Post Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:07 am

ChessCube Seek Graph/Seek List: How it works

What is the Seek List?

The Seek List is simply a list of players who you're able to offer a challenge for a game. Columns can be sorted should you wish to do so.


What is the Seek Graph?
The Seek Graph at its most basic is a way to represent players looking for a game (game seeks) based on player strength and game time control:


The higher the dot is placed the stronger your opponent will be and the more right it is the slower the game will be. It may take a little while to get used to this, but after you know how fast you want to play and how strong an opponent you want, it is very easy to quickly locate a game based on its position in the graph.

Using the seek graph, a player can search for any type AND combination of game:

Rated vs. unrated game
  • Ratings from low to high
  • Game time controls from fast to slow
  • Standard chess vs. Chess960
  • Cubit game vs. no-cubit game
  • Cubit game values from low to high

With a list you are typically limited to a few of these items (for example, a rated 5 minute game) but a graph lets you look at the entire range of options in one glance (for instance, maybe you would play chess960 at 10 mins, and standard chess at 5, and play a cubit game versus a 1400 and not an 1800). A graph simply and visually gives you many more options than a list could.

What are the features of the Seek Graph?


The height of a seek indicates the player’s rating while the horizontal space represents the approximate length of the game. The horizontal lines represent ratings of 1000 and 2000, and the vertical lines represent the cutoffs between bullet (< 3min), blitz (>= 3min and < 15min) and standard (>= 15min).

To get more details about a seek just hover over it (you will only see the seeks which you qualify for). To accept a seek and start the game just click on it – it’s that simple!

The colour – from cold to hot – of a seek tells you the value of the game and the shape and shade of a seek tells you the type of offer:


When you see a seek that interests you simply hover over it for more information. A small tooltip will show you the details of that offer: who is offering it, their rating, the exact time control, the type of chess, rated or unrated, rating range that can accept the offer, value of the game and whether it has a manual accept flag.

Clicking on a seek accepts the offer. If that seek ad does not have the manual accept flag on it the game will begin immediately. If it does have the manual accept flag a challenge invite matching the seek ad is issued for you automatically which the opponent can then accept.

Using the seek graph
  • Clicking on the play button opens the seek graph.
  • The seek graph can be dragged around the screen, resized and pinned.
  • Clicking the settings panel opens the seek options. To close the options click the top right button on the form.
  • To place a seek set the desired options and click seek. A dot is added to the graph representing the seek. To cancel the seek click on your own seek on the graph or click on Cancel in the panel when in seeking state.
  • Users only see the seeks which they qualify to challenge/accept. The rating criteria filters who will be able to see the seek when they view the seek graph.

Manual accept flag and game starts
  • If the manual accept flag is not set the game starts immediately when someone clicks on a seek.
  • If the manual accept flag is checked a challenge invite is automatically sent when someone clicks on a seek. The seek will show a drop-shadow to indicate that it is awaiting a response.
  • Clicking on the same seek again cancels the challenge invite, but the seek remains visible on the graph.
  • If the invite is declined by the opponent the seek is removed from the graph.

Quick Match

Quick match would both put your seek out there (with the manual accept flag unchecked) and actively try to put you in a game all without you confirming whether you want to play with the opponent it pairs you with. However, pairings will respect your seek settings.

Calculating the horizontal position of a seek

Seeks are placed depending on the time control converted to ‘e-time’. The idea is that the e-time is the time in minutes available if the games lasts 40 moves. Formula:
e-time = starting time + (2 * increment / 3)
Thus the e-time is the starting time plus two thirds of the increment. For example, a 5 min + 3 sec game is a game that has 5 minutes on the clock and after each move 3 seconds are added. The e-time is calculated with this formula:
5 (starting time of 5 minutes) + (2 * 3 / 3). Therefore, a 5 min + 3 sec game has an e-time of 7.

  • Bullet = e-time of less than 3 minutes
  • Blitz = e-time of 3 minutes of more but less than 15 minutes
  • Standard = e-time of 15 minutes or more

We hope you enjoy using the seek graph, and that you find many exciting games using it! Remember to send us feedback, we’d love to hear from you!