Chess News Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation

Rydym yn Ffrindiau - Amici Sumus
Invitational Events - Expression of Interest

We have received a number of invitations from the EFCC (Dec 2022 start) and are finalizing our own next series (Dec 2022-Jan 2023 start).

These events cover a full range of ratings, from below 2000 and Category 10 (and possibly beyond).

If you are interested and wish to express interest, please get in touch ASAP (note this is only available for Welsh flagged players). More details will be available for players who express interest.

#BdfInvitationals #Correspondencechess

A Rules Proposal by Paul Keevil

A particular interest of mine, over the years, has been rules relating to chess. 

When I lived in Cardiff, I was more heavily involved in FIDE matters and used to assist Stewart Reuben, and others within FIDE, in relation to General Rules and Rating rules. At times I also assisted the FIDE Technical Committee.

Having played many years within the ICCF, and now playing at a level where I am happy at, I have been fortunate enough to consider how the ICCF rules effect the “Playing Experience” for its members 

Each year we see new proposals placed before the ICCF and this is indicative that, to benefit our members playing experience, some rules need to change. 

As an individual within an ICCF federation I cannot change rules myself. Such rules would need to be adopted by the WCCF (or others) and presented to the ICCF in the normal format for approval 

However, I can share my interest in ICCF rules (by way of this article for the WCCF and the ICCF Facebook page) and invite comments from those who either agree or disagree.

The following is a proposal I have put together which, I believe, would benefit the playing experience for all members of the ICCF.

Abstract

Rule 5.1.4 of the International Rules on Correspondence Chess (1.1.20) states “The game is won if it is decided as a win through an adjudication process”

This proposal would allow, after a set number of moves, for either player to make one request for the game to be adjudicated if it meets specific criteria

Proposal

Players would be allowed to request an adjudication of the game (once only) subject to the following conditions:

  1. 39 moves have been completed by both players (so from white 40 move onwards)
  2. According to the latest version of Stockfish an assessment of the position reaches a minimum of +10.00, in favour of either black or white, and with a minimum depth of 45 (with tablebase)

Once an adjudication is requested that claim would go, without any accompanying analysis from either player to an ICCF adjudicator (along with timestamps for the players' moves and recorded leave).  

The assigned adjudicator would determine if the game was clearly won or lost.

If the adjudicator decides yes that the claim was clearly won then, at that point, he will inform the opposing player of his “likely decision” and give the opposing player a period of 7 days to provide analysis as to why the game was not lost.

If no analysis is provided, within 7 days, the adjudicator could then declare the game as a win for the Claimant.

If analysis is provided, and the adjudicator disagrees with the analysis, the adjudicator could then declare the game as a win – subject to normal appeal rules

If analysis is provided, and the adjudicator agrees with the analysis, the adjudicator would ask the players to “play on” and apply a “Time Penalty” to the Claimant.

All players will be limited to making no more than 1 request for an adjudication in any game

Only adjudicators who volunteer will be assigned to do them.  These volunteers would also receive the training considered necessary to make them experts and consistent in making these judgments. 

Rationale

There have been many attempts, over the years, to resolve the practice of DMD

DMD is a practice contrary to the ICCF Rules and one which causes anxiety for those a victim of such a practice. 

Additionally, the practice of playing on, in a clearly lost position, is also frowned upon and not in the spirit of the ICCF.

In making this proposal I am looking at the matter from a different perspective. Those who play Over the Board (“OTB”) will often resign a game where they lose a queen – A queen being worth 9pts – because the game is considered clearly lost.

It follows that in a game of Correspondence Chess (where there are less mistakes due to the use of engines) that where an analysis of +10 (to a depth of 45 minimum) is attributed by a recognised engine – that game is also clearly won or lost.

This rule avoids any awkwardness, between players, where one player chooses to play on in a clearly lost position.

The rule requires a significant number of moves to be made within the game (similar to most OTB adjudication rules) 

The rule allows for one claim, per game, for each player so as to avoid repeated, and spurious, claims

The rule requires a significant depth of analysis (i.e., 45)

The rule requires a tablebase to have been part of the engine analysis so as to not overlook any relevant scenarios.

