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Sunday, May 23, 2010



I’ve heard of this site and it got some decent reviews from people who played there so I decided to check it out. Their site blub advertises: Over 1 million members, Play live tournaments, Free live games, Challenge your friends, Improve your rating Play at your level. Chat with others using text, audio and video. Watch how the masters play and improve your game.

Free is only relative. You don’t get many “benefits” with a free membership. Monthly membership is $4.95 with 3 and 6 month discounts. For example you have to pay to get benefits like game stats and history and custom pieces. I clicked on the icon to play a game and after 2 minutes the game board was still loading. My computer is rather old and a bit slow, but really!

I read on another site forum that they offer prize tournaments and probably because of that they monitor games for cheating. According to the forum poster if you frequently switch tasks during a game you get a couple warnings before getting kicked off. He said they also monitor moves with an engine to check match up rates and keep an eye on members rating progress.

Monitoring your rating progress means if you win a lot of games and your rating climbs quickly it’s viewed as a possible sign of cheating. Of course you could just be a really strong player, but you will still be a person of interest and it’s likely your games will be subjected to “review.” This happened all the time on Red Hot Pawn. Individuals would lose a game, check out their opponent’s rating history and if it looked suspicious, they’d fire up their engines and start checking out that person’s games then report the finding to the game mods. The mods would investigate then boot the suspected cheat off the site. The list of banned players got so long and their were so many forum posts making accusations that they quit listing banned players. I suppose there’s something to be said for trying to ferret out engine users but to me it is howling at the moon.

Anyway, I didn’t care for Chesscube. I can get the same thing free elsewhere. Besides that, like I said, the site was way to slow loading for me. Short version: Not interested in playing there.

I understand people trying to make money at chess and if they can do it more power to them. But personally I admire guys like “Ste” at Plastic Bishop and “Miguel” at Queen Alice a whole lot more. Their sites are free and they are in it for the love of the game.


  1. nice review, and i like playing at chesscube too. my ID is PARAMEX you can find me in Indonesian Room :-)

  2. good site, lousy ppl.

  3. Yeah sub-par site. Plus the moderators talk way too much crap and ban at will. Crazy.

  4. chess sites are a very tough business. Only a few sites will survive competition. And I fear chesscube will not be among them. This has several reasons.

    Firstly and most important: other sites were by far better in attracting paying members. But Chesscube has always been the home of players mainly from india, indonesia, philipinnes etc. and they cannot afford to buy a membership. Why management never tried to change that? A nice gui is one thing, but without enough marketing nobody sees that.. This leads to point nr. 2. Secondly: bad management! What shall premium members who have just bought a premium membership for 40 bucks or so (like I did for example) think if the management offers the same membership two weeks later for 30 bucks. And 4 weeks later for 20 bucks. But even that did not help chesscube, even at the most discounted price thinkable this site did not attract paying members. While chess.com has nowadays tenthousands of paying members and even playchess.com has tousands of paying members, chesscube has a ridiculous percentage of people who pay for the service. There are not more then several hundreds of paying members on chesscube and thats not enough for professionell service! Thirdly: the mods. Nearly anbody who wanted to become a mod, got the job. With all the consequences. I have never seen so many wrong decisions like here on chesscube (just this week they banned without prewarning one of the biggest chesscube-donators!..)
    At chesscube there has long time been no need to develop a decent business model that work, as Chesscube has had right from the start a 2 miliion dollar venture financing by south african venture capital fund InVeFin. Chesscube's management knew pretty well how to spend money but never knew how to attract paying members.
    2ng biggest problem: bad management, really bad leadership! Take the chesscube story and you can write a "how-to NOT-run-a-business" bestseller..A bunch of tech nerds and gamers: tech students,, young, unexperienced, lack of social intelligence, no idea of marketing, no idea of business plans, no idea of financings. Since Mark Levitt left Chesscube, there is anarchy on this site.
    How is the saying: if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Well, chesscube is nearly bankrupt and paid their mods less then peanuts. Tons of wrong decisions are the result. People were banned and unbanned according to the mood of immature amateur mods. No management, no business plan, no skills.
    CC is not short for Chessscube but for Chess & Chaos...

  5. I must agree with “Gerhard” and I don”t reccomend Chesscube. I was banned of no reason and I changed several mails with Chesscube support, because I was interested, where is the problem. In first mail they sent to me,there was written it is a case of “sandbagging”…I found what “sandbagging” is and answered that I don”t lower my rating deliberately, even I am nearly my maximum rating. “Sandbaggers” plays for some benefits (betting) and lower deliberately their rating to be undersimated by their opponents…I don´t use bets (rarely 25 cubits = min. bet = nothing) and I don´t ruin my rating – it is obvious from rating charts. I was waiting for the answer…They gave me the truth at this, but wrote that I improve my rating rather with weaker opponents (about 2000; I have (had) 2400). I was moving in limits the Chesscube have determined and they told me, it is cheating ?? I have played with players with the difference of rating +-500 points, it is maximum dispersion to choosing opponents on Chesscube…I can´t play with opponent, if he doesn´t want to play.
    Even if the game is started, the opponent can changes his mind and abort the game, if he wants.
    And they inhibit the rights of two free persons to play a game, to choose their opponent !!! I have played on Chesscube for several years and I was satisfied and then this happend. There was arrogant approach from Vhesscube and no willingness to solve the problem. It would enough to think a little…I play with players in the range (which is the same for everyone) and I choose my opponents and my opponents have the same right….there is NO PROBLEM but I was BANNED. Maybe “the dekorum” is not applied in case of non paying players.