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I’d recently been thinking about something so I’m going to go ahead and post this and see what other people thoughts are.
I was wondering: when playing online chess which is a correspondence chess type where does one draw the line on what’s acceptable and what is not? In live chess or playing over the board you have to make a reply there and then to your opponent’s moves. In correspondence chess you can play through moves on the analyze/conditional moves board to ‘test drive’ a continuation before you commit to your moves – is this not a way of cheating? For instance an opponent could after each move look up the best opening lines to ensure they choose the best moves. When playing over the board obviously you cannot ‘test’ a combination of moves over the board or consult a book just to double check where you are, you’re on your own with no backup available.
So now I’m wondering if I am approaching my games wrongly. I personally do not look up the best lines in openings etc myself, a quick glance at my game history gives an indication of how easily I botch my games up in the openings. I personally prefer to play a game and win or lose it on my own errors or merits. But how do I know other don’t use resources such as the best opening book lines in a correspondence match? Or is this allowed in correspondence chess is this how I should be playing? Maybe I’m playing all of my online games wrong as I’m playing them as if I was playing over the board albeit with a much longer time limit, trying to think my moves out without relying on any such assistance.
Research, use of reference materials and extensive analysis are and always have been an integral part of correspondence chess. If you don't use all the tools available then you handicap yourself.
Correspondence chess is not over-the-board chess, adapt or become very frustrated.
Use of books, databases, and an analysis board are allowed in online / correspondence chess. Engines, endgame tablebases, and the help of others are not.
As far as I'm aware, using opening databases is the norm in correspondence chess in general. This means that, like it or not, it's part of it all.
We are quite similar in that we prefer the OTB situation in games - no outside help, just two guys duking it out with the strength of their own two minds. I have drawn the conclusion, for myself, that correspondence chess is therefore not for me.
You have three choices: Do as you did until now, since it is the way you like to play and have fun, start using the resources you are allowed (such as the analysis board and opening databases) since that is your way to get to a rating that is reflective of your correspondence chess strength, or quit using the chess.com online chess feature in favor of live chess, which is closer to your idea of playing chess, but comes with its own set of annoyances (players who disappear instead of resigning and so on).
I, myself, have decided to treat chess.com solely as a practicing tool for OTB tournament play. If I did play online chess here, I would do it the same way you did, since becoming good at correspondence chess is not my goal.
So, it really depends on what your goal is. Do you like correspondence chess? Is it the form of chess you want to be as good at as possible, you want to achieve a high rating in? Sounds to me like that's not the case. It shouldn't hurt to go on like you've been doing now then.
Part of the game...However personal plans and tricky moves won't be suggested by an engine I think. I've prepared planned moves that led to a mate and fritz would question my moves. I usually use analysis after the game. However I do look up the opening to see what are the possibilities etc...
Thanks for the replies and insight Prawn, drawmaster, Peter, & Silfir. So I have got the wrong approach to correspondence games afterall...
My dilema is that knowing me if I become over dependant on opening books and playing out practice moves I'll probably never develop the ability to calculate over the board on my own
I think I'm more likely to agree with you Silfir what I'd really like is to calculate and think independantly of a book of moves telling me what to do. At least I now know the difference in approach between OTB and Correspondence
This is no different than when you play a weaker player/friend in a non-competitive setting who says "is it okay if I take back this move" or "is it okay if I don't use a clock".
Most of us are often cool with that because we are there to "train" ourselves to play the way we would play OTB/Competitively even if our opponents need handicaps.
The only way I can see it bothering somebody is if they feel their online rating is really that valuable.
(well, or just give it up like I did)
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