A blog devoted to chess and especially chess theory, correspondence chess, and USCF elections
Gary, thank you for a very interesting blog. I need to ask a question, a question I've asked of many cc players, do you use a computer to help you play? Do you use a machine to help generate moves? Why do I care? Because I'm a guy who wants to know if there's any hope whatsoever for a non-computer player in the modern chess world. I'm hoping that somebody will answer me and say, "Sebastian! you don't need a pc to play cc!! You can play rich and interesting and competitive chess just by working hard and not giving up. And you might never win a tournament but you'll get better and learn about the game!" I'm hoping that you'll be the one to tell me that and that you play without the assistance of machines because up to now the answer I've been getting is,"Sebastian! Don't be naive. If you don't have a machine playing your moves you'll never win a game and you'll never play a competitive game of cc." Cheers and thanks for the blog.Sebastian at email@example.com
Sebastian, I believe there are a large number of players who play by the rules of the tourney they are participating in. Some allow computers, some don't. Nevertheless, in a tournament of, say, 13 players, it would be likely that you will face several computers regardless of the rules. My view is don't fret it. There's no question that a good CC player with a small gameload can compete with the best machines. The chess will be rich and productive, whether the other player is using an engine or not. You will certainly lose some games tactically. In the ICCF, where machines are openly allowed, you also will almost certainly never win a tournament by blindly following the best engine unless you have the computing power and time to run every move 30 ply deep. I can't remotely do that, although there may be some who can. Bottom line is that the human component is critical to success, and if you have enough time, you can be competitive without a machine.
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