The aim of this rule is to avoid those situations whereby individuals choose to play on in a clearly lost position. At the same time this rule will provide some benefit to those seeking to wipe DMD from the ICCF

The rule has been written in such a way that the opposing player as the opportunity to oppose a “Win Claim” by providing the adjudicator with analysis as to why the game should not be declared won or lost. The Appeals process is also in place. 

In a previous proposal (2022-31) our Rules Commissioner, Dennis M Doren, stated “Notably, it is the only code of conduct violation that cannot, within the current rules, be terminated by any official!  Recognizing a code of conduct violation exists but then necessarily allowing it to continue makes no sense”.  This rule, if accepted, would minimise the number of DMD scenarios in clearly lost positions. Rather than seeking to penalise an offender the game, if it fell within certain parameters, could be awarded as a win to the Claimant. 

This proposal offers a player-friendly approach that would ultimately be governed by the people we have been trained and trusted with decisions about game outcomes for years - our most highly rated and decorated players - our adjudicators.

Assessment

Rule 5.1.4 is already in place to allow games to be determined by adjudication

The wording to accommodate this rule change could be inserted, very easily, at 2.13.5 of the ICCF Rules (2022)

The adjudication team could maintain records of the number of claims and their findings, along with the same for appeals.  The purpose of these data would be to determine any time in the future to what extent player experience has improved along with an assessment as to whether DMD claims have decreased.

Effort

I am assuming there would be some programming cost to implement but I would not envisage this to be excessive.

#IccfRules #PaulKeevil #Proposals

Wales vs Peru Friendly match underway

Wales Vs Peru Friendly 2022

Good Luck to All!
 

#Correspondencechess #Friendlymatch #Iccf #Wccf

10 Tips to reduce your CC Energy Use

This article is inspired by an interesting discussion took place about Energy use in WCCF Facebook Group, This came out of the Energy price hikes taking and predicted to take place in the UK.  Most of these are obvious, but some are not quite so!

 

  • Turn off your monitor and External speakers. If you are utilizing your machine for long analysis – turn it off!

 

  • Set your PC to sleep after a specific time if you run overnight – If you are lucky enough to have Economy 7 and set a PC to review positions overnight – if you know it will finish at a specific time then set your PC to shut down after that point. The same goes if you use a laptop, ensure it is charged overnight and run down in the day.

 

 

  • Utilize Automation – A significant change I made a few years ago was to write Automation processes. Chessbase does have a basic functionality, and even this will allow more analysis time to be squeezed into the same time.

 

  • Check if the Engine has a green mode – a Few do, this lowers energy consumption by a few percent.

 

  • Clean out the Fans on the PC – Simple one this – make sure the fans inside your PC and the vents are clear of dust.

 

 

  • Make sure there is space around the PC – Make sure your PC has room for the Air to circulate, this will keep the PC cooler and reduce the need for Fans to work.

 

  • Consider Natural Cooling – Little bit odd this – a few years ago I had an old PC in the attic as part of my cluster. During the winter, this room was rather cooler…..it is worth saying that the room whilst cold was dry.

 

 

  • Reutilize analysis (Learning books/ AQ) – If you are structured in your analysis, then often you can avoid using energy by already having considered the analysis of certain positions.

 

  • Consider the relative costs of local vs online analysis – there are a number of online clusters available – with the price of energy different in different parts of the world it is worth considering if online cluster support can be purchased cheaper.

 

  • Are you using the right Equipment for the Job? Is a Laptop or high-end PC right for the task in hand?

and thats a wrap! If you dont want to reduce your CC then these tips should help make a change in the right direction!

#Correspondencechess #Wccf

British Champs 2022-2024

The British Championships 2022 are underway....

Penrose Memorial Championship 2022-2024

Penrose Memorial Candidates A 2022-2024

Penrose Memorial Candidates B 2022-2024

Penrose Memorial Reserves 2022-2024

Welsh players are represented in all four events, with Title Norms available in the Championship and both Candidates.

