Correspondence Chess without computers


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Christophe Czekaj    (2007-08-29)
Correspondence Chess without computers ?

Is there anyone interested about this topic ? Could we imagine a tournament in wich players agree to play without search engines ? For example, with a sort of gentlemen agreement to not use computer's help ?

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-08-29 14:15:49)
Correspondence Chess without computers ?

Hi Christophe !

I still don't believe anymore in this human-only correspondence chess, maybe that's why we play Big Chess ;)

But we could create a new unrated category in Chess Special Tournaments : FICGS__CHESS__NO_ENGINES_TOURNAMENT__000001

I'm not sure... Anyone interested ?

Christophe Czekaj    (2007-08-29 18:23:05)
So what ?

Good idea ! Come on FICG'S guys ! Let's do it.

Charlie Neil    (2007-08-29 23:18:50)

I know this is a site for the computer search engine. There are sites elsewhere on the net that don't allow/frown on such assistance. Good idea to try it here though. Good luck everybody. It will be a matter of trusting your oppoenent.

Christophe Czekaj    (2007-08-30 13:16:49)
On which sites ?

Hello Charlie. Do you have some examples of sites which invit people not to use computers ? How they propose that ?

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-08-30 16:05:11)
Without chess engines

It has been discussed here in the past, including this thread :,, and other chess servers & organizations offer correspondence chess games without chess engines, simply by 'forbidding' it...

We'll see, I will create a new unrated category (probably next week).

Best wishes, Thibault

Christophe Czekaj    (2007-09-01 12:43:09)
Free of chess engine

Thanks Thibault for reconducing me to this past forum. Very interesting. The part about "real" elo and correspondance elo is edifying. I know correspondence players could have a huge better elo than their real life one (if they have any) : more time to think, no stress, no pressure (or less) but I believe players who play without engines have a coorespondence rating approximately equal to their over the board one. Personnaly, I play coorespondence chess to try new opening, to train generally since I cannot play over the board so often since 2 years. I often play from the office, wtih sometimes a couple of minutes on a move, or sometimes I go home with the moves to think about my response in over the board conditions (30 minutes maximum on one move). My correspondence elo is around 2000 (with a good start with a peak to 2098, but declining since ;-D) and my over the board rating is now 1990 (with a peak to 2040 last year, and a rapid elo around 2100). So I sometimes feel a bit fed up with playing against chess engines, notably, but perhaps I'm wrong I have remarked that since I got an advantage, often opponents defend very very well, like computers in fact. Ok it's part of the game, and I know t could be a good training, fight hard to win a game, display a good technique, etc. but it could be disappointing to have the impression of play with a human opponent and have to finish with an another, i.e. the computer. Perhaps could we compare over the board elo, with correspondence elo to know if there is computer help or not ? Anyway, a special category of tournament will be great, and I'm eager to play with other ficgs "OTB-correspondence" players.

Thomas Tamayo    (2007-09-01 13:12:31)
Correspondence Chess... by mail?!

ROFL... sorry! When I saw the topic I thought you meant the "old way" ... by mail!

Philip Roe    (2007-09-01 20:04:25)
engine-free chess

When I started playing here about three months ago I did not realise that engine use was allowed (or even encouraged, according to some) What did attract me were some features like being able to see ongoing games of other players, which makes the experience more like a "real" OTB event. I have played on other sites (IECG,ICC) where engines are forbidden, and ICC at least claims to have software that detects cheating. I play without an engine (but using books)simply because I enjoy it more. I dont care all that much what you do as long as you play interesting moves. It seems very clear from the games that lower-rated players certainly dont use engines and higher-rated players probably have to. At my kind of level (1900ish) it seems optional, but the suspicion that my opponent analyses with an engine steers me away from certain types of position (speculative sacs, or clear strategy but complex tactics) which is a shame because that may be where the position wants to go. The previous thread got very heated, and Im not sure why. One suggestion was to let non-computer users go away and play funny little unrated games by themselves. That is not attractive. Im not interested in playing walkover games against weak opponents. Rating is essential. Other than that, Im very interested to find out what other people think. That will determine whether or not I come to feel at home here.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-02 13:26:25)

Christophe, do you use no chess engines here ?

About ratings, probably most 2000+ correspondence chess players use chess engines whereas 1800- don't, so OTB players shouldn't play rated games with centaurs so often. Maybe new players should start with a 1800 rating (like ICCF) instead of 1600 so that most OTB players can't meet centaurs, what do you think ?

