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Old February 28th 04, 07:23 PM
Gunny Bunny
 
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Default Why I Don't Pay For Internet Chess !!

http://www.edcollins.com/chess/why-pay.htm

Why I Don't Pay
for
Internet Chess

(or Why I'm Not a
Member of ICC)

by
Edward D. Collins





Despite the fact that I'm a member of both FICS, Chess.net, and
several other free internet chess servers, often times I can be found
playing unrated games as a guest on ICC, the Internet Chess Club. And on
occasion, I'll find myself playing an unrated game against not just another
guest but against a regular member there.
During such times, more than once my opponent, either during or after
the game, will try to "recruit" me and tell me what a wonderful deal it is
for being a member. Others simply ask me why I don't chose to pay for this
service. In either case I find myself taking time out to express my reasons.

Well, it happened again today... twice... so I decided to create this
web page so in the future I can simply direct others to this URL.

In a nutshell, I simply don't feel ICC has anything worth paying for.
It offers nothing of value to me. And I know of no one who willingly pays
for a service of any kind unless they feel the cost is worthwhile.




But Ed, haven't you read the "register" help file on ICC? This file
lists several advantages in being a member!
I most certainly have. Why don't you ask me about these so called
quirks and member benefits and I'll respond in kind.




Members can play rated games there. Don't you enjoy playing games that
are rated?
I most certainly do. However, I gauge my progress via rated games on
all of the other free servers mentioned above. I don't see why I should pay
money just so so I can add ICC to this list.




On ICC, you're allowed to observe Grandmaster games! Unregistered
players can't do that!
Sure I can! If I so choose I can see this blitz Grandmaster game of
yours as soon as it's over via the server's own examine mode.

Note that I can watch a live game between two masters and at my level,
(1700) I'll get just as much (if not more) out of watching a couple of
strong masters play than I would watching a couple of GM's. (A toddler would
get more out of watching a fellow toddler attempt to walk than he/she would
watching Carl Lewis run.)

As it is, watching a "meaningless" Grandmaster blitz game does not
interest me too much. I have the ability to watch an "analyzed" Grandmaster
game here at home through my many chess books and chess magazines. In fact,
I have so many games here at home I wouldn't have time to look at all of
them if I tried.




ICC often broadcasts live events!
FICS does this too... often the very same event. For example, FICS is
currently relaying live the moves of the 1999 Hoogovens tournament, just
like ICC is. And FICS relayed live the moves of the '97 Deep-Blue Kasparov
rematch, as well. There are many other examples. In fact, FICS has relayed
events ICC did not cover at all!




Guests aren't allowed to play in "Tomato" tournaments.
FICS has "Mamer" tourneys which, for all practical purposes, is the
exact same thing.




On ICC you can play against the computers, like BulletC, WimpD, etc.!
Laugh If you enjoy paying to play against computers, you're invited
to come over to my house any time you wish; I have several computer programs
I'd be happy to charge you to play against. I'll even keep track of your
wins and losses and figure out your rating for you. Seriously though, all of
the other servers also have numerous computer accounts one can play rated
games against too.




Members can watch MrSpock's lectures 24 hours a day!
I've seen many of them. ICC allows the same e-mail address to have a
free one-week trial period once every four months. I take advantage of this
and usually sign up and therefore, for one week, I'm a member. (Whoopee!!!!)
During that week I can catch up on all of MrSpock's lectures if I so choose.




Members have a permanent name people will recognize. How about that!
When you sign on as a guest, no one will recognize you.
Actually, I can around this quite easily.

The dozen or so members of ICC I chat with on a regular basis I add to
my notify list. When they log on after me, they are notified that I'm
connected to the server.

"Your arrival was notified by --- guestxxx."

And I'm too, notified that they have logged on. There ya go! Then they
can then finger this guest and after doing so will see, via my finger notes,
that it's me. (Note: I use WinBoard to connect. WinBoard has the ability to
load a "login script" which adds these members to my notify list and sets up
my finger notes for me automatically. (Another reason why WinBoard is
actually much more powerful than BlitzIn.)




Hey! One of the items in the "register" help file is:
"finger notes and variables you don't have to set every time you
login."

Are you saying you found a way around this?

Yes. As I mentioned above WinBoard, my favorite interface, is much
more powerful than BlitzIn is. One of the many features of WinBoard is I can
create an automated login script to set preferred choices and variables each
and every time I log on. As a member of ICC, you typed your finger notes
once... and so did I. I just did it in a text file and saved it to my hard
drive while you did it on the server. It amounts to the same thing.




I take it you know guests can't create aliases. Surely you can
appreciate the power of an alias!
Again, you must have BlitzIn in mind. WinBoard, unlike BlitzIn, has
the power to create its own "ICS menu box." With this I can create
"shortcuts" for often used commands. And note that with BlitzIn, you have to
type your alias. I can execute my alias with my mouse.




Well, the next item on my list was "members have lists that don't go
away, like notify, gnotify, censor, alias, etc." I can see how your login
script gets around this too.
Now you're catching on!




