THE ENDgame IS NIGH!

Well, the endgame in correspondence chess on a well known server is anyway!  As from 2014 all new tournaments have a rule that you can claim a win or draw if the board position contains six men or less which is confirmed by a tablebase for 6-pieces. I can see why the server have done this, as it is impossible to stop players using tablebases, although now it virtually forces all players to use them and you will certainly be at a great disadvantage if you do not! This also supersedes the 50 move rule for draws.

The question is, will this be the beginning of the end for correspondence chess?  You can easily play the opening and halfway into the middle game in correspondence chess by following online databases and the news is that some clever Russian programmers have developed a 7-piece endgame database which runs on the Lomonosov supercomputer at Moscow State University. One particular 7- piece mate runs to 545 moves. There is little room left for human input!

John Rhodes