General chess-related

If you think SparkChess is not playing by the rules, you should have a look here. The official rules are sometimes subtle and casual players may not be aware of them.

How can I find what version of SparkChess I have?

If you’re unsure what version of SparkChess you have, it’s easy to find it:

  1. Open the game and start a new single-player game against any of the AI opponents.
  2. Click on the SparkChess logo at the top-right (top-center on mobile phones). An “About Window” will open.
  3. Just below the “About SparkChess” title, you’ll see a text in yellow, like this: “9.1.0 online lite

The first part (numbers, e.g. 1.2.3 is the version number); the second is the platform (e.g. online, desktop_osx, iphone, etc.); the third is the type (lite or full).

How is Stalemate declared?

Stalemate occurs when the player who must move is not in check but has no legal moves. This situation happens most frequently when the player has just the King left on the board and any move would place them in check.

A stalemate causes the game to end as a Draw, therefore the player who has the advantage should try to avoid it and checkmate instead, while the disadvantaged player may try to force a stalemate to avoid losing.

Your chess engine is too easy! Is that the best you can do?

Congratulations! You must be an advanced player; most likely you’ve played in tournaments. Our Chess AI was created to be fun and quick, not brutally strong. If you are an advanced player, you can still enjoy SparkChess’ multiplayer or by using its Board Editor and the PGN/Replay features.

Your chess game is too hard! Help!

Try playing on Beginner (Cody). If you download the Full Version, you have access to some help tools that will help you make better moves.

Why can’t I castle? How do I castle?

To castle, you move the king to the desired position – if castling is available, the rook will be moved automatically. Castling is not possible if the king or the rook has moved; or if the king is in check; or if one of the squares the king must travel is controlled by an enemy piece. According to the official FIDE rules, you can castle if the king was in check previously.

I just moved my pawn two squares and then it disappeared!

Most likely you were the victim of an en-passant take. Don’t feel too bad, many casual players are not familiar with it. Please consult the official chess rules for details.