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Posted by ccmcacollister


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Subject: Going Both Ways; Corr. & OTB Chess

Hi All. In another thread SCHNARRE brought up KON GRIVAINIS , which led to comments
from IONADOWMAN and some recollections for me. So here we are.

WHO HAVE MASTERED BOTH FORMS. (Eg. From Iowa or Nebraska alone are these who have
Master(ed) in both OTB & CORR., just that I am aware of: C.T.Campbell aka BOGG, Mitch
Weiss, Siamack Bondari, Anton Sildmets, David Bragg, possibly Carolle Schmidt & Alfred Post.
I failed in OTB, only reaching Expert, or Candidate Master as FIDE has called it.)

BUT ALSO about ANY OTHER(s) player(s) involved in OTB PLUS POSTAL OR other CORR. PLAY,
such AS HERE AT GAMEKNOT / CHESSCOLONY dot com's~! For instance, are any of you in
the process now, of trying to attain both Master titles? Or Expert? Do you find one or the other
more rewarding? Or perhaps complementary, as I do?
(It seems to me that each can improve the other. The Danger being too much time use in
OTB trying to decipher a position I could in Postal but not in OTB! Conversely, being too
shallow or trappy in CORR games!? That problem I Don't have since ALL my games are
shallow now! ha. But mostly just as enjoyable :))

YOU DO NOT. And IF YOU DO NOT, then WHY NOT~! ?? Is it access to OTB events? OR ...?
Here is the PASTE from that LATVIAN THREAD, brought me to here. And A LINK will follow
Isn't Kon Grivainis a quite highly rated Postal Chess player ...? Or once was, if retired now?
Brings to mind the game of Fischer with Berliner. Trying to recall if it was also he who played
Penrose from England!? Of course, Fischer himself, and Keres were at one time Postal Chess
players as well. And Fischer apparently thought highly enough of Corr. play to remark what a
great instructor of Chess was WC (of postal play) Purdy, from Australia.

Believe I will start a thread on players that have gone both ways . . . and I DID. THIS is IT.

Posted by ccmcacollister


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LINK / HyperLink to Latvian thread

Since the Latvian Thread is parental to this one, Link & H-Link to it from here . . .


Posted by bhidragon


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Rating System?

For CC ratings - are you looking for ratings from sites like GK, or "sanctioned" ratings such as a USCF CC rating? There may be a bit of difference.


Posted by ccmcacollister


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That's True~!

a Good point. Really it's your choice. I was thinking of FIDE or national organizations such as
USCF for the OTB bit of it. But surely not for Postal or Corr, since some other orgs proved
equally as strong as USCF ratings in the 1st National Team Championship of Postal play in the
USA ...or comparing ratings of theirs to USCF ratings of the same player also. EG APCT &
CCLA compared well or favorably for strength.

As far as online, I was thinking places like GK where the ratings are reasonably comparable to
other Elo systems of official national orgs, and such. And not so much of sites where the
highest rated player is 3800 for instance. But still, maybe that just means their Master is at
3200 !? But really, I am happy for anyone who can do a Double anywhere. And there are
usually ways of converting ratings into approximating those of other sites. Player to player
comparison, standards of deviation, or algebraic conversion formula.
One other reason for the flexibility in my thought being that so many players would start corr
in USCF for instance, but into their career somewhat switch to another leaving their USCF corr
rating to gather dust. Also, especially with ONLINE sites; they can come and go away after a
few years, like several I can think of.
So I'd just as soon hear it all ... and if someone wants to remark on an opinion of
inflation/deflation of some site they bring up, or of how to convert it to terms of GK or FIDE or
ICCF, that's just as well to me. Mostly I think it is a good thing to be able to note the
achievement as it is. And maybe hear a bit about how they got there, if it is a GK player. Or
other thoughts. It is intended as a broad topic, insofar as possible.

Posted by blake78613


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As I understand it Fischer had a very short postal career. When He was 12 years old he entered a USCF sanctioned Golden Knights Tournament. He would have been paired against 6 opponents. He lost one game in 12 moves. Its not known what happened in the other games, but there is some evidence that he abandoned some of the others.

The problem with CC ratings is that some players use them for different things. Some players use them as training for OTB and don't move the pieces when they analyse and also use them as a method of learning openings.

Posted by ionadowman


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Some players prefer to specialize...

... in this country there were a number of specialists who were regulars for the CC championship but who were fairly indifferent OTB players. That is probably still true. Mind you, the very top New Zealand OTB players often proved to be top notch (by this country's standards) CC players as well.

On the world stage, I recall a couple of years back discussing Paul Keres's early correspondence games. It seems he used them to train up his imagination. In around 1960 Keres played a pair of CC games with New Zealand's then top player Ortvin Sarapu (himself an Estonian by birth). Both were hard-fought games.

The only correspondence game I've heard of Mikhail Tal playing was one between himself and the readers of a Soviet schoolboy paper "Pionerskaya Pravda". The thing ended in a draw, but I've sometimes wondered if maybe Tal was being generous to the readers...


