Mar 4, 2010

2009 USCF Absolute Correspondence Tournament Concludes

Below are the final results of the 2009 USCF Absolute, which has to be one of the fastest-played Absolutes in history, due in large part to the ICCF server.



United States Chess Federation-CC
TD class=bw>1
USCF/WS/09A01TD Dunne, Alex
1USA511587  Sogin, David2287½½1½½½11½1½18.54701
2USA514439 Walters, Gary 2158½½1½½½½½11118.54502
3USA514324 Wilson, Abe L. ½½½½½½11½1½1843.503
4IRL260162 O'Hare, Ciaran236900½½½1½½11117.536.504
5USA511061SMBrandhorst, Wesley T.2293½½½½½½½½½1½173805
6USA514476 Ballow, John ½½½½½½½½½½1737.7506
7USA514434 Van Enk, Steven2301½½½0½½½½½½116.534.2507
8USA512456 Anderson, Laurence A.22810½0½½½½½1½½1631.508
9USA511025IMMiettinen, Kristo S.22910½0½½½½½½11½630.509
10USA510155 Greene, Sanford I.2295½0½0½½½0½11½5.528010
11USA514553 Rhodes, James 00000½½½00½1313011
12USA514679 Poole, Kenneth ½0½0½00½00½02.516.25012
13USA511601 Shipman, Joseph221900000000½½0128.25013


  1. 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

  2. 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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