How do I start a game?

Whether you are playing Daily chess (Days per move) or Live chess (minutes per game) this tutorial video by IM Danny Rensch will help you get started.New Game Tutorial for Web users:

 If you can’t watch a video right now, read the steps below!

To start a new game

1. From the home page, see the ‘New Game’ panel on the right-hand sidebar:

You can also hover over ‘Play’ on the left-hand side of the screen, and select ‘New Game’

2. If you like the settings as they are, you can click ‘Play’ to start a new game right away! Otherwise, you can change the Time and Type of game by clicking on the buttons above the Play button. Click the ‘Time’ option to change the time settings:

Live times show the total amount of time per side. Daily times show the amount of time each player has per move. For more info on the different time settings, click here. To learn about Daily games, click here.

3. Click ‘Type’ to change the type of chess game you will play:

The default setting is for Standard chess— the chess we all know and love! —but chess.com offers several variations, including Chess960 and King of the Hill for you to try! Hover over the '?' icon to the right of each variant for a brief description.

NOTE: most variations are only available for Live time settings. If you want to play a Daily game, the only options will be Standard chess and Chess960. 

4. Once you’ve decided on your Time settings and Type of game, click ‘Play’ and you will be matched with another person looking for the same kind of game!

For Android App users

1. Press the + sign inside the orange circle to select your game options.

2. On the next screen you will have the option to press ‘play’ and start a game with the most recently used time settings. If you want to change those settings, tap on the time setting button and you will see the below menu options:

For iOS users

1. Press the "New Game" button at the bottom of the main page of your app

2. On the next screen you will have the option to press ‘play’ and start a game with the most recently used time settings. If you want to change those settings, tap on the time setting button and you will see the below menu option

Play a Friend

1. To challenge someone from your friends list, select the ‘Play a Friend’ option from the new game window: 

2. From here you will be able to challenge any of  your chess.com friends, or look through your recent opponents and challenge one of them. 

You can tell if your friends are online or not by the green square in the lower right of their avatar.

3. Once you pick your friend, you will be able to select the Time and Type options as in the above steps.

If you have friends you want to play who don’t have a chess.com account, you may also send an invite to join chess.com via Facebook, Twitter, or email! 

Custom Challenge

This setting will allow you to further customize what kind of game you want to play. 

  • Vs Random - the default setting is to match  you with a random player. You can change this to challenge one of your friends instead. 
  • Rated -  toggle off if you don’t want the game to affect your rating. 
  • Options - here you can choose a range for the rating of your opponent. There are many other options in this window if you are playing a Daily game.

Join a Tournament

This will show you the open tournaments that you can join. More info here.

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