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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Update on uChess

As mentioned in the previous post they start you out at 1200 and you have to play 20 games to get an established rating. Mostly you will be playing players in the 1000 to 1400 range so your initial rating won't be very high. I saw very few players rated over 1400 on the site although I'm sure there are higher rated players there.

There are a LOT of disconnects when players realize they are losing. Fortunately this is the same as resigning and you get an immediate win when they disconnect. When someone accepts your challenge you don't know their rating as only their name pops up. This lead to an amusing incident when I challenged a 1550 player. He was White and immediately asked my rating. When I didn't reply he disconnected, but because no moves were made there was no penalty.

I posted a challenge and evidently when he saw my lofty 1650 rating he figured I was a worthy challenger and accepted it. I immediately disconnected and posted another game request which he again accepted so I decided to go on and play him. He played a pretty decent game and things were about equal when I had a chance to win the exchange for a Pawn. As soon as he saw what was happening he disconnected. I looked at the position for a few minutes and think that despite being the exchange down his position certainly was not resignable.

One 1150 player, after suffering a defeat in a 5 minute game sent me a message, "nice software" to which I replied, "don't need it to beat you" and he disconnected. Why do so many players out there think every time they get beaten it was an engine? I could understand it if they were a master, but when they are barely out of the beginner stage, why would they think everybody they play is so bad they can't see an elementary tactic? Heck, that's one of the reasons why they are only rated 1200.

One really bad defect in the site is that it is impossible to retreive your completed games. You can look at a list of your results, but you can't download the games. Immediately after playing one you can get a pgn, but you have to copy and paste it into something. You can only play games from 1-60 minutes and 0-10 second increment.

Verdict: If you don't take chess very seriously and only want to play it as though it's just another video game, I guess the site is OK, but if you're serious, play elsewhere.

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