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Up Topic Rybka Support & Discussion / Aquarium / ICCF Norm Events
- - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2018-12-02 03:14
If you were planning on playing in an ICCF Norm event next year, you may wish to reconsider and enroll this month.  On the 1st of January, I believe, new rules will go into effect that may not be favorable to you.

For example, the required elo for the GM Norm event will be increased (to the point at which I will no longer qualify for it).  So I have altered my plans.  Instead of waiting to play in a GM Norm event in mid-2019, I am enrolling now, while I still qualify.

I am not aware of the full scope of the changes, if you are interested I refer you to your national secretary (or whomever is in charge of inquiry in your zone).  I sent a query to Thomas Biedermann, one of the officials I am familiar with in my zone.  He explained the changes coming for the GM Norm events, as follows:

Begin Quote
==========
On Saturday, December 1, 2018, Thomas Biedermann wrote:

Dear Ed,
These are the current rules
There are two reasons for this message
1.Too many players are entering using their forecast instead of their current published rating.  Many players enter then their new rating is below and it gets rejected
2.In January there will be the new Norm tournaments and many players will be confused which one they really qualify for.
GMN/A are for players rated minimum 2485.
GMN/B are for players rated from 2455 to 2484
There will be GMN/A GMN/B,SIM/A,SIM/B.CCE Norm,CCM Norm so to prevent a bunch of confusion they made message

Tom
==========
End Quote

I have no further information.  If you are interested in any of these events, I advised you consult one of your local ICCF officials.
Parent - - By ChiefPushesWood (**) Date 2018-12-02 15:48
Unfortunately, I'm not yet rated high enough to worry over this. Wish I were but... it takes time.

Eventually...

CPW
Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2018-12-02 17:24
Chief:

You might be... I think there are some new norm events that you might be interested in... but I do not have detailed information.  If you look close at Tom's message to me, you will see CCE and CCM events.  One of those might be just right for you.

I just received my entry confirmation from the TO, I am looking forward to a strong event (probably the strongest I have ever played against).
Parent - By ChiefPushesWood (**) Date 2018-12-02 22:33
Thanks 'Slinger.
I reached out to Tom to see if there were any I'm eligible for.

CPW
Parent - - By ChiefPushesWood (**) Date 2018-12-03 13:08
Unfortunately, Tom told me there are no CCE or CCM events that I'm currently eligible to join. Have to wait until January.

CPW
Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2018-12-03 14:33
Yea, but that is not far away... less than 1 month now.

Are you planning to enter 1 of them?  Which ones are open to you?  Tom didn't tell me the elo requirements for them.

I know you have been itching for tougher competition (the only way to go up the ladder).
Parent - - By ChiefPushesWood (**) Date 2018-12-03 18:24
He didn't tell me the ELO requirements specifically but said I'd be eligible for CCM tourneys.

>I know you have been itching for tougher competition


In the worst way. Looking forward to it very much.

CPW
Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2018-12-04 05:48
Sounds great!  I wish you all the best.
Parent - By ChiefPushesWood (**) Date 2018-12-04 13:52
Thanks, 'Slinger.

CPW
Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2019-01-14 20:29
Hi Chief:

In poking around, one gets nosier when one passes 70:cool:, I noted that you are now playing in a norm event.

I think that is great!  I wish you all the best.  It looks like a stout field.

Also noted you are participating in "friendly" matches.  Again, I am happy to see it and wish you well.

Sincerely,
Ed
Parent - - By ChiefPushesWood (**) Date 2019-01-15 17:01
Hey 'Slinger,
Thank you very much. I'm having a blast.
Credit where it is due... I owe a great deal of any proficiency I have in using Aquarium to you, Sir. Despite our misunderstanding (and that IS what it was), you helped me a great deal in getting started. Others did as well, but you went over and above and I appreciate it.

CPW
Parent - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2019-01-15 19:04
Chief:

You are very welcome.  And I do count you as a friend.  Our past history is just that, history.  The older I get the less that sort of thing means.  I cannot even recall what our tiff was about.  Water under the bridge to quote an old cliche.

