the first player’s perspective. So for example if you enter Kasparov as the player name, and Karpov as the opponent player name and select 'Win' as the result, then you will search for all games where Kasparov beat Karpov. If you also select the piece colour , for example 'black' then you will return all games Kasparov beat Karpov where Kasparov played the black pieces. To search for any games where Kasparov won as black , you can select Kasparov as the player name, piece colour as 'black' and result as 'win', leaving the opponent name fields blank. Another example of a result based search is to look for games where Kasparov lost to players under 2500. This would require choosing Kasparov as the player name, choosing 'Loss' as the result and entering 0 and 2500 for the min/max rating for the opponent rating. Result’s do not have to have player names entered, for example using setting result to 'Win' and piece colour 'Black' would return all games in the database where black won.
- Opponent Name
The name of the opponent. It is important to remember that player versus opponent name is not the same as white versus black player name. The player and opponent names are colour neutral unless the 'piece colour' option has been selected, so entering Kasparov as the player name and Karpov as the opponent name will return all games between Kasparov and Karpov, irrespective of which colour pieces each player had.
- Opponent Rating
Rating range of the opponent. Like player rating range, this does not require an opponent name to have been entered, leaving opponent name blank and entering in values for the opponent rating will match all games with opponents within the rating range.
Year - Range of years in which matching games must have been played.
- # Moves
The total number of moves in the matching games. This value is in terms of half moves (also known as ply), so 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 would be 3 moves.
The name of the event that the matching games were played in. Multiple event names may be entered by separating them with the semi-colon character.
The name of the event that the matching games were played in, again a semi-colon can be used to separate multiple site names.
- Opening Name
The name of the opening in each game to be matched, multiple openings can be entered by using a semi-colon to separate the names.
- ECO Code(s)
The ECO codes of matching games, multiple ECO codes can be separated with a semi-colon, or eco ranges can be entered , for example
Material search allows you to search for particular material configurations on the board. This is especially useful for finding endgame positions to study, but can also be used for other purposes, such as using material value differences to find games involving sacrifices.
Material search results will have game link buttons that will go to the first position in the game which matched the material criteria. Only the first matching position in each game will be returned in the results, even if there was a matching position later in the game with the colour of the matched pieces reversed.
Material counts allow you to specify a position with a certain number of pieces of each type on the board. You can specify an exact number of pieces or a range of number of pieces. An exact count is specified by setting the minimum and maximum to the same value. Pieces types that don’t have a count, or count range specified are treated as 'wildcards', that is any number of that piece type are allowed. Piece counts can be adjusted in several ways:
- Text Entry
Directly entering the minimum or maximum values into the text box next to the piece.
- Up/Down Arrows
Clicking the up or down arrows next to each minimum or maximum box will increase or decrease the count.
- Clicking on Piece Icon
Clicking the piece icon either resets the min/max to 1, or if the min and max are already the same value it will increment them both. For example if a count range of 2-3 had been entered, then clicking on the piece icon will reset the count to exactly 1, subsequent clicks would increment both the min and max so the next click would create an exact count of 2, and the next 3 etc. If the count was already at an exact number (i.e. min/max the same value) then clicking will continue to increment both the min and max.
- Zero Button
Clicking on the Zero Button sets the count to zero, such that only positions with none of that type of piece will be matched.
Clicking on the Cancel Button will reset the count to the default. The default is the wildcard setting, which will match any number of the piece.
In addition to each piece type there is also a 'Minor' piece type and a 'Value' type. 'Minor' pieces is a type which covers counts for both bishops and knights, so a count range of 1 to 2 here means you could have 1 bishop, 1 knight, 2 bishops , 2 knights, or just a bishop and a knight. The 'Value' count lets you search based on a count of material value, using the traditional values of:
Pawn - 1
Knight - 3
Bishop - 3
Rook - 5
Queen - 9
Kings are not counted in the 'Value' count, and therefore have effective value of zero for Value counts.
When using 'Minor' piece search criteria you need to make sure you are not creating separate Bishop and Knight criteria that would clash with the 'Minor' piece specifications, otherwise you may not receive the results you expect, for example asking for 0 Knights and Bishops, but also asking for 2 Minor pieces will lead to incorrect results.
Material Difference ranges allow you to specify the material in relative difference to the opponent, rather than in absolute terms. So for example a material difference range of -2 for the pawns, means that the player is down 2 pawns compared to the opponent. This is often more flexible than using exact counts, as it covers all such situations rather than just one particular case, i.e. rather than just specifying a player pawn count of 6 and an opponent pawn count of 8, a pawn difference search of -2 includes all of player 0 pawns and opponent 2 pawns, player 1 pawn and opponent 3 pawns etc.
Material difference searches allow you to search for particular material inbalances on the board, for example by specifying an exact material difference in minor pieces of -1, and rooks +1 you can find positions where one side has won the exchange. You could also add a pawn difference range to this search of -2 to -1 to find won exchanges where the opponent was given 1 to 2 pawns in compensation.
Material differences can also be combined with exact material counts, so for example an exchange winning difference search could be combined with an exact count of zero for queens for both player and opponent , to find positions where the exchange was one and both queens are off the board.
Stability length specifies the number of ply (half moves) that the position must be stable for in order to match the search. The default value is two, which means the material situation must match the criteria and remain stable for at least the move on which the material balance occurred and after the subsequent opponent move.
Stability length applies to the entire position, not just the material specified in the search. This means that if for example, you specify an exact match of 1 queen for each player, and a stability length of 4, this will not match a position with 2 queens on the board for 4 moves, if during those moves any other pieces are taken. It will only match positions where there was 2 queens on the board, and the total material on the board remains the same for 4 moves.
Bishop Square Colour
The Bishop Square Colour option allows you to specify whether the bishops left on the board are on the same or different square colours.
Bishop square selections should be consistent with the material specified. For example, asking for 2 bishops on each side, and specifying same colour bishops doesn’t make sense. The square colour options are only relevant to situations where there is only one bishop on each side.
It can sometimes be time consuming to set up a material search for a particular endgame type you are interested in. To make common endgame searches easier to perform, a quick endgame selector is provided at the top of the material search tab. The endgames are categorized using the same chapter and section divisions used in Reuben Fine’s Basic Chess Endings.
The endgame selector creates the relevant material search fields to match the endgame description. Even if a specific endgame you want to find is not in the endgame selector, choosing the closest available endgame in the selector and then tweaking the material search criteria may be much faster than creating a search from the initial default search criteria.
Interaction with Game Details Player and Opponent criteria
All material search criteria are combined with the criteria from the game details tab, so for games to match the search, they must match both game details and material search criteria. The game details player and opponent criteria are especially relevant, as they dictate which colour pieces the player and opponent material is counting. By default the colour of the pieces is ignored during material matches so, for example a player material difference match of 'Minor -2 to -1' will match any position where either black or white was 1 or 2 minor pieces down. However, if you selected 'Piece Colour' white and did the same search you would only get positions where white was down 1 or 2 minor pieces.
Combining the game details 'Result' criteria allows for some interesting searches. For example specifying Result: 'Win' and a player 'Value' difference range of -38 to -5 and a longer stability length of say 4, you can see all the games where a player was down at least 5 points of material, for at least 4 moves, and still ended up winning the game. Particularly for high rated players' games, these positions are often going to be tactical sacrifices of a rook or queen.
4.3. Games for Position
The Games for Position list shows all the games that contain the current position on the board. If any search criteria was entered, then the games for the position will also be filtered by that criteria (excepting material search criteria which is not included in the games for position filter).
The Games for Position list, is particularly useful in conjunction with the opening explorer, and can be used to study example master games that followed the current opening line.
Like the game search results table, most columns can be sorted by clicking on the relevant column header. See the Results List section of the user guide for more information on the columns returned in the Games for Position results.
4.4. Players List
The Player List page allows you to search for a particular player. It can also be used to identify the top players, as well as the top players by country, gender, rating range, or a particular period in history.
4.4.1. Player Search
- Player Names(s)
The player names you want to search for. You can enter multiple names by separating them with semi colons, for example:
Player name auto-complete will be triggered after at least 3 letters have been entered. Auto-complete displays the player names that match the letters types. You can click on the player name to choose the relevant player , or continue to type letters to further refine the choices.
- FIDE Id(s)
The FIDE ids of the player players you wish to search for, multiple IDs should be separated by the ';' character, for example:
The minimum and maximum rating for the players you want to match. This matches the player’s most recent rating.
- Minimum Games Played
The minimum number of games a player must have played in order to match the search.
- Year Last Played
The minimum and maximum year range that the player last played a game. This can be used to look at top players in a particular time period. If you want to see the top players currently active, then you can restrict this range to the current year.
The gender of the players that will be matched by the search. This criteria can be used to show the top male or female users.
- Federation Code(s)
The chess federation of the country the matched players are currently playing under. These are three letter codes such as RUS,USA,POL etc. Multiple federation codes can be entered by separating them with semi-colons, for example:
4.4.2. Player Table
The player table includes the following columns:
The name of the player, in "lastName, firstName" format.
- Last Played
The date of the most recent game played by the player in the database.
The chess federation the player most recently played for.
- Max Rating
The maximum rating achieved by the player.
The most recent rating the player has achieved.
The total number of games by the player that are stored in the database.
4.5. Openings List
The Openings List allows you to browse the openings stored in the database, searching and sorting the openings by a number of different criteria.
4.5.1. Openings Search
- Piece Colour
The colour of the last player to move in an opening line, in other words, the piece colour of the player, that chose this particular line.
- Minimum Games Played
The minimum number of games that must have been played in the opening for it to appear in the search results.
- Opening Name(s)
The name of the opening(s) to search for. Multiple opening names can be entered by separating them with a semi-colon. You don’t need to enter for the full name of the opening for it to match, for example entering
Dragonwill match the standard Sicilian dragon, as well as the accelerated dragon.
- ECO Code(s)
The ECO code of the openings you wish to see. Multiple ECO codes can be entered by separating them with semi-colons. ECO ranges can also be entered in the format
B50-B56. Multiple ranges can also be entered such as
4.5.2. Openings Table
The name of the opening.
The colour of the pieces played by the last player to move in the opening line.
- Num Games
The total number of games that used this opening.
The ECO classification for this opening.
- Last Played
The date this opening was most recently played.
- Perf Rating
The performance rating for this opening. This is the performance rating of all the games this rating was played in.
- Avg Player
The average rating of players who choose to play this opening.
- Player Win %
The total % of games in which the player who choose this opening won.
- Draw %
The total % of games in which this opening was played that led to a draw.
- Opponent Win %
The total % of games in which the player who choose this opening lost (i.e. their opponent won).
The moves which define this opening.
Because opening tagging is transposition aware, it is possible for a game to be tagged with an opening, without using the exact move sequence listed.
4.6. Player Details Page
The player details page shows information relevant to a particular player. Each player who has played a game stored in the database has a player details page. There are several ways of reaching a player page, by clicking a player link on the player page, by clicking on a player link in a game search results or games for position list, or by going directly to the web address which links to the player page via a bookmark, or link posted on another web page.
The comments tab allows you to read and add comments relevant to a particular player.
4.6.2. Rating Graph
The player rating graph shows how the player’s rating has changed over time.
4.6.3. Opening Stats
The player opening stats shows the most frequently played openings for the player with the white and black pieces. The 'Played' column of each table shows the total number of times the player played an opening and how the player performed , for example:
13 (+3 -4 =6)
shows the player had played the opening 13 times, for 3 wins, 4 losses and 6 draws. You can click on any of the opening names to see the opening details page for that opening. Openings will open in the current page unless you ask your browser to open them in a new tab or window.
4.6.4. Repertoire Selector
When viewing a player details page, a repertoire selector is provided just above the opening explorer. This lets you choose which games of the player the explorer will show stats for. By default, both white and black games are shown, however for the white moves, this will also show stats that include games where the player whose details are being shown had played the black pieces. To view only the stats for games in which the player played one of the pieces, you can use the repertoire selector to choose either black or white pieces only. If white is chosen, then all the stats for the white moves will reflect only the games where the player played the white pieces, and the black move stats will reflect only the player’s opponent moves.
4.7. Opening Details Page
The opening details page shows information relevant to a particular opening. When the opening details page loads, the move list is initialized with the moves in the main line of the opening. The board is shown in the state that exists after the last move in the opening is played, and a game search is automatically performed to show all the games that reached that position.
The comments tab allows you to read and add comments relevant to a particular opening.
4.7.2. Opening Popularity Graph
The opening popularity graph shows the relative popularity of an opening across the time period that it has been played. In order to factor out the increasing number of games recorded in the modern period, the graph is based upon number of games per thousand in which the particular opening was played in each year. This allows a more meaningful comparison of popularity over time.
4.8. Game Details
The game details shown next to each board on the game database page shows details relevant to either a particular game, or a sequence of moves entered by the user.
4.8.1. Game Data
When the game details are for a game, instead of user entered moves, the details for that game are displayed above the move list. This data includes the names and ratings of the players who played the game, the date the game was played, the event and location the game was played in, the result, the opening, and the ECO code the game was tagged with. The opening used to tag the game is based on the latest position in the game that matched a move reached in a recognized opening. Because the opening tagging is position based, rather than move based, the opening tag is transposition aware, and relies on the positions eventually reached, rather than the moves made to reach them.
4.8.2. Move List
The move list shows the current list of moves. For a game, this starts out as the full list of moves from the game. If the user is making their own moves, the move list will show those moves. Whether the moves are for a game stored in the database or not, new moves or variations can be added at any point by playing a different move to the next move to be played in the move list. Any move can be clicked on in the move list in order to jump to that position on the board.
4.8.3. Current Opening
Just below the move list is the opening relevant to the current position shown on the board. This is different to the opening a game was tagged with, as it shows the opening the move list would be tagged with if the game finished at the currently selected position. As you move through a move list, the opening will become more specific as the moves continue.
4.8.4. Game Actions
The buttons beneath the move list allow several actions to be taken:
- Report Problem
Due to the large variety of public sources that games have been collected from, inconsistencies are inevitable. Exact duplicates are removed from the database, however there may be near duplicate versions of a game that are incorrect and require removal or correction. The Report Problem button allows you to report problems with a particular game, and the resulting reports will be used to improve the quality of the database. If you are unsure on whether a game score is accurate, you may want to post a link to it in the forum , so others can discuss it.
- Download PGN
The Download PGN buttons allows you to download the PGN of the game you are viewing. The Download PGN button can also be used to download moves,variations or comments you have entered yourself.
- Delete Variation to End
Variations created in the move list can be deleted using the delete variation to end button. When clicked, the currently selected variation is deleted to the end of the line, any sub variations on the deleted moves will also be removed.
- Promote Variation
The Promote Variation button takes the sub-variation holding the currently selected move and swaps it with the parent variation, with the old parent variation becoming a sub-variation.
- Add Comment to Move
After selecting a move in the move list, the add comment button allows you to add a comment to the move. You can select if the comment should appear before or after the move. Once a comment is added, you can edit the comment by clicking on the comment text.
- Previous and Next Game
The next and previous game buttons allow you to move though the results of a game search.
- Reset Board
The reset button returns the board and move list to the initial position.
The reset button clears all existing moves and variations, and these cannot be restored.
- Jump to Novelty
The jump to novelty button moves to the last position in a game that is shared with other games. This means the next move to be played was a novelty, never seen before in any game in the database. The novelty button can be used in combination with the Games for Position tab, which after the Jump to Novelty button is pressed will show the games in the database that were closest to the current game.
NOTE: The jump to novelty button will jump to the last novelty in the game, it is possible that earlier novelties may exist in situations where transpositions led the game back into a more popular line later in the game.
|Currently search filters or database subset choices are not applied to the novelty processing, so the games used for novelty matching use all games in the database.|
4.8.5. Permanent Link
Because games can be loaded directly into the page without causing a page reload, the link at the top of the browser window, may not reflect a link to the current game. To provide a convenient way of saving or book marking links to a game and position, a permanent link is provided beneath the game board. For games this will link to the game and the current position. For moves entered without a game, it will link to a page that will show the current board position, but without the move list.
4.8.6. Material Graph
The material graph shows how the material balance in a game changes over time. This can be used to see key points in the game, both where material has been swapped, or a persistent material advantage has been gained. The graph can be clicked on to move to the relevant point in the move list.
4.8.7. Game Comments
Game comments allow you to add comments that are specific to a particular game.
4.9. Database Subset Selector
The Database selector allows you to conveniently select a subset of games to be used. Database subsets are based on the minimum rating of both players involved in each game. The default subset is 2200+, and subsets up to SuperGM+ (2700+) can be selected. To see the full database select the "All Games" option.
The database subset will effect the game search, the games for position list and the results shown in the opening explorer. The database subset will be ignored if you enter a rating based search in the advanced or quick search.
4.10. Filter Impact Selector
The filter impact selector allows you to choose which elements of the user interface will be impacted by the game search filter. By default the filter impacts both the games for position list, and the opening explorer stats. You can choose to change this to impact only the position list, the opening explorer stats, or neither of the two elements.
4.11. Database Related Board Buttons
The board shown on the database page has the following extra feature:
- Paste Position/Moves
The paste FEN position or moves button beneath the database board allows you to paste either a FEN position or a list of moves in standard PGN format into the database in order to initialize the board to a particular position or move list.
When pasting moves, an entire PGN file is not required, so for example you could paste in
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5in order to see the Sicilian Najdorf, and start exploring further lines in that opening.
