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Frequently asked questions
Former FAQ entries

1) General

1.1) BrainKing pages are shown in a foreign language which I don't understand. How can I fix it?

This situation can occur if you, for some reason, click on some language flag at the right column of any BrainKing page, then confirm this change and forget to switch it back. Please follow these instructions:
  1. Log in with your user name and password (it should not be difficult to guess which field is for "user name" and which one for "password" because the login form structure is always the same).
  2. If you don't see the language flag column at the right edge of any BrainKing page, you are probably using other style than the default one. Please find the "Castle | Simple | No fonts" line at the top of the page and click the Castle link to switch to this style (it should not be a problem because style names are never translated and always shown in English).
  3. Find your language flag at the right column and click it.
  4. Confirm the change when the confirmation dialog appears.
  5. Your language version should be back.


2) Login issues

2.1) When I try to log in with my user name and password, I get a response "Invalid user name or password!".

Please make sure that you are really entering your correct user name and password. Passwords are case sensitive, so you have to type it exactly as it was registered with your account. If it still does not work, try to use your email address at the "Did you forget your user name or password?" form to request a password change.

2.2) I don't remember my password and the email address registered with my account is not valid anymore.

In this case, you can try to send us an email to info@brainking.com and describe as many information about your account as possible. If we decide that the mentioned account really belongs to you (which is never guaranteed and, honestly, there is a low chance at all, due to security reasons), you will be sent a new password. Otherwise, the only option is to open a new BrainKing account.

2.3) When I try to log in, all I get is a blank white screen.

It seems to be a problem with your browser's cache and it usually helps to clear it. If you are not sure how to do it, try to apply the following procedure:
  • Mozilla Firefox: Tools / Options / Network / Offline Storage / Clear now
  • Internet Explorer: Tools / Internet Options / Temporary Internet Files / Delete Files
  • Opera: Tools / Preferences / Advanced / History / Disk Cache / Empty Now
  • WebTV: Clearing cache with WebTV is very easy. Simply power off the unit completely and turn it back on. (Using the "Hang Up" option is NOT enough. The "Power" button must be used. Sometimes a "Hard" clearing of cache may be necessary. To do this, power off completely, and unplug every wire connected to the box. 15 minutes later, plug everything back in and power back on.
And when it is done, don't forget to restart the browser.

3) Games

3.1) All games

3.1.1) I have received a message that my game was deleted. How can it happen?

Paying members have a right to delete a game if no more than 2 moves were performed. This function was created to solve situations when a player accepts a game invitation by a mistake and realizes that he actually didn't want to play with the given parameters. Only normal games (which do not belong to any tournament, team match, stairs etc.) can be deleted in this way. This action does not affect any ratings.

3.1.2) I play a game with no time control and my opponent stopped moving, so it seems that the game will never finish. What can I do now?

If it is really clear that your opponent will not play the game anymore (for instance, he stopped logging in BrainKing 2 months ago), please send a message to the administrators and the game will be deleted. However, it is recommended to think twice before accepting a game invitation with no time limit and that's why a warning in bold red letters is displayed at the game invitation page, so you always play such a game at your own risk.

3.1.3) My opponent should lose the game by a timeout, but instead of it he has been suddenly give another 1 hour to make the move. What does it mean?

Most likely, your opponent is using an automatic vacation. This feature adds even more protection to your games to avoid sudden timeouts. If it is turned on (on Settings / Calendar page) and in the event a player's game would otherwise timeout, the automatic vacation setting will use a vacation hour (if available) to prevent the loss of that game. Of course, this action happens only if the player has at least one vacation hour left. A similar action is performed if a timeout would occur during a weekend day. Weekend days are set to Saturday and Sunday by default, but it is possible to change them to any other 2 week days once in 30 days. Please visit your opponent's profile page to see their weekend days.

3.1.4) My game notification option is set but I still don't receive an email when my opponent makes a move. How can I fix it?

First of all, please keep in mind that email delivery is not reliable and even if it is sent, nothing can guarantee that it would really reach the recipient. BrainKing email notifications should be taken just as an informational service and if you really need to know if it is your turn to move, it is recommended to log in BrainKing at least once a day to check the status. However, to address this issue, please perform the following actions:
  • Check that the option "Notify by e-mail if the opponent makes a move and I am not online" at your Settings / General page is actually set, just to be sure.
  • Visit your Profile page and check that the email address registered with your BrainKing account is correct and does not contain any typos.
  • Inspect your mailbox spam folder and anti-spam settings of your email client. It is possible that BrainKing generated emails are wrongly marked as a spam, so they never reach your inbox folder.
And if nothing helps, please make sure that you are not logged in BrainKing when your opponent makes a move in your game. Notifications are sent only if you are successfully logged out or you did not make any actions for more than 5 minutes. Please note that if you leave a BrainKing page open at your web browser and BrainKing Chat Box is active, the chat box refresh feature keeps you logged in.

3.2) Chess

3.2.1) After I moved my pawn two spaces forward, my opponent made a strange diagonal move with own pawn and my pawn disappeared. What happened?

This is called "en passant capture" and it is a legal move. Please visit the Chess rules page to find more information.

3.2.2) One of the draw situations occured (threefold repetition of the position, two bare kings, 50 moves without a capture, etc.) but the game was not automatically finished as a draw.

