Update on 1st English Correspondence Chess Championship 2017

The 1st English Correspondence Chess Championship Final 2017, which started on 31/03/17, has now had 60 of the 105 games completed. The leading scores so far are myself with 6.5 / 12 (+1 =11 -0), CCE Stan Grayland with 5.5 / 11 (+1 =9 -1) and SIM Alan Rawlings with 5.5 / 11 (+0 =11 -0). Out of the 60 finished games only two have, so far, been decisive. I have a habit of playing quickly as, fortunately, I am retired and have plenty of time available at the moment. However some players go at a calmer pace , for whatever reason, and complete their games much later. This means that it is difficult to know who is going to win until much later if most players are around the same score. So I do expect the lead to change many times!

Players have been discouraged from offering draws more than once in their games. I think one reason for the huge increase in draws in correspondence chess is the availability of endgame tables bases which often finish a game as drawn well before it would have been finished before their use. Also, the widespread use of powerful engines means fewer mistakes, so more draws. I suppose you can say that the quality of games has improved, but can you also say that the players themselves have also improved, I think not!

Here is Stan Grayland’s recent win: –

John Rhodes