Free Internet Chess: Where to Find Chess ...

Free Internet Chess: Where to Find Chess Games On The Internet
by Mike Hirn

Free online chess games are available over the Internet. There are several kinds of free online chess games and each has different options. Players can stay engaged for hours. These games can be downloaded for free from the websites where they are hosted. An alternative is to stay on the site and play a game with another player who is also online. Free online chess games come with guidelines for new players. There are options that allow the current game to be saved, a new game to be loaded, or a current game to be restarted. Games can also be played via email. These sites also have attractive graphics, usually HTML files, to hold the attention of players.

There are numerous chess servers available on the Internet today. Some of these offer free online chess games to players. The Free Internet Chess (FIC) is one such internet chess system organized as a permanent free Internet Chess Club. In 1980, a band of volunteers created the first Internet Chess Server (ICS) for fun. This server was popular only among a small group of chess enthusiasts who were excited by the possibility of playing chess at great distances using new technology. At first many different problems occured. One was the inability to close a game of blitz (rapid) chess on time because of Internet lag. In the year 1992, programmers like Daniel Sleator worked extensively on the code for the server in order to stabilize it. He and his team were successful and received offers from numerous companies to commercialize the server.

By 1995, the popularity of ICS caused its programming team to charge a fee for membership, a move that was not well received by some of the programmers who had worked on the original ICS. Led by Chris Petroff, one such disgruntled programmer, a team of programmers developed the Free Internet Chess Server (FICS). The FICS included similar features to the ICS without the cost. Today there are chess servers as well as sites that offer free online chess games to players all over the world.

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