BrainKing never enforces a draw in such situations because it would not be effective to implement all draw checking algorithms, regarding how rarely such positions happen. The solution is to contact the administrators and request to finish the game manually.

3.3) Checkers

3.3.1) When I click a piece to move, it automatically performs a sequence of jumps, although it seems that I can choose from several different jumping paths to do. Why wasn't I given a choice?

It means that the automatic jump was the only possible move in the situation, regarding special rules of the particular checkers version you are playing. For example, you are obliged to make the longest possible jump (i.e. capture the maximum number of opponent's pieces) in International Checkers and since BrainKing can detect such a situation, it would not allow you to make any other move.

3.4) Backgammon

3.4.1) BrainKing does not allow me to make a move with my selected piece or the "swap dice" link is missing, but the target position (according to the dice value) is not blocked by opponent's pieces. Why cannot I make this move?

BrainKing always applied the following rule: If it is possible, both dice must be used. It means that some pieces can become "frozen" in certain positions because making a move with these pieces would create a situation where the second dice couldn't be used.

4) Rating

4.1) What is BKR and how is it calculated?

BKR means "BrainKing Rating" and is calculated by US Chess Federation formula for each kind of a game separately according to your game results. The player who finishes at least 4 rated games of one kind (everybody who defines a new game can specify whether the game will be "rated" - the result will be calculated for BKR - or not), earns "provisional BKR" displayed by italic font (e.g. 1870). After finishing 25 rated games of one kind the provisional BKR changes to "established BKR" and is displayed by normal font (e.g. 1853). If you complete more games, your BKR is more accurate because is based on more results.

4.2) I play a game with an unrated player. How does it affect my BKR?

Each player has a BKR although it is not displayed. Players start with BKR = 1300 and the BKR is not shown until he/she finishes at least 4 rated games. Furthermore, BrainKing displays estimated values of your particular BKR change below the selected game board, depending on the game result (win, draw or loss).

4.3) Although I had finished a game, my BKR did not change! Is that an error?

No, this is not an error. There are several situations which can be a reason of that:
  • Both players did not perform at least two moves. It can happen when one player loses the game by a timeout at the very beginning.
  • You won a game with an opponent whose BKR is significantly smaller than yours. If we would apply the formula exactly, your BKR would have to drop. But BrainKing uses the rule that your BKR cannot drop after you win the game, therefore it remains unchanged. The similar rule applies if you lose a game with an opponent whose BKR is significantly higher than yours.
  • The game have been defined as "unrated game". Such game is not calculated for BKR.
  • The game is a part of a match which is not finished yet. The match is treated as a single game which consists of several sub-games. The statistics (number of won, drawn and lost games) and BKR of both players is changed after the whole match is finished and the result is based on the match result itself, not on the results of its sub-games.


5) Membership

5.1) Membership prices are listed in Euro but I don't know how much it is in my currency. Where can I find current exchange rates?

Please find the conversion table (more than 30 currencies are supported) here.

5.2) I want to upgrade to the Brain Rook level but my Brain Knight (or Bishop) membership has not expired yet. What would happen to the rest of my current level?

When you purchase a higher membership level but you already have another level of a paid membership (for instance, you buy a Brain Rook but your Brain Knight level expires in 2 months), BrainKing saves your new subscription (and shows it at your Profile page) to be automatically activated when your current level expires. If you want to active the new level immediately, please send a request to the administrators and the remaining part of your current membership will be used to extend the new level by a reasonable number of days or months.

5.3) I would like to purchase a higher membership level but I cannot afford to pay your prices. Is there any other way?

BrainKing always gives you a chance to get a paid membership level without paying, but none of these options are easy to accomplish, there is always something you have to do to deserve a free membership. Please check the Brains page for the latest news about this subject. You can also try to post a request to the Pawn Registry page and if you explain your reasons nicely, it should increase the chance that someone would sponsor you.

6) Tables

6.1) Poker

6.1.1) When I click the speaker icon to enable sounds, a message "Error! Unable to play sounds." appears. How can I fix it?

It means that your web browser is not configured properly to play sound files (wav). Unfortunately there is no universal way to play sounds in JavaScript applications which would work with all browsers, so it is required to install a plug-in (e.g. QuickTime) first.

Please visit the QuickTime download page to download and install the plug-in. When it is done, restart your web browser and the sound problem should be solved.

If this solution does not help, the easiest way to remove the error message is to disable sounds, either by clicking the speaker icon again or unchecking the corresponding option at Settings / Tables page. You can help us to improve the sound functionality if you file a bug report, containing your browser name, operating system and any other information that would specify the problem source.

6.1.2) How can I get more chips?

If your number of chips left drops below 1000 (you must leave all tables and visit your Profile page to see the current status), you have an option to get some extra chips which should allow you to play poker even if you lost all chips before. The Get more chips button is located at your Profile page and, of course, there are some restrictions of its usage:
  • You can use this feature only once in 24 hours and the countdown is started after the last chips rebuy. The Profile page will inform you when you can get more chips again.
  • The number of chips depends on your membership level. Non-paying members (Brain Pawn level) can get 250 chips and paying members will be given 500 chips.
This system ensures that nobody can get too many free chips for nothing, so if you want to get to a high-stakes table, you must really win at many normal ones in order to accumulate the required buy-in amount. However, if you lose everything, you can still try your luck again in 24 hours.

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