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Playing Games
Starting and Joining Games; Inviting People to Play; Moving Pieces


  • read: I have a question about a specific game. What's the best way to ask for help?
  • read: How do I play a game?
  • read: How long does it take to play a game?
  • read: How do I start a game?
  • read: How do I join a game?
  • read: How many games can I play at one time?
  • read: I tried to start another game and it told me that I could not because I have 20 or more games in progress. But I don't see 20 games on my Game Status page!
  • read: Who has the first move in a game?
  • read: How much time do I have to make a move?
  • read: How do I choose the time limit per move for a game?
  • read: How do I know how much time I have left to make a move in a game?
  • read: What happens if I don't make a move on time and I lose the game?
  • read: I know in advance that I won't be able to make my moves on time. Is there any type of a vacation mode?
  • read: How do I change the time limit on a non-tournament game?
  • read: Does my time zone have any affect on the games?
  • read: How do I invite another person on ItsYourTurn.com to play a game?
  • read: How do I invite a friend who is not registered on ItsYourTurn.com to play a game here?
  • read: How do I invite someone I have already played to a new game?
  • read: What is the Waiting Room?
  • read: How do I make my moves?
  • read: How can I make notes to myself about my games?
  • read: How do I view past moves in a game?
  • read: How do I view a list, or notation, of past moves in a game?
  • read: Do I have to play a whole game at once?
  • read: How do I resign (give up) a game?
  • read: How do I delete a game?
  • read: How do I delete a game that I have posted in the Waiting Room?
  • read: How do I offer a draw?
  • read: I'm playing a game that's obviously drawn (for example, two kings in chess), but my opponent won't agree to a draw. What do I do?
  • read: Why does it take so long to play a game?
  • read: This site is really slow!
  • read: Can I play real-time games on ItsYourTurn.com?
  • read: My opponent hasn't made a move in a long time, and I don't want to play that game any more. Can I delete the game?
  • read: My opponent hasn't made a move in a long time. Is there a way to make him move or resign?
  • read: You sent me an email saying it was my turn to move, but when I opened the game it was on my opponent's turn.
  • read: I opened a game to make a move, but the pieces were in the wrong place.
  • read: How do I find good players?
  • read: How do I find an opponent who will stay in the game until the end?
  • read: Is there a ratings system on ItsYourTurn.com?
  • read: How can I make my moves while I'm traveling?
  • read: Why does the 'Back' button on my browser not work on ItsYourTurn.com?
  • read: Is there a limit to the number of games I can play?
  • read: How can I discuss a finished game with other players on ItsYourTurn.com?
  • read: How long does it take for a move to get applied to the database?
  • read: How do I castle in chess?
  • read: Is there pawn en passant?
  • read: My opponent just captured my pawn with one of his pawns without landing on it. Isn't that an illegal move?
  • read: In checkers, I jump a piece, but the 'submit' button doesn't show up. What's the deal?
  • read: In Battleboats Plus, I see a problem with a move.
  • read: In Battleboats and Battleboats Plus, I placed my ships but it still says I need to place my ships.
  • read: In Backgammon, the dice don't seem fair.
  • read: My game was declared a draw because it said the same position occurred 3 times in a game. What is this?
  • read: In the game of Go, why is the automatic scoring sometimes wrong?



I have a question about a specific game. What's the best way to ask for help? If you have a question about a specific game, the best way to send us the question is by filling out a problem page related to that game.

Quick instructions
Pull up the game board that you have a question on. Click on Email websupport about this game, located near the bottom of the page.



Detailed instructions:
  1. Choose the game. You can do this by clicking on 'game status', then clicking on the opponent that you're playing.
  2. Display the game board. If the problem is specific to a particular move, click 'Prev Move' or 'Next Move' until you're looking at the exact board that you have a question about.
  3. Page down to the bottom of that game board.
  4. Click on the Email websupport about this game link near the bottom of the page. This will bring up a question form on the next page.
  5. Fill out the form just as if you were writing us email. You have 4000 characters, which is a lot of space. Click on the 'Send Email' button to send the form when you're done.
  6. The information will be automatically emailed to us, and we will reply to you via email.


When we receive your email, we can quickly locate this specific game, and respond to you much faster than regular email. You can also ask questions about other people's games using the same online form (for example, if you see an obvious draw situation).

We thank you for using this form, and we hope that we'll be able to provide much faster response times with it. As always, if you have more general questions, you can always
contact us using our online contact form. Be sure to check to see if the FAQ and the help pages answer your question-- you'll get your answer faster that way.
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How do I play a game? There are several ways to get a game started.

  • Join a game that has been created by someone else and is waiting for an opponent in the Waiting Room.
  • Start a new game and wait for an opponent to join it.
  • Invite another person on our site to play a game.
  • Join a tournament, which will place you in several games with random opponents. See the tournament section of these help pages for information on tournaments.

More information on starting and joining games is in the next questions.
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How long does it take to play a game? On ItsYourTurn.com, you can make a few moves a day, or a few moves a week. Games are spread out over several days or weeks.

You choose the time limit per move for each game you play that is not in a tournament. (For tournament information, go
here.)

The options for time limits, in numbers of days, are 3, 7, 14, 21, 30, and 45. You should choose a time limit that will give you plenty of time to make each move. Three days per move seems long, but it is not long if you have computer trouble or go out of town for a few days. We recommend a time limit of at least a week. You and your opponent can certainly move more frequently than that. But ItsYourTurn.com will not restore a game that ends because a player did not make a move on time.
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How do I start a game? Detailed instructions on starting a game can be found in a special short tutorial with cartoons. Here is a brief explanation.