But members have a 20 game history of their games! And unregistered
plays can have their games e-ailed to them Each time you log off, your games
are lost!
No. I also have a history and record of my games... it's on my hard
drive! WinBoard saves, every game I play or observe, to a single PGN file. I
can save any game to this file that I wish to examine as well.




Hmmmnnn... interesting. I take it having a personal library of your
favorite games is about the same thing for you then, huh?
Of course. I can easily, save my "favorite" games to a different file.




So you have no reason to have your games e-mailed to you then!
I've never quite understood why anyone wishes to have their games
e-mailed to them. That seems like an extra step to me since you then have
the task of taking that game from your e-mail program and saving it to a
file. A quality interface will save your games to your hard drive for you
automatically.




Guests aren't allowed to shout or s-shout. You can't get around that!
Oh, please. Do you log into ICC to chit-chat or are you there to play
chess?




Members get discounts on chess products! Read the "marketplace" help
file.
If you're a paying member of ICC simply because you wish to receive a
discount on a chess product, you're gonna have to purchase an awful lot of
these products before you come out ahead!




ICC offers bughouse, and other wild variants. And they recently
implemented Fischer-Random chess! But you won't be able to use your beloved
WinBoard if you wish to play Fischer-Random. According the their News Item
#1125, you need BlitzIn 1.80 or higher to play this.
Laugh FICS offers Bughouse and other wild variants too, including
the latest one, Crazyhouse (a one-player Bughouse variant) which ICC does
not yet have. MEWIS, the Mid-East Wild Internet Server, actually specializes
in wild variants. And note that FICS has had Fischer-Random since the fall
of '96, over two years earlier than ICC implemented it. And no, like many of
ICC's news items and help files, their information is not quite correct...
in this case I don't need BlitzIn at all to play Fischer-Random on ICC,
although I'm sure they would like you to believe that. WinBoard, and other
interfaces, can handle a Fischer-Random game just fine.




Members can send and receive messages to friends who are not logged
in.
If they really are a friend I've got their e-mail address and I can
send them a message via e-mail.




But Ed, weren't you a member of ICC once?
Of course, several years ago. Like most people, I found out about ICC
first, before I realized there were other chess servers out there too. I
know of several others who discovered ICC first as well. It is my contention
most people do, simply because they have more money to spend on advertising.




But why do so many members, after their membership expires, renew? By
then, many of these players would have then heard about the other chess
servers.
Many members do renew but a lot do not. You have to realize after
using BlitzIn exclusively for six months, many people are going to be
hesitant about wanting to take the time to download and familiarize
themselves with a new interface, one that will connect to the other servers.
(BlitzIn only connects to ICC.) You'd be surprised of the number of people
who are still uncomfortable in downloading and unzipping programs. And, of
course, after six months, a player on ICC often has built up quite a number
of rated games which shows up in their "finger" stats. Leaving ICC would
mean leaving these figures behind, something I can relate to. I too, enjoy
seeing that I've played more than 4,500 rated games on FICS. Finally, most
players often develop friendships with others on ICC, and incorrectly assume
they will lose these friends if they suddenly choose to not renew their
membership. Finally, members of ICC are slowly "brainwashed" into believing
FICS is inferior. It's not.




Is ICC worried about FICS and Chess.net and the other servers?
Of course they are. First and foremost, ICC is a business. It is in
their best interests to try to stay one step ahead of their "competition."

a.. Why else does ICC have a policy about not allowing registered
members to talk about the other chess servers in channels?
Zek(*)(2): Please take discussion about other chess servers to
tells.


a.. Why else do most of my questions I submit to the help channel
about the other servers, either not show up on the screen so other guests
can read them but instead bring about a personal reply...
tell 1 Is there any chance ICC will implement Crazyhouse, like
FICS has, in the near future? It's fun!

Petrel tells you: Anything's possible. if you like the idea, why
not send an e-mail to with the suggestion.

... or go unanswered completely?

a.. Why else was the BlitzIn interface written so it would only
connect to their server?
a.. Why else am I not allowed to register for a free trial with
WinBoard as my handle?
The answers are obvious. They would rather have you believe no other
chess server exists. Believe me, if anything, ICC is no dummy.

If FICS, Chess.net and the other free servers did not exist, then I
would definitely pay to become a member of ICC. As it is the other servers
do exist and thus ICC offers nothing of value to me.





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Old February 29th 04, 12:24 AM
Ralph Jones
 
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Default Why I Don't Pay For Internet Chess !!

While I myself don't like the concept of pay servers (for any game type
actually), this article was nothing but somebody strokin their own ego.
And was written by somebody with a mission.

  #3   Report Post  
Old February 29th 04, 05:05 AM
Edward D. Collins
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why I Don't Pay For Internet Chess !!

It's a weird feeling browsing the newsgroups, minding your own business, and
seeing your own name and an article you wrote more than five years ago
suddenly appear.

While I MIGHT agree with you that I may have been "on a mission" I completely
disagree that I was "stroking my own ego." Without knowing anything about me,
or my purpose for writing the article, that's quite a presumptuous statement
for you to make.