When moving through the moves in a game, the game database may indicate that it is busy loading related data, for example when loading opening explorer stats or updating the games for position list. If you want to quickly move though the moves in the game, you do not need to wait for these operations to finish before going on to the next move. If you don’t want to see the opening explorer or games for position results for each position, you can press the arrow keys (or click on the forward/previous buttons) as quickly as you like, without having to wait for the data for the current position to finish loading.
5. Comment System
Comments allow you to express your opinion on tactic and endgame positions, games, players and openings.
5.1. Adding a New Comment
To create a new comment , click on the 'Add' comment button. Please read all existing comments before adding a new one, as someone may have already made the same point, or may have answered a question you plan to ask.
5.2. Comment Voting
Not all comments made are useful or informative. If you think a comment is low quality, then you can use the down vote button ( ) to vote a comment down. Similarly high quality comments can be voted up by using the vote up button ( ).
Please read the Problem Comment Guidelines for the rules and guidelines on commenting on tactic and endgame problems.
5.3. Comment Boards
Comments can include mini-boards which either show a static board position, or a board with a list of moves and variations than can be played through. By default, boards need to be shown by clicking on the 'Show' button, this is to prevent slowing down older browsers on pages with a large number of boards. If you are using a new browser on a fast machine, you may wish to set the 'Automatically show comment boards' option on the 'Other Settings' preferences tab.
Boards can be inserted into a comment using the analysis board or 'Copy Fen' button which has a 'Copy to Comment' option. The 'Copy Fen' option creates a static board position represented by the current position on the board.
Boards can also be inserted manually using the following syntax:
- Board with Moves
[moves start=r5k1/b2brp1p/p1pN1pn1/q1N5/1p2P3/1Q4P1/PP2B1KP/2RR4 b - - 0 1]1... Bh3+ 2. Kxh3 Bxc5 3. Bf3 Bxd6 4. Rxd6 Ne5 5. Rxf6 Kh8 6. Rd6 Rd8 7. Rxd8+ Qxd8 8. Rd1 Rd7 9. Be2 Rxd1 10. Qxd1 [/moves]
- Static Position
[fen]3q3k/5p1p/p1p5/4n3/1p2P3/6PK/PP2B2P/3Q4 b - - 0 10[/fen]
5.4. Editing and Deleting Comments
If your comment is the most recent comment made, then you are allowed to either delete or edit the comment using the Edit or Delete buttons. The Edit button will place your existing comment into the add comment box, and once you have finished editing, the Submit button saves the edited comment.
5.5. My Comments
The 'My Comments' tab on the Problems Page provides a convenient way of viewing replies on problems you have commented on in the past. The 'My Comments' tab shows a list of problems you have commented on, and all the comments on those problems. The problems are ordered such that the problems that have been most recently commented on appear first. This means you can regularly read the list to view new comments on problems you have previously commented on. Your own comments are highlighted, and a colour bar separates the comments of one problem from another.
6. Problem Search and Custom Problem Sets
Problem search allows you to find problems matching a specified criteria, premium users can create custom problem sets based on these criteria.
This section mentions some criteria relevant to Endgame custom sets, but for now the new site does not support endgame custom sets, and these must be created and used on the old site.
6.1. Basic Search
Basic search allows you to choose a rating range and rating type (Blitz/Standard/Mixed for tactics and Theory/Practice for endgames). After clicking the 'Search' button, problems matching your chosen rating range in the chosen rating type will be returned in the problem list. By default the problem list returns all tactics problems, and any sorting is based on the problem number. You can sort by other columns by clicking on the column header.
The problem search results includes the following columns:
- Problem #
Each problem, has a unique number assigned to it, this makes it useful when communicating with others about the problem, for example when posting on the forum. The problem numbers are direct links to the problems. They can can be clicked on, or copy and pasted into the forum or emailed to allow others to go directly to the problem.
The Moves column shows the number of moves in a problem, these are full moves, rather than ply, so 2 moves means at least two moves from the side to play.
This is the current rating of the problem using the selected 'Rating Type', for example if you select 'Blitz' as the rating type then this will be the blitz rating of the problem.
- Av Secs
Average number of seconds taken to solve the problem. Note this only includes successful attempts. The number of seconds is for the rating type selected.
The number of times the problem has been attempted. This is the number of times for the rating type selected, and does not include unrated attempts, or attempts in other rating modes.
- % Correct
The percentage of people who solved the problem correctly. Again, this is for the rating type selected, and does not include unrated attempts, or attempts in other rating modes.
The total number of times you have got the problem correct.
The total number of times you have got the problem wrong.
6.2. Advanced problem search and custom set criteria
Advanced search allows premium users to have greater control over the problem search, it includes criteria for problem specific features, including criteria related to previous attempts on the problems. These criteria can all be saved as custom problem sets for solving against the matching problems on the tactics or endgame training pages.
6.2.1. Advanced Search - Problem Features
- Number of Moves
The number of moves in the tactic. These are full moves, for tactics they are measured as the number of moves the solver must make to complete the problem. For endgames the number of moves is the fastest number of moves to reach mate. Due to pruning, the endgame problems often reach completion before mate is achieved.
- Total Attempts
This is the total number of times a problem has been attempted using the selected rating type. This number is across all solvers, not just the attempts of the person doing the search.
- Tactic Tags
This allows use to select tactic problems based on their tag, such as Fork, Pin etc. To add a new tag, select the tag scope in the first column (Tag or Primary tag, where primary tag is a tag which has the most votes of all tags for the problem). The second column says if you are matching problems with the tag or only problems without the tag. The final column is the actual tag selector. You can add another tag using the + button. By default multiple tags need all tags to match on a problem for the problem to match. To change this, switch from the 'All' choice to the 'Any' choice which means a problem will match if any of the multiple tags match. If you need more complicated matching such as (Fork AND Pin) OR (Discovered attack) you can create tagging groups. Click on the group icon (the three circles next to the + button) to create a new sub-group of the current top level group and enter the criteria for the sub-group. To achieve (Fork AND Pin) OR (Discovered attack), you would create one sub-group with Fork and Pin as multiple tags and the 'All' criteria, and then a top level with one Discovered attack criteria, and have the top level changed from 'All' to 'Any'. You can also choose the tag vote threshold which is how many more up votes than down votes is needed on a tag for it to match. The higher the number, the more certain the tag will be, but the less problems that will match.
- Endgame Type
This allows use to select endgame problems based on the endgame type, for example, KRPKR is the Rook and Pawn versus Rook endgame. To see this option, theory or practice rating type must be selected. Multiple endgame types can be selected. The numbers shown in brackets after each endgame type is the number of problems for that type. Currently only available on old site.
- Tactic Problem Types
Specifies if winning, non-winning, or both types of tactics problems are included in a problem search. Non-winning tactics are those that leave you close to even, and other moves would lead to a losing or lost position.
- Outcome type
The outcome option indicates if you want matching problems to be mates, non-mates or either. This options is only useful for tactics problems, as all endgames are deemed to be 'mates'.
- Quality rating
The quality range option allows you to select problems based on their quality rating. If you want to select a value that is not a whole number that is not supported by the slider, then you can click on the minimum or maximum value to enter an exact value.
- Colour to move
The colour of the pieces controlled by the player solving the problem.
- Number of pieces
The number of pieces on the board at the start of the problem.
- Game move number
The move number in the source game at which the problem starts.
The number of pieces, colour to move and game move number search criteria can be useful when combined with the opening name/ECO code search criteria, allowing you to choose tactics from games that used your opening of choice, and concentrate on the tactics that actually appeared in the opening phase of the game, rather than middle game/endgame positions that happened to arise out of the opening you searched for.
- Comment search
Matches only problems with the supplied search string in one of their problem comments. For example "boden" would return problems where people had discussed Boden’s mate (likely because the problem itself was of that type).
6.2.2. Advanced Search - Previous Attempts
The previous attempts criteria of the advanced search allows you specify problems based on the nature of your previous attempts against them.
- All Problems
This is the default option, and matches any problem, irrespective of your past history with the problem.
- Problems I got wrong at least once
This option specifies that you want to match problems you’ve made mistakes on in the past. This option will match any number of mistakes, and will still match problems you may have gotten correct on subsequent attempts.
- Problems I got right at least once
This option matches problems you have correctly solved in the past. It includes problems you’ve got wrong, as long as you’ve got them correct at least once.
- Problems I have tried
This criteria matches problems you have attempted in the past, irrespective of the outcome.
- Problems I have never tried
This option only matches problems you have never attempted in the past.
- Problems I have never got right
This option matches problems you have not got correct, it is a combination of problems you have never tried, and problems you may have tried, but never been able to solve correctly.
- Problems I always got wrong
The criteria matches problems that you have done in the past, but never been able to solve correctly. This criteria is very useful when creating custom sets designed to review past mistakes.
- Advanced history filter
Allows you to choose explicit ranges of correct and failed attempts to match. For example you can ask for problems you got correct less then 4 times by selecting the correct attempts range from 0 - 3 and leaving the Failed attempts range with the default setting. By default a problem will match if either the correct or failed range matches, however some types of attempt searches may require both range to match, and you can change the Attempt number match type to achieve that.
The problem set attempts criteria can be chosen to apply to all problems, or a subset of problems. All problems is the default , and includes any problem, both from the official sets, and custom sets. The other options are blitz, standard, mixed, theory and practice attempts. If for example you choose standard and apply the 'Problems I always got wrong' then this will match only problems you got wrong in standard mode.
Solve time ranges of the problem attempts can also be chosen, here the solve time is the shortest solve time across all attempts, and is defined in number of seconds. You also choose to include all as yet unsolved problems in the search , which is useful if you want to solve a set of problems until you can solve them all under a specified minimum solve time. You can also choose to only use the most recent solve time for the solve time matching. This allows you to include problems that you may have solved quickly in the past, but where your most recent attempt was slower. Without using the "Use most recent time" option,the time that is matched is the shortest time across all problem attempts.
How recently you have seen a problem can also be used as an attempt filter criteria by entering a "Days since last seen" range. For example setting this to 0-31 would only give you problems you had seen in the last month. Setting it to 31-365 would only give you problems you hadn’t seen for at least a month, but had seen within the last year.
6.2.3. Advanced Search - Set Options
These are options to be applied to any custom set created based on the search criteria.
Rating adjustment method
Allows you to chose the method of rating your custom set, it can use the blitz, mixed or standard rating methods.
Problem selection method
This option selects how problems will be selected from your created problem set:
Randomly select any problem from those that match the search criteria.
- Target my rating
Use the same method used for the Blitz/Standard/Mixed sets which uses a bell curve centered around your rating and selects items based on that curve, meaning that problems close to your rating will be chosen much more often than problem further from your rating.
The sorted options allow you to control what order problems are served up from a custom set. See the sorted sets section for more details.
- Spaced repetition
Select problems from your set based on a spaced repetition selection algorithm. See the spaced repetition section for more details.
6.2.4. Advanced Search - Game details
The advanced searched criteria used in the database is also available in the advanced problem search. This allows you to match problems based on their source game criteria. For example the player (or players) involved, their rating range, or the opening played. Please see the Advanced Search section of the database chapter for more detail on the criteria available here.
Currently only game detail parameters are available for problem search, material search is not yet supported as part of the problem set matching criteria.
6.3. Custom set sorted selection
A sort criteria and sort direction (ascending or descending) can be defined. When you reach the end of an ordered set, the set is reset to start from the beginning, and you can continue to solve any problems left in the set.
Because custom sets are dynamic and any new problems or existing problems that change to meet the criteria of the set search criteria will become available in the set, some problems may appear out of order according to the set’s sort criteria. For example if you are doing a custom set sorted on ascending problem rating with ratings in the 1000-1200 range, and you’ve already done all the problems rated from 1000-1100, but a problem that was previously rated 990 gets a rating adjustment that leads it to become rated over 1000 , then that will be the problem that is served next, as it will be the problem in the set, not yet solved during the current run that has the 'lowest' match on the sort criteria.
Some ordered sets may have no problems left to do after they are complete. For example if you are doing a set ordered on rating and have selected 'Problems I always got wrong', then if you get all the problems in the matching set correct, then the set will eventually become empty. This behaviour allows you to repeat particular problem sets until you have completely mastered them, but without having to solve the same problems many times. In this example when you start getting new problems wrong, the empty set will start to fill up again.
The following ordering options are available:
This is the default ordering, and will serve up matching problems in random order.
- Problem Rating
Sort custom sets by problem rating. Combined with ascending sort direction, this option provides an effective way of creating custom sets that get more difficult as you go through the problems.
- Times Problem Correct
Sorts set by the number of times you have got each problem correct.
- Times Problem Wrong
Sorts custom sets by the number of times you have got each problem wrong. By also choosing descending sort direction, this allows you to be served the problems you’ve had the most difficulty with first.
- Times Problem Done
Sorts custom sets by the number of times you have done each problem. By using ascending sort order, you can use this option to be served unseen problems before those you have seen before.
- Date Last Seen
Allows ordering problems by how long it is since you have seen them. For example when setting the sort direction to ascending you will see the problems whose most recent attempts were the furthest into the past. + NOTE: Dates further into the past are considered 'smaller' than dates closer to the present when sorting is performed.
- Minimum Solve Time
Sorts problems based on the fastest time you have solved them in the past. Using a descending sort direction allows you to do the problems you’ve taken the longest on first.
- Moves in Problem
Sorts problem sets by the number of moves in the problem. The most common use of this criteria is to combine it with outcome type "mate", to create custom sets that first give you mate in 1 problems, and then mate in 2 problems etc. NOTE: For endgame problems, the number of moves is the number of moves to mate from the starting position, not the number of moves to where the problem is pruned.
6.4. Custom set spaced repetition selection
Spaced repetition is a memory learning method that allows you to maximise recall, while minimising learning time. Essentially it tries to present you with problems you are having trouble with more often that those that you have already shown you can do well. You can read more about spaced repetition at the Wikipedia Spaced Repetition Article.
You can create a spaced repetition set by enabling the "Spaced repetition" option for the problem selection type (instead of the default "Random Selection"). The selector can be found just above the problem set ordering options.
For spaced repetition sets, you get two new numbers next to the problem set count at the bottom of the problem board, for example: Problem Set: TestSR ( 91 in set) ( Learning: 8, Scheduled: 4 )
"Learning" is the number of problems in the set that we are currently actively learning.
"Scheduled" is the number of problems that are currently due for review.
When "Scheduled" = 0, each time you do a problem, a new problem will be added to the set for learning. When "Learning" is the same as the number of problems in the set , trying to do problems when Scheduled = 0 will lead to problems being done in order of the next one that would be scheduled (i.e. you’ll be solving problems "early", before they are due for review). If you can’t be given problems early without repeating the last scheduled problem, then you’ll be told you need to wait for the next scheduled problem to be due.
If you get a problem wrong, it will be scheduled for serving again in 5 minutes. The first time you get a problem correct, it is scheduled for review in 1 day from when you solved it. After the second correct attempt in a row, the next problem serving time is determined by the gap between the last two times you saw the problem, and a factor estimating how difficult the problem was for you. The difficulty factor is currently decided by the ratio of your most recent solve time on the problem compared to the average solve time for all users. By default, the problem will be scheduled to be served again at a time that is two times longer than the last time gap between solving it. If you solve it under the average time, then you will not see it again for up to 3 times longer (depending on how much quicker you solved it compared to average). If you solve it slower than the average time, then the gap to the next view will be reduced to as little as 1.3 times the last gap between solutions (again depending on exactly how much slower).
Over time, the problems you know well will get increasingly large gaps between serving times, those you are having trouble with will get served more often, until they too become "well known".
You can use most of the problem search/custom set options with spaced repetition sets, although there are some exceptions. Ordered sets, are not compatible with spaced repetition, as the spaced repetition scheduling will override the sort order of the set. Also some sets such as "problems I’ve never seen before" don’t make sense with SR sets, as they will lead problems to drop out of the set, as soon as you’ve done them the first time. Merged sets are also currently incompatible with spaced repetition sets, so merged sets where one or more subsets are spaced repetition set types will not work as expected.
It can be useful to create spaced repetition sets based on a custom tag as the search criteria , so you can add specific problems to your spaced repetition set by tagging the problems. However, you can also use other search criteria such as "all forks from 1200-1400" etc to define set membership.
6.4.1. Spaced Repetition Options
gap_factor=max(min(log(DIFFICULTY_ESTIMATE)+Spacing Growth Rate),Maximum Space Grow),Minimum Space Growth)
next gap interval = last_gap * gap_factor
So for example if the difficulty estimate is 1.0, Spacing Growth Rate is 2.0 and Maximum and Minimum space growth is 3.0 and 1.0, and the last gap between correct attempts on the problem was 10 days. The gap factor will be:
2.0 so the next attempt on this problem will be scheduled 10 days *2.0 = 20 days into the future. A more difficult problem (i.e. one which was solved more slowly) would have a smaller gap factor, and would be served up again more quickly, how quickly would depend on how slow the attempt was, and the value of the Minimum Space Growth parameter.
DIFFICULTY_ESTIMATE is a value that approximates how hard you found your last attempt on the problem. The value used here depends on the difficulty estimate method chosen.
The current list of parameters are:
- Learning Period Length (in Problems)
The learning period is a period during which the gap between problems is not expanding , and instead uses a fixed gap between attempts. This gives you a chance to learn the problem with quickly scheduled attempts, before you switch to trying to retain the problem in memory during the spacing of subsequent attempts on the problem. By default, only the first correct attempt generates a fixed gap, after 2 or more correct attempts, the spacing algorithm mentioned above is applied.
- Learning Period Gap (in days)
This is the fixed gap between correct problem attempts during the initial learning period (e.g. 1 day).