When you start a game, you place it in the Waiting Room where it will wait for someone else to join as your opponent. Here is how:

  1. Look in the menu column on the left side of the screen. Near the top under Play click Start Game.
  2. You will see a page where you choose what game you want to play. Click 'Post this game' under the game that you want to play.
  3. You will see a page showing the game board. At the top of this page, choose the time limit per move for that game. This is the amount of time that you will have to move after your opponent moves. If a move is not made within the time limit, then the player who was due to move loses. ItsYourTurn.com will never restore a non-tournament game that times out, so be sure you select a time limit that will fit your schedule!
  4. Click 'Create game' and the game will appear in the Waiting Room. But you will not see the Waiting Room at this point. Instead, you will see a page showing the game board, and you can usually make the first move in the game at this time.

Some games on ItsYourTurn.com (Battleboats, Sabotage, Screen Chess and Crazy Screen Chess) start with different positions of pieces. When posting a game to the Waiting Room, you have to accept the random placement of pieces that you are given. But if you invite another player on the site to a game, then you place the pieces yourself.
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How do I join a game? Detailed instructions on joining a game can be found in our special short tutorial with cartoons. Here is a brief explanation.

When you join a game, you go to the Waiting Room and pick up a game that was created by one player and is waiting for an opponent. To do this, look under Play in the left-side menu column and click Waiting Room. In the Waiting Room, you will see a list of games. To join a game, click the name of the player listed to the right of the game. That player will be your opponent.

Be sure you look at the time limit column in the Waiting Room. This is the time limit given to make each move in the game. You should only agree to play a game if you are sure you can make each move within the time limit. ItsYourTurn.com will never restore games that are picked up in the Waiting Room and end because a player did not move on time.

If you don't see a game that you want to play in the Waiting Room, then you can create your own game to place there. Instructions on creating a new game are here.

If you join a game in the Waiting Room, usually you have the second move. When you create a game and place it there, you usually have the first move.
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How many games can I play at one time? If you play for free on ItsYourTurn.com, there is a limit on how many games you can have in progress at one time. If you have 20 or more games in progress at one time, then you can not start any more. As you finish games and your total drops below 20, then you can start more games.

You can play as long as you want for free on our site--the only limit is on the number of games you can have in progress at the same time.

How to get more games: If you subscribe as a member, then you can have up to 250 games in progress at one time (150 tournament and 100 non-tournament). For complete information on becoming a member, please see our
membership page.
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I tried to start another game and it told me that I could not because I have 20 or more games in progress. But I don't see 20 games on my Game Status page! You might have actually had 20 or more games in progress, but some of the games on your Game Status page might have been hidden.

After 14 days without a move from your opponent, the game is no longer shown on your status page. This prevents your Game Status page from becoming cluttered with idle games. However, the game is still active, and it still shows up on your opponent's status screen. You can view all of your games in progress by clicking View ALL unfinished games at the bottom of your game status screen.

When your slow opponent does move, the game reappears on your game status page as a game where it's your turn to move. When it is your turn to move, games are never removed from your Game Status page.

You can change how many days a game is idle before it disappears from your Game Status page. Look under 'Account' in the left-side menu column and click 'Edit User Profile.' On the profile page, scroll down. Where it says 'Hide Idle Games' choose the number of days. Then click 'Submit Form.'

If your opponent does not move before the time limit per move, then he or she will lose and you will win.

Remember, you can sometimes delete games to make room to start more. You can delete any game if both players have not completed their fourth move. When you delete a game, it does not count as a loss, it simply disappears. Please read our page on
how to delete a game.
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Who has the first move in a game? If you start a new game which is placed in the Waiting Room, then you have the first move in the game. If you pick up a game in the Waiting Room, then you have the second move.

If you invite someone else to play a game using the Invite User to Play function, then you have the second move. If someone else invites you to a game, then you have the first move.

In backgammon, the first move is determined by the roll of the dice. The player who is Black has the first turn, and the dice are rolled on this turn. If the die on the left is greater, then Black gets to use that roll and move first. But if the die on the right is greater, then Black must submit the turn without moving and White gets that die roll for his or her first move.
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How much time do I have to make a move? On ItsYourTurn.com, you have a time limit to make each move. The time given for your move starts from the moment your opponent submits his or her move. If you do not make your move within the time limit, the game times out as a loss for you. The time when the next move is due is listed under the game board where it says, 'Must move by:.'

Non-Tournament Game Time Limits:

If a game is not in a tournament, then you and your opponent can choose a time limit per move from many different options. The options are, in numbers of days: 3, 7, 14, 21, 30, and 45. Remember that there are no holidays or weekends from non-tournament time limits, so please take these into account when choosing a time limit.

ItsYourTurn.com will not restore a non-tournament game that ends because a player did not move on time.

To learn how to choose the time limit for non-tournament games, see the
next question and answer.

Tournament Game Time Limits:

Fast tournaments only give 28 hours to make a move, while Main tournaments give 48 hours. Information on tournaments is here.
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How do I choose the time limit per move for a game? You can only choose time limits per move for non-tournament games. Tournament game time limits are set by the type of tournament. Information on tournaments is here.

In non-tournament games, players choose the time limit per move before the game starts. The options for time limits are, in numbers of days: 3, 7, 14, 21, 30, and 45. Remember that there are no holidays or weekends from non-tournament time limits, so please take these into account when choosing a time limit. Be sure you only agree to play games that will give you enough time to make each move. ItsYourTurn.com will not restore non-tournaments games that end because somebody did not make a move on time.

