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Frequently Asked Questions  

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* Why can't I see any chess pieces?
   After a recent ChessLab improvement in image loading, AOL browsers started ocasionally to 'lose' chess pieces. Here are 2 steps to change this behavior:
Step 1: Prior to getting to chesslab.com page, press Ctrl key while simultaneously clicking on your browser's 'Refresh' button ; Step 2: Select 'Board' tab on the right-hand side of the chessboard & load any of the chess pieces from there.  You may have to repeat this loading a couple of times.

AOL users will avoid all possible problems if they download a new non-AOL browser -- it is possible to run both Internet Explorer & Netscape directly with AOL connection. The non-AOL browser has to be set to use a direct Internet connection & it has to be started after establishing an AOL connection. In case of Internet Explorer 5.0, it may be necessary to download a Microsoft plugin called Virtual Machine. This plugin can be downloaded by clicking the 'Windows update' button in the Tools pulldown menu on Internet Explorer 5.0 browser.

* What if I am not sure about the player's name spelling?
   If you are not sure about the spelling of the player's name -- that's OK -- you can select just the initial letters. For example, if you do not know for sure how Alekhin is spelled, you can specify just ale but of course there would be many more unrelated games returned.  (When searching for Alekhine games, please make sure that the Date range: 'Historical archive: 1485-1990' is selected.)


* The player I search for is not found
   Please make sure that your search criteria are not too restrictive.   For example, when searching for all 'Alekhine' games where he played White, you would have to make sure that the ChessLab board pieces are placed in their initial position.  Also, please make sure that the correct date range is chosen, e.g.,. for the above Alekhine games search you would have to select the Date range: 'Historical archive: 1485-1990'.  In order to increase the search speed, ChessLab has two distinct online chess databases that must be searched separately: 'Modern Games 1990-present' database and 'Historical archives 1485-1990' database.


* The position I search for is not found
   Please check the date range and make sure that the combination of your search criteria is not too restrictive. For example, you might have to omit specifying any year or any names of players or location or rating when you are searching for a position. To avoid specifying the rating, try setting the rating to 'ANY'.


*  I was playing over a game and then went to analysis mode.  I then looked at a line from the analysis - but could NOT go back to the game continuation!   Is this a bug or did I do something wrong?
   The filled games/analysis pages are generated automatically, but the tab control currently switches just original static pages.  There are 3 known workarounds: 1) use the 'Back' button in your browser, until you see the set of games and 2) use 'Load Game' hyperlink to reload your game into ChessLab board or 3) repeat search to reload the same chess game(s)...

Do you allow the downloading of chess games?
   Yes. It is possible to download individual PGN games to and from the ChessLab Board.   Once the game is loaded into ChessLab board, you can use 'Download game' button in the bottom of the search form (you may have to scroll down to be able to see it).   That will bring up a separate pop-up window with PGN chess game representation.   You will be able to copy/paste and save the game on your local computer.  It is also possible to generate your own game and save it! Up to 50 games at a time can be downloaded. You can increase the number of chess games that can be downloaded at a time from default 10 to 50 by selecting 'Advanced options' from the search form.
* How do I reduce the size of the board in order to get it onscreen in full?
   You can reduce the size of the ChessLab board by loading the 3-d small set of pieces from the 'Board' tab. The size of the ChessLab board is currently optimized for screen resolutions 800x600 pixels and higher.  If you are experiencing problems, you are probably looking at ChessLab board with 640x480 pixels screen resolution.  It may also be possible that you have selected large default fonts at 800x600 resolution.   Try to increase the screen resolution or to decrease default font size through the Control Panel (for all Windows platforms) if your display card and monitor can support these settings.


* Is there a search on ECO/openings?
Starting May, 1999, you can search on ECO & textual opening description via 'opening' button on the search form. This button allows you to load any of the available 500 ECO codes (A00-A99 ... C00-C99) or openings into the ChessLab board. The move sequence corresponding to the particular selected ECO or opening will be loaded. Upon loading, the selected ECO code together with the main opening name will be also displayed in the bottom of the ChessLab board.


* I see mostly black background for both White and Black chess pieces.  How can it be corrected?
The default color setting is actually 'dark gray' for dark colored cells and 'light gray' for light colored cells.   If you are using Windows 95/98 or NT, please find out how many colors your color palette is set to (it's in your control panel/Display). I hope this number is 256 or above.  If your video card and monitor can support a higher setting for the number of colors, you can increase it. Another thing that you can do is change the default color setting  for the light and dark squares for the chess board. You can change the ChessBoard's colors right via the website by selecting the 3-d tab called 'Board' on the right hand side. You can select any color for light squares and dark squares by   manipulating the combination of Red/Green/Blue parameters and pressing either the 'Light suares' or 'Dark squares' buttons.  Changing of colors for the chessboard will become much more convenient shortly.


* The concept of Java is new to me. How do I download Java program to use ChessLab?

First of all you need to have a computer with the operating system like Windows-95 or Windows-98 or Windows-NT.  You also need to have a  web browser. For ChessLab the recommended web browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.1 or Netscape Communicator 4.5. Both of these web browsers are free and they already have all of their Java support in them.  So if you have the right setup -- you don't have to worry about your Java. Using one of the above browsers you will have to connect to:  http://www.chesslab.com and start there.   After that, within your browser you will see a chessboard filled with pieces.   You'll be able to move these pieces with your mouse, setup any position for analysis or search. Again, if you have the right setup on the right hand side you will see tabs that will allow you to switch between analysis mode and search mode. The real power of ChessLab site is its ability to find and analyze any of the 2,000,000 games played from 1485 to the present day, and the fact that it is updated every week with new best games played worldwide.


* Is there a way to save a position from the chess board and later restore it?
To save/restore the position, you can use the 'download ' button n the right-hand side of the chessboard and select the download from the chessboard. You can save the resulting PGN score (without any headers) in a file. Later on, you can restore the file's PGN score by using the 'Load Game' link directly under the chessboard. When the popup dialog for loading a game appears, all you have to do is copy/paste from a saved file (by opening it via Notepad for example). Please make sure that you paste a valid PGN score only.
* How do I download more than 10 games?
It is possible to increase the number of chess games that can be downloaded at a time from default 10 to 50 by selecting 'Advanced options' from the search form. If you are unable to download chess games or have trouble downloading more than 10 games at a time, please make sure that your browser is set for caching (i.e. that caching is not turned off).

see also:  Common problems  How to search   Help Index