Match FICGS vs GameKnot


Match FICGS vs. GameKnot

Back to forum

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-12)
Match FICGS vs. GameKnot

Dear chessfriends, a match FICGS vs. GameKnot may start in a few weeks ! The idea is to oppose players in different rating categories (1200 to 2400+ elo), playing one game with Black on FICGS, one game with White on ... Please send an email to info (at) (specifying your name) if you're interested. More info in a few days & weeks...

It seems that many players from GameKnot want to play this match, we need a large team ! :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-12 13:40:08)
FICGS team

We have 4 players already... I hope many others will join for this funny challenge ! :)

Miguel Pires    (2006-09-12 15:08:51)
Match FICGS vs. GameKnot

I wana say they have a lot of strong player signing to play. I hoppe we can create a very strong team

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-09-14 05:19:28)
Greetings from GameKnot :)

Hello friends, my name is Thomas, and I am the representative from GameKnot. We look forward to playing a match against you! GameKnot has played two matches vs. other sites in the past, and we have enjoyed the competition very much. It is my sincere hope that we can pull this thing off! As FICGS is a newer site with a smaller community than ours, we hope that you guys can field a team of approximately 12-20 players of ALL ratings ranges. We intend to put up at least 2 players in each of 7 ratings classes (U2400, U2200, U2000, U1800, U1600, U1400, and U1200). The rules of the match are currently being negotiated between Thibault and myself, and we would like to commence as soon as possible. I highly encourage the members of FICGS to participate, as these matches are a lot of fun! You guys will get a chance to visit our site, and we yours. Please contact Thibault and sign on! We look forward to seeing you OTB :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-14 12:01:30)
Re: Greetings from GameKnot :)

Hi Thomas !

7 players of all levels are ok to play this challenge already. I'm sure we'll complete our team in about a week. And I have no doubt about that, we'll win this match ! :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-14 13:33:14)
Chess engines prohibited

Please note :

"The use of databases and chess engines will be prohibited for this challenge." (games unrated)"

Lots of fun ! .. Join us :)

Miguel Pires    (2006-09-14 15:33:01)
whay databases

whay databases are prohibited? in GK we can use them. Regard's Miguel Pires

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-15 00:24:12)
Chess databases

Hi Miguel.

Really ? Looks strange to me... So what about 6-pieces tablebases ?

Miguel Pires    (2006-09-15 01:05:13)
Chess database

This is the rules of the gk, you can see in this link What is important is this one: 3. You may not use chess engines, chess programs, chess computers to help you decide your next move. You may not consult with anyone nor ask advice about any games in progress. You may analyze games with chess engines after they are finished. You may consult chess books or game/move databases at any time. Soo i can consult databases. You can fin the tablebases in PGN or other thing, by this rule you can use, any databasese, oppening, games etc. Don't you agree? Regard's Miguel Pires

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-15 01:46:29)
Chess databases / tablebases

Ok, I was confused.. Chess database and tablebases / "chess programs"...

Anyway, I suppose we can use any rules if it's clearly specified, that's not a problem. However, for just more fun, I would suggest games without any kind of assistance... Games could be just more human & original :)

What do you think ?

Jay Melquiades    (2006-09-15 02:43:26)
so i guess...

no steel cage matches then huh? :)

Miguel Pires    (2006-09-15 02:50:58)

you are the boss, if say soo, for me is ok. But for shure some not going to do that. And now we have a big problem, the OTB Vs CC rating. Cairo from GK have an elo in OTB +2300, mor or less the same at GK an ICCF, but others, the thing's are different. Like me, i'm a +1700 in otb, and + 2000 in this site, and in GK i'm a +1900 (a lot of timeouts put my rating in 1756 now). soo playng in CC without any help (databases like i play in GK) is hard to play at + 2000. And we need players with good OTB rating's to. Like i say, you are the boss. what time controls we going to use?

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-09-15 02:53:36)
re: computer help

Greetings:) Maybe I was misunderstood.......the use of databases is ok - but like Miguel said, we oppose the use of computers to recommend moves. :) Thomas

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-15 03:08:36)
Ratings used

It's logical IMO to consider OTB ratings if we all play in OTB conditions, without computer assistance... FIDE or self-estimated OTB ratings should prevail over CC ratings (ICCF, FICGS or so) for the pairings.

