1. Reviewing games in progress
Once a game has been started, it will appear in your current games list (Current Games in the My Games menu). In that list, games in which it is your turn will be highlighted. Click on any game in the current games list to open the game board page, where you can see the position and, if it is your turn, enter your move.
2. Making moves
On the game board page, you will see a board diagram with the current position of your game, some buttons and options below the board, and a panel to the right of the board with information about the game. A more detailed description of all the features of the game board page can be found here.
You can make a move on the board diagram by clicking the piece to be moved, then clicking its destination square (or by dragging a piece to its destination square, if you have selected "drag and drop" in your personal preferences). A move can also be entered by typing the notation for the move in the small text entry box below the board.
In any case, when you have entered the desired move, make sure the radio button for "Enter move" is selected, and click on Submit.
Other actions you might want to take in a game, such as resigning, writing a comment to your opponent, or accepting a draw offer, can be done by clicking the appropriate button below the board before clicking on Submit.
In case forced move sequence is expected, you can consider using ConditionalMoves.
3. Game chat
You are free to conduct game chat with your opponent. In fact, this sort of communication helps make SchemingMind such a friendly site. There are two methods of appending comments:
- if you are making a move, write some text into the message box below the board before submitting the move
- select the Comment option, write some text, and click Submit (this option is always available in your games whether it is your move or not, and is also available, as the Kibitz option, in public games of other players)
The presentation of these two is slightly different: in the former case your comment appears in italic font, while in the latter case green text is used.
Note that if the game is public, other players will be able to read these messages while visiting the game (during the play, and afterwards). If the game is private, only you and your opponent can see them. Whether a game is private or public is chosen by the challenging player (in case of individual games) or by the tournament creator (once for the whole tournament). A public game is noted as such in the history pane on the board page.
One can also add comments to a finished game. This option is available for seven days after the game's conclusion. Games with newly added comments are shown on the top of the completed games list, and marked with a green dot.
A word of warning: while a lot of SchemingMind players like game chat, not everybody does. If your opponent is unresponsive, please refrain from further game chat. Also, please be aware that there are some players on the site who do not speak English.
4. Analysing position, making notes
You are free to move pieces while analysing the position (using the handy analysis board). You can also save your own private notes (say, planned lines) for future reference using the Private game note feature. See game board description for more details.
5. Finishing a game
The game can be ended in a few ways: when one of the players checkmates the opponent (or fulfills other win criteria in particular Variants), when a stalemate position occurs, when one of the players resigns, when one of the players wins by time forfeit, or when a draw is agreed upon or claimed.
Checkmate (or stalemate, or achieving another game ending condition in the case of some Variants) ends the game immediately. Note that you can view such a game by visiting your Completed Games page. There is also an option in one's PersonalPreferences to receive an email notification when an opponent's move ends a game.
To resign the game, just select the 'Resign' option below the board, optionally write a message to your opponent, and click Submit. You will be asked for confirmation; after clicking OK in this window, the game is over.
5.3. Offering/accepting a draw
To offer a draw, click the "Offer draw" box before submitting the move, choose a move, and then hit Submit to send both your move, and your draw offer. Note: you can't offer a draw without making a move (if you try submitting draw offer without a move, you will get the Illegal Move error - as you did not make any move).
If you are offered a draw by the opponent, you will see special 'Accept draw offer' option below the board. To accept, select this action and click Submit. To decline, simply make a move. A draw offer is also signalled by '=' appended to the opponent's move on the history pane.
5.4. Claiming a draw
Claiming a draw (i.e. by threefold repetition or the 50-move rule) is a little bit tricky, as there are two cases. If the position before your move satisfies the draw claim requirements, just select the 'Claim draw' option below the board, and click Submit. If you are wrong (draw claim is not valid), nothing will happen, the game board will be redisplayed. There is no penalty for such a try, if you are unsure, you can simply try.
If it is not a draw yet, but the move you are about to make will meet the criteria (say, after your move the position is to be repeated for the third time), select 'Claim draw', but also make your move, and then click Submit. If the draw claim requirements are satisfied after your move, the game will be drawn, otherwise it will just continue (with your move executed).
Note: offering a draw in situation like the one above does not claim a draw, draw offer remains just that - a draw offer (note: this is a change implemented in late 2011, earlier draw offers worked as claims).
Note that the criteria necessary to claim a draw depend on the game which is played. In case of standard chess and its shuffled variants, normal rules (threefold repetition and 50 move rule) are used, but in other Variants those rules need not be applied or different rules can be in use.
5.5. Automatic draw
The game ends as a draw (without the need to claim it) in case a position is reached from which a checkmate cannot occur by any possible series of legal moves, even with the most unskilled play (insufficient material rule). SchemingMind server recognizes as such the following positions: king versus king, king and bishop versus king and bishop with same coloured bishops, king versus king and knight, king versus king and bishop. Similarly, stalemate immediately ends the game.
Those rules can be different in case of Variants.
6. See Also
The rules of chess
Conditional moves ####
Game explorer ####
Comments and messages ####