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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Correspondence chess antics

I don't talk about my chess happenings too often. Something happened this week that really has me annoyed this week, so here goes everything.

As regular readers know I was dealing with cancer issues and still am. I'm also a correspondence chess player. Because of surgery and cancer treatments, I asked for and was approved for two timeouts from my games. One from 9-18 to 9-25, the other from 10-11 to 10-25. Both of these were approved by US Chess Federation Correspondence Chess Director(CCD) Alex Dunne.

In section 04NF02 I am playing David Drevinsky. He is from Massachusetts and we played one time before in 2005. He won. David has been playing CC since 2004 at least, but I think it may be longer. I played in my first CC event at age 13 in 1974.

Our game started in May. It progressed normally till October. In October as I stated above, I took an approved timeout. David not hearing from me, sent a repeat card. Repeats are used to contact players who for some reason you have got no card from in some time. My practice is to wait 3 weeks before sending these. CC veteran Corky Schakel, who is also one of the best CC players in US, does similar. A postcard depending on where its sent in the US can take 4-6 days to get to the place its sent. That means 7-12 days for a card to turn around back to you. Players aren't required to move immediately either, they're allowed 10 days to make a move without telling their opponents they need more time.

Drevinsky sent his repeat on 10-30, Not hearing from me, he turns around and files a time complaint on 11-6. I hear from Alex on 11-7 about this complaint. At the time I was still feeling kind of off and was slow moving on my games. I sent David a move and the game started up again.

On November 21st, I mail a move to David. He receives it, and replies to me. Card is postmarked 11-26 and I receive it 11-30. Still thinking about my move, I'm startled when I get this email from Alex on 12-6.

Hi, Bill !

Your opponent in 04Nf02 David Drevinsky reports that he has not heard from you recently. Are you still playing that game? If so, please send David a move and a copy to me to avoid possible forfeiture. If you are no longer playing that game, please let me know that, too. Thanks!

Pax, Alex Dunne
USCF CC Director
I'm absolutely floored by this complaint and email and let me explain why.

1- Correspondence Chess Rule #10 when filing time complaints.

If you don't receive your opponent's reply within
normal transmission time plus 10 days, send a repeat.
Repeat moves must be labeled as such and must include all
information from the original move. If no reply after one
repeat see Rule 13.

Here's the definition of transmission time.

The time a move is in the custody of the Postal Service, that is, from the postmark date to date of delivery at the recipient's address.
Here's the followup Rule #13.

You may submit a time complaint when your opponent has exceeded his or her allotted reflection time or has failed to respond to a repeat move within 10 days, excluding transmission time. Time complaints should include a full explanation of the facts.
So what is transmission time between here and Massachusetts. Depends 3-5 days.(Note I've been doing CC from FL off and on since moving here in 1976. I know what the regular turnabout is from MA to FL and back. Its about the same as PA to FL and back, which Alex Dunne should know. He lives in PA) Lets take the low bid, three, then you have to add ten days to that total that is thirteen.

When did Drevinsky mail his card? He said the 24th but it was postmarked the 26th. We'll give him the benefit. The twenty fourth. You start counting days on the day after the card is sent. November 25-30 is 6 days. December 1-5 is five. Five plus six is eleven.

Mr. Drevinsky filed a time complaint without following rules ten on the thirteen on the first requirement of rule #10, then he also didn't send a repeat either which the rules require. Note I'm using December 5th as the date of the filing of the complaint. Alex and I have been in regular email contact since he took over as CCD for the USCF in 2005. He takes at least 24 hours or 1 day to send out time complaints.

Drevinsky's time complaint is illegal and uncalled for. To top it, Alex a veteran CC player like myself who is also CCD, didn't notice the obvious discrepancy in dates for a time complaint. There's no way a player who got a card on 11-24 could have fufilled all the requirements of rules 10 and 13 necessary for a time complaint. Alex as CCD should have seen that without even checking rules he should know by heart.

Then Alex threatens me. Totally uncalled for. I've got stacks of Alex's email, One of the fun features of AOL is it can save all your incoming and outgoing mail. I got over 3,000 incoming AOL mail going back two years. I'm not a saint in my CC games and admit it. That isn't the issue here, but what Drevinsky did and Alex's conduct conduct afterwards. Honest mistake? Probably but its two days since I informed him of this, and filed complaints against Drevinsky(I'm getting to that). Alex owes me an apology at the very least.

I've emailed Alex four times in the last two days in regards to Mr. Drevinsky's time complaints. Further investigation by me, has shown his time complaint of 11-6 was also a violation of rule 13 which states 'has failed to respond to a repeat move within 10 days, excluding transmission time.' An impossibility since at most we're talking seven days between sending the repeat and David filing a complaint. David didn't even bother to wait the ten days, alone the transmission time required by rule 13.

So he's filed two bogus time complaints. I'm also asking Alex about the so-called third time complaint he mentioned in his email to me. I've checked my incoming email, there is no record of a third time complaint. Did Drevinsky lie to the CCD in saying he filed three when he actually filed only two or was he mistaken or Alex mistaken? I'm still waiting for a reply, one of my requests of Alex was copies of any of Drevinsky's emails to him concerning our game. See I'm preparing an appeal in case of any decision Alex hands down in the game. Alex I fear can't make an impartial decision after his mistake of 12-6.

Right now I've filed a complaint against Drevinsky under rule #2

You are expected to act courteously toward opponents. The CCD will forfeit players who use abusive or insulting language or who are disruptive. In case of conflict, you should try to come to an agreement with your opponent.

Here's rule 18 also

18. The CCD may assess penalties for violations of these rules. Penalties include, but are not limited to, informal reprimands, warnings, reflection time reduction, forfeitures, or withdrawal. Warnings are usually issued before more severe
penalties but the CCD may skip this step.
Smooth and timely completion of games is the main consideration. Penalties will be assessed as necessary to accomplish this purpose.
Two time complaints in violation of rules 10 and 13 in order to gain a forfeit victory, in addition to possibly lying on the amount of time complaints in a game, I think is strong grounds for being forfeited. I've been at this game for over 30 years, and I can't recall an episode of such rule breaking behavior ever, and this player had the CCD ready to do his dirty work. If violations like this don't warrant a forfeit without warning, what does?

Last note- Alex has yet to reply to requests for a forfeit win. My first mail on that was sent almost 48 hours ago. He can take what time is needed, I'm just a little surprised Alex hasn't requested a copy of David's cards from me. I've only offered twice.

Update- Alex has replied, as has David Drevinsky. Mr. Drevinsky, how kind of him, has dropped his wrong time complaints at the same time saying 'his repeat must have gotten lost in the mail.' My reply- You don't send repeats in a game not even ten days from last hearing from the player when mail takes a minimum of seven days to turnaround.

I'm not dropping the request for forfeiture, and told Alex that. It's now up to him. If I don't get the verdict, I'll appeal to the USCF executive director which I am allowed under 19. David Drevinsky deserves a forfeit for his actions in this game.

Linked to- Adam, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Bullwinkle, Church and State, High Desert Wanderer, Jo, Leaning Straight Up, Morewhat, Pirate's Cove, Populist, Pursuing Holiness, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Rosemary, Stop the ACLU, Stuck on Stupid, Third World County, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl,

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