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-09-16 23:46:58)
Udate from GameKnot:

I just wanted to give you guys a heads up as to the players from my site that are being CONSIDERED for playing in the match. As ratings fluctuate, I have simply rounded and given approximate strength: mateintwo - 2400+ cyrano - 2400+ cairo - 2300+ fmgaigin - 2300+ drdesoto - 2300+ papani - 2300+ harlekin - 2300+ nestorix - 2300+ drunken_rabbit - 2200+ kumpan - 2200+ grandpatzer - 2200+ os5213 - 2200+ carlosmart - 2200+ chrisp - 2100+ nottop - 2100+ gloomy_den - 1900+ thumper - 1700+ gwalchmai - 1600+ tugger - 1600+ yanm - 1500+ mattw - 1500+ patagusto - 1500+ tag1153 - 1400+ cjjpeterson - 1400+ simian9 - 1400+ eqj2 - 1400+ hollcanna - 1300+ dewillget8 - 1200+ mozz - 1200+ These GameKnot players have expressed an interest in playing. More will sign on I'm sure, as I have set Oct 1, 2006 as the sign up deadline. I will put together our team during the first week of October, and will be ready to commence play by the second week of October. During the interim, Thibault and I will finalize the details of the match. I realize that this short list is very master and expert heavy, but have no worries - I will be contacting more of our A, B, C, and D class players and asking them to participate. We look forward to the match:) Thomas

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-17 00:29:58)
Heeeelp :-)

We definitely need more strong players :)

About 10 players are interested to play right now.

Miguel Pires    (2006-09-17 00:33:10)
Heeeelp :-)

I think you need to contact directly the players.

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-09-18 01:03:29)

If possible, could you post the names and ratings of those players from FICGS who are interested in playing against GameKnot? I would like to go ahead and get some idea of the pairing possibilities. Thanks:) Thomas

Henri Muller    (2006-09-18 09:39:42)
match vs gameKnot

I have a great experience to play in Gameknot and can say that ALL( or MIN 95%) players with a rating above 1600 elo uses a chess-engine !!

Dirk Ghysens    (2006-09-18 10:33:56)
Not all, Henri

I know of two exceptions: 1. Yelena Dembo, FIDE rating 2466, WGM, IM, and a GM norm; rating at Gameknot 1775; 2. Marius Ceteras, FIDE rating 2427, FM (he missed IM title due to a strange decision by FIDE officials), very well-known correspondence chess personality, chess publisher, organiser etc.; rating at Gameknot 1740 (not in top 2000 there and loses regularly against 1800 rated patzers). Unfortunately Yelena Dembo is no longer playing at Gameknot; they threw her out. Also Marius Ceteras has no ongoing games there during the past month. So you may be right after all: most players above 1600 are using a chess engine (except the WIMs, WGMs, FMs, and IMs rated below 1800), and certainly all players above 1800 (with one possible exception, a WIM from Holland/Russia, who managed a rating slightly above 1800, but she got thrown out also, for being a nuisance). BTW, it boggles my mind why the use of tablebases is allowed there; unlike engines, tablebases tell you the perfect move to play and what the outcome will be with 100% certainty.

Marc Lacrosse    (2006-09-18 11:22:31)
Computer use

I completely agree with H Muller.
In most web-based sites where computer use is forbidden most high-rated players do actually use them.
The most intriguing example is the very well organised (not related to Chessbase server) where there are two different sections with respectively computer use allowed and forbidden : there are much more players in the "computer forbidden" section but almost all high-rated players in this section are cheaters (I was one of them and I left because I began to fell disgusted with this necessity to cheat for not being crushed).
That's why I came here and that's also why I will not in any case join the team for the match against GameKnot (or others) if the rules are not modified.


Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-09-18 12:55:35)
My friends at FICGS:

I am a little concerned, yet understanding, of your feelings about the possibility of cheating in our proposed match. Please understand that there are two sides to the suspicion coin. For those of you who are not familiar with the GameKnot website, let me assure you that I will only be putting up players who I am familiar with, and who have proven themselves to play honorably. I am a three year veteran of GameKnot, and play on the site daily. I will be selecting my team from players whom I feel confident will conduct themselves within the rules we agree on. The intent of arranging this match is NOT to simply put up all of our master level players and attempt to whitewash you guys 100-0. The intent is to provide as MANY matches of ALL ratings ranges for a fun, competetive match. If we lose every match we will have no hard feelings towards you. As the game results in our proposed match will have no bearing on ratings changes, we view the match as a simple, friendly exercise. So, having said all of that, we hope that FICGS will offer up as many people as possible, and Thibault and myself will pair them with my guys in such a way that is FAIR and equitable to both sides. Should anyone here at FICGS have any questions, please feel free to post them here or in the GameKnot forum (in the GameKnot Related threads). Thanks:) - Thomas

Dinesh De Silva    (2006-09-18 13:32:15)

Hey, Thomas! That was nicely said. As it's a friendly match, I think the right spirit of sportsmanship will prevail. By the way, why were some players thrown out of GameKnot?!? When you say some of them were a "nuisance", what exactly did they do?!? I don't think a single player of FICGS has so far been thrown out by FICGS officials.

