Conditional Moves


Conditional Moves

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Robert Mueller    (2007-12-16)
Conditional Moves

I am sure this must have been discussed in the past, but if I could vote for one improvement on the FICGS server software, it would be conditional moves. After all, it is soon Christmas and the time for big wishes ;)

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-12-16 16:22:18)
Conditional Moves

Indeed, it has :) .. Conditional moves still brings many questions but I'm still opposed to the idea.

Anyway a new wish list is a good idea ! .. The main issue I'm working on these days is money prizes for WCH & freestyle tournaments, but ideas for improvements are always welcome.

Robert Mueller    (2007-12-17 05:54:09)
Why are you opposed to the idea?

Now I am puzzled. I thought there were no conditional moves on this server because it is a technical issue. Why would you be opposed to the idea? It is pretty much standard in correspondence chess, even on servers.

Garvin Gray    (2007-12-17 06:12:46)

it is not standard at iccf for webserver play.

Glen D. Shields    (2007-12-17 14:51:16)
Conditional Moves ICCF Server

Conditional moves are technically possible on the ICCF server. The tournament organizer has the option to turn the conditional move feature on or off.

ICCF decided to turn it off for all ICCF tournaments. I don't recall the exact reason for doing this, but it has something to do with concerns about time abuse. One can peruse the ICCF Congress minutes to find why this was so decided.

Gino Figlio    (2007-12-17 19:53:21)

Hi Glen,

There is one type of ICCF tournament where conditionals are officially allowed, the money prize tournaments (MPT). Their time control is 10/30 and it was found reasonable to activate conditionals in order to allow players save some time.

Best regards,


Glen D. Shields    (2007-12-18 06:24:08)
Thanks Gino

Thanks Gino for the clarification. The ICCF prize tournaments are a new offering and I've not updated myself on the tournament details. I need to do that!

May you and yours have a wonderful holiday season :-)

Hannes Rada    (2007-12-18 21:57:02)
conditional moves and ICCF bureaucracy

> ICCF decided to turn it off for all > ICCF tournaments. I don't recall the > exact reason for doing this, but it > has something to do with concerns > about time abuse. How can conditional moves be considered as "time abuse" ?? What is the rationale behind this ? had a perfect implementation of (secret) conditional moves. But ICCF is a slow, conservative and bureaucratic organization. Why not making a poll to find out if the players want this feature ....

Glen D. Shields    (2007-12-19 00:07:29)
Send a Note to ICCF

Hannes - if you want a complete answer to ICCF's rationale, or to argue about ICCF's bureaucratic practices, I suggest you post on the ICCF forum or write one of the ICCF officials. I posted only what I recall. I don't represent ICCF, nor am I here to defend ICCF's decisions.

I agree that CFC's secret conditional moves worked well. Whether conditional moves add value is not an unanimous opinion. Some like it for convenience. Others hate it and believe it adds to an already too fast game. Personally I could care less either way.

Garvin Gray    (2007-12-19 09:36:21)
no conditional moves

I do think no conditional moves is the best way to go. It is simple to understand and there is no possibility of confusion.

I can see that having conditional moves would increase a td's workload. On there that would be Thiabault.

Just easier to have no conditional moves and therefore no confusion.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-12-20 00:21:24)
conditional moves, ICCF

About conditional moves, it would be a lot of work to implement it, but anyway yes I'm opposed to it, following several discussions around it. I think it's not completely fair and adds a (small) chancy factor to the game, so in this way I understand "time abuse".

But I can't see yet how it adds some work to a tournament director (Garvin ?!)...

Garvin Gray    (2007-12-20 20:28:01)
needs new glasses :)

But I can't see yet how it adds some work to a tournament director (Garvin ?!)...

I have not played on a server with conditional moves, but I would imagine that there are times when the two players disagree over what conditional moves were proposed and so the td has to sort it out and maybe 'offend' someone with a ruling against.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-12-20 21:42:02)
Conditional moves

I don't think so, it worked perfectly ie. at Chessfriend server. The program stores the conditional moves, there can't be any error but a human one. There was no case yet of a disowned move at FICGS, so I suppose it would be (have been) the same with conditional moves.

Hannes Rada    (2007-12-20 23:27:22)
Unfair ?

Thibault, Why do you think conditionals are unfair ? There are some openings which are perferct for conditional moves. For example Grunfeld. On chessfriend I offered my opponent the first 10 or 12 moves as conditionals. And the game really started on the first day with an interesting middle game position (avoiding to enter the boring and well known opening moves step by step).

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-12-21 00:17:08)

I agree, of course conditional moves may be useful to save time, often for both sides. That's not the point.

In many forced sequences, only one side may take advantage of conditional moves to save time, that's not fair and that's the point according to me.

Gino Figlio    (2007-12-21 19:27:23)

Hi Thibault,

I would like to comment on this issue.

While it is true that only one side benefits from a one-move conditional, the other side needs only to add his own conditional string to benefit himself from saving time.

Best regards,


Thibault de Vassal    (2007-12-21 20:42:31)

Hi Gino,

So it's up to the other player, who's almost forced to use conditional moves to save time also. But there are forced lines where only one player has "no choice", that's what I meant. Well, conditional moves could be implemented in many ways, with several lines, a complete tree and so on...

Wolfgang Utesch    (2007-12-22 07:28:28)

Thibault, I don't think that time saving is the most important reason to wish conditionals but to minimize the workload of clear moves!

Wolfgang Utesch    (2007-12-23 16:25:30)

What I meant with workload is useless and boring work which is unnecessary!

Andrew Stephenson    (2007-12-26 20:08:02)

They are a good idea I think the truth of many cc games is decided in a perimeter of a few moves and Wolfgang is right so much boring and unecessary work is involved in getting to those critical points. After 1 or 2 moves with conditionals you could have gone straight to the draw in some of your games Thibault!! Just joking! Please articulate your opposition to the concept a little more.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-12-27 02:46:21)

Of course that's the main & clearest argument and I agree with that. I'll try to search TCCMB archives (I think this issue has been discussed for a while there) to argue better my 'feelings' by experience on other servers. Anyway there are so many improvements to come on the server before that I couldn't implement it before a while :/ .. To be continued.

Garvin Gray    (2008-01-07 18:21:04)
conditional move tournament

Can we have a conditional move non rated tournament to test out the differences as I have never played on a server with conditionals?

Might give some of us more idea of whether to be in favour of it or not.