I had been playing mostly on chess.com. Recently I moved to Shanghai, and chess.com is really unstable here. I had numerous abandoned games due to disconnection, and I can check that my internet is ok during the disconnection countdown.

Maybe due to internet censorship? But surely a chess site can't be sensitive...

Could players in mainland China recommend a more reliable site please?

  • 1
    Check your ping fluctuations by choosing servers in EU and US on one of speedtest websites of your choice. For online chess, data packages are basically compressed text and require minimal connection bandwidth as long as the ping is stable you should be able to play normally. Have you also tried out lichess.org? There you can also check your ping to host server of lichess: even without login, click on the settings button top right next to the "sign in" button, and it'll show your current connection pings.
    – Ellie
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 8:41

1 Answer 1


I suspect it is more about your Internet connection than which chess server you are connecting to.

I was watching the recent Nakamura-Duda quarter final in the speed chess championship, and Nakamura, who is known to have a great connection, was playing from a hotel somewhere but had connection issues, and lost a game. He continued virtually the whole match with no video feed due to this. The only thing that changed was his connection. Other Chinese players in the tournament have also had problems.

Many places are famous for their bad Internet, and that is the likely culprit, not the server you are connecting to.

That said, with a bad connection, the Internet Chess Club, and its predecessor, the Free Internet Chess Server, both use protocols that are require very little bandwidth to have a decent connection. I doubt there are any servers that require less as they are UNIX-based, and were started at a time when bandwidth was nothing compared to today.

  • 1
    Connections use different "protocols". Think of it as different lanes on a highway. One lane may be blocked, but the others open. I have owned a computer networking company for 24 years now, and I had one client once, who could do everything, but not connect to the VPN since that "lane" had a problem. The other possibility is that somewhere beyond your initial Internet connection, there is a bad "hop". When you go from your location to any server, you go through up to 30 routers, and each jump is called a hop. Sometimes, there can be a problem with a router, and it tries to reroute Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 8:19
  • 1
    the traffic. I know from personal experience, that the major providers will not talk to end-users, and only to major ISPs, and that you, generally, just have to wait it out. There are NOCs (network operating centers), and when there is a problem, it usually shows up on one of many big screens in red, so they know about the problem, and usually get right on it. Typically, within a few hours, the problems have been resolved. In the meantime, you can try to get to another server, but if the router problem is close to the beginning of the route, you may have problems getting to other Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 8:22
  • 1
    servers too. That said, again, ICC might be a good option if you need an alternative server for two reasons: The "lightweight" protocol (meaning it is not heavy on resource usage), and that it is a different protocol than newer servers use. Then, after a while, you can try chess.com again later. Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 8:24
  • 1
    Oops, the second reason was that the traffic will flow along a different route since you are going somewhere different. Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 8:38
  • 1
    Thanks for the detailed explanation! I don't like ICC only because it doesn't have my favourite 5+5 time control, while custom time control takes forever to pair.
    – jf328
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 9:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.