ChessRally 2 Version History

ChessRally 2.6 Released (Build 925 - January 14, 2010):

There were enough changes in 2.6 to create the need of segmenting the changelog into logical pieces.  Please bear in mind that due to security concerns, not every feature or change has been publicly documented.  This change log only contains a listing of changes that are considered acceptable for public knowledge.  In reality, there was as much work put into 2.6 as there was for 2.5.  Most of which is top secret, and we're not tellin'!


  • NEW: Created a series of new character avatars.
  • NEW: Made two new board sizes, “Large” and “Extra Large”. This change involved rewriting portions of the graphics engine, as well as creating entirely new graphics content for all Ingenuware made themes that look identical in every way to the existing themes.
  • NEW: Created new startup defaults wherein ChessRally defaults to the largest available board size on startup, along with appropriate Move History Window position and size.  Sizes and positions determined based on screen resolution.  (This way, high resolution users and widescreen users alike will immediately benefit.)
  • NEW: Added new entry to theme.ini (and document it in TCK) to disable square highlights for a square that is undergoing animation or highlight selection.
  • NEW: Created new alternate theme graphics for the top of the board (for items that need to point down, but want the shadows to remain consistent.)
  • NEW: Updated application icons for Windows Vista & 7 visual compatibility.
  • NEW: Updated Ingenuware Logos and other user interface graphics.
  • NEW: Rated Rally Rooms games now tell the user how much they won or lost (ratings wise) as a cyan-colored chat message.
  • NEW: Created an Auto Announce and Auto Message (with choice of color) feature for the Server to be used for establishing repeating messages and announcements to go out to everyone on periodic intervals.  This will be especially helpful when we have a tournament or other special event coming, which we can then automatically have announced every hour or two, etc.
  • NEW: Added a secondary “Welcome Message”, and included the ability to customize the color of both the primary and secondary welcome messages.  This allows us to create more complex and robust welcome messages, as well as providing more attention-grabbing visibility for important messages when someone logs in.
  • NEW: When a user gets a trophy, they are now notified via server message.
  • NEW: Included support for longer animations by allowing more animation cells in the theme square and piece graphics, as well as a new “Cells” item in the new “Animation” section of the Theme’s configuration file. NOTE: ALL themes created with this feature in use must employ the 2.6 version requirement so such themes won’t be attempted to be used by people with versions of ChessRally earlier than 2.6.
  • NEW: Included support for a new optional “Looping” parameter in the new “Animation” section of the Theme’s configuration file.  This change allows animations to loop, which replaces the existing animation behavior of bouncing back and forth through the “pulse” animations.  This allows theme authors to support repeatable moving animations, like rings circling infinitely around the piece, etc.
  • NEW: Add a new /support command (perhaps with appropriate button) to allow users (esp. ops) to make a generic report, like a snitchless snitch, that sends us their identification info, etc., plus their description of what they need.
  • NEW: Add a new /opapply command accessible to all users, to send them to the URL to apply to become a Room Operator.
  • NEW: Add a new /opsetup command accessible to all users, to send us same info as /support command above, but specific to op/admin setup.
  • NEW: Add a new /tutorsetup command accessible to all users, to send us same info as /support command above, but specific to tutor setup.
  • NEW: If a user is declined 3 times in a row, all new table join requests during that session are automatically denied.
  • NEW: Made sure players are now encouraged to change their name from “Your Name” with a very nice message.
  • MOD: Changed all mentions of the term “Character” into the term “Avatar”.
  • MOD: Users that are on the ignore list of a given player are automatically refused when they request to join a private table hosted by the given player.
  • MOD: Changed all copyright dates in software, documentation, and website.
  • MOD: Eliminated nag screens during the first week of the trial period… then only ONCE PER DAY AT MOST… when trial has expired, then the program only nags when Gold Edition features activated.
  • MOD: Change all “upgrade now” type screens to be more compelling and neat in appearance.
  • FIX: Made sure that buffer overflow protections aren’t disconnecting legitimate players.
  • FIX: Made sure that ChessRally works fully and without incident from a guest (limited user) account under all versions of Windows.
  • FIX: Fixed a problem where a pawn that moves forward 2 spaces to attack the king, results in checkmate in spite of a defending pawn being available to capture the attacking pawn via En Passant. (All en passant moves from row/rank 4 to row/rank 3 were not being counted as “counterable” moves.)
  • FIX: Made sure that invites can’t be sent when the table is full.
  • FIX: Screen stating “Board Setup In Progress” showing up when board setup mode proposed and declined, but then a new game setup was initiated via the New Game (not Board Setup) interface… and wouldn’t go away.  This was due to the server recording Board Setup Mode state as true in its own copy of the game state regardless of the user’s response.  (And yes, that was a rather idiotic error… sorry folks!)


  • FIX (Cannot fully support this, as anyone behind a router [majority] won’t know their Internet IP, and thus, no hostname can be known.): Changed HELO / EHLO command to use player’s actual network hostname instead of “CHESSRALLY” or the mail server name.  This can be resolved via IP -> Hostname translation.  Some SMTP servers are rejecting HELO /EHLO commands with irresolvable hostnames, giving error 554 helo command reject.


  • MOD: Tutors have been allowed to access to the /trophy command, and others related to tournament hosting, when they become available.  This will allow tutors to hold tournaments and give out temporary and permanent trophy awards as they see fit.
  • MOD: Since version 2.5, the /announce command has been readily available to any tutor, by virtue of being a tutor.  This has been changed to allow the administrator to establish a privilege setting for the tutor that determines if they can use the /announce command or not.  (This was tightly integrated with the change to allow tutors access to the trophy command.)


  • NEW: Created “Admin Lock” option for selected commands wherein Administrators can employ an action that cannot be rescinded or overridden by a Room Operator.  Commands to employ Admin Lock for: /watch, /brand, and the various /ban commands.
  • NEW: Created option to automatically run a traceroute on unexpected disconnections, so we can see if the problem lies on our side, or the user’s side.
  • NEW: Now logging unexpected disconnects, so we can use the logs to figure out where problems exist, and how well the service is holding up.
  • NEW: Added new parameter to trophy command, wherein a trophy can be automatically assigned for a given time period, and automatically removed by the server at the end of the time period.  This will eliminate the need for an op (or other responsible party) to track the time they’ve had the trophy.  New syntax is: /trophy set 7 Playername, where 7 is the number of days.  Any number of days can be specified up to 365 years.  A value of 0, or omission of the days parameter, will leave the trophy permanently granted.
  • NEW: Added command /kbactions for ops, so if they run out, then knew when they have another one coming, and how long until all are available.
  • NEW: Added a “copy rights” button to Op/Admin setup interface to make duplicate entries for ops with multiple computers & keys.
  • MOD: Made sure that on suspected key violation emails, that the key is included in the subject line as well as the message body so Outlook can search much faster for keys in emails, and find repeated violations that way.
  • MOD: Made sure that special folks always show up at the top of the player list, in the following order: Admins, Ops, then Tutors.
  • MOD: Allow different types of server emails to go to separate and multiple targets.
  • FIX: /resetrating command was not working without the persistence modifier… now it is!
  • FIX: Silence feature did not allow more seconds than a fixed amount by way of enforced in the client application.  Fixed this so any time (up to a week) may be employed, and that it always works for those with the option within the timeframe they’re allowed to silence for.


  • NEW: Added new /investigate command that allows users to report another user for suspected cheating or odd game situations.  This feature only works when the suspect is in a game, and will grab a snapshot of the game they’re in, as well as collecting other information, and emails it to Ingenuware for analysis.
  • NEW: Created move validation engine for the server, so all moves are double-checked server side before the move is committed to the game.  This will catch FQH cheaters and resign their games automatically.
  • NEW: Made sure that no commands like /ping can be issued en masse (i.e. silently flooding their connection) from one user to another in order to d/c them from the service.
  • MOD: Made sure that clocks are validated by the server by having the server anticipate a valid clock time, and ensuring that the submitted time is within a specifically configured threshold.  Also changed the server to send expected clock values the opponent every second, allowing the opponent’s client to better “guess” at their opponent’s clock, and showing “sync” in the clock if the clock needs updated frequently.  This should eliminate the perception that the clocks are “jumping” or “frozen at zero”.
  • MOD: Ensured that no player can “walk into” a game already in progress.  This was done by making sure that all games terminate when any party leaves it with a new “abandoned” game state.  This prevents cheating where two people would set up an “instant win” board, make no moves, have the one person leave, then the remaining person lays in wait for a victim to join the table and take their points before they can react and leave the table.
  • MOD: Changed table kick tracking to be based on other technologies, rather than Name and IP mask.  This way, users can’t log off, then log in with a different name (or Buddy ID) to gain entrance to a table they’ve been previously kicked from.

ChessRally 2.5 Released (Build 875 - January 10, 2007):

  • FIXED - Due to inherent limitations in the older versions of the Microsoft API functions for memory checking, ChessRally 2 was in previous versions unable to recognize more than 2 GB of RAM on a computer, thereby failing the minimum memory check when the software is first run, thus preventing people with that much memory from running ChessRally 2 at all.  This has been fixed by utilizing the new Microsoft API calls that recognize 64-bit memory sizes.  On a fun note, since it now recognizes full 64-bit memory employment, it means that it will recognize up to about 18 EB.  An EB is an "Exabyte".  18 EB ~ 18 billion Gigabytes.  Unfortunately, that kind of memory capacity won't be seen by PC users for about 68 years or so, according to Moore's Law.

ChessRally 2.5 Released (Build 873 - February 5, 2006):

  • FIXED - Some players using Windows 95, 98, and ME were having difficulty using any of the Internet related features due to a prior change to multi-threading in our Internet communications library.  This issue has now been resolved, and was out for beta for about a month, and users of any of the Windows platforms from 95 through XP should now have equivalent performance.

ChessRally 2.5 Released (Build 865 - April 6, 2005):

  • FIXEDPlayers of email games were running into oddities upon game loading, such as a series of castling moves when they received their opponent's email.  This occurred because of fundamental changes to the startup sequence within ChessRally between versions 2.49 and 2.5.  This issue has now been resolved.

  • CHANGED - The way ChessRally manages running multiple copies of ChessRally has been updated, so that subsequent copies not only notify the user, but will automatically close themselves if the user doesn't respond to the notification within about 10 seconds.  This was done to prevent the Rally Rooms anti-cheating protocols from catching unintentionally loaded secondary copies of the chess game.

ChessRally 2.5 Released (Build 850 - July 27, 2004):

THERE WERE SO MANY CHANGES TO VERSION 2.5... that the list had to be broken into sections.  Each section heading appears in Yellow.  ALSO NOTE that you may have heard of some changes that do not appear in the list.  Due to security reasons, what you see here is a fraction of the actual release notes.  The more detailed version of the release notes is not available for public review.  The sections are as follows:


  • GENERAL SECURITY UPDATE – Many enhancements and revisions were made to the various security protocols throughout the program, and while most items in the list of security changes is certainly interesting to read, for the sake of security, they will not appear in this list of revisions for the Version History.

  • ADDED  – Because of the many changes in this version, and for security reasons, the version of the ChessRally Protocol has been updated, so the ChessRally 2.5 end-user software will not be able to connect to any Rally Rooms whose software version is less than 2.5, and ChessRally clients older than 2.5 will no longer be able to connect to 2.5 or higher Rally Room Servers.

  • ADDED – The Rally Room Servers now automatically record/log all activity… logins, disconnects, communications, game invitations, game completions (with results), etc.  This was a big issue for us, as it could create some questions about our privacy practices.  To be absolutely clear, we are 100% committed to user privacy at all costs.  The only reason we have added this feature to our server software is to have an indisputable reference available when there is a dispute over claims of abusive behavior in the rooms, etc.  This allows us to enforce the ChessRally EULA more accurately and fully without penalizing innocent users unfairly.  Notwithstanding, with the exception of using as a reference to solve disputes and enforce EULA violations, the records are not viewed by anyone, and are securely maintained at the server.

  • ADDED – Room Operator warning messages now also sound audibly to alert the user to the warning on the screen… in case they’re not paying attention.

  • ADDED – Room Operators can now ban for specific periods of time, denoted by seconds, minutes, hours, days, or weeks, such as “/ban h=1 {playername}” or “/ban d=2 {playername}”.  This will help the Operator create reasonable bans without having to manually monitor the amount of time assed and then manually unban them.  This automates that process.

  • ADDED – Room Operator actions are sent as a notification to other Room Operators, so there isn’t a mass of actions taken with different ops not knowing what the other is doing.

  • ADDED – For the Public Rally Rooms only, we have better automated and streamlined the Player unban & IP ban/block request process for offenders.  Players that are banned or had their IP’s blocked were always told they were banned/blocked when they logged in, and to be unbanned/unblocked they needed to contact  Now, they will be told why they were banned/blocked, and can fill out a comment form requesting to be unbanned/unblocked, submitting their name, email address, player names used, stating their case, and apologizing as necessary.  This, combined with the newly required reason entry for all kick/ban actions, when performed by Room Operators, will streamline the normally lengthy process of emailing back and forth. (Getting an email requesting an unban, asking for their PUID, then checking for a reason why they were banned, writing back asking for their side, then unbanning.  This makes the whole process faster and more reliable.)  For Private Rally Rooms, the old basic ban screens are still in effect.  (The reason for the difference is because the Public Rally Rooms have added security protocols that the Private Rally Rooms software does not have.)

  • ADDED – Provided a method of moving license keys from an old computer to a new one, completely removing all references to the license key on the old computer.  This helps Gold Edition licensed users in complying with the license agreement, which states that they may only use one idividual key on one computer at a time, in a “forward-only” fasion.  (Not switching back and forth.)

  • ADDED – Added /svrmsg parameter “@” where “*” could go, so people with /svrmsg access can address all ops/admins with server messages.

