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  1. #1
    CC Rookie budfit's Avatar
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    Question Difference in quality of games between ICCF and FIDE

    To all chess community:

    Recently we had a very long discussion on chess database logics and what quality means for different kind of chess players (although on different forum www.talkchess.com) But it still worth to mention it. The post started innocently with posting 52,000 games for free on A00 - Irregular Openings and informing chess community where to download it. (you can still find at http://www.openingmaster.com )

    One of the last topics raised by James Constance was talking about deduplication process but also the inclusion of ICCF / Correspondence games into main stream (OTB - over the board game) database. Is it correct?

    Quote from James Constance : Also the base seems to include correspondence games - so quantity-wise shouldn't it be compared to megabase + correspondence 2009?
    Our answer and also basis for perhaps another discussion is YES. We would welcome anybody who has his/her opinion on this subject to post the answer here. Appreciated.

    A)
    We start with simplification of two bodies (and again this is just simplification we respect very much other chess associations as well)
    1) Practical chess games (OTB - over the board) under FIDE
    2) Correspondence chess games under ICCF

    The last ''conflict'' between FIDE and ICCF was when group of top players from ICCF wanted to play on FIDE chess Olympics. The answer was NO, you have your own Olympics. Let's see why. There are players like Ulf Anderson who are good Corr. chess players but also practical (OTB) players. There was no will for confrontation. Secondly, practical chess as we all know is played under totally different conditions. The players who played both forms can best understand this. I used to play some time ago the practical chess myself for about 5 years, for todays FIDE rating I would say something between 2000-2200 ELO. Then I entered the Corr chess world due to several reasons.

    What is the difference between Corr chess (ICCF) and Practical Chess (FIDE)?

    1) It's all about which players play the game. Implicitly it goes hand in hand with quality of the game. If we can compare ELO of players who play both types of competitions , the ICCF players have 100-200 lower score compared to those from FIDE.
    2) Then it is about the external factors influencing the practical chess such as stress or other indispositions. The corr chess player unlike his colleague from practical chess, can use all the tools available - books, databases, computers engines etc... Therefore the results of ICCF players are lower in reality.

    And why am I talking about this?
    The ChessBase first started to divide players into two groups. It was due to underestimation of corr.chess games from the past. This schizophrenia is kept until now. However today it doesn't have any more meaning as play under the stress is one thing (including making stress mistakes) and deep analysis of chess moves is another (when we talk about corr chess players we mean those with higher ELO)
    The future speaks in favor to correspondence chess only because of distance and costs associated to moving between point A and B. This is also a silent point of conflict.

    To conclude : Virtual Chess or Practical OTB chess? Each has it's pros and cons. We cannot accept the dogma of the past that only practical chess games are real games where many officials these days try to present it this way.

    B)
    Answer to James:
    Each chess database builder considers what to insert into his/her chess database under certain common rules. We think, correspondence chess games should be included because they don't talk about two chesses but one. Actually in the practical chess games (OTB) one may find more mistakes than in corr chess which is perfectly ok, but nobody discuss about it. Therefore the ratio of infiltration of correspondence chess games into the main Opening Master database is higher. Mainly we talk about the quality games or insufficiently present openings such as A00. Therefore we say now, yes, we have more correspondence chess games included in the ''main'' database but this is mainly due to increasing level of the quality and not about some irrelevant criteria set up by ''officials''.
    Therefore if a chess player wants to order the database which should support his plays he or she can better decide based on his own criteria.

    Best Regards,
    Alexander Horvath, SIM ICCF
    http://www.openingmaster.com

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster
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    Correspondence games are probably better in terms of quality..but far too boring
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  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster Adamski's Avatar
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    Measuring Quality in chess games

    Quote Originally Posted by budfit
    To all chess community:...

    B)
    Answer to James:
    Each chess database builder considers what to insert into his/her chess database under certain common rules. We think, correspondence chess games should be included because they don't talk about two chesses but one. Actually in the practical chess games (OTB) one may find more mistakes than in corr chess which is perfectly ok, but nobody discuss about it. Therefore the ratio of infiltration of correspondence chess games into the main Opening Master database is higher. Mainly we talk about the quality games or insufficiently present openings such as A00. Therefore we say now, yes, we have more correspondence chess games included in the ''main'' database but this is mainly due to increasing level of the quality and not about some irrelevant criteria set up by ''officials''.
    Therefore if a chess player wants to order the database which should support his plays he or she can better decide based on his own criteria.

    Best Regards,
    Alexander Horvath, SIM ICCF
    http://www.openingmaster.com
    Interesting, but how do we measure "quality" objectively in chess games. Under what criterion can corr games be said to be of highter quality today than they were in the past?
    God exists. Short and to the point.

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  4. #4
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamski
    Under what criterion can corr games be said to be of highter quality today than they were in the past?
    Firstly, players have ready access to much better databases and secondly the use of computers in analysis has improved play (even though it is theoretically banned in some codes.)

    I find the inclusion of correspondence games in databases helpful; quite often I find that ideas I am looking at that are not featured in texts on an opening have already been tested in correspondence but not yet played OTB.

  5. #5
    CC Rookie budfit's Avatar
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    Lightbulb RE: Under what criterion can corr games be said to be of highter quality today

    Interesting, but how do we measure "quality" objectively in chess games. Under what criterion can corr games be said to be of highter quality today than they were in the past?
    Hi All,
    just small ''opinion'' from me. The level of quality can be determined by number of ''mistakes'' in the games played. There are far more ''mistakes'' under OTB games than under Corr Chess. And this is obvious with the level of stress, the OTB players must experience when they play ''over-the-board''. And yes to certain degree the correspondence games are not so dynamic / thrilling as when you watch some OTB game mainly because you have much more time spent on analysis of your next move.

    Best Regards,
    Alexander Horvath SIM ICCF
    http://www.openingmaster.com

  6. #6
    CC Candidate Master
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    I played correspondence seriously 20-30 years ago and made the 3/4 final of the World Ch around 1986-7 and scored around 50%. It was great for my openings and also in particular my understanding of the 2 Bishops. I always liked Knights more before that. I think, 2400 in ICCF would relate to the strongest OTB, 2800. So I believe Correspondence games are generally much higher quality. Recently I dabbled in some email tournaments and realized most opponents were using silicon help so unfortunately I lost interest. I don't see the point of that and they won't improve.
    I played my best for Him Pa Rumpumpumpum

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  7. #7
    CC International Master
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    I need both

    I play a lot of correspondence chess. I need both over the board and correspondence games when playing openings. For instance In one dragon I did not trust the line given in Dearing. I found only one over the board game with an alternative line and five high level correspondence games. This gave me the confidence to play the line. White was unable to make progress and I drew.

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