This page provides advice and assistance for those users who are relatively new to the Internet and not familiar with all the concepts used on this site.


How do I register to use chessKIDS academy?

You don't! There are spoof registration pages when you enter various parts of the site where we ask for the child's name and gender in order to give him/her a personalized experience on chessKIDS academy. As we do not ask for any information which would enable us to identify you there is no reason not to use the child's real name when registering in this way.

When I press the Sign In button nothing happens.

That's because you've disabled JavaScript in your browser. If you're using IE6.0 go to Tools - Internet Options - Security - Custom Level and check it's set to Medium. If it's set to High JavaScript will be disabled and you won't be able to use much of the site. In Firefox it's easier: go to Tools - Options - Web Features and ensure that 'Enable JavaScript' is ticked. If you want to use our chess programs you'll also need 'Enable Java' ticked.


I've downloaded the Scholastic Package but nothing's happened. What am I doing wrong?

The Download file is a ZIPPED file. You need to unzip it using WinZip, which is probably on your computer, or another similar utility. If you click on the START button you'll probably see WinZip as one of the options. In WinZip, search for and select a file called This will extract a number of files. Create a new directory (under MyDocuments would probably make most sense) and unzip them into that directory. Then open a file called readme.txt which will provide you with an explanation of the contents.


I've downloaded and unzipped the Scholastic Package and can't see the chess pieces and diagrams.

First of all you need to download and unzip the Chess font, which, if you haven't already done so, you can do by clicking here. Then you need to unzip it into your Fonts Folder (this will probably be within your WIndows Folder). One way to check that the font has been installed correctly is to look at the list of fonts displayed in your word processor.

I've unzipped and installed the chess font and still can't see the chess pieces.

For some reason files using DiagramTTHabsburg (the chess font) created in Word97 are not readable in Word2000 or WOrdXP. I am currently in touch with ChessBase, the suppliers of the font, to try to resolve this. If you can't wait, you could try a different word processor, or use the pdf version of the file. If you cannot wait for an answer you could try emailing Peter Schreiner at - my current German contact on this subject. I shall shortly be ungrading my hardward and software so should be able to recreate these files in WordXP within the next few weeks. Please be patient!


I don't understand how the quiz scores work. How come I sometimes get a minus score? Why don't I score 100% when I get all the questions right?

The quizzes from Class 4 onwards include both multiple-choice questions and questions where you have to enter the move (in computer notation, for instance d8h4 to move a piece from d8 to h4). When you're solving these questions you must click on the picture as instructed to have your answer checked. It doesn't happen automatically as it does with the multiple choice questions. Whenever you get a question wrong you lose a point (to stop you scoring 100% by guessing until you find the right answer), so if you keep on entering wrong answers you could very easily end up with a minus score. Please note also that on questions where you have to enter a move you must press the picture of the boy in order to find out whether you were right, and, if so, score a point. I am currently rewriting the quizzes with improved scoring and move entry systems. In the new versions you will simply score a point for getting the answer right first time. If you get the question wrong you may try again but only your first answer will count.


I've completed a quiz successfully but when I print off the certificate I only get the date.

Your computer is not recognizing cookies. Change your browser or security software settings when using chessKIDS academy and you should be able to print out your certificates correctly. If you have any concerns about security please visit our Privacy page.


I've got some PDF files here. What do I do with them?

PDF files are designed to be read with Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is freely available. You can download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader for free HERE (international site) or HERE (UK site).

I'm getting error messages trying to read a PDF file in Acrobat Reader.

This is probably happening because you have an old version of the program. The files are only readable in Version 4 or above. There is a problem with Acrobat Reader in that, even if you have a later version it might still try to open the file using an old version. If in doubt, delete everything to do with Acrobat Reader and re-install the latest version.

When I print PDF files the dark squares on the chess board don't print properly.

This is a problem on some printers. Check ALL your printer settings and you should get there by trial and error. We are not able to give advice on specific printers.


A couple of general pieces of advice:

1. If something doesn't work and you don't understand why, reboot your computer and try it again straight away. Problems are often caused by shortage of available memory. By rebooting you will give yourself access to the maximum amount.

2. If you get an error message you don't understand go to Google and type in the exact message within quotes. With any luck you'll find some helpful advice as to the cause of the problem and possible solutions.