Questions to Xavier Pichelin

  
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Thibault de Vassal    (2008-08-16)
Questions to Xavier Pichelin

Xavier Pichelin is 1st FICGS chess champion after beating IM Gino Figlio in the first candidates final, he accepted to talk about his match, the tournament, his views around correspondence chess, chess engines and so on... The most important part may be he'll defend his title against the winner of the 2nd candidates final :)

Unfortunately, the complete interview is in french only as he doesn't speak english, but if someone finds a good translator (if possible better than Babelfish), he may post it in this thread. Thanks !


- Bonjour Xavier et tout d'abord félicitations pour ta victoire dans le match qui t'opposait au MI (ICCF) Gino Figlio [Pérou] dans la finale des candidats. Tu devais éviter à tout prix la nulle dans toutes les parties, finalement les noirs t'ont porté chance, comment expliques-tu ce résultat ?

Xavier : Bonjour, merci pour les félicitations. C'est vrai qu'en cas de nulles pour toutes les parties, le règlement indique Figlio Vainqueur en cas d'égalité avec victoire(s) et défaite(s) je remporte le match. Donc il fallait que je prenne des risques en attaquant et c'est avec les noirs que je l'ai fait car je pensais que Gino, dans ces parties, attendrait sans prendre de risques pour assurer les nulles.

- Peux-tu nous décrire la manière dont tu as abordé ce match contre Gino et son déroulement au fur et à mesure des différentes phases du jeu ?

X : C'est assez simple, dans ce match je n'étais pas du tout favori car avec plus de 200 points ELO FICGS en ma défaveur, et Gino titré Maître International avec plus de 2480 point ELO ICCF, je pensais que je n'allais pas résister sur 8 parties simultanées car sur une partie tout est possible mais sur 8 parties... c'était pour moi un grand défi ! Pour le déroulement du jeu j'ai joué la diversité sur mes débuts avec les blancs 4 parties 4 coups différents : 1.e4 1.d4 1.c4 1.Cf3. Gino a fait de même : 1.e4 1.d4 1.Cf3 1.Cc3. Ce qui m'a fait douter aussi car 1.Cc3 m'a surpris, je pensais qu'il avait prévu un début tonitruand et c'est là que je me suis dit qu'il fallait que je prenne des risques avec les noirs. Au fur et à mesure des différentes phases du jeu j'ai assuré les nulles des positions équilibrées pour me concacrer a deux parties avantageuses dont une avec les blancs et une avec les noirs pour au moins faire la différence dans une partie pour assurer la victoire. Et en fin de compte c'est 3 victoires qui me reviennent, ce qui me paraissait impossible étant donnée la qualité du jeu de Gino joué sur ce site pour arriver à la finale des candidats du championnat.

- Tu as réalisé pendant le championnat un parcours sans faute, aucune défaite à signaler, tu affiches également des statistiques stratosphériques à 78% contre une moyenne elo à près de 2200, quel est ton secret ?

X : Mon secret? Je n'ai pas de secret. Si j'avais un secret je ne le dévoilerais pas sinon je ne gagnerais plus ! Je pense que j'ai eu un petit peu de chance car il s'en est fallu de peu que je ne sois pas qualifié au stage 3 (robin-round final) car il y avait 3 joueurs à égalité et j'ai eu l'avantage du classement du départ de ce tournoi comme l'indique le règlement. Quant à mes statistiques, c'est aussi grâce aux erreurs de mes adversaires qui m'ont permis de gagner des parties équilibrées.

- Que penses-tu du système mi-ko, mi-toutes-rondes du championnat FICGS et de ses départages inédits lors des matchs en 8 parties ? Quelles modifications y apporterais-tu ?