- Spacing Growth Rate
Controls how quickly the gap between correct attempts will grow. Larger numbers lead to a more rapidly expanding gap after each correct attempt.
- Minimum Space Growth
The minimum growth rate that the previous gap between attempts will be multiplied by to give the next gap in serving time.
- Maximum Space Growth
The maximum growth rate that the previous gap between attempts will be multiplied by to give the next gap in serving time.
- Difficulty Estimate Method
This option selects the method used to determine the difficulty of the previous correct attempt on the problem. The difficulty estimate then helps control how quickly the next attempt will be scheduled. Methods are: +
- Average Time
Difficulty is estimated by your most recent solve time compared to the average solve time by all users on the problem.
- Minimum Time
Difficulty is estimated by comparing your shortest time during the current sequence of correct attempts to your most recent solve time.
- Recent Time
Difficulty is estimated by comparing the average solve time of your own current sequence of correct attempts to your most recent solve time.
- Target Seconds/Move
Difficulty is estimated by comparing a fixed amount of time per move to your most recent correct solve time (in which case the time you took on the last attempt is also calculated as seconds/move).
- Target Seconds/Problem
Difficulty is estimated by comparing a fixed total problem solve time to your most recent correct solve time on the problem.
6.5. Creating Custom Problem Sets
The first step in creating a custom problem set is to create search and ordering criteria that you would like to have used in your custom set. Once the search and ordering criteria are set, you can use the "Search" button to check which problems will be included in your set, and the order of those problems (where ordering has been requested). If you are satisfied with the results shown, you can then use the "Create Set" button to turn the search into a custom set. Choose a name for the set (preferably something that helps you to remember the criteria for the set), and click the "Create" button to confirm the creation of the set.
Once you have created a problem set you need to choose it as your current problem set in order to use it. You can choose to set it as the current upon creation or you can change the set on the solving page or in your preferences.
Custom problem sets are dynamic, such that new problems may enter the set at any time. For example if you create a set with the "problems I always got wrong" criteria, and end up solving all those problems, then if you get more problems wrong in the future, they will automatically appear in this set, and will not be removed until you get them correct.
6.6. Managing Custom Problem Sets
the Managing sets button launches the manage problem sets panel from where you can delete, merge, view or edit existing custom sets. After selecting a set and clicking show you will be given the search results based on the criteria of the problem set. If you wish to modify the set, you can change any of the options and chose the Save set button to save the new settings over the old set.create a new custom problem set with the modified criteria (the original problem set will not be changed). If you click multiple problem sets, you can also click the Merge button, to merge multiple sets into one "super" set. Please see the Creating Merged Problem Sets section for more details on merging sets.
6.7. Creating Merged Problem Sets
Merged custom sets allow you to merge several existing custom sets into one merged set. You can select the weights of each subset to control how many problems from each subset will be served. For example you could create three subsets Fork, Pin and Discovered Attack, asking for 70% forks, 20% pins and 10% discovered attacks. Another example would be a merged subset of mate and non-mate sets with say 80% non-mates and 20% mates, you could also merge a larger number of sets, and control mates versus non-mates based on mate length, so for example 80% non-mates, 15% mate in ones, and 5% mate in twos. Problem attempt based sets can also be merged, for example, two sets for problems you have seen before and problems you have not seen before could be merged with say a 90% weight on new problems and 10% on old problems, allowing you to review old problems on average 1 in every 10 attempts. Any existing user created custom sets can be merged as long as all subsets are of the same problem type, i.e. you cannot merge tactic and endgame sets.
To merge sets you need to go to the manage custom problem sets panel (see Managing Custom Problem Sets section of the manual). You can then select the two, or more problem sets you wish to merge, and then click the Merge button. You will then be prompted to enter a name for the new merged set, ad will need to provide percentage weights for each subset. Weights will need to total 100%.
Once you have chosen your merged set as your current problem set, problems will be served up based on the percentage weights you have provided.
Short term random fluctuations may occur in merged set distribution, where one set may be used more than others, in the long term however, the distribution will match the requested weighting.
7. Problem Tagging
Problem tagging allows you to mark the tactical motifs on tactical problems and to create custom tags for personal tagging requirements. Voting allows you to vote for a new tag, or for or against an existing tag.
7.1. Tag Display
Tags that have 2 or more votes in favour than against are shown in bright green, and are considered active. Tags which have at least as many votes against as votes for, are are shown in red and are considered inactive. Tags with only one more vote for than against are shown in drab green, these are "pending" tags. Tags that have been overwhelmingly voted against are not displayed at all.
The number of votes for and against each tag is shown in brackets after the tags. To avoid clutter, votes are not shown on tags that have an overwhelming number of votes in favour.
7.2. Tag Voting
There are two ways of voting for or against tags, when the existing votes for the tag are shown, extra votes can be made by clicking on the + or - vote count in order to vote for or against the tag.
Alternatively the + Tag and - Tag buttons can be used. The + Tag button is the only way of voting for a new tag, or adding an extra tag for existing green tags that don’t show vote counts.
7.3. Needs More Moves and Different Opponent Move Tags
Needs more moves and Different Opponent Move tags allow you to add suggestions on how to improve a problem.
Needs more move tags allow you to suggest a move to continue the line when the problem may finish too early to show the point of the tactic. Only the first move in the follow up line should be entered, and when processed later, the engine will try to further extend the line from that move.
Needs different opponent move tags let you suggest a different move for the opponent that might allow the point of the position to be shown more clearly. Only a single move should be entered, and it should replace an existing move by the opponent in the main line of the tactic.
7.4. Custom Tags
Custom tags allow you to create your own tags and tag problems with those new tags. There are several uses for custom tags, one is to act as a bookmarking system where you can create a 'favourites' tag, and tag problems with that tag. Another is to create a 'review' tag and tag problems you feel you need to review at a later stage, when you’ve reviewed the problem, you can remove the tag.
Custom tags can be used to search problems with those tags in the advanced problem search where they are shown in the tactical motifs/tags list. Custom tags are most powerful when combined with custom problem sets. For example , using the 'review' example above, you could tag problems with the 'review' tag, and create a custom 'review' problem set which matches problems with this tag. This could be combined with the 'Problems I always got wrong' criteria to produce a review custom set that keeps giving you the review problems until you’ve successfully got them correct.
To create a new custom tag, click the Create Tag button next to the tag voting buttons, enter the tag name, and click Create to confirm the new tag. After creating the new tag, you can start adding it to problems in the same way you add existing tactical motif tags.
8. User Preferences
The user preference settings are available via a link in the top right hand corner of all non-forum pages. It allows customization of many of the site features, and is also where you choose your current problem set.
8.1. Problem Set
- Tactics Problem Set
Selects the problem set to be used for tactics problems. There are three groups of problem types, rated, unrated and personal. Rated includes the officially rated sets such as Standard and Blitz sets. Unrated includes any of the default custom sets such as Mate in 1, Fork etc. Personal is where any tactical custom sets you create are placed.
- Endgame Problem Set
Selects the problem set to be used for endgame problem solving. There are rated and personal folders, where the personal folder holds any custom endgame problem sets you may have created.
Three choices of hard, normal and easy. This option allows you to select the difficult of problems you receive when solving rated problems. What the option does is actually shift the average rating of problems you are given. 'Hard' mode serves up problems targeted at your current rating level, so on average, problem rating will match your own rating. The default 'medium' difficulty gives problems that are on average 100 rating points below your current rating, and 'easy' gives problems that are on average 200 rating points below your current rating. You should expect different success rates at each level of difficulty, and these different success rates ensures that on average, there is no total rating advantage to any of these modes.
- Continue on
The "Continue On" option defines under what conditions you automatically continue on to the next problem after completely the current one. You can choose to continue automatically when failing a problem, getting a problem correct, or never (by selecting neither of the options). Continue on fail is not recommended, as it is a good idea if you review your mistakes before continuing on to the next problem.
8.2. All Boards
These preferences apply to options specific to the old UI chess boards shown on older Chesstempo pages. These settings are only available when launched from one of pages using the older boards, such as the game database or endgame training page. For newer boards, many of these settings are available by clicking on the board settings icon in the left corner of the board.
- Highlight Last Move Squares
If this option is turned on, the from and to squares of the last piece to move are highlighted on the board, allowing you to easily identify the last move made. This option can be especially useful on tactic problems, where sometimes the previous opponent move can be important in deciding your response, either by giving some extra context to the problem - or more directly - if the move was a pawn move that allowed an en-passant capture.
- Highlight Drop Square
When this option is enabled, the square a piece will drop on during drag and drop piece movement is highlighted. If the square of the drop location is a legal move, the square will be coloured green, otherwise it will be coloured red. This option is highly recommended if you are experiencing mouse slips, as it clearly shows where the piece will be dropped when you let go of the mouse which can be a source of confusion if the piece was dragged from off-centre.
- Disable Drag and Drop
This option turns off Drag and Drop piece movement, and you must rely only on click-and-click for piece movement. If you only use click-and-click it is recommended you turn this off as it saves some browser resources that would otherwise be used.
NOTE: You need to reload the page if you change this option, and if this option is off you must make sure click and click piece moved is not also disabled, otherwise piece movement will be impossible.
- Disable Click and Click
This disables Click-and-Click piece movement, the most common reason for wanting to disable this is to remove the square highlighting associated with this mode of movement, as even when drag and drop mode is used exclusively, the source square is still highlighted when the drag is initialized.
NOTE: If this option is off you must make sure drag and drop is not also disabled.
8.3. Problem Board
Options in this section are relevant to the Problem boards, that is the Tactic and Endgame solving boards. Some of the options are only available with the old preferences panel available on pages using the old board UI, such as the game database and endgame training page. For pages with the new board UI such as tactics, playing and guess the move, some of these settings are available directly on the board settings by clicking on the settings icon in the top left of the board.
- Piece Style
Selects the style of the pieces to be used.
- Piece Size
Selects the size of pieces. Piece sizes are in pixels.
- Board Style
Selects the board style which defines the colour scheme used for the board.
- Show Coordinates
Enabling this option shows the row and column identifiers around the edge of the board. It also enables the 'board flipper' icon in the bottom left which allows the user to flip the orientation of the board on demand.
- Play Board Sounds
This option turns on board sounds such as piece movement and piece take sounds.
NOTE: This option is only available for the latest versions of Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. Internet Explorer is not supported until Internet Explorer 9 is available.
- Board Orientation
This option allows you to view problems from the losing side’s point of view. Some users use this mode to help train in finding threats your opponent may have against you.
8.4. Analysis Board
The analysis board options allow you to change settings relevant to the Chesstempo Analysis Board. The options for the analysis board are the same as the first 5 options for the Problem board, and are covered in detail in the Problem Board Options section. This preferences tab is only available on pages using the old board UI.
8.5. Game Database
The game database options allow you to set options relevant to the Chesstempo Game Database. The options for the game database board are the same as the first 5 options for the Problem board, and are covered in detail in the Problem Board Options section.
8.6. Play Computer
The Play Computer preferences contain the options for the Play against Computer feature, they share the board and piece options with the Problem Board Options. Other options are:
- Eval Visibility
Determines if the computer evaluation of the position is shown by default.
- Play Position Max Depth
Defines the maximum depth the engine will analyse when using the 'Play Position' feature.
- Play Position Max Think Time
Defines the maximum thinking time in seconds used by the engine when using the 'Play Position' feature. The engine will return a result when this time is reached, or earlier if the Maximum Depth is reached before the think time has expired. The larger the think time and depth, the more accurate the analysis will be.
8.7. Guess The Move
The Guess The Move tab holds preferences relevant to the Guess The Move feature.
- Move to Next Move
Selects if the game moves to the next move automatically after providing the score for your current move, or only after clicking the next move button.
Playing preferences covers settings for play online feature, and are broken down into sub-tabs.
8.8.1. Playing - Display
- Player name and clock layout
There are currently three options on where the player name and clock can be positioned relative to the board. The 'beside board - top/bottom' option has the names to the right of the board, with one name above the move list, and the other name at the bottom of the right panel below the chat. 'Beside board - top' is similar to the beside board top/bottom option except that both names are together above the move list. 'Above and below board' places the names directly above and below the board.
The layout settings are the default only, if you have a 'beside board' position set, but resize the board such that the game panel is not wide enough to hold the player name and clock, then they will be moved to an 'Above and below board' position.
- Hide Ratings in Game Tab
This option allows you to hide the ratings of you and your opponent, and any output showing rating adjustments after a game. This option is intended for those who find rating information distracting while they play. It only applies to information shown within the game tab, or notifications related to the current game. It will not hide ratings in places like the challenge list or user list.
8.8.2. Playing - Correspondence
- Confirm All Correspondence Moves
This setting turns on the confirm move board settings for all correspondence games. It overrides the game board setting, and forces the confirm move button to be used in all correspondence games. This means you can turn the per board confirm move option off to play live games, and have it automatically turned on when you play correspondence games without impacting the setting for live games.
- Correspondence Email Notifications
The correspondence notification settings allow you to turn on email notifications seperately for move notifications, game state changes (start, end, draw offers etc), and time warnings. Time warnings are sent when your clock dips below 12 hours of time remaining. These options will be on by default if you gave permission for Chesstempo to send you email related to the site when first registering. If you did not give permission and want email notifications, then you will need to turn the options on here.
Account preferences controls settings specific to your Chesstempo user account, such as email address and password.
- Current Password
To change your password or email or you first need to enter your current password for authentication.
- Change Password
After entering your current password, you can change you password by entering the new password and a confirmation to make sure you’ve typed the password correctly.
After entering your current password, you can also choose a new email address. A verification email will be sent to your new address, and needs to be clicked before the email update is completed. Please check your spam folder if you don’t see the verification email in your inbox.
This section holds options that do not fit into other areas.
- Automatically Show Comment Boards
By default comment boards are displayed with the analysis moves and a Show Board button that can be used to show the board and play out the analysis moves. The main reason this is the default option is that slower browsers or machine can have performance problems on pages with lots of comment boards, if all the boards are displayed at once. If you are running the latest version of a modern browser and have a fast machine, this might not be a problem for you, and you may want to enable this option to avoid having to click Show board .
- Display Show Solution Button
The "Show Solution" button option now allows you to avoid seeing the solution immediately after a problem is complete, allowing you to continue to search for the best move after failing a problem, and eventually clicking the "Show Solution" button in order to see to answer. This option is off by default.
- Show Problem Start Dialog
The start problem dialog displays a dialog on problem solving pages that requires you to click start before commencing problem solving. This is to avoid a problem starting before you are ready, which can be important for timed solving modes like blitz tactics solving.
NOTE: This setting also turns on functionality to check if all board piece images are loaded before the problem starts. If you click the start button before pieces are loaded, you will be asked to try again. Turning off this option, will also turn off the image checking.
- FIDE Id #
Chesstempo collects FIDE Id#'s for three reasons. The first is that it used to display title information next to usernames, and secondly, it is used to collect stats that allow the effectiveness of different training techniques to be made. The final reason is that it provides data used in creating the regression equation used to provide FIDE estimates. If you have a FIDE id, please enter it here, it is kept confidential , and FIDE ids entered are not visible to other users.
- USCF id #
USCF Identification number, this is requested for similar reasons to the FIDE id.
- ICC Username
ICC username, this is requested for similar reasons to the FIDE id.
9. My Stats
The "My Stats" page shows a variety of statistics and graphs related to the user’s activities on Chesstempo.
9.1. Statistics Summary
The summary tab, provides an overview of the users performance across a variety of areas. If the user is a premium member, their membership level and membership expiry date are also shown at the top of the page.
The top of the summary page shows the total time spent solving (with very large solve times removed, as they are usually the result of having left a problem with the clock running). The total number of star ratings, comments and tags added to the system are also shown.
9.1.1. Rated Stats Summary
For each rating type the following details are shown:
The current rating.
The current RD. RD is a measure of rating stability , and is also used to determine if a user is currently active. For problem ratings, having an RD less than 70 is the trigger for becoming active. When your RD is high, you receive larger rating movements. As your RD decreases your rating becomes more stable, and you receive smaller rating adjustments.
- Best and Worst Active Rating
Shows the lowest and highest rating achieved while active.
- Active Rank
Shows the current rank for this rating type amongst all active users (assuming the user them self is currently active).
- Best Active/Worst Active Rank
Shows the highest and lowest rank achieved for this rating type.
Shows the number of rated events for the rating type, for problems, this is the number of problems done. The number of successful and unsuccessful events are shown (Correct and failed problems for problem ratings), as is the total percentage success rate.
- Average Recent time spent
The average time spent per problem attempt over recent problems.
- FIDE Estimate
Blitz and Standard ratings have an associated FIDE rating estimate based on a regression equation designed to estimate FIDE rating based on analysis of several factors and their correlation with actual FIDE ratings.
NOTE: The FIDE rating estimate, is just that , an estimate, while on average it is within around 150 rating points of your actual FIDE rating, however there will be large differences for some users, and therefore the estimate should not be taken too seriously.
9.1.2. Activity Calendar
The activity calendar shows a month by month daily view of your problem solving activity. The top of the calendar shows the current year and month along with how many problems were done for the month, how many were correct and the percentage success rate and number of hours spent solving.
Each day shows the number correct, number done and success rate. You can hover your mouse over each day to see further details of that day, including a breakdown of the different rating types, and the gain or loss for each rating type across all attempts for each rating type during that day. The total hours spent each day can also be seen on the mouse over details.
The calendar can be moved backwards and forwards in time by clicking the left and right arrows at the top of the calendar.
9.1.3. Problem History
The problem history table allows you to view a record of all your problem attempts, the following columns are shown on the table:
The number of the problem attempt, the most recent problem is marked 1, the second most recent 2, etc.
