Ajedrez 21 collapses – Playchess offer to members

2/7/2006 – The Spanish chess server Ajedrez 21 has closed its services, due to massive hacker attacks. But the paying members, almost all from Spain and Spanish speaking countries, can take heart: Playchess, the world's fastest growing chess server, is offering all registered members a six-month full service compensation subscription free of charge.

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The drama on the Ajedrez 21 chess server started about ten days ago, when visitors to the web site were confronted with ominous messages about server problems. "Tu club de ajedrez online: Chess21 Inglés, Echecs21 Francés, Shahmaty21 Ruso: Estimados amigos, nos alegra comunicarles que se han reestablecido completamente los servicios. Les rogamos nos notifiquen cualquier anomalía que puedan detectar. Agradecemos su comprensión y les rogamos nos disculpen por las molestias ocasionadas. Pueden encontrar más información en la nota de prensa publicada."

For a week Ajedrez 21 members had no access to the playing zone, then, last Wednesday, services were briefly restored. But the relief of the operators, the Barcelona-based company EDAMI, was short-lived. Just a day later the server had closed again, due to massive and repeated hacker attacks, we are told. This time it was permanent.

But not to worry: Playchess is offering all registered Ajedrez 21 members a free six-month membership on the the world's fastest growing chess server, with full services for any member who have paid for an Ajedrez 21 "VIP" service (€36 per year). This offer is only open to Spanish members – Ajedrez 21 was free for players from non-Spanish countries. You can register your Playchess account here:

  • Haga clic aquí para registrarse.

Note that in order to use this account you must have a Spanish Internet Provider.

For the others Ajedrez 21 members we are offering a free three-month access to Playchess, with full services. After that the price for a one-year subscription is €29 or US $34.80. All members with valid Ajedrez 21 accounts are eligible for this offer.

  • You can register your transfer account to Playchess here.

Playchess, the multimedia chess server

Playchess is the fastest-growing chess server in the world, the only one that offers direct audio and video broadcasts for live transmissions of top events and lectures. Currently it has 203,000 registered users, with between 2000 and 7000 logged in at any given time.

Last October Playchess celebrated a special jubilee. On 10.10.2005 users Amadee (1933) and A-B (1791) played a blitz game on the server, the one hundred millionth since its start four years ago. At the time we published the report there were 176,000 registered users – which demonstrates how fast the Playchess server is growing.

In the above picture you can see the server statistics for the jubilee day. The total number of games played on the server had just exceeded 100 million. Over 52,000 tournaments had been played at the time, and on the 10th of October, at the time of the server query, almost 21,000 people had visited the server and played 134,000 games. The peak was number was 7072 users simultaneously logged into Playchess. The graph shows the number of players online on Playchess at different times of the day. The times are in Central European Time, which is also the server time.

The average of 140,000 games per day comes to currently over 50 million games per year. The number is likely to be larger because (a) the server is growing, day by day; and (b) on October 10th 2005, the day on which the above statistic was taken, a very large number of visitors were not playing chess but watching the games of the World Championship in San Luis. Here's a screen shot at the hight of the action:

As you can see there are 7072 visitors online, of which 2918 are playing in the main tournament hall. A further 3668 were in the broadcast room, where the games from San Luis were being commented live by GM Yasser Seirawan.

In January this year Yasser Seirawan went to Wijk aan Zee for the entire duration of the event and did live game commentary with audio and video. After the games he spoke to the players, like GM Michael Adams immediately after his win over Veselin Topalov in the picture above.

In Playchess the commentator and his guests can move pieces as they speak, showing the audience which moves were played or they were considering. Many graphical elements, like colored squares and arrows, are also available, making this a unique broadcast tool.

You will also find a lot of interesting players taking part in exciting matches on the Playchess server. Here is Garry Kasparov playing a few games between recording sessions of his Najdorf DVD in Hamburg last year.



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