Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Big Game

The Big Game? What is it?
The Big Game (Il Partitone) is a two-team chess game. Each player chooses which side of the board he would like to play (white or black color), and so the team to join. It is not necessary to start partecipating from the very first move, however once the player has chosen his color, it will never change through the game.

How partecipate?
The user looks at the board position and, if he decides to join the team which has the turn, he just plays his move. The move gets registered as a suggestion but it won't be played yet.

What does it mean being a team member?
A player, before suggesting the move he believes to be the best, doesn't know which moves the other members have suggested so far. Those move will be unveiled just after the player's suggestion and, after that, it will be possible for the player to chat with the other members of the team.
So, each player suggests a move and he is unaware about what other members have suggested so far. After the player's suggestion, all other suggestions will be visible and the team members start communicating by chatting, discussing, analysing moves and strategies.
Obviously the two team are not supposed to communicating each other, neither seeing the suggestions of the opponent team.

How does the game step forward?
Every day, at 00:00 AM UTC, the most suggested move gets picked up and played. If two or more suggestions are eligible to be chosen, it will be picked  a move up at random among them.
If no proposal is available at 00:00 AM UTC, the decision is postponed of one day. The postponement can be grant for at most 6 times in a row.  

How does the game stop?
If no proposal is available after 7 days, the game will be time forfaited.
If most of the member resigns, the game will be terminated by resignation.
If the chosen move contains a draw proposal and the opponent team accepted it, the game will be draw.
If the chosen move leads to draw by stallmate, by material, by repetition or by the rule of 50 moves, the game will be draw.
If the chosen move is a checkmate, the game will be over.

MindTheCheck and its Big Games
Each MindTheCheck's  Big Game starts at 00:00 AM UTC after the termination of the previous Big Game, and all the Big Games are saved.
The access to the Big Game is free but requires a registration to MindTheCheck, which is free as well.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Play against the Computer...this is MindTheCheck!

MindTheCheck has a strong chess engine among its users and now you can play chess with it! The engine is the famous Sockfish, one of the strongest ever.

Why Stockfish? Here are the reasons:

  • it's open source;
  • it supports UCI protocol;
  • it has several skill levels.

UCI protocol makes the SW integration easy so a number of engines are based on this protocol (e.g. Shredder).
However, the free Shredder version (1.5) does not permit to change the skill level while Stockfish does, futhermore Stockfish has 20 different skill levels.

Is MindTheCheck equipped with a dedicated server for the chess engine?
No, it isn't. Instead there are several clients acting as an engine. The "Computer" is a MindTheCheck's user which connects to the website and stays available to play as long as it gets disconnected.
Clients balance the load: each engine instance will play one or more games at the same time. When a client disconnects, another client with less load at that moment will take over.

Playing is easy and quick, if you can't find any human opponent online, you will train yourself with the computer now.

Monday, November 25, 2013

First Round Robin Tournament

The upcoming  MtC event is scheduled to start on December 11th 2013! Its nickname is RRT (which stands for Round Robin Turn-based tournament) and it is the first double Round-Robin tournament, with rated turn-based games (we recall: the time for one move is 30 days). The tournament will start with no more then 8 partecipants and with at least 6! Pairings are made with Berger criteria and in case the number of registrations is odd, Anonymous will be the dummy partecipant. Tie break are handled using the Sonneborg-Berger, that is by adding scores of the opponents who were beaten by a given player and half the scores of the opponents who she drew with.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

1^ Unrated SoM

MindTheCheck is pleased to announce the first Set Of Matches event!
Users will be able to register starting from May 21th and the event remains open for registration till June 10th.
The first SoM consists of up to 4  unrated turn-based chess games each player and it is a way to meet people on the virtual board and exploit the MindTheCheck features like the post-game analysis.
Unrated chess games do not alter the player ELO rating so people are free to play without worry too much about mistakes.
Turn-based games have very large time constraint (30 days timeout each move) so it gives players enough time to play a good game.

So, have nice games with MtC events!