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dorisia 535 ( +1 | -1 )
Turn-based chess sites Recently some people have been claiming that other sites are better than GameKnot. This development has surprised me and I disagree with those claims. Since I have tested about every one of these sites, I am convinced that I am in a position to disagree and that my opinion counts; I'd say that my opinion counts more than that of the newbies (at chess and at turn-based chess) who spread such unfounded claims as if they were gospel.

Below is a list of turn-based sites with a description and my opinion of them. I don't mention these sites by name, but I think that seasoned players will recognise several of them.

1. the site recently claimed to be the nec plus ultra in this forum: this is not a turn-based chess site, it is not possible to play chess there at all! They do organise a tournament of sorts, but it is hosted on external chess servers for fast or normal play (whole game in one session). From what I read on their page, the site is mainly intended for novices and "average" players; serious chessplayers will find nothing there.

2. a site which offers chess and several other types of games besides. Non-paying members can play up to 25 *moves* per day. Again there are very few strong players there and I have never met with any resistance there. It has message boards, but they are not worth my time, since they offer no content whatsoever.

3. a site similar to that mentioned under 2 (it offers several types of games). Nice graphics. It has clubs but you can only access them if you become a paying member; also most of the game types can only be played by paid members; also posting in the forums is the privilege of paid members. According to what I have experienced, the top player would have a rating of approx. 1850 if playing at GameKnot. Says it all, really.

4. A site which claims excellence, but doesn't allow the non-paying member to test or discover that excellence. As a non-paying member you can't play rated games. Result: almost nobody of the paying members wants to play you. I don't think a serious player can find there what she's looking for.

5. A site with not-so-excellent graphics and weird ratings. If you want to obtain a 3000+ rating, play a single game there and with some luck you can achieve just that. Tournaments are reserved for paying members. Some good players there, mainly those who treat their games like correspondence chess games.

6. A site with bad graphics and a difficult to use user interface. I timed out in one of my games there (in a completely won position), due to being misled by the system, which made me believe that I had more than a day left for my move. The site doesn't have many features.

7. A site known to quite a few GameKnot users. It has an Elo-type rating system with a constant K=32, meaning that a player can loose up to 32 points. So it easy to see that higher rated players usually refuse to play against lower-rated ones. As a relatively new player there and with a low rating, I challenged all players rated over 1800 - all 13 of them - and only one challenge was accepted; the others refused to play without even leaving a note. The level of play there can easily be determined by observing that the player on rank 2 there is not in the top 30 here at GameKnot, and I am pretty certain that this player will soon be on rank 1 there. It has discussion boards where a lot of quarrelling is taking place; in fact quite recently the most popular player there left the site because of such quarrelling. Nihil novi sub sole. Tournaments are reserved for paid members.

8. A little-known site, mostly intended for real chess enthusiasts. Thinking time is accummulated, which leads to slow play, more or less like in correspondence chess. Not many features, no rating list (though rating exists) or other such luxuries. But games are archived, which is valuable (and free). This is the only site where it is not possible to become a paying member. Has a rudimentary forum, where nothing much happens. People there play only chess, chess and chess. Some strong players there, but not as strong as here at GameKnot. Sometimes cheating takes place, in the form of individuals opening several accounts and playing against themselves. So it has happened that players achieved a 3000+ rating by playing only games of the type 1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4#. Maybe that's the reason why the rating list is not published (it's worthless).

9. And finally there's GameKnot, the site we all know. In my opinion its greatest attraction is that it is the only site where a real community exists, which comes in the form of team play, websites devoted to GameKnot (e.g. Brunetti's or the many team websites) and now external forums. Before newbies, who have been here for less than two months, start criticising this site, they should be aware of the fact that this site offers the most features, and that most of the features are free.
shoshin 106 ( +1 | -1 )
Not all are newbies I've been playing chess for over 35 years. I have also been playing internet chess off and on for the better part of 5 years. I have followed the development of gameknot for app. 3 years.

A friend of mine thought for much of the past three years that gameknot was the best turn based chess site. Shortly before his death this past winter, his opinion changed.

He was appalled at the double standard used by webmaster to control the forums. I agree!!

In his memory, I began to play here, only to try and help balance the forums, as I am positive he would have done.

While I am sure he would have been much more effective than I, I believe it was my obligation to the best friend, life-long friend, I will ever have had.

Mark, you are in my heart every day! I have tried to help Malinda and the kids in every way possible. They are all very strong and well grounded in reality. They all remind me of you.

Your influence will be felt forever.

Your friend, Mikey
schaakhamster 24 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm sorry for your friend, but what does that got to do with anything??? I'm getting a bit tired of people saying that they think the site has become worse; well you don't have to play here you know! nobody is forcing you.
shoshin 29 ( +1 | -1 )
schaakhamster How do you know it has NOT become worse? According to your profile you have been here at most 2 months.

Read my posts more carefully and you will see I do not intend to play here much longer.