James Stripes    (2006-09-18 13:46:35)
excessive fears

Of course cheating is always a danger, but I doubt more than a small minority of players do it. Chess appeals to those who enjoy solving problems more than to those who need to maintain a artificial number (rating) alongside a fictitious name. Cheaters likely lose interest fairly quickly. I've played at GameKnot and many similar sites. If any more than a half-dozen of my 300 or so opponents were cheating, they were doing so badly.

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-09-18 13:52:13)

FYI it was not I who brought up GameKnot players being expelled from our site, but I can comment on it. Players have been expelled from GameKnot for numerous reasons. Some include 1) ratings manipulation, 2) using computers to recommend moves (our webmaster investigates all complaints re: games where, say, a 1300 player defeats a master, etc...), 3) foul language and/or intimidating behavior, and 4) general behavior that is unsportsmanlike. We pride ourselves at GameKnot on playing honorably, and do not tolerate otherwise. :) Thomas

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-18 14:00:30)
FICGS vs. GameKnot

Thomas :

I agree with you, the match is for fun only, I like the idea whatever the result, even 100-0 :) .. If players use engines, their problem.. we can't avoid the risk totally... I think it's more logical to prohibite databases too or to allow both databases and chess engines, playing "real correspondence chess", and we could have a larger team for sure... Still discussing.

Miguel :

I prefer to avoid to "mail" everyone about the match.. It's clearly announced in the news, so I think most players here are "more CC ones" and don't trust the no use of engines...

Dinesh De Silva    (2006-09-18 14:31:11)

Thomas! Thanks for the info. I hope the FICGS vs GAMEKNOT match will be a success! Hope there'll be some very exciting games!

James Stripes    (2006-09-18 15:56:13)
27 years ago

When I first played correspondence chess, books were encouraged and the few chess engines in existence were garbage. Good quality engines and comprehensive databases have changed the nature of correspondence play. Nearly everyone permits databases (electronic books), although endgame tablebases are less clear. Engines are permitted some places, while banned others. This site is my first foray into CC where engine use is permitted, but I've played at dozens of sites where I can use databases. (I don't believe I've ever reached a position in which tablebases would be useful, except a few elementary positions that any average player could win against Kramnik.) These inter-site matches, it seems to me, nurture connections across the broad community of correspondence players--a rapidly expanding coterie of chess aficionados thanks to the likes of GameKnot and similar sites.

Henri Muller    (2006-09-19 12:53:49)
match GameKnot-FICGS

Hello Dirk (Ghysens ) Accordingly with you, there are exceptions - I said that 95% players from GameKnot used computers ! Therefore not 100% !!

Jaimie Wilson    (2006-09-19 14:28:46)
match GameKnot-FICGS

Here at FICGS, real names have to be supplied. This gives FICGS a human element that encourages honour and sportsmanship and in my opinion gives this site a clear edge over its rivals.

James Stripes    (2006-09-19 14:40:17)
Cheating data

95% is an interesting figure and quite an accusation. Could you provide some evidence to support this contention, or at least explain the reasons for your belief? I would say from looking at the blunders during my brief stint at GK that if any players between 1600 and 2100 were cheating, they were incompetent engine users. I cannot imagine using an engine for assistance and achieving a rating below 2100 there.

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-19 14:40:42)
match GameKnot-FICGS

That is the case. GameKnot players who already registered will play under their real name.

Now, there are 12 players in FICGS team.

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-19 15:03:13)
Computer use on GameKnot......

I just read GameKnot forum about the FICGS vs. GameKnot match :

It seems to me this question of computer use on GameKnot is quite out of topic (and on the wrong forum)... I proposed to GameKnot rep (Thomas) to prohibite any computer assistance (engines + databases) for the match or to simply authorize it, as I think more players from FICGS would play, and surely players from GameKnot too... Then everyone is free to play, accepting the rules and the risk of cheating (quite small IMO), but it's up to I & Thomas to deal with that. This debate shouldn't happen here IMHO.

