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Editor: Dr Tim Harding
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Links to external sites

We are again in the process of weeding out dead links. Can readers please warn us of any sites they find no longer exist? We have now added a section with some newly recommended sites of various kinds to this page.

Note that all ICCF information including the ICCF online games archive is now hosted at the ICCF webserver where its games are also played.

Our national CC websites page and Irish links are separate from the links below.

Correspondence Chess Servers

Major CC Organisations

Other email chess clubs

Other CC websites

Newly recommended

Chess literature

Chess openings

Other Favourites

Miscellaneous Sites

If you think your site deserves to be linked here, email us with your details. Note that we often do not include site logos (which make the page bigger) and we generally only give links where a site is of high quality or of special interest to chess historians or correspondence players.

Note to webmasters who may consider requesting a link: We only link to sites about chess and board games. If you are a poker or other gambling site, don't bother asking. Links on this page are reviewed periodically and a link to any site may be removed if the content appears to be out of date or unsuitable for our readers, many of whom are quite young.

Major Correspondence Chess Organisations

International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF)

Recognised by FIDE as the world governing body for correspondence chess: ICCF makes rules, awards titles and runs the most comprehensive and authoritative CC rating list. ICCF was founded in 1951 and the legal successor to previous international bodies ICCA and IFSB (pre-WW2 European body). It published a book about the first 50 years of its activities, ICCF Gold.

ICCF will host its annual Congress in Cardiff from 16-22 August, the hosts being the revived Welsh correspondence chess organisation.

The ICCF European zone also has its own good website. ICCF is a true federation of national organisations.

Normally you have to pay entry fees to enter ICCF events. There are now just two major email CC organisations: IECC and DESC (see below) since IECG wound up its activities at the end of 2010.

International Email Chess Club (IECC)

IECC does not run championships or award bogus titles. It does have a wide range of other events including friendly matches. Its most controversial feature is its attempt to ban the use of computer analysis - so if you like to avoid computer opponents, you have a better chance with IECC. A major article on IECC appeared in Chess Mail 7/2002 but it may be very different now.

International Email Chess Group (IECG) - now closed.

IECG began around 1994 and was reconstituted at the end of 1996. It was for a long time the main rival to ICCF but ceased its activities at the end of 2010, although its website remains for the time being as an historic archive. Active play has been transferred to the Lechenicher SchachServer (LSS): see below. IECG was rather controversial because it awarded titles and ran an event which it calls an email "world championship" but eventually it had to recognise that server play has superseded email chess.

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Correspondence Chess Servers

These are not in any particular order but we have played on the first five.

The ICCF web server is very well established.

This is a fully-featured CC server where numerous serious correspondence chess tournaments have now been played or begun. We strongly recommend any remaining email and postal players to switch to this mode of play. Ten years ago Chess Mail sponsored the inaugural event with 91 players in 13 sections.

Scheming Mind Online Correspondence Chess Club
Private server affilaited to ICCF! Webmaster: Austin Lockwood.
Playchess
Webmaster: Thomas Stahl. Popular German-run CC server (in English) with a wide range of events starting continuously. Good user interface. Choice of computer-assisted or "no-computer" tournaments. Three month free trial and then a small membership fee.
Chessworld.net
Webmaster: Tryfon Gavriel. This English-run server ourselves was recommended in a reader article published in Chess Mail 6/2002. It has become very popular.
Lechenicher Schachserver (LSS)
Multilingual server which has taken over all new IECG events. Webmaster: Dr Ortvin Pätzold.
FICGS
Free Internet Chess Game Server. Also features GO.
 
Itsyourturn.com
Popular American-run game server with the widest range of board games including Backgammon, Go, Chinese chess, numerous chess variants and other games. No rating system. Time does not count at weekends. New events start weekly for members, fortnightly for others. Not ideal for chess but excellent if you like its other featured games.
Gameknot
Popular server: good for friendly games but tournaments only start infrequently. Quite a lot of strong players can be encountered on this server.
Red Hot Pawn
Another web-based CC site that is now well established.
RemoteSchach
A German site where BdF played the Herschel Memorial tournament.
 
Stan's NetChess
One of the earliest CC servers. Experienced a major crash in November 2012; we are unsure if it is now fully functioning.
 
