[blind-chess] Re: Revising Help Rules

  • From: "Jim" <jhomme1028@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blind-chess@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 09:37:06 -0400

Hi Rod,
These are good points. 

Whatever we decide, I'm only going to have so much time for research, so it
won't really matter much. I'm still going to have fun, which, to me, is why
I joined this list. 

The reason I proposed no direct research on the current game was that I was
trying to figure out a way to measure current skill level. But that is hard
to do probably. 

Sorry if I got anyone upset.


Jim Homme
Skype: jim.homme
"Every day's a gift."

-----Original Message-----
From: blind-chess-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blind-chess-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Roderick Macdonald
Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2010 4:47 PM
To: chess
Subject: [blind-chess] Re: Revising Help Rules

In regard to rules...

I played "postal chess" for many years when I was in college and 
thereafter. Like everyone else I referred to books such as "Modern Chess 
Openings" and "Chess Openings, Theory and Practice" to research my moves. 
I had a great deal of trouble reading these print sources with 
magnification, but this helped me learn to play chess well - I never had a 
chess "coach." Computers did not exist back then: your choice was to play 
with a live body or play "postal", and just as over-the-board chess had 
its rules, so did postal chess, and the latter rules actually encouraged 
players to make use of references.

Chess - both kinds - has changed since then. OTB now has faster time 
limits, rules prohibiting playing solely to win on time, etc. "Postal" 
chess still exists to a limited extent - that is, playing via snail-mail. 
But now we have email chess, chess via online server, and even "chat" 

Since I live in Hawaii, more than 2,000 miles from anywhere else, and I do 
not know any chess players here' I have given up on postal chess. I don't 
have enough vision to do battle with the online servers, and since I am 
deaf the telephone, Skype and chat rooms are not my cup of tea. That 
leaves email chess.

I gave up playing competitive email chess six months ago. A friendly game 
now and then or a game to help someone else learn is fine, but that's it 
for me as of now. I LIKE to play email chess, and I like to use it as a 
means of learning, even though I have been playing chess for over sixty 
years. But I don't think I learn much just sitting in front of my chess 
board and doing my own thinking. I do have 30-40 print chess books, but I 
do not have the sight to use those. I now have 5-6 braille chess books a 
friend gave me recently, and I look forward to using those, though they 
are primarily useful only for playing over games that are very out of date 
- mostly 100 years old.

So how does one, in practical terms, keep up with "current theory" in 
chess if referencing books, magazines, games collections and the like are 
banned? I've always found it fun to research the best approach to take in 
my games - I am an analyst by training and profession (retired).

My feeling - my personal opinion - is that email chess is not 
OTB-via-email. To me, Email chess is postal chess via email. If it is not 
and if I want to make use of my reference sources, then there is nothing 
left for me in the way of competition. I feel that if someone wants to 
play "correspondence" chess and bann all references, they should play via 
chat or other type of "almost-over-the-board" chess. I am perfectly happy 
to ban any resource that does your thinking for you, such as software like 
fritz (which I use for my own analysis in writing articles, etc) or online 
chess-playing sites. I believe one should do one's own thinking - while 
making use of whatever reference materials are available.

And LOTS of materials are available, online and accessible.

In mhy opinion if one is to say, "I don't have the time or interest in 
doing all that research, so you can't either", it is like telling an 
over-the-board tournament player, "I haven't played for a year so you 
can't practice before the tournament."

If a certain position should arize in a chess game, and this exact same 
position arose previously in several high-level games, is it cheating to 
look at those games for insight? Suppose Bobby Fischer played "this" move 
and Garry Kasparov played "that" move: Granted, both did a lot of 
high-level thinking to make their decision, but they made different moves 
- which is "best?" That is, to me, up to me to decide, my thinking, OK to 
do. To me it is part of the fun of "correspondence" chess to investigate 
the various options in light of how smarter folks than I am handled this 
int he past.

Also, if I am playing a game with someone and the stated purpose of that 
game is for me to help the other person learn, I certainly would want to 
check reference works to make sure my advice or "coaching" is accurate and 

OK, just my opinion(s). I hope I have been "reasonable" and clear in 
expressing them, but they are just my thoughts.

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