Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Death Knell For Correspondence Chess?

ChessCafe's CC Chronlicles

"To be truly competitive in today's CC (top twenty percent and higher), I recommend that you use the latest versions. Though the great leaps in performance between generations are over, so you may not need to have the latest and greatest. It is often more important to learn how your present software works and how to get the most out of it." - CC GM Bo Bredenhof, June 23, 2010

Seriously? I didn't know people could use computer chess engines in CC and I cannot believe that ICCF turns a blind eye to this open admission of computer "cheating" by a reknown CC GM. I've thought they were strictly forbidden. But then I'm not in the elite 20%. Such a disclosure is pretty damning about the current status of correspondence chess.

Then of course, we get into that huge debate on opening theory. So when does book theory stop and unaided analysis begins? Someone with Rybka 4's opening book can run well into over 30 moves without the player having to make one of his own.

I think computers have pretty much killed correspondence chess.

As Hudson says it in the movies Aliens, "Game over, man, game over."


  1. I think the rules vary, but in general engines are allowed in CC. Personally, I agree with you. The computer / opening theory has killed CC in that it really isn't chess any longer... it's an altogether different ball game. Also, I see CC players at our chess club -- titled CC players -- and their chess sucks because all they know about is the "latest Fritz analysis" or the "latest theory move". Sometimes, they look like chess zombies to me. Whatever pops your cork, I guess.

  2. You know the CC world has gone utterly mad when players don't so much as blink when it comes to use of computer chess engines in their analysis.

    sometimes, i really do not understand the fuss. I can't believe that CC players would nit-pick a 0.03 variance (it's not the optimal move!). i think this is ridiculous. a variation of anything less than 0.2 is only the computer programmer's estimation of the relative advantage. most people forget that computer chess engines are terrible at closed positions and where positional play is more impt.

    i think that if you're using a chess engine to even so much as blunder check (which apparently is used by top CC GMs these days - so I've heard), then you've already defeated the purpose of playing chess.

    there's something to be said about original thought and computer aided CC isn't it.

  3. i found good video lecture (free) on susan polgar website.

    It talk about undefended pieces. I applied it to various puzzles and i found it quite useful.

  4. ICCF tolerates engine use, thus ICCF is no longer governing body of correspondence chess.