CCLA Server Chess
What is server-based correspondence chess?|
Server-based correspondence chess is similar to postal chess; however, instead of exchanging moves by postcard, moves and friendly correspondence is exchanged via the internet. A player logs in from one's personal computer to a central computer called "the chess server." Once logged-in, a player makes chess moves on a chessboard located on the server and "sends" the moves to his opponent via the computer. The server notifies your opponent by e-mail that a move was made. When it is your turn, you are notified by e-mail that it is your turn. Moves transmit back and forth between players until the game is finished. The server accurately maintains the current position throughout the game. It also stores the complete game score; the reflection time used by each player, each player's vacation time and notifies the TD when time violations occur by either player. Should a player be slow to move, the server sends the slow player a "repeat." When the game ends, the server sends the TD the result for tabulation and rating calculations. The tedious bookkeeping associated with correspondence chess is done for the player by the server. The player only needs to sign up to play and then enjoy the chess game!
CCLA server chess is played on the ICCF webserver. Why did CCLA choose the ICCF server to play our server tournaments?
The CCLA is a U.S.-based ICCF national affiliate. The ICCF server is well designed, stable and as an ICCF affiliate it makes sense for CCLA to base its server tournaments there.
Who is eligible for CCLA server tournaments?
All CCLA members with internet access are eligible and encouraged to participate in CCLA's server tournaments. A description of the tournament format may be found on CCLA's webpage, in "The Chess Correspondent" or in the e-mail newsletters regularly sent to members.
How does one sign-up for a CCLA server tournament?
There are three ways to sign up for a CCLA server tournament: 1) you may sign up using PayPal on CCLA's web page; 2) you may print the entry form from our webpage and mail it to CCLA with a check; or 3) you may e-mail the CCLA office if you have a credit balance and ask that the entry fee be deducted from your account. If this is your first CCLA server tournament and do not have an ICCF ID, please let us know. We will register you and obtain an ICCF ID for you. If you already have an ICCF ID, please include your ICCF ID number with your entry and then take a moment to make sure your e-mail address is up-to-date on the server. Tournament start sheets and communication from the TD will be sent to this address. You do not want to miss this communication.
What do I do if I have an ICCF ID and donít remember my ID number or my login password?
Go the ICCF webserver site and click "Login" in the left margin. When the login page opens, go about halfway down the page and you'll see two options: If you forgot your ICCF ID, "find it here," and if you forgot your password, "click here." Clicking those options will allow retrieve either your ID or your password.
If this is your first CCLA server tournament, what happens next?
You will then receive two e-mails. The first e-mail will include registration details. You will need to login to the ICCF webserver site (see instructions below) and change your login password. We recommend that you use a password that is easy for you to remember and not obvious to others. After everyone is registered and the section is full, you will be then be sent a tournament start sheet with tournament details. The sheet will show an official start date. You may begin to play before the start date if you and your opponents are ready.
What does the e-mail with registration details look like?
Once the tournament is started, you will receive a tournament start list by e-mail. The list has all the information you normally receive from CCLA -- player names, player ratings, and tournament rules. The names on that list will appear in your "Games List." After logging on, the Games List appears in the left margin about half way down. It's under the heading "Playing." It's very clearly labeled "Games List." Click "Games List" and all your games are listed.
What happens after I see my games listed?
A list of all your active games appears. The list includes by default "Status" (whose move is it), your "Time Left", "Opponent's name," "Opponent's time left" and "Event" (section number). You may customize the list to include other information by clicking the "Customize" button. If the Status says "Waiting," it is your opponents move, just wait. If it says "Your turn," your clock is running until you move.
The start sheet I received and the tournament crosstable both list this tournament as "Unrated." I thought this was a CCLA rated match. Why is it unrated?
The match is CCLA rated. It is ICCF "Unrated." Please keep in mind that CCLA leases server space from ICCF. The documents and crosstables generated by the server are thus specific to ICCF tournaments. We can not modify them. The word "Unrated" in the start sheets and the crosstable only means the tournament is ICCF unrated.
How do I make a move?
Click "Your turn" for one of the games where it is your turn. A chess board appears. There are also two message boxes. One box shows any message your opponent included with his/her move. The second box is available for you to type a message to your opponent. Use your mouse to make a move. Click the piece you want to move, continue to hold the click button and drag the piece to the square you want to move it. Drop the piece by releasing the mouse click button. Type your message (if you have one) in the message box, click "Submit." Look at the board position to make sure you moved where you want. If the move and position are correct, click "Confirm." This officially posts your move. IMPORTANT - your move is not sent until you click "Confirm," so do not forget to do this. Once you click "Confirm," you cannot take your move back.
How do I know it is my turn to make a move?
The official way is to logon to the server, look at your game list and see which games have "Your turn" listed in the status column. Another way, which is very convenient, is to choose to receive an e-mail notification whenever your opponent makes a move. This notification in turned ON by default. You can also receive e-mail
notifications when you make a move. That option is turned OFF by default. It is strongly recommended you keep the notification
that your opponent has moved turned ON. That's a great way to keep track that it is your move. You can turn notifications OFF/ON by clicking "Personal
settings." That option appears in the left margin about halfway down your initial login screen.|
What if I stop receiving mail from the ICCF server?
Some internet providers use out-of-date methods for identifying e-mail "spam." Since the ICCF server sends large volumes of mail every day, these providers occasionally identify the ICCF server incorrectly as a "spam" generator. Should your provider make this mistake and block e-mail from the server, we recommend you sign up for one of the modern webmail services that specialize in handling e-mail. Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo are some examples of reliable e-mail services. These services work reliably with the ICCF server.
