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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Plastic Bishop Review

Plastic Bishop is a good site for beginners. I had some correspondence with the site’s owner, a fellow named “Ste” and he seems to be a pretty good guy who mostly runs the site for the love of it more than the money. Based on some of the questions I saw in the forums I doubt their highest rated players a much above 1600 or so.
      As well as being able to play in standard games you can also join tournaments or multi-game matches. Tournaments can be set up to only allow players of a certain skill level to join, or you can allow anyone join.
       If you choose to become a subscribed member you will be able to create teams and invite other members to join you. As a team, with up to ten members, you can play games against other members or against other teams
      Site subscriptions are for about $12-13 per year. This gives you access to everything the site has to offer and all proceeds support its continued growth. Actually, “everything” doesn’t include much though. If you don't want to subscribe then you can use the site free with no advertising, but you will be limited to having a maximum of 10 games at once and some other features will be limited or unavailable.
      Ratings start out at 1000. My record there was +14 -0 =0, including this gem against a 1300: 1.g4 d5 2.Bg2 Bxg4 3.c4 Be6 4.Qb3 dxc4 5.Qxb7 1-0 See what I mean about it being a good beginners site?!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there,

    Thanks for the nice review :) I'd like to respond to a few of the points that you made, just to give my perspective on them.

    1) You are right that there are a lot of beginners and intermediate players on the site, but there are also a few very good players. The problem is that the novices outnumber the experts, and the experts mainly play amongst themselves. One of the reasons for this is that the very good players don't want to risk losing too many rating points to an unknown low-ranked player. The situation has started to improve over the last month as games against new members do not lose you any rating points if you lose. As the site evolves there will be more and more advanced players and we'll be a world class site.

    2) There are a lot of features that you get for subscribing, but they're not all listed in one place so aren't necessarily obvious that they even exist. There are new features regularly in the works so the deal for subscribers gets better all the time. Also the subscription fee is very low compared to other sites, and I'm committed to keeping it low for as long as possible.

    Hopefully one day you'll come back and play a few more games with us, it would be great to see you again.

    Incidentally based on your screen shot I managed to find the game you discussed by using various subscriber-only features ;)