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-19 19:13:07)
No cumputer use at all

Thomas & I finally agreed to prohibite chess engines & chess databases for this friendly match ! :-)

Games should be really interesting this way.

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-09-24 02:45:17)
One week till our sign up deadline:

To my friends at FICGS - the GameKnot team will be set in one week. Thibault - please begin finalizing your team. I will send you (via e-mail) my proposed matchups by Oct 2, 2006. Thomas

Marius Zubac    (2006-09-24 23:51:54)
How about two matches?

One match with no computers and one match with.

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-09-25 00:08:52)
How about two matches?

Hello Marius.

That's a good idea... but it seems that players at GameKnot are really against computer use in such a match. Anyway, that's probably better like that.. Teams will be quite low-rated, more friendly, more fun :)

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-10-02 00:33:32)
GameKnot match pairings:

Thibault, I have submitted my pairings to your e-mail for your approval. Thomas

Marcin Kasperski    (2006-10-04 12:27:12)

I googled this thread accidentally, and ... I would like to say that some opinions here seem to be going too far. I am just an amateur player (no FIDE rating, but according to my results on FICS and Playchess I would estimate myself about elo 1900). I play on a few servers including gameknot (my nick there is Mekk). I have never used chess engine there (or anywhere), and I am at the moment rated 1654 on gameknot, I also happened to win and draw some games against 17xx rated players. Surely they were not using engines, if they were, I would lost those games - my results on IECG (where I lost everything I tried to play) show this clearly. Of course my claim, that I am not using an engine, is just my claim - but you can take a look at my games, if you like...

Roger Weber    (2006-10-04 13:21:29)

If I may ask the question, why would you even want to play a match with chess engines?
I don't see the point, except if you're a chess engine addict and can't play without.

I am totally against the usage of chess engines on internet servers, as its just not sportsmanlike and a match where both players agree using engines is IMHO not worth playing it.

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-04 16:31:45)
Re: Computers

My two cents, as I probably share Marius point of view : The same reasons you like to play a match or any game without engines... Challenge, chess beauty, and so on..

It is sportsmanlike ! .. simply because the rules allow it ! .. and it's worth playing such a match, simply because we like it :)

Roger Weber    (2006-10-04 16:53:51)

Well I guess there's a point in using chess engies, however to a certain degree. If you only play with chess engines and only do the moves that the engine suggests, you shouldn't play chess anymore.
I think I can accept the combination of a sensible player and an engine from an ethical point of view.
Although I still don't like it, but that's just my opinion on it. I did not mean to offend anyone.


Miguel Pires    (2006-10-04 21:32:51)

Hello, about engines, please try this position with the engines you have: 2r2rk1/1bq1bpp1/p2ppn1p/1p4BP/3NP1P1/3B1P2/PPPQ4/2KR3R w - - 0 17 If you let them think for some time, of of the engines possible find the move for withe Bxh6! For me was easy to find. I have done this sacrifice many times. I FICGS or ICCF i use engines to check my variations and to see if i misse something. If the engine gives me a better move i try to understand whay and try to adjust the plan to that move. Soo using a engine, (for me) is not to make better moves, but to try to improve my game. In situations like that position my natural reaction is to sacrifice. Its only my 2 cents Regard's Miguel Pires PS: Sorry for the bad english

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-10-05 13:21:39)

I have a substitution. My player bunta has had to withdraw, and I am replacing him with ccmcacollister in the match vs. Benjamin Aldag. Is this ok with you? Thomas

Ilmars Cirulis    (2006-10-05 19:58:41)
To Miguel Pires.

It is nice position. Thanks!
After 17.Bxh6 gxh6 18.Qxh6 white easy win, no doubts.
But black has another move, much better, - 17.. d5. After it white wins, too. But now it is harder to win.
I found only one way for white to win after 17.. d5.
P.S. If we move queen from c7 to d8 in the position, then the sacrifice don't work.

Again - thanks for the nice position. Cirulis

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-10-08 02:40:55)

12 of my 13 are ready. If my player ritt doesn't register with you within 48 hours, I propose to simply drop him from the match, as I don't have a fair match for Charlie Neil (I do have many higher rated players if he really wants to play). Let me know, and please explain to me the format here on FICGS as you guys only play tournament style - are you going to set up a tourney especially for our match? Get with me tonight or tomorrow, as we hope to start the match Monday:) Thanks - Thomas

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-08 13:24:25)
FICGS vs. GameKnot tournament

Hi Thomas.

The games here will be played under the tournament name :

I just sent an email about pairings.

Best wishes.