ChessCorner
Another web-based email chess and forum site.
My Chess
A German server, by Matthias Karkowski.
Kingchess
This German server closed 1 January 2016.
 

The above is not a complete list of servers where CC may be played; there are so many of them now.

 

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Other email and postal chess clubs

Apart from the above and the national CC organisations (separate links page), there are a several clubs within the UK and USA that are separately run but affiliated to the national bodies.

In the UK: EFCC BCCA NEW URL Natcor (NCCC) Social CCA - closed?

The English Federation for Correspondence Chess (EFCC), was formerly named the British Federation for Correspondence Chess (BFCC). EFCC is the umbrella group representing English corresponence chess internationally. The British Correspondence Chess Association, which celebrated its centenary in 2006 and the National club (Natcor for short, founded in the 1930s) and are the main affiliates to BFCC.

The old link to the Social CCA (founded during World War II) no longer works and the club appears to have closed. It is no longer listed as a member of EFCC.

The British Correspondence Chess Society (BCCS) also no longer exists.

The American Postal Chess Tournaments (APCT) no longer organises competitions but its site remains for the time being, with historic information. The United States Chess Federation (USCF) also seems to be winding up its CC activities, although Alex Dunne's "Check is in the Mail" columns can be found under Chess Life on that site.

In the USA: CCLA ASPCC APCT

 

There are now very few email CC clubs:

Apparently, 'For Chess Lovers', LIAPE, Sinergia, SIR and Eclipse no longer exist AND SEMI is no longer organising tournaments. Webserver CC seems to be killing off these clubs.

HIARCS Forum has started (May 2016) a Forum exclusively for ICCF members. Moderators: Harvey Williamson and Arno Nickel.

Nothing has changed for years at correspondencechess.com, which was established by John Knudsen and taken over later by Grayling V. Hill. The sites it links to do not appear to have new content either. The old CC scene of the late 1990s and early 2000s is effectively dead now as the network of enthusiasts who helped build the email game at that period have drifted away from chess, or at least from CC.

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Other important websites

Chess24 In our opinion, this is the best site for following live chess tournaments (many with grandmaster commentary), and for playing blitz and rapid games. Premium subscribers also get additional features including instructional videos and e-books. Chess24 also provides some services in German and Spanish

Chessdom This is also quite a good site for following live chess events and reading chess news in English.

Worldchess This is the official website of the FIDE World Chess Championships, where Dr Tim Harding writes a series of articles.

ChessBase news This is another site we check daily for chess news and annotated games.

Chess.com is another popular online play site of which we have little experience. You can also follow master events there. Their people, for example, managed the live coverage for the recent Gibraltar congress.

ChessBomb is an alternative site with live coverage of master events.

Chess-db.com is a site where you can search for games of master players and future opponents. We prefer it to the better known chess-games.com which is more restrictive of downloads and whose data we have sometimes found unreliable.

Edo Historical Chess Ratings By Professor Rod Edwards of Canada: year by year, the top ratings from the dawn of tournament chess up to the First World War. Based on solid historical research and the latest in statistical methods.

Nalimov 6-man endgame tablebase at Knowledge4IT We find this is the easiest to use web service for checking endgames with a maximum of six men (including the kings).

6-man endgame tablebases at ChessOK Note that ChessOK now offers an annual subscription giving access to its 7-man tablebases and we have started a new analysis series using these.

Quality Chess This is a very lively publisher website with a blog and lots of downloadable extracts from their excellent books.

British Chess Problem Society

English Chess Forum Provocative and informative (though sometimes rambling threads become annoying). The English Chess Federation have tried unsuccessfully to kill it off in 2014 by launching their own forum which hardly anybody visited and it has now been closed down.

Chess photographs from the Cleveland Public Library, Ohio

Lund Chess Auctions

Streatham & Brixton Club blog This blog has now ended but an historic archive remains for the time being.

Yorkshire Chess History

Chess Tempo

 

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Other Favourites

The principal non-CC links of interest to us are:

Ken Whyld Association (The KWA is an international association of people interested in chess literature and chess history. Tim Harding gave a lecture at its annual meeting in Amsterdam in September 2005 and will be speaking again at its Norwich meeting on 15 April 2012.)

FIDE (World Chess Federation, governing body for OTB play). Ratings, rules and more.

Chess History Editor: Richard Forster. This site now includes Edward Winter's Chess Notes which is updated several times each week.