The date and time the attempt was made, this should be displayed relative to your local time zone.
- Problem Id
The ID number of the problem attempted. The problem ids are also links, and clicking on them will go to the problem page showing that particular problem.
The problem rating before the solving attempt.
This is the type of problem set you were using when solving the problem, for example blitz, standard etc. For custom problem sets, this will show the name of the custom problem set.
- Av Secs
This column shows the average solve time for this problem, this is the current average solve time, which may not be the same as the average at the time the problem was solved.
- Solve Time
This shows the amount of time required to solve the problem.
- After First
This column shows the amount of time spent after the first move was made. This is important in blitz mode where time after first is punished at a higher rate than time spent before the first move.
- User Rating
This column shows the users new rating, and the rating change made to reach it.
- Wrong Move
For tactical problems this column shows the mistake move for incorrect problems.
The history table rows are colour coded to show success and failure, with green for correct problems, and red for incorrect problems. Problems that were correct but lost rating points due to taking too long in blitz or playing too many sub-optimal moves in endgame problems are shown in a drab olive colour.
The history table can be sorted by clicking on the column headings.
Beneath the history table is a Download History button that can be used to download the entire history in a spreadsheet compatible format. This allows you to easily load your data into a spreadsheet and perform your own analysis on the data.
Problem History Filter and Summary Statistics
By clicking the Show Filters button above the problem history table, you can enter search criteria used to filter your problem attempt history. You also receive summary stats for the filtered results, such as accuracy, performance rating, average time taken etc. By performing two searches in a row, with different filter criteria,you can compare the differences between your solving patterns based on the different filtering criteria. For example how your performance differs across different time periods, or different tag types, or how performance changes when you take different amounts of time on a problem. The following list describes the available filters:
- Duplicate Status
Selects if matching problems including all attempts, or only duplicates or non-duplicates.
NOTE: Duplicate status is only accurate for problem attempts made after 26th of June 2010.
- Problem Type
Allows you to choose if all problem attempts, or only tactic or endgame problems will be returned.
- Correct Status
Allows you to filter based on correct or incorrect problem attempts.
- Tactic Type
Allows you to select problems based on tags, for example selecting Pin and Attraction tags, will only return problem attempts tagged with at least one of those tags (in other words multiple selections are treated as "tag 1" OR "tag 2" OR "tag 3").
- Endgame Type
Filters endgame problems based on the endgame type of the problem, like tactic type filtering multiple selections are treated as "type 1" OR "type 2" OR "type 3".
- Problem Set
Allows filtering based on the problem set an attempt came from. As well as the official rated Standard, Blitz, Theory and Practice sets, you can also choose any of your custom sets here.
- Time Used
Filters based on the number of seconds used to solve a problem, for example chosing a range of 0 to 10 will return all problems solved in 10 seconds or less.
- Date Range
Choose the time range to filter problems attempts by. This filter criteria can be useful in comparing performance changes over time, for example by comparing the previous 6 months, to the 6 month period before that.
- Attempt Range
Allows you to filter based on sequential attempt number, like the Date Range filter , this can also be used to compare performace over time, for example, comparing problem attempts 1-1000 to problem attempts 1001-2000. Problem attempt number 1 is always the most recent attempt, so as the number for the end of the range grows, you are looking at older problem attempts.
- Problem Rating Range
Allows filtering on the rating of your problem attempts.
- User Rating Range
Allows filtering on your rating during your problem attempts. For example setting the range to 1200-1400 would return problem attempts done while your rating was in that range.
- Points Gained
Filter attempts based on how many rating points you gained (or lost). For example setting the range to -100 to 0 would return problem attempts where you either gained no points, or lost up to as much as 100 points. This kind of filter is useful for blitz or endgame filtering, where being correct is not the only measure of problem success.
After clicking on the Filter button, you will be given a list of summary stats for the matching problems, and if you had performed a previous filter, a comparison between the current filter and previous filter will be shown in the "Change" column. The following summary statistics are provided:
- Performance Rating
A performance rating based only on the current filtered results.
NOTE: Peformance rating is based purely on success rate and problem rating, it does not include elements such as time taken, or number of moves, even if the problem attempts were done in blitz or an endgame mode.
- Average User Rating
Average rating of the user across the filtered problem attempts.
- Best User Rating
Best rating of the user across the filtered problem attempts.
- Worst User Rating
Worst rating of the user across the filtered problem attempts.
- Best Percentile Rank
Best percentile rank of the user across the filtered problem attempts.
- Worst Percentile Rank
Worst percentile rank of the user across the filtered problem attempts.
Percentage accuracy achieved over the filtered problem attempts.
- Average Time
Your own average solve time over the filtered problem attempts.
- Average Time All Solvers
The average solve time of all users on the problems in your filtered problem attempts. Comparing this to the "Average Time" of your own solve times gives you an idea of how your solve times compare to the average for the current filter.
- Average Time Correct
Shows the average of your own solve time for filtered attempts that were correct.
- Average Time Incorrect
Shows the average of your own solve time for filtered attempts that were incorrect.
- Average Time After First
Shows the average time taken to solve the filtered problems after your first move.
- Average Problem Rating
The average problem rating of filter attempts. Gives you an estimate of the difficulty of the filtered problems.
- Highest Problem Rating
The highest rating of any problem in your filtered problem attempts.
- Lowest Problem Rating
The lowest rating of any problem in your filtered problem attempts.
- Total Non-Duplicates
The total number of non-duplicate problem attempts in your filtered problem attempts.
NOTE: Duplicate status is only accurate for problem attempts made after 26th of June 2010.
- Total Duplicates
The total number of duplicate problem attempts in your filtered problem attempts.
NOTE: Duplicate status is only accurate for problem attempts made after 26th of June 2010.
- Total Time Taken (including outliers)
The total time taken across all your filtered problem attempts.
- Total Points Gained
The rating points gained across all your filtered problem attempts.
9.2. Tactics Stats
This tab shows stats relevant to tactics problem performance. The following graphs and tables for each of the rating types:
- Rating Graph
A graph of ratings across time. Like all the graphs on this page, more detail can be seen by zooming in a particular area by selecting the area with the mouse. You can see the date associate with any point in the graph by moving the mouse to that point, and the date and rating are shown in the top left of the graph.
- Percentile Rank
A graph showing the percentile rank of the user.
- Rating Fluctuations Graph
Candlestick graph showing daily rating fluctuations over the last month. Each vertical bar represents the rating range for the day. The solid rectangular part of the bar show the starting and ending range of the rating for the day. The narrow lines at the top and bottom of the bars show the full fluctuation range for the rating during that day. For example if the rating started at 2000, ended at 2020 but ranged as low as 1950 and as high as 2030 then there would be a solid rectangle from 2000 to 2020, and narrow vertical lines from 2000 to 1950 at the bottom of the rectangle, and a shorter one from 2020 to 2030. Days that had a total rating gain are marked green, days with a total rating loss are marked red.
- Problem Rating Distribution
This graph shows the how the rating of the problems being attempted are distributed. The green bars, show the number of correct problems within that rating range, and the red bars show the number of incorrect problems within the rating range.
- Tactical Motif Performance Table
This table shows the user’s performance for each of the tactical motif tags. For each tag type, the average rating (blitz and standard), number correct/number done, accuracy and performance rating for blitz and standard attempts are shown. Performance for problems tagged with Custom Tags are also shown. This table can be used to identify relative tactical weaknesses, and you may want to consider using this data to concentrate on motifs you are performing poorly on, via custom problem sets specific to those motifs.
- Unrated Problem Set Performance
This table shows the personal rating (current,minimum and maximum), average time, number correct, number done, and accuracy achieved for each of the unrated custom problem sets (or rather, non-officially rated, as these sets all have their own personal per user rating). Custom sets with rated attempts (any custom set with attempts made after November 29th 2010) can now have graphs shown for rating history, problem rating distribution, and daily rating fluctuations. You can access the graphs by clicking on the View button shown next to each relevant rows in the table.
9.3. Endgame Stats
The endgame stats page is identical to the Tactics Stats page, except that it does not include the Tactical Motif performance table, please see the Tactics Stats section for more details on the available graphs.
10. Training Targets
Training targets provide a way of setting training goals, such as the number of problems per day you want to try to solve, or a particular rating you want to achieve. Feedback is provided on progress towards your goal as you perform activities on the site related to your goals such as problem solving or game playing.
To create a new training target go to the training targets page available on the training menu. Enter your training target details and then click the create button to create your new target.
10.1. Training Target settings
The name of training target. To avoid clutter in the notification panels, smaller names are better.
- Training Type
The training area type such as Tactics, Endgames, Guess the Move and Playing. Setting this will also display a second area specific type selector so you can choose sub types such as Standard/Blitz/Mixed for tactics or Bullet/Blitz/Rapid etc for playing.
- Target Type
The type of target you will be aiming for. Number targets target a number of attempts, so for example 10 tactics attempted. Number won/correct targets only won games or correct problems. Rating target, rank target and percentile target all target a particular rating, rank or percentile rank for the activity.
- Period Type
There are two period types. Calendar period types target a goal for a particular calendar period (day, week, month or year). End date periods specify a target that must be completed by a particular date. For calendar period types you need to pick the period (day, week, month or year) , the period span (e.g. selecting 2 and days will create a target that needs to be achieved over two days) and the start of the period (default to now if not selected). If you want the target to repeat at the end of the period then tick the repeating target checkbox. For example if you want try to solve 10 problems every day, then choose the calendar period type, a period of day and a span of 1, and then tick the repeating target checkbox. You will have until midnight in your current timezone to complete the target, and the target will reset at the end of each day.
- Assign to
The assignment field allows you to assign training targets to students. Multiple students can be entered by separating their usernames with a comma. Coaches get extra details on student training target progress on their student stats page.
Achievements and achievement badges provide motivation and progress tracking. Badges and associated points are awarded for completing tasks on the site. These tasks include achieving personal bests, achieving volume based goals, such as number of problems solved or games played, success and activity streaks and exploration of site features.
Your preferences has a tab for achievement related settings, and if you would like to turn off achievement notifications you can do so there. Achievements will still be tracked, but you will need to go to your achievement stats page to see which achievements have been completed. If you would like less obtrusive noticiations, change notification method from dialog to notification panel which will use an automatically hidden slide out panel to the right of the page to display all achievements rather than a large dialog centered in the page. Note that for frequently awarded achievements they will often be shown as notification panels instead of dialogs to avoid disrupting your sessions.
Achievements are calculated based on data collected after the achievements system was put in place. This means awards such as all time personal bests are for personal bests achieved after the achievements system existed, so may not include your peak rating if that was achieved before the achievement system was created.
11.1. Achievement Stats
You can see your completed achievement badges by going to the achievements tab on your stats page. Click on the incomplete acheivements tab to see a list of all the incomplete achievements and an indication of any progress that has been made towards each badges completion.
If you’d like to see details activity stats that the achievements are based on , you can see the details on the activity stats tab of your stats page.
11.2. Achievement Points Leaderboard
The achievement points leaderboard allows you to see a list of the top point scorers for the week, month, year and all time. Your current rank and number of points for the period are also shown.
11.3. Achievement Types
- Feature Exploration
Badges awarded after a site feature has been used.
- Activity Streaks
Badges awarded for consecutive days or weeks of continual activity in an area. For example, a daily tactics streak of 10 is achieved by solving tactical problems for 10 consecutive days in a row. A weekly tactics streak of 6 would be achieved by solving at least once a week for 6 weeks. Activity streaks are tracked for tactics, endgames, guess the move, and online play. There is also a global activity streak tracker which is a daily streak maintained by being active in any activity on the site. For example if you solve tactics problems one day, and play games the next day, that would be an activity streak of 2. The current global activity streak is shown at the top of most pages on the site, and a tick on the streak icon indicates you have achieved your daily activity for today.
NOTE: Activity streak days are based on the time in your current timezone. Weeks are measured with Monday as the first day of the week.
- Comment Likes
Badges awarded based on the number of comment likes received from other users.
- Success Sequences
Badges awarded for sequences of successful outcomes. For example when solving tactics, 10 correct in a row would be a success sequence of 10. Similarly, 10 won online games in a row would also be a success sequence of 10. Success sequences are tracked for sub types of an activity, so you if you get 5 blitz problems correct, then 1 standard problem wrong, then 5 more blitz problems correct, that is still a success sequence of 10 in blitz problems. The same applies for different rating types in online play.
- Successes In Period
Successes in period tracks the number of successes for periods of an hour, day, week, month or year. For example if you win 20 games in a week that is a weekly success number of 20.
- Total Time Spent
Total time spent tracks achievements for the total time spent on each activity area. Outliers are truncated when calculating these values to avoid accounting for time spent while a CT page is open but not being actively used.
Badges for upsets are awarded for success against an opponent or training problem well above your own rating.
- Personal Best Activity Streaks
Your personal best for each activity type is tracked and badges are awarded for achieving a new personal best.
- Personal Best Defeated Opponent Ratings
This tracks your all time high oppenent rating for won games or correct problems.
- Personal Best Highest Ratings
Badges awarded when all time high ratings achieved in any of the activities.
- Personal Best Success Sequences
Badges related to all time high runs of success (won games/correct problems).
- Personal Best Successes in Period
Achievements for reaching new personal records for total correct problems or won games in a period.
12. Analysis Board
The Analysis Board allows you to explore different lines in a position, add and remove variations and annotations, and copy the results to a comment if required.
- Copy to Comment
Copies all of the current analysis to a comment on the entity the board was launched from. The label for the copy comment button changes to reflect the target entity. For examples if you launched the analysis board from a board showing a game in the chess database, then the label will be "Copy to Game Comment".
- Copy Selection to Comment
If you drag the mouse over a subset of the move list, you can copy only the selected moves to a comment.
- Delete to End
This button deletes all moves from the currently selected move to the end of the line, any variations and annotations attached to the deleted moves will also be copied. If you want to delete the entire line, then select the first move before using this button.
- Promote Variation
This button promotes a variation into a main line (or parent variation for deeply nested variations). For the simple case where there is a variation straight off the main line, this button will promote the variation to become the new main line, and the existing main line will become a sub-variation to the main line. To operate the button, select any move in the variation you wish to promote, and then click the button.
- Annotation Entry
To add an annotation to your analysis, enter the text of your annotation comment in the before move or after move annotation boxes, and then click on save, the comment will be added in the appropriate position in the move list relative to the currently selected move.
- Engine Analysis…
Displays the engine analysis panel. See the Engine Analysis Section of the User Guide for more details.
13. Engine Analysis
Engine analysis allows you to use chess engines running on your own machine to analyse games and positions on Chesstempo.
13.1. Engine Settings
The Engine Settings Page allows you to add new chess engines to be used by the engine analysis feature, and lets you configure and manage existing engines. Before the engine analysis feature can be used, at least one engine must be added.
To add a new engine, use the Add New UCI Engine button. You will be shown a window allowing you to find the engine executable on your computer hard drive. This must be a UCI compatible engine. UCI is a standard used to communicate with chess engines, most modern chess engines utilise the UCI protocol. It is important that you select the actual engine executable and not the executable of the user interface that comes with the engine. This is an especially important point on Mac OS X where the .app file associated with your engine is actually a directory hiding the engine executable, not the executable itself. Once selected, you will be shown the engine name and all the configurable parameters of the engine.
By default, engines are identified by the name provided by the engine author. You can however change the engine nickname to use your own identifier. This allows you to have the same engine with different settings, or to make it clear which engine you are using when you have added engines on different machines, with different engine executable locations.
The file location of engines is specific to the machine they are added on. If you use the engine analysis feature on multiple machines and have different engines or different file locations for your engine, then you will need to add a different engine for each machine and you must select the appropriate engine on the machine you are currently using when wanting to perform engine analysis. Using the engine nicknames can help make it clear which engine matches which machine and will assist in more easily switching between the appropriate engine when using multiple machines.
If you change any engine parameters (including the engine nickname), you need to click the Save Options button to save the setings to the server.
If you want to remove an engine from your available engine list, use the Discard Engine button. Note, that this only removes the record of the engine from your Chesstempo settings, the engine itself will remain on your computer’s hard drive.
If you add a new engine, you will need to reload any existing pages providing analysis features before your new engine will become visible.
13.2. Analysis Panel
The engine analysis panel shows engine analysis results, and allows you to start and stop analysis, control the number of lines analysed, and initiate full game annotations.
The analysis panel has the following buttons:
- Go - Start Engine Analysis
Starts analysing the current position shown on the board. Analysis will continue until the Stop button is clicked, or the page holding the analysis panel is closed.
- Stop - Stop Engine Analysis
Stop engine analysis. You can leave the engine running while using other pages, however you should stop the engine when you’ve finished using it, as it will use up CPU on your machine while still running. Closing a window with a running engine should automatically stop the engine.
- Annotate - Annotate Game
The Annotate feature allows you to use the engine to analyse a full game. It is described in more detail in the Annotate Game section of the User Guide.
- Lock/Unlock Engine - Lock the engine to the current position
The lock/unlock button allows you to control if the engine follows the current position as you move around the move list. If the engine is locked, it will continue to analyse the current position until the engine is stopped, and restarted on a new position. When unlocked, the engine will automatically start analysing new positions as you move through the move list.
- Engine Settings - Jump to engine settings page
The engine settings button launches the engine settings window. Any new engines added will require a page load before showing up in the engine list.
- Decrease Lines /Increase Lines
The increase and decrease lines button controls how many lines the engine will examine at each position. Increasing the number of lines will decrease the depth you will be able to reach in a given period of time, so you should allow for this when deciding how long to take on each position. You can change the number of lines during analysis, however any change to this setting will restart the analysis of the current position and changing these settings is much quicker when the engine is stopped.
