Saturday, February 17, 2007

To Play, Or Not To Play

Some interesting stuff on correspondence chess, from the latest online version of USCF magazine Chess Life, which includes some nice quotes for those contemplating (or not) this form of chess:
"Play correspondence chess!" — Boris Spassky on being asked how to improve

"For sustained and lasting improvement, correspondence chess is unquestionably the most valuable method known." — Fred Reinfeld

"I often had as many as 150 games in progress. [It] had the useful effect of deepening my theoretical knowledge and giving me an insight into all aspects of the game. Later on this proved of great value to me in tournament play." — Paul Keres

"Correspondence chess and over-the-board chess complement each other." — Alexander Alekhine

Worth a read.

Although, beware. If you take up web-based or email correspondence chess, your ability to visualise in 3D might suffer - as it has for others . . .


Ryan said...

I've never played correspondence chess (and perhaps I can now use that as yet another handy excuse for my poor OTB play!), but after playing online for so many years I also find it difficult to adjust to using a real board and pieces again.

Perhaps I should rejoin a local club here in South Wales and rediscover the joys of 'pushing wood' (or plastic at any rate!).

Tom Chivers said...

I stopped playing OTB for a few years, before then joining S&B. The main problem with not playing OTB is that the games feel relatively 'unreal' - you don't invest so much, you can brush off a lost and start the next one, without really caring. There's nothing quite like the pressure of OTB online, imo.

Anonymous said...

I played 2 correspondence games around 1993, which I am pretty sure were for S&B. Assuming I am right (I am 100% sure I played the games, only 95% that it was Streatham though), what happened to this correspondence arm of Streatham?

ejh said...

All those players were of course speaking long before the advent of chess computers. I think this changes CC entirely and makes it a great deal less valuable as a learning tool.

Tom Chivers said...

You can always play CC without computers at all, or just using a computer interface (but no programme.) I do the latter for one.