"ICC at least claims to have software that detects cheating" : You mean 'obvious' cheating... :)

Christophe Czekaj    (2007-09-03 12:53:52)
no chess engines

Hello Thibault, I play here without chess engine. Anyway, recently I tried to play "hippopotamus defence", (with no good result yet, I have to admit) so a computer is no use, it doesn't understand anything, but perhaps it's hippopotamus which is wrong, not the computer ;-D. Anyway a difficult defence in correspondence play). I began on this site with 2000, and so my elo was too high to play against human only ? I don't see how it's possible a sofware detect computer use ? Ok we see strange, computer-like moves sometimes, but... Perhaps two players, at the beginning of the game can agree to not use computer. Again about chess engine, I use a computer to record the moves (chessbase),to gain time, and replay fast the moves to get to the actual position, but my chess engines (an old fritz (5) and chess tiger (14) all that on a old PC) would certainly suffer a lot use against more recent chess engines ;-D Like Philip, I like to play on ficgs and it would be nice to plmay against more human opponent. I play one tournament on itsyourturn since last year, and I saw a lot more human mistakes than on ficgs. So, how explain it, I sometimes feel more comfortable on itsyourturn, but still I do like the spirit of ficgs, match against RU, the tournaments, forum, nice people to meet on the board, and so on

Philip Roe    (2007-09-03 18:59:27)
CC without engines

Thibault, Christophe, All I did was to pass on that ICC CLAIMS to be able detect computer use. They dont say how they do it. Maybe they are just bluffing, or maybe they have an algorithm that kind of works and they dont want people to work around it by knowing how it works. The reason I dont use engines is because I want to take full credit for any wins I get. I can imagine using an engine and telling myself that I will just use it to prevent oversights. But I cant control what the engine will tell me. It might recommend a move that tells me that I am planning to attack the wrong target. If I then switch plans and win, what is left for me to feel proud of? But I can understand that others may feel differently, and there is much to be said for a site where everything is allowed because it gets around the issue of making a rule that is certainly very hard to enforce. But just because that rule does not exist on FICGS, it seems to me that if somebody on FICGS says that they are not using an engine, then you can probably believe them. The problem with other sites is that if a player with an umimpressive rating fires back a series of accurate moves very quickly in a difficult situation then you suspect that he is using an engine (although he promised not to) and there is not much you can do about it. If the same thing happens on FICGS you are pretty sure that he is using an engine, but you have already agreed that he can, so it doesnt irritate you. For that reason, I think that a computers-barred tournament might actually make sense on FICGS because those who want to use engines can legitimately do so. But for me, it would need to be chess that means something, with at least rating points at stake. Interestingly, Christophe and I are drawn in the same tournament, so we can declare at least that one game computer-free!

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-03 23:52:20)
CC without engines

Philip, that's a good point, I'll create the new category tomorrow anyway.

I hope we will see beautiful and imaginative games there :)

Garvin Gray    (2007-09-05 06:38:59)
engine use

I find this thread and interesting and surprising.

I joined this site specifically because it allows engine use and that is what I was after.

I play in otb tournaments and dont really enjoy playing 'human only' chess on the net. I guess that is just me :)

Now I feel a little uncomfortable because the two main posters in this thread are opponents in a couple of my games.

On a different note, I wish posters would learn to separate their paragraphs :P

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2007-09-05 06:58:46)

Hi Garvin, :P I am trying but it does not work for me, :P I cannot separate the paragraphs.

Garvin Gray    (2007-09-05 07:28:39)

Hello Rodolfo,

From the top of this thread.

(please use
html tag to begin a new line)

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2007-09-05 07:54:18)


Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2007-09-05 08:56:52)
It Works!!!

La donna é mobile
qual piuma al vento

Christophe Czekaj    (2007-09-05 12:44:49)
Engine use

Hello Garvin, Sorry for the dense paragraphs of my previous posts. I'll try to make better! And please, do not feel uncomfortable to use computer on our games together. It's up to me to be extra careful ;-D I just thought it could be nice to have tournament totally computer free.

Jason Repa    (2007-09-05 15:11:44)
HAL9000: "I think you missed it Dave"

The fact of the matter is that you'll never be able to tell for certain if someone is consulting a program or not in corr. chess, so why fret about it?
You have several options:

1) There is otb chess. Unless your opponent is pulling out his palm computer with pocket fritz in the washroom, you can be reasonably certain it's a mano e mano game.
2)There is also fast internet chess on a secure server such as I'm not sure how secure ICC is these days. If the games are 3 min or shorter you can be pretty certain it's human chess at least 99.9% of the time.