- Play Best - Play the best move found so far
The play best button allows you to insert the best move found by the engine into the move list. If the engine is currently unlocked, the move will be played, and the engine will start analysing the position resulting after the move. This action can also be triggered using the keyboard, by pressing the Space bar.
13.3. Engine Lines Display
The engine lines display shows an evaluation and best line for the top moves found by the engine in the current position. The moves are ordered from best move to worst move, and the maximum number of moves shown is determined by the currently selected number of lines. The order of display of each line is, Analysis Depth, Evaluation, Move, Best Line following move.
The evaluation shown before each line indicates the best material situation that the engine thinks will result from playing the particular move (i.e. the evaluation of the position at the end of the best line shown). The evaluation shown is in pawn units. So for example +1.00 would show the move leads to a position that is 1 pawn ahead for the player playing the move, -1.00 would indicate the move leads to a position that is 1 pawn behind for the person playing the move. +3.40 would show a position where the player to move is up a piece worth of material, plus some extra evaluation attributed to some positional advantage in the current position. By default, evaluations are shown from the player to move’s point of view, this means a positive evaluation indicates a move that leads to a position where the player to move is in front, and a negative evaluation indicates a resulting position where the player to move would be behind. Many chess engine interfaces have an alternative form of display where the evaluation is always shown from white’s perspective. For example if it was black’s turn to move a +1.00 score would not be a 1 pawn advantage to black, but instead a 1 pawn advantage to white, with black being behind. If you’d prefer to use this method of evaluationd display select the 'Evaluation from white’s view' option available on the "Chess Engines" tab of your user preferences (not the engine settings page).
Moves that would lead the player to move to be ahead of their opponent are marked green, and moves that would lead the player to be behind are marked red, moves deemed to lead to even or drawn positions are marked blue. Note that 'green' moves are not necessarily 'good' moves, for example if the player is a rook up and a move might lead to being only 1 pawn up, that move will be marked green as the player is still in front, but it would not be a good move.
The list of moves in each engine line will be coloured orange up to the point that they match the line played in the current list. You can click on any move in the best line display and the moves upto and including the clicked on move will be inserted into the move list for the current board.
During analysis, stats on the progress of the engine are displayed above the engine lines. The current time spent analysing the current position is displayed, along with the current move being examined (and the number of this move out of the list of candidate moves for the position). The Nodes show the total number of positions examined, and the Nodes per Second (NPS) shows the number of positions the engine is examining each second. The NPS will vary depending on the speed of your machine, how busy your machine is with other tasks, and the nature of the position being analysed.
13.4. Annotate Game using Chess Engine
The annotate feature allows you to use your engine to automatically annotate all the moves in a game. For example after using the Explore button on the play versus computer page to examine the game in the database, you can use the annotate feature to ask for a full game analysis from the engine, with blunders and the improved lines inserted into the move list. You can also paste games you have played elsewhere into the game database move list using the 'paste' button beneath the board, and analyse those games inside the Chesstempo web page.
All evaluations inserted into the move list during engine annotations are from white’s point of view, rather than the point of view of the player to move (so +1.00 would always indicate white is in front, even when attached to a black move).
To initiate game analysis click on the Annotate button which will launch a dialog that allows you to select game annotation settings. The following settings are available:
- Max Time per move/Max Depth
Max Time per move and Max depth settings control how many resources are spent analysing each posiiton. The engine will stop analysing when it reaches either one of the settings. For example, if 15 seconds and depth 10 is selected, the engine will stop analysing and move on to the next position when either 15 seconds has been used, or depth 10 as been reached, whichever happens first.
NOTE: When a maximum time setting is used, some engines will not exit immediately upon reaching the maximum time, but may continue until all moves at the current depth have been examined.
- Side to Analyse
Allows you to select only a particular side’s moves for analysis, for example when analysing your own games, you may want to save time by requesting only moves from the side which you played.
NOTE: Selecting a particular side does not completely prevent analysis for that side’s moves, as analysis from the opposite side may still be required to determine when sub-optimal moves have been played.
- Insert Eval For Each Move
If selected, this option inserts an Engine evaluation for each move analysed, irrespective of whether the move was above the output threshold. All evalaution scores will be shown from white’s point of view.
- Show Depth With Eval Score
When selected, the current depth reached during the analysis is shown for any evaluations inserted into the move list.
- Auto scroll move list
If this option is selected, the move list will be scrolled to show the currently analysed move.
- Maximum Length of Inserted Lines
This setting controls how many moves are used when inserting lines into the move list. Moves at the end of lines start to become unreliable due to the horizon effect, so you may want to set this value to a smaller number to avoid outputting longer lines. You can also set this to 1 to avoid clutter and only output the best move instead of the full move list. This value is defined in ply rather than full moves, so 2 means one white move, and one black move.
- Last Move
The move number of the last move to analyse, unlike the length setting, this number is defined in terms of full game moves. It is set by default to the last move in the game. The first position to analyse is chosen by selecting the start move before the Annotate button is clicked.
- Output Threshold
The output threshold controls the evaluation gap required between the move played and the best engine move before an annotation line is inserted into the move list. The value is in terms of pawns, so 0.5 would indicate that the best engine move would need to be at least half a pawn better than the move that was played for an annotation to be created. If you want every move annotated you can set this value to zero.
13.5. Potential Problems using Engine Analysis
The engine analysis is a complex feature, requiring several aspects of your system to work correctly for the feature to behave as intended. If any of these aspects are not working, the analysis may not work, or may work poorly.
The engine analysis feature uses a Java Applet to communicate with the engine running on your machine, and requires the latest version of Java to be installed. Older version of Java will probably not work. The official Sun/Oracle version of Java is also required. Systems such as Linux which rely on OpenJava and the Iced Tea Java plugin will need to install the official Sun/Oracle version of Java and the Java plugin. You will also need to give permission for the Java applet to run the engine on your local machine, this permission should be requested the first you access the engine analysis feature (usually via the engine settings page).
It is important that your engine supports the UCI protocol. The latest version of commercial engines such as Rybka and Shredder all support the UCI interface, Fritz and the chess master interface (also called 'The King') do not. Most freely available engines (such as Stockfish) also support UCI, one notable exception is "Crafty", which does not. To test if your engine supports UCI, run the engine from the command line and type "uci" (without the quotes) and press return. If your engine is UCI compatible it should output a list of options, finishing with "uciok".
Some web browsers do not support the interface required to communicate between the browser and the Java applet which talks to the engine. The latest versions of Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer all work. Unfortunately Opera does not appear to work at the moment. Google Chrome is currently the best browser to use with this feature as it is the most efficient in terms of updating the display. Firefox 4.0 when it becomes available should also be able to provide equivalent performance. Internet Explorer versions 8 and below are not recommended due to their poor performance characteristics.
The analysis feature attempts to avoid loading the Java applet until analysis is actually requested. This avoids having to load the Java plugin unless it is required (a process that takes several seconds if it is not already loaded). Unfortunately not all operating systems support this deferred loading, at least some versions of Windows Vista do not work with deferred loading. If you are having trouble getting the engine to load when required, you may need to turn off the deferred loading. You can do this by going to the "Chess Engines" tab on your preference settings and turning on the 'Initialise Engine When Page Loads' setting.
Chess engines use a large amount of your available CPU, and this may result in your web browser becoming slow while the engine is running. If you are using a multi core or multi CPU machine, you may find the browser works better if you limit the number of CPUs the engine is allowed to use. This can usually be done on the engine settings page, but different engines have different names for this setting, "Threads" and "Max Threads" are two examples, but other engines may use "Max CPU" etc. The manual that comes with your engine should explain the appropriate setting. If you browser is slow while using analysis, you may also consider using Google Chrome for your browser given that is currently the best performing browser.
If you continue to have problems getting the engine analysis to work, please try to change your Java settings so that the Java console is displayed, and post a bug report in the forum with any output you find in the Java console.
14. Student/Coach Relationships
The Student/Coach relationships feature allows users to nominate a coach, who then receives access to otherwise hidden stats, such as the students' per problem mistake moves, play versus computer stats, tagging stats and FIDE rating estimates. Coaches can also edit their students' preferences, including assigning custom problem sets to students. Coaches have a new tab on their stats page showing a list of their students, and a summary of recent student accuracy. Coaches are also able to download problem history for their students, and can use the new problem history filtering on their students' problem attempts.
14.1. Nominating a Coach
To use the new coaching features, students must nominate their coach (or coaches) on the "Coaches" tab in their preference settings. More than one coach can be nominated, by entering a comma separated list of coach usernames, for example "john,bill". To use these features, both the coach and the students must have active gold memberships.
14.2. Coach Access to Student Stats
The Students tab on the coaches' stats page has a list of all their current students. The list shows a summary of recent accuracy, and also contains a link to each student’s stats page. Coach’s can access several stats usually only available to the user themself, including:
- Per Problem Mistakes
Visibility of the mistakes made by students on their tactics problems.
- Play versus Computer Stats
Per rating stats and graphs for each play versus computer rating type.
- Tagging Stats
View the tag agreement/disagreement stats for each student.
- FIDE rating estimates
View the standard and blitz problem based FIDE estimates for each student.
- Problem History Download
Access to the download history button for each student.
14.3. Coach Access to Student Preferences
The student list has a preferences button next to each student which allows the coach to edit the student’s settings. Clicking on a student’s preferences button brings up the preferences panel for the user. Any user preference can be changed (other than the Student’s list of coaches). Once you have completed the changes, click the save button to finish. Commonly changed settings would be difficulty settings, and current problem set.
14.4. Coach Assigned Problem Sets
Coaches can assign problem sets in two ways. Firstly, when creating a new problem set, coaches with students are given the option of assigning a problem set to a user. The assignment choice is made after using the Crete Set button. Sets assigned in this manner belong to the student, rather than the coach. Problem sets can also be assigned via the preferences button next to each student in the coach’s student list. The current problem set can be changed and saved, just as any other preference, and this allows you to assign previously created sets to the user.
15. Play Online
The Chesstempo play online feature allows you to play chess games against other Chesstempo users. Chesstempo playing supports both correspondence, and non-correspondence play.
15.1. Playing page startup
When the playing page first loads, the presentation will differ depending on whether you have any games currently active or not. If you have one or more currently active games, the game with the most urgent move requirement will be loaded first. If you have more games where it is your turn to move, the next button will navigate to those games, or you can bring up the My Games view via the blue mode menu in the top left of the page, or via the g key, and select an individual game to jump to that game.
If you have no games to be played the challenge list display will be shown. The Create challenge button will create a challenge that others can respond to. Responding to an existing challenge by clicking the challenge, will lead the new game board to appear. You can toggle back and forth between the game board view and the challenge view with the c key.
15.2. Starting a new Game
There are several ways of starting a new game:
You can use theoption in the top level playing menu to create a new game challenge.
You can go to the challenge view (or the c key), then click on any of the challenges you see listed. Double clicking on a challenge will bypass the confirmation check.
You can go to the user list (), and click on the Challenge button next to a user you wish to challenge.
Any place you see a username in the playing interface you can click on the username to bring up the player action menu and then select theoption.
Lastly, you can click on the Friends panel, and challenge a friend to a game.
15.3. Challenge Dialog
The challenge dialog is used to issue challenges to other users. Game challenges can be direct challenges, sent to a particular user (by entering their name in the opponent name field), or an open challenge available to any user who matches the challenge parameters.
You can issue a challenge by clicking any of the time control buttons in the Challenge Dialog, and then clicking the Ok button to confirm. Change the time control type to see default time controls for Bullet/Blitz/Rapid/Long/Correspondence.
If you want to create a challenge using the same parameters as your most recently created challenge, then click the 'Ok' button immediately after the challenge dialog displays (the Ok button label will show the current time control that will be used). To avoid confirming the challenge with the 'Ok' button, you can double click on the challenge button which will automatically create a challenge of that time control.
If a challenge created by another user matches your game challenge parameters, you will be immediately matched up to play, otherwise your challenge will be added to the list of current challenges, and a new game will start when someone either explicitly accepts your challenge, or creates their own challenge with matching parameters. Automatic challenge matching will only occur on challenges created by human players, challenges created by bots need to be accepted manually, and will not be used to match your own challenges.
For time controls shorter than correspondence, any challenges you create that are pending will be cancelled as soon as you start a new non-correspondence time control game. This avoids the situation where you create a short time control challenge, and then accept a direct challenge for a short game from another user, but also have your original pending challenge accepted by a third user, thus creating the situation where you now need to play two short time control games simultaneously. You can still choose to play more than one short time control game at once, but you need to choose to do so explicitly by accepting other active challenges.
When you logout (or disconnect by closing your browser or losing your network connection), any pending non-correspondence challenges will be automatically cancelled. Correspondence challenges will survive logout, and will persist in the system until you either cancel them, or they are accepted by another user.
The custom time control type allows you to create challenges with a time control not supported in the quick select panel.
15.3.1. Time Controls
Chesstempo time controls are defined using three values, a start time, an increment time, and a maximum time. The start time defines the initial time on the clock, the increment time, defines how much time is added to the user’s clock after each time they move, and the maximum time defines a ceiling on the total time after adding the increment. By ignoring the maximum time, you can define most of the common time controls seen in online play. The maximum time allows you to define some time control types more common in correspondece play. So for example, a correspondence type time control with a start time of 1 day, an increment time of 1 day, and a maximum of 1 day is equivalent to a 1 move per day time control. As no matter how many times you move in a day, the increment will never increase your clock over 1 day, and each time you move, your clock will grow back to 1 day, leaving 1 day until you must play again.
Another example is using the start time to provide an initial "time bank" where for example you set it to 10 days with a increment of 1 day and a maximum of 10 days. You can miss playing for up to 10 days without timing out, if you have played all your previous moves on time. The 10 day time bank will start to decrease if you play less often than once per day, but can be replenished up to the maximum if you play more quickly. Setting an initial "time bank" in this manner allows you some flexibility during a game without having to resort to taking vacations. For example, if you need to spend a couple of days away, the time bank makes this possible with minimal iconvenience.
If you’d like to play a correspodence game that is certain to finish within a particular time frame, you could set the start time to say 30 days, and the game will go no longer than 60 days (maximum 30 days for each player). You can choose to play as slowly or as quickly as you like, but all of your own moves must be played within the 30 days of total available time.
15.3.2. Rating filter
The rating filter allow you to define the rating range of the opponents who will see your challenge. If you don’t want to play people outside of a particular range, please use this filter to avoid them seeing the challenge. If you don’t use the filter, but instead attempt to filter your opponents by not playing after the game starts, and forcing them to abort the game, you may be blocked from playing in the future. NOTE: Using a restricted rating range on your challenges will likely increase the time it takes to find an opponent.
15.3.3. Direct challenges
By default a newly created challenge will be available to anyone that matches the challenge filter parameters. If you want to send a direct challenge to a particular user, then enter their name in the 'Opponent name' field.
15.3.4. Rated/Unrated game types
Challenges can be defined as being for rated or unrated games. If you are creating an unrated challenge, you can also define which colour pieces you wish to play with, otherwise piece colour is always assigned randomly.
15.3.5. Challenges from arbitrary start positions
If you create unrated challenges, you can choose to start the game from any position. You can paste a FEN string into the 'Start position' field, or use the Setup button to setup a board with the position you want. Other players will see the challenge in the challenge list, and will be able to check the position they are opting in to before the game starts. Non-initial start posiiton games might take a while to get a response, so they are probably more useful when either creating correspondence challenges which can be responded to at any time, or when challening bots who will accept any direct challenge for any start position.
15.3.6. Challenge Favourites
If you regularly create custom challenges with custom time controls and filters, it can be annoying to have to recreate the challenge parameters each time. Similarly if you play time controls from multiple time control types, switching between types to find the challenge button can also be annoying.
To avoid this, you can turn any set of challenge settings into a challenge 'favourite'. Enter the challenge parameters for your new favourite, and then click on the 'Create Favourite' button, and enter the name of the new favourite. Challenge favourite buttons appear at the top of the challenge panel, and can be clicked on the same way as the existing default challenge buttons.
When a favourite has been clicked, several new options appear in the buttons at the bottom of the challenge dialog. There is a 'delete' button, and if you have more than one favourite, two left and right buttons to re-order the favourites.
The history view shows a list of your games, with the most recent shown first. The history view can be accessed via the blue action menu in the top level of the playing page, or by using the h key. You can select individual games for viewing by clicking on the game board which loads the game into the game view. By scrolling down the page more game boards from your history will be loaded into view.
For more sophisticated history options, and the ability explore your games in the opening explorer go to thetop level menu option.
15.5. Player list
The player list panel shows the list of currently online players, and their rating for each rating type. To access the player list panel choose theoption from the blue action menu in the top left of the page.
You can challenge a player to a game by clicking on their Challenge button. Other player specific actions, such as friend requests or bringing up the player’s stats page can be accessed by clicking on their username.
The player list can be filtered by username or rating range by clicking on the filter icon in the top left corner of the player list panel. To filter by rating range, you will need to select the rating type the range applies to. If you’d like to ignore the rating range filter, choose the 'Ignore' type for the rating type. The username filter is a case sensitive substring search, so for example "ern" would not match "Ernest", but "Ern" would.
15.6. Challenge List
The challenge list shows a list of all the currently available game challenges. Only the challenges that have a filter matching the current user will be shown, so you only see challenges you are able to accept. Click on any challenge in the list to accept that challenge. You will need to confirm your choice to avoid accidental challenge accepts, you can avoid the confirmation step by double clicking instead of single click on the challenge.
