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we are PlayChess - lower your shields and surrender your weapons - you will be assimilated - your technological and biological distinctiveness will be added to our own - your culture will serve us resistance is futile

Danger: why you shouldn't play chess at PlayChess.

Jeroen van Dorp

There was a time when I was playing chess behind a real chess board. I still do that, but there is something very wrong with me. I let PlayChess convince me that this chess site washes whiter than white. As the fool I was I took a peek inside, and now Im trapped. I'm doomed. I want to get out, but I can't. Professional help failed. The psych I visited needed to study PlayChess to understand my disorder better, but after his first login his secretary cancelled all my appointments, as now he himself is in a straightjacket, trying to get rid of his PlayChess addiction himself.'

Some people playing here don't realize they are very ill, and tell me
"PlayChess is the place to be for online correspondence chess". To get a better diagnostic of their awful syndrome, let's have a look at the root of all evil: correspondence chess.

Let me take you to a time in history when you only had a Fritz in Springt zu einer fremden Website. PlayChess ist für diese Inhalte nicht verantwortlich!Fritz the Cat, a Fritz that didn't play chess for sure… <cough>

snailmail times

People played correspondence chess by snailmail. Writing down a move on a postcard, putting a stamp on it and sending it to another part of
the world. And they waited for days to receive a similar card back with a move written on it. These people have survived the Cretaceous, outlived the dinosaurs and still live in the wild. As an endangered species, they continue to play snailmail chess, and let the postman do the job.

Here at PlayChess that concept is still alive, albeit somewhat tuned up. They fired the postman. Register yourself, enroll for a tournament and wait for your first game. You'll visit your homepage, click on your games, point your mouse at the fields your pieces have to move to and fro, and you're playing correspondence chess in the uptempo version: the "Generation Internet"-way.

Easy does it. And that's why these people think chess at PlayChess is so much fun. But don't be misguided! I will try to scare you off, before you are lured inside and fall to the same addiction.
PlayChess is a terrible place to be, as there are some spooky things happening here. Let me point you at some characteristics of the site, to arm you against it's dangers. Here we go.

Real humans

First of all: you don't see them, but you are playing real humans. Looking at my picture may make you believe otherwise, but I can tell you: I'm human alright.

Real humans that don't like misbehaving. They are at the other side of the board, they are your opponents, willing to play chess with you and they deserve a nice treatment - like yourself.

You should play your games with respect for your opponent. In that case you even will make a lot of friends here. Pretty scarey, no?

  Robert 'Bobby' Fischer

Now if you insist on losing… but forfeiting on time shouldn't be the way. Watch your clock and strut your stuff at the chess board here if you think you're up to the challenge. I said: scary, isn't it?

This is not all. You should also remember the second - even more abhorring - rule. I hardly dare to speak aloud. Come a bit closer, I'll whisper to you: no quickies here. On PlayChess it's playing with Fischer Clocks. You start with a fixed time you can use for your game, and with every move time is added to your clock. It's 10+2 here or 5+1.

"Now 10+2=12 and 5+1=6" you will tell me, and I am so gracious to hit you with the chessboard on your head. Thats not what I meant!'

"10+2" means you start with 10 days initial time to play your game, and after each move you make you will get an additional 2 days on your clock. Now pray tell me what 5+1 means? Good, you're hired.

nice 'n slow

Did you hear that? Five days, one day per move extra?
Do you know what that means?

If you start a 9 player tournament at 5+1, you will make 8 moves simultaneously almost every day during at least a month or one, two. That nice, slow clock also means that if you make your move in a single minute, your opponent may decide to think about it a few hours or even a few DAYS. And comes up with a brilliant move, making correspondence chess so nice. But on the other hand, you could do that also! You can get to the bottom of your chess abilities. Isn't that boring? I can see it in your eyes. You are getting enthousiastic. Well, then it's time for a really nasty comparison. Buckle up. I have to save you, before we must turn to exorcism and VooDoo rituals.

  do you really want to end like these?
A game on PlayChess is like marriage: before you know it, it lasts very long, without the possibility to escape. You are not engaged in a relationship passing by in an hour. You will spend a lot of time here especially when you get addicted, like most fools here, including me. PlayChess isn't blitz (although a day might go faster than you think!). It's for serious thinking at maximum level. You should take the time to play a game.

This isn't going right. I didn't scare you enough.
Even the "marriage" thing was not scary enough.

<Sigh> I think you're another case for the chess psychiatrist. Just like me. I knew it all along.

Okay, well, start playing then.

Have the time of your life, like all of us here.


Jeroen van Dorp is a 40-year old hobby chess player from Utrecht, The Netherlands. Currently addicted to PlayChess he pushes pawns since he was 8. If you want to ask him about the meaning of life, don't expect a sensible answer. But if you want to ask him chess related questions, please try at or visit his website at Springt zu einer fremden Website. PlayChess ist für diese Inhalte nicht verantwortlich!

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