There was a substantial update of the ICCF webserver with several design changes & new features. Here is a summary to help you get the best out of the new changes.
Player photos: Players can now upload their own photo. When on their own details, they can see the link “Upload new photo”. The uploaded photo is then subject to approval.
Storing player messages permanently: Messages that players exchange during the games are now stored permanently, instead of only the last message. On the game screen, the menu item “Show timestamps” has been renamed to “Show details”. The details view now displays all the messages exchanged during the game, in addition to the time stamps.
Sending Messages after game has finished: You can now send a Message to your opponent after the game has finished & he/she will receive an e-mail advising them that a message has been received.
Report inappropriate comments: There is a new menu item “Report inappropriate comments” on the game screen. This leads to the new screen for reporting inappropriate comments. After a player has reported the inappropriate comments, the game is in complaint mode. In complaint mode, all messages are hidden to the players, and they can no longer send messages. In complaint mode, the TD can see all the messages that the players exchanged during the game.
Games that reach a “dead” position are automatically ended: If in a server game a player makes a move that results in a position where mate is not possible, the server automatically sets the result to a draw (according to FIDE rules, the game ends immediately). The server currently recognizes the following positions: KvK, KvKB, KvKN. But the ICCF are looking to add to these in future.
Improved “My games” screen: Additional checkboxes at the top to display games with “Action required”, “Ongoing games”, and/or “Finished games”. “Action required” includes all games where it is your turn to move, or where a message was received after the end of the game. By default, only the “Action required” and “Ongoing Games”” checkboxes are checked, displaying the most important games.
Re-introduced the customization of columns on the My Games screen: Columns can now be customized to be “On” or “Off”, and responsive columns to be “Long”, “Fit to Screen”, “Short” or “Off”. Additional column “Time spent”. This is the time spent on the current move. If time duplication is in effect, the value is displayed in orange, and in brackets is the number of calendar days spent on the current move according to ICCF rule 3b, i.e. without time duplication. A draw offer is displayed in the “Last move” and “Status” columns abbreviated with an equals sign (“=”). The “Colour” column now displays a coloured square (white or black) instead of words. The order of the columns was changed, and space added between the rows to increase readability.
Updated button design: The old button design was made before ICCF updated the site to support mobile devices. Therefore many of the buttons were very difficult to use on mobile devices. There were also issues with buttons looking different. The new design has text links and buttons. In addition, there is a smaller version of the button when a button is displayed in a grid or list.
Places in tournaments: Player and team placement is now calculated for all finished tournaments. On the player details / Events tab, the place of a player in a finished tournament is now displayed in a separate column. Also, the team is now shown for team events. This includes the team placement for finished team events. On tables and results, the winner(s) are now displayed for all tournaments. If the tournament is not yet finished, “Ongoing” is displayed in the winner(s) column. This replaces the previous status column which had Finished/Ongoing. The event news on the ICCF home page, and on the event news screen now display the winner(s) of any tournament finished.
In addition to all the above items, there were an even larger string of changes for administrators behind the scenes! All in all, I believe these changes are very positive, and demonstrate that the ICCF are committed to continual investment in the webserver in order to improve the experience of the players.
If anybody has any queries regarding any of the changes, please contact Neil Limbert or your National Federation delegate.