"...a Chessmaster should be a combination of a beast of prey and a monk."

Monday, July 28, 2014

Online Playing

As far as playing on the internet goes, I am playing in a new league this time as the DHLC slow chess league doesn't have a 45 45 this time around.  There's some rules adjustments but seems to be about the same.  Still, my first game was quite crappy, I played a King's Gambit but I wasn't taking the game very seriously due to combo of opponents rating and his reply to my opening.  During the game I was thinking to myself, "Somehow I know this is going to end badly."  I left my queen on a diagonal with my King and didn't notice when he moved a pawn to setup an outpost for a bishop on that diagonal which of course led to the loss of the queen.  Just not really paying attention.  Not so subtle a move and if I had really been taking my time I would have noticed the possibility and done something about.  Just psychology at play.

I'm still playing my regular weekly Australian.  I've had the upper hand lately but it's liable to change and I know he's had some distractions lately.  I expect to see a turnaround soon. He also mentioned maybe connecting me with another player for regular weekly games. So we'll see if that happens or not.

Other than that I haven't been playing too many casual slow games.  I do from time to time.  Still, I feel my ICC membership is wasted because I rarely get a slow game there.  It was quite nice when I was in the team league and was on the server more often.  This year I just don't open the program much.  I find in general it's pretty easy to get a game on FICS but I haven't been logging on that much even though I like it in general and I like the Babaschess interface as well.  There's often interesting chat on FICS unlike both ICC and chess.com

Then, there's chess.com.  Basically, I kind of hate chess.com but at the same time I spend most of my online chess time there.  There's so much crap on chess.com.  For instance, I set up a seek for a 30 30 game.  Someone clicks the seek and sets up the game.  Then starts complaining that I am moving to slowly.  He plays super crappy and loses, and then accuses me of cheating.  It's also a mess if you try to read any forums or anything, they are all just filled with trash and nonsense.  There's good stuff in there too but you have to wade through too much crap to find it.  There are two things I like about chess.com that mean I spend my online chess time there.  First off is the leagues either at DHLC or SCLA.  One thing that I really like about these leagues is that they are primarily for individuals.  I didn't much like the team aspect of the team league on ICC because for the most part it only seemed to crop up for me in negative ways.  It often meant getting a slot as an alternate and so not getting to play, and on the other hand feeling that you are letting the team down when you lose.  I never found there to be any social aspect to any of the teams.  So I prefer these individual leagues more.

The second thing about chess.com is the "online" or "turn-based" or "correspondence" chess.  I do like this because it's free.  A lot of sites have a free trial period but then you're supposed to pay.  There's also a lot of players so that I can get a new game very quickly most of the time.  For awhile I gave this up because it seemed like I played a lot worse in these games because I would fire off moves with only a glance at the position for no good reason.  I think part of the problem is that I would start too many games and so would feel pressure to make moves and not time out.  So I made a rule for myself that I could only have 5 games going at a time.  So far that has been working better although some of the old behavior of firing off moves at odd times without much thought has crept back.  Hopefully I can find maybe one time a day and just make moves in that time and always analyze thoroughly at that time before making a move.

Lastly, I've been playing at LSS, the Lechenicher Schach Server.  It's run by a German guy but it's all in English.  This is correspondence in the new style where engines are allowed.  I've been playing with it using my Houdini 4 in Aquarium using the IDeA setup.  It's interesting in some ways, but for the most part I'm not doing much interacting with the search process, which is how it should be.  So I don't feel I'm getting much out of it.  I kind of suspected this would be the case but wanted to give it a try anyway.  I seem to be doing ok in my games.  My setup tells me I have an advantage in all of the games though none of them are huge advantages.  It also kind of irritates the wife that I have to leave the computer running for long periods of time.  On the whole seems like something I will probably discontinue after this small tournament is over.


  1. The server of the fritz/chessbase software is playchess.com. You can download a free software to play there for free ( but unrated ). There are many very strong player especally at the weekends.

    chesscube.com has many blitz-players too

    The german site schacharena.de has many rapid (15-30 min) players

    And then there are fics , icc , http://www.arena.myfide.net/ and many many more...

  2. I know that this is an older post but this summer a new site came up for online playing: shredderchess.net

    They have a version of correspondence with a different kind of day countdown and it is usually pretty easy to get at least a G 15 there and even longer. No real social aspect like chess.com which is why I play at shredderchess now.

  3. Thanks for the recommendations guys. I will try some of these alternatives too.