My Correspondence Chess results at ICCF

Introduction

I started to play Correspondence Chess at ICCF in 2016. Link to my profile. I play both in thematical tournaments, in open tournaments, in closed rating based tournaments like class events, and in other events like team matches for Team Sweden. I have been selected to play in a team match for "Team Europe" vs "The Rest of the World".

How I started to play

First I played in a friendly mini match to get used to ICCF server where I won with 2-0. After that I mainly played in thematical tournaments since almost all other tournaments requires a Corr Elo to be able to participate in or a FIDE Elo either bellow 1700 or above 2000 and I had about 1900 FIDE Elo. By playing in a rated class H tournament and by playing in several team matches I got a Corr Elo in 1 october 2018.

My plan for the future

I have been thinking for a while and starting from summer 2021 untill at least 2025 I will stop play in thematical events and I also stop playing in class events. Instead I will focus more on international open events to develop my game better. My plan is to play in any international open event I get invited too. I will also play in every match I can for Team Sweden.

After that I will play class events again but not play in any thematical events ever again. The reasons for not playing in thematical events are that Final events can start at any time so sometimes I have been drowning in games becouse of this since one does apply to play in them but they are automatical without any notice. One time two Final events started at almost the same date.

Elo system

Start Elo is incredible more dependent on the players one met before one got Elo even more than in over the board chess since the when gets an unfixed rating after 12 games and a fixed rating efter 30 game where all games from game one are including in performance calculations. Computers are getting stronger and stronger making draw rates in most events high thus 200 elo span is usually the same practical strengh.

Before one gets an Elo one plays rated event where the opponents rating calculation is dependent on either ones FIDE Elo or provisonal Elo set by national federation.

After 30 games the rating is calculated very much like FIDE Elo. However the K factor drops incredible fast and draw rates are high in most rated events so is almost imposssile to get a high rating if one did not have a high FIDE Elo rating from start and did not have to waste games on lower class events to met at least 2000 elo or met lots of bellow 2000 Elo from the start.

For my part I most have wasted 30 games on bellow 2000 and did not start to gain elo untill I played in better class events and better boards in team matches. And now my K factor is low so win against same rating hardly gives elo points anymore after that I reached 100 games in year 2020.

My favorite thematical tournaments

My favorite thematical tournaments are Najdorf 6 Be3 and Petroff events since I like this kinds of positions with both sides and won several of these events. I have also played in thematical events where I dont know theory at all in the thematical opening but in those cases the results has not been equally good.

My plan is to slowly switch from lots of thematical events into fewer but rated events instead, but I will still play in thematical events from time to time since one can learn, test and improve ones repertour in a self selected line without risk of losing rating points.

Open tournamnets are fun in a way that it is rated games but also has a high rating span between opponnets. This has the effect that is easier to both win and lose Elo than in for example class events where a draw often effects rating very little.

Server play

In normal tournaments one plays only a single game vs the same opponent and all games are played at the same time. In mini matches one plays vs the same 2 games vs the same opponent, 1 with white and 1 with black where both games are played at the same time. Team matches are played as mini matches where every board plays a mini match of 2 games vs a single opponent.

The standard time control varies even between similar events. Most of times the time control is 10 moves in 40 days with duplication after 20 days but sometimes the time control is instead 10 moves in 50 days with duplication after 20 days. One is also allowed vacations or leave days when the clock is not ticking. When opponents has made a move one is notified by mail with the entire game score.

However in some events a hard to explained advanced time contol called Triple Block system is used instead where there are no leave days and time controls works differently, extra days are stored at the bank where dyas stored day can be used to add time to the clock. These events has also a fixed end date and starting date and time increases after every move. Its however difficult to explain every details in a few words.

Draw offers was originally restricted to 1 per player and game until the opponent offers a draw where one can offer a draw again. However in newer events it is possible to offer a draw again if at least 10 moves has passed since ones latest draw offer. Originally it was possible to claim wins or draws based on 6-men Nalimov tablebases. However in events started in 2020 and later it is possible to claim wins or draws based on 7-men tablebases, thus speeding up the game.

