GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH amp chess


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Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-18)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Finally, here is a new interview with FICGS correspondence chess champion GM Eros Riccio, who gives us his (surprising?) impressions on his latest win in the championship, his current match and correspondence chess nowadays... A good matter to think about!


- Hi again Eros... Once more, congratulations for winning this final match in the 12th FICGS correspondence chess championship. This time, it seems that things went quite differently than in your previous matches (you scored 9 out of 12, which is a huge performance at this level), could you tell us what happened in these games?

--> Hi, yes, finally we have seen some wins after a very long series of draws. I was surprised too, I didn't risk to lose any game and I could even win one as Black... What to say, my opponent was simply not as challenging as the previous ones.

- It's a long time since you won the previous match, would you like to tell us about your other results this year, particularly at ICCF where you now rank #9 with an outstanding 2643 rating?

--> My latest final on FICGS were my only games of 2016. On ICCF I have taken some rest, the too high draw rate didn't incentive me to start new tournaments, also because drawing all games with a high rating means losing points.

- In the next final match (13th cycle), you play Peter W. Anderson for the 3rd time... so you probably know each other's opening book quite well. What do you expect for in this match?

--> Anderson is a very tough opponent, it's not a coincidence that he reached the final for the third time. I tried to win at least one game as White, but he's incredibly hard to beat. I experimented with almost anything possible against his modern defence, but I could never find a single weakness in his repertoire. I will see what to invent this time against his terrific 1...g6.

- As you probably know, another Go champion (Lee Sedol) lost a 5-games match to AlphaGo this year, while chess engines (now Stockfish 8, Houdini 5 Komodo 10...) slowly but surely continue to improve... Still waiting for the quantum computers. How do you feel things should go in the next years? Did your way of playing advanced chess or correspondence chess change these last years?

--> I have said a lot already about the very high draw rate of the recent years... I am surprised that some changes haven't been done already, like switching to chess 960, even modifying some chess rules, or at least giving 1,5 points for one win. Otherwise a lot of players will lose interest in seeing a series of all draws in the tournaments they play. I am one of those players who lost interest in correspondence chess, and even in blitz chess, engine vs engine, as we can see the extremely high draw rate situation there too.

- Finally, what can we wish for you for the next year? :)

--> Wish me to lose the match with Anderson :-) even I got bored of seeing myself there over and over in the final! That will bring some new air and that way I can take some total rest in corr. chess.

- Many thanks for your time, have a great match!

--> Welcome, and thanks.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-18 03:39:48)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Well, I must say that these words (combined to the many debates we had & still have here) make me think about serious changes, maybe not only around the championship format... so let's open the debate one more time: how to bring some fresh air in correspondence chess according to you?

Roger Llull    (2017-01-18 04:33:20)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

I have an idea. Make it more of an spectator sport like engine vs engine is, by letting people offer Epoints to the winners of thematic tournaments in the openings they choose. Let others interested in the same opening add to those Epoints and discuss changes in time controls, starting position and Elo limit. Those studying openings can this way effectively pay for great line analysis, and if this is done well and takes traction, it could even be a source of income for the best players.

Jan Ohlin    (2017-01-18 09:34:24)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Reward a game win in one or more way so people risk more in the opening. DO NOT change the way how to play chess.

Scott Nichols    (2017-01-18 19:44:24)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

I too am bored with CC. IDK what to do either, maybe change scoring system--.9 for white win, 1.1 for black win, same with draws, 5.5 & 4.5 or something...

Jan Ohlin    (2017-01-18 20:28:39)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Is there a need to distinguish between black and white? When you win a game in CC it depends first and foremost on blunders, weak play or finally you playing a position where the computer takes long time to come up with something sensible, for example in closed variation in spanish (C97, 12. d5) and therefore best player will win. Ok, winning as black requires a lot of energy for study theory, but ...?

George Jempty    (2017-01-19 01:12:18)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

I like your idea Scott I just posted something similar in your other thread

Pablo Schmid    (2017-01-19 13:16:24)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Maybe a thematic match with some risky opening in the same match for elite players?

Jan Ohlin    (2017-01-19 15:19:50)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

2-4 Benko gambit maybe... Could be fun :-)

Pablo Schmid    (2017-01-19 16:25:06)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Many lines of the Kings gambit would be nice and fun and would be a modern contribution to unclear and unfashioned but very risky lines.

Ilmars Cirulis    (2017-01-19 16:32:34)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

It would be fun, if the "draw death" would transform into "decisive advantage death". :P

1-0 and 1-0 when two players play from both sides in the same variation wouldn't be different from 1/2-1/2 and 1/2-1/2.

Ilmars Cirulis    (2017-01-19 16:35:35)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Although as a way to analyze, for example, King gambit to the end... that would be really nice. :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-19 21:33:23)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Hmm... I didn't think about a FULL THEMATIC CHAMPIONSHIP before, that's an interesting idea from Pablo IMO (that would invite us to play -still classical chess- romantic style chess).

And last but not least, it would be possible here (while solutions with fractions of points are much more complicated to code & organize).

