FICS (Free Internet Chess Server) Chess

There is less lag on FICS servers because they are non-commerical servers which are localised. This is possible because the source code is freely available. However this might cause some servers running on more out of date code than others. Also in the short term, there are less people to  be found on them. In the long run however, server localisation is a good answer to the growth in popularity of Internet chess. Unless servers can scale up to handle potentially thousands of users, then server lag will become a fundamental problem.

Preferred FICS server at present:

Address Flag Port Description   5000 American one. My favourite at present   5000 EICS, the main European Server.   5000 DICS, in Holland.   5000 BICS, in England.   5000 FrICS, in France   5000 GICS, in Germany.   5000 Italy   5000 MICS, in the Middle-East.   5000 SICS, in Sweden.   5000 UCHICS, in Chile.   5000 ZICS, in Austrailia.   7890 CrICS, in Croatia

I recommend that you do not connect to them directly, but rather let your chosen interface connect to them. This is why I am not providing hyperlinks to the above servers. Example: Using CClient (see below), run it, Choose connect, set the server to and the port to 5000, and then connect via that.

You may have noticed that they are all on port 5000. The ICC however is on port 5083. (You can rely on this site for interesting facts).

Interface rankings table

The major barrier in the author's usage of FICS has been in the past the availability of a decent interface to play games on it. It seemed to be a jungle of interfaces from my thick point of view. Hence I wish to simplify the process of obtaining a decent and enjoyable interface by providing the following rankings table, with relevant web addresses for download.

As well as being free, I have much preferred it recently  (10/9/97) to the ICC because it is super fast.

Personal Ranking

Interface name

Author's web site








Back to Playing guide