 

#Bccc #Correspondencechess #Iccf #Wccf

Clangers

It's happened again. I've been nursing a small advantage from the opening. It's settled at around + 0.7, and I'm reconciling myself to the fact that a draw seems the likeliest outcome. I receive my opponent's move and set up the current position. The evaluation is now -8.

My first reaction is disbelief. Surely this has to be a mistake. I check the position, replay the game but am forced to accept the changed reality. How can this happen? I didn't rush my last move. I gave the engine time and entered its choice of move. The explanation can only be that the position I presented for my engine to analyse was incorrect.

I feel sick in the pit of my stomach. My disbelief turns to self-recrimination. My feelings are like players' immediate reactions to over the board reverses. I saw Ian Nepomniachtchi interviewed recently after failing to beat Hans Niemann from a promising position. He was asked why he had not captured a pawn. "Because I am a moron" declared Ian with force and feeling.

Clangers should not occur in correspondence chess. I'm now currently playing two games in which I have committed single move losing blunders.  It's not just me who does this. I've also been the beneficiary. My win in the USA Friendly was courtesy of a dropped piece, and I'm sitting on an imminent win in which a strong opponent has gifted me a rook.

Clangers may even out over time, but right now the last cut is the deepest. These seem harder to bear in team events. Apologies to colleagues in the current Horst Ritter team event. 

Phil

#Correspondencechess #Iccf #Wccf

Silli Tie-Breaks

An explanation of the Tie-breaks in the Silli system.

There is a more detailed explanation on ICCF.com but this is more related to the internal working of the pairing formula.

In simple terms in the Silli system you get a set of opponents from determined by a formula. An analogy I find useful here is to imagine a massive round clock – in this case with the numbers 1-25. Each number of the clock will have a predefined set of opponents. This set of opponents is defined by a formula. Which number on the clock you get determines the set of opponents and the formula tends to balance the quality of opposition.

The Tie breaks are different on a Silli Event

  1. Score – the sum of your results
  2. Buchholz cut 2 - – This is the sum of the scores of your opponents, disregarding the lowest two.
  3. Buchholz cut 1- This is the sum of the scores of your opponents, disregarding the lowest one.
  4. Buchholz – This is the sum of the scores of your opponents
  5. Buchholz 2nd stage – This is the sum of each of your opponent’s Buchholz score multiplied by your result
  6. Wins – The number of Wins you have

 

Lets consider this for a moment…..

The better your results (Win, Lose, Draw) the higher up the table you will be . If these are tied then the number of wins, the quality of opposition, their results, and your results against them will be taken into account.

So as an example: Cross Table (iccf.com)

 

Table

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

 

 

 

 

If we look at the 2nd place Email Klaus

 

ScoreBC2BC1BB2S
10.5585959939

 

Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated

The BC Score is the sum of opponents. For the BC1 we remove the lowest score (zero in the case, so it’s the same result) for the BC2 we removed the next lowest scoring opponent (a score) of one, reducing our the BC2 to 58.

The BC-2nd Stage is the sum of the opponents BC scores.

I hope this helps!

Good luck in the event.

#Correspondencechess #Iccf #Wccf

WCCF News on iccf.com

The ICCF webserver is now relaying news from this website on the front page of iccf.com

(To Welsh registered players only, of course... if you are not registered under the Welsh flag and would like to see your own national news on iccf.com, please get in touch with your federation's webmaster for details.)

CCM Norm for Michael Bowley

Michael Bowley has achieved a CCM Norm in Champions League 2021 C6 Board 3

#Ccmnorm #Correspondencechess #Wccf

CCM Norm for Josh Robinson

Congratulations to Josh Robinson on picking up a CCM norm in British Candidates A 2021/23

#CcmNorm #Correspondencechess #Wccf

CCM Norm for Gareth Jones

Congratulations to Gareth on picking up a Norm in Champions League 2021 C1 Board 2

Pending ratification, this will confirm the CCM Title for Gareth

 

#CcmNorm #Corredpondencechess #Iccf #Wccf

Tip of the Week #26

One of the most commonly misunderstood things, in CC, is engine ply depth.

