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Editor: Dr Tim Harding
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Links to external sites

For the first time in ages, we have updated this page and hope we have now weeded out all dead links and updated others. Can readers please warn us of any sites they find no longer exist?

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

Also 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 Links on this page are reviewed periodically and a link to any site may be removed if the content appears to be out of date or unsuitable for our readers, many of whom are quite young.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.

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.

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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.

Lechenicher Schachserver (LSS)
Multilingual server which, after languishing for some years, has been beautifully redesigned and is becoming popular again. The number of games you can play is limited but up to ten games at a time are free. Both LSS and the next site listed also run some No-Engine tournaments. The games archive includes games played on now defunct organisations: IECG, DESC and chessfriend.com. Congratulations to webmaster Dr Ortvin Pätzold on the rebuild.
FICGS
Free Internet Chess Game Server. Also features GO and Poker. The chess playing interface is clunky compared with ICCF and LSS and occasionally the software fails to recognise checkmate! Nevertheless many chess players of all strengths compete on FICGS which runs many free tournaments and there are no limits to games. Announcements of new events and updates to the rating list and game archive are made at two month intervals. Webmaster: Thibault DeVassal.

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.
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. We have not played there in many years. Some strong players can be encountered on this server: we once played two games with GM Radjabov when he was a teenager and dre wone of them!
 
Warning: we have never played on any of the following but maybe they are OK.
 
Red Hot Pawn
Another web-based CC site.
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 Natcor (NCCC) Social CCA - see below.

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 EFCC.

The Social Correspondence Chess Association (a breakway from BCCA during World War II) is still functioning (see link above) but the 1960s breakway group. British Correspondence Chess Society (BCCS), no longer exists.

In the USA, ASPCC which originally catered to American servicemen, is still operating but we don't know about other American CC sites. APCT closed some years ago.

Chess in Friendship is an international club of over 30 years standing but continuing on a small scale.

There are now quite few email and postal chess clubs apart from the national organisations. Apparently, 'For Chess Lovers', DESC, 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 started in May 2016 as an independent Forum exclusively for ICCF members. Moderators: Harvey Williamson and Arno Nickel.

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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.

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.

The Chess Suite. Interesting new software by Dr Thomas Niessen of Aachen, Germany, which we used when we were checking the games of William Steinitz for our new book.

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 some years ago we ran an analysis series using these. Those pages can still be found on this site.

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.

Lund Chess Auctions

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

Yorkshire Chess History - this replaces the original address for Steve Mann's valuable researches.

Chess Tempo Old links for Worldchess now go to this site.

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Other Favourites

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

Chess History and Literature Society (The CHLS, formerly the Ken Whyld Association, 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 spoke again at its Norwich meeting on 15 April 2012.)

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

Chess History Richard Forster's website now is devoted to Edward Winter's Chess Notes which retains its archive but since mid-2020 rarely posts new material.

Chess Archaeology Editor: Jacques N. Pope. An older chess history site which in its Excavations section hosts a valuable archive of page images from many 19th century American chess columns (and some columns from other countries).

ChessLab A once-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.

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.

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

British Chess Magazine The world's oldest chess magazine (founded in 1881 and published every year since then).

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.

Gambit Publications: Dr John Nunn's company seems to concentrate mostly on ebooks nowadays, and has some good titles.

Kingpin 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. Reactivated online it occasionally posts new articles.

Europe Echecs The principal chess magazine in French.

Everyman Chess Prolific British chess book publisher.

Looking for chess books?

Here are two dealers you can contact for rare books:

Tony Peterson, England (A CHLS member - recommended)

Manfred Mädler, Dresden, Germany. Email: Schachhaus.Maedler@t-online.de (A long-established German dealer and CC master. Also used to be good for literature on oriental games)

For current books and other chess equipment:

Chess and Bridge Online Shop. This business, which also publishes the monthly Chess magazine, is the largest chess dealer in the UK. It has a physical shop in Baker Street, London, where the BCM shop used to be.

Niggemann: a long-established large German chess dealer based in Münster, Westphalia.

Euroschach: another reliable German chess dealer based in Dresden.

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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 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).

 

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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