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Old June 12th 04, 12:31 PM
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Default IECG vs other email chess groups

Just some thoughts...

For me email chess is the wave of the future, various email system problems
notwithstanding. For example spam filters sometimes complicate things, but I
still prefer email to snailmail. Just as postcards are lost occasionally, so
are emails, and probably in similar proportions. I expect about 1% of my
communications to go awry in either case - no big deal.

To that end, two new chess groups IECG and IECC were formed and both seem
successful. The main difference seems to be that IECG says computer use is
OK, while IECC says it's not allowed. Take your pick, I guess, but I prefer
IECG. Actually I haven't tried IECC, but know some good players who play
there. I just prefer the unlimited rules which allow computers.

IECG seems well managed, and I particularly like their membership system and
TDing methods. Their membership system ensures that players know how to
communicate in English with PGN notation, which is the only notation
allowed. PGN is the notation of the future, and everyone should use it.
English is also a good choice for a universal language, and there needs to
be some such choice to make things run smoothly. Also their TDs are friendly
and helpful, unlike some other chess groups. Also they don't get involved in
the horrible tabular format for move transmissions which ICCF tries to foist
on their email players, nor numeric notation nonsense. Normal paragraphical
PGN format is simplest and best.

So why play chess by correspondence, anyway? I guess there's a different
reason for everyone who participates. For me, it's because I've done it for
a very long time, and it's now part of my daily life. I quit once for almost
10 years, but came back because it was part of my way of life. So that's the
real reason. I may or may not win the world championship in IECG or
elsewhere, which is a motivating factor for me, but that's not the real
reason I play. Like I said, it's part of my life. I wouldn't know what to do

I like some other chess groups too which also offer email chess, USCF and
CCLA. I haven't tried APCT but imagine they're fine too. USCF's new
Electronic Knights event is my pick of the current litter, which I expect to
replace their old Golden Knights (snailmail) event eventually. I just hope
they'll start offering a special lapel pin for those who complete all 3
rounds in the Electronic Knights, like they've done traditionally in the
Golden Knights.

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