When an engine indicates, it has searched to up to a specific depth (say D70) - this does not mean it has checked every move up to that depth, it means that the mainline has gone this deep.

This means that the result given is probably a good line, but not necessarily the best, as the result is achieved by pruning the search tree - a process where more promising lines are search and less promising ones pruned from the search.

What is interesting here is that all the Engine spin-offs that are interesting for CC, are ones which modify the search function of Stockfish as these days the non trivial wins tend to be from the side-lines!

 

 

 

#Correspondencechess #Enginechess #Tipoftheweek #Wccf

Insurance Policy

An area which tends to split Correspondence Chess players is that of vacation time: Some believe it essential, others something that a player has more than enough time to play the game!

Both of these views are accurate at times, but I came across a different interpretation of the use of this time or its built-in equivalent in Tripe block – that of an insurance policy.

This alternative view came to surface due to the discussions held around the removal of the withdrawal system. A behaviour seen more often than you might expect is that a player will have to go into hospital and immediately wants to make an accepted withdrawal.

Let's consider this for a moment – players tend to either use or not use leave time (you will notice the change in naming!) and for many, most, if not all of this time is unused at the end of an event.

Taking this into account – if we have 45 days available – why not simply take this time out instead of withdrawing. This means we now consider this time as a kind of insurance policy or insurance time.

Widening this idea out a little bit more, if we keep a health balance of time in Triple block, the same concept can be used.

In all cases – consider keeping your time balance as an insurance policy – not simply for vacations! With the removal of Withdrawals in Jan 2023 this almost becomes essential!

#Correspondencechess #Iccf #IccfRules #Wccf

Engine Failure

Until a few days ago, all was well in my ordered world of correspondence chess. I was active, flying and content with my range of navigational aids. My computer, which is not old, suddenly elected not to fire up. I took it in for repair, but also quickly decided to buy a new computer. This has Windows 11, but it does not have a DVD drive. This enabled me to resume e-mail activity and check my correspondence games.

Although I couldn't use my Komodo 14 disc , or linked access to Chess-base, I started to resume play in my cc games. I was still able to access other databases and discovered I could use the 365Chess.Com Stockfish Analysis Board.

My old computer cannot be repaired. I'm working through the loss issues, including loss of e-mail addresses, and turning my thoughts to acquiring a new chess playing programme. I'm finding that while I can get by without one, I miss the high-level advanced readings and evaluations of theoretical positions which these give. 

Chess games are often decided by very fine margins. I feel blooded, but unbowed. I need to restore and improve my navigational aids to stay competitive. 

Phil  

Footnote. 3 days on. If you find yourself in my position, don't despair. Losing your engine can be challenging, and may make you feel like packing it in. Don't do this. Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are many ways of restoring chess software to your computer. Failing this, you can also buy an external hard drive to reinstall your DVD. For now, my engine and I are back and restored.

 

#Correspondencechess #EngineRoom #Iccf #Wccf

WCCF 11th Invitational

 

Congratulations CCM Pereira on winning the event!  Cross Table (iccf.com)

#Correspondencechess #Wccf

Congress Proposal outcomes

A significant number of proposals were presented to the ICCF Congress, and below is a voting summary. 

Review (Note these represent the author's interpretation)

Passed Proposals

2022-006 Recommendation to Congress - Cape Verde to be Dismissed from ICCF 

This federation has been dismissed for non-payment of fees and general inactivity. Any players they have are still able to play under an isolated status.

2022-007 Continuation of EC 2022-003 Proposal / 2022-008 Continuation of EC 2022-004 Proposal

The suspension of Russian and Belarussian federations will continue. Players from these counties will still be able to enter events, if they can fund entries.

2022-022 New Election Scheme [Statute Change - 2/3 Vote]

This proposal is aimed at tidying up the changes to the way ICCF Directors are elected. 

2022-009 Approve Services Committee Budget for 2023

Quite a lot of discussion on this, although mainly around financial issues

2022-037 Tournament Fee Structure 

A number of changes were made to pricing structure, aimed at simplifying the pricing of events. From a Welsh perspective, it does mean we can consider an expanded programme of events.

