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Stan's NetChess

Game Rules

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This page details how Stan's NetChess implements the rules of Chess.
Check out Chess Variant's Illustrated Rules of Chess if you are looking
for general information about how to play Chess.

Game Pace

In every Game Challenge there is an indicator of the expected pace of the game to be created. This is just a guideline. The system has no pace monitoring programs. The only rule reguarding time between moves is the forfeit-timeout setting that is indicated in every challenge. You can read more about that at the bottom of this page.

Most players make moves in a timely manner, however some players can take weeks between moves. If you are concerned that a game will be too slow, before you accept a challenge, you can check the history of any of your prospective opponents by going to their Player History page to see how long it takes them to finish games.

Once a game is started, it must be completed by the players (except in the forfeit-timeout case). Other than some rare circumstances, games cannot be cancelled by the Site Webmaster.

Using Computers

Unless you are up front about it at the beginning and your opponent doesn't mind, using chess computers or programs to compute your moves is not allowed.


There are 2 move types that allow you to Castle. You must specify either "King-Side Castle" or "Queen-Side Castle".

En Passant

This rule IS supported. You must specify "En Passant" as the move type. See the Move Help page for more info on En Passant.


Ending a game in a draw (the same as a stalemate), is a two-step process. Either player can submit a "Draw Request" as their move - when it is their turn. It is then the other player's turn and that player must reply to the Draw Request by sending "Accept Draw" to end the game in a draw, or "Deny Draw" to refuse the request and force the game to continue. The first player must then either move or Resign from the game.

Automatic Stalemate

The system will detect multiple situations that will force the game to be declared a draw immediately. They are:

1. No Valid Move Remains. This is where a player is not in check but has no valid move available after his/her opponents move. The game will be declared a Stalemate in that situation, and each player is credited with a Draw. See game 689 for an example of where this rule had to come into effect.

2. Insufficient Material. The following situations trigger this rule:

(a) king against king
(b) king against king with only bishop* or knight
(c) king and bishop* against king and bishop*, with both bishops on diagonals of the same color

* a little twist on these rules where bishops are concerned:
There can be multiple bishops on either side as long as they are on the same color diagonal and these rules would still apply. For example, if one player has king and two bishops on black and the other player has king and 3 bishops on black, then this rule would apply.
If you're wondering how a player could have multiple bishops on the same color - remember, you can promote pawns to any other piece type. So, while unusual, it can happen.

There are 2 other situations that can result in Stalemate in the official rules. These other situations ARE NOT automatically detected by the system here at Stan's NetChess, mostly because they require a player to invoke the rule, rather than it being automatic. See the next section for more information.

Non-Automatic Stalemate (3-fold repetition and 50 move stalemates)

We recognize these two forms of Stalemate. They both require a player to recognize and claim them, so the system does not automatically detect them. To declare one of these Stalemates, you should submit a Request Draw move and explain why you are requesting the draw in the move comment. If your opponent does not Accept the draw, then you should contact Stan (stan@stansco.com) to have the situation resolved. If it is found that the Stalemate request is valid, then the opponent must accept the draw.

Here are the details of the rules straight from the FIDE Handbook:

    The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by the player having the move, when the same position, for at least the third time (not necessarily by sequential repetition of moves)

      a. is about to appear, if he first writes his move on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move,
      b. has just appeared, and the player claiming the draw has the move.

    Positions as in (a) and (b) are considered the same, if the same player has the move, pieces of the same kind and colour occupy the same squares, and the possible moves of all the pieces of both players are the same. Positions are not the same if a pawn that could have been captured en passant can no longer be captured or if the right to castle has been changed temporarily or permanently.

    The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by the player having the move, if
      a. he writes on his scoresheet, and declares to the arbiter his intention to make a move which shall result in the last 50 moves having been made by each player without the movement of any pawn and without the capture of any piece,
      b. the last 50 consecutive moves have been made by each player without the movement of any pawn and without the capture of any piece.

Canceling Games

When both players agree that a game should just be canceled, they can cancel the game using the "Request Cancel"/"Accept Cancel"/"Deny Cancel" move types. They work exactly like the Draw Request functionality.
A game can be canceled for any reason, as long as both players agree (except in abandoned games - as oultlined below).

Resigning from a game

If you want to give up and surrender the game to your opponent, you should submit a "Resign" move. The game will be ended immediately and your opponent wins the game.

Automatic Game Forfeit

*** Update January 22, 2001 ***

We now have a Forfeit Timout Period which is set in each Challenge. The Forfeit Timeout Period for all games created before January 22, 2001 is 30 days (what it always was before). The forfeit routine now checks the Forfeit Timeout period when checking for abandoned games.

Every day a process runs to clean up abandoned games. When a game has not had any activity for x days, it will be FORFEITED by the player who abandoned the game. (Where x is the Forfeit Timeout period for each game)

Reverse Forfeits

A loop-hole existed before where a player could just keep requesting a Cancel or Draw to keep the game from being "abandoned". So let's look at an example that the new logic would address:

Let's say Sally and John are playing. John can see that he is going to lose, so he sends a Request Draw move to try to get Sally to end the game in a Draw. Sally isn't stupid, she can see that she is going to win the game, so she Denies the Draw Request. John doesn't give up easy, and he submits a Request Cancel move. Sally sticks to her guns and Denies the Cancel Request. John now sends another Request Draw. At that point, Sally can just let the game sit. Since she had refused to end the game twice before and her opponent is requesting to end the game again, the game will be awarded to Sally by forfiet when the forfeit timeout period has expired.
So, a Reverse Forfeit is: If one player (Player-A) has been "Denied" twice (Draw or Cancel), and is asking a third time, then the player that is denying the requests (Player-B) can just let the game sit, and after the forfeit timeout period, the game will be a forfeit and Player-B will win. It does not matter whether the Requests were for Cancel or Draw - any combination of 3 or more made at any time during the game (not necessarily in consecutive moves), and the last move being a Request Draw or Request Cancel from Player-A (in this case) will bring this rule into effect.

Stan's NetChess, Copyright © 1998-2011 Stan Steliga
Please send questions/comments to stan@stansco.com