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A Matter of Opinion

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The discussion about OTB Chess and CC is alive and there and will continue forever due to the possibility of using engines in CC . During  my own CC games I have the opportunity to exchange ideas with some of my opponents. In general there are several  , say, “schools of thought” :

1.- Those who play CC or CC and OTB and don’t care about the matter.

2.-Those who play CC and OTB and have strong opinions about the matter.

3.- Those who only play CC and are somewhat “angry” at how it is played these days (with the use of engines and databases for instance…)

4.- And so on…

First of all,  I base my ideas upon what I consider a fundamental fact: 

Today’s CC and OTB  are totally different ways of playing Chess.

Let’s see some of the differences:

1.- In OTB Chess the players cannot use written notes, books, databases, etc during games. In CC they can. (Some sites explicitly insist in forbidden the use of computers/databases, but…

2.- In OTB Chess the clock has a significant if not decisive role. It is not so in CC. Though in CC you can lose on time it is not the urgency the matter may reach  in OTB Chess.

3.- In CC you can lose games by sending the wrong move through a server ( in its classical form with written postcards you could write down the wrong move too). In OTB Chess you cannot. 

4.- In OTB Chess, normal tournament games last a few hours. In CC the games last days,weeks and months. Then in CC you have much more time to study the positions between moves. 

5.- With the use of excellent Chess servers the possibility of arguments between CC opponents due to bad behaviour, not accomplishing with the  rules, etc are practically nonexistent. In OTB Chess there are much more problems and the task of the controllers sometimes is an uphill task (to say the least).

Now, some players complain because the way CC is played now has turned our beloved game in a sort of  absolutely accurate process requiring of lots of time to compare possible game continuations, mostly in balanced positions with several possible moves . Why?.- Because in CC computers can be used “defensively” (simply checking your move in search of immediate mistakes, or “aggressively”, using the computer as an aid to find,check and compare all sort of lines…And yes, it is very difficult to win games, the number of drawn games may be high, etc. But it is certain that games continue being won and lost, norms and titles continue being achieved, so,  normal life.

In this matter I try to be as pragmatic as possible: progress is progress and what I try to do is to get adapted to the new advances as they appear and always within my possibilities.. You may say engines have taken the fun out of CC. I love Chess so much that I don’t mind. Moreover, there are no CC professional players, so I prefer thinking that when my fellow comrades begin to fume and rail against everything that moves is because they are very competitive ,like winning and  cannot stand losing . (Well, to say the least again …)


This is a mate in 3 by Wurzburg for you to solve. (If there is any problem, click to enlarge, you know)



Written by QChess

February 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Posted in CHESS, Personal opinion

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on Chess Musings and commented:
    Interesting perspective on correspondence chess.


    March 5, 2014 at 5:39 am

    • Dear Chessmusings,

      Thank you very much for your kindness and interest.


      March 5, 2014 at 12:52 pm

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