How do I change my e-mail address on the ICCF server?
When you register to play on the ICCF server, you register with an e-mail address. This address is the one to which tournament start sheets and move notifications are sent. If this address is not current, you may miss the beginning of a new tournament. Lost time will not be compensated due to non-received e-mail from either an out-of-date e-mail address or spam blocked mail. Login to the ICCF server to change your address. Click "Personal settings" located in the left margin about halfway down the page. From there you will be taken to a page with your personal information, make sure the "Contacts" tab is clicked. Your e-mail address is located on the first line. Change it to whatever address you want start sheets and move notifications sent. Click "Save changes" before you leave the page.
How do I offer a draw?
When making a move there is a check box you may click called "Offer draw." Click that before you click "Submit." When you click "Confirm," a draw offer is sent with your move.
How do I resign?
When you are ready to resign, click the "Resign" check box, then click "Submit" and then "Confirm." You can add a thank you for the game and congratulations in the message box.
How do I submit results to the TD?
You don't have to. The server sends results automatically to the TD as soon as you, or your opponent resigns, or the game ends in a draw. The tournament table is also automatically updated.
How can I find the tournament results table?
There are two ways. One way is to open a game from your game list and click "Event" in the title bar. A drop-down menu appears. Click "Show crosstable" and results for the whole section appear in crosstable form. The second way is to go to CCLA's webpage and look for Server Crosstables in the left margin. That click will take you to both the active crosstables and the archived completed crosstables. Checking crosstables is a great way to see how well you and your opponents are scoring in a specific tournament.
Do I need to send date received, date sent, and reflection time used information with my moves?
No, the server keeps track of all those details. You just play chess and enjoy the game!
What do I do if my opponent goes "silent" and stops making moves?
CCLA server time rules are 40 days/10 moves with unused time carried forward. The maximum allowable time for one move is 40 days. The ICCF server is set up so that if you do hear from your opponent for 14 days, he or she is automatically sent a reminder notification by the server. You do nothing at this point, but wait. If after 28 days, there is still no response, your opponent receives a second notice. After 35 days, your opponent receives his/her final warning. After 40 days with no move, or if all your opponent's time is used up, the TD is sent notification by the server that there is a time violation. The TD will investigate the situation and forfeit your opponent as appropriate. There is no need for you to do anything. The time violation notice you receive will instruct you to file a claim for forfeit. This is an ICCF requirement, but not a CCLA requirement. Fortunately these situations do not occur frequently in CCLA tournaments.
How do I take a leave/vacation?
Open one of your games. Click "Event" in the title bar. A drop-down menu appears. Choose "Take Leave." You may type in your leave dates or use the calendar to click the start and end leave dates. The dates are inputted for you when using the calendar. Finalize your leave plans for that entire section now by clicking "Take Leave." You must repeat this process for every section you are playing. The server automatically lists you as "on leave" in your opponents Games List. You may choose different leave times for each section. Your opponent will be notified of your leave in his "Games List." This is sufficient notification to your opponents that you are on leave. You are shown how many leave days you have left for each section during this process. The server will not let you exceed the number of leave days allowed. You may also check your opponent's leave status from this same drop down menu.
May I send a conditional move (if / then move) ?
Yes, if the option was turned on by the Tournament Secretary when he created the section. Although the alleged purpose of conditionals is to save time, server games move along rapidly and very little time is actually saved. Neither player benefits in terms of game outcome or quality of play. Each conditional does eliminate one move cycle, i.e., the need for you to login, make the move and log off. This can be convenient since you donít have to set-up the position and analyze again.
Some opponents reply almost immediately. How do I deal with the fast pace?
Besides conditional moves, some opponents will be "fast" players, moving quickly and using very little of their own 10/40 alottment. While this doesn't in any way effect your 10/40 clock, some players report feeling psychological pressure to respond quickly. We suggest analyzing and then answering your opponents' moves on a rotation schedule that works for you. Resist that impulse to send an immediate reply; moving without thinking is the surest way to ruin an otherwise promising position.
Are stalemates and other default draws automatically recognized by the server?
Only stalemates are recognized. The server will automatically record a stalemate as a draw and the result will posted in the crosstable accordingly. An official claim must be made to recognize other default draws. These include threefold repeats, perpetual checks and 50 moves without a pawn move or piece capture. To claim a draw open the game, click "Game" in the title bar. A drop down menu appears. Choose "Claim draw." Your e-mail program opens. Send the claim for draw to your TD. The TD will handle the claim as quickly as possible.
I also participate in ICCF tournaments on the ICCF server. Some ICCF tournaments double a player's reflection time for each reflection day exceeding 20 days. Are reflection days doubled in CCLA tournaments too?
No, the time limit for CCLA server tournaments is 40 days to make 10 moves. Unused time is carried forward and may be used later in the game. There is a limit of 40 days per move. There is no doubling of reflection time in CCLA tournaments.
Is there an official set of CCLA Server Tournament Rules?
Yes, CCLA's server rules are posted on our webpage under the "Rules of Play" section.
Is there a website where I can get more detailed help to use the ICCF server ?
Yes, the Correspondencechess.com website includes a full tutorial on ICCF server play. Or, if you prefer, email your questions directly to CCLA's Server TD for a personal response. Note: this email applet only works in Outlook Express, but you can capture (copy and paste) the email address for use in other email programs.
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