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Membership: benefits

You may play a large number of games in parallel

As a guest you are limited to at most 10 games at the same time. Standard members may play up to 40 games, Premium members and Standard members in Premium mode may even play up to 80 games at the same time.

Nevertheless, the game limit rules apply for paying members, too. As a paying member, the minimum number of allowed games is 12 (enough for 3 small tournaments), whereas guests start with 6 games. The difference becomes larger after 5 finished games: while guests are limited to 10 games, the game limit of members will still increase (from 17 after 5 games) until the absolute limit (40 or 80 games) is reached.


As a member, your name will appear on the official ranking lists. Then you can try to improve your position there - maybe you will be the new champion?

Taken pieces can be displayed

  Taken pieces are displayed

For members the taken pieces of each game can be displayed (configurable).

Swiss tournaments

Swiss tournaments are very large, (far) more than 100 players may participate. Nevertheless, you play typically only 9 games - sequentially, not in parallel. In every round you are paired with a player that has approximately the same number of points.

For some of these tournaments, prizes will be available for the winners.

Double round robin tournaments

Like the normal team tournaments (single round robin), but you play two (or even more) games with each opponent. In a 6-player tournament with two rounds you would play 10 games (2*(6-1)) in total.

Thematic tournaments

Members have access to tournaments, where all games are played with the same opening variant. This is the perfect way to improve your opening knowledge. Since these tournaments are member-only, you can be sure that all games are played to a regular end (no drop-outs). The list of available "opening themes" will continuously grow - the members themselves determine which openings are offered.

Private game notes

Do you sometimes forget your plans and ideas while waiting for your opponent's move? Don't worry any longer, you can now write down your strategic ideas or some tactical variants.

Members find a box for private notes on each game page. Just enter some text and click on the Store button. The next time you visit this game, you will find your note - and remember your plans. Nobody except you can read these notes, they are strictly confidential.

Java game viewer

See your games with the Java game viewer. You can replay the whole game (even if it's still running) and see how the current position arose. Yes, you even see the move messages of both players!

Java annotation viewer

Similar to the above, you may read annotations with the annotation viewer. You see all annotations while you move along the game.

You have access to the players' statistical pages


As a member you can see enhanced statistical data of your opponents: their win/draw/loss distribution, their preferred openings and many more. This enables you to play tournaments like a professional chess player. You can prepare a special opening, or you may avoid positions where your opponent is very successful.

Player directory search

You can search the player directory by country, allowing you to find all your fellow countrymen.


Annotation directory search

Search the archive for of annotations by a specific player or annotator. Find games of specific leagues and/or classes.

You can even search the annotations by opening. This way, the annotated games can be used as a "knowledge base" of opening theory.

Annotations of any player

On the player info page of the players is a link "Annotations of that player" showing you all annotated games this player annotated or played.


Player options

Configure the look and the behaviour of the site. The chess board and the directories can be adapted to your personal likings. (see the tutorial for more details)



As a guest you must accumulate enough time on all your chess clocks, if you want to go on holidays. The holiday term of 7 days allowed for guests should be used for unforeseen events only.

Members, however, can take a leave whenever they want. There are 14 days available for Standard members and even 21 days available for Premium members.

Private games


You can invite other players to a casual game. These games are not rated. Feel free to challenge players of any class and any strength.

No advertisements

You will no longer get advertisement banners or windows. For guests, the latter are opened "beneath" your current browser window.

Support your site

Yes, even this is a benefit for you, because the money will be used to further improve the site. PlayChess has to pay its server and the transfered data. Future development will concentrate on new features for paying members. Please read my article to see what the money is used for.

Planned features

The following extensions have been discussed. Some of them will be available soon.

  • More tournament types. Team tournaments, Fischer random games, knock-out tournaments, matches, ladder tournaments…
  • Improved draw detection. Automatic detection of draws by repetition or 50-move rule.
However, I cannot say if or when these features will be implemented.

What will not change by being a member

Even if you are a member of PlayChess, the rules will not change - with the exception of the number of simultaneous games. Let me emphasize the following points.

  • You still have to make more than 10 moves to create a valid (=rated) game. If you lose or draw an invalid game, you cannot enroll in new tournaments for 15 days - even if you pay for that period of time. Being excluded from new tournaments does not entitle you for refunding.
  • You shouldn't start new tournaments before your holidays. Letting your opponents wait for a long time is considered bad sportsmanship.
  • Your tournament class is only determined by winning and losing tournaments. Being a member does not give you the right to choose your tournament class.
  • If you are found guilty of using chess engines in the Human Chess League, you may be banned completely from that league. You will then be restricted to the Advanced Chess League. Being excluded from the HCL does not entitle you for refunding.

Further reading

Purchase online
Purchase offline
Trial membership
Why does PlayChess need money?
Why bother to pay cash for PlayChess?

Tutorial links

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