Playchess: watching fourteen boards at a time

by Albert Silver
1/18/2015 – One of the unique abilities of Playchess is being able to watch a large number of boards at the same time on the same screen. With Wijk aan Zee, that can mean as many as fourteen boards, but the problem is that it might seem completely impractical. Open fourteen games one at a time? Try to follow all of them on those teeny tiny boards? Learn how to do it easily and comfortably.

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When entering the Playchess broadcast room, you are presented with a series of tournaments at
the top, with all the games being covered below. If you double-click on a game, it opens a board.
Suppose you want to open all the games of Wijk aan Zee Masters? In that case, you double-click
on the tournament itself, and not just one of the games. It will instantly open all seven games.

Here you can see seven boards opened, but we want all fourteen, seven from Wijk A and
seven from Wijk B. Nothing could be simpler, just go back to the list of tournaments and games,
and double-click on Wijk aan Zee Challengers. It will open all seven games and add them to the
group already opened.

Granted watching all fourteen boards like this is impressive looking. Not only can you see
each position, but you can see the times left as well.

When you turn on the engine, it will analyze the board that is being highlighted in yellow.
To have it analyze another game, just click on the board you want.

This allows you to get a quick idea as to how all the boards are going, and whether anyone is winning, in seconds. Before you object that it takes a bit of time for the engine to produce reliable analysis, remember that others are analyzing with their engines, so you can see it instantly, and the colors green or blue will tell you they have already put in the necessary time.

Fine, but what if you want to watch a game in full-screen size, and not one among fourteen?
Simply double-click on the board of your choice, and it will instantly become a full-sized board,
excluding the others.

Feel free to play moves on the board to analyze with the engine. When you are done, just
double-click on the board and it will return to the multi-board display.

As the games proceed, some will end. If you want to close them, right-click on the board
and select Close Board, or use the keyboard shortcut F5.

Bear in mind it will not show the board where the grandmaster commentary is running, which
always remains separate.

So by all means keep that window open on a second screen if you have one, or flip to it to
accompany the commentary of grandmasters such as Daniel King, Alejandro Ramirez, Simon
Williams (as above) or Nicholas Pert. Remember they enjoy interacting with the viewers, will
see your questions in the chat window and will most assuredly answer them! It is great fun,
and great learning.

While watching broadcasts is free to all, consider becoming a Premium member to:

  • see regular grandmaster commentary in English, German, and Spanish,
  • participate in simuls with grandmasters,
  • watch the weekly live video shows,
  • receive one-on-one training
  • chat with other members,
  • have a rating,
  • and of course, play in the tournaments organized throughout the day.

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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