With the emergence of the Internet, chess has left its pristine physical domain and logged on to a highly popular online, virtual form. The Internet enables chess players to play real time chess with players from all over the world. Chess games are hosted over the Internet on special chess servers. Users download the game, which comes with special, easy-to-install software that allows users to play and chat with other players from distant locations. Java-enabled websites are also available in which a Java enabled browser is used.
There are many sites that offer a large variety of chess games. Chess servers like the Internet Chess Club (ICC) and the Free Internet Chess Server (FICS) are available to help you play online chess.
The Internet Chess Club (ICC) is one of the best environments for online games, as the interface is extremely easy to use. The Free Internet Chess Server (FICS), as the name suggests, is a free chess server like the ICC and Chess.net. It requires a player to download a graphical interface like CClient, Winboard or Slics.
Internet chess games are also available at Chess.net. Chess.net has features similar to ICC and FICS with its own graphical interface that must be purchased. Because of the cost involved, Chess.net is less popular than its free counterparts.
Playsite is another site for online chess games. It has multiple games that require a Java enabled browser. Downloading the Java component usually takes time, but this time can be cut down by using a Castanet Tuner. The Castanet Tuner downloads all the codes and graphics from Playsite the first time around, so that in future sessions players only have to download the updates. Over the years many Internet chess servers have been created, including ChessLive, ChessAnyTime, and the World Chess Network.
There are two ways to play chess on the Internet. One way is for players to play a real-time game with another online player. Real-time games have to be completed within a specific timeframe. The other method is to play an opponent who is not online at the same time. With this option, there is no time limit. A player has complete control over the game. Players can chat and study their games in detail, and can also play multiple games simultaneously.