There are several different ways that you can begin a game. Here is how the time limit is chosen for each:

  • Start Game: If you click 'Start new game' in the left-side menu column, you will see a page where you choose the game you want to play. After you choose the game, on the next page you will see a picture of the game board. At the top of the game board is a drop-down menu where you will select the time limit per move.
  • Invite User to Play: If you invite another player on ItsYourTurn.com to a game by clicking 'Invite user to play' in the left-side menu column, you will see a page where you choose the game. At the bottom of this page, you also choose the time limit per move.
  • Waiting Room: If you go to the Waiting Room to join a game, you see the time limit chosen by the person who created that game. You should only join a game if you are sure you can make each move within the time limit.
  • Receive Invitation: If you receive an invitation to play a game, the time limit will be specified in that message. Again, you should only accept an invitation to play a game if the time limit is agreeable to you. If it is not, you should decline the invitation. But you might want to send another invitation to the player who invited you, offering to play a game with a different time limit.

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How do I know how much time I have left to make a move in a game? If your games are not in a tournament, then you have to open the game and look under the game board to see when your move is due. The time by which you must move is listed under the game board where it says 'Must move by:.' If you have selected your time zone on your Edit User Profile page, then these times are adjusted for your time zone. If you have not selected your time zone, then all times are given in eastern United States time.

If you enter a tournament, your game status page shows about how much time you have left to move in each tournament game. This is given in the 'Hours left' column.
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What happens if I don't make a move on time and I lose the game? ItsYourTurn.com will never restore a non-tournament game that is lost because a player did not move on time. The reason is, there are many thousands of games in progress. If we were to agree to restore timed-out games, then we would not be able to manage all the requests we would receive.

To help avoid timing out, you should only agree to play games that give plenty of time per move. Do not accept a time limit that is too short.

For information on tournament games, see our
tournament help section.
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I know in advance that I won't be able to make my moves on time. Is there any type of a vacation mode? This depends on whether it's a tournament or non-tournament game.

For tournament games, it's not possible to extend the time limit. Your only option is to let your games time out, then ask your opponent to restore the game after you return. Remember there's no guarantee that your opponent will agree. We do this because the tournaments already take a very long time to finish, so we want to keep everything move. Here's a help page on
how to restore tournament games.

For non-tournament games, you can extend your time limit BEFORE your game times out (with your opponent's permission). We have a help page on how to change non-tournament time limits.

Remember, once a non-tournament game is timed out, it cannot be restored. In that case, please invite your opponent to another game if you'd like to play again.

To help avoid timing out, you should only agree to play games that give plenty of time per move. Do not accept a time limit that is too short.
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How do I change the time limit on a non-tournament game? You can change the time limit for non-tournament games only. Tournament time limits cannot be changed.

Non-tournament time limits can be changed with your opponent's permission. For example, you would use this feature if you're in a 3-day game, and you're going on vacation for a week or so. You'd change the time limit to 21 or 30 days until you return.

Under each non-tournament game board you'll see a link that says 'Ask opponent to change time limit'. Click on that link to send a request for a time limit change. A message will be sent to your opponent requesting the change, and they can either accept or decline the change.

If they accept the change, then the time limit is changed, and a new 'move by' date is calculated. This new time limit will remain in effect for the rest of the game (unless it is changed again).

If you're playing multiple games, you'll have to do this for each game that you want to change the time limit for.

Remember, your opponent is not obligated to agree to the change. If they decline your request, do not harass them about it-- if they signed up for a 3-day game, they may not want to change to a longer time limit. Agreeing to your request is a courtesy-- please be polite about it.

Some other things to keep in mind:
  • This is valid for non-tournament games only
  • Games must still be in progress
  • Both players must agree to the new time limit


Once a non-tournament game is timed out, it cannot be restored. So you'll want to change the time limit BEFORE you go on vacation.

As always, if you're playing a game with someone you know, we recommend setting the time limit at 30 days, even if you know you'll be making moves every day. Unexpected circumstances do arise, and it's better to have some extra time to handle those situations.
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Does my time zone have any affect on the games? Time zones do not affect games much. You have the same amount of time to make each of your game moves, no matter what time zone you are in. People who live in different time zones can easily play games with each other.

On your Edit User Profile page, you can select the time zone that you live in. This will cause all the times displayed beneath your game boards to be adjusted for your time zone. To select your time zone, look under 'Account' in the left-side menu column and click 'Edit User Profile.' On the Edit User Profile page, you can select your time zone just beneath your where you select your country and place of residence. Then scroll to the bottom and click 'Submit Form.' But remember, no matter what time zone you enter in your User Profile, you will have the same amount of time to move in your games.

Your time zone does have a small affect on how you are given extra hours for weekend moves in tournament games. To learn exactly how these extra hours are given in tournament games, see
this question in the Tournament section of these Frequently Asked Questions.

To learn about time limits in non-tournament games, see this question in the Playing Games section of the Frequently Asked Questions.
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How do I invite another person on ItsYourTurn.com to play a game? Detailed instructions on how to invite a user to play can be found in our special short tutorial with cartoons. Briefly, here's what you do:

  1. Under 'Play' in the left-side menu column, click 'Invite user to play.'
  2. On the next page, choose the game you would like to play, then scroll down. At the bottom of the page, choose the time limit per move in the game. Be sure you give yourself plenty of time to make your moves. ItsYourTurn.com will not restore games that are started with invitations and are lost because someone did not move on time. Then click 'Choose game.'
  3. On the next page, type the name of the person you are inviting and click 'Search for user.'
  4. If more than one user's name matches what you typed, you will select a user from a list of names and click 'Select this user.'
  5. Type an optional message and click 'Send message'.

