The Internet Chess Club (ICC) offers the opportunity to play all kinds of chess, with all different levels of opponent, and at all possible chess speeds.
This page, and the accompanying page with links to ICC-based slow leagues, are designed to help you get started playing S...L...O...W... chess on the ICC (I recommend games at least 30 5 or, preferably, slower to give yourself time to develop good thinking habits). Many students and friends have complained that they cannot find slow games (especially using the ICC's "Seek" graph), so this page is designed to show you better ways to find suitable opponents who will play slow games with you on the ICC. The most helpful suggestions are in green.
There are thousands of games played each day with slow time limits on the ICC - how slow depends on you or the tournament/league in which you are participating. Here are the primary ways you can initiate a slow game on the ICC:
Using the ICC Seek graph is not the most efficient way to find slow games. The easiest (but not best) way to get a slow game is thru the 45-minute pool:
Left-click the "45" circle at the top of Blitzin/Dasher or type the command "45-minute" to get an automatic opponent in the 45-minute pool (45 minutes for each player plus a 45 second increment per move). Note: both clicking the "45" circle and typing "45-minute result in exactly the same action. Be a little patient and you will be provided an opponent.
Do "Help 45 minute" to see additional information on this new 45 minute pool of automatically getting games. Players you find using this method can be used to greatly expand your "+notify" list! (see below).
Important: The 45 minute pool usually pairs you with the first person available, who might be quite a bit better or worse. For a more competitive game, keep reading!
The 45-minute pool (above) will ensure a game every time, but if you want more control over who you play:
Use the "+notify handle" to generate a list of players who will play you slow games, where "handle" is the ICC name of the player and the "notify" command tells you when they log on and off the ICC. To see your list type "list notify" You can also get more players' handles from friends, opponents in prior games, and especially, tournament/league lists. Do "help notify" to learn more about how to use this command. Note: on Dasher the notify list is called your "Friends" list.
At the Team 4545 league web page there is a link on the right column labeled "Ratings". Taking this link takes you to two lists of members who play slow chess on the ICC. The players are in descending order of rating on the right column of the linked page. (I can't give a direct link to the T4545 ratings page because that URL changes each Team 4545 season). Use the ICC's +notify command described in the previous bullet to add the players in that list who are in the rating range you are interested in challenging. ***This bullet (along with the next few which augment it), is the main suggestion on this page. One student used "cut and paste" to quickly ICC message 127 players near his desired rating range and got 27 replies within 48 hours. If you message these players (as suggested in the next bullet), you will likely have slow game opponents available any time you want to play, just asking (message/email) ahead of time to set up a game. You do NOT have to be a member of Team 4545, nor meet any other requirement, to issue a friendly challenge to any ICC/Team4545 member via an ICC message.
When messaging someone to play, keep the message as friendly and "open" as possible. Do not request specific time controls and dates and times; the more open the request, the more likely the reply. If needed, a minimum time control can be mentioned. For example "mess fred Hi Fred! I saw your handle on the T4545 page. Would you like to play a slow game sometime? If so, please mess me back with days/times available. Look forward to playing you - thanks!"
To see who is online from your notify list, use the "z" command (for a complete set of all those on your notify list, type "li notify"). If you "fi handle" it will tell you if the player with that handle is playing a game (match), idle, or observing a game. If they are not playing a game, then you can either "tell handle qqq" to ask them if they would like to play. If so, then use the "Game|Match" selection as above.
If the player you wish to play is not online (or even if they are and you don't wish to check), message them with a request to possibly set up a future game. Use the ICC command "mess handle xxx" where "handle" is the name of the person you wish to contact and "xxx" is the message text you would like to send to them.
Note that higher rated players might not wish to play rated games with you, so when chatting or messaging with them, give them the option to play the game non-rated (there is a checkbox in the Match selection for this option).
The same considerations apply to time limit and availability. A potentially perfect opponent may not be able to play right now, but may be able to schedule a game with you at a mutually convenient time in the near future. Or he/she might not have time for a 90 30 game but might have time for a 60 5 game, so be flexible. If you just ask someone to play a rated game now at a specific time limit then your chances for an agreement diminish.
If you do find a friendly opponent then after the game ask him/her to review it with you. If your opponent is amenable, after the game you should ask him/her to provide you with a list of friends who might also be able to play you slow games (important!). Add these handles to your +notify list and/or message them. Asking this question and +notifying these handles, next to finding them originally on the Team 4545 website, may be the most important step for finding slow games online. With this kind of proactive approach, you will soon have all the slow game opponents to play almost any time day or night! If you can't find a human to play, there are several computers which play slow chess at varying strengths and speeds, but I would only use these as a last resort.
For a short supplemental list, here is a list of players who have emailed me that they are willing to play ICC slow games (but the T4545 list is bigger so go there first).
Join the league or tournament. Make sure to check out the accompanying Slow Chess Online information which includes links to several ICC-based slow tournaments and leagues such as the Team 4545 league, Chess 90 30, and the Euwe Memorial). Note that some leagues have a 20 standard (slow game) requirement for eligibility to make sure your rating is fairly accurate and you know how to use the interface. You might even consider playing slightly faster standard games (then can be as fast as the speedy 15 0) just to get your initial twenty games in, and then you can play the slower limits of that league or tournament.
The Slow Time Control Bunch is also an ICC adjunct. Register on Thursdays by 4pm.
Shout out on the "slow" chess channels to ask if anyone wants a game. Channel 90 is slow time controls. Channel 345 is the Team 4545 league. For example "tell 90 Hi! I am interested in playing a slow game (30 5 or slower) with someone rated 1450-1700. Let me know if interested." or "Tell 90 I am creating a +notify list of players rated 1600-1900 interested in playing 60 10 games. Please 'mess Myhandle' if interested."
Directly challenge a player to a slow game via the "Match" selection in the "Game" pull-down menu (in Blitzin)
If for some reason you do wish to use the "Seek" graph:
Answer someone else's slow game seek on the Seek window for a slow game by left clicking on it. On the Seek window the slow games at the far right. All games to the right of the second dotted line are rated as ICC "standard" games.
Create your own slow game seek via the "Seek a Game" selection in the "Game" pull-down menu (in Blitzin)
PS: If you are playing on the ICC and your opponent disconnects in a losing position, you can now automatically claim a win. See "help judgebot" on the ICC.
If you want to play slow chess online, but outside the ICC, check out our Dan Heisman Learning Center at Chess.com. For more on that, read this overview of the DHLC.
This page was generated by ICC member Phillytutor (NM Dan Heisman), find his ICC instructional videos here. email dan - or better, call him at 610-649-0750, to ask any questions about this page
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