Thoughts on CC’s Community

This post explores the social and communications life of CC. Contrary to other types of chess there is not much news and sources that discuss correspondence chess.

Blitz and rapid chess have seen enormous activity over the last 15 months during COVID. Online chess has clearly made these forms of chess popular.

Problem chess and puzzles, including studies, have magazines and websites dedicated to them in most large chess websites and through specialized publications.

A recent article by US CC GM Stephen Ham in ChessBase discussed the importance of new NNUE search engines pointing to the fact that popular engine ratings are for fast forms of chess.

In his example we see that rankings of chess engines are based on a vast number of games with fast time controls. This means that these rankings are not that relevant for us in CC.

There seems to be a void when it comes to commercial offerings for CC since you can’t be a professional CC player and there is no market for products as in other types of chess.

There also seems to be a void when it comes to specialized magazines in CC aside from club or national ICCF publications when other types of chess have various media offerings.

What little exists in CC is also in small and closed communities. Even opening theory books are aimed at OTB players leaving CC players without solid guidance and knwoledge.

I’ve recently been playing with a recent opening survey on my key opening with white and after following the suggested moves the position was good if you were playing OTB.

The relevant surprise factor in the little known variations suggested by the authors is not relevant in CC as with some databases and chess engines your opponent will avoid these traps.

It seems also that while during Postal times players shared messages now with Server CC this has stopped to be the case and there is little communication between players.

One last example is Twitter. CC is nonexistent in Twitter or other social media. Most chess activities have people posting and commenting but our dear pastime seems to garner zero interest in social media.

It is also true that we are a smaller group of players compared to other chess styles. It seems we are a group of very committed and independent chess players.

This independent nature is clearly exciting as in CC you dig deep understanding your favorite lines, providing unlimited entretatinment and hours of activity.

But this same charm makes it difficult too to promote CC to new players as it is very difficult to figure out where to even start. For this I hope we can build over time a stronger community.

Nicolas Ronderos

Nicolas Ronderos is an American ICCF Player. He is also a Good Companion Fellow at the US Chess Problem Society. He lives in Paris and tweets about CC as @CorrChess

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