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 Correspondence chess

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Peter Berger




Posts : 123
Join date : 2020-11-20

Correspondence chess Empty
PostSubject: Correspondence chess   Correspondence chess EmptySun Apr 23, 2023 8:16 pm

Other than this one game against Umanski (that I have written about with pride in the ancient past), I haven't played that many correspondence games in my life. And correspondence chess may well be dead.

But then - at times I feel a little bored and try out new things, like correspondence chess in the new age. The German confederation offers free test accounts, I decided to register for one. A few days later I was contacted by the PRESIDENT OF THE GERMAN CONFEDERATION, whether I was some other Peter Berger, that played his last game in 2002. I had no clue ( being a little sceptical whether I'd get a fee for 20 years or the like). It is true that I once played a very few games in this period - anyway, they seem to have decided that this is me , registered me for their server and made the offer, that I may play a few games to get to know the game in an official environment.

Time control is 10 moves in 40 days (yikes) - and at once some game was started against a lady named Bianca Tufar with no rating, while I seem to have a rating of 2052 for reasons unknown.

Engine use ist allowed in the BdF - and this is a funny experience ( at the time I first logged in, there were TEN other players around) . I will only use Rebel 16.2 for assistance. So this thread will be about my experience with this kind of tournament.



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TheSelfImprover

TheSelfImprover


Posts : 2965
Join date : 2020-11-18

Correspondence chess Empty
PostSubject: Re: Correspondence chess   Correspondence chess EmptySun Apr 23, 2023 10:17 pm

Talk about high status - you were contacted by the PRESIDENT OF THE GERMAN CONFEDERATION of correspondence chess! Either that, or not many people have signed up recently... Wink

What are you hoping to get out of this? I'm guessing its the experience of being in a flow state while spending long periods of time concentrating on how a position can develop going forward. If you put the same dedication into building something, you could come out with a great product (or service).

It will be very interesting to see what happens, but I'm not 100% sure it belongs in "humour": if a performer recited your above post at one of the local comedy clubs around here, I think that some of the crowd would start politely asking for a refund of their admission!  Smile

Good luck!
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Peter Berger




Posts : 123
Join date : 2020-11-20

Correspondence chess Empty
PostSubject: Re: Correspondence chess   Correspondence chess EmptyMon Apr 24, 2023 11:43 am

Well, I'd advise said performer to choose his audience more carefully, much as I did.

I had a great laugh once I was contacted by mighty Dr. Stephan Busemann to ask me whether I may have played before ( and our email correspondence on this topic, before they finally registered me, lasted for about four weeks - much in correspondence style I decided to answer slowly).

I don't expect this to become a chesstopic. According to data provided by the server Bianka has been waiting since 09/04/23 to find some opponent. And as she had logged on on the same day she seems to be eagerly waiting. She already started the game with 1. e4. To keep her interested I replied quickly with 1. ... e5.

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Peter Berger




Posts : 123
Join date : 2020-11-20

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PostSubject: Re: Correspondence chess   Correspondence chess EmptyThu Apr 27, 2023 8:58 pm

OK, I don’t know yet what kind of topic this will become. Tonight it will be about chess.
The game with the lady headed in a direction I kind of expected – she headed straight for the Ponziani, one of the most miserable openings besides the Grob around. I didn’t start a chess engine in this game.
I got a second game with white though ( it will be a three player tournament). The player put in his profile (in German): „I have many abilities, but no game or tournament eperience.“ Dunno why, but to me this sounded as if Stockfish may be one of his abilities.
After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 ( certainly no Berlin mainline for me) Bd6 was played.
Bd6 is a move engines somewhat like. It is also a general motif I’ve  known due to computerchess for many years. Crafty would have played this with black against the four knight mainline 5.Bb5 with black in Ramat-Gan, 2004. And I knew it because of Larry Kaufman’s „The Chess Advantage in Black and White“ published in the same year, a book I bought and instantly liked very much.
The situation is slightly different here after 4. d3, but it is still a move. I replied almost instantly with 5. 0-0 (I might as well make some commital decision later) and black played 0-0 in response.
Here I decided to ask Rebel for its opinion:
6.c4 Lc5 7.Lxc6 dxc6 8.Sxe5 Dd6 9.Sf3 Lg4 10.h3 Lh5 11.Sc3 Tad8 12.e5 Lxf3 13.exd6 Lxd1 14.dxc7 Txd3 15.Txd1 Txd1+ 16.Sxd1 Tc8 17.Lf4 Lb6 18.Sc3 Lxc7 19.Le3 a6 20.Kf1 Td8 21.b3 h5 22.Te1 Kh7 23.Lg5 Kg6 24.Lxf6 Kxf6 25.Se4+ Kg6 26.Sc5 Td2 27.Sxb7 Txa2 28.Te7 Lb6 29.c5 Kf6 30.Td7 Ta1+ 31.Ke2
 Weiß steht etwas besser: +/= (0.59)  Tiefe: 44/69   03:39:39  19619MN
Stockfish doesn’t like this at all, and it indeed looks clumsy at first sight. But there is a clear point. So I went with Rebel in this game, leaving all known theory and games behind according to information availlable to me.
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Peter Berger




