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I noticed that most websites that allow correspondence chess have time controls that are per move. I believe that historically correspondence chess was played with x days per y moves, which allows one to distribute time where it is needed most, while not making games excessively lengthy, and taking into account the length of a game. As far as I know, official international correspondence chess tournaments are still played this way.

Are there any free online websites that allow this, even if only to set up opponents who can play via e-mail (maintaining a ratings system)? If there are no free sites, what are the non-free options?

An answer to this question Best websites for correspondence chess? listed 5 sites, but I checked all of those and none of them seem to allow standard time controls.

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http://ChessTempo.com offers a wide choice of correspondence time controls including a fixed number of days per game, or increment after a move. Just check it out.

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ICCF is a non-free site that offers 'standard' correspondence chess. I believe they have free 'friendly' (non-rated) matches. Typical fees for 7 player tournaments are around $11USD last time I checked.

Scheming Mind offers free correspondence chess. I admit it has been a while since I last played there. I believe it is still active.

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The old IECG (http://www.iecg.org) moved its operations to the LSS server. It's pretty good and is free.

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I play on http://www.schemingmind.com which allows you to play with time limits such as

  • entire game in 10 days + 1 day per move
  • entire game in 30 days + 1 day per move
  • entire game in 30 days + 3 days per move
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The chessworld website is a subscription site (with a free introductory period) that offers a specific time control which combines two constraints:

  1. Each set of 10 moves must be completed in 50 days (this counter is then reset)
  2. Each move must be completed within 10 days from the prior move

So, you can distribute your time over a 50 day period fairly flexibly, up to 10 days between moves.

I noted that a previous poster mentioned that ChessTempo, the strong tactics puzzle website, is now offering correspondence (and live) game serving. When I checked their seek graph to see what time controls people were looking for a partner for, I only found 1 ad posted, and that was only for a SD 12-hour game. Their website indicates that this funtionality is only in Beta release, as well. So, you may have to wait awhile for a longer-duration game ad to get a response. It may even be worth coming back to their site later on, after they have gathered more of a following.

On the plus side, their game serving is free.

Another free correspondence chess server is the Free Internet Chess Games Server. They have time controls of:

  • 40 days + 40 days / 10 moves
  • 30 days + 1 day / move

These should offer the kind of time flexibility you're looking for.

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