By ICCF Webserver Steering Group


  Josef Mrkvička
Grayling Hill
 Iain Mackintosh
 Pedro F. Hegoburu
  Chris Lüers
  Nol  Van´t  Riet
  Raymond Boger


ICCF Webserver Steering Group

Progress report and Features of the new ICCF WebServer

The Steering Group is delighted to announce that at present, the
programming of facilities required by the first event in July (as
announced on the ICCF website on 24th May, 2004) is being completed. The
test team will spend the next 6 weeks systematically testing everything
that has been done so far.

The Steering Group has recently signed an agreement with a hosting service
for the Webserver and has transferred to their service in June.

The very first event will be the Webserver Test Open, sponsored by Chess
Mail magazine. It will consist of 13 or 15 sections with 7 players each,
with the winner qualifying for a Final next year.
In addition to Chess Mail subscribers, ICCF has selected some players to
participate in this event, with vacancies to be filled by volunteers who
have responded to an announcement placed on the ICCF website on May 24. In
total, 84 entries were received, most of which will have the unique chance
to participate in this first ICCF Webserver event!

After the first event starts, the programming of team events will still
have to be completed, which is the last part of phase 1 of the project.
That programming work is expected to finish in August, after which ICCF
can offer all types of event.

Phase 2 of the project will start some time after August and will expand
and enlarge on the existing structure and include new and more complex

The ICCF Webserver is a purpose-built system for correspondence chess
players and administrators. It can organise individual and team events on
an international, zonal, national, or special category basis.

Organisers and administrators can quickly and flexibly tailor any event to
suit their needs. There is a wide variety of options, including time
controls, pairing methods, viewing rules for finished/unfinished games,
player substitutions, and so on.

ICCF titles norms and ratings are fully supported, and the Webserver will
automate many results and grading functions now and in the future.

Extensive playing facilities are offered, with many options to help
players organise their games, schedule their holidays and leaves, and
enjoy secure communications.

The Webserver is not a chess-playing engine, and will not evaluate
positions. It will not recognise infrequent situations such as threefold
repetition or the 50-move rule. It will however allow a limited form of
conditional moves in those events where conditionals are selected by the

Of interest to players is how the Webserver calculates time.
Correspondence chess will still count in days. There is a central clock in
the system, which timestamps each move made. If a reply is made within 24
hours of this timestamp then zero days is counted. One day is counted for
each complete or part 24-hour period thereafter. So, the “phoney” email
day is removed. The Webserver design allows for the addition of other
methods of time calculation in future, but this will be the initial and
standard method.

Initially, the Webserver will allow players to download PGN versions of
their games for storage and offline analysis. An important feature of the
Webserver design is a new interface standard, which will allow the
Webserver to link to other chess software that also uses the standard.
ChessBase has agreed to implement this feature in a future release of
their database product and support the new standard thereafter.

(Prepared by Iain Mackintosh, ICCF Webserver Project Manager with editing
assistance from Grayling Hill, ICCF Steering Group Chairman, Pedro F.
Hegoburu, and Josef Mrkvička, ICCF President.)



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