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Other Features

Live International Events

From time to time FICS broadcasts major events in international chess, whence one can observe the games live. These events are handled by the special account, Relay. To find out what games are currently relayed , use tell relay listgames. Relay will reply with a table of current games. Use tell relay notify if you want to be told what tournaments are being relayed when you login.

Observing Games

The format for observing games is "observe game", where game may be

or, highest rated games, such as

One may browse all current games using the games command, or unobserve to stop oberving games.

Observed games are shown as small boards (the size is configurable in Options--> FICS) and they have two buttons:

Discussing games with others is supported by the whisper and kibitz commands.

FICS also has a concept of primary game. When observing multiple games, double click any board to make it your primary game, and the game number will be shown in bold.

Following Players

The FICS follow command allows one to follow a specific player's games. Using follow+ in Scid vs PC will allow one to follow, and automatically save the games.

Examining and Loading Games

FICS and Scid vs. PC offer two ways to analyze games - "smoves" and "examine".

The smoves command loads a previously played or suspended game into the main board. Using "smoves GMShort -1" (for eg) is better in that the whole game is loaded to Scid, and it can thus have variations added, and the game saved. smoves+ can be used to store the elapsed-move-times.

The FICS examine command is now well supported, and is a convenient way for groups or friends to analyze games. After issuing "examine GMShort -1" (for eg), Scid's large move buttons are bound to the FICS forward and back commands.

One may upload a game to FICS using upload. This command sends the current game to FICS as a scratch game in examine mode. Others can then examine your game.

Crazyhouse and Bughouse games can only be observed or examined. They cannot be loaded into the main board with "smoves" because of limitations in Scid. Additionally, some crazyhouse positions have illegal FEN (for eg - because of more than 8 pawns) and trying to run engines against such positions is not recommended.

Downloading Games

To download more than a handful of games, is a great resource.


FICS offers several options for chess training. One of the more prominent once are the lecture bots LectureBot and WesBot. They run all the time on FICS and offer various training sessions that can be visited using Scid. The start of each session is announced on Channel 67 of FICS. Therefore, to see these announcements one should first add this channel to the personal observation list. This can be done by +channel 67 (it can be removed again by -channel 67). Once e.g. LectureBot announces a training session, one can take part by issuing observe lecturebot. Please refer to the online documentation of FICS for additional features of the Bots and also other bots available.