One is allowed to use any sort of equipment like books, databases, engines, tablesbases, dvds, magazines, read theory forums or annotations from web sites etc etc and use in ones game.

The games are however secret to the public with a few exceptions for a few events like team matches. In some events the completed games between other playes are viewable if a given number of games in the event are completed.

Thematical tournaments

Thematical tournaments are not rated. In the thematical tournaments one usually plays mini matches from a given start sequence of moves where one plays 1 game with white and 1 game with black vs the same opponent, but in some rare cases it is only 1 game per opponent from a given start sequence of moves.

It is legal to transpose into other openings from the start postion, both me and also some opponents have for example transposed Petroff to Spanish Four Knights by after 3 Nc3 Nc6 4 Bb5. I have also transposed Najdorf 6 Be3 to Najdorf 6 Be2 after 6 Be3 e6 7 Be2 and one opponnet transposed to 6 Be2 Najdorf after 6 Be3 e5 7 Nb3 Be6 8 Be2 followed by 0-0 and one other opponent transposed Najdorf 6 Be3 to Najdorf 6 h3 after 6 Be3 e5 7 Nb3 Be6 8 h3.

All mini matches and all games are played at the same time. The standard is 5 players in each tournament. However some tournaments has more players and in some tournaments the tournament is divided into sections where a given number of the best players from each section qualify to final or semifinal.

The standard events has become tougher and tougher since I started since in 2018 ICCF made it more stimulating by adding that the winner reaches the final even in the smaller standard events thus attracting more stronger and more serious players.