As for my friend, save your sympathy, it would have only angered him.
More: Chess
schaakhamster 4 ( +1 | -1 )
well you are even less long here?!?!
More: Chess
hardcorepawn 7 ( +1 | -1 )
His profile may say only a month, but onlyapawn had been here since 2001.
t0ned0g 141 ( +1 | -1 )
#7 is RHP and it's great.... Red Hot Pawn is great! It's just as good as Gameknot in my opinion. It's interface is much better and soon it will have as many features as gameknot does. You can click a piece and move it without actually moving it. You have to hit a move button to move, so it allows you to check your move with it in place, instead of having to analyze the board. I can challenge almost any of the Top 10 and get them to play. You know why? Because first off, alotta people like me there, and second, if you say something to them, like hi, or hello, would you care to teach me a little with a buttwhoopin, you can get them to play. The rating is much better there as you can't lose points from beating a lower rated player, which is ridiculous. Forums are supposed to have quarreling. That's what they're there for. And the sense of community is awesome there, the amount of nice, funny, people is much much bigger than the amount of chumps. The site is little known to GM's and such, or I'm sure some would be attracted to play there. Whether anyone agrees with anything I have said here, you have to admit one thing. That site is amazing when you think about it being a non-commercial site, that is run by two guys in their spare time. RHP will soon have teams and team matches, almost completely making itself as good as GK is.
mormel12 12 ( +1 | -1 )
t0ned0g go to your profile and you'll find out you can enable the submitbutton. it works.
and mike runs this site alone.
zucan 133 ( +1 | -1 )
Personally... I find that GameKnot is the best chess playing turned based site out there... I love the user interface, as it is clean, easy to navigate and very easy on the eyes. The chess board is easy to play with and seems to be better implemented than most of the other turned based sites out there. The site offers a lot of bang for the buck and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend others to come here.

With regards to the forums... Forums do not make a turned based site... it is the games and how the games are implemented and played. If you measure this site by the forums alone, you missed the whole point of why Mike offers this site in the first place!

With regards to other sites, I do play at a couple other sites. The reason I do is because they offer some chess variants and GameKnot has no variants. Though, I like playing at those sites for that reason, I do not enjoy the experience nearly as much. Maybe one day, Mike will have the time and energy to add variants himself.

I too am in the process of creating my own chess turned-based site. I hope to take ideas from a lot of these sites and the suggestions I have seen here... but my heart will always be here with GameKnot and intend to continue offering support.

victord 35 ( +1 | -1 )
2 cents GK is still the best IMO ... for chess.
I play at other sites too ... redhotpawn, itsyourturn, but IMO it's the players that make the site ... the community. That's where something is lost when the forums are closed. Still, I have made so many new (international) friends and contacts here that it has become very special to me.
The community, the friends, the players.
calmrolfe 73 ( +1 | -1 )
For a few cents more... Gameknot is still cool, but not as cool as when all it's Forums were up and running.

I too have played on many sites and have found them to be a mixed bunch. I am not a great fan of IYT or Atlantic Chess but do enjoy playing on the British site called ChessWorld, which is run by enthusiasts from the Barnet Chess Club.

For variants I am using the Czech site Brainking which is the only site I know where I can play the GothicChess variant.

Surprised to see victord posting here.... last I heard of him he was going to extreme lengths to get first hand experience of the French Defence......careful, as too much study can make you go inSeine !!


Kind regards,

terminova 111 ( +1 | -1 )
Gameknot vs IYT I play at both IYT and and on at both sites. I like it here because it has actual ratings and at IYT, they don't. However, they have a wide variety of games which you won't find here. I don't use the forums much so I won't go into that part. The gameplay at both sites, as far as I am concerned, is the is chess afterall. There are a few minor differences. For example, here at Gameknot the max number of days per turn is 13, and at IYT it is 30. Tournaments run much faster there as each turn is 2-3 days. The graphics on this site are easier on the eyes with the black background (IYT has a white background), but the layout is good at both sites, and the features on both sites are similiar. Gameknot has IYT beat hands down with the analyze game feature, especially once they added the Submit button which is really really nice for those of us who are click happy! Anyhow...that is my take on these two sites...If you want to play me there, I play under the handle "no limits", and incidently, if I have the time, I really do take all comers. I'm not always around, but I do stop by every now and again.
schachfruend 114 ( +1 | -1 )
My ten pence? While I consider myself a lifer and a new person to GK at the same time, I must insert my opinion. I have investigated all (as of the last 6 months) other internet chess sites. It is MHOpinion that they all are trying to be GK. I would say the graphical interface of GK was/is genius in its simplicity. I found RHP and Atlantic difficult to navigate and lacking? One may have many 'feelings' regarding graphical interfaces and how they perceive their intro into a particular chess site with regards to how well they played? In the eight games with the before mentioned sites I did not lose so I have no qualms with the chess results but with the 'feel' of the site itself. This discussian could be a revolving door of opinions as to who and what is better? If we like it here and have an improvement we should make that opinion or improvement vocal to Mike!! If we like it here and I assume the majority do, then we must band together and make it the best? It is 'us' that make this the best chess site, Mike has provided the vehicle to which we can shine and enjoy; so it is make it so? It is easy to complain but difficult to provide an improvement!
silverwolfwsc 15 ( +1 | -1 )
Improvement An improvement to this site would be to add a forum in which we may discuss social topics, and not be treated as though we are only 5 years old while using it.
terminova 25 ( +1 | -1 )
Social Forum...not that again... They tried that already, and it just distracted everyone. Besides, if you really want to discuss social topics with others, there are plenty of other places to do so. Therefore, it is not necessary to have a social forum here.
silverwolfwsc 84 ( +1 | -1 )
other places...not that again.... why should you have to go other places? There are plenty of chess sites that have them too. The point is, first of all, that we shouldnt have to go somewhere else, and second of all, that i paid to support this site when the forums were available, and now they have been removed. The site is no longer as valuable as it was before, and i wouldnt pay for it.