  • ADDED – Added an optional “@” parameter for the /msg command, so users can address all operators in private message by typing “/msg @ some message…”.

  • CHANGED – Room Operator powers given differently.  In previous versions, Room Operators were given the same powers as each other at all times.  (The configurable settings applied to all Operators)  Powers (rights and privileges) are now given on an Operator by Operator basis, allowing us to take on “trial” Operators with limited powers, or to restrict specific powers for specific operators if need be, in order to make them more efficient, or to encourage other choices for actionable offenses.

  • CHANGED – When silencing, Room Operators can now give a reason, to be displayed to the user being silenced.

  • FIXED – License keys (and Temporary keys) were not being saved properly if the user’s computer was running Windows 2000 or XP, and the user account being used to run ChessRally was not an Administrative account.  As a result, on those systems, ChessRally would always show either an expired temporary key, or no license key.  The licensing process was revised to eliminate this issue.

  • FIXED – In previous versions, Room Operators were restricted from kicking/banning anyone while they were playing a game.  The intended functionality was only that they could not kick/ban their opponent without resigning first, while they could kick/ban anyone else at any time.  This is now fixed.

  • FIXED – In previous versions, spectators would be prompted to resign from a game if they attempted to leave a room or close the program while they were concurrently watching a game.  Since they were not a player at the table they were watching, they should not have been so prompted.  This has been fixed.


  • ADDED – Anti-monitoring devices have been employed throughout the program to prevent application memory based cheats.  (This is a similar concept to the PunkBuster anti-cheating service for other online games, although the specific technology is different and entirely unique.)

  • ADDED – The server now maintains a list of branded cheaters, so everyone in the Online Rally Rooms will always see a Computer icon for a “buddy” icon in the Player List, and their Buddy Comment on the Player Info screen will say, “This player is suspected of cheating using a computer program or other means.”  This is intended for repeat and confirmed cheaters that refuse other forms of correction.

  • ADDED – When a player joins a table where their opponent has been branded for being suspected of cheating, the player is warned in red lettering in table chat.  Also, when a player gets an invitation from a potential opponent that has been branded for being suspected of cheating, they are notified of such branding on the same screen as the invitation.

  • ADDED – Created new anti-runner technology for the Online Rally Rooms.  The Room server now remembers game and rating information for games where a player is unexpectedly disconnected (or has “run away”).  If this happens, the next time the player logs into any of the servers, the server deducts the appropriate number of points from their rating, and also notifies the user of the deduction as the points they lost from resigning.  It was originally planned that the disconnected player would be given a specific number of minutes to return to finish the game, after which, their opponent would be given the win, and they, the loss.  That is now planned for version 3.0, whose protocols will be more accommodating of such a change.

  • ADDED – ChessRally now detects the use of computer programs to play in lieu of honest game play in the Online Rally Rooms, so if a player gets caught running another chess program capable of playing human vs. computer games while in the middle of a Rally Rooms game, then the player must close the program immediately, and not reopen it, or be automatically resigned from the game, giving their opponent the win.

  • CHANGED – Disabled the ability to create untimed rated games, and now offer warnings on timed rated games with time control settings in excess of 30 minutes for all moves, and in excess of 10 minutes for repeated time control, as the case may be.  (In the case of a mixed time control, such as “10 minutes for 10 moves, then 30 minutes for all moves”, for the sake of the warning system only, it is treated as a 40 minute for all moves, since if the player makes the initial 10 minutes, it becomes a “time limit for all moves” type of game.)  The reason for this chance is because untimed rated games were used by some to “squat” without moving, forcing their opponent to resign from sheer boredom, giving them a cheap and undeserved win and ratings boost, while their opponent unfairly receives the loss.

  • CHANGED – If a player is stuck waiting for the table host to set up the table while waiting for table entry, they are no longer ushered directly into the game when the host is done without prompting them with the table’s rules.  The player is now prompted with the new rules once ushered into the game, where they have the opportunity to back out of the game before they move any pieces, if they don’t approve of the rules.  This was done to avoid unscrupulous table hosts intentionally hanging onto the table setup screen until another player is committed to the game, so the other player gets into a game they have had no opportunity to review the rules for.

  • CHANGED – In previous versions, when a new game was started, and the player with white moved, and the player with black left the game before they had actually made any moves (which is allowed), ChessRally would prompt the table host to set up a new game.  However, this was optional.  (Or the player could “stand” to watch without leaving the table, and in that case, the table host would NOT be prompted at all.)  As such, it was possible for two conniving and dishonest users to set up a table where they’d start a game, white would move, then black would wait until there was only a couple of seconds left on their clock, then leave the table (or stand to watch).  Because this was legal, the player with the black pieces was off the hook (as far as ratings go), the game was still in progress (albeit paused), and so the host would then choose to not set up a new game.  Then, the host would invite a third (and unsuspecting) player to play a game.  The new player then arrives to the table with only a second or two on their clock, leaving them with not enough time to play a game (or to make a single move for that matter), nor enough time to stand up from the game (or leave the table), and would therefore unfairly lose the game.  This has been changed so that when a player leaves before making a move, the table is REQUIRED to be set up fresh and new, so any new players come into the game with the game (and their clock) completely fresh and new.

  • CHANGED – Better clarified the anti-cheating warnings and auto-resign notices so players will KNOW it’s NOT a cheat-catching system, but a cheat-prevention system. (This item was entered from the 2.5 betas.)

  • CHANGED – Users cannot any longer log into the same Rally Room server multiple times with multiple copies of ChessRally running on the same computer at the same time, unless they are a Room Operator.  This was done to prevent cheating by way of playing rated games in a particular room, using multi-user Windows environments such as Windows ME and Windows XP, that allow you to have multiple users logged in at the same time on the same computer, from different profiles.

  • CHANGED – In previous versions, in the Online Rally Rooms, it was possible for two players to set up a new game, customize the board position so one player is guaranteed a win on the next move, then the other player would sit to watch, and both would then wait for a new player to join the table, mid-game.  The new player would then be instantly checkmated, losing points.  This was changed so that you cannot enter board setup mode at all during a rated game, nor can you switch to a rated game from board setup mode, and you must resign from loaded games (even if you haven’t technically made any moves).  It is still possible to do this for NON-rated games, but with no points at stake it’s inconsequential.  In short, it is no longer possible to create a custom board setup on a rated game.  One can still load previously saved rated games to play, but they cannot have resulted from board setup mode, but rather from game play.

  • FIXED – Offering a draw while in the middle of a turn, before hitting finish turn, and having the draw declined, reset the board, still allowing you to press finish turn.  This resulted in weird conditions, like capture-able kings (assuming you were in check), etc.  This has been fixed.


  • ADDED – A “/tournament” command has been created for the creation, management, and participation in tournaments.  This command is a root command, where sub-commands are parsed and validated at the server only.  (This is so we can support the Tournament interface in this version, without having to fully implement it.  This way, when we implement it, it will be done on the server only, so the clients do not have to upgrade to a new version to participate.)  The suggested sub-commands are:

    • info – Used by anyone to view the type, enrollment, and status of a current tournament.

    • register – Used by players to enroll in a tournament.

    • withdraw – Used by players to withdraw enrollment from a tournament before it begins, or to forfeit a tournament while in progress.

    • create – Used by the tournament host to create a new tournament, and establish its rules.

    • edit – Used by the tournament host to edit tournament parameters.

    • conclude – Used by the tournament host to end a tournament (with a winner.)

    • cancel – Used by the tournament host to cancel a tournament (with NO winner.)

    • schudulematch – Used by the tournament host to schedule matches in the tournament.

    • game on|off – Used by the tournament host to establish whether or not a game is to count towards tournament results.

    • forfeitplayer – Used by the tournament host to remove a player from a tournament for not showing up to matches and/or for misbehavior during a match.

  • ADDED – Added a “/forceresign” Room Operator command which will allow selected Room Operators to serve as a judge in a game, and cause a the targeted player to forfeit by being automatically resigned.  (Any game, including tournaments.)

  • ADDED – Added a “/forcedraw” Room Operator command which will allow selected Room Operators to serve as a judge in a game, and cause a the targeted table to immediately end in a draw.  (Any game, including tournaments.)

  • ADDED – Added a new Gold Trophy type Player Icon for Tournament Winners.  This can be granted as a prize for tournaments.

  • ADDED – Added a new Room Operator/Admin command, “/trophy set|clear {playername}” to allow Tournament Hosts (which must be Room Operators, by definition) to set or clear the Winner/Trophy status of a specific player.


  • CHANGED – All relevant activity, not just chat messages, is now recorded to the player’s chat logs (if they have them turned on), and preceded by date/time stamps.  The purpose of this is to have a more exact reference of what happened, and when it happened.  This feature is particularly useful for parents that wish to have greater control and observation of whom their minor children are in contact with.  (This has always been the intention of the chat logs… that is why the option is on the Parental Control form.)


  • ADDED – Added to letter translation list within language filters, so “|<” is treated as “k” (how the HECK did we miss that one before?), and “L” is treated as an “i”  (so lowercase L can't be used for an I in the word S***)

  • ADDED – Added new words permanently to the language filters that had become a necessary part of the filter list on the servers.

  • CHANGED – Made heuristic language filters multithreaded, dramatically increasing performance of the server (especially if we can get our hands on a multi-processor platform!), which results in fewer “unexpected disconnections”, with a tradeoff in slightly slower chat message return times.  Note: the multithreaded filters feature is optional, and does not exist on Windows 95, 98, or ME.

  • CHANGED – Users that are silenced may now send private messages to Room Operators, and also can now enter chat commands that won’t be displayed on another’s screen.  (i.e. – “/help”, “/quit”, etc.)  However, they still may not make game invitations, chat in the open, or send private messages to a non-Room Operator user.  This was done to allow silenced users to still use other commands that aren’t interactive with other users, and also to allow them to discuss their behavior with an on-duty Room Operator.

  • CHANGED – Some users were taking advantage of line wrapping in the /me command in the chat windows of the Online Rally Rooms, making the beginning of the wrapped line show another player’s name, resulting in the appearance that both they and the person they targeted used the /me command separately.  This led to people believe that the targeted player for this abuse was saying something with the /me command, and it caused several arguments, and raised concerns over manipulating the system.  They would type something like “/me likes donuts”, followed by many, many spaces, then “OtherPlayerName thinks you all stink.”  The result was that it would look like two separate lines, the top reading “PlayerName likes donuts” and the second line reading “OtherPlayerName thinks you all stink.”, leading others to believe that the targeted person (OtherPlayerName) actually said they thought everyone stunk.  This has been made impossible by wrapping player names in “/me messages” with double angle brackets, like “<<OtherPlayerName>>”.

  • CHANGED – Table chat text no longer disappears on the table window when all players leave, letting you continue to read was said at the table until you join a new table, start a new non-Rally Rooms game, or close the program.

  • CHANGED – Auto-silence feature be triggered under “false positive” conditions under stressful network conditions.  To prevent unfair auto-silencing (anti-flooding/scrolling feature), all chat messages and other “auto-silence” trigger-able protocol components are now marked with built-in marker to help determine time of entry/transmission, rather than time of arrival at the server.

  • FIXED – Silence feature was unfairly silencing some players for ridiculous periods of time, for example, 2,353,234,253 seconds!  The silence feature has been revamped to eliminate this problem.

  • FIXED – Fixed the language filters so "grass" doesn't get filtered when it's the first word (in version 2.45 and earlier, saying "that's grass" was OK, but saying "Grass is green" was not, and got filtered.)

  • FIXED – Player quotes were not getting filtered properly (profanity/language filters) for players with their filter settings to “off”, and Chat Filters were enforced at the server.  If a player had their chat filters set to “on”, regardless of the server setting, they would previously work, however, the idea of “enforced” chat filters is that all inappropriate language is to be filtered.  This has been fixed.


  • ADDED – Added a “Buddy” feature that allows you to specify a buddy’s “friendly name”, and whether they are a friend, enemy, lover, or suspected cheater, etc.  This way, even if a buddy (or enemy!) changes their name, you can see that it is them when they log in.  The Buddy feature also allows you to assign a category icon for other users, among which are: “Coolest Friend” (smiley face w/ shades), “Friend” (smiley face), “Indifferent” (serious face), “Enemy” (angry red face), “Lover” (heart), “Competitor” (trophy), and “Cheater” (computer).

  • ADDED– Added new option when searching for a player in the rooms to search by Buddy Name.  The option is located in the “Locate Player” screen from the Rally Rooms Selection screen, and is titled, “Search using Buddy Names”.

  • ADDED - Created the “/cmd” generic command interface for entering any new commands that are introduced since the last version of the client software.  Command syntax is: “/cmd /othercommand parameters”, for example, “/cmd /kick JohnDoe Kicked for being rude to people.”  This allows us to create new commands at the server level, and have it available through this interface, before the new client with the new commands is released.  (Note: Generally speaking, existing commands that are available directly in the client are not supported through this interface.)

  • ADDED – Created new /idle Room Operator command to see how long a player in the Rally Rooms has been idle.  This is useful for determining why a person may not answer private messages, etc., and also, in the event that the room is full, and 10 people have been idle for an extremely long period of time, the Administrator can politely kick those users to free up space.

  • ADDED – Created new /ping command to allow players to see how long data takes to move from their computer to another player’s computer and back again.

  • ADDED – Added new right-click context sensitive menus on Player List in the Rally Rooms with a series of shortcut commands for commonly used commands, plus several fun new commands!

  • ADDED – Added a “note” to the Room Kick & Ban confirmations for Room Operators that tells them if the player is currently in a game.  This may help them decide to postpone an action for minor infractions until the player has concluded their game.

  • ADDED – Auto-Away feature added, so inactive users for 15 minutes or more are automatically set to Away, then set back to normal when activity resumes.  (Manual selection of Away status still requires manual deselection.)