Posted by ccmcacollister


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Specializing ...

in corr isn't just for those with trouble finding Chess activities in their area, either. Myself,
although I played OTB tournaments for much longer than Postal, I found the latter was just
more more congruent with my talents for research & new ideas.
Corr. permitted much better analysis due to both time factor difference & simply being able to
shuffle pieces. Thus my corr Class or Title was at least a level above my otb play. "A"/Expert,
then Expert/Master. And tho always a goal to play creatively in both modes, Hopefully
artistically, I realized corr Chess was my own best chance to ever try emulating the level of
an OTB GM ...perhaps play some publishable games. Certainly better for seeking perfection,
illusive (aka Impossible :) as it is. Those can be real attractions for many, I suspect.
I'm not the only one to find themself better at corr. I recall an OTB "A" being Master in Postal
[ back in "Computers-are-duffers days too.] named Kingston Taylor or Taylor Kingston. (Why
can I never remember that? Perhaps the same reason I tend to forget move 32, or was it 33?,
in my OTB Ruy !?...) He wrote for ICCF newsletter for a time in the past. Conversely, some
who ARE OTB Masters can find it unachievable in corr. play.
I have seen many give up corr due to incompatible temperment; calling it "too slow". Or a
lack of patience. Or just inability or unwillingness to adapt their play to requirements of good
corr play. A bit different in nature for many. EG., I had to remove much trappiness from my
own game, unless the line was sound enough to keep some 'plus' even if played against well;
to start seeking The Best move I could find, to do well in Postal.
{Tho Fischer said of OTB that it is necessary to find a GOOD MOVE each turn; implying that
it is insufficient mixing BEST or even BRILLIANT moves with BAD ones. Surely we all find, ONE
BAD MOVE can spoil a game...even tho it often takes 2 or 3 to lose; other than critically sharp
positions or diminished endgames.}
Had to sharpen my openings for corr to the max, so to allow opponents maximum opportunity
to err, which could also exceed my own ability to analyze in an OTB mode. [...mainly in terms
of Breadth, rather than Length of analysis. That was okay for the most part. There is seldom a
need to analyze a forcing line in otb longer than about 8 full-moves. Or even more than 4, for
most of a game. ]
I read a past article this week on the ICCF-USA site, that Dan Fleetwood of the USA
made ICCF GM this summer~! And so, want to mention that and say "Congratulations~!!" to
him. Dan, I don't know if you play any GK, but "Well Done!" in any case. And I don't know
what his OTB strength is now, but not GM another with their niche in corr. play. And he is
also another who started corr & played quite strongly before computers were an influence.

Posted by ionadowman


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My reason for quitting CC Chess...

... apart from the expense, was that from about the mid '70s I began to find that I could sustain the "chess appetite" only for a few months at a time, and then had to leave off for several months. Just didn't want even to look at a chessboard. Not a good thing for Correspondence games (and not that great for improving one's OTB play, neither). I'm finding on GK that at least I'm maintaining some kind of interest throughout the year, though it still varies, and I'm not all that interested in stepping up the numbers of games...

I do sometimes wonder what sort of player I might have become were it not for that loss of interest that led to my playing a game or two a week for 4 months in a year, and then stopping. And what caused that "don't want to know" feeling anyway?

Posted by bhidragon


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Agree with Craig

I started CC due to the lack of local chess. However, I've found it's a form of the game/art/science/religion that really allows me to stretch my mental envelope. Not that I seem to stretch it enough in a lot of my games!

I also play on ICCF through the USCF. You would think that with a "10 moves in 50 days" time limit one would be able to reach a "near perfection" understanding of a particular position ... of course that doesn't happen due to a multitude of reasons.

The point is this: CC gives you the opportunity for seriously deep analysis that borders on some sort of zen concentration exercise. That we don't take advantage of that opportunity is simply another human failing.

Chess news:

The shock of the new -- There was another twist at the Grand Slam Final at Bilbao as the lead changed hands again and it was Magnus Carlsen, the 17 year old Norwegian chess prodigy who moved to the head of the field thanks to the scoring system that gives three points for a win. Carlsen defeated Levon Aronian who never recovered from the shock of an astonishing innovation he was confronted with on move 15 in the Slav Defence. The other two games were drawn but Topalov v Radjabov was very odd as they reached a Benoni type position and played cat and mouse until Topalov made the standard breakthrough in the centre. Black seemed to be in chess dire straits but a few moves ...

Barden on chess -- Bilbao's €400,000 (£317,000) Grand Slam, which ends today, is one of the strongest chess tournaments ever, with six elite chess grandmasters competing in a double round tournament. It has been staged alfresco in a special sound-proof glass enclosure erected in the city's main square, and it has already witnessed a historic moment. In round four, the world chess champion, Vishy Anand, lost the game below while Magnus Carlsen won. That meant that on the unofficial but widely respected daily chess rankings the Norwegian became world No1 at age 17, a feat which eclipses both Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov at his age. However, two late defeats meant that Carlsen's ...

Battery unpowered -- Ring ring knock over your king, that’s the rule nowadays in chess. If a mobile phone sounds the owner loses immediately and it was Nigel Short’s turn to be a victim of this when his phone sounded during his game against former British Ladies Chess Champion Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant in the second round of the EU Chess Championship underway at Liverpool’s World Museum. Short had recently changed his phone and had switched it off but was undone when the device ran low on power and gave out a fatal warning. There was another telephonic tragedy a few days ago in round six of the Russian High Chess League as Vladimir Malakhov the number one seed was defaulted in ...