As I wrote before, I sincerely wish you all the best (both in Chess and otherwise).

Sincerely,
Ed
Parent - - By G_leoaj Date 2018-12-13 23:33
It came out today.  It looks like you will be moved to a SIM tournament, which I will be moved to also.  There really is no difference between a 2600 elo and 2300 elo player with engines, so my days in ICCF look to be over as I have nothing to play for anymore.  Feel sorry for SIMs that don't have ratings high enough to play in a GM Norm tournament.
Parent - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2018-12-14 05:37
Yes, I saw that the new norm events have made their appearance.  And I am afraid you are correct about being moved to a SIM event.  Makes me mad.
Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2018-12-14 16:08
I withdrew my application for the GM norm event (actually the SIM norm event now).  Got my refund.  I am truly bummed out by this.  And yes, I think I will earn my SIM and still not qualify for the new GM norm events... how sad.  I really don't think the ICCF thought this thru very well.  Maybe they need some market research too.
Parent - - By ChiefPushesWood (**) Date 2018-12-14 18:42
I reckon I'd be disappointed too. But, you're not far off the rating requirement for the B tournament. I imagine it won't be long until you're playing in those GM tourneys, 'Slinger.

CPW
Parent - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2018-12-14 22:52
Perhaps, but I am set to get my 1st SIM norm soon (I predict) at close to my current rating.  So I feel sure that I will gain my SIM before I qualify for the GM norm events.

By that time, I probably won't be thrilled to play in the GM norm event, because it will contain a lot of people very nearly the same skill level.  Hard to get wins.  I much prefer more open events, or at least with a wider range of skill levels, makes for more interesting games.  If we are all tightly bunched, as the GM norm events will be, it is going to be very hard to get a win... therefore hard to earn any sort of status.

The events I have performed my best in have a much wider range of elo.  The GM norm events are now going to have a VERY narrow range of elo.  I do not like this.

I think I will stick with the Cup type events or other open style events.  They are more fun, at least for me.

It will take longer to earn norms, that is for sure, but the old system is gone.
Parent - - By buffos (Silver) Date 2018-12-14 18:56
You should not be.

The GM norm events were rather of bad quality. Low 2400 players. So GM norm was +4, or +5 and what is more No GM would enter such events (you need at least 5 GM's or 3GM + 2SIMs to achieve a norm in 24 games).

Think what was going on. For each 2400 player entering you had find an almost 2500 player. Why would a 2500 player play in such a tournament? He would have to make +3 to barely save his rating.
In the last GM norm tournament I take place we are 2 above 2495 players and everyone else is 2400+/-10. This is not a GM tournament and I am playing there because of the lack of other tournaments.

The decision is great and you will understand that once you improve your rating a little bit more.

Practically there was no tournament for 2500+ players.
Parent - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2019-02-14 02:33
There does not need to be very many events for 2500+.... why?  Because there are very few people with that class of elo.  That is truly a world class elo in correspondence chess. 

And even at my current elo, 2436, I get invited to play in events at least twice a year, if not more often.  Honestly, I have to pick and choose which events I want.  I imagine that this must be the case for even more highly rated players.

I agree with one thing though, with the previous setup, with just 2 norm class events, Master and Grand Master, that was too few.  Increasing the number of events, in general, is a good thing, I think.  But, just not for me.  At least not anymore.  I will play in 3 strong events this year, that is enough for me... and there is a strong chance that I will be invited to at least 1 more strong event... at least strong for me... for someone rated 2500+, they would probably think these were weak events.  Everything is relative.
Parent - By parmetd (***) Date 2019-02-14 00:19
I agree and it's sad. They're making it harder to player correspondence. I think once I get my IM title I may retire because I never get a chance to play these '2600s'.
- - By buffos (Silver) Date 2018-12-04 18:34
Those GM norm tournaments are kind of obscure.

If you look at the requirements for a norm, besides the rating, it says you need at least 3 GMs (5 to be exact but 3 can be replaced by SIMs).