  • ADDED – Made a new “cancel” button to cancel room logins that take too long.

  • ADDED – Added the ability to sort players by rating, table, or name in the player list on the main Rally Room window.  (In all previous versions, the player list always sorted by player name only.)

  • ADDED – Made Room Operators’ names changed in color to appear in royal blue in the player list on the main Rally Room window.  This helps new players identify who is in charge.  Similarly, Ingenuware personnel appear in green.

  • ADDED – Created a new service class of user for volunteer chess tutors.  Volunteer chess tutors appear in Purple in the player list on the main Rally Room window.

  • ADDED – Reserved names now can exist for the Online Rally Rooms.  To reserve a name in the Public Rally Rooms, you must be a Gold Edition customer.  To support this new feature, we added new /reservename and /unreservename commands to the server.

  • ADDED – Added a new “Ready” player status type in the Player List in the Rally Rooms screen.  Previously, a player’s status could be “Table X (Play)”, “Chatting”, “Away”, or “Ignored”.  Previously, if a player was sitting at a table alone, it would still read “Table X (Play)” in spite of the fact that a game was not actually in progress.  The new Ready status was added to that list to indicate a player sitting at a table waiting for an opponent to join the game.  It now reads “Table X (Ready)” instead of “Table X (Play)”.  (Note: Players actually in a game still read “Table X (Play)”)

  • ADDED – Added a new /leavemsg Room Operator command to leave messages to other users for the next time they log into the Rally Rooms.  Syntax is “/leavemsg <{PUID}>”.

  • ADDED– Added new /give general purpose command for the Online Rally Rooms.  A user can enter “/give {playername} {gift}”, and everyone will see “<POOF> As if by magic, {gift} from {giver} appears for {playername}.”, or some other random “fun” message of a gift.

  • ADDED – Added four new chat commands for pulling up the End User License Agreement: “/eula” or “/agreement”; and for the specific area that relates to Rally Rooms Terms of Service: “/tos” or “/termsofservice”.

  • ADDED – Added new /playercount Rally Room command for showing how many players were in the room.

  • ADDED – Added new /time command to let Rally Room players know when they logged in and how long they’ve been on.

  • ADDED – Added new “{player} was kicked|banned by {operator}” messages to the Online Rally Rooms, so users would know that the Operators were doing their job, and the offender didn’t just leave.  This will hopefully be a good deterrent for potentially abusive users that witness it.

  • ADDED – Added new /resetrating command for Administrative users (or Room Operators with access) to reset ratings and game stats for specific players.  This feature works by having the Admin or Operator initiate the command, then the user is prompted if they wish for the rating and stats to be reset.  If they agree, then the rating and stats are immediately reset to the default.  As an optional parameter for Admins only, an Admin can FORCE the rating and stats to be reset.  This is to be handled with extreme care, and must ONLY be forced on users for which there is sufficient evidence to prove that they’ve tampered with the ratings system.

  • ADDED – Created a new Room Operator command, “/tablekick” to allow Room Operators to kick a player (Other than their opponent) from a table that they do not control.  (This will allow them to kick a player from hogging a table while idle for extended periods of time.)

  • ADDED – Created a new Room Operator, Tutor, and Admin command, “/announce” to allow Room Operators, Tutors, and Administrators to send a red announcement to everyone in the room.

  • ADDED – A new “Adjourn / Postpone Game” menu item (under the “Game” menu) has been added for Rally Rooms games.  This new feature saves the game, gets permission from the opponent of the person that initiates the “Postpone Game” command, and if approval is given, then temporarily ends the game without rating or otherwise completing the game (such as a resignation), allowing the players to temporarily quite the game in order to reload it at another time and resume it.

  • ADDED – Added a new Gold Star type Player Icon for VIPs.  This is used for fee-based tutors (FIDE Masters, Grandmasters, etc.), and for Special Guests.

  • ADDED – Added a new Room Operator/Admin command, “/vip set|clear {PlayerName}” to allow the setting of VIP status to specific players.

  • ADDED – Tutors divided into two categories based on Free and Fee based lessons.  Fee based lessons are given by FIDE Masters and Grandmasters for a fee, and Free lessons will be given by individuals who have shown themselves able to teach, but do not have a Master or higher FIDE rating.  The Fee based tutors are branded with a VIP Gold Star player icon with their name showing up in purple, and the Free Tutors are not branded with a special icon, but do show up with their name in purple.  (NOTE: As far as paying the fee-based Tutors (the FM/IM/GM type), this may be handled by Ingenuware, or it may be done as a private transaction between the players and the tutors.  This can change at any time at Ingenuware’s sole discretion.)

  • ADDED – Added a new Room Operator command “/gamestatus”, which allows an Operator to view the current game.  Specifically, it creates a ChessRally saved game in the “Game Status” folder for them to review, with complete information.  This will help Operators find clock abusers that just sit there, hoping to bore their opponents into resigning.

  • ADDED – Rally Rooms Server software now displays number of connected users from the Windows task bar for easy reference, and also contains system tray context menus for shutdown, etc.

  • CHANGED – In previous versions, the way time (and timeouts on events) was managed on the server was done with the system clock.  This has been changed to maintain times by the High Performance Counter.  The HPC is more precise than the system clock, and is not subject to changes of the clock, such as when the clock is changed for Daylight Savings Time.

  • CHANGED – In previous versions, when exiting a Rally Room by way of quitting ChessRally (closing the program), the user was prompted TWICE, once to log off, then once to close ChessRally.  This was a little burdensome, so it was condensed to one confirmation.

  • CHANGED – When a player asked for permission from the table host to join their table, if permission was granted while the player that asked for permission cancelled the request, the permission is now held is being “granted” for 30 seconds, so if the player tries to enter within the 30 seconds, they are given permission.  This corrects the problem of people canceling and upon retrying, being greeted by an automatic refusal, which looked like the host was being hostile.  Note: if the table host does not grant permission, no such “extension period” is granted.

  • CHANGED – In previous versions, the main Room Screen would minimize when a player sat at a table to play or watch.  This has been changed so the Room Screen is just hidden behind the Main game/table screen.  This was done to work around a glitch in Visual Basic (the programming language that ChessRally’s user interface was created in) where showing a modal dialog box when a window was minimized, then clicking on the minimized Windows’ task bar item, would cause ChessRally to appear non-responsive.  The game is still responsive, however, one must click on another application’s window (or task bar button… the “Start” menu works fine too…) to reset the focus within the program to normal.

  • CHANGED – Circular symbols (and very tiny characters), such as © and ® no longer allowed in the beginning of a player name in the Online Rally Rooms, to avoid confusion with the Room Operator symbol of @.

  • CHANGED – Changed ratings icons (the icons next to player names in the Online Rally Rooms’ player lists) to have a farther reaching, and more natural spread, allowing lower rated players to shed their pawn icons earlier on, while making the highest icons (queen and king) still difficult to achieve.  The old spread was <=1599, 1600 to 1749, 1750 to 1899, 1900 to 2149, 2150 to 2299, and >=2300.  The new spread is <=1399, 1400 to 1549, 1550 to 1749, 1750 to 1999, 2000 to 2299, and >=2300.

  • CHANGED – Changed the order of the ratings icons (the icons next to player names in the Online Rally Rooms’ player lists) from position that they appear on the board (“pawn”, “rook”, “knight”, “bishop”, “queen”, “king”) to position of power, based on points (P) and the most squares it can possibly control (S).  The new order (in P:S) is: ( “pawn” (1:2), “knight” (3:8), “bishop” (3:13), “rook” (5:14), “queen” (9:27), “king” (200:8).)

  • CHANGED – Room Operators are no longer allowed to enable the Ignore Private Messages feature.  For Room Operators, the Ignore Private Messages checkbox is now disabled and permanently in the unchecked state.  This was done to prevent users from not being able to get help from a Room Operator if what they needed help for required the discretion of private messages.

  • CHANGED – When a player is Ignoring Private Messages or Ignoring a player that is also a Room Operator, if the Room Operator is active, any private messages from them have always been allowed to go through regardless of those ignore settings.  However, when the private message came through regardless, being preceded with “JohnDoe (Privately):”, led some players into believing they were hacked or the game wasn’t working properly, which was not at all true.  To alleviate those concerns, the private messages from active room operators, that would otherwise have been ignored, are now preceded with “JohnDoe (Privately from Room Operator [Overrides Ignore]):”  (“JohnDoe” is just an example… replace it with the Room Operator’s actual player name.)

  • CHANGED – Players are no longer allowed to ask for a new game, to setup the board, to load a saved game, or to import a game into an existing Rally Rooms game more frequently than once per move.  This was done to prevent harassing one’s opponent with such requests.

  • CHANGED – The “In Game/Table Rules & Options” screen has been modified to also be the ”Really Play This Game?” screen, replacing the previous basic message box query for “Really Play This Game?”  This allows the user to more easily see what game they’re getting into.  It now displays to the player that is not hosting the table on ALL new games, no matter how they entered the game, even if they are already at the table and sit to play from a spectator position.  This will help the user back out of a game they don’t want to play, so no one will feel they were duped into playing a game with undesirable house rules.  (Also, the screen now notifies the player that they can back out of the game once it’s started without penalty if they haven’t yet made any moves, but once they have made a move, they are committed to the game, and must resign if they wish to leave.)  This screen now displays all game info, and offers highly visible warnings for non-standard rules, and a summary line which may read, “Warning: Unusual Time Control Settings”, “Notice: Odd House Rules”, “Rules fully comply with the FIDE Laws of Chess”, etc.

  • CHANGED – In previous versions, when playing at a table, the table host was required to get their opponent’s permission to set up a new game.  Once their opponent granted permission to set up a new game, the game automatically started when the new game is set up, without the opponent having the opportunity to preview the new rules prior to approval.  Now, the table host first sets up the new game, the parameters of which are sent to their opponent for approval or decline.  If the opponent accepts the new game/new rules, the new game begins.  However, if the opponent rejects the new rules, the current game then resumes, and the new game is cancelled.  This was done to prevent unscrupulous hosts from taking advantage of the fact that some players may be assuming the rules are the same as the previous game, and changing the rules (such as long game times for “squatting”) so they get an advantage.

  • CHANGED – Made the popup box that tells spectators that they are waiting for the players to decide whether to play again an optional screen.  It was a generally unnecessary screen, and was distracting for some players.  This is now an option which can be turned on or off, at the user’s discretion.

  • CHANGED – The URL list resulting from the /url command was allowing multiple instances of the same URL.  This has been changed to only keep one unique URL should it be repeated in chat.

  • CHANGED – When a table host would attempt to kick their opponent from the table, in previous versions, the table host was prompted to resign as part of the kicking action.  Since the resignation and kick would occur nearly simultaneously, this led some players to believe that they were booted from the table unfairly.  In order to alleviate such misunderstandings, this was changed to require that the table host resign FIRST, as a separate action, THEN, once the resignation has been completed, the table host could then invoke the kicking action.

  • CHANGED – Replaced the behavior of minimizing the Rally Rooms screen when the user pressed the “Escape” key with now just bringing up the table over top.  The idea is to keep the Rally Rooms screen up and not minimized to avoid some issues related to a glitch in the programming language used to create ChessRally’s user interface.  (Visual Basic)

  • CHANGED – When a player would hit the “watch” button while seated to play a game, and if the room already had a full load of spectators, it would tell the user that the room was full.  This has been changed to more gracefully tell the user they cannot “watch” because there are too many spectators already, and that if they want to leave the table altogether, that’s their ony other option.

  • FIXED – Refusal of a previously saved game would result in the inability to start ANY new game.  This has been fixed.

  • FIXED – Requesting a saved game while at a Rally Rooms game with no actual game in progress (the previous game ended, and no new game was set up), would result in the “waiting for your opponent to accept” screen to hang forever, until the opponent left the table.  The opponent would never see the loaded game prompt you sent.  This has been fixed.

  • FIXED – A problem existed where players were occasionally running into a situation where the table buttons were no longer accessible (were disabled), although they visually appeared to be normal.  This has been fixed.

  • FIXED – For password protected rooms, pressing “OK” without having entered a password did not trigger the “invalid password” response, but just treated it as a cancellation.  Although this was by design, some users found it confusing, so it was changed.

  • FIXED – /url detection would including trailing periods (.) in the Rally Rooms, so if someone typed a URL of, let’s say with a period at the end, it would treat the whole thing as a URL, including the period.  This has been fixed to filter out trailing periods.

  • FIXED – When attempting to load a game, if the game needed to be reloaded, or another game loaded, it would not allow you to ask again at all, stating that it was waiting on a response from your opponent for a previous load game request.  This has been fixed so it properly tracks when load game requests begin and end.

  • FIXED – Occasionally, the asynchronous nature of how moves tie in with the move animations were causing moves to run over each other in spectator view of very quickly played games, resulting in missing pieces on the screen... e.g – in a game where two players were playing extremely quickly, the one move hadn't had time to finish its animation cycle before the new move came in, resulting in move seeming to be "lost" on the screen.  This has been fixed, so incoming moves that arrive before expected can “interrupt” previous animations, forcing the previous move to finish its cycle before starting the cycle for the new move.

  • FIXED – When Rally Rooms games were completed, both players were presented with the opportunity to “Play Again?”  If both players responded affirmatively, but the table host did not have a check in the “switch sides” checkbox, the game would not start, and both players would be sent a message that “One or more players at this table have decided not to play another game.”  This has been fixed to work as originally intended, so setting or clearing the “switch sides” checkbox has no affect on whether or not you are going to play, but rather if you play, who will be on what side.

  • FIXED – When attempting to join a game as a spectator using the “Join” button, it treats it as if you were attempting to play, applying rules such as minimum ratings, etc. where as if you press the “Watch” button at the table summary in the main Rally Room screen, it would let you in with no trouble.

