Wednesday, December 07, 2022 10:23

Posts Tagged ‘Correspondence Chess’

So one of these days, I’ll get back to chess…. ;)

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

I’m coming closer to being at the end of Ye Olde Blog Configurations.  I like almost everything about this theme better, except that I miss my old black-text-on-white-container for the posts themselves.  I’m trying to keep away from going too deep on the php edits again, seeing how my track record has been.

But it hasn’t all been old blog configuring.  One thing that I learned as part of the restoration process is that Y! Webhosting allows multiple WP blogs to be started in the same site.  Also, I’d been working on a website for our chess club to complement the Facebook site that another member is developing.  But static management was getting to be a pain in the tail – just trying to keep it all square.  So…. behold!  I really think it is possible to create a type of website based off of using WordPress as a sort of CMS system.  (There are commercial packages which blur the line even further, making it darn near impossible to tell that one is seeing a blog system instead of a website.)

The club blogsite/site is still very definitely in beta (I need some feedback from other club members, as well, as it is just something I’ve been doing with sort-of-semi-sanction.)

But I like it.  It’s light theme (the default WP theme just very lightly tweaked) is quite enjoyable.

One last piece of web news (and thanks for wading through it…  this is supposed to be about chess, not tehInternetsTechnoGeekery):  The spam flood continues, and I’m quite sick of people hogging out my bandwidth to post spam comments – even if they are easy to manage.  So I’ve taken the step of closing comments on most of the posts in the Blog.  I may develop exceptions to certain posts (like the Tools of the Trade series.)  But for now, if it’s 30 days old and uncommented, it’s now locked.

I do wish the spammers would develop better tools to see that a blog using Akimset is dang near impossible to spam, so don’t bother…


But there is chess news….  Back in September I posted about how I jumped right back into another correspondence series.  Of the four games in my class tournament, one of them ended when my opponent failed to make the time control before move 8, and I just resigned another one.  (That one had already defeated the other two players for a perfect 4.0 score.)  So, I hope that before the weekend is over I’ll have a post about that lost game.  I may also make a video again.

One of the hard parts about correspondence is that, aside from dull detail about how far along each game is, I try to be sensistive about not receiving feedback about the active game.  So blogging becomes, “Hey I’ve started,” and then an update four months later.  :O

But of the other two games, I think I’m definitely near the end of one of those.

So it’s been a mix of enjoying my chess through actual playing and journalism infrastructure, I guess.  Until the next update (with game analysis, hopefully!)  I hope that you

Enjoy your Chess!

Time Flies Like An Arrow, Fruit Flies Like a Banana

Monday, September 6th, 2010

So, after my last post where I debated the merits of taking a little break from correspondence chess, I got to thinking.

I thought, “hey, last time around it took a week or so to pair me up for a two-game match. Class tournaments on IECC might take a little longer to find five players in my class range… why don’t I put my name in now and then I’ll still have a short break…” (At IECC, a Class tourney is five players in one’s rating range playing a single Round Robin – four games at once.) In the last update there was only one player signed up in my class level. So I went ahead and put my name in. I’ll have a week, or a month, before I’m playing again, right?

The next day, I got my registration and pairing notices. So much for a break! Although the games officially start today according to the pairing notice, I’ve already sent out my two moves and white and geared everything up for playing all four games.

(Though on the scale of problems, this is a fairly nice one to have at this point.)

Have a happy and safe labor day, and enjoy your chess!

And just that quick, it’s done!

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Within the course of the week, in the other three correspondence games I was playing my opponents resigned their games. In all three cases I had built up significant advantages, in two of them I knew exactly what I had to do next to win them.

In the third I really wasn’t sure that I had a positive win. It was Knight and Rook against two Bishops, though I also had a heavy pawn advantage and my opponent also had two sets of doubled pawns. My opponent’s two Bishops were heavily pinned down, but it seemed to me to convert it I had to let those Bishops roam free – a prospect I didn’t relish. So, upon my opponent making a move error (posted my move incorrectly) and having to retract back, I offered a draw. My opponent, though, resigned the game. It turned out in post-game analysis that my fears were a little overblown. While his Bishops would have been let loose, it seems likely he would have had to sacrifice at least one of them to stop my pawns advance, and it seems likely that it would have worked down to a Bishop against Rook and Pawns ending.

