Usage instruction

Read this page for instructions how to use WatchBot.


WatchBot picks some interesting FICS games, observes them, and saves the games for future reference. It`s main purpose is to preserve the comments made during the game (whisper-s and kibitz-es).

The saved games may be reviewed using the web interface, or obtained by email as PGN files.

Typical usage

In most cases one does not need to do anything to use WatchBot. Just play interesting game, and WatchBot will pick it. If it happens that people observing the game (or your opponent) are making some comments, after the game is finished you receive message like:

WatchBot(TD) tells you: 9 players made 37 comments during your last game. To review them "tell WatchBot mailgame 869712" or visit

Do exactly that - either use mailgame command to receive email with PGN game score, or open the link in your browser to replay the game. In some clients (like BabasChess) it should suffice to click the command or link, in others you may need to copy and paste the text or link.

Note that to use mailgame you must inform WatchBot about your email address. To do it, issue command like

tell WatchBot email

(of course using your correct email). It needs to be done only once.

Which games are watched

WatchBot watches only standard and chess960 (wild fr) games. No blitz, bullet, crazyhouse, atomic etc. Only standard, and chess960.

There are some blitz games in this database, those are either caught by mistake, or gathered during testing.

As WatchBot is able to observe only about 25 games simultaneously, and there are usually more standard games in progress on FICS, it uses some kind of scoring to pick the most interesting games. Exact details of the algorithm change from time to time, but in general:

  • the slower the game, the more interesting it is,
  • the higher rating of the players, the better,
  • games with clocks 45+45 and 60+15 obtain additional plus,
  • games between computers are avoided and games between human and computer are considered to be less interesting than games between humans.

In practice, games with slow controls are almost always watched, faster standards may be watched or not, depending on the players rating, exact clock, and other games in progress.

Command list

WatchBot handles some commands. All those commands are issued via FICS tells. For example, to issue mygames command, type the following in your console window:

tell WatchBot mygames

See the command list for details.


See what is WatchBot and how to use it.

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Recent Games

lno(1957) vs. axeltiger(2340) 0-1 (standard 45+45, 2024-05-01, 44 comments by 2 players)

bionchess(2182) vs. spudweb(2081) 1-0 (standard 45+45, 2024-04-24, 19 comments by 2 players)

asdago(2060) vs. kurumim(2221) 1/2-1/2 (standard 45+45, 2024-04-23, 62 comments by 4 players)

lno(1990) vs. araszek(1937) 1-0 (standard 45+45, 2024-04-22, 17 comments by 2 players)

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mcstorytaller(1941) vs. herrahuu(1797) 0-1 (standard 45+45, 2024-04-22, 21 comments by 2 players)

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