  • FIXED – On some systems, login attempts frequently failed (timed out).  In some cases, the problem had nothing to do with the server but with the programming that governed asynchronous communications on the user’s own computer.  This problem is now resolved, so login attempts always get to the server without problems or delays.  (Other than the server not being available of course!)

  • FIXED – In previous versions, if a player’s Internet connection was dropped, or something else happened on their end that terminated their session in a Rally Room, if they tried to reconnect within the 2 minutes it takes for the server to realize they had disappeared, they would not be allowed back in the room using the same name, because their previous player “object” was still (as far the server was concerned) still logged in and valid.  This has been fixed by comparing Player ID with the Player ID of the previous player object, and if they match, the old object is immediately destroyed, letting the player assume a new connection to the server without having to choose another name.

  • FIXED – Some players occasionally experienced a situation where they were playing at one table, and then were suddenly “whisked away” to another table.  This would happen because at one time they (even if accidentally) had elected to enter the new table, but then decided to cancel, not having received a response from the table host… then, in some special cases, the approval message was still sent to their copy of the game, in spite of them already being in a game, result in seeming to be mysteriously and inexplicably moved to another table.  This has been fixed.

  • FIXED – The way the server dealt with object keys was allowing odd anomalies to occur, such as being “whisked away” to another table, being prompted to setup a new table as host, when you have just left the table, or being prompted to give yourself permission to join your own table.  (Note: this error also exhibited the “whisk away” problem, as described in the previous FIXED item.  There were two separate causes for that behavior, this and the last items, which made it extremely difficult to pinpoint.)  This was because the server manages objects in several collections, generating a new hash key for an object when added to a collection.  If an object was in one collection (not yet removed) before being added to another collection, it’s hash key would have been modified, making removal impossible.  This has been fixed so hash keys are guaranteed to always unique, thus not requiring modification when moving to a new collection (or sharing with two collections.)  That simple fix results in many oddities being resolved.

  • FIXED – When a player left the table, in certain recent versions, they would show up as having left twice in succession.  This has been fixed.

  • FIXED – A problem persisted in spite of previous attempts to fix it, where communications was temporarily suspended while a message box (or other modal window) was being displayed, resulting in an “unexpected disconnect” scenario of the delay was too long.  This has been finally resolved.

  • NOT ADDED – We thought about adding a player-suggested option in the Rally Rooms New Game screen for table hosts to specify that their table does not allow public chatting at the table.  (With private messaging still OK.)  The idea was to make it possible for very serious players to create a non-distracting environment.  However, after further consideration, we realized that serious players would either not allow spectators, or close the table chat window.  Additionally, it may have seemed (to some) to be “unfriendly” if they were allowed to visit a table but not allowed to speak.  So, in the end, we decided against this addition.


  • CHANGED – Removed AT&T Broadband from the list of Email Service Providers, and changed that to Comcast.  (Comcast bought out AT&T Broadband, and now all addresses are  Also added @worldnet addresses as allowable for AT&T Dial-up Internet Service.

  • CHANGED – Email moves that are in reply to previous moves (all moves after 1a) no longer introduce ChessRally or how to download it in the beginning of the message.  At this stage, both players probably know how it goes, and only a personal message is really absolutely necessary.  Therefore, on all move emails subsequent to the first, the text has been changed to include the personal message first, then a brief explanation of what ChessRally is and how to get it, just in case others read it that aren’t already familiar with ChessRally, or the opponent hasn’t played in a while and has forgotten.

  • CHANGED – Email games are no longer only loaded from command line parameters.  If ChessRally now detects another copy running, it will initiate a DDE conversation to “pass along” the email game information, allowing the software to stay running while loading one email games after another, sequentially.  (With previous versions, you had to shut down ChessRally to auto-launch a new .chs file attachment)

  • CHANGED - HotPop recommendations for email chess have been changed to our new POP3/SMTP email service.

  • FIXED – On some systems, when trying to send an email move, ChessRally would report “Error 75: Path/File access error”.  This was due to the system restricting ChessRally’s access to the temporary folder on the system.  This issue has been fixed.

  • FIXED – A player resigning from an email game were not seeing the “Resigned” message on the “Send Move” screen, and were shown the “Offer Draw” checkbox.  This was not supposed to be, and has been fixed so a resigning player can’t offer a draw, and it is clear that they are resigning.

  • FIXED – If a player resigned from an email game, the email message that indicated the resignation would be sent to him/herself rather than to their opponent.  This has been fixed.

  • NOT ADDED – We thought about adding a player-suggested feature where ChessRally email games would allow the sending of a copy of an email move to the sender’s own mailbox for archival purposes.  This was decided against, since (added complexities aside) it is an extremely simple matter to save the game using the normal game-saving and export features within ChessRally once the move has been made, which in fact, can be better for those wishing to archive previous moves in an email game, since (a) it’s generally easier to manage folders in Windows than in email, and (b) PGN and FEN (Export) both support the storing of multiple games/game states within one convenient file.


  • ADDED – Created new exclusive Rally Rooms Rating, maintained separately from the regular rating.  This helps preserve the integrity of the ratings for the Online Rally Rooms.  Both ratings can be viewed from the “View My Rating” window, denoted as “General Rating” and “Rally Rooms Rating”.

  • ADDED – For Rally Rooms game only, a new option was created to allow the rated game option to be “sticky” on new games.  The rated game option (the checkbox on new game setups that read “This game should count towards my rating”) in previous versions defaulted to always being unchecked (off), in order to prevent people from accidentally playing rated games they didn’t want rated.  (For example, if playing a significantly higher rated player.)  We deemed it better to have games accidentally unrated (no negative consequence) as opposed to accidentally rated (potential negative consequence).  With this new option in the “Options” menu, the user can choose to have the rated checkbox “remember” what it’s last setting was (checked or not), and default to that value instead of off.  This way, if they run into a situation where they accidentally set a game to be rated by forgetting to uncheck the setting, they can always turn off this new option, and the checkbox will resume to always defaulting to unchecked/off.

  • ADDED – Added a new statistic for “winning streak” which tracks both the number of wins with no draws or losses and the number of wins and draws with no losses. (Thanks to user nicknamed “Basim” for this idea.)

  • CHANGED – Removed ratings floors to avoid players getting “stuck” at certain ratings, causing other players to question whether or not there was a glitch or error, while some players used this in cooperation with other equally unscrupulous players in order to take advantage of the floors to cheat the ratings system by intentional losses.  The ratings floors are a normal part of the USCF ratings model, and as such, they were included in all previous versions.  Since there was so much confusion, and the allowance for cheating the ratings system, we decided to eliminate them.

  • FIXED/CHANGED – Drawing a game against a differently rated player no longer causes stats to show a 0.5 win, 0.5 loss, AND 1 draw in the stats.  (Although a player still gets a modest amount of points if they draw against a higher rated player, and a player loses a modest amount of points if they draw against a lower rated player.)  While this is accurate to how ratings systems work, since draws are 0.5 a win and 0.5 a loss, it was causing confusion because the Wins+Losses+Draws did not always equal the Total Games Played amount.  The new method accounts for wins are wins, losses are losses, and draws are draws, so the Wins+Losses+Draws always equals the Total Games Played.

  • IMPORTANT NOTICE: All ratings from 2.45 and earlier versions will be reset to their default values.  This was done to make the new and improved ratings system start off a level of integrity for the system that will hopefully be respected by all, since all the ratings and statistics issues and cheated games from 2.45 and earlier will no longer apply.  It also prevents a user from installing an older version to manipulate their rating, then upgrading to 2.5, keeping their manipulated rating.


  • ADDED – Created new parameter for Theme.ini called “Alternate Theme” which allows a theme to borrow from components in another theme (if the theme is installed).  This way, it can save on overhead if several similar themes need to be created.  (See the “Theme Creator’s Kit” for details.)

  • ADDED – Created a couple of new basic chess sets with highly disginguishable pieces, named “ChessRally 2 Nova (Ingenuware)”, and “ChessRally 2 Silhouette (Ingenuware)”.  These sets borrow all other theme components from the default “ChessRally 2” theme using the new “Alternate Theme” parameter.  This was done to accommodate users that are not familiar with the “whole piece” graphical style of ChessRally, but are more accustomed to chess sets in the classic computer chess program style.

  • ADDED – Created a new “first-game” choice screen for Theme (chess set/pieces) selection.  That is, when the user goes to play their first game of chess with ChessRally, and ONLY that time, they are given the choice between one of the three pre-installed piece sets (“ChessRally Nova”, “ChessRally Silhouette”, and the “ChessRally Classic” styles.)  This was done to (a) show the user a set of 3 pieces so they are likely to be attracted to one or another – instead of locking them into the default pieces until they change it, and (b) to let them know up front that there ARE other choices, including the downloadable themes.


  • ADDED – Created a new “Tutorial Options” menu to show what the various tutorial capabilities of ChessRally are, including the introduction of the new Live Tutors in the Online Rally Rooms.

  • ADDED – The prompts for saving unsaved games are now optional.  Users can disable that in the Options screen, thereby suppressing the prompts altogether.  Also, a checkbox was put on these prompts to disable further prompting without having to go to the Options screen.

  • ADDED – Add “View My Rating” menu to the View menu.  (Does same thing as Options menu’s “What’s My Rating” – just made a new, additional menu to call the old procedure.)

  • ADDED – Players are now offered to “Automatically Decline All Future Undo Requests” (on a game-by-game basis) with a new checkbox on the screen that prompts to approve or decline the current undo request.

  • ADDED – Made new popup that displays when a user closes the table window, captured pieces window, and move history window.  The popup will instruct the user on how to restore the window, and offer to restore it immediately as well.  This alleviates the problems some users have had accidentally hiding those windows, and not knowing how to restore them.

  • ADDED – New “Rally Room Tour” popup created that explains the layout of the Rally Room window when a new user first enters a Rally Room, showing them key features (info, message, snitch, ignore, player list, chat window, table window, etc.), how to get into a game, and how to identify Room Operators for assistance.  (This can be enabled or disabled at the Options Screen.)

  • ADDED – Importing and exporting PGN and FEN files will now remember the “current filename” for each file type when importing and exporting to this format.

  • ADDED – When saving a new game with no default filename already specified, a filename will be suggested, comprising of player names, color, and date/time.  The format is: “PlayerName(w) vs. PlayerName(b), YYYY-MM-DD HMMam/pm”.

  • ADDED – Computer players now know their own names, and will use it in some appropriate sentences when the user converses with the computer player in a single player game.

  • ADDED – Computer players now can respond to laughter when the user converses with the computer player in a single player game.

  • CHANGED – Reintegrated the fixed ImpulseSystemCounter object into the Rally Rooms Server, replacing the current workarounds based on using the system clock.  This will resolve a number of problems, including mass player-disconnect when the clock flips for daylight savings time.

  • CHANGED – When saving a game, previous versions would persist the same file name between game sessions.  Especially in light of the new “suggested file name” addition (above), this has been changed so that every time a new game is started, the file name is reset.

  • CHANGED – Older versions would offer a “helper” pop-up to show the user that they needed to press “Finish Turn” to complete their turn, letting them also know that they can turn that off by enabling “Single Step Turn Completion”.  This has been changed, so that window now offers a CHOICE between the two modes, which really forces the user to recognize the different modes, and decide which is best for them.

  • CHANGED – When creating buddy information, if changing the buddy name, previous versions would allow two buddies with the same name.  (Or, one buddy with two profiles.)  This has been changed to require either replacing the old buddy info, or choosing another name in order to facilitate buddy specific features, such as buddy-based Player Search and /leavemsg.

  • CHANGED – Trial period changed from 15 days to 21 days.  All trial users that install update of 2.5 from earlier versions will get 21 days from the time of 2.5 update installation to avoid the possibility of manipulating the time in older versions, then applying the update.  (Also, uninstalling version 2.5 or higher, then installing a version older than 2.5, then re-installing 2.5 or higher again, will not increase one’s trial period or allow manipulation of licensing data.  Once version 2.5 has been installed, the 2.5 licensing data is permanent, and is maintained separately from previous versions.)

  • CHANGED – Made the Gold Edition Upgrade (license) reminder screen shown to trial users a bit more friendly by eliminating the timed countdown to enablement of the “upgrade later” button for on the first run, then not showing that screen again at all for the rest of the first week or so of the trial period, so as to not annoy trial users, but to give them a fair chance to try the program with as little interruption as possible.  The countdown still occurs in the second half of the trial period, as to compel them to read about the upgrade, if they have not done so already.

  • CHANGED – Ordering/Upgrade screen for Gold Edition has been somewhat modified.  Users are now presented not only with a “Get your key now” button (as before), but with a link to the Mail-In Order Form, for those users that aren’t comfortable using their credit card online.  Also, the layout and graphics were improved to (hopefully) be more compelling and clarifying, while making the process as easy as possible.  (In other words, the actual process has not changed, just the presentation, so users that may have been confused by the way the form was being presented can now see what they need to do much more clearly.)

  • CHANGED: – The setup program now notifies the user that they should log into an Administrative or Power User account before attempting setup.  This only occurs if they are not currently logged into such an account.  This solves the problem of users running into “unexpected failure” scenarios during setup.

  • CHANGED – Changed the way end of games are determined under the following conditions:

    • Insufficient mating material for both players immediately ends in a draw, noted as “Draw By Insufficient Material!”.

    • Insufficient mating material for Player A results in a draw, noted as “Draw By Insufficient Material!”, if Player B runs out of time, but otherwise has sufficient mating material.  This situation is created when the player has only their king and no other pieces, as it is possible if such a player did have any other pieces (other than their King) to create a checkmate scenario provided the opponent has enough pieces to potentially block themselves in.  Some other chess games & servers have a rule where if only a King and Knight remain, it is insufficient mating material, however, this only applies in the strictest sense if the opponent has no other pieces.  As such, we did not implement this in the same way, since a game COULD (however unlikely) end in checkmate for the player with (what amounts to) low mating material.

