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About Queen Alice


QueenAlice.com is a friendly community of correspondence chess players of all levels and ages. Playing chess at QueenAlice.com is great way to improve your game and have fun without having to invest a lot of your time.

The modality of chess played here is called correspondence chess, sometimes also called turn based. Here is how it works:

  • If you are new to the site, register by choosing a username and providing a valid email address where we can notify you when it is your turn to move on a game. Your email address is never given to other players to protect your privacy.

  • Begin a game by challenging another player or by advertising an open game that any player can join.

  • If you play white, make your first move right in your web browser (a last generation browser with javascript is required). Your opponent will be notified by email that it is now his or her turn to move.

  • You can now leave the site, even turn your computer off, as the state of the game is securely stored in our servers. When your opponent makes a move you will receive a notification email that informs you that it is your turn to move again.

As you probably realize by now, a game played under these circumstances requires very little time from the players as it can be played over several days or even weeks. Each player can play as many concurrent games as desired.

System Requirements

To play chess at QueenAlice.com you need an internet connection (dialup, cable modem, DSL, etc.), a last generation web browser with javascript support and a valid email address. The following browsers have been verified to work correctly:

  • Internet Explorer 6.0
  • Netscape 7.0
  • Mozilla 1.6
  • Opera 7.5
  • Safari 1.2

Your Responsibilities as a Player

  • You are expected to act courteously toward opponents and other users of the site. Players who use abusive or insulting language or who are disruptive will be banned from this site.

  • You cannot use a computer or computer program to evaluate or analyze a game. However, you may use computers for record keeping. It is also allowed to consult chess books and opening databases.

Time Controls

All games played at QueenAlice.com are subject to time controls. The type of time controls used on a game is determined by the players when the game is created. There are two main types of time controls available:

  • Per move: Each player is assigned a maximum of reflection time per move. After a move is made the game clock is reset and assigned to the opponent for the next move. This type of time controls ensures that the game progresses smoothly.
    Options: 1, 3, 7 and 14 days per move.

  • Per game: Each player is assigned a maximum of reflection time for the whole game. This type of time controls is good for games that need to have a known end date.
    Options: 10, 30, 60 and 90 days per game per player.

Vacation Time

All QueenAlice.com members have a number of vacation days per year that they can use when they will be away from the site for a prolongued period of time. When a member schedules vacation time, the system will add that time to the clocks of all the games in progress. Players that are on vacation are allowed to connect to the site and make moves if they wish so. In that case the vacation time remaining at the time a move is made will be applied to the next move.


The system computes ratings for all players based on the results of the games played. Ratings provide a way for a player to find opponents that have a similar playing strength.

The ratings for the two players of a game are updated immediately after the game ends. The following is a brief explanation of how the rating system works:

Provisional Ratings

During the first 25 games played by a player, we are trying to determine the relative playing strength. It is important to note that provisional ratings usually fluctuate greatly and also that a win does not guarantee that the rating will go up, while a loss does not guarantee the rating will go down.

The rating for a provisional player is calculated as the average of the provisional ratings obtained on each of the individual games. The provisional rating for a player in an individual game is calculated as follows:

  • If both players are unrated, the winner gets 1500 points and the loser 1100. If the game ended in a draw then both players get 1300 points.
  • The rating for the winning player is the opponent's rating plus 400 points, or 1500 points if the opponent is unrated (unless the special rule below applies).
  • The rating for the losing player is the opponent's rating minus 400 points, or 1100 points if the opponent is unrated (unless the special rule below applies).
  • If the game ended in a draw, then the player gets the opponent's rating, or 1300 points if the opponent is unrated.
  • Special rule: if the opponent is rated 400 or more points below or 400 or more points above, then the rating will not be affected no matter the outcome.

Established Ratings

For players that have played 25 or more games the following formulas are used to compute their rating:

new rating = old rating + 0.04 * (rating difference) + 16(for the winner)
new rating = old rating + 0.04 * (rating difference) - 16(for the loser)
new rating = old rating + 0.04 * (rating difference)(in case of a draw)

Unrated Players

Unrated players will obtain a provisional rating as soon as they complete their first game. Until then their rating will appear as 'Unrated'.

Protected Ratings

Players with established ratings will have their ratings protected when playing against unrated or provisional players. A protected rating can remain the same or go up, but never go down, even when the player loses the game. We implemented rating protection because we want to encourage our members to play against newcomers and help them establish their ratings without putting their own at risk.

For More Information...

There are a few special cases and exceptions that are used when the ratings of the players meet certain conditions. If you are interested in the full details of the rating calculations please visit the United States Chess Federation Correspondence Chess Ratings page.