X : Très bonne question ! Le système mi-ko pour moi est un peu trop rapide car un coup par jour c'est des heures d'analyses pour exploiter une position compliquée, ce qui est difficile quand on à plusieurs parties en cours. Surtout quand on travaille. C'est peut-être aussi grâce à cette cadence que mes adversaires, faute de temps, ont fait des imprécisions sur certaines postions ou exploité mes erreurs. Mais cette cadence a un avantage par rapport aux cadences ICCF qui est de 5 jours par coup, c'est que les parties durent 5 fois moins longtemps ! Le départage inédit des matchs en 8 parties est excellent, obliger le favori à assurer tous les matchs nulles pour gagner ce duel et sinon d'obtenir une victoire supplémentaire contre le challenger est un mode très bien pensé. La modification que je pourrais y apporter est peut-être la gestion du temps qui est rapide pour un système de jeu par serveur. Peut-être augmenter l'horloge de départ de 15 jours, soit de commencer avec 45 jours contre 30 en ce moment. Et aussi la possibilité des prendre des vacances uniquement sur le tournoi en cours afin de gérer les autres parties du site. Par exemple prendre 7 jours de vacances sur un tournoi d'échecs du championnat et pouvoir jouer un tournoi de Big Chess, de Go ou un autre tournoi d'échecs pendant ces vacances. Pouvoir choisir une date de début de vacances à l'avance serait également appréciable.

- Pourquoi t'être investi dans les échecs par correspondance ? T'apportent-ils d'autres satisfactions par rapport aux échecs classiques et au blitz ?

X : Je préfère les échecs par correspondance par rapport au temps. Car les échecs classiques se jouent souvent le week-end, à une heure précise et souvent en déplacement pour effectuer un tournoi. L'avantage, pour moi, des échecs par correspondance est que je puisse me connecter à n'importe quelle heure pour jouer mes coups, ce qui me permet, par exemple, de faire des repas de famille le week-end et le soir tard de jouer un coup, ce qui n'est pas possible aux échecs classiques.

- Tu as su ne pas céder à la tentation et te limiter à jouer un nombre très raisonnable de parties sur le site tout le long du championnat, penses-tu néanmoins que les échecs par correspondance soient addictifs et à quel point ? Ont-ils des répercussions sur ta vie de tous les jours ?

X : Oui ! Limiter mon nombre de parties en cours est pour moi essentiel pour essayer d'avoir des parties de qualité plutôt que de quantité. Avoir beaucoup de parties en simultanée est quand même une chose très difficile à gérer ! C'est peut-être la clé de ma victoire contre Figlio, j'ai regardé ses parties en cours, il en avait pas loin de 90 sur le site de l'ICCF, cela a pu se ressentir sur son temps d'analyse consacré à nos 8 parties sur FICGS. Sur la vie de tous les jours les répercussions sont familiales car il est vrai que je passe plus de temps à analyser les parties et moins temps avec ma famille, ce qui est assez difficile pour moi. Mais quand les résultats sont là je ne regrette pas !

- Que penses-tu de la place actuelle des moteurs d'analyse (Rybka, Shredder, Fritz et autres) dans les échecs par correspondance ? Quelles sont pour toi les qualités complémentaires essentielles du joueur par correspondance, devenu centaure avec la machine pour jambes ?

X : Les moteurs d'analyses dans les échecs par correspondances sont utilisés par 95% des joueurs... Maintenant il faut s'adapter et savoir utiliser ces machines à calculer. Car jouer simplement le meilleur coup de Rybka 3, de Fritz 12 ou Hiarcs 12 sans réfléchir mentalement mène à la nulle si l'adversaire fait de même ou possiblement à perdre si l'adversaire se donne la peine de réfléchir en les utilisant également. En sachant que lorsqu'on est dans le milieu de partie ces logiciels vous donnent souvent 4 à 5 coups evalués de manière semblable, et c'est là qu'il faut choisir le bon coup alors que celui-ci n'est même pas forcément cité par le moteur d'analyse...

- Tu joues désormais au Big Chess sur le site, curiosité ou intérêt ? Que penses-tu de cette version étrange des échecs ?

