Web Smarts


What: Learn to play chess - or improve your skills - by making moves via e-mail. Signing up is simple and free and, unlike the most popular online chess hubs (such as Yahoo! Games), where moves are made in real time, this version can be played at leisure.

Best points: To begin, simply hit "Play Game," drag a piece with your mouse to make a first move, and hit "Send Move." Type in your name, your e-mail, your opponent's name, your opponent's e-mail, and click on "Start Game."

You will be given the option to type a short message, but can play silently by simply hitting "Send." Your opponent will receive an e-mail within minutes that links directly to your move, and has up to two weeks to respond in kind.

What you should know: Chess buffs and novices alike will appreciate this site, which prohibits wrong moves from being made - an improper castle, say - and which allows players to click on "History" to view all moves and on "Option" to view the board as a different color.

Also, be sure to check out the home page, www.shockwave.com, for dozens of additional fun and challenging games.

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