Posts : 123
Join date : 2020-11-20

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PostSubject: Re: Correspondence chess   Correspondence chess EmptyTue May 16, 2023 1:08 pm

Mr The SelfImprover was absolutely correct, that this topic will have very little to offer when it is about humor.

I was envisioning all kind of strange scenarios that actually seemed pretty likely to me, but they didn't take place. For one: people are playing at a reasonable pace - sth like about one move per day with the occasional one day break ( which is exactly my own speed). At move 18 I could now think for my next move for 76 days in a given game without getting in serious time trouble, but neither my two opponents nor me seem to be interested in this kind of development.

And I am having fun: I have spent an unreasonable amount of real life thinking time about these two games by now during recent weeks. In my white game the opponent is definitely completely busted. My black game is more interesting as the lady is going with all Stockfish moves after she went for the Ponziani. As the Ponziani is so miserable, she is at a very serious disadvantage - but converting my advantage might still prove to be a challenge.

I will probably have to play a second more serious tournament after this one to find out how correspondence chess is like these days. I will keep you updated if something of general interest happens.
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TheSelfImprover

TheSelfImprover


Posts : 2965
Join date : 2020-11-18

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PostSubject: Re: Correspondence chess   Correspondence chess EmptyTue May 16, 2023 10:15 pm

We're being treated to the full "correspondence experience" by our Berlin chess correspondent: weeks of nothing, and then a letter arrives on our doormats!

Very Happy bounce
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Peter Berger




Posts : 123
Join date : 2020-11-20

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PostSubject: Re: Correspondence chess   Correspondence chess EmptyTue May 23, 2023 8:53 am

In the meantime, the first game of the tournament has finished - the one my two opponents played against each other. I was a bit surprised by the level of play Wink (I couldn't look at it while it was still running).

[pgn]
[Event "Kennenlernturnier-510"]
[Site "BDF"]
[Date "2023.04.25"]
[Round "-"]
[White "Baier, Rudi"]
[Black "Tufar, Bianka"]
[Result "0-1"]
[EventDate "2023.04.04"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. O-O Bc5 5. c3 Nxe4
6. Bd5 Nxf2 7. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 8. Kxf2 Ne7 9. Be4 d5 10. Qe2 dxe4
11. Qxe4 Ng6 12. d3 f5 13. Qa4+ c6 14. Be3 b5 15. Qa3 Qxd3
16. Ne1 Qd5 17. Bc5 Be6 18. h3 Rd8 19. Qxa7 Rd7 20. Qa8+ Kf7
21. Qa3 Ra8 22. Qxa8 Qxc5+ 23. Kf3 Nf4 24. c4 Nd3
25. Nxd3 Rxd3+ {White resigns} 0-1 [/pgn]
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Peter Berger




Posts : 123
Join date : 2020-11-20

Correspondence chess Empty
PostSubject: Re: Correspondence chess   Correspondence chess EmptyMon Jun 05, 2023 12:21 pm

I will win my two games in this little try-out tournament eventually – it will just take like a month of patience (and I am in no hurry at all).
I have since done a little private research, as all the games on the server are public for the server community. I will do another tournament after this one in the open section (this is for 3€).I would have to become a regular member after two regular tournaments to play more, but two should be enough to understand things thoroughly.
In the „master class“ virtually all games are drawn. In the „main class“ there are a lot of draws – in the „open section“ you get some kind of mix.
It is obvious, that there is some level where you can’t win a thing in correspondence chess other than by sheer luck (random people quitting or doing nonsense). I am still very much undecided where this level starts though.
How does the typical correspondence player handle his/her games? How much computer time goes into these games? This clearly seems to vary. And the main question for me is: how much can you actually squeeze out of the opening phase?
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Henk




Posts : 1271
Join date : 2020-11-17

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PostSubject: Re: Correspondence chess   Correspondence chess EmptyTue Jun 06, 2023 11:33 am

Correspondence games are the most interesting games to study for opening preparation. Same when you study normal chess games instead of taking bullet games. So correspondence games are more valuable.
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Peter Berger




