Correspondence Chess Rules for Variant-Chess

vickalan
Hello fellow Variant Chess Players,
 
I see there are often a few active games by correspondence played on this forum (and even a World Championship competition of Waterloo Chess). Everyone I have played against seems to have great sportsmanship and I have not seen any problems with disputes or arguments of unfair play. But if there ever was a dispute, I was curious how it is resolved. I could not find any rules on this forum.
 
One external list I found was the "US Chess Correspondence Chess Rules " ('http://www.uschess.org/content/view/7521/397/). These rules are 13 years old and seems to apply to games sent by postcard. So I was wondering if I can start a proposal. This has some revisions for situations in variant chess. Please let me know if anyone has any comments about it.
 
Correspondence Variant-Chess Rules
1. You may consult chess books, periodicals, and written online resources.
2. You may not use computer programs or endgame tablebases unless you and your opponent have agreed to prior to the game.
3. You may not consult other players for advice unless you and your opponent have agreed to prior to the game.
4. Announce moves using algebraic notation unless you and your opponent agree to another system. Ensure there is a non-ambiguous designation for each piece (i.e "Ar = Archbishop, Ad = Advisor").
5. Some variants may have other rules which require supplemental information. In these cases include information to ensure the declared move is clear and non-ambiguous. Example: A variant may have the king and queen starting in reversed positions compared to FIDE chess, so when castling it may be necessary to add information such as "28.0-0-0 (long side castle)", to ensure it is not taken as a queen-side castle.
6. Once a move is posted, it is binding. Do not delete posts that contain a move. Do not edit posts to change a move.
7. Typographical and keyboarding errors (typos) are binding. Once posted they cannot be taken back.
8. Missing or mistaken announcement of check, capture, or "e.p." does not invalidate a move.
9. A declared move may be accepted as valid if it has capitization errors but is otherwise non-ambiguous. (example: 12.B3 may be interpreted as 12.b3, a pawn move).
10. A move announcement has priority over any commentary submitted with a move.
11. If your opponent announces an illegal move, notify your opponent. He/she must then retract that move and submit a different move using the same piece (touch rule applies). If the same piece cannot be moved in any legal way, a new move is declared.
12. If your opponent announces an ambiguous move, notify your opponent and ask for clarification. He/she must select one case of the ambiguous declaration. For example, if your opponent announces "Nd2" and either "Nbd2" or "Nfd2" is possible, the person submitting the move must select one or the other.
13. If your opponent submits a diagram along with the move notation, check the diagram for correctness before proceeding. If the diagram has an error, notify your opponent. A valid move notation has priority over a diagram. An error in a diagram is not by itself a reason to disqualify a game if all posted moves are legal. Play continues even if a diagram has an error for any number of moves. (Therefore if you are using an opponent's posted diagram it is important to check it for correctness before using it).
14. Time control: Three days maximum per move, unless agreed otherwise. Once notified of an illegal or ambiguous move, the time spent correcting or clarifying the move must be within the three day day limit. If your opponent has not announced his move within the three day limit, request a reply. If a legal move is not announced within one extra day (24 hours), your opponent is a "no show" and he/she has forfeited the game. You record the game as a win.
 

<Addendums as agreed in subsequent comments>

15. Vacation time: Each player may once per 40 moves, take four vacation days (added to the 3-day move limit, for a total of 7 days for a move). The player must announce it before using the extra time. Every 40 moves, vacation time is "refreshed" (another 4 day vacation time is allowed). Vacation days cannot be banked.

16. Time warnings: Warnings may be called by either player. Tournament directors may also issue time warnings. A member of the bulldog chess federation may also issue warnings for prize games (candidate and challenge games).

17. Board updates: Unless otherwise agreed, one player in each game should post a board update, or a board should be provided by someone who has agreed to moderate the game. Either player has a right to request a board once per move (2 plies). If a board has not been posted which is at most 1-ply from the current position, and a player requests to see a board, time waiting for the board does not count as playing time.


Non-players of a game:
1. Do not post comments about an active game on any website or public forum.
 
If any comments please reply. Thank you to the current and possible future Correspondence Variant-Chess players!
evert823

In Superchess, while promoting a pawn, it is only allowed to promote to an available piece. That means either a piece that has been captured earlier in the game, or a FIDE piece that you didn't use because it was replaced by a variant piece.

Per game or variant this should be stated explicitly, to what extent you are allowed to promote to any piece you like.

evert823

I do wonder how all these games affect the server and database of chess.com. Lots of threads, lots of posts exceeding the avarage number of posts per thread, and especially lots of pictures representing the positions.

vickalan
Good points.
Re #1: I can add that as a reminder of items to know before a game starts. Normally I hope the rules are clear about what pieces pawns can promote to (and how many). But I noticed in Waterloo there's extra pieces at the side of the board (2 of each piece). I never understood if that represents pieces available for promotion, or can you keep promoting if those run out. I'll ask before I play that game again.
 
Re #2: Yes, some of our games add many pics to the chess.com database. The 3D images from Battlechess are the biggest. I think this problem will be solved the same way youtube solves the problem of non-ending videos.  More videos = more advertising = more servers.
 
