Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Towards the end of my college years, I had a lot of time on my hands.  Classes were winding down; the work was getting easier; I was spending more time looking for work and grading papers as a TA than I was attending classes.  Since my evenings weren't filled with much homework, I would play personalities on Chessmaster ... this was all back in 2000.

I graduated in December of 2000 and landed a job in Texas.  We moved our small family and I started working in January of 2001.  My evenings were even more freed up with absolutely no homework, so I ramped up my time playing chess.  I eventually discovered that Chessmaster had an on-line community and I'd occasionally play someone on the CM server.  Then I discovered pogo.com and Yahoo! chess.  Soon I started reading chess forums and I frequently visited Chessville.com and their forums.  Then I discovered FICS and Winboard and my life has never been the same.

I came home from work on a Spring day in 2002.  Our oldest was a toddler and our friends who had kids the same age as ours were over for a visit.  The windows were open; the air was crisp and fresh and I was sitting at my computer watching the kids while downloading Winboard and registering my handle at FICS.

Soon I was blitzing on FICS most nights and then eventually playing in the OCL and the 45-45 Team League.

It's a bit surprising that I've only played 1129 blitz games.  I imagine I've logged into FICS many times as a guest so I could play wreckless blitz without affecting my rating too badly.

When did you log on to FICS or ICC or one of the other chess servers for the first time?  Do you remember the day?


  1. I love this post! Wow, only 1,100 games on blitz is amazing. I think I accumulated about that amount in a few months time at FICS. I started internet play at Pogo, I remember my first handle was called "Deathmaster007", oh to be thirteen again lol. Had a great many accounts there but probably never played more then 150 games on any of them. Long period passed till about a 2-3 yrs ago when I made a FICS account and it was there that I played about 2500 blitz games. I remember the first time I logged in there wondering WTF how am I supposed to play in this shit! Main console window... not user friendly lol.

  2. I do not remember the day clearly, but I remember the first site where I played regularly: Chess.net. I started playing there in 1998. I had first played online about ten years earlier via Chessmaster and a private network that my brother had set up with a friend where they met once each week. I joined ICC about 1999, but stopped playing there when Playchess became my main site in 2004 or 2005 (although I've rejoined several times since, including last week.

    I don't like FICS, but do play there from time to time. I started playing there in 2004.

    On for: 54 secs Idle: 0 secs

    rating RD win loss draw total best
    Blitz 1624 85.8 4797 3849 587 9233 1741 (07-Mar-2008)
    Standard 1817 274.1 70 44 13 127 1854 (11-Jun-2008)
    Lightning 1540 301.1 128 174 6 308 1616 (02-Aug-2006)

    Total time online: 37 days, 1 hr, 32 mins
    % of life online: 1.3 (since Fri Aug 20, 08:35 PDT 2004)

  3. Hey Rocky!

    Ten years! That is awesome!

    You are a true veteran...

    I played on ICC for the first time in 2008 I believe. I am a chess rookie compared to the rest of you.

    I now spend most of internet chess time at ICC with a little bit at FICS.

    Hardly ever use Chess.com anymore. And am still intrigued about PlayChess. :)

  4. I like Playchess better than any others for the interface, and for the quality of live coverage of international events. However, they have been raising the price and creating levels of membership. I generally play there one year after an engine upgrade (one-year is part of the the package), but do not always buy a new engine every year. My last big ChessBase software purchase was ChessBase 11 about one year ago, and it did not come with Playchess membership.

    I spend plenty of money on chess but maintaining memberships at ChessWorld, Chess.com, ICC, Playchess, Chess Tempo, ... cuts into buying Chess Informants and wine. Choices are necessary. I bought six months at ICC last week, so I'll play there for awhile. Who knows, maybe then I'll need Hiarcs 14 and return to Playchess for another year.