Monday, July 30, 2007

If You Play USCF and/or ICCF Correspondence Chess...

It is time for action!

Read the blog entries HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Then please email your delegates, the old Executive Board members, the new Executive Board members, the Correspondence Committee Chair Harold G. Stenzel, Correspondence Director FM Alex Dunne, and anyone else you can think of that can bring pressure to bear on USCF governance to take care of the problems Franklin Campbell has written about.

Threads about the issue may be found at the ICCF Forums HERE and on the USCF Forums HERE.

Email addresses for most USCF governance may be found in the 2007 USCF Delegates' Call.

The 2007 US Open Correspondence Committee workshop will be at 2pm on Friday, August 3rd. If you will be at the Open, please attend, and please give the rest of us an update if you can on what transpires.

It is my opinion that the USCF should immediately:
- Respond to the crisis facing American representation in ICCF in co-ordination with the CCLA, should that organization be willing able to participate, and Ruth Ann Fay to make sure the USCF and America are represented at ICCF Congress this Fall by a person who will take over the responsibilities borne by Ruth Ann Fay and Max Zavanelli;
- Make most, if not all, correspondence events available for play via web server;
- Return correspondence chess to the magazine, or at least Chess Life Online, as a monthly feature or column.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

USCF Rating

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWith the three wins in USCF Walter E. Muir E-Quad 07WM27 my USCF rating was posted this past Monday.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I'm at 1496 in the USCF and 1956 on ICC now.

It does seem the rating hassles of the past for correspondence chess are indeed in the past...

Friday, July 27, 2007

My Events Update

I Won!

FortyShorty 1941 X X 1 1 1 1 1 1 6
QwikE 1892 0 0 X X 0 0.5 1 0.5 2
shijith 1763 0 0 0.5 1 X X 1 0 2.5
Brian-E 1723 0 0 0.5 0 1 0 X X 1.5

That is my first event win since I returned to correspondence play.

I have let the FortyShorty account go and have re-joined ICC under sdo1. People kept getting me confused with GM Nigel Short, and in fact, several years ago GM Short asked me via message if I was his brother...

I'll be joining several events under the new user name. My rating and CC history followed me to my new name.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Over at the ICCF server in the USCF Walter E. Muir Quad I am in I have a lead in the standings and feel good about my chances.

USCF/WS/07WM27TD Dunne, Alex
1USA514360 Owens, Steve 1...11





2USA514306 Evans, William .0..11





3USA514319 Kohler, Dennis ......





4USA514440 Beeman, Brett 0000..





Latest results from 7/19/2007 are displayed in red.

Beeman - Owens was a Classical Caro-Kann that ended 0-1 in 19 moves while Owens - Beeman was a 24 move Catalan/Reti resulting in a 1-0. Owens - Evans was another 1-0 25 move Catalan.

The games may not be published until the event is over.

There are no significant changes in events WS/O/109, WS/O/120 or WS/O/138.


Earlier this year I started trying out some "free" webservers that offer correspondence chess. The first one I tried was GameKnot.

After registering I put out a "seek" for three games. Within a day or so the seeks were answered and the games all started. Unfortunately, only one game finished.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

GameKnot has several convenient features. One feature allows a player to be immediately notified with a browser pop-up when a move is made by an opponent. *The above games are courtesy of GameKnot scripts if a player wishes to publish their games. The interface is nice and smooth once one is used to it.

*[EDIT] It seems the JavaScript from GameKnot is not compatible with BlogSpot or simply does not work... Here is the one game that did finish courtesy of Chess Publisher.

There are problems. My rating was never adjusted. I was assigned a 1200 rating, beat a higher rated player, and still reside at 1200. Only one of three games finished. One game timed out after two moves, another after eleven moves. As a comparison, on ICCF's "serious" chess server, only one game eighteen I have played has been abandoned by the opponent. In my games on ICC zero games have been abandoned of the six I have played recently. When I played ICC correspondence back in 2004, none of the games I started were abandoned by opponents.

I was not fond of the time control options. I prefer the ICCF and ICC method of moves in a period of days, not days per move. The accumulated time does not roll over under days per move as does the former time control.

My overall experience at GameKnot was pleasant. A determined player could probably find more opponents to stay the course of a game than I did.

On a scale of one to ten, GameKnot would get a SIX from me, above average, but not up there with the "serious" correspondence servers.