    PLEASE NOTE: This change affected Email games a little different, since email games require file compatibility, and the way 2.45 and earlier were written, updating the file format version in 2.5 (which would be required for email games to support this) would make those email moves unreadable by 2.45 and earlier clients.  So, if a player was using 2.5, and their opponent was using 2.45, the player’s moves would never be able to be read by their opponent unless their opponent updated.  (The opponent would try to open the email move, and it would just say that it’s not a valid ChessRally saved game!)  As such, for email games this condition shows a regular draw, not draw for insufficient material.  Further, the insufficient material must be registered on the player’s computer that has version 2.5, otherwise, it will carry on one more move until it gets to the 2.5 version player.

  • CHANGED – In some previous versions, if both players had only their king remaining (a “dead position”), the game ended in stalemate.  This has been changed so the game ends in a “Draw By Insufficient Material”.  The end result is the same either way (1/2–1/2), but this scenario is really a draw, since a stalemate is strictly when a player cannot move ANY piece without, at the occurrence of such a move, place their king in check.  As such, this was changed to more accurately represent the terminology used in chess tournaments worldwide.

  • CHANGED – Undo Requests are now limited to one per turn (half-move), although if an undo request is approved/allowed, then the user that requested the undo may request an additional undo, which their opponent can then agree to or deny, their choice, just like primary undo requests.  This allows a couple of players who are learning how to play to move back to a much earlier position in the game if they both so agree.  Notwithstanding, if at any time, the undo is not approved by one’s opponent, no new undo requests are allowed during that given move.

  • CHANGED – Clicking on an open area of the scroll bar in the Move History window would only move you one line, as if you pressed one of the scroll bar’s arrow buttons.  This was changed to allow (approximate) whole page jumps (really, 25 lines), as one might expect from a scroll area click.

  • CHANGED – If something happened on the user’s computer, and components were found to be missing, (WinSock 2.2 or higher, ChessRally related DLLs, etc.), ChessRally would present the user with a series of error messages, once per file.  This has been changed to display ALL missing components in one error message.

  • CHANGED – Table info screens now show, for auto-draw options, the word “ONLY” in the description suffix, where one rule (50 move draw rule OR 3 identical board positions occurred) is established with the other turned off.  This allows the new warnings about FIDE compliance (or lack thereof) to make better sense.

  • FIXED - A problem existed in the beta version of 2.5 where games could not be saved.  This occurred if a player would choose a player name that contained characters illegal for filenames, including “/”, “\”, “:”, “<”, “>”, “|”, “*”, and “?”.  Such characters have special meanings to the file system, so when ChessRally would recommend a filename for saving, including the player name with illegal characters, the Common Dialog control would return an error that resulted in the inability to save the game.  This has been fixed so such characters are filtered out of the proposed filename, resulting in a successful save.

  • FIXED - In all previous versions, there was a glitch where one could castle with the King only… if the corresponding Rook had had been captured before it was ever moved.  This has been fixed to make certain that the Rook is actually on the board, and not just “never moved”.  (Talk about egg on the face! Wow!)

  • FIXED – When exporting to PGN, sometimes a move would be carried to the next line, particularly with the Castling move (O-O), where the first part (O-) stays on the first line, and the second part (O) gets bumped to the next line.  This makes these particular PGN games unreadable in other chess software, and is now fixed.  In fact, just to be safe, and make sure there would absolutely be no problems importing ChessRally generated PGN data into other chess software, the PGN generation algorithms were modified to keep each whole move (with white and black turns together as one “whole move”) on the same line without any part of it being orphaned.  This isn’t strictly necessary, by PGN standards, but it will likely yield the most compatible results.

  • FIXED – Keep-alive messages were being sent every half second, when only needed every 5 seconds as originally intended.  Naturally, this was changed.

  • FIXED – When in the middle of moving a piece (while actually dragging a piece) and an end-of-game condition occurs, such as a player’s time having expired, the piece is automatically moved, and allowed to be finished, creating some odd results.  This has been fixed.

  • FIXED – When prompted to confirm entering Board Setup Mode, if the user said “No”, the next time they chose to set up a new game (New Game menu or toolbar item) while that same game was in progress, they would not be allowed to set up a new game under the pretense that ChessRally was waiting for their opponent to respond to a Board Setup Mode request.  This has been fixed.

  • FIXED – In versions 2.45 through 2.48, when a player was given the move, at the end of piece animation, the player’s clock would seem to bounce back to where they started for a fraction of a second, then go back to normal.  (For example, going from 0:59 to 0:57 during animation, then showing 0:59 for a quick second, then going to 0:56 as expected.)  This was merely a visual glitch, and did not reflect the actual value of the clock, and it has been fixed.

  • FIXED – In previous versions, ChessRally allowed castling maneuvers that where the king could capture a piece on the square it was intending to occupy.  This was against the FIDE Laws of Chess, and as such was fixed.

  • FIXED – A glitch would occur for some players, where their game clocks were being frozen at zero.  This would happen on more recent versions of the Pentium 4 and similar processors.  This has been resolved.

  • FIXED – In previous versions, ChessRally would occasionally not shut down properly.  However, this would always occur when one instance of ChessRally was being unloaded while another instance was simultaneously being loaded.  The reason for the failure was a sync error during thread shutdown of the ChessRally.dll component.  This has been fixed.

  • FIXED – On some systems, ChessRally would occasionally (although very seldom) not shut down all the way when closed.  In such rare cases, most memory was freed, so there was really no reason for fresh instances of ChessRally to not be allowed to run.  This has been resolved, so if, in the unlikely event that ChessRally doesn’t shut down fully, the user will still be able to run it again without needing to reboot their computer.

  • FIXED – When we introduced the flashing “Restart Turn” and “Finish Turn” buttons in version 2.4, a glitch was introduced, where if you pressed the mouse on one of those buttons and held it, it would not remain pressed, but would seem pop back up within a half second.  Fortunately, this did not affect the functionality of the button… that is, it still only “activated” when you released the mouse button while the mouse cursor was on top of the button (as it is with all on-screen buttons).  The issue was merely graphical in nature, and is now resolved.

  • TYPO – The word “repetition” was misspelled in previous versions as “repitition”.  This has been fixed throughout the program.

  • TYPO – Windows ME was not displayed on the splash screen as a supported Operating System when in fact it is.  This has been changed to include Windows ME in the list.

ChessRally 2.45 Released (Build 619 - February 19, 2003):

  • ADDED/CHANGED - Due to the fact that some unscrupulous players in the Rally Rooms were exploiting the "Flash Count" feature in order to unfairly gain extra thinking time.  The "Flash Count" feature was introduced in ChessRally 2.0 as a way to gain the attention of players busy chatting, by flashing the source and destination squares which an opponent moved prior to actually moving the piece, freezing the clocks in the process.  This was intentional, as we were naive enough to assume that only friends which played and chatted casually would have a need for the feature.  When people caught on to what the feature did, some would play "speed chess", and use the highest possible flash count (longest animation time) to artificially inflate their time (since the clocks were temporarily stopped during the animation).  This let the know what their opponent's move was, allowing them to plan their next move during the animation, then move immediately when the animation ended, "fooling" the game into giving them very short move times, which left plenty of time on their clock, giving them a decided advantage over their opponent.  Because this feature was exploited in this way, we changed the program to keep the clocks moving during the animation.  The advantage is: no clock exploit.  The disadvantage: friends playing casually will be hurt on time, and will have to play closer attention to the board.  In any case, this issue is now resolved.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - The Rally Rooms now have anti-flooding/scrolling technology built in, so chat room flooders will be stripped of chat privileges for a predetermined amount of time (initially 30 seconds).  This will catch all flooding/scrolling, even if not repeating the same message.  If anyone finds the anti-flooding/scrolling sensors too restrictive, please write and request that the sensors be adjusted.  (They can be instantly adjusted.)  If enough people find it too sensitive, we will make changes as needed.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Rally Room Operators (volunteers which handle problems in the rooms) now have the power to strip any player of chat privileges for any amount of time they choose (up to a predefined maximum).  This is intended to be a "kinder" solution to kicking trouble makers from the room, giving the Operators a new tool with which to bring wayward players into the community in a kinder and gentler way.  (Thank you "Mini_Me" (a Room Operator) for the wonderful suggestion!)
  • FIXED - This latest update fixes a glitch where the computer player would occasionally stop playing, for no apparent reason.  The problem was caused by enhancements made in 2.4 (build 600) which were designed to make the computer more intelligent.
  • FIXED - Fixed a glitch where the computer player would cause pieces to appear out of nowhere.  What was happening is that if you set the "House Rules" to not allow En Passant pawn captures, the computer player didn't recognize that, and would try to submit an En Passant move to the game engine regardless.  The game engine didn't know what to do with it, so the previous piece moved was duplicated (odd, I know!) and the new piece was moved from it's original position (the position the previously moved piece came from on that move) to the new position which the En Passant would have taken the computer player's pawn executing the En Passant.  The problem was caused by enhancements made in 2.4 (build 600) which were designed to make the computer more intelligent.

ChessRally 2.4 Update (Build 602 - July 11, 2002):

  • FIXED - This latest update fixes a glitch on two screens (Parental Control & Rally Rooms Intro) when viewed with "Large Fonts" turned on in Windows.  Those forms were not scaling to the proportion requirements of Large Fonts, and so the screens seemed to "lock the game up", which was simply because the buttons were off the screen, and could not be pressed with the mouse.  In this update, this issue is resolved.

ChessRally 2.4 Update (Build 601 - July 6, 2002):

  • FIXED - This latest update fixes a problem which some of our European customers discovered... (thank you guys!) ...Rating information is not being stored correctly on non-English Windows, and when it gets read back into the game, it's not loading right.  This is because we often use commas to delimit fields of data, so a string of data might look like: "2,JoeSchmoe,1783.23,25,10".  In some regional settings, the decimal point ( . ) is not used as the fractional separator, so the string looks like this: "2,JoeSchmoe,1783,23,25,10".  If you noticed, it looks like we have an extra field - and so it gets "read" back into the game with the wrong numbers.  In any case, that's fixed now.

ChessRally 2.4 Released (Build 600 - July 4, 2002):