Tournament games are mostly similar to stand-alone games. Some of the differences are:

  • Player pairings in tournaments are generated by the server, players cannot choose who to play against.
  • Tournament games cannot be deleted, they must always have an outcome. If a game is abandoned by both players, the administrator will claim the game on behalf of the winning player after the clock for the game expires.
  • All the games in a tournament use the same time controls.
  • Player ratings are computed in the same way as in stand-alone games.

Double Round Robin Tournaments

In a Double Round Robin tournament each participant plays two games against each of the players in the group with alternating colors. So for example, in a tournament with a group size of 4, a player may get up to 6 simultaneous games (some groups may have less players than the group size depending on the total number of players in the tournament).

For each tournament the server will calculate scores for all players, not to be confused with the player general ratings described in the previous section. Tournament scores are computed for each player in the following way: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss.

After all the games in a round are completed, the players with the highest scores in each group advance to the next round. If two or more players have the highest score in a group, then all advance to the next round.

The final round of the tournament will be the one where the number of players is equal to or less than the group size, which means that all the players will be competing in a single group.

Swiss System Tournaments

A Swiss System tournament can accomodate a large number of players in a relatively short time. For each round the system will divide the participants in groups according to their current scores and as much as possible will try to pair players out of the same score group. For the first round of the tournament all participants are considered to be in a single group.

Some interesting features of Swiss Tournaments are:

  • Each player will play one game per round at most.
  • Nobody is disqualified, all players play until the end of the tournament (there are a few exceptions listed below).
  • Players are more likely to face opponents of a similar strength on each succesive round.

As with Double Round Robin tournaments, a win is worth 2 points, a draw is worth 1 point, and no points are given for a loss. Points earned are accumulated from round to round.

The server automatically generates the pairings in a random fashion while observing the following rules:

  • No player will meet the same opponent more than once in a tournament.
  • No player will get a bye more than once in a tournament.
  • Whenever possible players will be paired with opponents from the same score group.
  • Whenever possible players will be assigned alternate colors on succesive rounds.
  • No player will be assigned the same color more than three times in a row.
  • If the number of participants is odd, the system will randomly choose a player from the lowest score group and give him or her a bye for that round. The player will not play in that round and will be given 1 point.
  • Players who lost a game because they failed to make their move on time will be disqualified and will not participate in the remaining rounds of the tournament.

After all the games in the last round are finished, the player with the highest score is the winner.


When two or more players obtain the same score in the final round of a tournament, the following tie-break methods will be applied in order:

  1. Averaged opponent score: This value is computed by adding the scores obtained by all the opponents in all rounds (ignoring the games played against the player) and dividing the total by the number of games played. The player with the highest value will be the winner, presuming that he/she had a tougher competition.
  2. Rating: The player with the highest rating will be the winner.
  3. Random: A random player will be the winner.


QueenAlice.com welcomes members from all regions of the planet, regardless of their native language. For that reason we are happy to offer the site in other languages besides English.

It is important to note that some of the translations may not be fully complete, so you may get parts of the site in English even when you have specified a different language.

We are always looking for members interested in translating the site into new languages, or even regional dialects of existing ones, so feel free to contact us if you would like to become one of our translators. Here is the list of languages currently available:

Español (Spanish)esmiguel
Deutsch (German)deLounge7
Íslenska (Icelandic)isWinclick
Català (Catalan)caGand
Français (French)frRobertDTranslation is almost complete. Some help pages are still in English.
Português (Portuguese)ptjbliborio
Nederlands (Dutch)nlSalsaQueen
Româna (Romanian)roAdclaranTranslation is under way, only the main page, the menus and small areas of the site are currently translated.
русском (Russian)ruArtemTranslation is almost complete. Some of the help pages are still in English.
Galego (Galician)gltoxoq
Italiano (Italian)ittango
Bahasa Malaysia (Malay)msPGeon
Polski (Polish)plMekk
українська (Ukranian)ukBodia

Our server will detect the language settings of your web browser and will try to provide you with the best translation, provided that one is available. If no translation is found, or if the language settings in your browser are not set, then the English version of the site will be displayed.

Once you become a member you can configure your desired language in the Personal Information page.


QueenAlice.com does not rent, sell, or share the email addresses of its members. Members can control how their email address is used by the system in the Email Options page.

Users of this site have the option to enter personal details such as name, age and country of origin. Entering this information is entirely optional. QueenAlice.com uses this information for the sole purpose of helping its members find opponents with which they have something in common.


The name Queen Alice was inspired by the book Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. The Alice drawing that appears in all the pages in this site was extracted from one of the original drawings by John Tenniel for the book.

The images of the chess pieces used in the chess board were generated from the Chess Alpha font by Eric Bentzen.

The rating algorithms used to rate QueenAlice.com players are based on those used by the United States Chess Federation for correspondence chess as described here.

The JavaScript Coder Form Validator script is used in parts of this site.

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All rights reserved.