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Friday, January 27, 2012

Lechenicher SchachServer Ratings

Upon checking my games at Lechenicher SchachServer I discovered I’m eligible to participate in the preliminary groups of the 2016 LSS/IECG World Championship.  Don’t get excited!   So are 300 other players.  We 300 aren’t the site’s top rated players but appear to be the slugs from the ranks who are rated too low to qualify by rating.  I doubt I’ll sign up because the time limit is much slower than I prefer.  My preference is for “Rapid” events which means no vacations are possible and the T/L is 10 days basic plus one day per move.  The one event I’m in now was started at the end of November last year and I have only three games left (out of 6) and we are on moves 40, 41 and 62, so they move pretty fast.

What caught my eye was the ratings of some of the players with ICCF and FIDE ratings.

For the ICCF players here’s the breakdown:
One Senior Master rated 2158,
Five International Masters with an average rating of 2119
Three Senior Masters with an average rating of 1951.  The lowest rated SM is 1769

The FIDE rated players:
Two International Masters rated 2109 and 1922
17 FIDE Masters rated from 1664 to 2160 with the average rating being 1989

What I thought was interesting is that LSS allows engine use, as does the ICCF, in its tournaments and here are these obviously accomplished players who you would think would be among the site’s top rated by virtue of being good enough to obtain a title in either correspondence or otb play. 

Looking at the site’s top rated players I see a lot of names of top level CC players, but only one otb titled player.  That of Brazilain GM Alex Fier.  The 24 year old Feir got his FM title in 1996, IM title in 2004 and was awarded the GM title in 2007 and currently sports a pretty good 2603 rating with the FIDE. Fier’s record on LSS so far is +1 -10 =5 which includes one forfeit win and 8 (!) forfeit losses.  It looks like he got off to a bad start but he’s still playing and is ranked #2 with a 2644 rating. 

Anyway, I just thought it was interesting to notice that even using an engine is no guarantee of success in correspondence play…just look at some of those ratings. Some of them are actually worse than mine!


  1. Using an engine in correspondence chess seems to me unsporting even if both players have agreed to
    this. Doesn't it boil down to 'my engine vs yours'?


  2. This is a FAQ! I have posted on it many times but the answer is no. If engines leveled the playing field most correspondence games would end in draws but the fact is tailenders lose most of their games and the leaders win most of them. So the deciding fact cannot be the engine. For anyone that is skeptical my challenge is to play in an ICCF or LSS tournament and see how they do against CC Masters and other titled players!
    In my last completed event the winner scored +3 -0 =3 while the last place finisher went +1 -4 =1 and the only titled player (an ICCF Senior Master) only managed +1 -1 =4. See the crosstable for the 10th World CC Championship for an example.