The Free Internet Chess Server (FICS) is a volunteer-run Internet chess server. It was organised as a free alternative to the Internet Chess Club (ICC), after that site began charging for membership. The first Internet chess server, named the Internet Chess Server (ICS), started in January 1992. The software was coded, supported, and operated by volunteers until 1995, when administrators began charging players for membership and changed the name to ICC. Several former ICS programmers saw the commercialisation of ICS as an exploitation of their work. This group, led by Chris Petroff and Henrik Gram, developed FICS as an alternative to the paid model, giving users free, unrestricted access. The server debuted on 3 March 1995 (1995-03-03). In 1998, the Free Internet Chess Organization (FICS) was organized as a nonprofit organization. In 2007, the legal entity was involuntarily dissolved. The server is still maintained and administered by volunteers. In 2016, 50, 000 active players played a total of 23 million games. As of August 2014, FICS had over 650, 000 registered accounts. Usage = Connecting =Playing chess on FICS requires connecting to the server either through a web-based applet on the FICS website or else by using a client program, which could be as simple as a telnet client, but is usually an interface designed specifically for playing Internet chess. Users can log in either as an anonymous guest or else by registering for a free account.