I recently started an interesting tournament at the Red Hot Pawn server. It might make traditional correspondence chess players cringe, but I like unusual playing formats. Here is the format of this open tournament: 22 players of various playing levels. 2 games against each opponent; one with White and one with Black. One day reflection time (yes, you read that right) with a time bank reserve of only seven days. A win is scored as 3 points, a draw at 1 point, and a loss at 0. For the 42 total games (of course being played simultaneously) there are 126 available table points.
For the first couple of days, it was quite stressful to keep up – imagine how many moves you have to make each day just to stay afloat… It should also be mentioned that this particular playing server does not allow engine usage – it is strictly forbidden to use an engine to generate moves.
I intend to make a full report once I have completed all of my games, but I have mixed feelings about doing experiments like this. The first couple of days were extremely tough for someone who is used to having a lot more reflection time available. The pressure to move is always present! On the other hand, the format has a feel of an over the board tournament, but with the extra benefit of being able to devote more time to difficult positions. On balance, I would have to say that it is an enjoyable way to play, once you get over the initial crush of moves having to be played each day.
Stay tuned for further updates…