Russell Sherwood

British Solving Championship

Russell Sherwood  Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sometimes a change of pace is nice......

Chess: National solving championship opens for entries from Britain | Chess | The Guardian


Tip of the week #4

Russell Sherwood  Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A setting seen on most chess engines is "Contempt".

This is a slightly misnamed parameter used by the engine to improve its winning chances against weaker engines. 

What this does is to assume that the opposing engine is slightly less likely to find the "best move".

The majority of engines come with a setting of around 20. 

The consensus is that this should be set to zero for Correspondence Chess, although there are some scenarios where different settings can be advantageous! 


Tip of the week #3B

Russell Sherwood  Sunday, June 6, 2021

Correspondence Chess players all have  tendency to take on too many games - just one more tournament.....

In an ideal world you would be able to dedicate as much time as you wanted to each game but the afore mentioned tendency means this is rarely the case, so it is important to know the importance of each and every game and how they impact tournament outcomes.

Therefore, I recommend reviewing either regularly or on a live basis, each game and/or event. From this we can determine our chances for a Norm/Prize/Advancement to the next round or which games are "dead rubbers". Undertaking this will allow us to determine the games which deserve a greater share of our attention.



Tip of the Week#3A

Russell Sherwood  Sunday, June 6, 2021

The default settings of most chess engines are generally sub-optimal for Correspondence Chess.

An important one to set is that the Hash table size. Either too small or too large and the engine will be running below its best. Details on how to do this are in the article below

Goldilocks and the Hash Table (


Tip of the Week #2

Russell Sherwood  Sunday, May 30, 2021

Tip #2

Canyons and Open Plains

When analysing with an Engine, learn the difference between "Canyons" and "Open Plains"!

Canyons are positions where, whilst the moves are not forced and can take place in multiple orders, do tend to lead to the same position - so you may play ABC or BAC or CBA but will still end up in the same position a few moves down the line. Here, after any nuances over move order have been explored, analysis should be undertaken at the end of the canyon.

Open plains are positions where many near equivalent moves are possible in a position. Here width of search should be considered almost as important as depth to increase the chances of finding the best move.

CorrespondenceChessTipoftheWeekWCCF 7

Tip of the Week #1

Russell Sherwood  Tuesday, May 25, 2021

This is the first in a series of postings. I almost called them daily tips but thought can I give 365 tips?

Tip #1

Ensure that in your engine settings you have "Syzygy 50 Move Rule" is not enabled. If it is enabled, potential wins may be overlooked



Play, parry or Avoid!

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Winning #2 Openings

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ICCF Proposals 2021

Russell Sherwood  Friday, April 30, 2021

Are there situations in CC that annoy you or rules that don't seem to make sense? If so then now is your opportunity to be able to contribute to changing that. 

ICCF's rules are changed on an annual basis at Congress, based upon the following process:

  1. Federations or Officials propose changes to the current rules
  2. The Federations vote on those proposals
  3. The rules are updated based upon successful proposals

If you have any suggestions please let us know, and we can start the process of evaluation. 




2021 Welsh Championships Update

Russell Sherwood  Monday, April 26, 2021

20 Entries to date....

Still plenty of time to enter and remember entry this year is free!

1Russell Sherwood
2Nick Bishop
3Helen Sherwood
4Alex Sherwood
5Paul Keevil
6Rhys Jones
7Paul Scott
8Alex Bullen
9Marc Wakeham
10Gareth Jones
11DP Morgan
12Tom Gunn
13Neil G Evans
14Bob Hurn
15Stephen Bailey
16Josh Robinson
17Michael Bowley
18Gerald Jones
19David Guy
20Arthuyr Wilding
Welsh Correspondence Chess FederationClergy Correspondence Chess ClubSchemingMind Internet Correspondence Chess ClubSocial Correspondence Chess AssociationNational Correspondence Chess ClubWelsh Chess UnionInternational Correspondence Chess Association