Using a computer in correspondence chess

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18644
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:42 pm

MJMcCready wrote: 'It is expected that players will decide the moves for themselves.
ICCF players interpret that to mean that they can consult any number of engines and play the move they as the human in command consider "best" from all the possible choices.

User avatar
Posts: 1389
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:30 pm

Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:39 pm

That would explain the computer-like moves I have seen in many of my games. Time for a rethink on that one then.

Posts: 2604
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:58 am

Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by MartinCarpenter » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:59 am

Just saw some article about them having finally finished the most recent correspondence WC on chessbase and remembered this.

The interesting thing is that its got all the games attached - these people clearly don't hold back at all. Massive theory and utterly terrifying looking positions seemingly abounding. Significantly more interesting than a lot of OTB super tournaments in that sense I'd think. Actually a bit intriguing that humans can clearly still contribute a non trivial amount vs computers even in this sort of situation.

As you'd expect with all that time and computer help, an awful lot of draws, but someone won it :)

User avatar
Michael Mkpadi
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 9:10 am

Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Michael Mkpadi » Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:10 pm

This is the justification for still playing correspondence chess in this day an age of tablebases and 3300+ elo engines.

Let me take you on a thought experiment. Imagine Google and IBM joined forces and create a Quantum Chess Computer that solves the entire chess game tree. What is the first thing that will happen the day after? Well ChessBase will try to buy a licence and include the quantum engine in their latest version of Fritz v253, me and many others will finally work up the courage to quit chess. But more interestingly you can imagine the correspondence players and cheaters (I'm not suggesting the two are one and the same btw) getting their hands on a quantum chess machine and feeding it a position.

What will happen if you feed a quantum chess computer a random position hoping for the best play and optimal result. Well if the position is a win the computer will tell you it is a win for you and give you lines to play that win with best, worst or indifferent play from opponent. But imagine the position is lost for you, then the quantum chess computer will tell you are lost and when you ask for "best play" it will tell you all moves are lost and equally good or bad. Oh dear! I paid out £50K for a chess computer that tells me to jog on when i feed it a lost position.

I think the correspondence players are back in business.
Chess is a conversation. At Chess Club Live everyone can join that conversation whatever your elo rating. :D

User avatar
Jon Tait
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:31 am

Re: Using a computer in correspondence chess

Post by Jon Tait » Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:49 pm

fwiw, I've just blogged about this subject: ... lysis.html

tl;dr – using computers is not cheating but it does make the game considerably less fun :|
blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games:

Post Reply