The invited user has the option of accepting or declining your invitation. You will receive a message telling you his answer. If he declines, you may invite someone else. There are lots of people here who want to play games.
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How do I invite a friend who is not registered on ItsYourTurn.com to play a game here? Use our Tell a Friend feature to send a virtual ItsYourTurn.com postcard to someone on the internet. The postcard invites your friend to register on our site and play a game with you. Here is how you do it:

  1. Look under 'Talk' in the left-side menu column and click 'Tell a Friend.'
  2. On the next page, click a postcard design that you like.
  3. Fill in your name, your friend's name, and your friend's email address; choose a game to play with your friend; then type an optional message. Click 'Preview' at the bottom of the page.
  4. You will see a page showing how your postcard will look to your friend. Scroll down and click 'Submit' at the bottom of the page.
  5. You will receive an email asking for verification that your own email address is valid. You must click a link in that email address to send the postcard.

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How do I invite someone I have already played to a new game? If you have finished a game with someone and you want to invite him or her to another game, you can find that user by viewing your completed game and clicking his or her name under the game board. Here is how:

  1. Look under 'Account' in the left side menu column and click 'My profile.'
  2. You will see the page where you adjust your profile settings. At the top of this page, click 'view your current profile.'
  3. You will see your profile page. Near the bottom are your game statistics. Click 'Regular' or 'Tournament,' depending on which kind of game you were playing with the person you are looking for.
  4. You will then see a list of game types. Click the game type you were playing with that person.
  5. You will see a list of people you have played. Find the name of the player you are looking for and click it.
  6. You will see the game board. Your opponent's name will be beneath it. Click the name.
  7. You will see your opponent's profile page. Near the bottom is the option 'Invite this user to play a game.' Click there.
  8. The rest is like the usual invite user to play process. You will choose a game type. Then you will have the option of sending a message to the person with the invitation to a new game.

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What is the Waiting Room? The Waiting Room is where you find games that have one player and are waiting for a second player to join.

You can go to the Waiting Room if you look under 'Play' in the left-side menu column and click 'Waiting Room.' In the Waiting Room you will see a list of games that have one player and are waiting for another to join. To join a game, click the name of the player listed to the right of the game. That player will be your opponent.

Be sure you look at the time limit column in the Waiting Room. This is the time limit given to make each move in the game. The time is counted from the moment one player makes a move. If the other player does not make the next move within the time limit, then the player who was due to move loses the game. ItsYourTurn.com will never restore a game that is picked up in the Waiting Room and lost because someone did not move on time. So, you should only agree to play in games if you are sure you can make your moves within the time limit.

You can create your own game and place it in the Waiting Room by clicking 'Start Game' under 'Play' in the left-side menu column. When you create a game to place in the Waiting Room, you choose the time limit for that game.

If you join a game in the Waiting Room, usually you have the second move. When you create a game and place it there, you usually have the first move.
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How do I make my moves? Detailed instructions on this can be found in our special short tutorial with cartoons. Here is a brief explanation.

  1. Open a game by clicking the link sent in an email reminder message or by clicking your opponent's name on your game status page.
  2. When your game board appears, click the piece you would like to move.
  3. On the next page, click the space to move to.
  4. Some games require you to move more than one piece. Repeat the above steps until all available moves are completed.
  5. When you are finished moving, click one of the 'Submit' buttons that appears beneath the game board. Once you click 'Submit' you will not be able to take back your move, so make sure it's the move you want to make.

To make a move in Go Moku, Reversi, Stack 4, or Pente, just click on the game board where you want to place your piece, then click 'Submit.'

Always remember to click Submit, or the move will not be recorded at all.
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How can I make notes to myself about my games? You can make notes that will appear above the game board and will not be visible to your opponent. Here is how:

Open one of your games, but do not make a move yet. Look under the game board at the list of options. You will see 'Game Status - Resign - Offer Draw - Add Note.' Click Add Note and a new page will appear showing your game board and a space beneath it to write a note. Click in the space and type your note, then click 'Submit.' You will see your game board again with your note added at the top. Next to your note are now options to edit it or delete it. The note will remain visible for the rest of the game unless you hide or delete it. You may make your game moves as you normally would, and your opponent will never see your note.

When you first click on the 'Add Note' link, you might find it easier to open the note page in a new window. To do this, right-click on the link. (Macintosh users should hold the button down when they click on the note.) The page for adding a note will open in a new window, and you will still be able to view the original game board page next to it.

Opening the note in a new window is especially helpful when playing games with hidden or invisible pieces, like Dark Chess or Sabotage.
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How do I view past moves in a game? Open a game by clicking your opponent's name on your game status page. Underneath the game board, you will see links that say Prev - Next - First - Last. These take you to the move previous to the one shown on the screen; the next move after the one shown on the screen; the first move in the game; or the last, or most recent, move in the game.

Next to these four links is a link that says 'show move list.' If you click this, the links mentioned above will disappear, and a move list will appear on the right side of the game board.

At the top of the move list you will see a link that says 'hide move list.' If you click this, the list of moves will disappear and the links to the previous, next, first, and last moves will reappear beneath the game board.
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How do I view a list, or notation, of past moves in a game? Open a game board and look just beneath it. You will see links that say 'Prev - Next - First - Last.' Next to these four links is a link that says show move list. If you click this, the links mentioned above will disappear, and a move list will appear on the right side of the game board.