Results and current events

Start yearEventPointsResult
2016ICCF FM/284222/2: +2 =0 -0Victory in the mini match .
2016WSTT/SEA/22 - Sicilian, English Attack, B906/8: +5 =2 -12nd place .
2016WSTT/RD/19 - Russian Defence, C424,5/8: +2 =5 -13rd place .
2017WSTT/2/17/3 - Caro Kann - Panow Variation, B137/12: +3 =8 -14th in section with same points as 3rd .
2017WSTT/RD/22 - Russian Defence, C426/8: +4 =4 -01st place .
2017WSTT/SEA/26 - Sicilian, English Attack, B907/8: +6 =2 -01st place .
2017WSTT/GD/29 - Grünfeld Defence, D80 5/8: +3 =4 -13rd place .
2017WSTT/RD/23 - Russian Defence, C425,5/8: +3 =5 -02nd place .
2017WS/H/6333/6: +0 =6 -05th place with same points as 4th .
2018FIN-SWE 2017 S Board 602/2: +2 =0 -0Victory in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2018WSTT/7/17 - Sicilian Dragon, B70-B796,5/12: +1 =11 -04th in section .
2018WSTT/SEA/29 - Sicilian, English Attack, B905,5/8: +4 =3 -13rd place .
2018SWE-USA 2018 Board 491/2: +0 =2 -0Match drawn in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2018WSTT/3/18/2 - Center Game, C224,5/10: +2 =5 -35th in section with same points as 4th .
2018WSTT/SEA/30 - Sicilian, English Attack, B905,5/8: +3 =5 -01st place .
2018PAN-SWE 2017 Board 171/2: +0 =2 -0Match drawn in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2018WSTT/SEA/31 - Sicilian, English Attack, B905,5/8: +3 =5 -01st place .
2018ENG-SWE 2018 Board 271/2: +0 =2 -0Match drawn in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2018WSTT/RD/28 - Russian Defence, C424,5/8: +2 =5 -13rd place .
2018SWE-RoW 2018 Board 531,5/2: +1 =1 -0Victory in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2018WSTT/RD/Final 05 - Russian Defence, C424/8: +0 =8 -03rd place .
2019WSTT/SEA/Final 06 - Sicilian, English Attack, B905/8: +2 =6 -03rd place .
2019WS/H/7054/6: +2 =4 -01st place .
2019WSTT/2/19/Final - French, Teisha Gambit, C023,5/6: +2 =3 -13rd place .
2019WSTT/RD/30 - Russian Defence, C426/8: +4 =4 -02nd place .
2019SCO-SWE 2019 Board 162/2: +2 =0 -0Victory in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2019WS/M/7375/10: +1 =8 -1I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2019WSTT/RD/32 - Russian Defence, C424,5/8: +1 =7 -02nd place .
2019SWE-AAAN Board 311,5/2: +1 =1 -0Victory in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2019WS/M/7444/10: +0 =8 -2I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2019SWE-ESP 2019 Board 141/2: +0 =2 -0Match drawn in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2019WS/M/7505/10: +0 =10 -0I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2020WSTT/7/19/2 - Sicilian, Accelerated Dragon, B278/10: +6 =4 -02nd place .
2020SWE-WLS 2020 Board 201/2: +0 =2 -0Match drawn in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2020SWE-CUBA Board 170,5/2: +0 =1 -1I lost in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2020WS/M/7566/10: +2 =8 -0 I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2020WS/CCE/A/107/14: +0 =14 -0CCE norm archived. I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2020WSTT/RD/34 - Russian Defence, C426/8: +4 =4 -0I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2020WSTT/SEA/37 - Sicilian, English Attack, B904,5/8: +2 =5 -1I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2020WSTT/GD/40 - Grünfeld Defence, D804/7: +2 =4 -1I have 1 game left in this 8 game tournament .
2020WSTT/SEA/F07 - Sicilian, English Attack, B902/7: +0 =4 -3I have 1 game left in this 8 game tournament .
2020SWE-RO 2020 Board 201/2: +0 =2 -0Match drawn in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2020ARG/cup75/pr 244/6: +2 =4 -0I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2020LD/PRELIM S 65,5/9: +3 =5 -1I have 3 games left in this 12 game tournament .
2020WS/M/7723/8: +0 =6 -2I have 2 games left in this 10 game tournament .
2020WS/CCE/A/145/10: +0 =10 -0I have 4 games left in this 14 game tournament .
2020SWE-EUR 2020 Board 380,5/1: +0 =1 -0I play a mini match of 2 games for Team Sweden .
2020WZ-Z1 2020 Board 2330/0: +0 =0 -0I play a mini match of 2 games for Team Europe (z1) .
2020WS/M/7821,5/3: +0 =3 -0I have 7 games left in this 10 tournament .
2020SWE-POR 20200/0: +0 =0 -0I play a mini match of 2 games for Team Sweden .

Future events

Start yearEventPointsResult
2020WSTT/7/20 Sicilian Nimzowitsch Brohinka, B290/0: +0 =0 -0Starts 2020-12-15. .
2021CAPEA’s 50th Anniversary Open0/0: +0 =0 -0Starts 2021-01-15. 6 game tournament .
2021WSTT/2/21 - French Winawer, Poisoned Pawn, C180/0: +0 =0 -0Starts 2021-03-01 .
2021Sweden - Netherlands 20210/0: +0 =0 -0Starts 2021-03-10. I play a mini match of 2 games for Team Sweden .
?????SSKK klass M0/0: +0 =0 -0Starts when filled. 6 game tournament .

Official photo from Påskturneringen Norrköping 2018. Photo by Lars OA Hedlund.

Open events

Open events are a bit special. The rating span are usually much hiegher, it reminds a bit of or thematical events but rated and no fixed opening. Therefore it is a greater risk to win to both win lose Elo points since draws can both both give and cost more than in class events or minimun rating events. However, I dont care much about Elo, I only hope to get a CCE title in the future or possible a CCM title if looking at a very long perspective.

Starting from summer 2021 untill at least 2025 I will only play in international open events and in team matches for Team Sweden to develop my game better. I will maybee also play in Swedish Championship.

My plan is to play as many different international open events as possible but only one start in each events, many events allow mutiple starts so one plays in more than one group at the same time. After 2025 I will play in class events again but I have played to many thematical events so unless its some sort of funny opening I will not play in them.

