Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enter a move?

There are two ways to enter a move in chessmail: You can use the "Your move" form in the top right to enter your move, e.g. "e2-e4". Alternatively, if Javascript is enabled in your browser, you can make your chessmail move directly on the board using the mouse.

How do I enter a castling move?

Castling is entered as a king’s move, so if playing as white, for example, you would move e1-g1 or e1-c1.

How do I resign or propose a draw?

The selection box to the right of the move display allows you to choose between "Normal move", "Offer draw" or "Resign".

I want to change a pawn into a piece other than a queen. How do I do that?

When a pawn reaches the other side of the board, a selection box appears in the top right, next to the input box. On the analysis board, the program always automatically converts the piece into a queen, but in the game itself you can choose which piece you want.

Why are some members’ names grey?

Member names of members who have played fewer than 10 games on chessmail are shown in grey. These new members do not yet have a rating number.

Why are some members’ names underlined?

Members who are online are underlined in blue.

What is the purpose of the pgn files that can be downloaded after a match?

pgn is a standard file format for chess notation. It can be read by most chess programs and chess databases. The content appears in the form of normal chess notation, so it can also be read by people.

Do I need to have Javascript activated to play?

No; the core functionality of chessmail also works without Javascript. Some additional functions, such as the option of entering moves on the board using a mouse, require Javascript to be activated.

How does the chessmail rating system work?

This is described under Using chessmail.

What do I do with my current games if I go on holiday or don’t have time to make any moves for a while?

You can set breaks in your user settings. See also: Setting holidays

What does "kibitzing" mean?

"Kibitzing" is the term used for watching games of chess. If kibitzing is allowed for a game, other members will be able to watch you play.

Can others see my notepad under the game display?

No, the notepad is there for you to save your personal notes on a game, and cannot be seen by other members.

Further information about chessmail

Here you find further information about playing chess on chessmail.

  • About chessmail
  • Rules and use of chessmail
  • Play chess on the go with your iPhone or other smartphone
  • The chessmail Terms of Use
  • Send an email to if you want to contact us.
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