Your own challenges will be shown at the top of the list, and can be cancelled by clicking on the challenge.
Challenges can be filtered by rating range and whether they are rated or unrated by clicking on the filter icon in the top right corner of the challenge list panel. You can also sort the challenge list by clicking on the column header of the criteria you wish to sort by.
15.7. Friends List
The friends list provides a view of your list of friends, and shows if any of them are currently online. Online friends will appear in the top half of the list, and will have a Challenge button next to their names that can be used to send them a direct game challenge. Friends can be added by clicking on any username on the playing page and from the player actions menu selecting theoption. The friend candidate must accept your request to move from pending to full friend status.
15.8. All Games List
The All Games list lets you see all the games currently being played. You can click on any of the game rows to start viewing the game.
The playing list can be filtered by username substring search, and rating type.
15.9. My Games
The my games panel allows you to see all your currently active games. Click on any of the game boards to load the game.
Games are ordered first by those where it is your turn to play first, and then by the urgency based on time left to play.
As moves are played, both by you , and your opponent, the games will re-sort the games so that the most urgent games where it is your turn are always sorted first.
15.10. Game playing interface
The Chesstempo online play interface is made up of the board and clocks, the move list, in game chat, and navigation and action buttons. The board is resizable by dragging the drag handle on the right of the board. Resize settings are remembered via a browser cookie, so will be used when you next use the site from the same machine and web browser.
15.10.1. Game Board
Moves can be made on the game board by either dragging the pieces or clicking on the piece and then the target square.
Pre-moves are supported by making a move while it is your opponent’s turn, once your opponent moves the move will be sent to the server.
The board settings panel is launched by clicking on the blue circle menu below the move list. The settings panel lets you choose a number of board options and all options are stored in a browser cookie, so they are remembered as long as you use the same browser, on the same machine. For more details see the board settings section of the user guide.
Pre-moves allows you to enter a move while it is your opponent’s turn to play. The move will be automatically played after your opponent moves. Move legality is only checked after your opponent moves, and illegal moves are not-played. You can cancel your pre-move by clicking anywhere on the board. The pre-move will be highlighted using the method chosen in the board settings.
Pre-moves are only remembered when the board is still open, so they can’t be used to play moves in correspondence games after you’ve logged off or disconnected
The game clocks and player names are shown either to the right of the board or above and below the board , depending on the preferences set. The currently ticking clock is shown in green (or red when time is running low), and the time control of the current game can be seen by hovering over the clock display with the mouse.
The move list displays all moves in the current game. You can move through the move list using the navigation buttons beneath the move list, by clicking a move in the list, or by using the arrow keys to move forwards and backwards in the move list.
The game chat window allows you to communicate with your opponent, other players viewing the game can also participate in the chat, however game particpants and non-playing kibitzers are not able to see each others chats made while the game is in progress. Special chat commands start with a '/' character, you can see a full list of chat commands by typing /help into the chat entry box.
Game chats persist across logouts, so when returning to the game you can still read all previous chats. This also applies to completed games, and chats can be reviewed at any time from the history tab or by launching games in your database archive in the playing interface using the 'view in playing' button.
The circular icon in the far right of the chat entry field shows if the chat is currently enabled or disabled. If the icon is a green tick then the chat is enabled, if it is a red cross then the chat is disabled. Click the icon to toggle between enabled/disabled.
When you disable chats, it is a global setting and you will not be shown any incoming chats in all games, not just the current game. However, chat messages sent by others will still be archived even when you have chat disabled. This means at a later point if you disable chat and view the game again the archived chats will all be loaded. Your opponent or other game visitors kibitzing on the game will be told when you disable or enable your chat status, and when you first connect to a game, your opponent will be told if your chat is currently disabled.
Several game actions are available as icon buttons under the move list:
- Abort game
Chesstempo doesn’t allow you to arbitrarily abort a game that has started. However if your opponent has not made their first move within a reasonable amount of time (specific to the time control being played), you will be given the option to abort the game, with no result or rating adjustment made for either player.
Users who continually refuse to play their first move , forcing their opponents to abort because they didn’t like their opponent’s first move, opponent rating or the colour they’ve been given may have their playing rights permanently removed. If you want to play people in a specific rating range, created challenges with a rating range limit.
This is a multi purpose draw button that allows you to both offer a draw AND claim draws that require explicit claiming under FIDE rules, such as draws by repetition, and draws by the 50 move rule. Note that claimable draws will not be given unless you explicitly claim them. Where a draw can be claimed either on the move or after the current move, the system will handle both cases automatically. If you click draw and then make a move that would lead to a claimable draw then the server will treat that as an 'after the current move' draw.
Resign the current game.
Launch the analysis window. Only available once a game is over.
- Next game
The next game button jumps to the next most urgent game when you are playing multiple games (most commonly correspondence games). This button is not visible if you only have one game in play.
- Auto jump toggle
When playing multiple games you can choose to automatically jump to the next available game after playing a move in the current game. This can be useful if you are playing a large number of correspondence games. This button allows you to toggle between auto-jump and non-auto jump modes.
- Board Actions menu
The blue circular menu provides several more actions, some of which are only available once a game is over or in the case of exploring the game in the opening explorer, only correspondence games. See the board actions menu section of the user guide for more details.
- Game Notes
Game notes allow you to write notes about the current game. This can be useful for correspondence games where you may need to keep track of plans across a large number of games. It can also provide a way of providing some post-game analysis thoughts. Notes are private by default, if you’d like to share your notes with others, chose the public option when creating the note. Notes can be deleted or edited after they have been created.
15.11. Vacation and Sleep
The Vacation/Sleep feature allows you to take time out from correspondence time control games, freezing your game clocks during the period of the vacation or sleep. Clicking the Vacation/Sleep button in the top level playing menu (only available when already on the playing page) will show a dialog indicating the amount of sleep and vacation time you currently have available, indicating whether you are currently "alseep" or on vacation, and allowing you to return from, or go into sleep/vacation mode.
Vacation/Sleep only applies to correspondence time control games, your clocks will continue to tick on all non-correspondence time control games , so sleep/vacation will not save you from timing out on shorter time control games.
Vacation time allows you to take extended time off from playing during periods when it is difficult for you regularly make moves, for example holidays, or extended illness.
All users start with 2 weeks of vacation time, and vacation time accumulates at 2 hours per day, until reaching a maximum of 30 days. Each time you go on vacation you use a minimum of 1 day vacation time, even if you return from vacation before 1 day is up. No extra vacation time accumulates while you are actually on vacation.
Vacation should not be used as a strategic means of managing your clocks, but is intended only for situations where circumstances make it difficult to play. Starting too many correspondence games should not be a legitimate reason for vacation time usage, consider resigning games if you’ve overcomitted your time.
Sleep time is similar to vacation time, but applicable to shorter times away from playing. The main purpose of sleep time is to allow relatively short correspondence time control games to be played. If you wish to play a game with 24 hours per side, time zone or sleep pattern differences can give one player a big advantage over the other. For example, if a player involved in a 24 hour game goes to bed with 6 hours left on their clock after playing their last move, then their opponent can immediately play their move, and then win on time if the sleeping player sleeps for more than 6 hours. Sleep time allows the first player to go into sleep mode before going to bed, and this would prevent their clock from ticking again until they wake up, at which point, they would return from sleep mode to play their next move.
After you set your state as "Sleeping", none of your correspondence time control game clocks will tick until your sleeping time has run out. You have 10 hours of sleeping to use each day, and once you have started sleeping, you use the entire 10 hours, even if you return from sleep before the 10 hours expires. Once waking up, you cannot go to sleep again for at least another 10 hours, in other words, your available sleep time is zero as soon as you wake up, and does not go back up to 10 hours until at least 10 hours has passed since waking.
15.12. Online Players List
The ranked list of all online players is available from the "CT players" item on the top level Playing menu. You can search for users by username (substring search), rating range , and activity level. Activity level is defined by the user’s RD, the lower the RD, the higher their activity level. Activity level filtering applies to the most active rating in any of the rating types the user has played games in. The player list can be sorted by clicking on the relevant table headings.
15.13. Online Playing Game Archive and Stats Page
Most of the places showing player names in the online play user interface can be clicked to show a menu of actions, one of which is to display the user’s stats page. Clicking on the "Stats" option will open a new window with the players game archive and stats page. Users can access their own page by clicking on the "My Chess Games" option in the Chess Database menu. This page is where the player’s previous games can be accessed, and stats related to each of the rating types is shown. Clicking on the details button for a rating type shows extra stats and a rating graph for that rating type. The game archive and opening explorer can be searched/filtered using most of the tools and options available in the main game database. This allows you to do things like examine your opening explorer stats against a particular player, or against players in a particular rating range, or look at your opening explorer stats for games played more than a year ago, and compare them to your most recent games. For more details on the generic database functionality please see the Chess Database chapter.
The opening explorer on the player game archive page has a Rating Type filter above it which allows you to filter games based on the rating type of the game. This selector also applies to any game archive searches, as well as the opening explorer stats, allowing you to see opening stats specific to each rating type.
The game archive page also has two "Games for position" tabs, one shows only games from the player’s own archive (labelled as "Games for position: USERNAME"), and the other shows games from the main chesstempo database. By switching between both while traversing the moves of one of their own games, you can look at either your own previous games that followed the current line, or look for master level games that also followed your line, and these may provide hints on improvements that could be applied next time you play, or give you an idea on the kind of middle or endgames that arise from your openings when played by masters.
15.14. Online Playing Rating Types
Chesstempo uses the following rating types to help differentiate performance on games with different time controls:
Estimated time of less than 3 minutes.
Estimated time greater than or equal to 3 minutes, and less than 15 minutes.
Estimated time greater than or equal to 15 minutes, and less than 1 hour.
Estimated time greater than or equal to 1 hour, and less than 12 hours.
Estimated time of 12 hours or greater.
Estimated time for games with no increment is simply the initial time on the clock. Time for games with an increment are calculated by assuming the game will go for 40 moves. For example, 5 minutes start time with a 12 second increment would lead to an estimate time of 5*60+12*40 which equals 780 seconds, or 13 minutes, leading to a classification as a blitz time control. Increasing the increment to 18 seconds would produce 5*60+18*40, giving an estimate of 17 minutes, which would now be classified as a rapid time control.
15.15. Challenge Formula
The challenge (or seek) formula allows you to create a description on the kind of challenges you will accept from direct challenges sent by other players. Challenges not matching your formula will have a challenge rejection message automatically sent to your opponent indicating that your formula does not currently match their challenge request.
Challenge formulas can be very expressive, and can combine a number of logical and mathematical operators to produce complex challenge preferences such as :
(playing_time_left>5mins or (from="bjork" and time=60mins)) or correspondence would only accept challenges that are either correspondence challenges or non-correspondence challenges where you either have more than 5 minutes left in the current game you are playing, or the challenge is from a person with the username "bjork" and she is asking for a game with initial time set to 60 minutes.
You can change your challenge formula using the Challenge Formula option in the playing menu at the top of the page (only available when on the playing page). The default challenge formula looks like this: ` !playing or (playing_time_left > 15 minutes and (correspondence or playing_correspondence)) `
This only allows challenges if you are either not actively playing a game in the current game tab, or the game you are actively playing has more than 15 minutes left on your clock, and either the incoming challenge request is for a correspondence game, or the game you are playing is a correspondence game.
This default rule prevents you receiving challenge requests for any type of game if you are low on time in an actively played game, and prevents receiving challenges for live games when you are already playing a live game. If you are not low on time, then if you are playing a live game you can still receive correspondence challenges, or if you are playing a correspondence game then you can receive challenges of any type.
15.15.1. Challenge Formula Time Handling
Several challenge formula variables deal with time.
All time stored in any variable is stored as seconds in order to avoid confusion on which variables might be minutes or seconds, or indeed hours or days for some longer time controls.
In order to make this convenient , and avoid having to do things like
time = 24*60*60 to match 1 day, you can use the time operators of 'm','s','h','d' and 'y' to provide the relevant time unit.
etime>=50 days to match a correspondence game which is estimated to take at least 50 days for both players' moves.
time=5m would match a game with start time of 5 minutes , while time<1 hour would match any start time below 1 hour.
The 'm','s' etc markers are simply converting the time units into seconds for matching against the seconds based time variables.
You could do the same thing with multiplication but "time=1 year" is much more convenient than "time=365*24*60*60".
The following time markers are valid: m,s,h,d,y,mins,secs,hours,days,years,min,sec,hour,day,year,minutes,seconds
15.15.2. Challenge Formula Operator List
The following logical and arithmetic operations are available for use within the challenge formula:
The AND operator returns true if it’s left and right arguments are both true. e.g. + rated and blitz +
The OR operator returns true if one of or both of it’s left or right arguments returns true. e.g. + bullet or blitz +
The NOT operator negates its argument. e.g. + !playing +
The equality operator returns true if both it’s left and right arguments are equal. e.g. + from="bjork" +
Inequality operators. e.g. + time>=5m or (inc>2 and inc<10) and (max_time>0) +
Arithmetic operators. e.g. + time>2m+20 && inc>time/20 && max_time<20*(inc+2) +
15.15.3. Challenge Formula Variable List
The current list of variables that can be used in a challenge formula are:
true if you are currently playing a game in the active game tab. Note that if you have games you are playing, but you currently have no game tabs open , or the game you are currently viewing is over, then this will return false.
Similar to the 'playing' variable, but only returns true if the game being played is a correspondence game. Must be playing an in-progress correspondence game in the currently active game tab to return true.
Similar to the 'playing' variable, but only returns true if the game being played is a non-correspondence game. Must be playing an in-progress non-correspondence game in the currently active game tab to return true.
If you are actively playing a game (i.e. the selected game tab is an in progress game) this variable will return the time left in that game. For example: + playing_time_left > 5m + will match situations where you are playing a game with more than 5 minutes left. This can be useful to avoid distractions when you are running low on time. If the currently selected game tab does not contain an in progress game or you dont have any game tabs open, this value will return 10 years. This ensures + playing_time_left > 5m + would match if you are not currently playing, which is usually the desired behaviour.
True if the game in the currently active game tab is one you are playing against a computer. This variable allows you to receive challenges you might not want to receive when playing against a human, but would be happy to receive when playing against a computer.
True if the game in the currently active game tab is one you are playing against a human. Note that + playing_human != !playing_computer + as it is possible for both playing_human and playing_computer to be false if you are not currently playing a game.
The challenge requests that the opponent plays as black
The challenge requests that the opponent plays as white
true if the opponent did not request a colour preference, and auto-colour selection will be made.
Synonym for nocolour. Set to true if the opponent did not request a colour preference, and auto-colour selection will be made.
The challenge request is for a bullet time control.
The challenge request is for a blitz time control.
The challenge request is for a rapid time control.
The challenge request is for a long time control.
The challenge request is for a correspondence time control.
The challenge request is from a computer. Note that currently computers do not send direct challenges, so this variable is most useful when the challenge formula is used to filter the challenge list, rather than incoming challenge direct challenge requests.
The challenge request is from a human.
The clock start time. Time is in seconds so use the time modifiers such as 'time=5m','time=1hour' etc to conveniently refer to non-second based values here.
The per move clock increment used in the time control. Set to 0 if no increment is used. Again, this is stored in seconds, so use time modifiers if you want to specify increment matches in larger than second values for example, + inc>1 day
The maximum time the clock is allowed to increase to via per move increments for example: + max_inc_time<(1 day+4 hours)
The estimated total time for the game (i.e. includes time taken for both sides, so a 10 minute game would have an etime of 20 minutes. This will be calculated using + 2*(start time + increment time*40) + , allowing for the 'max time' truncation if any is set. Time is stored in seconds.
The estimated total time available for your moves , this is half the etime. See etime for how this value is calculated.
true if the challenge is a direct challenge. This will always be true when filtering incoming direct challenges, but is useful if you use the challenge formula as a filter on the challenge list or challenge graph, and only want to see direct challenges there.
The name of the opponent creating the challenge. Using quotes around any matched name for example: + from="han"
The rating of the opponent in the rating type relevent to this challenge.
The rating deviation of the opponent , which is a measure of the reliability of the opponents rating, and also their recent activity levels. The lower the rd value, the more active, and more reliable the rating, for example: + rd<40 + would indicate a very active user.
Your rating in the rating type associated with the challenge. Useful for relative rather than absolute rating comparison for example: + rating>=myrating-300 + would match only challenges where the challenge creator had a rating no more than 300 points below your own rating.
ratingdiff is the absolute value of the difference between your rating and the rating of the challenge creator in the relevant rating type. For example, if your rating is 1600 and your opponent’s rating is 1400 the ratingdiff is 200. If your rating is 1400, and your opponent’s rating is 1600, the value will also be 200 (i.e. the ratingdiff variable is unsigned). This variable allows concise specifications of relative rating ranges, so for example you can specify: + ratingdiff<200 + as a short cut for + rating-myrating>-200 AND rating-myrating<200 + which restricts the acceptible difference between your rating and the opponent rating to less than 200 rating points.
True if the challenge is for a rated game.
True if the challenge is for an unrated game.
15.15.4. Challenge formula as challenge list filter
By default the challenge formula is only used to filter incoming direct challenges, however the challenge list/challenge graph filters also have an option to allow the formula to be used as an additional filter on top of the challenge list/graph filters. Open the challenge filters when on the challenges tab to turn this option on. The option is stored in a cookie on the browser, so will be recalled next time you visit the playing page on the same machine.
16. Opening Training
Opening training allows you to create and manage an opening repertoire, and then train to learn the moves using spaced repetition. The opening repertoire also integrates into the Play online feature by providing immediate post-game feedback on where your games deviated from your opening repertoire.
