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I am interested in playing correspondence chess online through the ICCF. It is my understanding that using computers is not only allowed, but almost mandatory. My question is: What all kinds of software are needed to be successful, and what are the best software packages to use in each category? I know you need an engine, a database, and some kind of analysis program, but which ones are best? I'd be interested in hearing about both freeware as well as commercial programs.

Thanks for any help! Chris =)

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    Best in what sense? I have a feeling this question is too broad at the moment. Personally I play on ICCF and am fine with Ubisoft's Chessmaster (quite old now, but does OK). – user1108 Nov 6 '17 at 13:57
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    There are plenty of people at lower rating levels on ICCF who obviously aren't using engines. – Larry Coleman Nov 6 '17 at 14:40
  • @LarryColeman: True - I played a guy who dropped a piece at move 7 once. I thought everyone used an engine, so I was expecting to get mated in a few moves :-) – user1108 Nov 6 '17 at 14:47
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The best engine to use for analysis is most likely stockfish. Works with multiple procs, probably the strongest tactically. And as a bonus, it's free (but you should get a good UCI. I use Fritz UCI which is ok. An UCI that shows multiple lines of analysis at the same time is kinda mandatory). Imo using an engine in correspondance chess is only interesting if you're strong enough to understand easily why the program makes the choices he makes. ie 2000+ fide at least. You will also notice some of their evaluation function flaws : for instance overvaluing lines which win a pawn but give opposite color bishops, for stockfish. Also sometimes giving more value to prophylactic moves than line opening moves, when in fact it's better to go for the lines opening immediately (it doesn't always realize how strong it can be because of horizons effects).

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For computer that I am aware of: Chessbase, Aquarium, SCID, (I am trying to get it to work with SCID vs. PC)

For Android that I am aware of: Your Move Correspondence Chess https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pereira.yourmove&hl=en

For Android, I use the app mentioned. Works great.

For computer, I use SCID vs. PC. I am hoping to configure it right. If not I plan on switching to SCID strictly for ICCF play. Regardless you will need to contact ICCF help desk to get the XFCC webservice url.

Hopes this helps.

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    Update-I was able to configure SCID vs. PC to the ICCF server. Works well. If you try it out and aren't familiar with the program, the program has the ability to undock the windows. I was kind of confused in the beginning but after a little time spent learning how the program works, it does a good job with the games and updates the games immediately. – Schmoe Nov 6 '17 at 20:46

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