Multiplayer Chess

Playing chess online against other humans is fun, but if you have any difficulties, head here and find answers.

I get disconnected unexpectedly, why?

SparkChess Multiplayer Service is powered by leaders in cloud services. We have load-balanced live servers located in New York City with automatic  failover in Atlanta. We take daily offline backups. We monitor the service 24/7 at 1 minute intervals. We have an uptime of 99.99%. You can check the public uptime stats.

If you get disconnected, the most likely cause is an instability of your internet connection – wifi issues, mobile data connectivity and so on. The multiplayer service requires constant connection and if the connection is lost for 30 seconds, you get disconnected.

Users who use torrent (or any other P2P) software may also experience issues, especially when there are many connected peers.

If you get disconnected, you can use the Multiplayer Service Status to see if the service is down. That page is updated every minute.

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 services. We have load-balanced live servers located in New York City with automatic  failover located in Atlanta 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. We have 99.99% uptime.

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 (HTTP) or 443 (SSL). 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.

How do you handle abusive users and cheaters?

We do not tolerate bullying, cheating or any other abusive behavior. If you have knowledge of such actions, please report the user’s nickname and their behavior. We may penalize their score, ban them for a limited time or, in extreme cases, remove their account and ban their IP. At least once we banned an entire IP range.

Is it safe for a child to play SparkChess online?

We are parents ourselves and we’ve taken precautions to make SparkChess Multiplayer a fun and safe environment for kids. Children under 13 do not provide any personally-identifiable information and don’t have access to the Chat feature. We believe this is the safest way to ensure that they are not exposed to inappropriate language (filtering is done for English only). However, we cannot make any guarantees. We recommend parental involvement in any online multiplayer game. If you notice anything offensive used in usernames or avatars, we encourage you to submit them to our attention.

Filtering the players by subnet will only show players connected from the same network – usually the same physical location. Use this option to have your children see only opponents from the same household or nearby area.

For schools and chess clubs we can offer a complete separate environment. Please contact us and let us know your requirements.