X : Par curiosité et par amusement et je pense que Rybka 3 ne joue pas encore au Big Chess ! Cette version est quasiment inédite je ne connaissais pas cette forme de jeu d'échecs auparavant donc celui qui a inventé ce jeu a très bien fait ! A propos c'est moi qui vous pose une question sur le Big chess... Y a t-il possiblité de roquer avec ce jeu si oui comment? (NDLR : Non, il est impossible de roquer au Big Chess)

- Et enfin la question que tout le monde se pose, particulièrement François et Wolfgang qui disputent la deuxième finale des candidats, penses-tu pouvoir défendre ton titre l'an prochain ? :)

X : Bien sûr ! Je défendrai le titre ! J'aimerais si possible savoir la date et la cadence du match. Et je souhaite à François et Wolfgang une belle finale ! Je dois faire honneur à cette compétition qui est bien organisée !

- Le match devrait pouvoir débuter durant la première semaine de janvier 2009, la cadence sera à nouveau de 30 jours et 1 jour supplémentaire par coup. Merci pour tes réponses, et encore bravo pour cette belle performance !

X : Merci ! Et à bientôt ! Bonne continuation à tous et bonnes parties !


Benjamin Block    (2008-08-18 08:52:18)
Try to translate!

I think it is something like that?
Hello Xavier and first congratulations on your victory in the match which t'opposait the MI (ICCF) Gino Figlio [Peru] in the final candidates. You should avoid at all costs void in all parties, finally brought blacks t'ont chance, how do you explain this result? X
avier: Hello, thank you for the congratulations. It is true that in case of zero for all parties, the regulation states Figlio winner in the event of a tie with victory (s) and defeat (s) I won the match. So I had to take risks in attacking and it is with blacks that I did it because I thought Gino, in these parts, expected without taking risks to ensure the void.
-- Can you tell us about how you approached this match against Gino and his conduct as different phases of the game?
X: It's pretty simple, in this match I was not at all favorite because with more than 200 ELO points FICGS to my disadvantage, and Gino titled Master International, with more than 2480 ELO ICCF point, I thought I n ' not resist going on 8 simultaneous games as a part everything is possible but on 8 parts ... it was for me a great challenge! In the course of the game I played diversity in my beginnings with white 4 parts 4 different strokes: 1.e4 1.d4 1.c4 1.Cf3. Gino did the same: 1.e4 1.d4 1.Cf3 1.Cc3. What made me doubt also because 1.Cc3 surprised me, I thought he had planned an early tonitruand and this is where I said that I should take risks with blacks. As the different phases of the game I assured the zero positions balanced for me concacrer deal has two parts, one with blanks and one with the black for at least make a difference in part to ensure victory. And ultimately it 3 victories me back, which seemed impossible given the quality of the game Gino played on this site to reach the final of the championship candidates.
-- You have made during a championship course without fault, no losses to report, you also posters statistics stratospheric to 78% against an average elo to about 2200, what's your secret?
X: My secret? I have no secret. If I had a secret I do not dévoilerais if I do win more! I think I got a little lucky because he is required by little I am not qualified to stage 3 (round-robin final) because there were 3 players equally and I had l 'advantage classifying the departure of this tournament as indicated by the regulation. As for my statistics, it is also thanks to the errors of my opponents who allowed me to win parts in balance.
-- What do you think the system mid-ko, semi-all-round championship FICGS and its new départages in matches in 8 parties? What changes would it be?