Ed Collins
www.edcollins.com/chess



"Ralph Jones" wrote

While I myself don't like the concept of pay servers (for
any game type actually), this article was nothing but
somebody strokin their own ego. And was written by
somebody with a mission.



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Old February 29th 04, 11:06 AM
Gregory Topov
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why I Don't Pay For Internet Chess !!

"Gunny Bunny" wrote in message:

http://www.edcollins.com/chess/why-pay.htm

snip
Members have a permanent name people will recognize. How about that!
When you sign on as a guest, no one will recognize you.
Actually, I can around this quite easily.

The dozen or so members of ICC I chat with on a regular basis I add

to
my notify list. When they log on after me, they are notified that I'm
connected to the server.
"Your arrival was notified by --- guestxxx."
And I'm too, notified that they have logged on. There ya go! Then

they
can then finger this guest and after doing so will see, via my finger

notes,
that it's me.


Of course this doesn't work if your friends with whom you normally chat on
ICC are doing the same thing as you, i.e. logging on as free guests.

But that aside, Ed Collins brings forward many good points. For similar
reasons, I play regularly on FICS for free, and make the odd appearance on
ICC as a guest when necessary.

--
Gregory Topov
---------------------------------------------------------------------
"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say." - Marshall McLuhan


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Old February 29th 04, 11:54 AM
Gunny Bunny
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why I Don't Pay For Internet Chess !!


"Gregory Topov" wrote in message
...

http://www.edcollins.com/chess/why-pay.htm


Of course this doesn't work if your friends with whom you normally chat on
ICC are doing the same thing as you, i.e. logging on as free guests.

But that aside, Ed Collins brings forward many good points. For similar
reasons, I play regularly on FICS for free, and make the odd appearance on
ICC as a guest when necessary.


The downsides of Free Chess Clubs like FICS are the following:

- The admins(*) are volunteers and for the most part are incompetent in
sooooo many ways; u get what u pay for !
- They do not go after (C)heaters, FICS is plaqued with them, even when
evidence is forwarded to FICS nothing happens !
- As it is free "anyone" can join, so you get allot of riff-raff and poor
sportsmanship, then the admins(*) do nothing about it !





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Old February 29th 04, 12:24 PM
Simon Waters
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why I Don't Pay For Internet Chess !!

Gregory Topov wrote:

But that aside, Ed Collins brings forward many good points. For similar
reasons, I play regularly on FICS for free, and make the odd appearance on
ICC as a guest when necessary.


Ed's article omits to discuss how the free servers are funded.

Whilst I have no problem relying on the kindness of strangers, and
occasionally appear on FICS these days, it is worth those of us using
any free service examining if we have made a fair contribution back.

It appears FICS does have a PayPal account ).

It also means that people without ready cash (or who prefer) can
contribute in other ways, and aren't excluded.

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org

iD8DBQFAQdoBGFXfHI9FVgYRArscAJsGl5tCAoqW5CfYzvO5tn WIZYvGYQCgmbvg
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Old February 29th 04, 05:23 PM
DH
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why I Don't Pay For Internet Chess !!

This has a virus attached! Beware.


"Simon Waters" wrote in message
...


  #8   Report Post  
Old February 29th 04, 06:28 PM
Gunny Bunny
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why I Don't Pay For Internet Chess !!

No virus, it is a .jpg

"DH" wrote in message
...
This has a virus attached! Beware.


"Simon Waters" wrote in message
...




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Old February 29th 04, 06:32 PM
David Richerby
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why I Don't Pay For Internet Chess !!

DH wrote:
"Simon Waters" wrote
[Stuff]


This has a virus attached! Beware.


Are you *sure*? It claims to be and looks very much like a PGP sig-
nature and I'd be very surprised if you could fit a virus in such a
small attachment (not much more than 100 bytes).


Dave.

--
David Richerby Psychotic Love.com (TM): it's like an
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ E-commerce portal that you can share
with someone special but it wants to
kill you!
  #10   Report Post  
Old February 29th 04, 11:41 PM
Simon Waters
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why I Don't Pay For Internet Chess !!

David Richerby wrote:
DH wrote:

"Simon Waters" wrote

[Stuff]


This has a virus attached! Beware.



Are you *sure*? It claims to be and looks very much like a PGP sig-
nature and I'd be very surprised if you could fit a virus in such a
small attachment (not much more than 100 bytes).


I suspect the correct interpretation is "this poster was reading news
with Outlook Express 5 - be afraid - be very afraid".

It was a OpenPGP compliant signature when it left here, of course I
can't guarantee what it might have been substituted with on other news
servers.

I believe Outlook Express version 6 finally finally(!) understands what
the signature is, although I believe you still need a third party plugin
to verify it.

Although if you are that paranoid about attachments, drop Outlook
entirely or at least spend a little time at Windows Update.

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org

iD8DBQFAQni0GFXfHI9FVgYRAr0CAJ0T5sBURSDp4q1hgd32ig EA3Cl0+gCfX1/n
0vqUCqYp8UmX2QHJK0UnyFM=
=oHpw
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

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