  • ADDED - Added a new "Rally Rooms Intro" screen which displays only once - when ChessRally is first installed and run.  This new screen is intended to attract more players into the Rally Rooms, which in our experience, has been the most fun for everyone.
  • ADDED - Added a whole new "auto-configuration" step for Email Games, so if you use a major Internet Service Provider, it is now very easy to set up for playing email games.  (The existing functionality of manually entering your SMTP server hostname is still there for those of us that need it... this new feature is designed to help most end users get started with Email Games quickly.)
  • ADDED - A variety of new security features were added, but cannot be listed for security reasons.
  • ADDED - Added certain British "cuss" words to the language filters.
  • ADDED - Added new "gray" colors to the chat windows for private messages, and some status messages.
  • ADDED - Added /url command to the chat command list, so you can see, launch, or just copy email and web addresses which ChessRally scanned from the chat windows.
  • ADDED - Added /ignore command to the chat command list, so you can quickly respond to an annoyance without finding their name in the "Who's Here" list... just type it out and you're set to go... (for example, if you need to ignore just JoeSchmoe, type "/ignore JoeSchmoe" and that's it.)
  • ADDED/CHANGED - For third person messages (using the /me chat command), apostrophes entered at the beginning of the message are now concatenated to the name when the message is displayed.  For example, in previous versions, entering "/me 's going to win every game today!" would result in "JoeSchmoe 's going to win every game tonight."... in this new 2.4 version, it now results in "JoeSchmoe's going to win every game tonight.", with the apostrophe attached right on the name.  It's a subtle difference, but we care about every aspect of your experience with ChessRally.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Table invitations in the Rally Rooms are now automatically refused if the player invited is already in a game elsewhere.  The inviting player receives a message stating that the invited player is already in a game.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Draw requests are now only able to be made once per move.  This was done to avoid player harassment through excessive draw requests.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Players can no longer harass other players by repetitively asking to join their table, or by repetitively inviting them to their own table.  Join requests and Table Invitations are now on a 30 second timeout, so you can only invite or ask to join at most every 30 seconds.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - When a player in the Rally Rooms would sit at a table to play, whether directly or in response to an invitation, and when a table host receives a join table request, before 2.4, the player had no idea what he/she was in for... they didn't know their opponent's rating, the table rules, etc.  In this version, every time a table join or join request occurs, table rules and opponent rating are displayed before the join occurs, allowing a player to decline a game before they join or allow the other player to join (as the case may be).  The goal of this feature is to prevent "scalping" from occurring.  ("Scalping" is when a player purposefully picks on someone they clearly know they can beat, and obscuring their skill or the table rules until it is too late.)
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Invite denials now give a reason back to the inviter if refused.  Previously, it had been just "JoeSchmoe Declined...", but now it will say things like "JoeSchmoe as auto-decline on", "JoeSchmoe is busy in another area of the program", etc.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - "Floating Popup Windows", like the "Please wait while the players at this table decide whether or not to play another game" message no longer activate when displayed.  The old behavior is that those message windows would "activate", taking control away from the previous active window, so if you were typing a message, it would get interrupted.  Since those "floating popups" no longer activate, your typing is no longer interrupted.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Chat text entry maximum length was changed from 256 characters to 512 characters.  (People often ran out of room before they finished their thought, so we added more room.)
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Added Firewall and IDS detection code, so if you use ChessRally over the Internet, it will see that you have a firewall (and if one of the major Firewall packages, will tell you what was detected), and advise you on how to allow ChessRally to operate through it.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Added confirmation on closing the Table window in the Main Game screen, and also added prompting to display the Table window when joining a table in the Rally Rooms (if the Table window is not already displayed.)  Some players were running into problems where they accidentally closed the Table window, and therefore could no longer chat at the table during a game... and they didn't know how to display it again.  ("View" menu, "Table Window" menu item, "Show" sub-menu item.)
  • ADDED/CHANGED - The Snitch Form will now remember your email address so you don't have to type it in every time.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - When logging into a room that had a lot of text to display to you when you logged in, the text would be drawn before the rest of the window... it looked odd, so we changed it so the window would get drawn fully first.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Room Operators now have daily limits to the number of users they can discipline with Kick & Ban.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Draw and Undo requests now timeout after 30 seconds... so a player asked to draw must respond, or the draw or undo is automatically declined.  This was done to prevent players from timing each other out on games by withholding an answer to such a request.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - For single player games, the artificial intelligence is now being allowed to maintain the complete move history of the game, which will enable the "learning" engine, which has been disabled in previous versions.  (With "learning" disabled, the computer could make the same mistakes many times over. With it now on, it will be less likely to repeat mistakes.)
  • ADDED/CHANGED - The "Finish Turn" and "Restart Turn" buttons now will periodically flash (when enabled), to alert a player if they've forgotten to press one of these buttons.  (Remember, if you prefer more "traditional" computer chess, you don't have to use the "Finish Turn" button, but can enable "Single Step Turn Completion" from the ChessRally Options screen.)
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Moved the chat command help from the chat console to the Help file, so when you type /? or /help in a chat window, it will pull up the chat commands help from the HTML documentation.
  • CHANGED - Gold Edition Licensing explained better throughout the program, and a new "Upgrade FAQ" was added to the "Thanks for Downloading" screen.  In short, the licensing terms are simple: Each single license is a permanent (lifetime) software license for ChessRally 2 Gold Edition, assigned to the purchaser.  There is nothing more to buy, as ChessRally 2 Gold Edition is not a subscription service, but a software product, making it similar in licensing to any software you buy off of a store shelf.  Even if you upgrade to a new version of Windows, have to reinstall Windows, get a new computer and want to transfer the license there (Note for the curious: you can only install one single license on one single computer, but it can be any computer you choose.)... it's still your license, and can be used forever according to the EULA.
  • CHANGED - Changed frequency of "Thank You" screen (during 15-day trial) to appear less frequently at first, then more frequently at the end of the trial.
  • CHANGED - Room Operators are now forced to resign if they try to kick their opponent from the room.
  • CHANGED - Modified the game stats storage algorithms to prevent tampering by "hacking the registry".  The game stats were for display only, and did not affect one's rating, but some players thought they'd like to "freak out" unaware players by editing their stats, and so the other players thought it was then possible for some people to cheat by changing their rating manually.  At no time (since the initial CR2 beta back in January 2002) has the rating been vulnerable to modification... any tampering with the rating at all would reset it to 1300... so this change is to simply make everyone comfortable with the ratings system so they know things haven't been tinkered with.
  • COMPLETE OVERHAUL!! - Our Multithreaded TCP/IP communications library went through a complete redesign and overhaul.  There were some tough problems to solve, and the architectural design of the previous version (2.3) was not well suited for a single threaded client application.  OK, I know, way too technical stuff... the bottom line is, we redesigned it, and also developed a very complete test facility for client/server communications and really put it through the paces.  Countless test hours were logged, and this new version is working beautifully!  Thanks to Jonathan Vincze, who so carefully implemented the new design from scratch.
  • STYMIED - I can't believe how long this list is!!  It just keeps going, and going, and going, and going... LOL :-)
  • FIXED/CHANGED - This item is a BIG issue... in previous versions the player clocks where being delayed and re-synchronized when network conditions were poor... in some cases to extremes (30-60 second delays), so much so, that some players actually believed the other was somehow cheating on time.  Read this for more info on the problem.  In this new version, a player's (spectators are unaffected by this change) clock is not started on their opponent's computer until their opponent's computer receives an acknowledgement that the move was in fact received... this way the network delays in starting a move will be (theoretically) synchronized with the network delays in finishing a move, allowing the clock to appear more synchronized.  (Note: Under the hood, in both iterations, the clocks are still incredibly accurate (to the millisecond), as they are not actually affected by network speeds, but managed locally only... so, only the display of the clock is affected, and just after the "SYNC" messages in the clocks, the correct clock time is then displayed.)
  • FIXED/CHANGED - In previous versions, Pop-up Messages allowed automatic keystroke entry when the pop-up was shown... for example, if an "OK/Cancel" message was shown, pressing "O" or {space} would cause the form to be answered.  This was intentional, as it makes using pop-ups much easier to deal with... however it was a source of frustration when you were trying to type a message, and a pop-up is shown before you realize it, and so you accidentally respond to the new pop-up message.  Many table invitations were accidentally accepted because of this!  So, now, you must use the ALT key while you press the "hotkey".  (For example, for an "OK/Cancel", you can hit ALT+O or ALT+C.)
  • FIXED/CHANGED - PUID (Player Unique IDentifier) numbers are now enforced better, so the Ignore feature will be more reliable.
  • FIXED/CHANGED - In previous versions, the "Illegal Crack Program Detection System" in ChessRally 2.x would misidentify newly downloaded files stored in the ChessRally folder as crack programs.  This has been changed around to a completely new system which works more in the best interest of you, the end user.
  • FIXED/CHANGED - In version 2.3, a player at a Rally Rooms table could let their opponent move first in a rated game (which locks their opponent into the game so they cannot leave without penalty), then leave the table (since they themselves had not moved yet.)  This resulted in the player left behind at the table being "stuck" there, unable to leave without taking a ratings penalty.  This has been changed so if a player is the only one at the table they can leave without penalty.
  • FIXED - When a spectator would join or leave your table in the Rally Rooms while you were in the middle of a turn, the "Finish Turn" and "Restart Turn" buttons would gray out, forcing you to move another piece (enter experimenting mode) and then press "Restart Turn".  This has been fixed so spectators coming and going do not affect your game.
  • FIXED - Time limits greater than or equal to 547 minutes would cause the program to fail with an "overflow" error.  This has been fixed so a full 600 minutes (10 hours) can be specified as a time limit.
  • FIXED - Undoing when a Rally Rooms game is set to use "bonus time" sometimes caused the player who pressed undo to be instantly out of time.  This has been fixed.
  • FIXED - Room Operator /getinfo and other commands did not work on some players.  This issue was a glitch in the server software, and has been resolved.
  • FIXED - Sending an email move through some SMTP servers resulted in an error message, but the move was still sent.  The underlying problem was resolved, and the cosmetic issue of an error message after the email move was sent has also been resolved.
  • FIXED - Before this version, clicking on the Move History window from a completely different screen would result in dragging or resizing the Move History, even if not intended.  This issue has been resolved.
  • FIXED - When in the middle of a pop-up screen, like the player info screen, and you got a table invite, if you said "yes", the input focus was moved to a hidden window, making the game appear "locked up".  Now, when in other "vital" areas of the program, table invites are automatically ignored, but with the explanation that you are busy with another part of the game.
  • FIXED - There was a problem in previous versions where if you had any blank player names in the "Local Game" setup screen, trying to get to another game type (for example "Email Game" would tell you it couldn't because the player names needed to be filled in.  This issue has been resolved.  The player name boxes for "Local Game" no longer have any impact on launching other game types.
  • FIXED - In previous versions, if you double-clicked on a Room listed in the Rally Rooms selection screen before all the rooms had finished being displayed, you would not be able to connect to the room... instead, you'd be stuck in connection "limbo", waiting for the connection attempt to time out.  This has been fixed so you can now click on any visible room at any time, regardless of the the other rooms being fully listed or not.
  • FIXED - If a player had an ampersand (&) in their player name while in a Rally Room, when they left the room, other players remaining in the room would still see the player's name listed... and if the player logged back in, they would be listed twice on the other players' player lists.  This has been fixed.
  • FIXED - Sometimes, when a player would leave a Rally Room, the Room window didn't fully unload, so when they tried to get back into another room, the Rally Rooms selection screen would not be displayed, but the Room screen would instead, but not being actually logged in yet, the graphics were not re-initialized, and everything was gray.  This has been fixed.
  • FIXED - Sometimes, if a previous table host of an empty table had set a password to the table, new players would still be prompted for a password to enter the table.  This has been fixed to work as expected, where empty tables are reset completely, allowing new table hosts to enter freely.
  • FIXED - Occasionally, a spectator leaving a table was asked to resign first.  This very silly error has been fixed.
  • FIXED - When a someone left your table in the Rally Rooms, the "Export" sub menus in the main "Game" menu became disabled.  This has been fixed.
  • FIXED - When a visiting player (a non-table host player) joined a table to play a timed game, his time remaining would initially show "00:00:00" until his first turn commenced.  This has been fixed.
  • FIXED - Loading a saved game as a "Local Game" or "Email Game", when already in a Rally Rooms game would cause the player to simply leave the Rally Rooms table without resigning.  This is fixed so now players must resign before exiting the table while in a game, regardless of how they leave.
  • FIXED - A table host could boot themselves from the table during a rated game and suffer no penalty.  Now, any player, whether themselves or their opponent, which they kick from the table must come about with a resign first.
  • FIXED - In previous versions, if you selected a name in the "Who's Here" list in the Room screen while they are in a game already with an opponent, and you are also in a game, then click the "Join" button, it would result in the Table Rules screen being displayed.  This has been fixed.
  • FIXED - The setup program would not allow some users to install ChessRally if their system didn't have an "App Paths" registry key for Internet Explorer.  This new version has more robust Internet Explorer detection, and also prompts the user to install anyway... in case they do know for sure that IE 4.01 or higher is installed OK, but for some reason not being detected by the setup program.
  • FIXED - Some of the security features in ChessRally failed under Windows 95 due to programmer error, and resulted in customers running Windows 95 unable to enter their license key.  (However, just so you don't think we left anyone hanging, we did call them all and help them get it fixed manually... we are always there for you, our customer.)
  • FIXED - Stalemate was not being detected when just 2 kings remained on the board.  This is now fixed so if there are just the two kings remaining, stalemate occurs.
  • FIXED - The "New Game" screen and "Load Game" screen would take absolutely FOREVER to load when connected to the Internet through a slower connection.  (About 30 seconds to load!!)  This is because we were querying for the dial-up connection's hostname, which wasn't really necessary anymore, so we took that out, and now the windows pop right up as expected.
  • FIXED - In previous versions, some "modal" windows (forced on top, making all other windows inaccessible until you close the "top" window... like a message box, etc.) would not allow TCP/IP communications to occur while they were displayed, resulting in "unexpected disconnections".  This has been fixed.
  • THAT'S IT - This was the single longest list of changes to any 2.x version of ChessRally in history!!

ChessRally 2.3 Update (Build 581 - March 14, 2002):

  • FIXED - The game's timers were having problems, particularly when you allowed a move to be undone, in which case the player's time who's move was undone would be completely reset.  This issue has been resolved.

ChessRally 2.3 Released (Build 580 - March 13, 2002):

  • ADDED - Added Parental Control feature to allow parents & guardians to have better control over how their children spend their time online, what they are allowed to see (language wise), and who they are allowed to talk with.
  • ADDED - Added client side chat filters to supplement the online filters... you can now add words YOU don't like :)
  • ADDED - Added the capability for Room Monitors.  Room Monitors will be screened before being accepted, and will have the power to kick, ban, warn, and more.  They will be (hopefully) looking out for the little ones and anyone else in need of assistance.  Room Monitors will appear with an "@" symbol in front of their name.
  • ADDED - Added a "Hotkey" to toggle on an off the "Single Step Turn Completion" option at a user's request.  The hotkey is SHIFT+CONTROL+F6.
  • ADDED - Added a "/stats" command to the chat commands in the Rally Rooms.  It lists all players, and what their complete stats are.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - For email games, the user can now configure the SMTP port if their ISP using a different port than the standard Port 25.  (This actually happened in 2.2 but deserves mentioning since 2.1 was the last *official* release.)
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Players may now leave tables in the Rally Rooms when they specifically have not moved.  Prior to this release, once anyone moved, no one could leave without resigning.  In the new scheme, the player is now given a chance to leave before they become an active participant.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Improved "crack" program detection, so you can now see what file(s) ChessRally complains about.  (See how nice we are?  We even help those who try to cheat by trying to using crack programs.)
  • FIXED/ADDED/CHANGED - Completed replaced faulty 3rd Party TCP/IP communications components with our very own TCP/IP module, written specifically for ChessRally.  This new module is now fully integrated into ChessRally (which was started in the 2.2 "experimental" update).  Thanks to Jonathan Vincze, our wonderful and gifted partner and "low-level" developer, this module went from dream to reality in a very short period of time.  This problem resolves a bunch of problems in the Rally Rooms, including:
    • Phantom Pieces - Pieces popping out of nowhere, or disappearing.
    • Moves Getting "Stuck" - After a player sent their move, occasionally the move would get lost in transit, so each player thought it was the other's turn.
    • Windows Hanging In Space - Sometimes, if data was lost on the way from the server to a client, and the data would resolve the need for a window, the window would stay up, waiting for the data from the server to arrive.
    • Missing Chat Text - Self explanatory.
    • "Play Again" Getting Stuck - Occasionally, one player or the other would never receive their opponent's choice to play again or not, so the game just waited.
    • Spontaneous Resignations - Very rare, and usually occurred when leaving a table... you'd get "sucked" back in and lose points! (Yowch!)
    • More - There really were too many anomalies to list, but they were all tied to losing data, or data getting repeated... since we replaced those components, none of these things will occur anymore.
  • FIXED/ADDED/CHANGED - Improved timeout values for all Internet connection attempts.  This was causing problems with very remote players, or players with very slow connections.  The timeout values are now also customizable.
  • FIXED/CHANGED - Redesigned the license key and trial security algorithms to avoid some problems that were being experienced by some users, where they would get a "Security Protocol Tampering Detected" screen.
  • FIXED/CHANGED - When a player was "ignored", the player that ignored them would still receive game invitations.  This was not intended, and is now fixed so ALL interactions from an ignored player are indeed ignored.
  • FIXED - A problem existed where loading Direct Network Games wouldn't always work right... in fact most of the time, the players would be "switched".  This was a very embarrassing oversight, and it is now fixed.
  • FIXED - A problem existed where if you where in the middle of pressing a button when another window popped up, the game would crash.  This is now fixed.
  • FIXED - A problem existed which would allow a player to "cheat" by creating new pieces on the fly by clicking the right mouse button while already holding the left mouse button down during a piece movement operation.  The results were that sometimes a "new" piece was "created" (really, just "mirrored"), and would even be able to be moved into position for an illegal checkmate!  This is now fixed... Thank God!  (And if you used this cheat, SHAME ON YOU!! (Tsk! Tsk!) C'mon, just have fun and PLAY chess... hollow victories just simply aren't satisfying... for those of you who've had genuine victories, you know exactly what I mean... it's SO much more fun to win for real.  Lecture over. :)
  • FIXED - A problem existed where the Risk Indicator looked available when it wasn't supposed to be, but wouldn't work, and also clicking on an empty space would prevent any further use of the game... it wouldn't technically "hang" it, but you really couldn't do anything but shut it down.  These are both now fixed.

