Sunday, February 28, 2010

ChessJam 3.0 - The scoop!

Two days ago we released ChessJam 3.0 and subsequently 3.0.1. We are excited to share the full list of what's new and what's fixed:

What's new:
  • Turbo Tournaments! - Live perpetual 8-player bracket tournaments. You'll immediately notice that this room is unique. All of the details on Turbo Tournaments can be found here.

  • Crazy Games! - We've created a room for some unusual variations to the starting position of chess. The intent of this room is to stir things up a bit! All of the details on Crazy Games can be found here.

  • Improved Facebook integration with game replay! At the end of each game, you have the option to post your game on Facebook. In 3.0, this post includes a link to the game history so your friends can see how you handled every move of the game. Check out this sample game.

    Here's what the game looks like posted to your facebook wall. Notice that a screenshot of the final position is included. The caption can be customized on a game by game basis.

    The link takes the viewer to a webpage where the entire game can be replayed.

  • See your overall rank on the ChessJam leader boards! Now when you view the top 20 users or countries, you can see where you rank, even if you are not in the top 20.
Bug fixes and performance improvements:
  • Clock increments are now working correctly
  • Clocks now stay in sync better and are more reliable
  • Improved game start reliability
  • Overall game play is more reliable and has less lag
As you can see, we've added a lot of new features and worked hard to improve the quality of the gaming experience. We are already working on several new enhancements, many of which have been suggested by our users, so stay tuned!

Introducing Turbo Tournaments (Beta) - Live Online Chess Tournaments

Today we launched Turbo Tournaments, a fully automatic 8-bracket bracket live tournament. Here's how it works:

The room is a traditional 8-player bracket:

You enter a tournament by sitting down at any round 1 table. Once someone joins you at the table, the game will start. The winners of the round 1 games are automatically seated at the round 2 table. The winners of the two round 2 games advance to the final round where an overall tournament winner is crowned!

Once a tournament is in progress, the room highlights the completed games as shown in this sample screen shot:


  • You can only sit at a round 1 table. The system will auto-seat the round one winners at round 2 tables.
  • IMPORTANT: Once the system seats you at a round 2 or round 3 table, do NOT unseat yourself. If you do, you forfeit the game and your opponent advances.
  • If a draw is declared, the person with the most remaining time on the clock advances to the next round.
  • Anyone can observe any game in the tournament.
  • All tournament games are rated like any other game.
  • Once a tournament ends, the tables are cleared and a new one starts.
  • The winner of each tournament is recorded and will be displayed on the Turbo Tournament leader board.
  • Coming soon: Turbo Tournament wins will be included in your user stats.
We have labeled this as "beta" for the next few days. Although we have done a lot of testing, there may be scenarios that we have not thought of. If you run into any issues or have suggestions on how to improve Turbo Tournaments, please drop us a note on the ChessJam forums or email us.


Introducing Crazy Games on ChessJam!

Today we opened a new room on ChessJam called Crazy Games and as the name implies, this room has some crazy online chess variations. You'll find 14 tables, each with a unique starting position. Each table has a name that gives a hint as to what you can expect.

Crazy Tables:
  • Queens
  • 5+5
  • Triple Knights
  • Pawnless
  • 15 Pointer
  • Mirror Mirror
  • Mind the Gap
  • Double Double
  • Totem Pole
We've also included five tables with positions from the middle of some famous historical games. Each link below takes you to a page where you can see the entire game.
Games in this room do not impact your rating or stats so there is no risk in going crazy! Below are some screen shots to entice you to come play.

The Crazy Games Room:

Mind the Gap:

Triple Knights:

Fischer vs. Spassky 1972:

We plan to mix things up in this room often. If you have a crazy idea for a fun starting position, send us the FEN and proposed name either in the ChessJam forums or via email. There are a lot of online FEN editors. Our favorite one is at

Friday, February 26, 2010

ChessJam 3.0 Available!

We just posted ChessJam 3.0. This release enables a lot of cool stuff that we are turning on this weekend.

Stay tuned for all of the details.

Your current version should auto-update to 3.0. If not, simply re-install from the home page at

UPDATE: 3.0.1 has been posted - we discovered some new bugs in 3.0 that we needed to nip in the bud.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ChessJam 2.7 released!

We just rolled out ChessJam 2.7. Changes include:
  • Sounds now have 3 settings - Normal, Minimal and None. The button is near the top-right of the app. Minimal eliminates many sounds during game play.
  • There were some reports of games being out of sync with what was observed. This is now fixed.
  • Posting your game-end board position to facebook sometimes posted the board one move prior to the end. This is now fixed. (Facebook integration was introduced in 2.6 - see blog for details)
  • We have added features to support two new types of games - Turbo Tournaments and Crazy Games - these will be enabled very soon so stay tuned!
If you find any issues with this version, please notify us in the forums or via email at

Thursday, February 4, 2010

ChessJam 2.6 - Facebook Integration!

We just released ChessJam 2.6. Here are the changes:
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused abandoned games to flag the remaining player as the loser.
  • Players can now only offer a draw when it is their turn and only once per turn.
  • Facebook support!

Facebook support?
When you finish playing a game, you now have the option to post the results along with a screenshot to your facebook wall. You choose this on a game by game basis.

To enable this, you first must go to your PROFILE and enable facebook support by clicking the facebook button. You will get this dialog:

Click the LOGIN button. You will then see a login dialog from Facebook:

NOTE: This dialog is directly from Facebook. ChessJam does not capture or store your facebook credentials. The login simply enables a session with Facebook specifically for wall posts that you designate.

At the end of game, the GAME OVER dialog now has a "SEND TO FACEBOOK" option!

Here is an example:

The screenshot is uploaded to a new album called ChessJam Photos. Here is the full-size photo:

We are already putting the final touches on version 3.0 that introduces a new tournament type as well as a few surprises and bug fixes.