eMail offers a convenient way to play Correspondence Chess. The standard Unix application is xboard and its cmail helper - as it has fast email processing, and still maintains PGN compliability. This is also the model which Scid uses. By preserving the whole PGN header, such games can be played with any opponent who has a tool to handle PGN.
Scid too can handle eMail correspondence games almost automatically; maintaining compatiblity with cmail and xboard. It works by sending the games as PGN attachments, including in the header certain tags that allows them to be recognised and sorted together. For this reason the user has to be careful with editing the header. Fields/tags with explicit values have to be set to exactly to this value. Starting a game with Scid will do this automatically, but you must not overwrite or delete them.
Essential header fields are
While Scid could use some database index this is not possible for
non-DB-based tools like cmail. For this reason the
For Xfcc-based games this field has also to be set to a unique
identifier but there the server name and the unique game number on
this server can be used, that is this identifier is of the form
eMail based chess does not contain that extended status codes as Xfcc. These games show the icon to notify them as eMail based.
This opens a dialog for the input of the own and the opponents name as
they should appear in the header as well as the eMail addresses of
both parties. Additionally a unique game ID has to be inserted.
The easiest way for this ID is something of the form
After the dialog is quit by pressing the [Ok] button a new game is appended to the currently loaded correspondence chess database and the PGN header is set properly. Just make your move and send it as mentioned below.
Scid does not handle your mailbox automatically. This would,
considering the wide range of possible mail setups these days, involve
a huge amount of code. For this reason Scid relies on your normal
eMail program which is far more suitable for this purpose than Scid
can ever be. To get a game into Scid just save the attached PGN file
to Scid's inbox and process the inbox by either
NoteBy using the you can empty your whole In- and Outbox directories.
After making your move send it by either the
Of course Scid strips the the game bare of any comments and variations before attaching it to the outgoing eMail as you probably do not want to send your analysis along.
If a GUI-mailer is used, its usual compose window is opened. The address of your opponent is filled in as well as a generic subject containing the game id for easy filtering and the bcc address if specified in the Configuraion dialog. The mail body is set to contain the FEN of the final position and the list of moves made so far. This way the opponent can quickly look up your move. Finally, Scid attaches the current game including your move in PGN format to the mail message.
When using a mailx compatible tool no window is opened and the mail is sent invisibly by invoking the tool specified in the background. In this case the generated mail contains the PGN also in the mail body.
Note that as eMail chess works by sending the whole PGN file you must not add more than your half move. Scid does not check here wether more than one half move was added to the mainline, simply as Scid does not know which move it was, when you sent yours.