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Correspondence Chess

Correspondence Chess can be played in two ways.

Features can be accessed via the Play-> Correspondence Chess menus, or by simply using Windows-Correspondence. This window contains buttons to navigate through ongoing games, shortcut keys to fetch games by means of the Xfcc protocol and sync in eMail based games as well as a console stating which messages where sent or retrieved. Additionally, it contains a list of ongoing games retrieved from your Inbox directory.

To use these features, a database of the type "Correspondence chess" has to be opened. If you do not have such a database, or Scid has not created one for you, just create a new database and set its type to "Correspondence chess" via the Maintenance. Setting the type is important as Scid will recognise the database for synchronisation by this type. As this database is empty after the creation Scid will treat all correspondence chess games it receives at first synchronisation as new games and append them to this database.

If no database of the type "Correspondence chess" is currently opened Scid will prompt you to do so, but do not open more than one database of this type as Scid will not know which one to use.

Basic functionality

Once everything is set up correctly, Correspondence Chess functions can be accessed using the following buttons

See also Correspondence Icons and Status Indicators.


Correspondence Chess within Scid is based upon a normal Scid database that holds the games and some helpers external to Scid that handle the "non-chess-parts". These tools and parameters must be set up once, and are stored afterwards for future use.

The configuration dialog is found in Play-CorrespondenceChess-> Configure. and details are described in Correspondence Chess Setup. Press Ok to automatically store your options.

Retrieving the games

Depending wether you play correspondence chess via eMail or via a chess server the actual retrieval process differs slightly. Generally it results in a set of games in PGN format located in Scids Inbox directory. This offers also the possibility of automatic retrieval via external software.

Once the games are in Scids Inbox invoking Process Inbox from the menu will work though the Inbox and add new moves to the games already in the database. Additionally it will add games not found in the current correspondence chess database as new games.

Correspondence Chess via eMail describes the details for the usage of eMail, while in Correspondence Chess via Chess Servers describes the same for correspondence chess servers.

Stepping through games

After games are retrieved they are loaded to Scids clipboard database and new moves are added and stored in the correspondence chess database opened. The most convenient way to step through the games is by the two buttons and which go to the previous and the next game, respectively. The difference to the functions from the Games menu is, that these two buttons scroll only between the games in Scids Inbox which are supposed to be your actually ongoing games. Of course the Correspondence Chess database might contain much more games, but normally you do not want to go through all these to find out what your opponent moved in a current game.

Note that a header search is required incorporating some fields that are not indexed by Scid. Hence, storing your correspondence chess games in a huge reference database might not be advisable as the search times may be quite long. If you play a lot and your own database gets quite large, search times can be reduced by moving finished games to an archive database, or by just createing a new database for the ongoing games. Scid will treat all games not existing in the correspondence chess database already as new games and add them automatically. Hence, it is sufficient to open an empty database of type "Correspondence chess" and call Process Inbox to import all currently ongoing games.

Equivalent to the two buttons mentinoned are the items Previous Game and Next Game from the Correpondence Chess menu.

An alternate way to jump to a specific game is by double clicking on it within the game list.

Note that if you set up your player names correctly (by means of My Player Names) Scid will rotate the board for you to play always upwards. You can have multiple player names. See also My Player Names for details.

Analyse and make a move

All analysis features can be used for correspondence chess games. Variations, annotations etc. can be added just like in normal game analysis. Once finished, Scid will take the last half move added to the game and treat it as the current move to send. No checking wether only one half a move was added or which side to move is done here, hence, only one half move to the mainline must be added! In case a chess server is used Scid also sends the last comment added to the server which might be usefull for communication with the opponent. In eMail chess this can be done by the normal mail message, so there all commments are stripped off.

Pressing the Send button will have Scid to determine the type of the correspondence chess game displayed (eMail or a server game) and call either your eMail program or the external send tool to submit your move. Calling Send move is equivalent to this button. Alternatively, Mail move can be used to send the current game via eMail. In case of an eMail game this function is equivalent to Send move. In case of a server based game an eMail message is generated. Note however, that it will not necessarily contain a proper recipient as eMail addresses are not exchanged in server based correspondence chess.