Articles Month in Review: December 2020
What happened at last month? Month in Review: December 2020

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Hey, chess lovers! At last, 2020 is behind us and we can look hopefully forward to a new and better year in '21. But before we do that, let's take one last look back and focus on some of the good things that happened around the site in December 2020...


  • We added a warning in Live chess 15 seconds before games are auto-aborted for abandonment.
  • Implemented an Openings tab in Daily chess: Now you can review opening moves from Explorer and build on your game analysis at the same time - without leaving the game!

Openings tab (Daily Chess)

  • Made some improvements to Focus Mode, so that it looks better on wide screens.
  • Rather than showing an endless list of Club Events, we show the topmost ones and allow you to click "More" to optionally expand the scope.
  • Improved the user interface for inviting people to a Tournament.
  • We are now VERY close to unveiling our new Library feature for game collections, given all the work we did in December! Stay tuned!
  • In Live, added a message clarifying that games will start in 10 seconds at the beginning of Swiss tournaments. (Formerly, it just seemed like the waiting board was frozen as the result of a bug.)
  • Fixed a bug in which PGN headers were missing from Vote Chess downloads.
  • Added anti-spamming logic to game observer and ChessTV Chat.
  • The Daily Chess clock now has a tool-tip when you hover over it, to show how much Vacation a player has left (when they are on Vacation).
  • Fixed unresponsive Block button in the Live Chess post-game console.
  • Several improvements to the interface when watching/observing a game, and in Events.
  • Improved visibility of the board in Vs Computer when using the 3D board.
  • Flip the board using your "x" key in Live Chess
  • Added support for thematic Club Tournaments (i.e. using a specific opening) in Play.
  • We now use arrows to show Threats in Vs Computer (same as in Analysis). Select a Custom game and enable "Show Threats" to see them!

Threat Arrow (Vs Computer)

  • Made changes to allow us to test new features on mobile apps with a limited group of members - or two deactivate a new feature in an app without needing to resubmit a new version.
  • Improvements to membership gifting ('twas the season!).
  • Implemented Tournament Chat in Play UI.
  • Discontinued use of ~1 minute Video Lesson "samples".
  • Added rating Achievements for these variants & games: 3Check, Puzzle Battle, Crazyhouse, Daily 960, Live 960, Doubles, and King of the Hill.

Rating Awards (variants)


In early December, we released the very exciting v3.9.11, including...

  • A new and improved Friends feature to discover new ways to invite your friends to play! (You may discover you have more friends playing chess than you realized!)

Find your Friends!

  • Connect your Facebook account to find friends and family members to play - or invite people from your Contacts!
  • If your friends aren't quite as good as you, don't worry: You can now challenge them to a balanced game by offering material odds! (In these games, the stronger player has fewer pawns or pieces at the beginning.) You can choose how big an advantage to give - or let the app "auto-balance" the game based on the players' ratings.
  • Added seven Beth Harmon Bots (from the Netflix Original series "The Queen's Gambit")
  • Fixed some crashes and minor bugs along the way.

We also did several maintenance releases, with bug and crash fixes for Lessons and Live Chess in particular.

Fair Play & Sportsmanship

  • 203,853,206 games reviewed for fair play.
  • 9,053,655 accounts reviewed for fair play.
  • 25,252 accounts closed for fair play (including 9 titled players).
  • 1,075,388 abuse reports received.
  • 110,336 mute actions taken.
  • 93,820 individual accounts muted.
  • 55,513 accounts closed for abuse.

Member Support

  • Average time to first response:  3 days, 11 hours.
  • Total support responses: 44,833.
  • Average quality by member rating: 92% "Great" or better.
  • Total ratings: 5,107.

That's all for this month - and that's it for 2020! As always, thank you for reading, and see you next time as we check out all the site news January brings. Until then, stay safe and happy chess!

⏮ November 2020・ 🗓・January 2021 

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