Russell Sherwood

Time Machine

Russell Sherwood  Sunday, October 14, 2018

Occasionally in a game, we can have the problem of an opponent wishing to delay the outcome,  In more recent times the laws of CC were changed to introduce the "Code of Conduct". What constitutes a valid COC claim is quite complicated and the player is advised to review the ICCF Rules on the matter

A tool I knocked up at the time is a timeline visualiser - this is a simple excel sheet which can simplify the determination of one of the key parts of COC.

1) Copy your timeline into the sheet

2) Copy/ delete the  formulas

3) Add any vacation into the sheet

4) Review the timeline - some basic methods used people to delay results become very obvious on these charts.




WCCF Template

Russell Sherwood  Thursday, October 11, 2018

WCCF Powerpoint Template


29th ICCF World Championship

Russell Sherwood  Sunday, September 30, 2018

This event finished recently

Much has been made of the draw% but I wondered what other conclusions could be drawn?

9 Wins for White, 123 Draws and 4 Wins for Black

  Games Game% White Perf%
B90 24 18% 55% Sicilian Najdorf
D43 12 9% 55% Semi-Slav
C65 8 6% 42.50% Spanish- Berlin
C89 7 5% 50% Spanish-Marshall
E97 6 4% 58% King's Indian
B97 5 4% 50% Sicilian Najdorf -PP
E54 5 4% 50% Nimzo-Indian
E15 4 3% 50% Queen's Indian


This is slightly surprising, especially the King's Indian and Spanish Marshall and the much lower level of Spanish Berlin than expected.

There are plenty of other interesting nuggets that can be extracted but that is your job!:



Keep an Eye

Russell Sherwood  Sunday, September 30, 2018

Something worth keeping an eye on!   A neural net-based focused on playing 12 pieces or less. Whilst not challenging yet it may become "something"


Russell Sherwood  Monday, September 24, 2018

One of the first dividends of working with Welshbase has been an examination of results against Grandmasters

First against we have 8 results - all draws! Almost all of these came in an India-Wales Friendly in 2015 where the general approach was to take easy draws for the rating points!

Moving onto ICCF-GM - we have 68 games with a combined record of 7 wins, 49 draws and 10 losses, so 48% in Total. However, this hides a number of other facts:

5 players have positive scores against Grandmasters, with a further 4 on 50%

3 players have more than 10 games against Grandmasters (when FIDE games are taken into account) 

From this the conclusion, the potential for a Welsh ICCF-GM at some point in the future looks positive!








Russell Sherwood  Sunday, September 2, 2018

It has been an interesting month, ICCF Congress notwithstanding (For which I will produce a separate report with some of the interesting ideas I picked up there!).

7 Piece Tablebases.

These have now been completed for download! The only issue is that they are about 17 TB in size. This is about the size of 9 typical laptop hard drives! At the moment unless you have superfast fibre or a team effort takes place, these would be difficult to download (and not all chess engines will work with them yet) but you can pick selected ones which fit the positions you seek!


These engine v engine tournaments are interesting to the serious CC player. Whilst the addition of a human changes things significantly these give a good indication of the improvements and issues of the metal monsters. The two most interesting developments to date have been around Ethereal and Neural Network engines (LCZero and Deus X). Ethereal as it is a new kid on the block and may add something to our analysis. Deus X was also interesting as whereas LCZero "learned" chess from scratch, Dues X learned from Human games. From our perspective, two possible research avenues jump out: (1) A NN based on CC games and (2) a NN based on a certain type of position. I would expect to see both of these appear in coming months.

Turn on your translator for this! Early days yet but some interesting thoughts from some very strong CC players

Even earlier days yet but this revival of an old CC discussion board could be interesting!

ICCF Congress decisions 2018 for Welsh Players

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Russell Sherwood  Wednesday, August 29, 2018

I was recently preparing Invitations for the next event in out International Title Tournament Series WCCF8, which led me to update the records on WCCF 1 - 7.

(for me) Many interesting statistics came from these events but the most telling of all was that to date our events have generated 51 Title Norms (CCE and CCM) for players from all around the world (to date players have represented 26 different federations).  The story is actually a bit better than it looks with completed events generating an average of 10 Norms!

All said, not a bad result for one of the smaller Federations!

I also updated the Website article records recently, With a few days left in August we have already posted more in 2018 than we did in 2017, which was a record in itself! The target for 2018 is to reach 200 posts.

So positive news and now the Congress is over we can turn our attention to focus on player development and team tournament planning (for starters)


ICCF Congress Llandudno: Simultaneous vs IGM Nigel Davies

Russell Sherwood  Tuesday, August 28, 2018

As a new event to the Congress Calendar, the WCCF arranged for a simultaneous display to be given by International Grandmaster Nigel Davies (Wales). GM Davies took white on all boards! Final Score GM Davies 15 Wins and 3 draws!

Board Number Player Nat Result
1 Peter Bevan  WLS Draw
2 Sam Davies  ENG Win for GM Davies
3 Catriona Coutts  WLS Win for GM Davies
4 Peter Coutts  WLS Win for GM Davies
5 Timothy Soar  WLS Win for GM Davies
6 Ehud Kisch  ISR Win for GM Davies
7 Adam Haunch  WLS Win for GM Davies
8 Jixin Yang  WLS Win for GM Davies
9 Jack Yang  WLS Win for GM Davies
10 Imogen Camp WLS Win for GM Davies
11 Ifan Rathbone-Jones  WLS Win for GM Davies
12 Martin Bennedik  GER Win for GM Davies
13 Artis Gaujens  LAT Draw
14 Stephen Buseman  GER Win for GM Davies
15 Maximus Pento  GRE Win for GM Davies
16 Nesto Pento  GRE Win for GM Davies
17 Yosua Sitorus INA Win for GM Davies
18 Josef Mrkvička  CZE Draw


ICCF Congress: ICCF Team vs Colwyn Bay

Russell Sherwood  Tuesday, August 28, 2018

 An entertaining match was held between an ICCF scratch team and local talents Colwyn Bay, leading to a 7.5 - 4.5 win for ICCF. 

Many thanks to Syringa Camp for organising the event and Colwyn Bay for providing an interesting tussle!

Board Colwyn Bay Result ICCF
1 I Camp  0-1 S.Buseman
2 J.Shakespeare  0-5.-0.5 M Bennedik 
3 J Yang  1-0 P. Bevan 
4 M Vidler  1-0 I Jones 
5 J Yang  0.5-0.5 M Avotins 
6 T.Soar  0-1 A Guajens 
7 H Davies  1-0 S Ottosen 
8 P Coutts  0-1 E Kisch 
9 C.Coutts  0-5-0.5 G Gray 
10 S Camp  0-1 A Davies 
11 N Pento  0-1 E Warner 
12 M Pento  0-1 P Scott 

Final Score Colwyn Bay 4.5 - ICCF 7.5!! 

Welsh Correspondence Chess FederationBritish Correspondence Chess AssociationSchemingMind Internet Correspondence Chess ClubSocial Correspondence Chess AssociationWelsh Chess UnionInternational Correspondence Chess Association