X: Very good question! The system mid-ko for me is a little too fast since a coup by day is overtime analyses to operate a complicated position, which is difficult when several parties in progress. Especially when you work. It is perhaps also through this pace that my opponents lack of time, made some uncertainty regarding postions or exploited my mistakes. But the pace has an advantage over the cadences ICCF which is 5 days a coup is that the parties had to 5 times less time! The départage new games to 8 parts is excellent, forcing the favorite to ensure all matches to nil win this duel and otherwise obtain an additional victory against the challenger is a very well thought out. The amendment that I could make is perhaps time management which is fast for a game system per server. Perhaps increase the clock starting 15 days, starting with 45 against 30 days at this time. And also the possibility of taking a vacation only on the tournament underway to manage other parts of the site. For example, take 7 days vacation on a chess tournament championship and be able to play a tournament Big Chess, Go or another chess tournament during the holidays. Being able to choose a start date of holidays in advance would also be appreciated.
-- Why t'être invested in correspondence chess? T'apportent there are other rewards compared to traditional chess and blitz?
X: I prefer chess match over time. For the classical chess is often play the weekend at a specific time and often on the move to make a tournament. The advantage for me, correspondence chess is that I can connect at any time to play my shots, which allows me, for example, making family meals on weekends and late at night to play a coup, which is not possible chess classics.
-- You knew not to succumb to the temptation and you only play a very reasonable number of parties on the site throughout the championship, do you think nevertheless that the correspondence chess are addictive and at what point? Did they affect your everyday life?
X: Yes! Limiting my number of games in progress is essential for me to try to have parts of quality rather than quantity. Have a lot of parts simultaneously is still something very difficult to manage! This is perhaps the key to my victory against Figlio, I watched its games in progress, it had nearly 90 on the site of the ICCF, it has been felt on his time devoted to analysis our parties on FICGS 8. On the everyday life impacts are family because it is true that I spend more time to analyze the parts and less time with my family, which is quite difficult for me. But when the results are there I do not regret!
-- What do you think about the current position of engines for analysis (Rybka, Shredder, Fritz and others) in correspondence chess? What are the qualities you complementary core player by correspondence, now centaur with the machine for legs?
X: The engines of analyses in chess matches are used by 95% of players ... Now we must adapt and learn to use these machines to calculate. Car simply play the best shot of Rybka 3, Fritz 12 or Hiarcs 12 mentally without thinking leads to zero if the opponent does the same or possibly lose if the opponent gives himself the trouble to consider using them as well. Knowing that when you're in the middle part of these programs give you often 4 to 5 strokes assessed similarly, and that is that we must choose the right time when it is not even necessarily cited by the analysis engine ...
-- You get the Big Chess now on the site, curiosity or interest? What do you think of this strange version of chess?
X: For curiosity and fun and I think Rybka 3 is not yet the Big Chess! This version is almost unprecedented I did not know this form of chess before therefore the one who invented this game was very well done! About I'm the one who asks you a question on the Big chess ... Is there possibility of castle with this game if so, how? (Editor's note: No, it is impossible to castle the Big Chess)
-- And finally the question that everyone arises, especially Francis and Wolfgang disputing that the second final candidates, think you can defend your title next year? :)
X: of course! I will defend the title! I would like if possible to know the timing and pace of the match. And I wish Francis and Wolfgang a beautiful final! I must honor in this competition which is well organized!
-- The match should be able to start during the first week of January 2009, the pace will again 30 days and 1 additional day by coup. Thank you for your answers, and even congratulations for this excellent performance!
X: Thank you! And see you! Bonne continuation to all and good parties!