Many other changes were also made on the Rally Rooms Server side, including the capability for Room Monitors, new and improved heuristic chat filters with can now filter player names as well, client and move authentication (to prevent cheating), and a bunch of other stuff that will improve the ChessRally experience.

ChessRally 2.2 Experimental Update (Build 540 - March 02, 2002):

  • TEST FIX - Replaced license key validation algorithm with a new one, in order to test for a bug with certain video cards.

ChessRally 2.2 Experimental Update (Build 523 - February 24, 2002):

  • FIXED/ADDED/CHANGED - Replaced faulty 3rd Party TCP/IP communications components with our very own TCP/IP module, written specifically for ChessRally.  This new module is integrated into the Email Games feature with this release to test our new module on a lower scale.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - For email games, the user can now configure the SMTP port if their ISP using a different port than the standard Port 25.
  • NOTE - Per the last update (v2.1.510), where email games on some systems where receiving what appeared to be "bad data", we thought the problem was with the saved game routines, so we altered the game to read email move game data in a more "intelligent" fashion, seeking specific points of data, rather than an assumed pre-defined structure.  As it turned out, there was NOT a flaw in these read routines, but in the underlying SMTP (TCP/IP) components we were using.  This release is intended to fix that problem per the FIXED/ADDED/CHANGED item, above.

ChessRally 2.1 Update (Build 510 - February 15, 2002):

  • ADDED/CHANGED - For email games, the user now has the choice to use "User Authentication", as may or may not be required by their ISP.  Also added to the email games was friendly error messages if a user cannot connect to their ISP's SMTP server.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Improved SAN output in PGN format, so capturing pawns always get referenced by file.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Online Rally Rooms now caution players about playing Rated games without Time Limits.  Apparently, the temptation was too great for some people to try and cheat by literally boring their opponent into resigning, giving them the points.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Put a "/nofs" command line switch to prevent ChessRally from changing Font Smoothing settings, which it does by default.  This is only recommended for users who genuinely prefer blockier text.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - Added an update notification screen to replace simpler message boxes when an update requires a user get it in order to log on to the Public Rally Rooms.  This is generally cosmetic only, but there is an "Update" button which users can click to be taken immediately to the download area.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - In the Online Rally Rooms, some users found a way to "cheat" by entering protocol specific strings.  This new version fixes this so no protocol strings can be sent by end users, preventing such cheating.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - In the Online Rally Rooms, all table "leaves", when voluntary, or by getting kicked off the table by the host resulted in a resignation.  This now only happens if a game has actually begun, i.e. - a piece has been moved.  So now, if a player is seated with you that you know you don't want to play, you can avoid it without penalty.
  • FIXED - There were still several problems with the Ratings System.  For one, in some cases, your rating might load "truncated" to less than 200 points, which was a bug in the decryption algorithm.  Secondly, in the Online Rally Rooms, your rating could go down if you won a game.  This was a problem with the game itself thinking your were your opponent.  These issues have all been fixed, and the Ratings System now works 100% as expected.
  • FIXED - There was an en passant bug, where if the pawn to be captured via en passant had the opponent's king in check, ChessRally didn't recognize that as a legal move, and resulted in the pawn being allowed to actually capture the opponent's King.  This issue has been fixed.
  • FIXED - Kicking Spectators from your table in the Online Rally Rooms was causing the host to have resigned.  This no longer occurs.
  • FIXED - For email games, on some systems, the email move received contained what appeared to be "bad data".  This was a flaw in the read routines, and has been fixed.

ChessRally 2 Update (Build 503 - February 5, 2002):

  • FIXED - For timed Rally Room games, if a person ran out of time, it would end the game on their end, but no one else would see it... their opponent's clock (and spectator clocks) would just stop at 00:00:00.  It now works as expected, but both players must have this build installed for it to work.

ChessRally 2 Update (Build 502 - February 4, 2002):

  • FIXED - A Resignation problem was discovered by many of you.  The problem existed both on the Server side (Rally Room Server) and the Client side (ChessRally 2), and resulted in unexpected resignations to occur when spectators at a table leave in response to an invite, or who leave by pressing the Play or Watch buttons on another table at the Room screen.  The spectator's computer thought it needed to resign, and so it did.  The server didn't catch that it was just from a spectator, and put it through to the table.  This resulted in an unexpected resignation for the whole table.  The server was fixed to validate resignation commands only from players, and the application was fixed to know better when and when not to issue a resign command on table exits.

ChessRally 2 Update (Build 501 - February 3, 2002):

  • FIXED - There were a couple of problems with the ratings system in all previous builds.  Build 500 (below) fixed the ratings system, so that it worked under the hood perfectly, but two other ratings related issues were left out: (a) When a game was rated, it did update your rating and win/lose score, but the change was never sent to the Rally Room server you were in, and so it didn't appear to be updated until you logged out and logged back in.  Also, (b) the new and improved ratings system in build 500 encrypts a user's rating in the registry to help avoid tampering... but when you viewed your ratings from the "What's My Current Rating?" window, it would still look at the old entries for your ratings, and so it would always show up as "1300".

    Both of these issues have been fixed in this new build.

ChessRally 2 Update (Build 500 - February 3, 2002):

  • CHANGED - In previous versions, when leaving a table, only if it was a rated game would it prompt you for resignation (or automatically resign you if you promptly left the table or room.)  Due to feedback from a number of users, this was changed so that all games, rated and un-rated require your resignation if you choose to leave a table.
  • FIXED - When in the Online Rally Rooms, there were some strange things happening, such as being randomly dropped from the server for alleged "Inactivity" after just 5 minutes of play, randomly occurring resignations, not receiving loaded or new game data, leaving a "hanging wait window".  All of these issues were tied into the communications code (TCP/Internet Protocol communications).  The explanation is rather technical, and so I hope this makes sense: The communications code which was having issues with "blocking across sockets", a term used to describe conditions where data being sent to and from the server was causing other data being sent back and forth to never make it to its destination because other connections were keeping the application busy, resulting in some of the data transmissions to time out.  This issue was fixed by providing more efficient communications code in the client (ChessRally) and the server (ChessRally Rally Room Server), and by making the server a multi-threaded application, preventing "blocking across sockets" entirely, since each socket connection exists in its own thread.
  • FIXED - When in the Online Rally Rooms, there was an issue where a table might get "stuck" when empty, not allowing new players on, if a previous host set the table up to require a very high minimum rating.  This issue was fixed by allowing players access to a table when there are no players, regardless of previous settings.
  • FIXED - When choosing an Online Rally Room to join, there was problem using the "Locate Player" feature.  This issue has been fixed.
  • FIXED - There was a stalemate recognition bug where most stalemates were being recognized just fine, but a few conditions were not being recognized.  This is now fixed.
  • FIXED (Security Problem) - Table hosts could set up a rated game, then when someone joined their table, they could kick them out, causing their would-be opponent to be automatically resigned, giving the table host the Win, and increasing the rating.  This was changed to cause the Table host to resign if they kick their opponent off of their table.  Especially in a rated game, the idea is to play the game through until checkmate, a draw condition, or a voluntary resignation.  Kicking someone out in order to coerce their resignation is a stinky thing to do, so we had to do something to prevent this.  You can still kick your opponent out, but you give them the win if you do.
  • FIXED (Security Problem) - Certain users were putting an asterisk (*) in their names in the Online Rally Rooms.  It was discovered that putting an asterisk in your name prevented you from being kicked off of a table.  This was changed in both the client and the server, so asterisks are no longer allowed in a name.

ChessRally 2 Minor Update (Build 492 - January 25, 2002):

  • FIXED (Cosmetic) - When viewing the rules of a specific Rally Rooms table, if "ANY" spectators are allowed, it would show up as "No more than 9999" spectators allowed.  It now reads "Any number of spectators...".
  • FIXED (Cosmetic) - When kicking someone out of the room, the text would be displayed "You're currently ignoring incoming private messages".  The screen no longer says that.

ChessRally 2 Minor Update (Build 491 - January 23, 2002):

  • ADDED/CHANGED - ChessRally was allowing you to pick an empty name ("") for the Rally Rooms.  This is no longer allowed.  For those of you with an older version, the server will report that someone else is using that name, so those of you with an older version won't be able to log in with no name either, although that message is a bit cryptic for the reason.  In any case, downloading the latest build doesn't allow that in the first place.

ChessRally 2 Final Release (Build 490) Released ...Again! (January 18, 2002):

  • ADDED/CHANGED - It turns out that the Email Servers for some users playing Email games of ChessRally 2 require authentication when sending email through the server.  ChessRally 2 now employs "AUTH LOGIN" authentication when sending email moves through your Email Server.

ChessRally 2 Final Release (Build 488) Re-Released (January 18, 2002):

  • FIXED - The problem with the previous setup program, was that while copying files, a user might run into an error "Could not create directory" (Error E0.19), and setup would be aborted.  Thanks to their simply amazing support, this issue has been fixed by the manufacturer of the setup utility which we use to create the ChessRally 2 setup program, TG Byte Software.  (Note: If you're a programmer, we definitely recommend Setup Specialist.  The ChessRally setup program would have been over 12MB with an equivalent InstallShield based setup program, so it is definitely worth checking out!

ChessRally 2 Final Release (Build 485) Released (January 16, 2002):

NOTE: A lot of little things have changed since the last ChessRally 2 Beta, including some minor but fundamental changes to the underlying protocols for Direct Network and Rally Rooms games, so if you have the Beta still installed, uninstall it completely, then re-install from the link above.  If you don't, you will not be able to connect to the Rally Room Servers, or to other copies of ChessRally 2, as the protocol version numbers have been incremented.

  • ADDED/CHANGED - At the request of some of our very first real users, the "nag" screen which appears during the 15-day Gold Edition Features Trial no longer appears every time ChessRally is launched.  This was burdensome to users of Email Games, since every move, they were launching the program.  Instead, the screen is displayed every fifth time ChessRally is launched.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - One of our Beta Testers requested an "Away" feature in the Online Rally Rooms, so you could let others know when you're not at your computer.  (i.e. - gone fishin')  This was implemented both as a check box on the Room screen, and as a chat command "/away", which toggles your "Away Status". 
  • ADDED/CHANGED - One of our Beta Testers requested a new chat command "/info" to display a player's information in the Online Rally Rooms, as if you pressed the "Player Info" button in the Room screen.  We added the feature, as well as the more common "/whois" chat command, which does the same thing.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - One of our Beta Testers requested a feature that allowed you to specify your location in the Online Rally Rooms.  Rather than adding a new field to the login process, we changed the default text in the "Player's Quote" from "Say something fun!!" to "Enter a fun phrase, tell others where you're from, etc.".  The idea of the "Player's Quote" was to provide such miscellaneous information - whatever you wish to tell others about yourself.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - It was originally planned to have a secondary Rally Room Server at in addition to the primary server at  The provider of the secondary server, Computer Central Internet Access gave us a different machine.domain to use,, which is another service offered by that company.  (See for further details.)  As a result, that particular default was changed accordingly in the program.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - For ChessRally Email Games, the email move message contained a direct link to  We are not going to be offering that file on our corporate site directly as such, and so the link was changed to, which will allow users to download from the latest link on this website, whatever that may be.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - In the Online Rally Rooms, when at a table and someone joined, you were notified audibly only.  The table chat window now lets you know visually when people join and leave the table.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - The host of a table was showing up with an asterisk (*) next to their name only at the top of the table, not in the "Who's Here" list.  The "Who's Here" list now shows an asterisk next to the table host as well.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - When using the player targeted chat commands, such as "/msg" and "/whisper", ChessRally now displays an error in the chat window if the player specified doesn't exist.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - The table chat text installed default "ChessRally" theme was hard to see because of the light lettering over a detailed background.  The lettering was changed to Bold, and is currently much more readable.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - The Risk Indicator has an "automatic" feature for those who simply click on a targeted piece, rather than press and hold a mouse button on it, so the user can still see the results of the Indicator.  The display time for this automatic behavior was too long, causing the perception that the game "froze" for a second.  This time was shortened to a more appropriate interval.
  • FIXED - On some systems, the Setup program would display the file copy progress bar (and most of that screen) offset way over to the right.  Many thanks go to the manufacturer of the Setup utility (TG Byte Software) who fixed this problem.
  • FIXED - There were several minor cosmetic bugs in ChessRally dealing with graphics, etc., particularly with the Move History Window.  They have all been fixed.
  • FIXED - This doesn't directly apply to the ChessRally game itself, but to the Rally Room Server software.  When a user left a rated Online Rally Room game abruptly (i.e. - their computer crashed.), the Rally Rooms Server was supposed to automatically resign the player, to prevent abuse to the ratings system.  This wasn't happening, but newcomers to the table would see that the game ended in a "Draw: 50 Move Rule", which was incorrect.  This has been fixed.
  • FIXED - Various anomalies were occurring in the Online Rally Rooms.  These problems were all tied to the fact that ChessRally (and the Room Server) assumed that transmissions would never be embedded in each other.  Embedding was occurring, albeit relatively rarely, and the game didn't know how to handle that, and gave strange and clearly inappropriate results, such as "lost" transmissions, etc.  This issue has been fixed, and all ChessRally related software now seeks complete transmissions inside out rather than left to right.
  • FIXED - Security Risk!  In all the Beta versions of ChessRally 2, a user could repeatedly and quickly send private messages to another player, and unless the other player checked "Private Messages in Chat Window Only", would have to address every single one of those messages in order, which could have been very time consuming.  Instead, ChessRally now shows one private message at a time, and all subsequent private messages while the Private Message window is being viewed will now show up in the chat window, regardless of the "Private Messages in Chat Window Only" option.  This way, a player will be able to get to the "Ignore" button when they're done viewing the first private message in order to completely ignore the antagonist.
  • FIXED - Security Risk!  In Beta versions of ChessRally, players were uniquely identified by their IP address and name, which would allow them to change their name and circumvent another player's Ignore List, and could also expose users to DoS attacks, since their IP address block was exposed in the ChessRally configuration.  This has been changed so every player has a perfectly Unique Identifier which is not dependant on IP addresses or player names at all.  The ChessRally game client is no longer aware of anyone's IP address at all for the Online Rally Rooms.

