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Correspondence Chess

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The New Zealand Chess Federation, in addition to over-the-board events, also organises Correspondence Chess in NZL.

Correspondence chess is played via a server on the www, where players login and make a move on a board. This server is operated by the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) which is recognised by FIDE as the official body. ICCF operates a rating list and players can gain international chess titles. NZL has one Grandmaster, Mark Noble, and two Senior International Masters.

New players can start with a couple of free games, before moving on to events for all levels of ability. A small entry fee is charged per event to cover costs. All New Zealand residents can play. No membership fee applies.

Correspondence games are played with a time control of 40 days for 10 moves, or 50 days for 10 moves. This gives players enough time to deal with multiple games at once, and have a few evenings off if they wish.

Why play correspondence chess? – apart from the ability to play opponents from around the world from your armchair, it is a great way of improving your chess ability. You can study opening lines during the game, and more deeply analyse combinations and strategic plans. Most of the older top NZL players played correspondence chess during their development years as part of their learning. For those not living close to an active chess club it is a great way of keeping the chess mind active.

The World Zone, of which NZL is a member, offers Open, Higher, and Master Class Promotional sections. The World Zone events have a 40/10 time control, which allows players to complete their games a little faster.

Winners of Open Class Events promote to the Higher Class. Higher Class winners promote to the Master Class. The World Zone events are seven player tournaments. Winning two Master Class sections qualifies a player for the World Zone Finals and a chance to move quickly to the WCCC Semi-Finals.

The link to the full tournament description: (Choose World Zone and then “More information” for a full description of each class event).

Entries can be made through direct entry (preferred, but requires Paypal) or Michael Freeman ( at the New Zealand Chess Federation. This allows direct banking deposit to the NZCF account. To enter go to the link above, choose World Zone, click the tournament class you want and then choose “Enter.” You will be led through the entry process.

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