Chess - Play & Learn


FREE - In Google Play

FREE - in Win Phone Store


Is "Online" Chess the Same as Correspondance?

  • #1

    Ok.  Blogs are just diaries published through a server.  I get it.

    Is Online Chess Correspondance Chess on a server?


    Is online chess, as offered here on Chess.com, supposed to be the same as Correspondance Chess, subject to the exact same interpretation of rules, ethics, conduct of play, and attitudes among its pusuants?

    I state: No.  They are different.

    Subtle, but distinct and significant differences that call for a tweaking of the set of rules, ethics, etc.  The subtleness makes it is easy to think they are the same, but the distinctions signal that they are not! 

    One major disctinction is Time Controls.  Not just the amount of time, but how it is doled out and the accountabilties it imposes upon the participants.

    Another MAJOR distinction is that engines are allowed in server based Correspondance Chess and here on Chess.com in Online Chess they are not.

    Now, with regard to Time, it is handled in complete different fashion here Online than it is in Correspondance.  On Chess.com, time allowed per move is never accrued (accumulated) and the time frame stays stable throughout each and every independant game with the time framweworks pre-determined.

    In Correspondance Ches there is a block of time that is allowed to be managed in any way the player chooses, such that one can think and analyse 30 days for one move without over stepping their time limits if they are engaged in 10 move/50 limits (The normal setting on ICCF).  They would then have 20 days for their next 9 moves.  By moving faster, a player gains more time for latter in the game.  This is not possible here Online, and is the CRUX.

    I repeat: This is THE significant difference in the actual rules that leads to major differences in in the development of time managment and time strategy in both games and is the critcal reason why a different approach need be taken from the onset of creating a code of conduct and ethics for online chess.


    So, I argue that this application of the Correspondance Codes of Conduct is fallacious and the direct cause and root of many problems, disagreements, and conflicts that all lead to wasted bandwidth ($$$!) and more work for moderators and staff.  Much of it will be solved by simply acknowledging the differences and creating an independent set of standards to be followed by all Online players.

  • #2

    Yes.  It is the same.  What we have here in chess.com's e-chess platform is "server-based correspondence chess."  You cannot explicitly define correspondence chess with reference to timing controls - except, obviously, to point out that they tend to be a lot longer than those for OTB chess. :-)

    Some correspondence chess servers use a "simple delay" (non-accumulative) as does chess.com; others (which I won't name here) use a sort of Fischer-style 'clock,' allowing the players to accumulate their un-used per-move time.

  • #3

    While I agree with most of your main comments Richie there is one point that I think is incorrect. CCLA events which are correspondence, do play on a server and DO NOT allow computer assistantce.

    Besides that I agree that Chess.com's turn based games are not the same as correspondence chess.

  • #4

    Incidentally, terms like "online" and "turn-based" don't add much, imho.  Live chess and e-chess are both technically "online," and apart maybe from the odd variant, pretty much all chess is "turn-based."  :)

  • #5

    For similar semantic reasons I'd thrown out "off-line tolerant" chess as an alternative label in a previous thread....

  • #6

    Incidentally, semantics aside I think that richie_and_oprah makes a salient point about using the same code of conduct across different time controls.  It doesn't matter what you call it, time is a critical aspect of the game, and the only one that is variable.  Because of this different time controls change the very nature of the game, and as a result the expectations each of us has with respect to what is fair, just and generally sporting.

    The real problem arises from where each of us chooses to set the threshold for a different expectation.  For example, I may feel that 1 day per move and 14 day per move games should be grouped under the same "code of conduct" while others may disagree.  No amount of semantics is going to fix that.

  • #7

    Let's make it happen!

  • #8

    Perhaps the front page takes in to consideration games played?

  • #9

    I think the home page shows the top players who are currently online, not the top players in the category of "online chess."

  • #10

    The real problem with the time control probably comes from it being easier to program a specific number of days per turn instead of days/several turns.

  • #11

    Let's make it happen!

  • #12

    It's on my list to research this week. (My prejudice is that it's a bug.) :)

    Thanks for shining a light on it, in any case.

  • #13

    Ok! I learned something today. :)

    It's NOT a bug. The list of rankings on the main page shows *active* titled players: People who are now playing games of the relevant type or who have recently completed one.

    There are a number of people who scaled the heights of the rating mountain (several of them at an earlier point in the site's history when getting up there was far easier than now), and who have since effectively protected their rating by more or less retiring from a given game-type.

    The list on our main page is not about them. :D

  • #14

    The other list isn't 100% about them either -- there are high rated players that have not been active in some time and who have rolled off of that list as a result as well.

  • #15

    @TheGrobe -- Yes, that's true -- but those guys have been *really* inactive to get off of that list Wink.

    Just so everyone understands, this isn't our way of punishing the inactive players who are "protecting their ratings" (though if I had my way I would Tongue Out -- just kidding) -- BUT rather, it's our way of rewarding the new, on-coming onslaught of titled players who are joining our site and playing everyday! We want them to feel like celebrities so they keep playing Wink.

    AND if any of those guys who aren't on the home page have their feelings hurt, they should just play a few games to get on the list!

    Thanks all


  • #16

    Let's make it happen!

  • #17


  • #18

    Yes, it's the same.  Engine use is up to individual governing bodies.  Not all correspondence pools allow engine use.  As is time control.  The defining characteristics of correspondence play are time controls longer than 1 day/move and both players do not need to be present (connected) for the duration of the game.


Online Now