What happened to all the players


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Daniel Parmet    (2020-12-03)
What happened to all the players?

What happened to all the players? I see we used to have dozens of GMs and SIMs not to mention just a huge quantity of players here in years past. How do we get them back? It has become so hard to play on ICCF. Online chess is seeing this huge surge and even now more FIDE IMs and GMs seem to be trying correspondence for lack of other places to play. Why hasn't FICGS enjoyed some of this uptick as well as DMD, rating deflation and lack of events hurt ICCF.

Thibault de Vassal    (2020-12-03 23:55:16)
What happened to all the players?

Hi Daniel, I'm not sure that correspondence chess servers will benefit much from that show (The Queen's Gambit) compared to chess.com & maybe chess over the board. You say that more FIDE IMs and GMs seem to be trying correspondence chess? Or online chess?

Daniel Parmet    (2020-12-04 01:39:36)
What happened to all the players?


You maybe misunderstand me or perhaps I am not being clear by conflating so many issues at once.

1) 1st issue, I did not mention Queens Gambit at all as this show has done very little for chess. The numbers were already skyrocketing on lichess, chess.com and other places due to lockdowns, lack of socialization and spending more times indoors. If anything, it is the SHOW that piggy backed on THIS trend in order to achieve its own popularity (not the other way around).

2) I mean to refer to the fact that many more players used to play here that no longer do which were very strong SIMs and GMs in 09-12 but they're gone now. Why?

3) The growth. Yes, I currently have two otb IMs I am playing against their first games on ICCF and I have already played against 3 GMs whose first games it was on ICCF. Look at the recently started USA/A It has 3 otb GMs that have no corr games. Or how about GM Sam Sevian? https://www.iccf.com/event?id=80817 GM Elshan Moriadiabadi https://www.iccf.com/player?id=517491 And on and on I could go.

4) Separate entirely is how hard it has become to find players of your own level to play, maintain one's rating and the DMD issues which caused LSS to announce their own special DMD rules.

Thibault de Vassal    (2020-12-08 15:33:13)
What happened to all the players?

Thanks for the enlightments!

1) Interesting idea, I did not think it this way but that sounds credible.

2) Too many possible reasons IMHO, first could be the lower rate benefits/investment, added to the constantly growing place of chess engines (particularly since the Rybka era) in the game and the way our lives changed all over the years (real life, social networks, Netflix & so on).

3) That's quite surprising to me but well, at least chess found a way :)

4) I did not hear about that rule yet, what's the idea?

Daniel Parmet    (2020-12-12 18:01:32)
What happened to all the players?

Here I quote LSS rule:
"Dear Chessfriends,

in the past there have been many complaints about games where one player started moving slowly esp in a lost position, partially using the 30-day-per-individual-move rule to its extreme. To my opinion, this is not a good attitude of sportsmanship.

I have therefore developed a measure against this. Depending on the position, the used time of reflection and the ratings of both players, the server can detect such games with a high probability. Actually, the delay of games is already part of the LSS Rules, but was not in effect so far.

Effective 1st October, 2020, such games will now be stopped by the server and the delaying player will be suspended for 3 weeks to start new tournaments. Further penalties might be introduced, if required.

The algorithm will not be revealed to avoid misuse and it might be due to change without notice.

Best wishes
Ortwin Pätzold"

Heinz-Georg Lehnhoff    (2020-12-12 18:39:05)
What happened to all the players?

And this is the reason why I will not start any tournaments at LSS after finishing my last game. It should not be the server's job to estimate and finish a game.

Daniel Parmet    (2020-12-12 22:17:24)
What happened to all the players?

Interesting to see someone actually is in opposition to such a rule!

I am completely the opposite. It makes me want to only play on LSS and give up on ICCF. ICCF has such a huge DMD problem now; it is totally out of control.

Rotom Monotua    (2020-12-13 08:54:24)
What happened to all the players?

I am with Heinz- Georg when he says it's not the servers job to end a game.
Opponents who are delaying might be annoying but on the other hand have every right to use there time.

Thibault de Vassal    (2020-12-13 11:59:19)
What happened to all the players?

That is a tough choice from Ortwin, obviously... I agree with him on the idea that any rule can/will be enforced, but I'm not sure I can agree with this "unknown" rule, indeed. But it may work.

Thanks to Daniel for the quote and to all for the comments on this difficult issue. That's matter to think about.

Daniel Parmet    (2020-12-13 18:13:22)
What happened to all the players?

Well the thing is that the rule is not specific so we don't know how it will be applied but it is hard to come up with a scenario where it isn't the logical course of action. We have people that play R+3 vs R +3 for years or Opposite color bishop endgames that are obviously draw. This has to stop.

Heinz-Georg Lehnhoff    (2020-12-13 18:44:07)
What happened to all the players?

In LSS, the server only terminates games if a player does not respond for a longer time and the engine used by the server evaluates the position of this player as lost. Furthermore, the ELO numbers of the two players are important. However, Ortwin does not publish the exact algorithm. He only published some examples in advance.
By the way, obvious draw positions are not finished.