If you want to play corr. chess, fine, but why play a game called "let's worry about whether or not my opponent is making good on his promise to not look at the rybka engine suggestions". Just use it for what modern corr. chess really is...which is an excellent form of group study to prepare for REAL chess, ie, OTB chess.

Philip Roe    (2007-09-05 23:13:44)
CC without engines

Well, you learn something new every day.

About paragraphing anyway!

Garvin, dont give it a second thought. Christophe and myself have both said that we accept your use of engines: we signed up for it.

Jason, I'm sure I speak for Christophe in saying that neither of wants to change anything for you happy centaurs. All we said was that IF enough other people felt the same way, THEN maybe Thibault might add that feature to his excellent site.

The parallel thread on tablebases is interesting. I find myself taking the opposite view. I dont see them as being very different from looking up KBNk in a textbook. They dont take fun out of the game because most of those rare positions are so impenetrable that they are not much fun anyway.

So I am not very consistent in my views. Who was it said that consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds?

Glen D. Shields    (2007-09-06 04:20:15)
Engine Use - My Take

The switch from postcard to server chess has been a wonderfully positive experience.

The transition from human chess to silicon chess on the otherhand has left me bored and wondering if there's still a purpose to the game.

Every tournament is the same. The tournament starts with 6 to 10 players. The moves transition out of the opening at lightning speed, then "Fritz and Rybka time" begins. Turn on your favorite engine and there's a >95% probablitity that your opponents' moves mimic the top engines. There are no surprises, nothing interesting, just boring repetition.

Only a few percent of the chess world can outplay the top engines on fast hardware. Human intervention is like adding a drop of water to a bucket of water and thinking you've made a difference. Most matches are one computer versus another computer and the results are predictable: 1-2 wins, 1-2 losses, most of the games drawn.

I don't oppose engine use. There's no way to enforce it, so there's hardly a reason to forbid it. I do question, however, its purpose. It's just as easy and entertaining for me to play against my computer as it is to play your computer ... and I can do it on my timeline not yours.

I played a friendly young man earlier this year in the ICCF. He was vocal and proud of his high rating and good reults. He'd been playing for less than a year. He eventually admitted through our friendly chat that he hardly knew the moves and rules. He had no idea what "en passant" was or the basic theory of the openings. It took everything I had to save my position and earn a draw from him. That game was "my epithany." I made up my mind to take a break and reconsider what CC is all about. Engine use has been a great technical accomplishment, but has it made CC more enjoyable? Not for me. I hope most of you feel differently.

Good luck and good chess to all :-)

Jason Repa    (2007-09-06 07:24:50)
Engine Use

[moderator : partly deleted]

Thibault already spelled it out for you in pretty simple terms that he doesn't believe in human-only correspondence chess. I guess if there are enough people who don't want to deal with reality whining about it he'll cave in.

[moderator : partly deleted]

Garvin Gray    (2007-09-06 07:36:52)
engine use

Jason- Thibault already spelled it out for you in pretty simple terms that he doesn't believe in human-only correspondence chess. I guess if there are enough people who don't want to deal with reality whining about it he'll cave in.

Hello Jason,

I think the better response is if someone wants to play 'human only' correspondence chess, there are plenty of other sites 'out there' to satisfy.
Rather than 'cave in' I am most likely am wrong as Thibault is of course not keen to lose members, but I can see more bitching if human only chess is specifically catered for as players will 'bitch' about other players who they suspect of using engine assistance.

I enjoy the freestyle component of play is what I enjoy here and the good nature of the site. I think a main part of this is that there are no misconceptions about what the rules are regarding engine use.

Jason Repa    (2007-09-06 08:15:18)
engine use

[moderator : partly deleted]

I explained quite clearly in my previous post that.... "you'll never be able to tell for certain if someone is consulting a program or not in corr. chess, so why fret about it?"

The truth is, there are no corr. sites that can satisfy a desire to play non computer-assisted chess because corr. chess doesn't work that way anymore. Anyone can simply say they aren't consulting a program but unless they are right in front of you as they are making the moves you'll never know for sure. (...) Just accept reality for what it is. Are you going to try to have a footrace with someone on a scooter? Of course not. So why complain about computer use on corr. chess? Re-read my previous post in this thread a few times until you understand.

There is something to be said for human only chess. It is my favourite form of the game. Really, the only form. All else is just study and analysis. You can call it "playing" if you want, but unless you're making the moves strictly on your own brainpower, it's not playing chess.