16.1. Getting started
To start opening training you first need to create a new repertoire. Click on the New repertoire button to create your first repertoire. Repertoires can be either black or white repertoires, so choose a repertoire name and colour and click the Create button. If you already have a repertoire in PGN format, you can also import your repertoire from PGN by clicking on the PGN button.
To add new moves to your repertoire simply make the move on the board and it will be added to the currently selected repertoire. When you have some moved entered, you can enter training mode by clicking on the Train or Train branch buttons. Train branch will only train moves from under the currently selected move in the opening tree panel. See the training mode section for more details on training.
You may want to explore the different settings available. Settings can be viewed by clicking on the blue circle menu under the board and then clicking on the settings icon.
16.2. PGN import
When creating a new repertoire, you can use an existing PGN file as the import source. If there are multiple games in your PGN file , and the file is not the result of a Chesstempo opening repertoire export, then each game will be interpreted as multiple lines for the same imported repertoire.
By default any comments from your repertoire will be imported as private comments. If you’d like your comments to be visible to others or ignored completely, you can choose those options on the create repertoire dialog. NOTE: If you are using a PGN with comments made by someone else, such as a chess book author, please do not make the comments public. If you are an author and find any of your annotations being used in comments on Chesstempo, please contact us to have them removed.
There is no size limit on the PGN, but there are quotas for the total number of positions you are able to have across all your repertoires. For details on the quotas which differ by membership type , please see the Chesstempo memberships page.
16.3. Adding repertoire moves
You can enter a new move for a repertoire any time you are not in training mode by playing the move on the board. Played moves are automatically stored in your repertoire, and saved on the server. Moves will be attached to the currently selected repertoire which is shown in the repertoire tree to the left of the board.
To delete moves or branches of moves right click on the moves in the opening tree and choose the delete option.
16.3.1. Changing main line
Most repertoires will have positions where your opponent has multiple choices, and in some cases you may have more than one move you want to play in a position. The first move shown in the opening tree will be the main line move, and the subsequent moves in the sub-positions will be seen as sub-lines. If you’d like to change the order of lines you can right click on a sub-line in the opening tree and use the promote line option. The line will move up in order, swapping with the next highest line. If the line was one below the main line, then it will swap with the main line, and become the new main line move for that positions.
16.4. Training mode
Training mode is where you practice the moves in your repertoire. Training mode can be entered by clicking on the Train or Train branch buttons. Train branch will only train moves from under the currently selected move in the opening tree.
16.4.1. Move hints
By default if you are seeing a move for the first time you’ll be shown an arrow indicating the correct move. Similarly if you have turned on the preview moves wrong on last attempt option in your settings, and are seeing a move you got wrong last time you’ll also see an arrow showing the correct move.
16.4.2. Training depth
If you want to focus only on moves from lines up to a particular depth , then you can set the Maximum learning depth in your opening training settings. When a maximum depth is set , the summary stats shown under the board will reflect the current depth limit. NOTE: Graphs showing training status always use the full depth when displaying data.
The training depth option can be used to create a good compromise between the main lines first and breadth over depth learning priority settings. With main lines first selected, you can end up having to learn some very deep lines before seeing any side branches further up the tree. By setting a maximum depth you can force the main line learning priority to start to select side lines earlier than would otherwise be the case, creating a hybrid priority between main line and breadth over depth options.
16.4.3. Spaced repetition
Spaced repetition is a learning method that tries to optimize your time so less time is spent on items you know well, and more time is spent on items that are causing trouble. Once a move is first served up for training it is given a scheduled time for its next appearance. If you continue to get the move correct, the next scheduled time will be moved further and further into the future. If you get the move incorrect the system will decide you have forgotten the move and will start to present it more frequently. This process of serving up mistakes more quickly, and delaying the reappearance of correct moves allows you to maximize the time you spend on the moves you are having the most problem remembering.
When you get a move wrong, you are shown the move and can play it to move on to the next scheduled move. If you choose to play the move at this point it will not be considered a correct response for the purposes of the spaced repetition system, so will not impact how soon you will see the mistake again.
Incorrect moves are by default scheduled almost immediately for review. This means as soon as you finish all the moves that were already scheduled due when you started your current training session, you’ll be able to review the mistakes you made during the session.
16.4.4. Learning priority order
Before you begin training none of your moves will be scheduled. Any time there are no moves scheduled and you start training when there are still moves left that have not been scheduled, the system will display choose an as yet unseen move and from that point will start to schedule it using the spaced repetition system.
There are two ways of choosing how the system choose which of the unseen moves from your repertoire will be used first, and these are controlled via the Learning priority setting in your opening training settings. The first method (and the default) is to try to show main lines first. Most repertoires will have multiple lines for your opponent in many positions, and in some cases for your own moves. The "Main lines first" option will take the main lines before side lines. When all the main lines are done it will start to look at the first sub-lines in each position. Note that once a parent sub-line is taken its main line children will be preferred over any sub-line children of the parent. Another way of looking at this option is that it is doing a traversal of your repertoire preferring to go as deep as possible in main lines instead of trying to broaden your knowledge across many lines.
The second method is the opposite of the main lines first approach, and that is the "Breadth over depth" option which will look at all the main line AND sub-moves at 1 move deep in your repertoire, then when they are all added to the training set, all moves 2 moves deep in your repertoire etc. This option allows you to get a broad but shallow view of your repertoire, but will not prioritize the main lines which are likely to be more commonly met.
Learning priority settings only impact which moves are taken from an unseen state into a scheduled state, an operation that only occurs when you elect to continue training when no moves already being trained are scheduled. For moves already scheduled, the spaced repetition system rather than the learning priority will dictate which moves are selected. Eventually you will reach a state where all moves have been introduced into training and are scheduled for serving. At that point the main lines first and breadth over depth options will not be relevant again until you add new moves into your repertoire.
16.4.5. Context for training moves
When a move is scheduled for training (or added from the set of unseen moves), the system may choose to add some context moves to help orientate you to the position. Once you have a large repertoire, it can be confusing to jump from random position to random position without any context.
To determine how much context is shown, the system looks at the full line from the move chosen for display up to the start position in the game. If the moves are extremely well known the system may skip them completely, if they are somewhat less known the system will choose to display them as context, with how well known dictating how fast the system will move through the moves. This enables the system to provide you some context, but make sure you are not wasting your time seeing context that is already second nature to you. The system may also decide that a move that appears earlier in the line than the move that is chosen for display was close to being scheduled, and so present that move as a training move before reaching the target move. This further optimizes the use of context by using the context to present more than one training target from the context line for training. There are several settings to control the context behaviours in your opening training settings.
16.4.6. Training all repertoires
If you click on the folder holding the white or black repertoires before you start training, positions will be taken from all the repertoires of that colour. NOTE: that with a high level repertoire selected, some operations are not allowed, such as adding moves, or deleting lines. If you want to remove moves or add new moves you’ll need to have a single repertoire selected first.
16.4.7. Resistant repertoires
Resistant moves are moves that you’ve been training for some time, but are still having trouble consistently getting right. Once a move is deemed to be resistant, it will take more than one correct answer in a row to move back to being non-resistant. While the spaced repetition system does a reasonably good job of prioritize moves you keep getting wrong, the resistant moves may still need extra attention, especially if you are still getting them right sometimes, just not consistently enough to indicate mastery has been achieved. To help prioritize your time on these types of moves, there are two specific global repertoires available in the repertoire tree that hold all the white and black resistant moves. This allows you to select the resistant repertoire and then start training in order to preferentially target scheduled moves that are proving difficult to master.
The underlying representation of your repertoire uses positions as the primary entity, rather than explicit move orders. This allows a natural treatment of transpositions as moves are secondary to positions and there is only one instance of each position, no matter how many repertoires or transpositions it appears in. If a particular repertoire contains a transposition to another line already stored elsewhere in the repertoire, the opening tree will not fill in a move branch for the transposition. If you play the transposition move on the board the tree will jump to the transposition position in the tree where the rest of the line will be presented.
Transpositions across repertoires are handled slightly differently, to avoid confusion a move that transposes from repertoire A to repertoire B will have the full line appear in both repertoires within the opening tree. However, In both the single repertoire and cross repertoire transposition cases there is only one representation of the position in the underlying repertoire data. It doesn’t matter which path you reach a position from, once you’ve transposed into a line the learning stats and spaced repetition scheduling treats the positions the same. So if you train moves in repertoire A that are from positions that transposed to repertoire B you’ll get credit in both repertoires, because in the internal representation the positions are the same.
The same is true for any overlap between multiple repertoires, not just transpositions. If you have two repertoires that overlap, training in one will also impact the scheduling of the same moves in any other repertoire in which the same position and move exists.
16.5. Play online integration
When you have an opening repertoire created it will be used after each game you play on Chesstempo to provide feedback on where the game deviates from your repertoire. A deviation will be either where you play a move that was different than the one recommended in your repertoire, or your opponent plays a move that you don’t have in your repertoire yet. You can choose to add new moves via the opening explorer without leaving the playing page, or launch the opening training page with the relevant repertoire selected.
16.6. Opening training settings
To launch the settings panel, click on the blue circle menu launcher under the board, and select the settings option.
16.6.1. Basic settings
- Pause at end of line
While training, don’t show the next move automatically after reaching the end of a line. You can also choose to pause after any move by using the pause button under the board, allowing you to review comments etc without automatically moving on to the next move.
- Preview moves in new lines
Show the correct move via an arrow in all new positions.
- Preview moves wrong on last attempt
Show the correct move via an arrow if it was wrong on the last attempt.
- Preview moves in all lines
Show the correct move via an arrow before all moves.
- Learning priority
How new moves are moved from the as yet unseen moves into the learning set. 'Main lines first' takes moves from main lines first and sidelines later. 'Breadth over depth' mode takes all moves at depth 1 first then moves on to all moves at depth 2, continually increasing the depth until all moves have been added to the learning set.
- Maximum learning depth
The maximum depth to train moves to. Default to unlimited, entering 0 for the depth will revert back to unlimited. Note that the global training graphs will always use unlimited depth for stats display, even if a depth limit has been requested.
16.6.2. Advanced settings
- Reinforce minimum correct
If we choose a move for training that has earlier moves in the move list with less than the "Reinforce minimum correct" number of moves in a row then that move will be tested before testing the target move, even if it is not scheduled yet.
- Reinforce minimum days
This is similar to the 'Reinforce minimum correct' setting, in that if a move leading up to the target move is scheduled within 'Reinforce minimum days' number of days then the move will be tested before moving on to the target move.
- Don’t show start moves threshold
When deciding how many context moves to show before the current target move, skip displaying any previous moves that have already been solved at least this number of times correct in a row.
16.7. Opening tree
The opening tree shows all the moves for the currently selected repertoire (or repertoires when a global repertoire like all white repertoires is selected). Clicking on any move will jump to that move on the board, with the moves required to lead to that position shown in the move list. You can start training moves below any position in the tree by clicking on a move and then clicking on the Train branch button.
Moves can be deleted by right clicking on any move in the tree and selecting the delete option. That move and all moves under it will be deleted.
16.8. Repertoire tree
The repertoire tree holds all your white and black repertoires, as well as the global repertoires such as the resistant repertoires. Clicking on the white or black repertoires folder will fill the opening tree with all moves from all repertoires of that colour, and allow you to train across all the repertoires.
If you’ve created any shortcuts, they will be displayed under their parent repertoires. Clicking on a shortcut will load the parent repertoire into the opening tree (if not already loaded) and jump to the shortcut position.
16.9. Repertoire shortcuts
With a large repertoire you may want to bookmark parts of the repertoire to allow you to quickly jump to sub sections with a single click rather than having to move through the tree or hunt for the move in the tree. Shortcuts allow you to create bookmarks to any position in the repertoire. To create a shortcut, use the add shortcut button in the action menu under the board. In the repertoire tree the shortcut will be added under the folder holding the currently selected repertoire. Clicking on the shortcut name will jump to the repertoire and position. To delete a shortcut right click on the shortcut name, and select the delete shortcut option.
16.10. Opening explorer
The opening explorer provides a view of the popularity and performance of moves in the current position. If you are considering adding a new move to the repertoire, it can be used as a guide to see what master level players are choosing to play in the position, and their success when playing each move.
16.11. Candidate moves
The candidate moves list tells you which moves are available in the current position. Usually this panel is hidden during training, however you can choose to unhide it if you feel you need the hints. When outside training mode, you can use the candidate moves to traverse your repertoire. Clicking on a move will play that move. The up and down arrow keys will change the currently selected move, and the forward arrow will play the currently selected move. The currently selected move will default to the next move in the move list if you are currently traversing a move list. Moves in the candidate move list are labeled with the repertoire they come from. If you play a move that appears in a different repertoire from the one you have currently selected, that repertoire will become the current repertoire, and the opening tree view will be updated to reflect the change of repertoire.
16.12. Engine panel
For premium members, the engine panel provides a way of asking for an opinion from the engine on the current position. If you’d like to add the start move of a line shown by the engine to your current repertoire, click on the move and it will be added to the currently selected repertoire. The engine evaluation will stored with the move, and will be available in any exported PGN. If you’d like to add an engine evaluation to moves not added from the engine analysis, you can do that via the 'E' key when the move to be assigned an evaluation is selected.
If you press the 'a' key or launch the annotation window from the move list blue action menu , the annotation panel will load , allowing you to add annotation symbols to moves such as '!', '?', '+=' etc. Like engine move evaluations , these are permanently stored and available in any PGN exports.
Comments can be made on either the move or position level. A move comment should be specific to the move just made, whereas a position comment applies to the current position, and is not necessarily tied to a particular move (although it may mention one or more moves in the position).
You can choose to have your comment public or private. If you are making comments from a book you own, and are copying the analysis thoughts of the book author in a way which would be considered plagiarism, please keep the comment private.
The comments for the opening trainer are displayed in a slightly different way to the comments on other parts of the site. Instead of always ordering the comments in chronological order, the system chooses what it believes to be the best comment, and then displays the other comments in chronological order after that. Any comment you’ve made yourself will be considered to be the 'best' comment when you are reading comments, if you have not commented on a position then the system chooses the comment with the highest vote sum. If a tie break is required, then the comment makers with the highest problem rating (in any problem solving mode) is chosen.
Due to the above ranking method, comment voting in opening training should be approached in a slightly different manner to problem comments. Because we want the most useful comment to be at the top, if you see a comment that you believe is better than the best comment , even if you think the best comment is ok, then you should down vote the current best comment, and up vote the comment that you believe to be better.
If you’d like to see the current 'best' comment quickly without opening the comments panel, you can do so by pressing the 'c' key which will show a pop-up panel with the best comment. Press 'c' again to quickly hide the panel.
16.14.1. Comment boards
To embed a board into a comment , first launch the analysis board (magnifying glass icon under the move list). You can then enter moves, and add any analysis you’d like. Once done , click on the menu expander in the top left of the analysis board panel and choose one of the copy to comment options. 'Copy to comment' copies the entire analysis board analysis to a comment, 'Copy move to comment' copies only the current position, and 'Copy selection to comment' copies the moves from the analysis that you’ve highlighted for selection with the mouse.
You can add arrow and square highlight annotations by right clicking on the board squares (square highlighting) or right clicking and dragging. Combinations of Ctrl and Shift keys change the colour of the highlighting, so right click without keys draws Green, Ctrl-Right-Click = Yellow, Shift-Right-Click = Red and Ctrl-Shift-Right-Click gives Blue. If you move away from the current position (or click on the board with anything but a right click), any annotations will be reset. If you’ve made annotations you want to save before moving to the next move, press the 's' key before moving on.
Once you’ve copied your analysis to the comment, you can add further text to the comment and then submit the comment once finished.
16.15. Other actions
16.15.1. Import PGN
This option allows to add moves from a PGN file into an existing repertoire. Select the repertoire to import the PGN into before selection this action.
16.15.2. Export repertoire
Repertoires can be exported as PGN via the export option from the actions menu (the blue menu under the board).
You can choose to export the current repertoire, all white repertoires, all black repertoires, or all repertoires of both colours. When outputting more than one repertoire, each repertoire is output as a separate game in the PGN file.
16.15.3. Reset training
The reset option of the actions menu resets all the learning data from the current repertoire.
16.16. Graphs and Statistics
To access the graphs click on the blue action menu under the board and select either the global stats or repertoire stats option.
16.16.1. Global stats
Global stats shows statistics across all repertoires, either single values aggregated across all the repertoires or a list of all repertoires comparing performance on each repertoire.
Shows how the total number of moves in Learning, Learnt and Uncertain status change over time. Learning is the state moves are in that have been scheduled via spaced repetition at least once, but are not yet known well enough to be deemed Learnt. Once a move has been correct several times in a row, it moves to Learnt status. If an incorrect attempt is made, it will revert back to "Learning" status. Uncertain status is for moves that were Learnt , and have been scheduled some time ago for review, but are not yet reviewed. Their status is uncertain until the review occurs, at which point a correct answer will place them back in "Learnt", and an incorrect answer move them back into "Learning".
16.16.2. Repertoire stats
The repertoire stats drill down into the currently selected repertoire to show repertoire specific stats.
Shows how many items are already due, and how many are scheduled Today, in the next week, month, year and beyond a year.
Two graphs that shows how many moves have been correct or incorrect in a row 1 time, 2 times, 3 times etc. A third graph shows a histogram of the number of moves have been played 1 time, 2 times, 3 times etc.
17. Guess The Move
Guess The Move is a training feature which allows you to play through master games, and get a rating based on how well you go. You are assessed based on how often you match the master move, and engine evaluations are used to assess moves that differ from the master’s choice.