In chess games, this move list has the notation of moves. For most of our other games, it will simply list the move numbers and colors of each player. This is useful though, because it allows you to jump to any previous move in the game.

For information on how to find games that are completed or games that are in progress, see our help section on
viewing games.
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Do I have to play a whole game at once? No, you don't. Our site is for people who like to make one move in a game, then go back to their regular daily activity. Check your games just once a day on your lunch hour if you want. It's okay if a game takes a month or longer to complete.

Non-tournament games have different options for time limits per move. The choices for time limits, in numbers of days, are: 3, 7, 14, 21, 30, and 45. Whenever you start a non-tournament game, you should always agree to a time limit that will give plenty of time to make each move. Do not play a game with too short a time limit. ItsYourTurn.com will never restore a non-tournament game that ends because someone did not move on time.

Tournament games have very short time limits. Main tournaments have time limits of 48 hours per move, and Fast tournaments have 28 hours. See the
tournament section of the frequently asked questions for details.
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How do I resign (give up) a game? At the bottom of the page displaying your game board is the 'Resign' link. Click it, and you will see a page asking for confirmation that you want to resign. When you resign, the game is recorded as a loss for you and a win for your opponent.
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How do I delete a game? You can only delete a non-tournament game in which both players have not made their 4th move. The game can be in progress or completed. You can not delete tournament games, or any games with 4 or more moves per player.

If you want to delete a game that is in progress, go to your game status page and open the game. If it can be deleted, you will see the option to delete among the links underneath the game board.

If you want to delete a game that is completed, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your game status page and scroll down to the bottom. Click 'Look at my user profile' there.
  2. On your user profile page, look at your game stats at the bottom and click 'Regular games.'
  3. You will then see your profile page again with more detailed stats at the bottom. Click the type of game (chess, backgammon, etc.) that you want to delete.
  4. You will then see a list of games of that type. Click you opponent's name for a game, and you will see the game board.
  5. While viewing the game board, scroll down. If the game can be deleted, you will see 'Delete this game' among the options there.

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How do I delete a game that I have posted in the Waiting Room? You can delete games that you have posted in the Waiting Room. Here is how:

  1. Go to your game status page by clicking 'Game status' at the top of the left-side menu column.
  2. When you see your game status page, scroll down. Underneath your active games you will see 'Your games currently in the waiting room, waiting for an opponent.' Next to each game, you will see the option to delete it. Click delete to delete the game.

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How do I offer a draw? Click Offer Draw at the bottom of the page displaying your game board. Your opponent will be sent a message asking whether he would like to accept or decline a draw. It does not have to be your turn to offer a draw.

Offering a draw does not count as making a move in the game. If you offer a draw in a tournament game, you might want to make an actual move in the game as well, to be sure you do not time out. If your opponent makes a move without responding to the draw offer, the draw offer will be erased from his message inbox.
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I'm playing a game that's obviously drawn (for example, two kings in chess), but my opponent won't agree to a draw. What do I do? In these cases, please contact us using our online contact form. and we will declare the game a draw if it is obviously drawn. If there are still mistakes that could be made, please play the game to a point where it's obviously drawn.
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Why does it take so long to play a game? ItsYourTurn.com is turn-based. This means you do not play a game in one sitting. Instead, you take a few minutes a day and make one move in each of your games, then forget about your games for the rest of the day. You can fit games into your schedule and keep up an ongoing correspondence with your opponents by sending messages with your game moves.

If you and your opponent do want to finish a game in one sitting on our site, you may do so. Moves are recorded instantly in the database, so as soon as your opponent moves, you are able to make your next move. You will have to refresh or reload your game status page yourself to find out if it is your turn.

If you want to play games quickly, you can play games that have fairly short time limits. Our tournaments have very short time limits (28 or 48 hours) per move. Information on tournaments is
here. Non-tournament games have time limits ranging from 3 days per move to 45 days per move. To learn how to choose your own time limits for non-tournament games, see this question.
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This site is really slow! We know it is very frustrating when ItsYourTurn.com is slow. When we see a problem on our end, we fix it as soon as we can because we want our site to be easy to reach.

Still, sometimes players report slow access when we see no problem in our system or in our connection to the Internet. This kind of slowness can be caused by trouble somewhere in the connection between you and us, or by heavy Internet traffic.

If you can get to other sites easily while our site is slow, that could be because the other sites are served from many places (mirrors) on the Internet. Yahoo, for instance, has many servers all over the world. If your connection to one Yahoo server is not good, another server may work better. But ItsYourTurn.com is only served from one place. This means, if there is a problem in the connection between you and our site, there are not alternative servers to use.

If you have a really slow connection to our site, please
contact us using our online contact form. and give us the following information:

  1. What Internet Service Provider (ISP) you use. Examples are AOL, WebTV, Mindspring, etc.
  2. Where do you live? Name your city or town, state or province, and country.
  3. What kind of connection you use. Examples are dial-up with modem, cable modem, DSL, or T1.
  4. Finally, tell us the IP address of your computer or of your ISP, if you can. We will do a trace route to that IP address to try to see where delays may lie in the connection between you and us.

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Can I play real-time games on ItsYourTurn.com? When you submit a move on ItsYourTurn.com, it is recorded in the database immediately. Your opponent may then make his or her move. So, it is possible to play real-time if you and your opponent keep refreshing your game status pages so that you know as soon as it is your turn.

