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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Correspondence Chess Player's Creed

There is more to correspondence chess than playing the game. If I were just interested in the game itself, I would be satisfied playing my computer all day and night, or by replaying the games of famous masters. I play correspondence chess because I enjoy the stimulation of the contest and interaction with other people. I will attempt to treat each of my opponents with respect and courtesy. If my opponent is a beginner, and I am experienced, I will not become annoyed when my opponent does not resign. I will prove my superior skills by making strong moves and ending the game. I will become familiar with the rules and try my best to abide by them. I will not be a "silent withdrawal" from my games and will promptly notify my opponents and the tournament secretary if I can no longer continue in a tournament. When the game is over, I will always send a thank-you card to my opponent, regardless of the result. I will also remain tolerant of opponents who must withdraw from their games, because sometimes the troubles of life interfere with avocations.

I will at all times respect the correspondence chess administrators who have been selected to watch over and regulate an event. If I disagree with a decision, I will gracefully appeal to a higher authority. I will not become involved in petty disputes with dedicated administrators who are trying their best to do the right thing. On the other hand, I will always expect the rules to be enforced on an equal basis. There is virtually no situation where politics and correspondence chess can exist with each other peacefully. The game is the thing, along with the interaction with my opponents - many of whom will become my friends. There is no place in correspondence chess for the legal beagle, or the person who is always on guard for some vague insult. It is, after all, a game, and should be treated as such.

I will only use a computer to analyse in my correspondence chess games if it is allowed by the rules and my conscience will permit it. In that event, I will at least have the decency to inform my opponent. Perhaps, then, my opponent will want to buy a better program, and then the game could evolve to a higher level.

If my correspondence game is published when it is over, I will not gloat over my opponent's mistakes, but will attempt to clarify the ideas in an impartial way. I will not assume that my reader is skilled or understands the ideas involved, but will attempt to show how and why things happened as they did. I will give credit where credit is due.

I will try and give something back to the game I love so much. Whether it is in encouraging a beginning player, writing an article, annotating a game for publication, editing a magazine, or serving as an administrator, I will try and promote all that is good about correspondence chess. At this moment I will realize that it is true - we are all friends.
Copyright © 1998-2005 by John C. Knudsen, all rights reserved. May be reprinted freely with all contents intact.

John C. Knudsen is a Senior International Master (SIM), and has been playing competitive correspondence chess for over 25 years. He is the owner of http://www.correspondencechess.com which has been serving the cc community since 1996. He also has an E-Book site located at http://www.correspondencechess.com/knudsen/edition/ which features e-books in many different categories.
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