Start yearEventPointsResult
2020ARG/cup75/pr 244/6: +2 =4 -0I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2020LD/PRELIM S 65,5/9: +3 =5 -1I have 3 games left in this 12 game tournament .
2021CAPEA’s 50th Anniversary Open0/0: +0 =0 -0Starts 2021-01-15. 6 game tournament .

Official photo from Swedish Chess championship 2017. Photo by Lars OA Hedlund.

Opening play in Correspondence Chess

Openings plays a more important role in Correspondence Chess than in over the board Chess since it more difficult to win against computer assisted opponents from equal positions with no siginficant inbalances. I learned the hard way that one can not trust books blindly, even new opening books or databases can have great errors where the line they suggest lose by force.

Since I started to play Correspondence Chess I learn the hard way of how important it is to have a separate opening repertoar for use in Correspondence Chess since many lines that are extremly good in over the board play are harmless in Correspondence Chess.

I play more critical theortical lines in Correspondence Chess than in over the board Chess. In some positions it play the same variation but different sublines and in my black games I play French defence in Correspondence Chess and Sicilian defence in over the board Chess.

I can also note that in my white rated Correspondence Chess 1 e4 games, Najdorf and 1 .. e5 are most common followed by Svechnikov and Dragon. I have also played the sort of grey area open sicilian line called Chekhover variation (4 Qxd4) instead of entering Najdorf or Dragon in a few games. I have also played some rare French defence games and some rare Caro Kann defence games and hardly met no other defences.

In my black games I can note that flank openings like English opening is very common. I have also played many Bogo Indian games but not only played one single Nimzo Indian game yet. I have also played Nimzo Indian via transposing in some games where I played Ragozin Defence, an opening that is both an independent opening and can be reached via Nimzo 4 Nf3 if black plays d5 or other Nimzo lines if played as indendent option.

I have also played many games in French defence and mainline with 3 Nc3 is more common in Correspondence Chess than over the board Chess. I have also met 3 Nd2 in a few games as well and exchange variation only once. I have also met d-pawn specials in a few games.

Thematical events

In Correspondence Chess one can play many thematical events where one can practise a given opening without risk of losing rating points. I have won several thematical events.

Start yearEventPointsResult
2016WSTT/SEA/22 - Sicilian, English Attack, B906/8: +5 =2 -12nd place .
2016WSTT/RD/19 - Russian Defence, C424,5/8: +2 =5 -13rd place .
2017WSTT/2/17/3 - Caro Kann - Panow Variation, B137/12: +3 =8 -14th in section with same points as 3rd .
2017WSTT/RD/22 - Russian Defence, C426/8: +4 =4 -01st place .
2017WSTT/SEA/26 - Sicilian, English Attack, B907/8: +6 =2 -01st place .
2017WSTT/GD/29 - Grünfeld Defence, D80 5/8: +3 =4 -13rd place .
2017WSTT/RD/23 - Russian Defence, C425,5/8: +3 =5 -02nd place .
2018WSTT/7/17 - Sicilian Dragon, B70-B796,5/12: +1 =11 -04th in section .
2018WSTT/SEA/29 - Sicilian, English Attack, B905,5/8: +4 =3 -13rd place .
2018WSTT/3/18/2 - Center Game, C224,5/10: +2 =5 -35th in section with same points as 4th .
2018WSTT/SEA/30 - Sicilian, English Attack, B905,5/8: +3 =5 -01st place .
2018WSTT/SEA/31 - Sicilian, English Attack, B905,5/8: +3 =5 -01st place .
2018WSTT/RD/28 - Russian Defence, C424,5/8: +2 =5 -13rd place .
2018WSTT/RD/Final 05 - Russian Defence, C424/8: +0 =8 -03rd place .
2019WSTT/SEA/Final 06 - Sicilian, English Attack, B905/8: +2 =6 -03rd place .
2019WSTT/2/19/Final - French, Teisha Gambit, C023,5/6: +2 =3 -13rd place .
2019WSTT/RD/30 - Russian Defence, C426/8: +4 =4 -02nd place .
2019WSTT/RD/32 - Russian Defence, C424,5/8: +1 =7 -02nd place .
2020WSTT/7/19/2 - Sicilian, Accelerated Dragon, B278/10: +6 =4 -02nd place .
2020WSTT/RD/34 - Russian Defence, C426/8: +4 =4 -0I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2020WSTT/SEA/37 - Sicilian, English Attack, B904,5/8: +2 =5 -1I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2020WSTT/GD/40 - Grünfeld Defence, D804/7: +2 =4 -1I have 1 game left in this 8 game tournament .
2020WSTT/SEA/F07 - Sicilian, English Attack, B902/7: +0 =4 -3I have 1 game left in this 8 game tournament .
2020WSTT/7/20 Sicilian Nimzowitsch Brohinka, B290/0: +0 =0 -0Starts 2020-12-15. .
2021WSTT/2/21 - French Winawer, Poisoned Pawn, C180/0: +0 =0 -0Starts 2021-03-01 .

