New Support Site, Game Comments & More!
The team has been very busy the last couple of months, and it's a good time to let you in on what we've been up to: a nice mix of things you'll be seeing immediately, some really awesome stuff that's "coming soon" - and few top-secret items we aren't even going to hint at yet! :)
New Support Site!
It's faster, more helpful, & all-around more pleasant! If you haven't seen our new Support Home yet, hit the "Help" link at the top of the page. Our old support portal was overdue for an upgrade and we're happy to report that the new platform is better in almost every way. (If you don't believe us, please consider the "before" picture for a gentle reminder of where we started!)
A new search bar lets you enter your question or topic and returns a list of articles that include key-words from your input. And our job isn't quite done either. Right now, we're grooming and revising the content of the articles themselves: improving the format, the keywords, simplifying and consolidating, fixing the occasional broken link still left over from when we migrated to the new platform. It's going to get even better!
Our trophies have gotten a cool, clean new look - these are trophies you'll be proud to show off! Gone are the random, strange-looking snippets of unmatched clip-art. We've also introduced special shapes so that you can tell what kind of trophy you are seeing at a glance:
Speech bubble = Fun trophies
Square (with chess-board border) = Game trophies
Square (no border) = Site Award trophies
"Medal" shaped = Tournament trophies
After much analysis of ratings data, we've made changes to reduce ongoing ratings inflation. We want our ratings to offer a meaningful index of chess skill and of a player's genuine improvement over time. It was clear that some of our ratings types were getting a little... unreal.
A lot of analysis went into this, resulting in changes that will gently bring ratings for Tactics Trainer and Chess Mentor more in line with online & Live chess ratings, and slow the pace of artificial inflation for those two as well.
Yes! You can now comment (and track comments) on Live and turn-based games! If you are one of the players, you must wait until the game ends to see or add comments, but everyone else can comment on the game in progress.
This will be great for friends, team-matches and tournaments (especially final-round drama)! Just remember that BOTH players contributed to the "content" you're commenting on, and both will tend to be tracking comments. Therefore, be it congratulatory or critical - please keep it constructive & kind! :)
See our new FAQ article for more details.
...And now for some great things that are on the horizon:
General performance enhancements are in the works, and [..drum roll!] Live Chess for iPhone and Android are on the way!
Very exciting! Get tutored by real-life chess instructors - live! - right here on Chess.com.
Yes, you will soon be able to review and book the services of a professional chess instructor in our directory, and easily pay for the chosen services right here. Your real-time lessons happen in the Live Chess interface, where you'll have the benefits of our new graphical analysis boards and voice-chat: an amazing virtual classroom for 1:1 tutoring or group lessons!
(Chess coaches, take note: You'll soon be able to establish your own services e-store right on your Coaching Profile - and it takes only a few minutes!)
More about Chess.com-based Coaching coming very soon...
Look & Feel
Anybody else feel like the place could use a make-over? Well, we've got excellent designers reviewing the many pages of Chess.com even as we speak - and we think the changes are going to be amazing: simpler, more attractive, more usable. All-around awesome.
Ok, for the moment, that's all I'm at liberty to show & tell!
And hey, if you're on Facebook, please jump over to our page and give us a "Like." In addition to posting some of our best content to your newsfeed, we're also going to be doing LOTS of trivia contests (etc.) to give away premium memberships and other fun stuff. Check it out!
Bye for now!