Chess Archaeology Editor: Jacques N. Pope. An older chess history site which recently sprang into new life, posting numerous page images from many 19th century American chess columns.

ChessLab
A popular high-tech site, featuring a database of two million interactive games you can play through with the Chess Tutor java applet. Find games, download PGN, play through online, analyse online with their engine.

The enpassant.dk site is where you can still find the PGN viewer program Palview4 which I used extensively in the past to present games on my CDs and formerly on this website.

Chess Variants for people who like that sort of thing.

GM Alexander Baburin's daily Chess Today and website, GM Square.

Tim Krabbé's Chess Curiosities - a treasure trove of unusual chess facts and strange games.

The Week In Chess (TWIC) Editor: Mark Crowther; no longer sponsored by London Chess Centre, but still posting weekly game downloads.

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Books, magazines and publishers

McFarland Publishing
McFarland are indisputably the leading producers of quality chess history books.
They published Tim Harding's three most recent books.

New In Chess
The world's top chess magazine: eight printed issues per year. Good site for links and now with an online database of 800,000 games.

British Chess Magazine *** NEW URL ***
The world's oldest chess magazine (founded 1881).

Moravian Chess
Dr Vlastimil Fiala's reprint house for chess books and periodicals from the 19th and early 20th century. They also publish the Quarterly for Chess History which has just been revived with volume 17.

Kingpin *** NEW URL ***
Scurrilous, funny, sometimes serious, sometimes libellous. Used to come out in print about 3 times a year when editor Jon Manley was in the mood. Now reactivated online.

Europe Echecs The principal chess magazine in French.

Everyman Chess Prolific British chess book publisher.

Looking for rare chess books?

Here are four dealers you can contact:

Tony Peterson, England (A KWA member - recommended)

(Also good for literature on oriental games)

Manfred Mädler, Dresden, Germany. Email: Schachhaus.Maedler@t-online.de

(A long-established German dealer and CC master)

Schachbücher Urs Frischherz, Switzerland, Email: urs.frischherz@bluewin.ch

(Good site for bibliographical information on chess books)

 

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Commercial, Software & Miscellaneous

Some other sites we consider worth visiting from time to time:

For game collectors: Britbase is a site we highly recommend for good free downloads of archived British OTB events, plus many links to other sites where more games may be found. This is now being actively developed again by by John Saunders (formerly editor of BCM and Chess magazines ) who has now retired. It links to similar sites in other countries.

Australian Chess Enterprises (now run by Gary Lane and associates)

Useful Chess - play or learn

Better Chess Training

Chess Rules for Beginners by Remote Chess Academy

DirectoryGame.com - an online directory of game sites

Regency Chess Company (Bath): a chess shop in south-west England

A searchable online chess encyclopaedia: La Mecca.

Chess Quotes.

If you want to download games by ftp for your database, first get the index from the tremendous University of Pittsburgh pitt.edu site, which has zillions of games and chess software utilities to download in any format you might need. The gamefiles are not really recommended as they include a tremendous amount of incorrect data and garbage,

Bruno Berenguer's Chess Problem of the Day.

Software

ChessBase GmbH. The world's biggest chess software company hardly need any introduction, do they?

For chess fonts, we use the Alpine Electronics series created by the late Steve Smith, the true professional choice for chess publishers but perhaps expensive for others. They are now available again for online purchase.

For advice about diagrams, fonts and chess publishing tips, try the page run by Eric Bentzen for Nørresundby Chess Club's En Passant pages (Denmark). Part of the highly recommended Palamede site (listed under Favourites)

Chess Puzzles: chess tutorial software and training simulators for beginners and tournament chess players.

 

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Sites about Chess Openings

So you want to play some strange openings?

Diemer-Duhm Gambit: Jyrki Heikkinen

The Orang-Utan opening 1 b4 (editor Benoit St.-Jean).

Urusov Gambit and related lines (Michael Goeller).

ChessPublishing.com
If you want to play proper openings and are willing to pay good money... English-run subscription venture, updated monthly and aimed primarily at the keen amateur and improving player. It's a sort of opening theory encyclopaedia/magazine divided into twelve sections edited by different experts (mostly GMs). You can subscribe to just the openings you want, or the lot. Updated monthly with PDF booklets and downloadable games.

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