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Wulebgr Chess

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Correspondence sites—server based

These sites mark one of the most recent and exciting developments in how chess is played. Whereas traditional correspondence chess required transmission of each move through some form of notation on postcards, email, or similar medium, server based correspondence chess employs a JavaScript-enabled board upon which players make their moves. Usually there is also a space for leaving short messages for your opponent. In traditional correspondence chess players must laboriously verify their records and move notation to avoid error; server based chess eliminates this need for record keeping. Of course, many players maintain separate records for off-line analysis, and to store a record of previous analysis.

The links below take you to in-depth reviews of the best sites. I also have a chart for comparing which sites offer key features.

ChessWorld Red Hot Pawn Net-Chess Queen Alice GameKnot ChessManiac compare sites

Top Sites:

Each of these sites offers exceptional quality and value.

Good Sites:

Each of these sites offers good quality. 

Other Sites:

I tried these sites, but found them inferior to others.

No other site offers as many features. The administrators and many players are serious about chess. Offers far more features than other sites, and has the lowest annual subscription fee of the pay sites.


Guest members can play on teams. The forums are cumbersome. Membership is overpriced. Good quality, poor value. Site administrators seem capricious and ignore certain queries.


Athough a bit cumbersome, certain features shine.

Red Hot Pawn

This site’s forums are the most active for discussion of religion, politics, and chess strategy. Team competition is spirited. Terrific fun.

This site excels despite weak database functions and PGN download support, which has improved recently.

This ambitious site offers features not yet available at the other sites, but also lacks some of the standard elements.


Navigation is a hassle; games are not available in PGN, nor stored on the server after completion.


The site designer/administrator is responsive to suggestions. The site is nice, and has a friendly group of players that are enthusiastic about playing there. However, its features are lacking compared to some of the better sites.

Chess Knights

The structure and design are similar to ChessManiac, but with a glitzy and distracting background. Site menus are poorly organized. The forums appear active.

The site has good chess affiliations, but is disappointing.

  Net-Chess, aka SlowChess

Full access without cost. Permits full download of all completed games.


Poor design features: the board is too small, and it is crowded by the menu.


This site is growing, offers some nice features, good forums, and a pleasing appearance. It often seems slow, however. The site is free.

This site appears to offer many exceptional features, and the cost of full membership is quite low. However, I do not offer a full review at this time.


Updated 18 July 2008