The idea of creating an email chess server began early in 2001. A few lines of codes were written to see if it is possible to make email chess easier. Could we establish a club where people can play chess simply by email? I know what huge efforts are needed to maintain an email chess club, but what are the computers for if not to take the hard and regular work from humans?
The club was founded in the middle of 2001, when a few obsessed and curious players were trying to use the system's first facilities. It had no name, and a lot of very useful things were still unsupported. But at least we could make moves. :-)
At the beginning of 2002 the club was deemed ready for the Internet public, most of the basic facilities needed to start and play games were working.
By the end of 2002 much work had been done and the following facilities were supported: the pairing system, PGN and FEN support, time controls, vacation policy, the reminder system, and a lot of other stuff were ready, such as starting games with standard openings, assigning colour during a challenge, friendly games, and the chess problem system, to mention only the major things.
On November 20, 2002 the club got it's final name, E4EC, which stands for E4 Emailchess Club, and e4ec.org became the club's Internet domain.
A few things remain to be completed in 2004. The biggest challenge is to support more types of tournaments.
A few milestones:
|Jan 07, 2003
||The daily number of moves first raised over 100.
|Jan 10, 2003
||The number of players reached 50.
|May 09, 2003
||The Hungarian Chess Federation put a link to the club onto its homepage.
|Jul 22, 2003
||The daily number of moves first raised over 250.
|Sep 19, 2003
||The number of players reached 100, while inactive players are removed.
|Nov 10, 2003
||Someone from the Hungarian Chess Federation called me to organize the I. Hungarian E-mail Final in the club. Of course, the request was accepted.
|Feb 02, 2004
||The number of moves a day first raised over 500.
|Aug 27, 2004
||The number of moves a day first raised over 1,000.
|May 01, 2005
||The 10,000th game started.
Modern chess tournaments began in the 1840s and the first international tournament was held in London, in 1851. Strong international tournaments were still quite rare and in the 1880s a master would have been lucky to be able to play in one reasonably strong tournament a year.
By the 1890s, however, a master could enter many strong tournaments throughout the year, and the prize money offered at tournaments made it possible for masters to have a professional chess career.
Nowadays there are many strong tournaments for masters and grandmasters, but there are also a huge number of tournaments for players of every strength. Weaker players today have the chance of improving their play by taking part in such tournaments, which are very competitive.
Saying the truth, mis-writing a move in correspondence chess can be fatal for the game.
But it depends, if the miswritten move is still valid or not fully valid. For example if the check mark (+) is missing, our opponent can reject the move, and can send it back to us for correction.
But if we have two knights, one can move to e4 and the other one can move to e5, mis-writing 12.Ne4 to 12.Ne5 can be fatal, and there is no way to proof we wanted to move the other knight.
This is a problem, that can be solved in server based correspondence chess, that this club offers.
By default the server is very indulgent in accepting moves, it accepts invalid moves if they are still unambiguous, adds check and capture marks, doesn't require the move number, etc. This is for reducing the number of rejected moves, but it results that some miswritten moves are not rejected, and are accepted as a different move.
Those players who manually compose their move messages, and therefore sometimes miswrite their moves may find the StrictMode setting useful.
If they turn it on, the server will accept only fully valid, complete moves exactly as shown in the next example:
Move 1234 12.Nd2-e4
In strict mode the server requires the move number, one dot as white and three dots as black, the piece letter (even at pawns), the from square, the capture mark or hyphen, the target square, and the check mark if needed. If any of these parts is missing, or the whole move is invalid the server rejects the move.
This way the chance that a miswritten move can be valid as an other move is lowered quite dramatically.
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