This is hardly ever met in those tournaments.
Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2018-12-05 01:29
Having never played in one... I really have no idea if it is worth it or not.  I am hoping to attain a SIM norm.  I am well on my way to my 2nd IM norm already, and would like a shot at the next step up the ladder.  If I am GM caliber, I am sure I will get my chance (actually I think I will have to earn it:cool:).  I have no idea if I can make the grade, but I am taking the step-by-step approach, and my next step would be SIM.
Parent - - By mattchess (**) Date 2018-12-16 15:55
I'm in the running for CCE and CCM - I think you can register for 10th Inter-Zonal Team Tournament - should have gotten an email about that
Parent - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2018-12-16 18:24
Yes, I did.  I am not sure I want to play.  Other plans.  I am registered for the "Bring in the New Year" tournament that will start in January, and I plan on playing in the Veteran's World Cup later in 2019 (I think they start one every year).  I am not sure when the next WebChess Open will be(2020 I think), but I hope to be able to play in it.  I used to play in the World Cups, but they screwed the time controls for them, so I stopped.

I had considered playing in a WZ-GM norm event, but I took a look at the folks waiting to play... mostly guys I have already played, so I couldn't get excited about it.
Parent - - By parmetd (***) Date 2019-02-14 00:23
Actually, just about every world championship final has a 2600+ player that doesn't have IM or SIM or GM title while they are playing for World Champion title. It's so hard to earn these titles and has become ever harder. My first IM tournament 10 years ago required +13 to get a norm. I scored +12 easily winning the tournament but missing the norm. I have played over 30 norm tournaments and most have been +7 but a few were +2.
Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2019-02-14 02:45
I guess I am lucky, I just finished earning my IM.

I do not know why or what happened, but approximately 3 years ago, I started having successes in norm earning events.  And at the same time, I started climbing the top 50 list of USA players.  Funny thing is that a bunch of us, a group of around 4 or 5, similarly rated players did the exact same thing, we are all rated about the same, all recently earned the IM title, and all are climbing the top 50 list as a group.  We trade places every now and then, but as a whole, over the last 3 years, we have all been stuck in a tight grouping with similar ratings and similar results, titles, etc.

Some of us in this group are young, some are old... I met one of them in the finals of the Veterans World Cup last year.  We all seem joined at the hip, and during this time frame we have played each other frequently.  Still all in the group have seen steady improvement that began about 3 years ago.
Parent - - By parmetd (***) Date 2019-02-14 02:54
I thought I would be an IM 10 years ago and only earned my first norm this year. My rating has been climbing and I am also in the top 50 US players but I would like to get more serious and increase both my rating and norm opportunities. I put out a feeler on a few forums and created a championship team (that got into B group) but there's been very little collaboration. It's difficult to play stronger players and due to the draw rate as engines get stronger it will only become more difficult which is why they made up these baloney CCE CCM titles. No one cares about them but they were hoping they would because otherwise as the opportunities to gain IM, SIM, GM norms drop so too will the player participation rate.
Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2019-02-14 03:50
You have to get into better events that give you better chances.  Events where the players are all tight in a bunch of nearly the same elo are very hard to make any headway.  Here is an example of an event that helped me a lot:

https://www.iccf.com/event?id=72605

How to find such events, now that is the real mystery.  But this one event yielded 2 excellent results for me.  And I will likely earn my 1st SIM norm.  Well, maybe a 50-50 chance.  Note the wide spread of elo.  This gives excellent chances to get wins.  In such event my goal was to take advantage of every opponent mistake to the fullest, and get draws in all other games.  4 or 5 wins out of 14 games, in this day of the computer, is okay by me.

You have got to remember that not all engines are the same, not all engine operators are the same, and not all openings are the same.  Know your openings and play the openings you know... even if they aren't the best openings (they are the ones YOU know).  The better you know the opening, the better you can guide the engine.  And the engines, all engines, need guidance.
Parent - - By parmetd (***) Date 2019-02-14 04:44
Just to give you a sense of what I am talking about, the last time a US player became a GM was 2011, 8 years ago.
Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2019-02-14 06:34
That will change.  I don't know who will be the next US GM... but it will not be another 8 years!  Of that I am sure.  There are a number of players in the top 50 that I think are potential GM material.  One of the most impressive players that I have played is IM Oliver Koo... and SIM Tom Biedermann.  IM Tony Kain is quite talented also... I had the pleasure of playing Tony in the finals of the USCF Golden Knights (unfortunately for me, he gave me a lesson in the Sicilian Defense).

