Run your own games and tournaments on the web

by Martin Fischer
3/7/2018 – New: Start a private tournament in your browser! Chess clubs, schools, companies, or any other collection of players, can also offer chess online — on their own chess server — for free! It is simple and does not does require much of any technical skill. In fact, all it takes are a few mouse clicks. It's a powerful and completely free self-service tournament system in your web browser! Here's how to get started in a few easy steps! | Photo: Hamburger Schachclub

ChessBase 14 Mega package ChessBase 14 Mega package

Follow the World Champion and your chess friend next door. Start your success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more! In addition to the ChessBase 14 Program, the Mega Package contains:
• Access to the Live-Database (8 million games)*
• Mega Database 2017
• CBMagazine subscription for a full year (6 issues)
• Database-Update-Service through end of 2017
• Full year Premium membership for playchess and for the ChessBase Accounts


A private browser-based chess server

To set up a playing room of your own on is simple. You only need to enter an address (URL) into your browser. This address consists of two parts:

With the first part, you include Copy or type  into the address bar of your browser and add the name you want to give your playing room, e.g. "XY-City".

Thus, the complete address is

Now press OK and you are on your own chess server.

Your own chess server

That's how a private chess server looks

In this virtual room, you can play chess, give chess training, or play tournaments or simuls. The advantage: It's all yours — you and your friends or guests you invite will be playing among yourselves. You decide the name of the room, and who gets to know its address.

Share the room

After you established your own playing room on you have to inform your friends/club members/visitors: put a link to your room — in our example — on the website of your club. Or sent an email with the link to your club members.

Organise a tournament on your own

With the client or with Fritz, Houdini or Komodo or ChessBase you can organise a tournament on your chess server. For our illustration we use Fritz 16:

Activate your playing room by clicking on the link for the room.

The Fritz 16 welcome screen

Then start Fritz 16, and log on to Then, go to "Club Rooms from Web" and click on your chess room to enter.

Select the option with the golden cup: "Tournament"

Your own server tournament room

In Playchess you'll find your own room under "Club Rooms from Web", then select "golden cup" File → New → Server Tournament to create a tournament

A window opens and you can choose a name for your tournament. Select "Create new". This leads to the tournament wizard:

Tournament Wizard

In the tournament wizard, you can enter the mode for your tournament

Give your tournament a name and write a little "invitation" text.

In the tournament wizard, you define the settings for your tournament (round-robin, Swiss, etc.), the time limit, double-round or single and, if necessary, other details such as tiebreak rules, etc.

Register players

You have a wide choice of tournament formats. Afterwards, click on "OK". The menu to register the players appears:

To register players, first, select the names in the players list, then click "Add". In round robin tournaments you can also type the name of the player under Players. The registered players are shown in alphabetical order.

When all players you want to allow to participate are registered, click OK.

Now you start the first round of the tournament. When round 1 is over, round 2 will begin without further settings.

Your guests can concentrate on playing, the program starts the games and registers the results.

As tournament director, you have to check whether all games are finished (which the program indicates) and then you can start the next round.

As an added bonus, all games of the tournament are automatically saved on your computer in a file called MyInternetTournaments.

results table

The program automatically displays the results in a table

This short illustration should suffice as an introduction to the self-serve tournament system. An extensive description would go beyond the scope of this tutorial. But the functions described above should allow you to organise a tournament without problems. If you want to learn more, use the help functions or just experiment a little. The same goes for training or simultaneous events.

Do I need a ChessBase Account?

To create a virtual room you do not need a ChessBase account. Neither do you need an account to play in this room, you can also play as a guest. Chatting or playing with a username is possible with an active ChessBase account.

To direct a tournament, however, you have to have the rank of "bishop" or higher. If your club members do have ChessBase accounts you will recognize their names, and that is, of course, much nicer than merely an anonymous guest number.

Have fun!

Fritz 16 - He just wants to play!

Fritz 16 is looking forward to playing with you, and you're certain to have a great deal of fun with him too. Tense games and even well-fought victories await you with "Easy play" and "Assisted analysis" modes.



Martin Fischer, born 1962, is a ChessBase staffer who, among other things, organizes and holds seminars throughout Europe and helps administer
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register

Martin_Fischer Martin_Fischer 3/13/2018 02:36
@ mbulgarini and @ crispyambulance: In order to play it is necessary to be online at the same time. Therefore it is not possible to Play correspondence Chess or like correspondence Chess. However, you are able to play a tournament with several playiing days. As a tournament director you may start a tournament, and let's play, for example, the first round later, close the tournament and later reopen it and let's play the second round and so on.
mbulgarini mbulgarini 3/9/2018 03:20
Hi Mr Fischer,

Can be possible do a correspondence tournament using this feature of playchess?

Thanks in advanced,
genem genem 3/8/2018 02:25
Details aside, some future day in this young century a critical mass of mind-share will arise, and this feature or something like it will be a major component of a much larger quantity of serious/rated chess. The convenience factor is huge, plus is translates into much lower costs to participate (no hotel, no travel; so no pressure to play two game per day).
Presently, the worry about cheating is the dominant blocker when I see discussion of rated online play.
As of a couple years ago, the USCF ( implemented online rated chess but only for speed chess, to affect only the players' speed chess rating. I do not know how many unique recurring participants it has generated.
crispyambulance crispyambulance 3/7/2018 08:02
Does everyone need to be online at the same time or can you play games at different times a bit like correspondence competition and it run over say the weekend ?
macauley macauley 3/7/2018 12:34
@vnocettin - Which part of the explanation in this article is unclear?
vnocettin vnocettin 3/7/2018 11:58
how do i organize a tournament using