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-09 09:32:36)
FICGS vs. GameKnot ... about to start

Our friendly match against well-known GameKnot chess server is about to start.

2 players still have to tell me their nickname on GameKnot so that Thomas and I can create the games on both servers. If players want to register now, there could be a replacement... Feel free to send an email to info [at] if you're interested to play.

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-10-10 01:32:29)

I can't seem to find FICGS__CHESS__FICGS_VS_GAMEKNOT_MATCH it up and running yet? I need to research the "how to's" and explain them to my guys. I'll post my guys names on FICGS sometime tonight. - - - Thomas

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-10 10:42:53)

Hi Thomas.

I'll create the games and tournament as soon as all pairings and names / nicknames are ok. I send my list in a few hours. Players will just have to connect and see their running games in 'My games' or 'My messages'...

Best wishes.

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-10-11 07:04:35)

cyrano (still waitimg on name) vs. Glen D.Shields*****cairo (ottesen_soren) vs. Miguel Pires*****ccmcacollister (collister_craig) vs. Benjamin Aldag*****thumper (jacobs_doug) vs. James Stripes*****tugger (edwards_matthew) vs. Trond Michalsen*****yanm (maret_yannick) vs. Peter Willoughby*****taikaviitta (koivuniemi_raimo) vs. Richard Grady*****tag1153 (gilbreath_thomas) vs. Regis Ducreux*****eqj2 (johnson_eddie) vs. Martin Selby*****dewillget8 (bingham_anthony) vs. Ilmars Cirulis*****mozz (price_richard) vs. Julien Baudement*****lofix (mankowski_peter) vs. Phil Cook.***********************************************************That's a 12 vs. 12 match. 24 points possible. First team to 12.5 wins. Are we in agreement? - Thomas

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-11 23:11:54)
Re: Pairings

Thomas, did you receive my emails with the pairings & nicknames ?

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-10-12 05:45:51)
Yes I got them...let's begin!

I see we still need 3 GK ids from you guys. The other 9 are ready to begin. I will be messaging GK players with their opponents right away, and instructing them to begin. Let me know when your other 3 guys are ready.......Thomas

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-12 15:16:11)

Now 10 are ready to play (I sent lately id for Benjamin Aldag)... Ok, I'll create the first 10 games as soon as I have a username for 'cairo', who will play at board #1.

Best wishes to all players :)

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-10-12 21:07:39)
cairo is ottesen_soren

.....but I've got him at board 2 vs. Miguel Pires.. I guess it doesn't matter what board we call it here on FICGS, as long as the players are correct. - Thomas

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-12 21:33:52)

Oops, I meant 'cyrano'...

Anyway I'd like to create Glen & Miguel's games first so that it's easier to follow on the tournament page - games ordered by ratings... We're late (sorry to all players), but it's probably better that most games start at the same time !?

Miguel Pires    (2006-10-12 21:45:05)

Please setup the same time control for GK and FICGS games. I'm playing wit cairo in GK with this time control 10+1<10 Regard's Miguel Pires PS: I put a similar post in GK

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-17 12:56:02)
Games started / TIME CONTROL

Hello Miguel.

It seems that time controls can't be the same on GameKnot...

Games just started ! .. (there will be a replacement soon in the last 2 games)

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-10-24 06:05:56)

Feel free to replace Selby and Michelson with any players you see fit. You have been very in the pairings so far.

Glen D. Shields    (2006-10-26 16:21:03)
It's Been Awhile ....

This tournament is the first time in awhile since I played on the Gameknot server. A lot has changed in server chess during my absence, but not at GameKnot. There are two GK annoyances. I point them out NOT to trash GK, it's a well designed chess server, but hope that someone from GK who is following this match can instigate appropriate modifications. I REALLY wish the e-mail notification indicating my opponent has moved would show his move. I have a lot of on-going games and don't have the time to make an extra log-on to GK just to get my opponent's move. Also for those who use Opera, take note GK does not work (at least not for me). The board consistently shows up minus half the pieces. Refreshing the screen helps sometimes, but not always. An extra log-in with my non-favorite browsers is not particularly endearing :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-10-26 19:05:48)
Last 2 games started

Finally we have a 12 boards match, the last 2 games just started :

Edwards, Matthew (tugger) vs. Kepinski, Janusz (kolarz)
Johnson, Eddie (eqj2) vs. Vasquez, Carlos (errantknight)

Best wishes.

Thomas Gilbreath    (2006-10-27 01:30:26)
got it....we are 100% now:)

thx - Thomas