Most players on our site want to just make a few moves a day at the most, and do not want to finish the whole game at once. But if you and your opponent can agree to play real-time games, then you certainly may.

For serious real-time gaming, you should probably go to another website that specializes in real-time play.
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My opponent hasn't made a move in a long time, and I don't want to play that game any more. Can I delete the game? You may delete a game if you and your opponent have both not made your 4th move. The delete option appears in the links beneath the game board if it is available. You can delete a game even which it is not your turn.

After 4 moves have been completed, you must finish the game or resign. If your opponent does not move within the time limit for the game, he or she will lose and you will win.

You and your opponent choose the time limit per move for a non-tournament game before the game starts. If you really want your games to move fast, then you can play only the games with short time limits (3 or 7 days). But be careful--ItsYourTurn.com will never restore a non-tournament game that ends because a player does not move on time.

If the time limit for the game is long (14 or more days) and your opponent does not move for a certain number of days, the game will disappear from your game status page. This prevents your game status from becoming cluttered with idle games. This number of days after which the game disappears is 14 by default, but you can change the number if you look under 'Account' in the left-side menu column and click 'Edit User Profile.' On your profile page, scroll down to the option 'Hide Idle Games' and set the number of days. Then click 'Submit Form.'
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My opponent hasn't made a move in a long time. Is there a way to make him move or resign? This opponent will automatically lose if he or she does not move within the time limit per move for that game. The time that the next move is due is listed beneath the game board where it says 'Must move by:.'

You and your opponent choose the time limit per move for a non-tournament game before the game starts. If you really want your games to move fast, then you can play only the games with short time limits (3 or 7 days). But be careful--ItsYourTurn.com will never restore a non-tournament game that ends because a player does not move on time.

Tournament games have even shorter time limits of 28 hours per move for Fast tournaments, and 48 hours for Main tournaments.

There is not a way to force a player to resign. On our site, people are welcome to use all their allowed time to make their moves. If they miss their deadline, then you would win the game.
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You sent me an email saying it was my turn to move, but when I opened the game it was on my opponent's turn. When this happens, click Reload or Refresh on your browser, or use 'Cmd-R' or 'Options' then 'Reload' on your WebTV unit, to load an updated page from our site. When we say it is your turn but the game page does not show your opponent's move, then you are probably looking at an old game board page that was stored in a cache in your browser or at your Internet service provider (ISP). Your browser or ISP does this sometimes so that it can show you a page faster, without loading a new page from our site. But this can cause you to see a game board in an old position, and this is very confusing. If you reload the page, the game board should appear on the current move, with the pieces in the correct place.

You should also check your cache settings on your browser, if you are using a computer. We recommend a setting of 'Once per Session.' WebTV and Sega Dreamcast users can not adjust their own cache settings.

Here are some guidelines for changing your cache settings:

Netscape Browser 4.61:
  1. Click 'Edit' in the menu bar and choose 'Preferences.' A new window will open.
  2. On the left column in the new window, click the '+' symbol next to 'Advanced' then click 'Cache.'
  3. In the main part of the window, choose a cache setting of 'Once per session.'
  4. Click 'OK' to close the window.

Internet Explorer 5:
  1. Click 'Tools' in the menu bar and choose 'Internet Options.' A new window will open.
  2. Choose the 'General' tab at the top of the window, then look under 'Temporary Internet Files' and click 'Settings.'
  3. Choose 'Automatically' for your cache setting, then click 'OK' and 'Apply' wherever possible to close the windows.

AOL 5.0 Browser:
  1. Click 'My AOL' and choose 'Preferences.'
  2. Click 'WWW' and a new window will open.
  3. Choose the 'General' tab, then look under 'Temporary Internet Files' and click 'Settings.'
  4. Choose 'Automatically' for your cache setting, then click 'OK' to close the windows.

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I opened a game to make a move, but the pieces were in the wrong place. When this happens, click Reload or Refresh on your browser, or use 'Options - Reload' on your WebTV unit, to load an updated page from our site.

The reason that you saw the wrong page could be that you saw a page that was cached, or stored, in your browser or at your Internet service provider (ISP). Your browser or ISP does this sometimes so that it can show you a page faster, without loading a new page from our site. But this can cause you to see a game board in an old position, and this is very confusing. If you reload the page, the game board should appear on the current move, with the pieces in the correct place.

You should also check your cache settings on your browser, if you are using a computer. We recommend a setting of 'Once per Session.' WebTV and Sega Dreamcast users can not adjust their own cache settings.

Here are some guidelines for changing your cache settings:

Netscape Browser 4.61:
  1. Click 'Edit' in the menu bar and choose 'Preferences.' A new window will open.
  2. On the left column in the new window, click the '+' symbol next to 'Advanced' then click 'Cache.'
  3. In the main part of the window, choose a cache setting of 'Once per session.'
  4. Click 'OK' to close the window.

Internet Explorer 5:
  1. Click 'Tools' in the menu bar and choose 'Internet Options.' A new window will open.
  2. Choose the 'General' tab at the top of the window, then look under 'Temporary Internet Files' and click 'Settings.'
  3. Choose 'Automatically' for your cache setting, then click 'OK' and 'Apply' wherever possible to close the windows.

AOL 5.0 Browser:
  1. Click 'My AOL' and choose 'Preferences.'
  2. Click 'WWW' and a new window will open.
  3. Choose the 'General' tab, then look under 'Temporary Internet Files' and click 'Settings.'
  4. Choose 'Automatically' for your cache setting, then click 'OK' to close the windows.