So now my record stands at 4-0-0 at the group where I’m playing. I’ve been trying to decide if I should take a breather for a week or month…. But the itch is getting stronger. :) While it can be a little inconvenient to have to keep up with the games, I feel the attraction of correspondence play. And I do enjoy the email format; maybe during my next games I’ll try a server also, just to compare.

I’m also strongly considering doing a video on one or two of the games. It’s been awhile…

My “First” Correspondence Game Complete

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

I’ve mentioned in the last couple of posts that I’ve gotten back into correspondence play again. I began four games on May 19th. Almost three months later, the first of them is finished. It turned out to be a miniature of 18 moves, and my opponent resigned when I forced mate in 3. It was a long time for a short game, even by correspondence standards, but I gave my opponent some extensions on time.

The vast majority of correspondence games today are played by a webserver – the server keeps a record of the moves and time, etc. I believe Chessbase has some function for interacting with correspondence servers (at least for the ICCF server I think.) But I’m doing what might be considered ‘old school’ today, and playing by email. I signed up with Internet Email Chess Club, a free-to-play group.

Ordinarily I support the United States Chess Federation as I can, and I expect that I will eventually engage in correspondence play there. They offer e-mail and postal mail rated play. However, I believe that all the USCF game options cost entry fees to begin.

I’d like to try an actual postal mail game too, just to say I’ve done it. But I think it would be easy to rack up $10.00 or more of postage in such a game. (Granted, that would be spread over three to six months of play, but still…)

Eventually I may post my game, but I need to do a little reconfiguring of ChessBase to achieve that. (My HTML generator is currently set to generate games for my screen saver…) But a first victory is a good start, nonetheless!

Thinking About Correspondence

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Not of the casual variety, but Correspondence Chess.

For those unfamiliar, Correspondence Chess is a form of playing chess by postal mail or email. Typically the time control for games is ten moves for every thirty days. (It comes out to forty moves per quarter year and sixty in a half year – games can go on for quite some time. ;) ) In days before computer chess databases becoming popular and economical, it was common to use devices called “Post-A-Logs” to record games. Pre post-it notes, it has laminated board sheets with adhesive paper ‘pieces’ to indicate board position. In fact, I still have one – though I’d expect to use ChessBase to store any new games.

With the advent of online “live” chess servers many believe that correspondence chess is less popular today than in days past. The possibility of cheating is also out there – there are organizations like the USCF where use of computer analysis engines is forbidden but it is difficult at best to enforce the rule on anything but an honor system. Not to mention that while there are still postal mail correspondence players out there, with postcard rates now at 44 Cents per postcard, one can spend $20.00 every three months or less in postage per game.

But there are still reasons to play. Correspondence is often the most technically precise form of the game. This is because of both the long reflection time allowed, and because other resources like books, magazines, and game collection databases are allowed. It is a form of chess that can wait on one’s having time to consider and make a move – there is often ways to get ahead on timing which allow for thorough analysis of key positions / a little time away as it is needed.

There are several organizations which have correspondence play. Among them are the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) and USCF. and others also offer play, and I read earlier this evening in Chess Life that now there are Facebook applications as well which offer correspondence play. I find it interesting that even as the popularity of correspondence may be declining a little that there are more opportunities out there than ever to play it.

I haven’t made a final decision yet if it’s something I’ll actually do. For myself personally, I do remember and recognize that it is a time commitment – nobody likes to be in the middle of the game only to have a player stop making moves without resigning. And I seem to have enough trouble of late just having an OTB life. But it is a way to enjoy one’s chess on a slower schedule. However you choose to play, I hope that you can still

Enjoy your Chess!