ICCF Champions League
First Season (2004-2006)
Reasons for voting "No" to server use

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In a recent poll, about 20% of the players have voted "No" to this question:

       "Will you play in the next season if ICCF-CL goes exclusively on the server?"

To better understand why players choose not to play on the server (or cannot play on the server) this page was set up to list the reasons supplied by the "No" voters. If you voted "No" and would like to contribute your reasons for this page, please send a short email (sorry, individual emails can't be answered, but they will be used for this page). Give you name and country along with your reason(s) for refusing server play. Send to: Franklin Campbell

# Reason for voting no on "server-only" Champions League
1 Opponents don't engage in conversation on the server.
2 Older players prefer to use older, familiar methods (email).
3 Object to "server only" being forced on everyone


Received 18.02.2006 (Thomas Schmelz, Germany):

Dear Franklin,

Maybe you know that I´m the president from ChessOwls (SchachEulen). We have around 50 members and some guest players in the five Championsleague teams.

I´ve sent a circular mail to all my members and asked them if they will play in the mext CL season, if this would be a server only event. Meanwhile I´ve got 31 answers and none of the players (that have answered so far) will play at the server next season.

There are some reasons the members gave to me for their decisions:

  1. ChessOwls is an email correspondence chess club. So it is written in the statutes from the club. 18 members told me that there should be not change to a server club.
  2. The players who are playing in CL showed an overwhelming angry reaction to me. They all refused to continue playing if CL will change to the server. They started the event as an email tournament and never were told about that one day it should become a server only event. My brother wrote to me about despotism because of this idea...
  3. We have some players who have ever played on servers - not on ICCF server but other servers. They wrote that their experiences with playing at CC-servers havn´t been very well. Playing by server seems to be very non personal. The only is changing of moves, that has it been. In most cases it should have been that nobody knows anything about his opponent. This is not the form of playing my members would prefer.
  4. Some players told me, that they doesn´t wish to play in CL because they refuse to become a BdF member. Because every german player, who is playing in CL has to become a BdF member. This is a big problem for the club - but this has nothing to do with your question.

So far about the situation from the ChessOwls view.

Thomas Schmelz
President of ChessOwls (SchachEulen)

Received 7.02.2006 (Rob Leemans, The Netherlands):

Dear Franklin,

I have voted NO because I have the feeling that there are people who are trying to put there ideas into my mind. The question as you have made is not honest, because if I understand it well it will be not possible to play in the CL if I am not willing to play with the server. Absolute dictatorial in my opinion. I know that that is not your aim, I know that you are a true Amici Sumus guy. [No decision has been made. We are just gathering information and opinions. -- Franklin]

But if I see who are in favour of the server and who are trying to convince people what way or another, I must say that those people’s roots are not directly from democratic countries. I don’t want to accuse them, understand me well, but I will try to explain how I feel with a small story:

Just after the disappearance of the Berlin wall and after the reunion of both Germanies my wife and I went skiing in TsjechoSlowakie. I got contact with local people in the pub. They were free at that time but every time they told me something, they first looked around. Old habbits, fear, very sad.

Concerning the server, which I am a big favourite of, it is black or white in their opinion, but as you may be know better then me there are more colours.

I am a member of the Dutch Correspondence Chess organisation. A happy member. Our board will made the decisions how to proceed with the server. Not me as a player.

If they don’t do it right we will tell our board in the yearly congress. That is the way ICCF is organised. Not a few people telling us what we should do. I hope you understand I am not against the server, I am not against anybody, I am just against the atmosphere momentarily.

With lots of respect for all your good work,
best regards

Rob Leemans
The Netherlands

Received 6.02.2006 (Hans-Jürgen, Stralsund, Germany):

Dear Franklin,

our team is a team of older chessfriends. We prefer to play by email.

Best regards,

Stralsund, Germany

Received 4.02.2006 (Joan Canal Oliveras, Barcelona):

I started playing CC in 1978 and we have certainly progressed a lot since then. The webserver play is truly easy and comfortable, taking out all the problems of counting the days, lost letters/messages and so on... Still, there is something I don't like about it.

I basically got into correspondence play not for its competitive value, but because it was a way to make friends from everywhere around the world and discuss with them chess and non-chess matters in a different way that I do, let's say, with my OTB club mates. So for me the social, polite side of CC has always been the most important. It's not so much about winning or losing, but about having a relationship with the chess world.

In this sense, I have met in my two first webserver events many people who don't bother to exchange a word with their moves (I don't mean with every move, but just once in a while), they don't introduce themselves and, what's more, they take leaves without communicating why (just 'personal reasons' would be OK) or how long will they be. I feel that is really inconsiderate towards your opponent.

The most unpolite thing that has happened to me so far, and that is something that could be solved with changes in the webserver, is that my opponent, who hadn't introduced himself or written a single word, 'disconnected' me after I wished him Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I think it is really nasty that one player has the chance to one-sidedly 'cut off' his opponents' communication. It's like 'Shut up and play!'. Well, I don't want to play like that sir. I can play with a computer if I want to, but here I want to know that I am playing (and trying to communicate with) people, not machines. So I resigned my two games, and I couldn't even explain my opponent why!!

Thank you for the attention. I hope to have been of some help.

Best wishes,
Joan Canal Oliveras

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