What is missing, I think, among these players is not talent, but drive and/or desire.  However, if you have the misfortune to face one of them when you need a win.... well, it is not likely you will get what you need.  In fact with most of them, if you even try for a win, you will surely lose.

Another very highly thought of player is SIM Wolff Morrow.  Wolff has a reputation that matches his name.  I have never played him, but his rep precedes him.  I have played the other 3 players mentioned, and I have a significant minus score against the three of them.  And IM Koo's play has impressed me the most.  He is quite/extremely accurate and very aggressive.
Parent - - By parmetd (***) Date 2019-02-14 21:57
I think you are overly optimistic. I hope you are right but I think without rules changes we may never see a new US corr GM ever. And it's not lack of talent, in addition to those you name, Tseng and Edwards are other very strong players in the list. While I haven't had the chance to play Koo yet (I hope to one day!) I have an even score against all those you name. Anyways, it has more to do with lack opportunities...

There are players finishing second in the World Correspondence Championship and MISSING their GM norm: https://www.iccf.com/event?id=66745
And there are those that had NO TITLE OR NORMS of any kind playing the World Correspondence Championship to make their first NORM EVER: https://www.iccf.com/event?id=21732

The other part is the huge rating protection because the difference between your average ~2450 player and your ~2250 player is almost nothing.

As for Kain, he is a strange example, appeared out of nowhere with basically no talent but plenty of bravado and became an IM in almost record time.

Anyways, you are aware there are only 11 US correspondence GMs in history right?
Parent - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2019-02-14 22:43
Tony is very young.  As I said, I played him in the finals of the USCF Golden Knights... before he was even aware of ICCF... and at the time, while I knew of the ICCF, I had only ever played USCF postal.  So Tony came to the ICCF well prepared to excel and he had, at the time, a bundle of enthusiasm and energy.  I admit he seems to have lost his drive, many people seem to lose their drive when they cannot just bowl over everyone... I fear Tony was like that.  He and I used to play corr skittles games, again prior to ICCF, and he had the enthusiasm of youth, but once I started giving him real resistance (by about the 5th game), he completely lost interest in playing me.  I kind of figured he went on to find easier prey.  I have a current game with Tseng, looks like it will be a draw, but Wilbur has turned down my draw offer, so we play on.

I have never played Jon Edwards, at least I don't think so, but I have studied some of his games.  He is very good and knows his stuff.  Possibly a great teacher from what I have read.

As for norms, you are right, many players don't have them, even with high elo.  But not for lack of opportunity.  I have earned my best results, norms, thru playing in the "Cups" and promotion events.  Generally you have to get to the 2nd or third level, for example, I started with the open promotion events, graduated to the higher, then master promotion events.  Finally got into the WCCC prelim (still no norm) and finally the WCCC semi-final, where I will achieve a CCM norm.  That is a long road to just earn a CCM.  I then went thru the master class promotion offered by NAPZ and graduated to the NAPZ Championship, in which I earned my 2nd IM norm (and maybe my 1st SIM norm).  Then I was invited to the US invitational and earned my 1st IM norm on my 2nd try (and tied for 1st).

My point... the opportunities ARE there.  But one has to play to earn them.  And many high elo players, or ambitious players, don't or can't take advantage of the events available.
Parent - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2019-02-14 22:55
The difference between 2450 and 2250... is a big difference for someone who earned his 2450 with computers.

Someone who has 2450 from before the advent of computers... well that player might have a hard time holding a game against the 2250 player with a computer.

In fact, it is my belief that many high elo players, who earned their status before computers arrived are afraid to play computer-aided opponents.  I have accused such players in my own federation of making rules to protect their status (elo wise).
Up Topic Rybka Support & Discussion / Aquarium / ICCF Norm Events

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