FICS - Free Internet Chess Server
8708 31ST Ave N
New Hope
Mn 55427

FICS uses the Fischer "clock" for all of its games. The Fischer clock can
work just like a normal chess clock if the player wishes. There are two
parameters to the clock that you can issue with seek and match requests. The
first is 'time', the second is 'increment' (or just 'inc'); for example:

match TheDane 5 0

The first example, would challenge TheDane a "5 0". The first number, '5',
means both players will have 5 minutes to start with. The second number, '0',
means that 0 seconds will be added to the clock after each player moves. This
means that all the moves will have to be completed in 5 minutes. In the
second example, the increment is 8. This means that 8 seconds will be added
to the clock after each move so if you move within 8 seconds, your time will
increase. In normal chess, different settings of the clock come under
different ratings (lightning, blitz and standard). A standard measure of
expected duration is 'etime' which is the maximum time possible to take per
player for 40 moves; the formula to calculate 'etime' is mentioned in these
help files.


 o It is possible to set a default value for 'time' and 'inc' by setting your
   'time' and 'inc' variables (default is time = 2 and inc = 12). To change
   the default setting 'set time <time>' and 'set inc <inc>'.

 o If the inital 'time' is set to 0 each player will have 10 seconds. If the
   'inc' also is set to 0, e.g. 'match theDane 0 0', the game will become
   untimed and the clocks will not be used.

 o It is possible to ask the opponent for a suspension in the game. This is
   done with the pause command and the game can later be started with

 o The time command will show the current time left on the clocks.

 o refresh will show the current time left on the clocks and also update the
   board if an interface is being used unless blind mode (style 9) is used.

 o Internet lag can affect the clocks. FICS doesn't know that a player has
   moved until the move reaches FICS. Therefore any transmission time is also
   included. Timeseal is a program that compensates for this transmission
   time (and is essential for faster speeds). Timeseal comes with most

 o If the opponent runs out of time, you have to claim the win by flagging.
   If a player is lagging with timeseal, he will not be able to be flagged,
   the clocks will be adjusted when he gets connected again. If the player is
   out of time according to FICS, but it is not possible to tell if the
   player has moved before the flag fell, adjourn will force an adjournment
   without the player's consent (known as courtesyadjourn). However, if any
   of the players are unregistred the game will be aborted (courtesyabort)

 o It is possible to filter match and seek requests with certain time
   controls using a formula.

 o The time unit of measure on the server is milliseconds.

 o Premove (preparing a move during the opponent's time and getting an
   interface to play it as soon as the opponent's move is received) is not
   illegal at present, but is discouraged. Moreover it is possible that it
   will be forbidden in the future. Moving (but not letting go of) a piece
   when it is not the player's turn and then releasing the mouse button when
   it is the player's turn, is not illegal and is not discouraged (since
   there is some human response time involved).

 o A move will take at least 1/10 of a second if any of the players have the
   variable minmovetime set to 1, which removes some of the benefit of using
   premove. If all players have minmovetime set to 0 then faster moves can be


adjourn       blitz         flag          formula       interface     
lag           lag           lightning     match         paus          
pause         refresh       seek          set           standard      
style         time          timeseal      unpause       untimed       
v_inc         v_minmovetime v_time        


Created: 19 March 1999 DAV
Last Modified: 28 February 2008 mhill

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Last modified: Sun Feb 11 14:27:58 GMT Standard Time 2007