News Month In Review: September 2019
What were we up to in September? Read on! Month In Review: September 2019

| 39 | News

Hey, chess fans!

Just like that, October is upon us, and it's time to look back on the month that was. 

September was huge! Let's dive right in...


Puzzle Battle

  • Puzzle Rush gets competitive in real time, with the arrival of Puzzle Battle! (Read the full announcement!).
  • We continued making enhancements to the system that scans games to uncover new (high-quality) Puzzles.
  • Added some logging to Puzzle Rush, to help us better understand why it was occasionally freezing up for some members.

Live Chess

  • Some interface improvements when setting up Bughouse games.
  • Added the ability to specify a custom rating range for Bughouse challenges.
  • Club Admins can now moderate chat in their clubs' Live Arena and Swiss events.
  • We now throw a browser confirmation message if a player tries to close the tab during a game.
  • When observing, if you back up in the move list, the board goes pale to show the position is not current (very helpful during broadcasts/streaming!).
  • Added /guessing command to the Console, which will display the Guess the Move leaders when observing a game. We also show the top 10 guessers now (formerly it was just five).

Guess-the-Move leaderboard... on demand!

Daily Chess

  • As in Live Chess, Daily games now draw automatically after the third repetition of position.
  • Fixed minor visual issue with the animated check mark that appears when a move is made. (It used to appear to slide as it was being "drawn.")
  • Made it easier to see if an incoming challenge was rated or unrated.
  • Added a Tournament Search filter to let members see completed Tournaments they directed.
  • Daily Chess games now show move times in the Time graph, below the board in Analysis.
  • The post-game pop-up will now close if you click anywhere else on screen.
  • We tweaked the Daily chess clocks (to look and act more like the ones in Live Chess).

Other Stuff (Web)Site-Wide Chat!

  • Site-Wide Chat landed early in the month and has seen many fixes and improvements throughout September! (Check out the full announcement!)
  • To prevent spam, new members must wait 60 minutes between creating new Forum topics.
  • Fixes and improvements made mobile web look and work better.
  • We made some UI and visual improvements to the new member profile page.
  • Fixed a bug whereby rating refunds (granted to the past opponents of members whose accounts have been closed for cheating) were being given for game types where we don't detect cheating (and where the incidence would be very low anyway); for instance, Crazyhouse or King of the Hill.  We currently refund rating points for Standard chess and Chess960.
  • We added your best Puzzle Rush score to the member pop-up card

Puzzle Rush Score

  • Now the current node/position is easier to see on the graphs below the board in Analysis.
  • Improved side-panel menu for Top Players pages.
  • Added "advanced" options in Analysis to allow the user to define En passant square, Halfmove clock, and Fullmove count when setting up a position.

New Game Set-up fields

  • Re-added official ratings (USCF, FIDE, etc.) to the list of member ratings in the Profile page's side panel.
  • Cheat-detection improvements. 🤫
  • When looking at a game analysis, clicking on the best move will now both insert the line into the main move list as a variation and make the move on the board (entering the inserted variation).
  • Added logic to reset Season Points (currently just used for Puzzle Battle) at the beginning of each monthly season
  • Added the game's time control to the Details tab in Analysis.
  • Use arrow buttons in the side panel to step through your Archive games (similar to existing functionality for active Daily games).

View Next or Previous Game


AndroidAndroid v4 beta party!


No new releases last month, but huge and continued progress on several exciting themes:

  • More granular control of your notifications from within the app.
  • More access to account settings from within the app.
  • New Puzzle Rush formats.
  • Improvements to chat and emoji.
  • Major progress on an entirely new navigation scheme for the whole app.

Behind the Scenes

  • Major data move: we used a technique called vertical partitioning to split our large, multi-purpose database into a couple of smaller, more focused databases. This will help us grow and still be able to add new features easily. We'll be doing much more of this through the year. This partition covered all of the user-to-user messages and news posts and such.
  • We also spent time finalizing some long standing database cleanup, encoding almost all text as proper UTF-8. This will allow most text fields to properly contain important chess-related emoji: , 🤖, and 💩. This constraint was a relic of v2, and we're finally free! 😍
  • The launch of Chat and Puzzle Battle lays the foundation for a new gaming network we will be building over the next year. This includes a new websockets communication channel and auto-scalable cloud infrastructure.

Fair Play and Sportsmanship

  • 70,476,000 games reviewed for fair play.
  • 2,933,463 accounts reviewed for fair play.
  • 6,726 accounts closed for fair play (10 titled).
  • 198,056 abuse reports received.
  • 25,614 mute actions taken.
  • 14,317 individual accounts muted.
  • 38,414 accounts closed for abuse.

Member Support

  • Fully transitioned to new and improved Support platform!
  • Average time to reply: 28 hours.
  • Average quality by member rating: 90.05 / 100.
  • Total Ratings: 1228.

Well, that's it for this month.

Please let us know what you think in the comments, and we'll see you next time!

⏮August 2019・ 🗓・October 2019 

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