17.1. Move Score Display
The move score is shown after each move you make, and is displayed above the move list. Moves are scored from 0-12, with 10 being a move that matches the master move, and 0 being a potentially game losing blunder. A bonus score of up to 2 is given when you play a move that is considerably better than the move played by the master. If you played a move that matched a relatively main line opening move, you are also given the same score that you would have been, had you played the master move, irrespective of whether the master played the same opening move. See the Score Calculation section for more details on how the score is calculated.
In addition to the score, you are told the engine evaluation for your move, the master move, and the move the engine considered the best move if it is different to the master move or the move you played. The best engine move itself is not shown if it is different from the played or master moves , as often the best move can remain the best move for several moves in a row, and providing the actual engine move would provide unwarranted hints, hence only the evaluation is shown.
The score from 0-12 is fed into a rating calculation (using the glicko rating system) which takes into account the rating of the current position, and your current rating to calculate a rating adjustment. If you are playing a game in unrated mode, the rating adjustments will be zero, however the rating adjustment that would have been made in rated mode is shown in square brackets e.g. User: 1830.2 (0 [+4.1]) indicates your rating adjustment was 0, but if solving in rated mode it would have gone up 4.1 points.
Rating each position in a game provides the advantage of being able to produce a user rating based not only on the matchup rate of your moves, but also factors in how easy it was to find those moves. A system which only scores based on comparison to the master or best engine move ends up giving the same result for playing the master move in a simple obvious retake as it would in a move requiring long calculation, or subtle positional evaluation.
A consequence of the rating system is that easy positions (compared to your current rating) will require a better move to gain rating points compared to a harder position. For example, playing a move that scores 5 on a very easy position that is well below your rating may lead to a rating point loss, but may be enough to gain rating points on a much harder problem. One way of interpreting the score and the impact on the rating outcome is that a 0 score is equivalent to a rating outcome that would arise if you lost a game, 10 leads to a rating adjustment equivalent to winning a game, and 5 is equivalent to drawing a game. A score of 10 will always gain at least some points, no matter how easy the position is. However, as mentioned in the previous example, whether you gain or lose points with scores below 10 will depend on how the position rating compares to your own rating.
17.2. Score Calculation
The score given for a particular move depends on a number of factors:
Matching the master move will score 10 points as long as the master move was not deemed a blunder. What is considered a blunder will depend on the specifics of the situation, for example missing a mate in 10, and playing a mate in 5 would not be considered a blunder. Similarly, being up considerable material and playing a move that is only a pawn worse than the best move would not be considered a blunder, whereas playing a move that is a pawn worse than the best move in an even position could be considered a blunder.
When in the opening, a move which did not match the master move , but matched a relatively main line opening move (as decided by opening explorer statistics) would also receive a score of 10 (the same as playing the master move).
Moves which the engine thinks are significantly better than the master move receive up to a two point bonus, giving a maximum score of up to 12 points.
Moves which match neither a common opening move or the master move (or the master move was a blunder), are scored based on exmaning engine evaluations of the move you played , the best move available, and the move the master played. For example missing the master move in a position where your move is only deemed half a pawn worse than the master move in a position where you are still clearly winning would be given a higher score than playing the same move in an even position where a half pawn positional advantage might be an important factor.
17.3. Progressive Scoring
The progressive scoring display to the left of the board shows a list of statisticss showing your progress on the current game, the following stats are followed:
- Rating Change
The total rating change so far during the game.
- Engine Matches
The number of moves which matched the best engine move.
- Master Matches
The number of moves which matched the master move.
- Moves Played
The total number of moves played so far.
- Turned Win To Loss
The number and percentage of moves which turned a winning position into a losing position, and the total number of moves that the position in the game was considered winning.
- Turned Win To Even
The number and percentage of moves which turned a winning position into an even position, and the total number of moves that the position in the game was considered winning.
- Turned Even To Loss
The number and percentage of moves which turned an even position into a losing position, and the total number of moves that the position in the game was considered even.
- Total Time
The total amount of time used in all moves up to the current move.
- Average Score
The average of per move scores for the game so far.
17.4. Commenting and Tagging
Guess the move supports per move comments and tags. As you move around in the game, the current move and move number is shown in the position comment/tag section title, and any comment or tag made or viewed will be relevant to the current move. You can also make general comments/tags that are relevant to the entire game by jumping to the start of the game, before the first move is played, and the comment/tag title bar changes to "Entire Game", at which point comments/tags made or viewed are referring to the entire game rather than a particular move.
In addition to the per move position comment view, there is also an "All Comments" view which is a covenient way of reading over all comments made on a game. You can jump to any position in the "All Comments" view by clicking on the move header for the relevant move. The "All Comments" view also allows adding an additional comment to allready commented moves.
17.5. Game Selector
The game selector is shown when the GTM page is loaded. It allows you to choose to start playing a new game, resume a game in progress, or replay an already played game. The replay button is shown next to games you’ve played before, and allows you to choose between replaying the game in unrated mode, or reviewing your most recent attempt on the game. Once you’ve selected a game for play or review, the game selector is hidden, and can only be accessed again by either reloading the page , or reaching the end of the game, and clicking on the 'Select Game' button shown under the board.
The game selector also shows some statistics related to the problem, such as the average move score you achieved last time you played the game (in brackets next to the ast date played column), and the current rating of the problem (which is an average of the rating of all of the positions in the game).
17.6. Review Mode
Review Mode allows you to look through the game, viewing the engine lines for your move, the master move and - where it differs from the master and played moves - the best engine move. As you move through the move list, you are also shown the scoring details for each move. Review mode is automatically entered after you reach the end of a game, or you can enter review mode by clicking 'replay' next to a previously played game, and choosing 'review' when asked to choose being replaying unrated, or reviewing the previous game.
In the review mode move list , a move you played is marked as "PLAYED", a move the master played is marked with "MASTER" and the best engine move is marked as "ENGINE". So for example a move that you played, that was also the master move AND the best engine move will be labeled "MASTER/PLAYED/ENGINE". For the moves that you played, they will also be coloured based on the score, good moves are green, bad moves red, and moves in between the two as khaki.
17.7. Variation Hiding/Folding
The variation folding and hiding buttons below the move list allows for some of the detail to be hidden in order to provide a more compact move list. The plus or minus expanders can be used to manually open and close the variation lines when folding is turned on. Please see the PGN Viewer Key Bindings section for more details on controlling the folding and traversing the move list via the keyboard.
17.8. Skipping The Opening
When a game is first loaded, you can choose to skip playing the opening part of the game by clicking the 'Skip Opening' button shown under the board. This is only an option before you have played a move, and the button is hidden once the first move is played. The opening skip is based on the opening explorer stats, and jumps to a point where the total number of games in the position is relatively low.
17.9. Engine Analysis
When in review mode, the UCI engine can be started by clicking on the 'Start Engine' button shown under the move list. This allows you to use your own engine running on your local machine to further analyse any position in the game.
18. PGN Viewer BETA version
The Chesstempo PGN Viewer has an updated version that is currently in BETA stage, and can be accessed here. This section describes this beta version, not the current version of the viewer.
18.1. Feature Summary
- Figurine Notation
By default, the PGN Viewer will show the pieces as graphical figures instead of piece letters.
- Resizable board
The board can be resized by dragging on the resize handles to the right of the board.
- Board Preferences
The Viewer has a settings button in the top left which allows board preferences to be set, these will be remembered in a browser cookie for when you next return to using the viewer.
- Move entry
The viewer can be used to enter your own list of moves by moving the pieces, or to add or investigate side variations to an existing game.
- View the game in the Chesstempo Opening Explorer
The PGN Viewer includes a button which loads the current game into the Chesstempo database page where you can explore the opening, or find other games which match positions in the current game.
- Show/Download PGN
The Show PGN button allows you to see the source PGN of the game, and to download the PGN to your machine, this is especially useful if you have been annotating a game, and wish to save the results.
- Arrows and Square highlighting
Using arrows or square colouring to highlight particular aspects of a game is supported with special PGN comments. These are covered in more detail below.
- Mini-board comment Support
Move comments can include a '#' symbol which will embed a board showing the current state of the board into the move comment.
- Variation folding
Variations can be hidden and expanded by the user, this often helps makes complicated games with lots of variations much more readable.
- Annotation Window
The annotation window allows you to add or edit comments on the game you are viewing. It can also be used to add Annotation Symbols such as !, ? etc to moves or positions. The annotation window is also used to turn folding on and off, and to perform variation manipulations such as promoting or deleting variations.
- Keyboard bindings
The viewer supports a large range of keyboard bindings, that allow for rapid annotation of games using only the keyboard, without the need for mouse interactions for most operations.
18.2. Keyboard Bindings
- ESC key
Escape from a text entry field, useful in annotation window when wanting to complete editing and move around the move list with the arrow keys.
- Left/Right arrow
Move back and forward in the move list.
- Home/End keys
Jump to start/end of the move list
- Up/Down keys
Move through variations on a move. If you are in a variation, or have the parent move of a variation selected, you can cycle through the variations by using the up/down arrow keys.
Bring up the annotation window, with the current move selected for annotation.
Same as the 'a' key, brings up the annotation window, but with the comment entry set to add a comment BEFORE the current move.
Focus on comment entry area. When the annotation window is open, the 'c' key focuses on the comment text entry, if you are moving through the move list with the arrow keys, commenting on a lot of moves, you can use the 'c' key in combination with the ESC key and arrow keys to avoid having to use the mouse during game annotation.
Saves and closes the annotation window (in reality this is mostly just a close, as annotation window changes are automatically saved almost immediately after any edits).
- ! and ?
These toggle the good move and bad move glyphs on a move, for example if you start with 1.e4 and press '!' once, it changes to '1.e4!', if you press it again it changes to '1.e4!!', and one more press resets it back to '1.e4'.
Toggles folding on the current variation, if folding was previously not turned off, it will be turned on.
toggles 'fold all/unfold all' variations.
Traverse all moves in the move list from the current move onwards. This will allow you to visit every move in every variation in the game from the current position. In other words it will visit all moves in all variations by traversing the entire game tree, it will visit all variations and sub-variations of the current move before moving on to the next one. The traversal is relative to the starting move, so if you start within a variation it will only traverse the following moves in that variation. To traverse every move in the game, start traversing from the first move. Each time you press the 't' key, you traverse to the next move in the traverse. This can also be used as a primitive temporary bookmarking system, as once you have first pressed 't' , you can click around the move list (or move around using the arrow keys), and pressing 't' again will jump you back to the next move after the last one you visited with the last 't' press.
Start new traversal. If you’ve already used the 't' key, and want to start traversing from a new location, use the 'T' key.
Promote the current variation one level, this will make the current variation the parent variation, and the previous parent, the child variation. If you are promoting a variation directly off the main line, the promoted variation will become the main line, and the old main line will become a variation of the new main line.
Delete line to end. Deletes all moves from the current move onwards. Choosing the first move in the main line will delete all moves in the game, choosing the first move in a variation will delete that variation (and any sub-variation).
18.3. Comment Markup Annotations
The PGN viewer supports some special markup that allows arrows, square highlighting and mini-board insertion to be rendered on the board or move list.
` [%cal Gc2c3,Rc3d4] `
18.3.2. Square Colouring
` [%csl Ra3,Ga4] `
18.3.3. Mini Boards
` [%cal Gc2c3] # `
18.4. Variation Folding
Variation folding allows side variations to be expanded and collapsed. Folding can make it easier to concentrate on the main line or important side lines when a game is annotated with many side variations. Folding is turned on in the annotation window, or can be turned on by using the 'f' or 'F' key (fold/unfold current variation or fold all/unfold all variation keys). Once on, you can click on the variation toggle button in front of each variation to open and close any particular variation (or use the 'f' key to toggle the variation fold when inside a variation).
18.5. Annotation Window
The viewer annotation window allows the manipulation of comments, annotation symbols and side variations. It can be opened by using the 'a' or 'A' keys, or by clicking the annotation button beneath the board.
18.6. Using the PGN Viewer on your own site
The new BETA pgn viewer is not yet available for usage on external sites. When the viewer has completed beta testing, a version will be made available which will allow external usage on your own site.
Appendix A: Problem Comment Guidelines
Chesstempo’s problem comments are a strength of the site and there is a large range of very interesting and helpful comments. To ensure the problem comments are as useful as possible I’m providing the following guidelines for writing comments, comments not meeting these guidelines (especially those deemed to be offensive or insulting) may be deleted.
Before adding a comment consider if other users will be interested in reading that comment. For example, while hearing about your thought processes during the problem is an interesting and useful comment, simply stating how long you took to solve the problem without any other details is not particularly interesting. Similarly "I got this one right." is not that useful by itself and neither is a comment consisting of single words such as "easy" or "hard". Marking personal milestones is ok, for example, "I got this one right and it was one of the hardest problems I’ve solved." is acceptable. "I got this one right, but struggled for a while on move 3 due to not noticing move X" is also fine.
Be polite at all times. Don’t insult other users when writing comments. There are various forms of this, "You’d have to be a fool to get this one wrong." is one example. A more direct example is, "I read your analysis in the previous comment, and you are a fool!". People make mistakes in their analysis , it is why they are training, it is ok (and highly encouraged) to point out the mistakes, but please do so politely. Remember other users of the site cover a wide range of abilities, insulting someone because they didn’t understand something is not only rude, but will likely discourage them from further training. Users insulting others or being generally rude may have their commenting rights removed.
Don’t use language that could be seen as offensive in the comments. Different people have different levels of tolerance of "bad" language, what one person might find acceptable, another may not, please keep that in mind. Furthermore there are children using the system, and parents should be able to feel comfortable that their children can use the site without being exposed to inappropriate language. If you see a comment you find offensive please contact me immediately. Users using offensive language may have their commenting rights removed.
Remember that the problems are computer checked. If you think you’ve found a refutation for the "best move" then you almost certainly haven’t. If you think you’ve found a move that takes a lot more material or wins more quickly than the best move it is possible , but unlikely. If you’ve think you’ve found a move that might win that was marked wrong and you think it should be an alternative then this is more possible, but is still often the result of an analysis error. In the above situations (especially the first two) it is strongly recommended that you check your idea with a chess engine before posting in the comments. Human analysis is still very welcome (and sometimes very necessary for situations the engine doesn’t deal with well), but a quick check with an engine can avoid embarrassing comments like, "1.f6 is mate, but I lost points!" when in fact 1.f6 was mate for your opponent :-) Comments containing accurate and detailed analysis are amongst the most useful in the system.
If you do find a problem you believe is "wrong" (the best move is not best or a winning line leads to a failure instead of a "try again") AND you have performed an engine analysis which supports you, then you might want to report this in the Forum "Chess Problems" area where it’s more likely to receive timely action. (Put the problem number in the Subject line. In the body of your post, explain the situation and include concrete variations.)
Following on from the last guideline, it is ok to say "I don’t see why 1.f6 doesn’t/does work, can someone explain." as sometimes the point of a problem can be unclear. However it would be ideal if you checked the position yourself before posting, that way you can help others out with a "I tried 1.f6 , but it didn’t work due to 2..Be4+" comment. You can be certain that if you have a question about the position others also do, for that reason if you don’t have time to do the engine analysis yourself, I’d still prefer if you posted the "Why doesn’t 1.f6 work" question as someone else can answer it, helping not just you but others who have the same question.
When posting analysis or move descriptions, please include move numbers to avoid confusion, this makes it much easier for people who want to reply to your comment. Where possible it is probably best if you can use algebraic notation with English piece designations as it will be understood by the widest number of people. For further details see the Wikipedia Algebraic Chess Notation article.
If all you want to point out is that the problem employs a fork, discovery, back rank mate, etc. then use the "Vote For Tag" button to the left of the board.
Read all previous comments before starting work on yours, sometimes the point you want to make may have already been made by a previous comment.
Criticism of the problems is encouraged, but if you want to post "this problem is terrible", then please say what you thought was wrong with it , e.g. "this problem is terrible, there was only one legal move!" or "this problem is terrible, I played 1.f6 and was marked wrong but it looks like it wins due to the following line 1..x etc" are both ok. A constant stream of "this problem sucks" with no other details provided will likely get your commenting privileges removed (especially if you’re almost always wrong - bad problems exist, but bad analysis is much more common).
If you see comments that don’t meet the above guidelines they should be voted down. If you see a question being asked that was already answered in a previous comment, then these should also be voted down. Problem comments which ask for clarification on a move/line are fine, but mistaken claims like '1.Nf7 is mate in 2, but I was marked wrong' when in fact 1.Nf7 is not mate and lead to a losing position should also be voted down. However when voting down these types of comments, it would be useful if you added a new comment explaining why 1.Nf7 did not mate (without referring directly to the original voted down comment), for example 'Some people are playing 1.Nf7 here, assuming it mates, however it does not mate due to 1…Bxf2+ etc'. Sometimes you will see existing comments of this type that have already had replies, in that case if the reply makes reference to the original mistaken comment, the original comment should not be voted down if it makes the reply difficult to understand without the context of the original comment.
If you find a comment particularly useful or interesting, you can vote the comment up. This will help protect good comments (and commentors) from inappropriate down votes, but it will also make it possible to eventually provide a view of comments which sorts comments by quality.
The last guideline is not to let yourself feel too hemmed in by the rules! Don’t be afraid to write a long comment, contradict a previous comment, or simply express a contrasting point of view. Whatever you’ve wondered, someone else has probably wondered too and you’re performing a public service. Your voice deserves to be heard and your opinion matters as much as anyone else’s.