Mladen Jankovic    (2008-08-18 09:46:41)
What did you use?

Google translate? That translation needs cleaning up.


Benjamin Block    (2008-08-18 10:44:42)
Yes i used google translate.

Yes there is some words how needs to change, but you understand the most, someone how can change the other words.?


Andrew Stephenson    (2008-08-18 16:06:16)
translation

I will have a go off the top of my head at giving a sense of the interview in english (I dont know the phrase tonitruand but I am guessing it means dynamic!)?: Hi Xavier and first of all congratulations on your success in the candidates final match against IM (ICCF) Gino Figlio [Peru] You had to avoid drawing all the games and finally you succeded with the black pieces. How did that happen? Xavier: Hi thank you. Its true that if all the games had been drawn then under the rules Figlio would have won whereas if the match was drawn but with a win and loss I would win. Because of this I had to take risks and attack. It was with Black that I did this because I thought that Gino would play safely to be sure of a draw. - Tell us how you approched the match and how the different phases of the game went x: Its quite simple, I was not the favorite I have 200 ELO less on FICGS and Gino is an IM on ICCF with a 2480 rating. I did not think I could survive 8 games at once - in a single game anything is possible but 8 games .... it was a big challenge for me! In the openings I chose 4 different moves 1 e4 1 d4 1 c4 1 Nf3 Gino chose 1 e4 1 d4 1 c4 1 Nc3 I was surpised by 1 Nc3 because I was expecting dynamic openings and it was then that I decided I must take some risks with black. I kept most of the games balanced with a draw in hand and concentrated on 2 games 1 white and 1 black to get a result. In the end I got 3 wins which seemed an impossibility given the quality of the games Gino had played on this site to reach the final. - you have not lost any games in the championship and you have fantastic statistics 78% against an average elo of about 2200. What is your secret? x: My secret? I havent any secret and if I did I would not say because I would not win anymore! I think I have been a bit lucky because in the the Round Robin final there were 3 of us on the same score and I went through under the rules because of my rating. As for my statistics I was helped by mistakes by opponents who allowed me to win some drawn games. - What do you think of the system for the FICGS championship (round robin and knock out matches)and what changes would you make? x: Very good question. The matches are a bit too fast for me - 1 day per move when there are hours of analysis needed to exploit a complicated position its difficult when you have several games running Particularly if you are working. Perhaps that is why my opponents have made errors or failed to exploit my mistakes. But this time limit has an advantage over ICCF where it is 5 days per move the games here are 5 times quicker! Having 8 game matches is an excellent idea and obliging the favorite to draw all the games and the challenger to get a at least 1 victory is very well thought out. The change that I would suggest is to have 15 days extra starting time that is 45 days at the start instead of 30 and also the possibilty to take holidays for tournaments for example take 7 days for championship games and to be able to play big chess go or another chess tournament during the holiday. To be able to choose the start of a holiday in advance would also be good. - Why do you like cc and how does it compare to blitz and normal chess? x: I prefer cc because of the time factor. Classical chess is often played at the week end at a fixed time and you have to travel to the tournament. The advantage for me at cc is that I can connect at any time to play a move which allows me for example to have meals with the family at the weekend. Late night moves for example are not possible at classical chess. - You limited the number of your games on the site to a reasonable amount throughout the championship. Do you think nonetheless that cc is addictive? Does it affect your daily life? x: Yes! Limiting the number of my games is essential to try to have games of quality not quantity. Having a lot of games going at the same time is something very difficult to handle. It is perhaps the key to my victory against Figlio - I looked at his games - he had not less than 80 games going on at ICCF this must have affected the amount of time he could spend analysing his 8 games at FICGS. The effects on daily life are felt by the family because the reality is if I spend more time analysing the games I spend less time with the family. Thats difficult for me. But when the results come I dont regret it! - What do you think of the role of chess engines (Rybka Fritz etc)in cc. What are for you the important skills of a cc player - to supplement the machine? x: Chess engines are used in cc by 95% of players. You have to adapt yourself and know how to use the engines. To play just the best move of Rybka 3 Fritz 12 or Hiracs 12 without thinking leads to a draw if your opponent does the same or to a loss if your opponent is thinking. You have to choose bewteen 4 or 5 moves with a similer evaluation from the engine during a game and sometimes the best move is not among these. - You play Big chess. Interest or curiosity? What do you think of this strange version of chess? X : Curiosity and amusement and I think Rrybka 3 cannot yet play Big Chess! This version is new and I did not know it and the inventor has done a good job! By the way I would like to ask is it possible to castle at Big Chess? [No its not possible] - Finally the question that everyone is asking particularly Francois and Wolfgang who are contesting the 2nd candidates final. Do think you will be able to defend your title next year? :) x: Definitely I will defend the title I would like to know if possible the date and time limits for the match. I wish Francois and Wolfgang a great match! I would also like to express my appreciation for this tournament which has been well organised! - the match should start in the first week in January next year the time limit will be 30 days plus 1 day per move. Thank you for your answers and once again congratulations on a great performance. x: Thank you. Cheers. Best wishes to everyone and good games!


Gino Figlio    (2008-08-22 06:19:53)
Congratulations Xavier

I did not have a chance to properly congratulate Xavier after losing a match against him.

While it's true the number of ongoing games affects performance in correspondence chess, in our case this was not a factor.

Xavier played better and did not give me a chance to find significant advantage in any of our games.

He simply outplayed me.

Long live the Champion!


Thibault de Vassal    (2008-08-22 15:00:50)
Congratulations Gino & Xavier

... for the good games & fair play :)


Xavier Pichelin    (2008-08-22 19:13:06)
Thank Tou Very Much!! Gino,

Good Fair-play! Gino.









 

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