Posts : 123
Join date : 2020-11-20

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PostSubject: Re: Correspondence chess   Correspondence chess EmptyThu Sep 21, 2023 4:09 pm

A somewhat nice miniature:

[Event "XX"]
[Site  "YY"]
[Date "2023.08.12"]
[Round "-"]
[White "Berger, Peter"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2052"]
[BlackElo "1508"]
[EventDate "2023.08.12"]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Be3 b6 5. Qd2 Bb7
6. O-O-O Nd7 7. g4 f5 8. gxf5 gxf5 9. Nh3 Nf8 10. Rg1 Bf6
11. e5 dxe5 12. Qe2 exd4 13. Bxd4 Bxd4 14. Qh5+ Ng6 15. Rxg6 hxg6
16. Qxg6+ Kf8 17. Ng5 1-0 { Black resigns }


In general I don't have many news right now - correspondence chess is slow.

My suspicion that opponents might be comparatively bad in openings turned out to be true - so far +no+ opponent came up with an opening scheme that can be considered critical and challenging.

In this tournament I have one game where I have no clear idea how I could win it right now - the opponent is obviously using an engine at sufficient depth to provide a serious challenge. He made a tiny mistake in the opening, else his game is pretty flawless - so I have a tiny advantage. He is also 4/4 right now and better in the one other game. As I only finished one game so far, the participants probably have no  idea, that this is the only game that I still care about Wink .
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Peter Berger




Posts : 123
Join date : 2020-11-20

Correspondence chess Empty
PostSubject: Re: Correspondence chess   Correspondence chess EmptyMon Dec 18, 2023 11:35 am

I finished my tournament with 6/6, and so I am still at 100% with 8 games being played.
As mentioned earlier, there was only one game that I’d consider to be a modern correspondence chess game.
[Event "ZZ"]
[Site  "XX"]
[Date "2023.08.12"]
[Round "-"]
[White "Berger, Peter"]
[Black "YY"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2052"]
[BlackElo "1872"]
[EventDate "2023.08.12"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O
6. O-O c5 7. cxd5 exd5 8. dxc5 Bxc5 9. a3 Ne4 10. b4 Be7
11. Bb2 Nc6 12. Nbd2 Bf5 13. Nxe4 Bxe4 14. Nd2 Bxg2 15. Kxg2 Bf6
16. Bxf6 Qxf6 17. Nf3 Rad8 18. Ra2 a6 19. Rd2 d4 20. Qb3 Rd6
21. b5 axb5 22. Qxb5 Qe7 23. Qc5 Rfd8 24. Rb1 g6 25. a4 h6
26. Rb5 Kg7 27. Qa3 R8d7 28. h4 h5 29. Rdb2 Nd8 30. Qa1 Nc6
31. Qa3 Re6 32. Qxe7 Rexe7 33. Ne1 1-0 { Black resigns }

6. …c5 looks somewhat dubious but this is probably not too big a deal.

In the final position white has the tiniest edge. I was ready to play on like forever to see what can be squeezed out of this  position.
My opponent lost interest though. We both were at 4/4 for a while with the other opponent being somewhat challenging (this one used Komodo 14. It is funny, that I could always easily see what my opponents were using on the Chessbase Server). Mr YY eventually drew against the Komodo user, so it was obvious that I’d win the tournament. He offered a draw with his 32nd move (after a hefty 20 days think) – and then he resigned when his draw offer was rejected.
So I assume I‘ve qualified for the „main section“, that looks way more draw-heavy, still being on my free trial period. I’ve already looked at some games played there – people use engines of course, but how serious do they try? Still no clue.
Rebel 16.2 has been a good and reliable companion so far.
Peter
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Peter Berger




Posts : 123
Join date : 2020-11-20

Correspondence chess Empty
PostSubject: Re: Correspondence chess   Correspondence chess EmptyWed Apr 24, 2024 2:09 pm

I decided to discontinue this thread for now - it had very little to offer humor-wise anyway.
I am still doing some modern correspondence chess games under the conditions set initially, in the meantime the level of opponents has been upgraded.
I can't imagine "me" ever losing a correspondence game right now, and I don't need Stockfish or huge hardware for this, Rebel 16.2 on my notebook is plenty good enough.
Winning games is the only interesting challenge. These games do happen at rare times in my current tournament, mostly when people play really shitty opening lines. Usually people blunder there who against me never made anything other than 1st choice Stockfish moves ?!
But whining is not the purpose of this post. Very Happy It is just that my current tournament will clearly take like one more year until it reaches its interesting and decisive phase. I will get back to this topic, if anything of general interest happens - once it is decided.
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