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Correspondence Chess
Tutorial for using the ICCF Server -- Game Page (Waiting)

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In the illustrations, my cursor will be shown as or


After clicking on "Waiting" on the Games List page you will see the following:

This shows the current position in a game where your opponent is on the move. There is a lot of information available on this page.

Along the top is a list of links (blue background), and below that is the name of the event. Click on the name (it is a link) and you will go to the crosstable page for the event. The diagram size is an option (described below). The moves are shown to the right of the diagram. Click on any move and the diagram will be adjusted to show the position after that move. Below the diagram is a set of diagram links allowing you to review the game:

Start ... go to the starting position
<< ... go back 5 full moves
< ... go back 1 half-move
> ... go forward 1 half-move
>> ... go forward 5 full moves
End ... go to the current (end) position

To the right of the diagram, under the game score, is a checkbox labeled "get PGN" ... click on this link to get a full copy of the game. Using the IE browser I get the following popup window to indicate whether to open the PGN game file in my chess program (the program I have specified in windows to handle the .PGN extension) or to save the PGN file to disk.

Your browser may display a somewhat different selection box.

You may also click the checkbox labeled "Show timestamps":

If you do, the page will immediately redisplay showing the moves in a different format, with the date/time shown that each move was made.

Only a limited number of moves can be shown in this format without scrolling, but you can use your mouse to move the "slider" up and down at the right. Just left click on the slider, hold down the mouse button, and slide it up and down to display all the moves. Following each move is the "timestamp" showing the date/time the move was made. This is "server time", not your local time. The format is year.month.day hour:minute.

It should be noted that this page displays the amount of time you and your opponent have remaining. It does not display how much time has been used per move. It is easy to avoid overstepping the time limit with this information, but it is not obvious when you or your opponent are nearing the 40 days used for a move. If you overstep the 40 days for one move limit without TD permission (reach 41 days time used on one move), you'll be subject to forfeiture as soon as your opponent makes a claim (unless there are very unusual circumstances).

The time of the player overstepping the time limit is shown in red and he is unable to make a move, alerting the players about the overstep.

When your opponent's time turns red you'll have to request a win from the TD ... the result is not automatically registered by the server.

You'll also need to claim a win based on your opponent using over 40 days on one move. The TD is alerted when your opponent uses more than 40 days on a move, but currently you will not be informed, so you'll have to check carefully. In the future the server will probably be modified to show the amount of time used for a single move, but for now the user has to do this calculation himself by subtracting dates.

Menu items on this page

The top of the game page has a collection of menus for doing a variety of useful things. To view these menues move your cursor over the menu names. Here is an example of the viewing the first menu.


"Event" Menu

The first picture shows the cursor over the "Event" menu link and the resulting choice of links for the event.

The second picture shows that I have moved the cursor down the menu to the "Show crosstable" link.

Show crosstable. Left click the mouse and you'll see the event crosstable (this is also reached by clicking on the event name just above the game diagram).

Take Leave. You can also record your leave for this event by selecting the "Take leave" link.

Show opponent's leave. You can examine the leave taken by your opponent for this event by clicking on "Show opponent's leave".



There are two kinds of leave, normal leave and special leave. You get up to 30 days normal leave per calendar year in regulation tournaments. You can take this leave by clicking on "Take leave" in the menu described above. Special Leave is for emergencies. You will have to contact your Tournament Director if you want to apply for Special Leave. The TD can then set it up for you, if she/he approves. Normal leave is shown in green and special leave in red (see below).

While it is possible for the TD to set up normal leave for players, it is normal for the players to do this themselves using the procedure explained below. You must record your leave separately for each event you are playing in. Setting up your leave in one event does not automatically set it up in other events. Just choose any game in a tournament ... setting up your leave within that game page will set your leave for that event.

After you click "Take Leave" in the menu shown above you will see the following with a 12-month calendar showing:

In this example I clicked my mouse cursor in the "Start date" field and then, instead of typing the date, I clicked on 1 February 2005 in the calendar. The page redisplayed with the "Start date" filled in, in the correct format. I could then click in the input box for "End date" and click on the calendar for the end date of my leave, and the server would redisplay the page with the End date filled in. You may also simply type in these dates. Note the format is standard American format with month first, then day, then year. Then click on the "Take leave" button to register your leave. You may wish to mention your leave to your opponents, but it isn't necessary. They can check your leave, if they wish. If they make a move during your leave they will receive a notification that you are on leave and the Game list will show your status as on leave.

If the calendar does not show the year in which you want to start or end a leave, you can click on the button at the top-right of the calendar (to the right of the year) to go to the next year. You can go back to the previous year by clicking the button at the top-left.


Leave Display

When leave has been taken by a player or special leave has been granted, it will show on the calendar displayed when you click "Show opponent's leave". Below are samples or regular leave taken for 1 June 2005 through 7 June 2005 (in green) and special leave granted for 1 Aug 2005 through 7 Aug 2005 (in red).


"Game" Menu

Claim win. Click on this link to send the TD a claim for a win, such as when your opponent oversteps the time limit.

Claim draw. The server does not automatically record a draw for 3-time repetitions or 50 moves made without a capture or pawn move. Note, it isn't required to claim a draw for a draw reached by mutual agreement since the game is immediately recorded as a draw as soon as a player accepts the draw proposal.

Appeal. If you wish to appeal a decision by the TD use this link.


"Board" Menu

Coordinates. This is a toggle switch. In this example, diagram coordinates are set "on" (see checkmark in front of word "Coordinates"). Just click on "Coordinates" to reverse the setting. The coordinates are the 1-8 and a-h chess board indicators.

Turn. This temporarily flips the board so your opponent is shown at the bottom. This setting isn't saved, so it will revert to you at the bottom of the diagram next time you view this game.

Piece size (see above). This allows you to select the size of your board and pieces. When you move your cursor to "Piece size" a submenu is displayed showing size choices ... in the above example, it shows that I have 24 set as my current piece size. Unlike "Turn" this setting is saved and used for all game displays in the future (till you set a different size). This allows you to select the best size for your chess diagrams, based on your monitor resolution and personal preference. Below are samples of the smallest (16) and largest (96) sizes. I prefer size 24, as used for the displays reproduced in this tutorial.


"Email" Menu

Notifications. This is another "toggle" switch. The checkmark shows I have "notifications" selected. A click on this link would turn it off. Another click turns it back on. If "Notifications" is selected you will receive email notifications from the system. You may turn off notifications if you wish, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have some very unusual circumstances. Email notifications include alerts that a specific opponent has moved, but there are others, such as warnings that you haven't moved for 14 days. Note: the notifications setting appears to be set separately for each game. Changing the notification toggle setting for one game doesn't appear to affect any other games, even those in the same tournament.

Email TD. This is a "mailto" link. Click on it and your email program will open with a new email set up to go to your TD.

Email AC. This is a "mailto" link for the Appeals Commission.

Email help desk. This is a "mailto" link for the server help desk, a person assigned to provide help to the server users.

© 2005 J. Franklin Campbell. All rights reserved.

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