That would be funny if a moderator told us to stop adding chess diagrams. They did censor one of my "political" comments (which I had already "self-censored"). But I haven't seen them complain about too many chess diagrams. Maybe we need to start adding 3D animations. Battlechess - where are you???happy.png
evert823

With more games going on it became necessary to keep track of my ongoing games separately, in order not to forget any of them where it's my move.

hitthepin
So these rules only apply to serious variant chess, ie championships?
musketeerchess2017
hitthepin wrote:
So these rules only apply to serious variant chess, ie championships?

Hi, before beginning a match, championship or game the players must agree which rules to apply. This is an excellent beginning. Probably some "special" situations are not covered and these situations either are identified by the players themselves and they discuss on how to regulate it, or if a problem appears they have to let the audience "judge" or a bunch of experts (all of you !).

hitthepin
Wow. That’s a very in-depth explanation.
Martin0

I think the rules should be updated to allow vacation time (not sure of exact rules) and that waiting for a board update does not count towards the time to move. Not sure if it should be required to make a post requesting a board update within the allowed time or what the rules should be exactly.

vickalan

I agree, there are a few situations where rules aren't clearly defined.

One is vacation time. I'm assuming none is allowed unless the players agree beforehand. But we can change that if another way is better.

Another is who is allowed to call for a time warning. Obviously either player can do it. But we should probably also explicitly say that a game director or moderator can give a warning too (for situations where both players are lazy, and others are waiting for the result).

Also, at the start of each game, it is probably a good idea to say who is responsible for posting the diagrams (and can time warnings be issued if a move has been played, but no board posted)?

When I moderate a game for others, I make it clear that time waiting for a board does not count toward the 3-day limit.

These are all situations that aren't explicitly stated, but I usually assume to be part of the rules. Other comments welcome.happy.png

Martin0

I think vacation time is more or less gentlemans agreement or an unspoken rule right now. If someone says they will be gone for 5 days and the opponent says he never agreed to vacation time and want to be declared a win (or give a timeout warning after 3 days to be more exact), then claiming win can seem like a bad sportsmanship. I don't think it is bad sportmanship, but since most people probably think vacation time is allowed by default, it is probably better to have vacation time allowed by default.

 

When it comes to timeout warnings, I agree the moderator should be able to give timeout warnings and also the TD of a tournament if it is a tournament game or a member of the Committee if it is a Challenger game.

Martin0
vickalan wrote:

Something not discussed yet: does a (non-posting) opponent have a right to see the board after every move, and who to post?

 imo, I think at least 2 plies (1 white move, 1 black move) should be enough to request a board update. Less than that does not sound necessary.

vickalan

Thanks Martin0, how about we add these new rules:

Vacation time: Each player may once per 40 moves, take four vacation days (added to the 3-day move limit, for a total of 7 days for a move). The player must announce it before using the extra time. Every 40 moves, vacation time is "refreshed" (another 4 day vacation time is allowed). Vacation days cannot be banked.

Time warnings: Warnings may be called by either player. Tournament directors may also issue time warnings. A member of the bulldog chess federation may also issue warnings for prize games (candidate and challenge games). Same rules apply to game forfeits (games called due to a time violation).

Board updates: Unless otherwise agreed, one player in each game should post a board update, or a board should be provided by someone who has agreed to moderate the game. Either player has a right to request a board once per move (2 plies). If a board has not been posted which is at most 1-ply from the current position, and a player requests to see a board, time waiting for the board does not count as playing time.

 

I consider time warnings, and board updates to be in effect immediately (formalize current practice).

If there are no comments or protests, the vacation time rule will be regarded as in effect starting May 14, including games already in progress.happy.png

Martin0

I guess that would mean the moderator doing board updates for a game can not call a timeout warning? I would not mind that actually, but just an observation that is far from obvious.

Not sure what the best rules are for vacation time. I would like to hear more opinions about that before deciding. Other than that I like the new rules though happy.png

Waredude
Every 40 moves. Is that per game? Cuz what if someone needs to go offline for a week and yet only one of his games are past move 40? I think you should start with four days of vaca time. At move forty it is renewed, and every 40 moves thereafter is another four days. I like the idea of not being able to bank it though!
hitthepin
Yes. We don’t want vacation abuse.
Waredude
Anyone else?
Martin0

Refreshing every 40 moves would mean you can use vacation time both before and after 40 moves.

 

I would probably allow for more vacation time though. Like 7 days instead of 4 (so 10 days if you include the time/move).

TerryMills

ICCF rules for correspondence chess are here: https://www.iccf.com

It used to be that notation in ICCF postal games was numeric rather than algebraic, but I see that this has been changed this year so that players can agree on a notation.

Waredude
Martin0, I know. He was saying that you had to make 40 moves in a game before you could take vaca time. I was suggesting a method that would allow you to use it whenever. You can use 4 days up and make some moves until it is either 40,80, or 120(which will rarely happen!) and then they can have more vaca time. That is why you only get 4 days I think.