Last week we talked about Jin and FICS a bit, but I wanted to make a post to break down some of my favorite FICS commands, which help show why I like to use it for playing online chess. Don’t worry, we’ll be getting back to our chess programming project soon!

  • messages

I like the messages command to send or view messages from other players. One of the things I like to do is ask players who beat me for some advice. Granted, I don’t always get quality advice, sometimes I actually get rather rude responses, but occaisionally I’ll get something useful from another player. I can send a message like so:

messages OtherPlayersName This is my message.

It’s that simple. To check my messages, I just type:


That shows me the list of messages I have, and then I can say:

messages 1

To view message number 1. Pretty simple, I know, but I find this useful.

  • history

Typing the history command shows me all the games I recently played. Like this:

History for alaskalinuxuser:
Opponent Type ECO End Date
84: + 1147 W 1153 javikibera [ br 5 3] D00 Res Fri Jan 26, 12:32 AKST 2018
85: + 1393 B 1386 trapik [ sr 15 10] B51 Mat Fri Jan 26, 12:52 AKST 2018
86: – 1125 B 1475 Nedbio [ lr 2 0] B20 Mat Sat Jan 27, 05:30 AKST 2018
87: – 1390 W 1654 ChesstaLaVist [ sr 15 0] A02 Mat Sat Jan 27, 05:52 AKST 2018
88: – 1139 B 1141 CyberXess [ br 12 0] B23 Mat Sat Jan 27, 06:07 AKST 2018
89: – 1132 W 1214 GOROWITCHES [ br 12 0] D00 Res Sat Jan 27, 06:26 AKST 2018
90: – 1125 W 1174 Tordan [ br 5 0] D00 Mat Sat Jan 27, 20:16 AKST 2018
91: – 1118 B 1155 fridayknights [ br 3 0] C41 Fla Sat Jan 27, 20:29 AKST 2018
92: – 1108 W 1063 qrtroimaclic [ br 10 0] A02 Mat Sun Jan 28, 06:06 AKST 2018
93: + 1117 B 1132 Chessonator [ br 10 0] D00 Res Sun Jan 28, 07:36 AKST 2018

You can view past games with history, but only the last 10 games.

  • mailstored

I use mailstored with my history output to email myself my games. The email will include all the moves made during the game, the times, who won, etc. This way I can store and review all of my games in my own email. Use it like this:

mailstored alaskalinuxuser 93
Moves mailed.

Now I emailed all the details from game 93 to my email box, which I can keep forever.

  • finger

This command lets you review another players stats, like reviewing a player named “top”:

finger top
Finger of top:

Last disconnected: Sat Feb 21, 01:19 AKST 2004

rating RD win loss draw total best
Blitz 1908 350.0 122 101 18 241 1917 (06-Nov-1995)
Standard 2074 350.0 14 4 1 19

1: Torben Paving from Copenhagen, Denmark
2: Prefer 2 12 or slower
3: I don’t play computers!
4: I usually autoflag and don’t permit takebacks
5: I don’t request takebacks either!
6: formula time >= 2 & inc >= 12

But typically, I just type finger to review my own stats. Not because I am narcissistic, but because some games or tournaments will only allow you to play if you meet the rating criteria.

  • say

I use this command during a game to “chat” with my opponent. It’s a pretty easy command to use, like so:

say hi!

  • seek

This is the command I use alot when I want to play a game. I usually use this:

seek 15 0 rated

To offer a game of 15 minutes, with no added time per move (increment) and that the game will be rated. Now anyone can click on my game and play against me.

Well, those are the commands that I use the most. In particular, the mailstored command is really handy to store your games offline. Hope you found that interesting, and be sure to look me up on FICS sometime for a game!

Linux – keep it simple.

One Reply to “Fool’s Mate Friday: My Favorite FICS Commands”

  1. I’d really like to get back into FICS. Unfortunately these days I’m only getting about 30-45 minutes of free time per day, which usually goes to other projects. Maybe you’ll cream me at the next OTB game, eh?

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