I play rated OTB tournaments at time controls ranging from 5 minutes to 6 hours. I also play hundreds of bullet games a week online where I am certain that there is no computer involvement. To me this makes allot more sense than whining and crying about the advent of Fritz (and other programs). It's called accepting realilty.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-06 12:11:33)

Hello Jason, just curious : Do you were a - precocious / advanced for his age (don't know the best term) - child ? .. This is not a joke, your particular behaviour reminds me other people.

Best, Thibault

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-06 12:29:10)
Glen D. Shields

Hello Glen !

We had this discussion before, indeed chess engines killed imagination and a part of the fun. The game has changed a lot, more since Rybka appeared. Correspondence chess is now how to beat Rybka, that's a fact... and a new challenge.

Did you try another game, like Big Chess or Go (I really enjoy playing these games), where engines are completely useless and now both rated at FICGS ? My two cents ;)

Philip Roe    (2007-09-06 13:55:03)

[moderator : is it worth to respond and add to the provocation ? :)]

Jason Repa    (2007-09-06 20:56:31)
Philip Roe

You're joking here right? I made a benign and topical post trying to explain things for some people. I attacked or provoked NOBODY. You started in on me with this "for you happy centaur" remark that was completely uncalled for and unsolicited.

I can't seem to win with the forum here. Even when I make an innocent post I get insulted and harassed. Then when I defend myself the Admin sides against me like clockwork, lol.

Ilmars Cirulis    (2007-09-06 20:59:32)

Don't worry, be happy!

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-06 21:13:12)

Hi Jason. There's no reason for you to feel harassed IMO. We're all happy centaurs, no provocation in it (anyway if there was, was it worth to respond ?). I did not moderate your posts, I just felt something was raising so I stopped it.

Amici sumus.

Andrew Stephenson    (2007-09-06 22:10:04)

Hi Thibault Could you say a bit more about Rybka how it has changed things? I have only ever used Fritz. CC for me is about chess research finding the truth about certain positions and openings and it helps in "real" chess. Its a fairly level playing field as all the programs are affordable but it sounds like us non rybka folk are at a disadvantage! And in the real chess world computer assisted work is obviously a huge part of the game.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-06 23:29:46)

In my opinion, the whole correspondence chess level has improved with Rybka. So it is probably a new step towards the 100% draws also (at the highest level)... Fortunately the last step will never happen ;)

Anyway that's why some strong players are bored with correspondence chess.

Christophe Czekaj    (2007-09-07 12:44:20)
To Jason

Hello Jason ! It’s just a question to have the possibility to play correspondence chess (for fun, not neccesarily studying or analysis, just the pleasure of finding moves, ideas (you know, what Bronstein called imagination) not rating, not to be classified as expert, or I don’t know what…) with people without computer. If they lie and use computer ; OK, we can’t be sure, but I’m certain you could accept that some players can trust other players when they say they don’t use computers. For example, I trust Philip when he said this, it’s just a question of being a gentleman. If there are cheaters ok, so what… Rybka will win And I don’t undestand your topic about class of players : I hope I‘ve the right of posting some commentaries on this forum, despite the fact being largely behind you in term of rating… I think we can still play chess without computer, and with rating or not, it’s the same game for me. Philip and I just think it could be kind to play with other players with a kind of gentleman’s agreement. Sorry if it bother you

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-07 13:52:30)
No engines tournaments

The waiting list for no-engines tournaments should be available in a few hours... (with the next update, with some novelties :))

Christophe Czekaj    (2007-09-07 17:14:17)
Thanks Thibault

In the name of all the non centaurs (;-D) past, present and future, thanks a lot Thibault for all your work on this site !

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-07 19:10:24)
My pleasure...


Jason Repa    (2007-09-08 08:27:57)
To Christophe

[moderator : partly deleted]

You refuse to accept the reality of the modern corr chess experience and prefer to bicker instead of simply seeking OTB (or fast online) chess to get exclusively human vs human play. I've spelled out this theme repeatedly here.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-08 11:36:52)
No engines tournaments

Anyway.. We'll see how the no-engines tournaments will evolve.

Jason Repa    (2007-09-08 12:26:56)
"No engines" Tournaments

I suspect you'll get a whole new breed of forum posts where accusations will be disguised as compliments such as: "Johnny So and So really played an excellent game! He was accurate like a machine against me", etc.
You'll also hear allot of twisted soapbox rants about how "morally superior" the allegedly non engine consulting players are.
This is what the forums on second rate sits such as RedHotPawn, ChessHere, etc are filled with, in addition to absurd claims of so-called "engine detection technology", which is obviously impossible. On RHP in particular, the site admin are software developers with extremely modest uscf ratings in the C-class range, yet somehow they deem themselves qualified to make such difficult judgment calls, which are at best a probability guess, even for a strong chess player.

