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Correspondence Chess Servers

There exist several correspondence chess servers throughout the internet. Generally, they are used by means of a web browser, so no specific software is required. However many of them also offer an interface to specialised chess software via a protocoll called Xfcc. The integration of Xfcc is done in Scid via external helper tools set in the Configuration dialog for correspondence chess.

Scid's Xfcc support is dependant on the TCL http and tDOM packages. See the Startup Window to inspect if these packages are found.

Start a new game

Xfcc does not allow to start a new game itself. Searching for an opponent and starting a game is instead handled by the chess server on their web site. Once the game is started however, Scid can be used to retrieve the moves of the opponent, add them to the internal database, analyse them and so on. All features of Scid are to the users disposal though certain modes of play may not allow them (e.g. normal games usually do not permit the usage of chess engines for analysis).

Retrieve games

Open a database that holds correspondence chess games. This database has to be of type "Correspondence chess".


Xfcc always retrieves all games hosted on a specified server for your user ID at once. To retrieve the games just press the icon or select Retrieve Games from the Correspondence Chess menu. As a server connection is required to fetch new games be sure that the system has network access. Scid will call the fetch tool configured in the Configuration dialog which will place the games in PGN format in Scids inbox. It may take some time to retrieve the answer, so be patient. After the games are retrieved the correspondence chess database is updated accordingly.

NoteBy using the you can empty your whole In- and Outbox directories.

Once the games are retrieved their counterpart is searched within the correspondence chess db and new moves are added accordingly. As Xfcc servers may offer various ways to insert moves (via web or mobile or other programs...) it might well be that Scid will have to add half of the game to the db. This poses no problem. Scid will add all moves returned in the game from the server. Scid will however not replace the game from the beginning as then all your analysis may be lost. Hence it is important to note that you must not insert moves to the main line beyond your own last move! To add continuations please use variations!

Xfcc base games offer extensive status display within the games list. This information, however, is only available if Scids internal Xfcc support is used. The follwoing icon are for visual display:

Additonally Scid will display the clock for both parties at the time of sync as well as the chess variant played. Note however that Scid currently only supports standard chess.

Note: only if the proper icon (book, database, tablebase, engine) is dispalyed, the useage of these tools is allowed. It is forbidden otherwise. Be fair and respect these rules.

Note: if other sources have placed games in your inbox (e.g. from your eMail correspondence chess) they are also synchronised in the retrieval step into the database as the whole Inbox is worked through. This allows for adding eMail games to the Inbox, then switch to Scid, hit and all games are up to date. Games that are not yet found in the database are treated as new games and appended to the database.

NoteBy using the you can empty your whole In- and Outbox directories.

Note for programmers: the fetch tool is called with the Inbox path as parameter. It is thought to work through all server accounts and place properly formatted PGN files in the path passed to it. These files should contain additional header fields as they are known by the cmail tool. (See Correspondence Chess via eMail for information about the fields required.)