Promotion tournaments

I have played in a number of promotion tournaments. At the site there are WS/O, WS/H and WS/M. I have only played in WS/H and WS/M events.

  • In WS/O players have to be rated 1899 or below at the time of application.
  • In WS/H Players have to be rated 1900 or above at the time of application or have won a WS/O. Players must also have to be rated below 2099 at the time of application.
  • In WS/M Player must have a rating of 2100 or above at the time of application or have won a WS/H.

1st place or two 2nd places in WS/M leads to qualification to the World Championship cicle.

Start yearEventPointsResult
2017WS/H/6333/6: +0 =6 -05th place with same points as 4th .
2019WS/H/7054/6: +2 =4 -01st place .
2019WS/M/7375/10: +1 =8 -1I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2019WS/M/7444/10: +0 =8 -2I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2019WS/M/7505/10: +0 =10 -0I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2020WS/M/7566/10: +2 =8 -0I have no games left but the tournament is not completed yet .
2020WS/M/7723/8: +0 =6 -2I have 2 games left in this 10 game tournament .
2020WS/M/7821,5/3: +0 =3 -0I have 7 games left in this 10 tournament .

Team matches for Team Sweden

I have played in a number of team matches for Team Sweden. Note that all team matches are rated, including friendly matches. I completed 20 games before I lost my first game for Team Sweden.

Friendly matches

Start yearEventPointsResult
2018FIN-SWE 2017 S Board 602/2: +2 =0 -0Victory in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2018SWE-USA 2018 Board 491/2: +0 =2 -0Match drawn in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2018PAN-SWE 2017 Board 171/2: +0 =2 -0Match drawn in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2018ENG-SWE 2018 Board 271/2: +0 =2 -0Match drawn in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2018SWE-RoW 2018 Board 531,5/2: +1 =1 -0Victory in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2019SCO-SWE 2019 Board 162/2: +2 =0 -0Victory in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2019SWE-AAAN Board 311,5/2: +1 =1 -0Victory in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2019SWE-ESP 2019 Board 141/2: +0 =2 -0Match drawn in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2020SWE-CUBA Board 170,5/1: +0 =1 -1I lost in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2020SWE-RO 2020 Board 201/2: +0 =2 -0Match drawn in my mini match for Team Sweden .
2020SWE-EUR 2020 Board 380,5/1: +0 =1 -0I play a mini match of 2 games for Team Sweden .
2020SWE-POR 20200/0: +0 =0 -0I play a mini match of 2 games for Team Sweden .
2020Sweden - Netherlands 20210/0: +0 =0 -0Starts 2021-03-10. I play a mini match of 2 games for Team Sweden .

Team tournaments

Start yearEventPointsResult
2020SWE-WLS 2020 Board 201/2: +0 =2 -0Match drawn in my mini match for Team Sweden .