ChessRally 2 Release Candidate Released (January 7, 2002):

  • ADDED/CHANGED - Added a menu item "Display Saved Game Filename In Titlebar" to the Options menu, which allows you to have the saved game currently in use's filename to show up in the title bar of the Main Game screen.
  • FIXED - A problem was occurring in Beta 5 and earlier where if you load a saved game, but cancel at the "Load Game" screen (the one with the miniature board layout), then "quicksave" (CTRL+S) any current game in progress, it would overwrite the saved game file you almost loaded but cancelled.
  • FIXED - When playing a local multiplayer game (two people sharing the same PC), and tried to change the name of the person that didn't have the move from the Table Window, it would say that you had to pick a different name other than your own.

ChessRally 2 Beta 5 (Build 448) Released (January 3, 2002):

  • ADDED/CHANGED - Altered Single Player computer player logic to allow more randomness for opening selection (first move or moves), for a more "human" feel to the game.
  • ADDED/CHANGED - "Resign From Game" item in Game menu now reads "Resign / End Game", and (along with the Resign toolbar button) was made accessible during Computer vs. Computer games, giving the user the opportunity to end the game without starting a new game, or loading a saved game. 
  • FIXED - The International (Regional) Windows Settings struck again!!  This time, it affected dates, so beta testers with non-US regional settings would not be able to use ChessRally at all on and after January 2, 2002.  The problem was that in the US Regional Settings, dates are in a "MM/DD/YY" format, while for many non-US Regional Settings, dates are in a "DD/MM/YY" format.  So, when ChessRally looked at the current date, it thought it was February 1, 2002 (02/01/2002 Eng), not January 2, 2002 (01/02/2002 Eng).  On January 3, ChessRally would think it was March 1, etc.  ChessRally systems affected by this bug are: Beta Period Validation, Gold Edition Trial Period Validation, the Saved Game format, and PGN Import/Export.  This has been fixed so ChessRally is sensitive to all Regional Settings when handling dates.
  • FIXED - When printing, if the given margins were outside the print area which the selected printer was capable of, print output would be "clipped" on the edges.  This has been fixed so when ChessRally actually prints, it compares the specified margins against the printer's capabilities, and adjusts the margins if needed to fit the printer's printable area.  (The adjusted margins are only used temporarily, so user selected settings stay intact.)
  • FIXED - Pentium 4 processors were being mis-recognized, causing the message "Processor Upgrade Required" to appear, and not allowing the user to play the game.  ChessRally now recognizes Pentium 4 processors, so that message will no longer be displayed.
  • FIXED - There was a memory problem with build 443 and earlier, where ChessRally would slowly but continually allocate memory (aka "gobble up memory") until none was left on the system.  This has been fixed.

ChessRally 2 Beta 4 (Build 443) Released (December 31, 2001):

  • BETA EXPIRATION EXTENDED - ChessRally 2 Beta 3 and older expire on January 1, 2002.  This turned out to be an inappropriate expiration date since we released the beta 23 days later than originally expected.  Beta 4 (and up, as appropriate) have a new expiration date of February 1, 2002.

ChessRally 2 Beta 3 (Build 442) Released (December 30, 2001):

  • FIXED - On Windows installs configured for non-US/English regional settings, there was a problem with numeric conversion that affected Themes Selection & Loading, the Ratings System, Printing, the various game clocks as they pertained to Saved Games and the Move History Window, and a few other minor areas.  With many non-US/English settings, numeric values are not formatted as "1,234.56", but as "1.234,56", "1 234,56", etc.  Reading settings from theme.ini files and the registry, as well as rounding numbers from text data (where appropriate) would not result in values useful to the game.  Build 442 (or higher, as the case may be) works around this by enforcing conversions in English numeric notation only.  Since this all happens under the hood, there was no reason to account for International settings.

ChessRally 2 Beta 2 (Build 440) Released (December 30, 2001):

  • FIXED - On some older systems, using audio hardware acceleration with DirectX may cause odd sound, like popping, etc.  Re-download and install any Themes you've previously downloaded as well as this Beta update... it's part of the fix.
  • FIXED - On Windows XP, the game wasn't detecting the presence of DirectX correctly, because Microsoft changed the file versioning scheme for DirectX on Windows XP.  ChessRally 2 now accounts for the difference. 
  • FIXED - The System Requirements area of the User's Guide contains a minor formatting mistake, and other minor errors in the User's Guide and FAQ.
  • FIXED - The Setup program would crash when you would try to cancel installation while it was copying files.  Thanks to TG Byte Software for providing this fix.
  • FIXED - ChessRally appeared to "lock up" under some rare circumstances.  What was happening was the game didn't really lock up, but became entirely unresponsive to the mouse.  This would happen (sometimes) when a message box or other window in the game would pop up while you were working in another application, and had the mouse fully active with the other application.  (Such as a mouse button was down, etc.)
  • FIXED - Changing your name and/or character wasn't behaving correctly when playing a Local, Email, or Direct Network game while also logged into a Rally Room.  The current, fixed logic is that when changing this info from the main game screen, it will behave appropriate to the current game type... keeping it separate from the Rally Rooms configuration... unless you're playing a Rally Rooms game, in which case, a change in one results in a change in the other.
  • FIXED - When a game was finished, and some of the pieces were flashing (for example, after a Checkmate), and if you saved the finished game... after you saved the game, the pieces would stop flashing.

ChessRally 2 Beta 1 (Build 439) Released (December 19, 2001):

Many enhancements and new features were added to ChessRally 2 from I-Chess 1.x (Some items listed are "summary" items which cover a great amount of detail):

  • Email Games Added
  • Single Player Games Added
  • Rally Rooms Games Added (Special server software was also written for this.)
  • Direct Network Games enhanced for speed and reliability.
  • Existing helper modes handled more robustly for a better user experience.
  • "Get Computer Move Suggestion" featured added.
  • Ratings System added.
  • Time Control added.
  • Draw by Repetition & 50 Move Draw Rule implemented.
  • Characters feature added.
  • Theme features added.
  • Fully skinned, entirely graphical interface created and implemented.
  • Brand new graphics engine... much faster than I-Chess 1.x, and with many more features, such as alpha blending and antialiasing.
  • DirectX/DirectSound functionality added.
  • New sound events added.
  • New game screen converted from single page to a "Wizard".
  • New options screen.
  • Integrated chat window into Main Game Screen at the "Table Window".
  • New room lobby area with integrated chat & table selection.
  • More interactive Move History window, plus support for SAN (Standard Algebraic Notation).
  • PGN and FEN Import/Export added.
  • Printing functionality added.
  • New semi-context-sensitive User's Guide added.
  • Tip-Of-The-Day Added.
  • Helper screens updated.
  • Finish Turn and Restart Turn buttons flash when ready to be used.
  • Updated Saved Game format to handle new features.  Older I-Chess saved games will still load just fine.
  • ...and more!!  (I can't think of the other smaller details, but they're in there.)

"ChessRally" Was Born (August 2001):

After many enhancements were made to the program, and the release of I-Chess 2.0 loomed near, Ingenuware decided to register the domain name "", hoping to create an online community website for I-Chess users.  In doing so, Ingenuware discovered that the domain was taken by a web service called "iChess", which had been in existence since 1996, about a year and a half before the very first incarnation of I-Chess.

After lengthy discussions with the owner of the website, two choices were available: (1) Ingenuware could re-write the I-Chess protocols to work with the iChess servers, and give royalties on sales, or (2) Ingenuware could change the name, since the name "iChess" (and by similarity, "I-Chess") was already taken.  The guys at Ingenuware decided that it would be in everyone's best interest if Ingenuware came up with a new name.  After massive brainstorming, searching, and toying with name possibilities (Ingenuware even took some public opinion surveys), the name "ChessRally" was chosen.  After just a few weeks, once the guys at Ingenuware got used to the new name, they fell in love with it... even more so than the name "I-Chess".  The "ChessRally" name spoke to the emphasis of online interaction in the new version far better than the name "I-Chess" ever could have.

I-Chess 2.0b Created (February 2001):

Since I-Chess 2.0a was never released, because the "ad" partner went out of business, 2.0b was created with a new "ad" partner's "adware" components.  It was at this time that the "Email Game" feature was added to the program, in order to attempt to capture a "viral marketing" element to distribution.  This new "ad" partner also shortly went out of business, leaving only one major "adware" company left, which never returned Ingenuware's calls, causing 2.0b to also never be released.

Still determined to bring in some revenue to justify the hundreds of gigabytes of downloads every month, new ways to improve the game and outright sell it were needed.  So, the team at Ingenuware started paying close attention to user feedback for I-Chess, looking for ways to make the program "great" - truly worthy of selling at a reasonable price.   But what of all of the I-Chess freeware users?  Ingenuware didn't want to abandon them either, so new game types were introduced so Ingenuware could offer "I-Chess Gold Edition", with all of the new features, and "I-Chess Free Edition", with some of the features to still make it a great free download.

I-Chess 2.0a Created (December 2001):

In an attempt to capitalize on the massive amounts of downloads of I-Chess 1.2, I-Chess 2.0a was planned and created.  The game was still the same as version 1.2, but "Adware" components were added.  The "ad" company Ingenuware chose to go went out of business before this version could be released... Ingenuware shops for a new "ad" partner.

I-Chess 1.2 Released (October 2000):

When ImpulseStudio 3.0 was released, I-Chess was modified to take better advantage of the new features in the library in order to make it faster and lighter.  Also, bugs reported over the course of the year were fixed.

By this time, much to Ingenuware's surprise, I-Chess had gained a following.  Between 10,000 and 20,000 copies of I-Chess were being downloaded every month (depending on the season of year).  The rabbit hole was getting deeper.

I-Chess 1.1 Released (October 1999):

While creating the original version of I-Chess, Robb Ryniak needed a number of features not already present in his personal code library, called "ImpulseGlobals 1.0".  During the process of adding those features, Robb discovered that a good many of those features might be useful to other programmers like himself, and sets out to make it "presentable" for usage by other programmers.

Robb Ryniak created many new functions for ImpulseGlobals, and added a series of ActiveX controls built on ImpulseGlobals to the mix... that was the formal birth of Ingenuware's premier development suite, ImpulseStudio 2.0 (& ImpulseGlobals 2.0).  During the beta period for ImpulseStudio 2.0, Robb Ryniak partnered with Jonathan Vincze, a close friend from college (and an usher at his wedding), to form "Ingenuware, Ltd." in order to sell ImpulseStudio and ImpulseGlobals to programmers through the Internet.

When Ingenuware was formed, I-Chess was updated from Robb Ryniak's original source code to make it a free Ingenuware offering, with the goal of introducing the company to the public at large, hoping to expose programmers to ImpulseStudio, as well as having something other than just one or two offerings.

The guys at Ingenuware didn't expect I-Chess to be a "hit"... not even remotely.  It was just supposed to be an "extra" offering.  After only a half a year, I-Chess was seeing around 5,000 downloads a month, far exceeding downloads of ImpulseStudio.  Consideration was given to removing I-Chess from the site in order to conserve the large amount of unexpected server bandwidth... but curiosity won out - Robb wanted to see how far the rabbit hole went, so it was left up.

I-Chess 1.0 Planned & Created (1997-1998):

(Pre-Ingenuware) Robb Ryniak creates a simple, real-time, peer-to-peer chess game with chat features called "I-Chess", to play with his wife over the Internet on lunch breaks.  They used it once.

News | Get Gold! | Features | Screens | Themes | Download | FAQ | Support | Corporate

All content on this website is Copyright © 2001-2010, Ingenuware, Ltd.  All Rights Reserved.
ChessRally™ and Ingenuware™ are Trademarks of Ingenuware, Ltd.
All "non-Ingenuware" trademarks and content are the Trademarks and Copyrighted material of their respective owners.