This question is directed to the experienced ICCF players. My question is basically what is the input that the human player has into the game. I was just wondering because with the use opening books, databases, endgame tablebases, and engines what is the human role in the game? A decade ago the engines were weaker and the theory was less deep, but as of 2021 what is the situation of ICCF correspondence chess? Are humans obsolete?

  • 1
    Is there something you are looking for that isn't already in chess.stackexchange.com/questions/19107/… (which was linked in your previous question on this topic)?
    – Allure
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 2:59
  • @Allure Chess engines are significantly stronger now.
    – SubhanKhan
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 3:47
  • I would suggest editing that into the question then. The answer remains the same as well (my answer to the linked question cites a game from 2019, and there are more recent examples if you want to see them).
    – Allure
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 3:53
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    Tools are just tools. "With the use of fridges, ovens, recipe books, sharp knifes and mixers, what is the cook's role in the preparation of food ?" Most people would consider that he still plays a role, and that explains why some cooks are better than others - as well as chess correspondance players....
    – Evargalo
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 10:53

1 Answer 1


What is the situation of ICCF correspondence chess on 2021? I will speak from my own experience: I play on ICCF webserver since 2 years. Many of the games of high rated players are not played by humans, rather by Stockfish. In all my games against players with rating higher than 1800, 100% of my oppononents moves in the middlegame (once you leaves the theory books) are exactly the same suggested by Stockfish... When you play with players with a rating lower than 1800, you play with humans. This is very easy to verify: choice any game from ICCF server (free access) between rated players and evaluate it with Lichess or Chess.com analysis tools (both sites uses Stockfish 14 or Stockfish 13). You need just only a PC and Internet access: a trendy chess engine and a super power hardware are not necessary aynmore. Besides, the quota of draws is continually rising. Currently between 80% and 90% of all games in the top tournaments are drawn. It is senseless to play on ICCF web server anymore

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