Playing chess online against other humans is fun, but if you have any difficulties, head here and find answers.
How does filtering work?
Because the number of available players is changing constantly, Full Version owners may filter the Invitation list based on their preferences.
Currently the following filters are available:
- by score: with this filter enabled, only players within 10% of your score will be shown. So if you have 1000 points, you’ll see only players with at least 900 points and at most 1100 points.
- by subnet: The filtering is done by IP address. Only players with IP addresses from your “virtual neighborhood” are shown (technically speaking it’s a Class-C subnet). This usually means only players from the same building or block, although it depends on your Internet provider. This mode is perfect when you want to play with a coworker or at home with another person in the same house.
- by country: only players determined to be in the same country as you are shown. This method may not be always available. Players who’ve just created accounts may not have their country determined yet.
We should mention that your location (both the IP and the country) are safe. Another player cannot learn your location.
Did my account disappear?
Free accounts may be removed if unused for prolonged periods. From time to time we purge inactive accounts. The “grace period” is dynamic and calculated based on many factors. We do want to reward active users and we need to conserve resources (storage is not free and having a few Gb of unused accounts doesn’t help); we also need to backup the databases and maintain them, which requires more CPU power.
Premium users’ accounts are never removed.
I get disconnected unexpectedly, why?
Before anything else, try changing your password. If someone else connects with your username, you will get disconnected. It’s possible for someone to guess your password, so use a strong one.
Dropped calls happen even with paid services when dealing with multi-billion cell companies. SparkChess Multiplayer constantly monitors players’ internet connection. There’s a fine balance that we must keep between reliability and performance. If a connection is lost for over 2 minutes, the user is disconnected from the service.
How reliable is the multiplayer service?
Over 25,000 people use the SparkChess Multiplayer service every day. There are between 300 and 1000 players online at any given moment.
SparkChess Multiplayer is built using Union Platform by User1 and hosted by leaders in cloud servers. We have load-balanced live servers located in New York City with automatic failover located in Seattle and DDOS filtering. We take daily offline backups. The quality of service is monitored 24/7 at 1 minute intervals.
Unlike many other MMO’s we do not take servers down daily or weekly. We apply rolling updates on the servers so that there’s always at least one server running at any time.
I can’t connect. Help!
SparkChess Multiplayer was designed to connect through firewalls. Generally speaking, if you can browse the web, you should be able to use the service.
Check the Server Dashboard – if it reports that it’s up and there are people connected, the problem is local.
- If you have the free online version, the most likely cause is that you’ve exceeded the maximum number of daily matches or that there are too many players connected (users of SparkChess Premium have priority).
- if you have the Premium desktop version, some Antivirus programs include overzealous firewalls that may block SparkChess. You must grant access for SparkChess to access the Internet via port 80. If you’re unsure, temporarily disable any antivirus and firewall you may have installed and see if you can connect.
- if you have SparkChess on a mobile device, we noticed that DNS resolution seemed slower in some instances leading to timeouts in extremely rare cases.
Can SparkChess work behind firewalls?
Yes, if you can browse the web, you should be able to use the multiplayer service.