Monday, May 8, 2017

MindTheCheck has changed!

MindTheCheck, the web site to play chess online, is changed, features and layout has been revised. New features have been added while others have been removed temporary and will be included later in the roadmap.
What is changed and why?
Time control: not all chess web sites allow you to customize the time control such as those with two or three periods used in official competitions and that’s a pity because even though 90% of online chess players play usual time limit, trying new time control could be interesting. The new release classifies chess games in four categories: bullet, blitz, regular e turn games. News are:
  • time compensation methods: time increment (Fischer delay) is used al lot in internet chess competition and was missed;
  • composing time control in more periods (up to 3) as in the most important chess competitions;
  • quantifying the lag during the online connection and using it to adapt the clock in order to have a fairer use of time between the players.
Turn based games  in the previous release were constrained to be 30 days per move, now they are allowed to be one day per move up to 30 days per move.

Rating: each game category has its own rating and it is always treated separately because of the different speed it requires. Players can monitor their statistics for each category.

Simultaneous games: it is understandable that more turn based games can be played simultaneously because of their slowness as the players have more time to focus on more battles; the new release allows users to play other game categories simultaneously that’s because it should be possible to play under stress condition for training or simply for fun.

Computer analysis: games can be analyzed by the strong chess engine Stockfish! You can submit to Stockfish analysis even positions loaded (FEN) or created or games loaded in PGN format.

Play computer: 8 levels are now available to challenge Stockfish chess engine. Now the availability of the engine opponent depends only on the browser version.

Sessions to share: played games can be shared using sessions among several users; you can share in real time games and positions. This feature is designed for those who want to do chess lessons remotely or for those who want to submit a game or a position to the attention and analysis of others.

The technology used for the new release is different in order to improve response time from the server. For this reason it is not available a mobile device version yet. Even the Big Game has been suspended for the moment waiting for the next new features in the roadmap.

So, MindTheCheck is a free chess service that is not still but moving continuously towards a new future.

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.