I thought it was precisely this kind of nonsense you were trying to avoid when you decided to make it an up front policy of "freestyle" chess at will at FICGS.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-08 12:56:34)
No engines tournaments

Jason, of course you may be right ! .. We'll see, but I think the experience may be interesting anyway. As Philip said, FICGS main tournaments are designed for centaurs, and basically these "no engines" unrated tournaments are really just for fun... Unlike some of the other sites you mentioned, where to be ranked 1st may incite to use chess engines, I feel that these tournaments (with no rating ranges) will not attract many centaurs, simply because there's no interest at all for them...

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2007-09-09 14:42:29)

The word centaurs may be insulting for some people. I propose to use "cyborg" instead, it is more accurate.

Also instead of


We could use:


Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-09 16:17:20)
Waiting list is open

The rules are : "FICGS chess no engines tournaments are unrated single round-robin tournaments, involving 7 players. The special rule for these tournaments is that chess engines, databases and opening books are strictly forbidden. All games are played in 40 days + 40 days / 10 moves. Norms are not possible."

Graham Woodcock    (2007-09-11 16:59:01)
My two penneth

I've never used a chess programme to help me (as anyone that's played me will probably be able to tell!). Unless there's money at stake, what's the point? I would have thought that the idea of playing chess online is to keep your mind active and to improve your own play by playing more frequently...but I guess there are probably a few cyber warriors around that will do whatever it takes to win... But I don't see what pleasure they can take from winning if some highly advanced chess engine has done all the work.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-11 17:24:22)
"Why to use a program"

Some elements of answer :

Christophe Czekaj    (2007-09-12 14:05:59)
The liar cyborg

[moderator : deleted, please see netiquette rules]

Ilmars Cirulis    (2007-09-12 14:11:13)
Respect to Christophe Czekaj

No matter - are He only human player or not. :)

Ilmars Cirulis    (2007-09-12 14:15:41)
2 Jason

Yes, I see my mistake. 'are' is wrong word. Maybe 'is'. :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-12 15:17:28)

Netiquette rule change :

"Responding to a provocative message is strictly forbidden and will lead to get a limited access to the server during one month a first time, two months the second one and so on. In this case, please just warn the moderator or webmaster in private."

This is a quite good example of a useless discussion... Some posts in this thread (the first ones have been written before the rule change) are at least provocative, so you may eventually ask for some things to be moderated before to respond to the moderated version of these posts.

Gene Sensabaugh    (2007-09-12 16:18:56)
Gene Sensabaugh

I am still trying to make a decision to use a chess engine or not.If for example my moves are the majority of the time according to Fritz10 are inferior I can't see how it's going to help me accept to gain rating points.Say during a game I consult Fritz and for example I have overlooked a mate in 10.Which move would you choose?I have serious doubts that many people on here can beat Fritz10 unless they are grandmaster class.In a game you consult your engine select between it's choices and select one of"it's" choices.You receive a move and the process repeats.So why compete against human players most likely inferior to engine analysis?

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-12 16:37:07)
Advanced chess

Gene, I don't see your point ?! .. Why centaurs compete against humans players.. There's no answer, it just happens because rules 'also' allow not to use a chess engine.

Andrew Stephenson    (2007-09-12 16:51:49)

ok Gene let me give you my experience as to why you should use an engine in cc. 1) I have learnt a lot about certain openings and I remember lot more effective systems 2) finding the truth about a position is fun and instructive 3) I have acquired some endgame knowledge I never would have got. 4) Generally I wil try to understand why the engines like certain moves and drill down into the position trying altrentives until I get it. Sometimes in very wild positions its tough. Most of the the time this reinforces principles of develpoment pawn structure piece dynamism and I find it rubs off on my understanding. One proviso - if you take on too many games a lot of this wont work! Facing a much lower rated player you have to do research and prepare something - trotting down the main line poisened pawn Najdorf may not be the way to go. A lot of top players go for catalan and english openings hoping to utilise their chess knowledge and research. One thing is for sure always playing the best move of your engine is going to drop 1/2 points and lose some games and that includes Rybka. Finally all this stuff is done by all the top professionals in the otb chess. One example I faced the line that Kramnik got crushed with by Topalov playing b5 and f4. I looked at the game notes and databases and couldnt find a good response 45 minutes with fritz and I cracked it and in the process gained some insight into the opening. In fact its a harmless variation if you know the antidote but over the board one slip and Kram was toasted

Philip Roe    (2007-09-13 00:37:23)
Andrew Stephenson

You post makes a lot of sense, and I can absolutely agree that being a centaur can be fun and educational (Centaurs in Greek mythology, by the way, were a highly respected race, and usually described as happy) However, I am puzzled by something which maybe you or someone else can explain.

