March 30, 2008

PlayChess Server

This is our completely new playchess server. It has much more power than the old one.

The old server had come to age. It couldn't handle that many games any longer. Some "expensive" features (namely the variant explorer) were too much for it.

I have to apologize for all the trouble in the past. We should have moved earlier to a new server. I hoped that the old server would do its work long enough so that I could prepare the necessary move. But fate has decided differently, so I had to transfer PlayChess to the new hardware in a hurry.

I tried my best to check if everything is okay. But PlayChess is a very complex web application. I cannot exclude that I missed something.
So I have to ask for your help: please check if everything works as expected. If you find some *new* error (that did not exist on the old server), please send an email to (this is a temporary email account). For any other problem or message you should use the usual email addresses and

The games will continue tomorrow (Monday, March 31st, approx. 12:00 GMT).
If any severe problem appears, I might be forced to reset the server (after solving that problem). In this case, the moves you will have made tomorrow, might be lost. Should this happen (I do not expect that), you would have to enter these moves again.

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2007

Take back

I corrected all games, where unintended moves had been made due to the programming error from January 27th.

If you still have one of these games, please notify me using the "Problem with..." link on the corresponding game page. Please tell me which move should be taken back (e.g. "18.Nh5Q").

If you see one of your games taken back to a previous position, then probably your opponent had requested such a take back. This was granted, because it has been *my* fault, not your opponent's.

I will resume the correction of our older "missing games" problem tomorrow.

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2007

Correction of unintended moves

If you made some moves during yesterday's site update, the system might have stored your move in more than one game. Even impossible moves (e.g. Nf5Q) might be stored into the database.

If you detect such an error (only then), please do the following:

- do not make any more moves in this game

- notify me about this game, please provide the following
+ your player name
+ the game name (best send a "problem with this game" report from the game page)
+ the not-intended move (and its move number)
+ the move that your intended to make instead
+ if you are under time pressure (less than 5 days on your clock)

I will restore the position before that unintended move during the following days (depending on how many problem moves exist).

Please apologize all this trouble!

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)

Programming error corrected

Despite my extensive testing there had been a substantial programming error. Quite often your entries from previous pages were repeated on the current page - resulting in strange error messages or behaviours.

This error is corrected now. You can now make your moves as usual - even move previews, and conditionals should be possible again.
Thanks for your error reports that helped a lot in finding this tricky error.

Possibly, this error lead to "follow-up problems", which will be repaired as soon as possible. Please report any problems in the forum "Error reports" or send me an email.

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 01:36 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2007

Preview error

There seems to be a problem with the "preview move" feature. Please do NOT use the previewing of moves until further notice. I will notify you here as soon as the problem is resolved.

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 05:46 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2006

Server down time

Today, the PlayChess server had been down for several hours. Please accept my apologies for this inconvenience! I will intensify my search for a new home...

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 02:34 PM | Comments (4)

September 27, 2006

New tournaments available

I corrected the state of several tournaments and created new ones. The missing games problem will probably be corrected tomorrow. Please make your moves in these "missing games" tournaments. The missing games will be created soon.

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 01:02 AM | Comments (5)

September 21, 2006

Tournament problems solved

I found and corrected the error that caused the tournament problems. You can enroll in tournaments again - if you can find an open tournament.

Several tournaments have missing games. In most classes there are too few open tournaments. I will try to correct both problems tonight. Tomorrow most of these problems should be gone.


Posted by Thomas Stahl at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

Tournament problems

Some tournaments have errors: missing games, wrong status, ...
Please do not enroll in tournaments until tomorrow!
I will try to find the source of these problems tonight. Until then, continue playing your running games or start some private games.

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2006

Server problems solved - for now

Today the server had been down for several hours. The administrators finally got it running again. But I still don't know what went wrong or how they repaired it. Hopefully, the server will be stable for the rest of its lifetime. Yes, we will get a new server. But I cannot say when (as quickly as possible).

Until then, let me remind you that the clock buffer (the time you get on your clock when the game is started) is meant to compensate server problems like that. Never, never let you clock drop below 1-2 days! Else, the next server crash might lead to losing games on time.

As you can see, our web logs (blogs) are working again! Some of you have been waiting since long for this event. Now, at last, you can publish your articles. And the PlayChess community will soon enjoy reading them. I will send out emails to all authors. If I forget anyone, just drop me a note.

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 03:48 PM | Comments (2)

June 28, 2005

No cookies? No problem!

If you had cookies deactivated in your browser, you could run into problems when you tried to open popup windows (e.g. private notes). The server "forgot" who you are.
I corrected that problem.

Thanks, Randy (AntoniusBloch), for the error report!

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2004


I corrected an error (harmless but ugly) that showed up when entering a mating move. (thanks to Paul!)

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 10:42 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2004

Inverted boards

Some players saw inverted boards (with themselves on the top side).
This error is now resolved.


This problem showed up, if you had set the board orientation (on your preferences page) to "Moving player". Since the program for displaying the chess board used the color of the moving player of the previous game (instead of the current game) the orientation had been calculated wrongly.


Several players reported this error - thank you all. Especially the detailed analysis of Patrick McCartney made localizing this bug very easy.

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 12:04 AM | Comments (3)

September 03, 2004

Some corrections

- Move notes can be entered and are displayed.
- Draw offers handled correctly
- Next game after making a move
- Back to player homepage after last game

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 10:07 AM | Comments (2)

Wrong game error

I finally found that strange error. Now again you can see any game played at PlayChess. Thanks for all your hints, they helped a lot.

The other problems will be attacked tomorrow (I go to sleep now). I am quite optimistic that I can resolve most of them quickly.

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2004

Strange errors

We still have some strange behaviour:
- opening an old, finished game often displays the wrong game page
- the board is (sometimes) displayed with your side on top

These errors will be corrected as soon as possible.

I already checked the database: your data are okay, don't worry, "only" the display of the games does not work.

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 08:22 AM | Comments (5)

September 01, 2004

Entering moves

Entering moves with the keyboard does not work, currently. Please enter the moves with the mouse.

- Click on the piece you want to move
- Click on the destination field

Now you see the resulting position.

I am working on this problem. Entering moves with the keyboard will soon be available again.

Posted by Thomas Stahl at 08:25 AM | Comments (1)

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