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How do I find good players? Here are some ways that you might find good players.

  • Look in tournaments in progress that are in advanced rounds and see who is in them. Here is how to do this and invite these good tournament players to games:

    1. Look under 'Spy' in the left-side menu column and click 'Tournament area.'
    2. On the tournament page, click either 'Tournaments in Progress' or 'Past Tournaments.' You will see a list of tournaments.
    3. Click some of the older tournaments from about six months ago. You will see a list of game types and rounds.
    4. Look for the game type that you want to play and click round 2 or 3 or later. You will see the names of the players in the sections.
    5. Click a player's name, and you will see a list of opponents which that player played against in that tournament.
    6. Click one of the opponents, and you will see the game board.
    7. Underneath the game board, you will see the names of the two players in the game. Click the one you want to play a game against, and you will see his or her profile page.
    8. At the bottom of the profile page, you will see the option 'Invite this user to play a game.' Click that, and you will see a list of game types.
    9. Choose a game type, scroll down, and click 'Choose game.' You will then see a screen where you can type a brief message. You can introduce yourself here. Then click 'Send message.' The invitation will be sent.

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How do I find an opponent who will stay in the game until the end? In an Internet community like ItsYourTurn.com, it is hard to know if some random person you meet on our site will be serious enough to play games through to the end. Here are some ways to find opponents who will probably be more serious:

  • Invite your friends who play games, your old college buddies, people like that to join ItsYourTurn.com and play games with you. It is a great way to stay in touch and pass messages back and forth. You can use our Tell a Friend feature to do this.
  • Look at who is playing in round 2 or later of tournaments. These people are probably serious players who stay with their games and do not let them time out. Here is how you can find them and invite them to games:

    1. Look under 'Spy' in the left-side menu column and click 'Tournament area.'
    2. On the tournament page, click either 'Tournaments in Progress' or 'Past Tournaments.' You will see a list of tournaments.
    3. Click some of the older tournaments from about six months ago. You will see a list of game types and rounds.
    4. Look for the game type that you want to play and click round 2 or 3 or later. You will see the names of the players in the sections.
    5. Click a player's name, and you will see a list of opponents which that player played against in that tournament.
    6. Click one of the opponents, and you will see the game board.
    7. Underneath the game board, you will see the names of the two players in the game. Click the one you want to play a game against, and you will see his or her profile page.
    8. At the bottom of the profile page, you will see the option 'Invite this user to play a game.' Click that, and you will see a list of game types.
    9. Choose a game type, scroll down, and click 'Choose game.' You will then see a screen where you can type a brief message. You can introduce yourself here. Then click 'Send message.' The invitation will be sent.

  • Join some tournaments. This will randomly group you with other players on the site. They will not all be serious players, but some will. If you strike up a conversation with them in the game and you like them, you can invite them to more games outside of the tournament. Information on tournaments is here.

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Is there a ratings system on ItsYourTurn.com? There is no formal system that rates players' ability according to their wins and losses on ItsYourTurn.com. The reason for this is that it is too easy to cheat. A person can create multiple userids on our site and play against himself and build up the statistics for one of his userids.

Players can rate themselves informally. These self-ratings appear next to games that are waiting for an opponent in the waiting room. You can also view these self-ratings on a player's user profile page.

A player's record of wins and losses also appears on her user profile if she has elected to show them.

If you are looking for the good players to play games, then see
this question for suggestions.
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How can I make my moves while I'm traveling? One way to make moves while you are traveling is to take your laptop computer with you. But if you don't have a laptop, you can still access ItsYourTurn.com from any computer you find that has web access. There are certain things you should make sure you do for convenience and security:

  • Be sure you know your exact userid and password, including the exact use of upper and lower case letters. Whenever you access ItsYourTurn.com from a new computer, you need to log in with your userid and password.
  • Before you go on your trip, go to your user profile page and set 'Automatic Login' to 'No.' To do this, look under 'Account' in the left-side menu column and click 'Edit user profile.' On the profile page, change the 'Automatic Login' setting to 'No.' Then scroll down and click 'Submit Form.' When you return from the trip, you can change it back to 'Yes' if you want to.
  • When you are done making your moves on a strange computer, click 'Logout' under 'Account' in the left side menu column. Be sure you see the page that says you have logged out of ItsYourTurn.com. Then, close the browser completely. This will prevent other people from accessing your account.

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Why does the 'Back' button on my browser not work on ItsYourTurn.com? Sometimes, pressing the 'Back' button on your browser does not work on ItsYourTurn.com. This is because many of the 'clicks' you make on our site send us information. (For example, when you submit a game move, you are sending information to us.) If you use the 'Back' button, often that will cause the the same information to be sent to us again, and an error message or a blank page will appear.

When you have trouble using the 'Back' button, do not keep pressing it repeatedly. Just go to your Game Status page and start from there. Keep your Game Status page in your Favorites or Bookmarks so that you can always get to it easily.
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Is there a limit to the number of games I can play? Yes. If you are a paid member, you can have up to 100 non-tournament games in progress. After that, you will not be able to join or start any more games.

If you are a paid member and you have more than 150 ladder/tournament games in progress and you sign up for a new tournament, then you will not be placed in that new tournament. (Remember that each ladder you're entered in counts as 4 tournament games, even if all 4 ladder games are not currently in progress.) However, you will not be excluded from new rounds of tournaments that you are already in.

For players who are not paid members, the limit is 20 games total (tournament and non-tournament). After you reach 20 games, you will not able to start any new games.