2022-038 Tournament Fees (Developing Nations)

This is a change to the financial regulations with regard to developing nations and not relevant to Wales

2022-039 Tournament Fees (Developing Nations) -Free Entries

The purpose of this proposal is to recognize the poverty and hardship exists in all counties and to give all Federations a limited number of free entries to utilize for such situations.

2022-033B Recording Cancelled Games in Silli Events - Part B

In Silli events , if a player withdraws, all games are listed as wins. In future, they will go to adjudication, but only if due to an allocation error. See 2022-30

2022-030 Eliminate the ICCF Withdrawal System

This is one of the big changes of this year's Congress. In future, the following will apply:

(a) for any ETL where there was not a previous one by the player within the past 30 day, there will be an automated penalty of not being allowed to register for any new event on the server, and (b) for an ETL occurring during that 30-day period, there will be a new 90-day period during which the player will not be allowed to register for any new event on the server.

What this means in practice is:

  1. If a player flags on Time they will be prevented from registering from any new event for 30 days, and if during those 30 days any further games are lost on time this will start a new 90 period of being prevented from entering.
  2. If a player wishes to withdraw from an event , they will in effect be defaulting their games. 

From this two implications are obvious

A) Flagging can have serious impacts on your ability to enter new events......

B) Players who take quick draws are putting themselves at a serious disadvantage , as if a player stops playing at a later point of the event , any other live games will be recorded as wins.

There was a longer discussion on this matter than the vote would suggest, much of it related to "fairness", as this approach fixes many issues but creates a new ones for a tiny minority of players.

2022-040 Contribution from ICCF to Congress Organizers

To recognize the withdrawal of support from the Eurozone and also inflation, the support to Congress organizers was increased

 

2022-041 Provision of Financial Information from Zones

A financial proposal related to Zonal accounts.

2022-050A Implementation of a Bespoke Rating System for ICCF

ICCF will have a new rating system. A working group has paired with an academic, regarded by some as the leading expect in this field, to develop a new rating system, which takes into account the realities of modern correspondence chess. Interested players are recommended to read the proposal in detail, although I will publish an article on the new system closer to its implementation for those without a statistical background.

2022-050C Player Guide for New Ratings Procedure

The new rating system, for those without an extensive statistics background, can be quite difficult to understand. A shorter document is to be produced by the academic mentioned previously to address this matter.

2022-002 Protection of ICCF Services

The proposal aims to ensure that all ICCF Services are available to all players, regardless of Nationality. 

2022-043 Establish Super-Regional Tournaments Commission (SRTC) and Commissioner Position

Following on from 2022-002 a new kind of ICCF Tournament and position have been created. Initially, it means the events from the former European Zone can continue under this format, although with extensive rules review to be presented to Congress in 2023.  This does also open up the ability for other events to be created - For example a Commonwealth championship

2022-010 Offer to Host the 2023 ICCF Congress in Amsterdam. The Netherlands (Void if 2022-040 is Defeated)

Congress will be in Amsterdam in 2023

2022-026 To Remove Automatically the Deceased Players from the Suspension List

All suspensions will be removed from deceased players

2022-028 Maintaining Active International Arbiter Status

Now all Tournament Directors will be required to take an annual test.

2022-029 Allow MF Entries to Open Events

This proposal clears up an oversight in a rule change in 2021 - so that for Open events , entries can be accepted by both National Federation and Direct Entry routes

2022-032 Revision of the IA Title Application Process

This process aims to tidy up the current application process, although it is highly inappropriate  to require submission in commercial rather than open source format.

2022-034 Clarification -- Best Result on Board 1 in the Final of the CC Olympiad

A technical proposal requiring a positive score for 1st place to be obtained.

All rules changes will come into play from Jan 1st 2023, unless communicated otherwise (The rating system change is expected to take place later in 2023)

 

#Correspondencechess #Iccf #Proposals #Wccf

Final deadline for British Championship entries

The deadline for entries is fast approaching,  dont miss out!