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-19 22:10:29)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

... in another hand, it doesn't fit the ELO system like it is now. It would be another "chess" already.

Pablo Schmid    (2017-01-19 22:22:11)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Not necessarily, as I said the thematic would be the final test to test that the best corr player is the most complete one, but the qualification would still be by free chess where you need to be at least 2300 level in this site.

Pablo Schmid    (2017-01-19 22:32:57)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

How to choose the opening, maybe random in a pre select list, or the whole small selected list, or the choice of the players like 4 choices each. For example I could ask 'I want this subline of the king's gambit" and I should not ask a too risky one because the idea is to try to win the Black(or even White) side while surviving when the color is reversed.

Pablo Schmid    (2017-01-19 22:38:48)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

And it could be the occasion for Thibault to see own Black would do at elite level in the line e4 Nh6 d4 Ng8 (not sure of the moves exactly but Thibault invented a thematic in this one where the Black side is rewarded for a draw)

Pablo Schmid    (2017-01-19 22:39:16)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

*to see how

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-19 23:40:00)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

:) Yes... I understand the idea, but it should be unrated IMO, just like thematic tournaments.

Pablo Schmid    (2017-01-19 23:45:28)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Why unrated? The rating would add a real motivation, if you see, there is probably rarely any good game on thematic tournament in this tournament because either a too high level difference or maybe because the unrated game don't gives enough motivations ("no problem if I lose or if I lose interest, it doesn't count")...

Pablo Schmid    (2017-01-19 23:46:08)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

*in this website I meant.

Ilmars Cirulis    (2017-01-20 09:08:41)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Maybe it's possible to make prediction market for chess opening variations or even positions? :)

Jan Ohlin    (2017-01-20 09:55:19)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Obviously, every game need to be rated. It must also be possible to keep a high rating even if you play matches against the World Champ Mr. Stockfish disguised with a lowrated aliases. Playing many games should be rewarded, not punished.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-20 17:17:28)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Well, I always thought that rating should be coherent, should mean something and not something else... But maybe I have to re-think about that as well. Soooo difficult!

Roger Llull    (2017-01-20 17:29:03)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

No, you can't mix thematic Elo with classic Elo because you are more likely to lose as black in thematic chess. What you can do is to create a separate Elo for thematic chess. Also I don't think it's good to mix thematic and classic in a championship. I stand by my suggestion to create a system to allow site users to "create" thematic tournaments using our Epoints.

Pablo Schmid    (2017-01-20 18:05:27)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Why would a thematic disfavour Black? That's not logical, it just depends of the thematic! If we take the King's gambit accepred as example, Black is not worse and may be the opposite! Even if you lose as Black because of the thematuc, you have chance to win the game where you have White against it... At least the idea would be interesting to play very interesting lines and games that fear does not allow in normal time and to contribue to chess theory in wild opening.

Roger Llull    (2017-01-20 19:00:04)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

My point is that your chances are not the same, so Elo mixing is not appropriate. And you can't count on your game with the opposite color because it may be against a different oponent depending on the tournament format.

We have separate Elo for freestyle, so what's the problem with having separate Elo for thematic?

Pablo Schmid    (2017-01-20 19:20:36)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Llull this is why I have said this would be only for the wch final 1vs1 while tournaments must remain free chess to be fair. Thematic on 1v1 with reverse color is fair and I believe the elo could be the normal one.

Jan Ohlin    (2017-01-20 19:52:35)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

If enough of games is thematic then elo could be the normal one, yes. The opportunity for winning games equalizes the drawbacks of computer related chess

Roger Llull    (2017-01-20 21:29:00)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Pablo, changes to the WCH wouldn't make a difference for many years because the rules of each running event can't be changed now without sacrificing site credibility.

But I don't think this is about fixing the WCH final. This is about getting rid of the big frustration that represents the almost total impossibility of winning at the top level.

You can't mix thematic and classic CC Elos for the same reason you can't mix the Elo of classic time controls and the Elo of bullet time controls.

Thibault has an opportunity to bring new life to correspondence chess, but we need to see things from a different perspective. Let's make the most of what's already in place, -like Epoints- and introduce ways to add and influence new events even before they start. Because connecting with others and participating in more ways would bring new interest and benefit a lot more people than tring to fix what's already perfect -sort of- but stale.

Herbert Kruse    (2017-01-20 22:12:19)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

there is no good answer, just let the game continue until its dead :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-20 22:22:36)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

Herbert is probably right...

But well, as we'll have a CUP championship soon, all games could be played on King's gambit for example (or another thematic - see the other thread)

Jan Ohlin    (2017-01-21 06:57:44)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

This is a rescue operation to save the players of CC from becoming bored. Sweep away your funeral feeling, still we can have a lot of fun.

Herbert Kruse    (2017-01-22 19:57:43)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

my last idea:

lets play many more games against each opp and there cannot be the same position from move 3 on

Jan Ohlin    (2017-01-22 20:13:55)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

No tnx, I have kids :-)

Herbert Kruse    (2017-01-22 20:19:37)
GM Eros Riccio 12th WCH & chess

ok, then i am out ;)