The very first correspondence chess English Championship Final, which started in March 2017, nears its conclusion with just three remaining games. The current leader is CCE Mark Eldridge (ICCF 2382) with 8.5 / 14, second is David Evans (2352) with 8.5 / 14 and third is myself, SIM John Rhodes (2397), with 8 / 14. SIM Alan Rawlings (2367) also has 8 / 14, but has a slightly lower Sonneborn-Berger (SB) rating than myself at the moment. Leader Mark has a slightly higher SB rating than David. Tie-breaks are resolved in the following order: – Number of wins; points from Sonneborn-Berger System; results against tied players. In the Sonneborn-Berger System you add up the scores of the opponents that you beat and take half the score of the opponents that you draw against. The total is your SB figure.
So far about 19% of the games have been decisive with 81% being drawn. In these days of computer assisted chess, I suppose this is quite normal. I am expecting CCM John Brasier (2423), who has 6.5 / 12 with two remaining games, to overtake me. Whether he can win outright, I will let you do the calculations! Anyway, I am happy with my score, whatever happens. It is a pity that we cannot see the games until they are finished!
Here is another of the leader’s wins. I think this proves that in correspondence chess you cannot take any theory for granted and must look well ahead from the middle game to the endgame: –