Saturday, April 12, 2008
I just found a new online chess site courtesy of the English Chess Federation's homepage. The site is South African based ChessCube.com. There is also an ECF "branded" site which is accessible here (launched in December 2007), but as soon as you log in there is no sign whatsoever that you're inside the ECF's ChessCube section. Seems a bit odd, though with the site still in beta maybe that's a kink that these guys are still trying to sort out.
After a painless sign-up process, some poking around and a quick game - I'm not too sure that I'll be giving up my ICC and Playchess accounts very soon. I'm just no fan of these browser-based systems. ChessPark (which we first mentioned here, then lately here) at least has a desktop client available.
However, the overall feel of the UI is OK, though I think all that blue won't be to everyone's liking. Everything is within a click or two including news, chat rooms, a friends list and that all-important game seek feature. The game board, too, is good and I particularly like the ability to quickly download the PGN. Another thing on ChessCube's plus side is 3 million+ game database.
For those fond of graphs, your profile includes a standard line graph for your rating plus new additions, two pie charts showing percentage of wins and losses with either black or white pieces.
Easy to use and with the basic features, that's ChessCube. Take a look.