 

Details  British Correspondence Chess Championships 2022-2024 (welshccf.org.uk)

#Bccc #Correspondencechess #Wccf

Friendly Match with Peru

We are arranging a friendly match with Peru

To sign up or for more details, get in touch

As a reminder, participation in friendly matches is one of the criteria for selection to Team and Invitational events.

Andrew Smith 

#FriendlyMatch #Iccf #Wccf

IM Norm for Paul Keevil

Paul Keevil has achieved an IM Norm in Champions League 2021 C7 Board 2

#Correspondencechess #Imnorm #Wccf

Entropy in the Opening in Correspondence Chess

Not so long ago I read an article on Entropy in the Opening. It covered a different concept to that I intend to examine, but I loved the expression and the concept on which it is based.

There are several scientific definitions of Entropy but fundamentally it is the tendency of a system to move from order to disorder. Taking this concept and applying it to Correspondence Chess, it can be the tendency to move from an Opening position where the true result of a game of chess is possible (Win for White or drawn – that is another discussion!) towards the draw. Another way of thinking about this is that we start the game with the maximum theoretical change of winning with White and at the point of a draw being agreed or forced the energy of that system is at a minimum,

From a practical point of view, therefore, it suggests that our aims should be those which maintain the maximum energy or opportunity in a position.

Consider this. I am examining a position without an obvious winning move. What is the best path forward? Considering the logic above we should look at our options and our opponents’ responses to maintain the maximum number of viable paths possible.

This is another way of stating a common concept: Keeping the tension in a position. In this engine driven age, the advantage of this is that the wider the search tree is at the base, the more opportunities for engines to act in a suboptimal way.

The other advantage of this approach is tending to avoid one of the strangest behaviours of modern correspondence chess – that of the two players who charge down a known opening line to a draw in 20-30 moves. 

When musing this concept, I wondered where I read it before (very few ideas are new, most are simply repackaged!) and it came to me – Hans Berliner’s much lampooned “The System.” Some ideas seen there are, to put it nicely, odd, but the entropy concept is a combination of four of Berliner’s concepts! I’d always recommend the book to read for a CC player, although as food for thought rather than concrete advice!

#Correspondencechess

Infinite Monkey theorem

I am currently putting the finishing touches to three long form essays-cum-research projects:

How not to draw every game you play!

A rebooted Norms system!

Musings on a competitive path forward for Correspondence Chess.

But for now, enjoy Entropy in the Opening…….

#Correspondencechess #Iccf #Wccf

CCM Norm for Tom Gunn

Congratulations to Tom Gunn on achieving a CCM Norm in British Candidates B 2021/23

An impressive performance and just missing out on qualification!

#7Thintpolishchess #Ccm_Norm #Iccf #Wales #Wccf

British Correspondence Chess Championships 2022-2024

The British Correspondence Chess Championship (BCCC) is the premier tournament on the British CC calendar.  Running continuously since 1921 and open to all British players, the BCCC has carried ICCF title norms since 2016.  The BCCC caters for players of all levels and consists of a Championship section, one or more Candidate sections and a number of Reserve sections.

The BCCC is organised jointly by the English Federation for Correspondence Chess (EFCC), the Scottish Correspondence Chess Association (ScoCCA) and the Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation (WCCF).

Further details of the tournament, including the full rules and a list of previous winners, are available on the WCCF website:

Entries close on 31st August 2022 with play due to commence in September 2022.  Entries can be made direct to the Tournament Organiser, Phillip Beckett or via WCCF(Russell Sherwood).  Please note that these are the only entry routes for this event.

The BCCC is a highly competitive event, and we are unable to confirm a player's final allocation at the time of entry.  Entries and the entry fee of £12 should be received by Phill Beckett or by Russell Sherwood, no later than 30th August 2022.  If you have a qualification to a specific division, please state this at the time of entry.

If you have any enquiries, please direct them to Russell Sherwood, whose email address is [email protected]


 

#Bccc #Correspondencechess #Iccf

9th International Clergy Polish Championship

The Polish Federation has announced the attached event.

#Correspondencechess #Iccf

9th International School Friendly Event

The Polish CC Federation has announced the attached event

#Correspondencechess #Iccf

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