Articles Month in Review: October 2020
What happened at in October? Month in Review: October 2020

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Hey, chess lovers!... What's new!? That's what we're here to find out!

October 2020 was a fun & busy month, as the crazy-popular Netflix series The Queen's Gambit inspired many people to give chess a try—or rekindled a passion for the game. (If you enjoyed the story of main character Beth Harmon and her meteoric rise to chess stardom, you might want to check out this new course, based on her winning moves!)

Harmon vs Borgov
© Netflix

Of course, there was more to do around here than just watching TV! Let's see what else happened last month...


  • We wanted to make it easier for people to give the site a try without needing to create an account first, so we enabled Guest Play - a fun (but limited) sampler!Shhhhh!
  • Work continued on our forthcoming Library project, which will provide a way to store and share collections of games from anywhere and everywhere... Very exciting!
  • There were cosmetic and UI improvements to chess Analysis.
  • We worked on a major "v5" update to Vote Chess! Stay tuned to see the results in November.
  • Lots of improvements and bug-fixes went into our new Play interface.
  • We made it possible once again to adjust the engine strength, get Hints and take back moves in "Finish vs Computer" games: functionality that was interrupted by the arrival of the Computer Bots last month!
  • Added Odds Play for Daily games in our new Play interface! (This feature is coming soon for Live as well!) You will be prompted to select an Odds game if you create a challenge for a friend who is rated significantly higher or lower than you are... And there are lots of different kinds of odds to choose from—or just pick "Auto-Balance!" (Check out the original announcement here.)

Play Odds Chess with your Friends

Odds Options

  • We got to work on some cool visual improvements to our piece animation styles (Natural, Arcade). We hope to introduce the new styles very soon!
  • In the mood for something different? Step over to the Variants page and check out the brand-new Giveaway Chess option (also popularly known as Loser's Chess or Antichess). We also updated the rules and special pieces used in the ancient Chaturanga!

Check out Chess Variants!

  • There were several improvements to the new Puzzles interface, including getting members right into the action when they select Rated practice from the main menu.
  • Speaking of Rated Puzzles, you will now receive no less than five points for a correct solution, regardless of time spent.
  • Also, if you are practicing vs "Puzzles I have failed" in Learning Mode, then the rating range is ignored.
  • A new & improved Friends page makes it easier than ever to find new people to play with—or encourage people you already know to come and join the fun. Connect your Facebook account and you may discover you already have more friends here than you realized!
  • We tweaked the new Computer interface. For instance, now you are automatically scrolled down to the row of the last Bot you played when the page loads.
  • Guests and logged-out folks on the site will now be greeted by the Guide when they visit the Lessons page.
  • Added some improvements to ChessTV Chat, including an indicator to let viewers know about new posts below if they have scrolled up. Also, messages from the "chesscombot" now appear in green.
  • We made improvements to the logic for suggested Clubs.
  • Some cool UI improvements were added to our Events product as well!


  • Version 3.9.9 (6) landed last month and with it, over 70 new opponent Bots, of all strengths and styles, to challenge you!

The Bots come to iOS!

  • The new version also included new Flair, allows you to join and play in Club Arena tournaments, and features full support for iOS 14!

Fair Play & Sportsmanship

  • 124,943,149 games reviewed for fair play.
  • 5,266,420 accounts reviewed for fair play.
  • 11,668 accounts closed for fair play (including 17 titled players).
  • 278,619 abuse reports received.
  • 47,863 mute actions taken.
  • 39,720 individual accounts muted.
  • 48,337 accounts closed for abuse.

Member Support

  • Average time to first response:  24 hours, 20 mins.
  • Total support responses: 24,168.
  • Average quality by member rating: 9.35 / 10.
  • Total ratings: 2,806.

That's it! Thank you for joining us in this monthly recap—and please let us know what you think in the comments. Until next time, stay safe and enjoy your chess!

⏮ September 2020・ 🗓・November 2020 

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