For more information about membership privileges, click on the "Become A Member" link under the ACCOUNT section on your left-hand menu.
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How can I discuss a finished game with other players on ItsYourTurn.com? You can post a completed game to a special Game Analysis Message Board on our site. Other players will be able to see the game and comment on it. You can ask specific questions about the game, or just use it to illustrate a point. Here is how.


To view the game analysis message boards, look under 'Talk' in the left-side menu column and click 'Message boards.' You will see a page with a list of topics. Click 'Game Analysis.'
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How long does it take for a move to get applied to the database? Your move is applied to the database immediately. As soon as you click the submit button, your opponent is able to take his turn.
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How do I castle in chess? After you open the game board, click your king. When the next page loads, click the space to which the king will move in a castle. Another page will load, and you will see both the king and the rook in their new positions.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions
for chess.

For more information on castling, see this question.
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Is there pawn en passant? Yes, our chess system does recognize pawn en passant. For an explanation of the rule of en passant, please see this question.
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My opponent just captured my pawn with one of his pawns without landing on it. Isn't that an illegal move? Your opponent may have exercised the rule of pawn en passant which is a special capture that pawns can make under certain circumstances. Please read about pawn en passant in our frequently asked questions here.

If you still think an illegal move was made, please contact us using our online form. State your userid, your opponent's name, the color you are playing, and the move number on which the suspicious move was made. We will look into the matter.
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In checkers, I jump a piece, but the 'submit' button doesn't show up. What's the deal? Checkers rules state that if a jump is possible, you must take it; and once a piece makes a jump, it must continue to jump every piece that it can. If you don't see the 'submit' button, then you have more jumps to make with the piece you have moved. You do not need to click that piece again; just click the next square to which it will jump.

If several of your pieces have jumps available at the start of your turn, you can choose to move any of them, regardless of how many jumps each has. But, to reiterate, the piece you choose must complete all its jumps.
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In Battleboats Plus, I see a problem with a move. There are two bugs in Battleboats Plus that we have not been able to fix yet.

  • Sometimes a player's turn is skipped. When this happens, a '-n' appears in the move list.
  • Sometimes, one of a player's shots lands in a square that was shot in the previous turn.

When you see this happen, please
contact us using our online contact form and tell us the userids of the two players in the game, the color each is playing, the move number where you see the problem, and the name of the tournament if it is a tournament game. If the game has not progressed much beyond the move with the problem, we can easily set the game back to just before that move so that you can continue playing without an error.
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In Battleboats and Battleboats Plus, I placed my ships but it still says I need to place my ships. When you place your final battleship on the board, the next screen has a link at the top that says Apply this board to the game in progress. You must click that link to put your ships into the game and pass the turn to your opponent.
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In Backgammon, the dice don't seem fair. No computer random number generator is perfect. At ItsYourTurn.com we have analyzed 8 million dice rolls made in past games on our site and found that the results are extremely good.

The president and founder of ItsYourTurn.com, Patrick Chu, discussed backgammon and the dice on ItsYourTurn.com in an
interview for GammonVillage.com. (Dice are discussed at the end of the interview.) Here is brief information about our dice:

  • Our random number generator is good enough for rolling dice for backgammon. We use the random number generator in the Microsoft C++ compiler, seeded with the millisecond of the time at which the random number is generated. We have analyzed 8 million dice rolls and found that deviations from truly random results are very, very small.
  • The dice do not favor anyone on our site. No player gets better rolls than any other player. It is impossible for a player to manipulate the dice.
  • Die rolls are completely independent of the position of pieces on the backgammon board. The random number generator does not “know” if you are on the bar, for instance, and it can not adjust the dice to fit your situation.
  • Employees of ItsYourTurn.com do not manipulate the dice. This would be very difficult, and most of us have no idea how. We work full time here to run a good game site. We are not in business to win a bunch of backgammon games.
  • People often remember when rolls hurt them and forget the times they had rolls that helped them. This can lead to the impression that the dice are rigged “against” them, and this is not true.
  • You will see strange events on our site, like a streak of doubles, or just the right roll that allows your opponent to escape from the bar. These events do not prove that our random number generator is faulty. The same things happen with real dice.

There are some articles on the Internet that different backgammon enthusiasts have written about computer generated dice and how people perceive them. You might be interested in reading them. Here are links to two:

Article by Gary Wong.

Article on Red Top’s Backgammon Site.

If you are looking for discussions of backgammon dice on backgammon servers around the Internet, you can go to Deja.com. Search their site for newsgroup postings related to backgammon and dice, and see what you find.
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My game was declared a draw because it said the same position occurred 3 times in a game. What is this? If a the EXACT SAME board position occurs 3 times in one game, we automatically declare the game a draw. In most games that are still being contested, the same board position won't show up even twice.

What we mean when we say the same board position is if all the pieces on the board are in exactly the same positions. You can check this for yourself by showing the game history, and then clicking on the board positions.

This is an official rule for chess, but as a house rule we have also extended it to non-chess games.

The reason is to encourage players to find the most direct route to victory. This situation should almost never come up in a game where one side has the clear advantage, since those games usually proceed in a linear fashion.
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In the game of Go, why is the automatic scoring sometimes wrong? It is very hard to write a program that scores all Go games correctly. No Go scoring program is perfect, but we are working to improve the one that we have now.

If you finish a game and the winner and loser are assigned incorrectly, then please
contact us using our online contact form. Send us your own User ID, your opponent's name, and the color each of you were playing, and the date the game ended. We will look at the game and switch the winner and loser, if necessary.
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