Now, before you misinterpret what im saying into "the only reason i even come to this site is for the forums", i do still play chess here, but i certainly wont be renewing my membership when the time comes. Its not worth paying here just to play chess. I can play chess for free here, and many other places, so why pay for it? I paid to support what i previously thought was a great site, and now is just a mediocre chess site.

tovmauzer 47 ( +1 | -1 )
I think it's mostly matter of taste... I also tried several other servers and for me GK is and most probably will always be #1. But easiely can understand why Stans or have more appeal for their fans. I met only one other site, which suites me well (except for GK), it's, but it has too limited functionality for free members and forums are not comparable (well, were not...). Anyway GK is first and one of a kind for me.

But I disagree that there is no space for improvements. Fortunately, there is nothing perfect in the world:)

chess_champion 49 ( +1 | -1 )
this great website... well i am a newbie on this site since i have played only a month and i find it to be the best chess site EVER. i however have tryed many chess sites and am pretty sure i can identify all of the several descriptions that the original poster put down of other websites. so far gameknot chess has met a lot of my expectations and i am quite happy with it. also to consider is the fact that i am not a paying member so if i was (i wish i could) i would gladly pay and enjoy it to its fullest.
jean-marc 29 ( +1 | -1 )
National Flag I love GK (by the way what does gameknot mean ?), but have a suggestion I found on (GK offers more "freeby" features !).
The site displays the flags of the players' countries at the respective ends of the board. It's silly, but it makes you feel that your representing your country...
lukulus 17 ( +1 | -1 )
other sites I am member of IYT isnt better site, but has more types of chess and couple of other games. It promise more fun. But better players and forums are here.
tryfon 133 ( +1 | -1 )
Turn based sites Hi all

I think there is no "best" server. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses and certain players may like one but not like another.

As the previous poster mentioned, IYT for example has a greater variety of turn based games. LPC (my baby) has a great international feel. RHP has its own particular goodies as well. is good for the more serious tournament players.

I feel that they are all good for maintaining correspondence chess as an important way of playing chess. There are two many blitz chess sites out there which lose site of two things in my opinion:-

1) "Correctness" and "truth" in chess, and instead chess becomes a game about winning on time.

2) Correspondence chess encourages greater thinking, and encourages social interaction between moves- as there is plenty of time to chat between moves. Social interaction is often lost in blitz chess, as a player usually tries to stack up as many rating points as possible in one night. And 3 minute chess being the most common time control on the ICC for example.

I commend Gameknot, and all the others - they are brining correspondence chess back to life in a new modern format- correspondence chess by Web Server. They all need your financial support, and they should all thrive for the benefit of chess generally :-)

Best wishes
calmrolfe 68 ( +1 | -1 )
Tryfon Why is your baby named LPC ?

Wouldn't Samantha have been a better name ?, of course, if it is a boy you will have to abbreviate it down to Sam.....

Anyways, I thought your baby was called Chessworld. Please note that in an earlier post I was very complimentary of your baby and therefore I think it would only be fair if you added another 400 rating points to my total ..........

Anyways (Part 2)
Why did you resign against me when I was only standing marginally better in our game (Cal Rolfe v Kingscrusher). Had you spotted my awesome winning combination, er....and if so, could you please "remind" me what it was......

Good to see you spreading your wings and playing here on Gameknot

Kind regards,

tryfon 49 ( +1 | -1 )
Our game Hi there

I think although you were only a pawn up in the final position, you had complete control of the position! I do not like dragging out worse positions to the bitter end :-)

Thanks for the site complements. My basic premise stands- I think that all web cc sites are good for chess generally. They help spread the word of correspondence chess. There is just too much emphasis on blitz chess at the moment, which is no good for one's game or understanding.

Best wishes
Tryfon aka kingscrusher
baseline 49 ( +1 | -1 )
#3 must be Gold Token I was rated #4 at that site prior to coming here, and your assessment of the playing strength of the top players is way off, however there are only a handful of really good players there. GameKnot is a superior Chess site for several reasons. The chess notation, downloadable games, well run tournaments, the League and team play. The club feature at GT is nice because it offers private forums for the members of each club. It is more a place to socialize than to play.