You and others assert that playing the engines first choice every time will drop points against an intelligent centaur. Does it not follow that a centaur should have a higher rating than its engine? But in fact the ratings quoted for the top engines are substantially higher than the ratings of anyone on FICGS, which seems a paradox.

Does the explanation lie in unsynchronized rating systems, or am I just missing something? This question has nothing to do with value judgements, merely with satisfying a curiosity.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-13 00:41:26)
Chess engines ratings

"unsynchronized rating systems" : undoubtly :)

Andrew Stephenson    (2007-09-13 06:35:12)

Hi Phillip I don't know what "an unsynchronised rating system" is. However at the rate of play 40/20 for example I am not sure I would be able to improve so much on the engines first choices. At the free style tournament stand alones do pretty well. If I needed 45 minutes to find one best move in the Topalov Kramnik line..... So yes a centaur can easily have a higher rating than the engine(s) he is using at cc time rates (on the same hardware). For one thing the centaur can use different engines and for another its a bit like taking a move back all the time and pushing past any horizon limitations plus there is the restrictions of opening books that all engines have. However I am not going to play my own cc games against Fritz 10 (Fritz 9 in my case)by giving it 1 day or even 10 minutes per move because I am not motivated - you need the human element for that. Hope that helps.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-13 06:37:19)

Andrew, please do not reload pages. It's better to use the links for that (ie. forum), duplicate posts should be avoided by the program but there's a small bug with some symbols.

Thanks :)

Christophe Czekaj    (2007-09-13 13:00:14)

[moderator : partly deleted]

(...) I understand the useless of any polemic, but what about a "droit de réponse" ? Anyway, this topic is close for me. I've just made a proposition of tournament and find myself accused of immorality !

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-13 13:44:25)
Droit de réponse

Christophe, as I said to you in private, it is only due to this rules change just before your post. It was too hard to make distinction of what is justified or not in some cases, so I was too much tolerant before. Now rules should avoid this. All responses to provocation will now be censured, a "droit de réponse" in this case is useless and pollutes the forum. Of course, you may ask for previous provocation & insults to be removed also.

Of course you were not accused of immorality ! .. Rules must avoid such discussions, nothing more.

Andrew Stephenson    (2007-09-13 19:04:01)
Droit de ...

Sorry about duplicate Thibault will avoidi t i was wondering how it happened dont remember pressing the reload but must have done! Please remove all the personal attacks Thibault from this thread. Thanks

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-13 19:21:36)
FICGS reloaded

It will be done within minutes. Also I updated the forum, I hope it will work better against reloads :)

Jason Repa    (2007-09-14 01:20:55)
[moderator : partly deleted]

(...) You might have noticed my M.O. of starting a new topical chess thread or trying to revive communication in an existing thread that is about chess when mayhem was going on before. This time I decided to just avoid the forums for awhile but apparently that's not good enough. I'm asking you to remove his post.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-09-14 01:21:08)

The post has been removed.

Reminder : ".. please just warn the moderator or webmaster >> in private <<"

Christophe Czekaj    (2007-09-14 12:34:10)
You're right, Thibault

Polemic is useless.

Philip Roe    (2007-09-14 17:53:56)
Andrew Stephenson

Thanks for your explanations. They were helpful. Let me try to say what I meant by unsynchronised rating systems (maybe I could have found a better word)

The difference between your rating and mine is a measure of how likely you are to beat me, and that relationship between rating difference and percentage score is similar for any system I have come across.

However, the absolute numbers mean little if anything. There was a widespead belief for some time that US players were overrated, even though the system worked fine internally. My understanding is that from time to time organisations check to see if they have drifted too far from FIDE standards.

This sort of calibration works fine for human OTB games, but for anything else it is not easy to see how to "set the zero", and that possible mismatch is what I called "unsynchronised".

I think that standard CC practice is to try to give each player a rating similar to their OTB rating. I do not know how the engine ratings quoted were tied down, and I imagine that centaur ratings are very difficult to calibrate.