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View Full Version : 08A Policy Discussion on Affiliation with Chess Server



Vladimir Drkulec
01-30-2015, 08:31 PM
Policy discussion on affiliation with a chess server will take place here.

Lyle Craver
02-01-2015, 01:02 PM
I think this is a good idea conceptually - the devil is of course in the details.

Vladimir Drkulec
02-01-2015, 01:35 PM
Scott Richardson contacted each of the major chess server companies. Several expressed interest in working with us. Chess.com offered a one year free trial period. Playchess.com offered discount packages if we buy blocks of memberships which we could then resell though some of their ideas would run afoul of our book and equipment contract.

We already allow rated remote play if there is a TD at both ends to ensure fair play.

Michael Barron
02-01-2015, 01:46 PM
Scott Richardson contacted each of the major chess server companies. Several expressed interest in working with us. Chess.com offered a one year free trial period. Playchess.com offered discount packages if we buy blocks of memberships which we could then resell though some of their ideas would run afoul of our book and equipment contract.

We already allow rated remote play if there is a TD at both ends to ensure fair play.

A one year free trial period offered by chess.com looks like a good start.

Patrick McDonald
02-01-2015, 02:05 PM
I am not so sure how I feel about aligning to any individual chess server ... especially as we already allow rated remote play if there is a TD at both ends, (I assume no matter which chess server they use?)

I don't feel that the CFC should be in the business of supporting any individual business ...

Christopher Field
02-01-2015, 03:14 PM
I am not so sure how I feel about aligning to any individual chess server ... especially as we already allow rated remote play if there is a TD at both ends, (I assume no matter which chess server they use?)

I don't feel that the CFC should be in the business of supporting any individual business ...

If we could start our own server....

Paul Leblanc
02-01-2015, 04:20 PM
I think this is a great idea and I encourage Scott to continue with this project. Perhaps at the next meeting he can narrow the options for us to consider.

Vladimir Drkulec
02-01-2015, 04:33 PM
I think this is a great idea and I encourage Scott to continue with this project. Perhaps at the next meeting he can narrow the options for us to consider.

I can table copies of our correspondence with Scott's permission. I believe that he has approached all of the large companies (chess.com, Playchess.com, ICC, etc.) given the replies that have been forwarded to me. The idea of discussing this is to see how the voting members feel about this and if we get a consensus supporting this then we go ahead and get this done.

Talking to these server people has certainly been interesting as the possibilities that they offered have certainly opened my eyes to some things which could be profitably pursued down the road which are independent of the chess server.

Halldor P. Palsson
02-02-2015, 01:46 PM
The CFC had a deal with ICC over ten years ago.

I do not recall the exact details but the ICC offered about $4,000 in cash prizes for the monthly active tournament. The CFC rated the tournament and matched with memberships/gift certificates. The program was run by a CFC member who was an ICC admin for a modest stipend.

We got a trickle of CFC members out of the deal and it was something new for the CFC at the time. ICC was happy with the program but the CFC discontinued the program after I was voted off the Executive in 2005.

I think this is something we should be doing - but you have to come to the table with resources. I do not know if the CFC can offer a tournament series or heaven forbid a Canadian League that would play on the server and be CFC rated.

Paul Leblanc
02-02-2015, 02:39 PM
An example of how I see this being useful: 5 or 6 of us here in Victoria would like to play in the Canadian Open in Eastern Canada but don't want the difficulties and expenses of travelling. We would hire a local TD and show up with our laptops at the Victoria Chess Club and play in the event online. Easy for us but there would be some extra work for the people running the Canadian Open to accommodate this.

Aris Marghetis
02-02-2015, 08:14 PM
The CFC had a deal with ICC over ten years ago.

I do not recall the exact details but the ICC offered about $4,000 in cash prizes for the monthly active tournament. The CFC rated the tournament and matched with memberships/gift certificates. The program was run by a CFC member who was an ICC admin for a modest stipend.

We got a trickle of CFC members out of the deal and it was something new for the CFC at the time. ICC was happy with the program but the CFC discontinued the program after I was voted off the Executive in 2005.

I think this is something we should be doing - but you have to come to the table with resources. I do not know if the CFC can offer a tournament series or heaven forbid a Canadian League that would play on the server and be CFC rated.

I, and some other "too busy to play OTB often" intermediate players ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE ICC CFC-ACTIVE-RATED SERIES !

Garvin Nunes
02-03-2015, 10:48 AM
There are some facts missing here. What would the CFC be doing for its members to get a 1 year membership on chess.com?

And what about freechess.org? Why not just hold virtual CFC games using its babaschess client and a TD on both ends?

Are you guys familiar with the fact freechess.org has moved its server to Quebec?

Garvin Nunes
02-03-2015, 10:52 AM
I apologize I worded my initial question incorrectly due to androids annoying grammer fixer.

It should be: what will the CFC have to do for chess.com for CFC members to get that 1 year membership. What happens on year 2?

Félix Dumont
02-03-2015, 11:20 AM
The FQE recently announced that they have developped their own chess server and will proceed to provincial tournaments. I have not been involved in the project, and so I have no idea of how the server actually looks like and how much it costs, but perhaps the two organizations could work together on this?

Paul Leblanc
02-03-2015, 06:29 PM
Will the FQE be integrating remote players into live events via the server or is the server intended only to facilitate online chess?

Félix Dumont
02-03-2015, 07:02 PM
Will the FQE be integrating remote players into live events via the server or is the server intended only to facilitate online chess?

Yes, the plan is to allow remote players into live events (such as the Quebec Open), at least as it is presented by the FQE in its last magazine.

Vladimir Drkulec
02-03-2015, 11:47 PM
Here is a cut and paste of a recent email from Scott Richardson which summarizes his contacts with the various server companies.

Hi Vlad.

Here is a summary of what was offered (cut and paste). I should have sent it earlier. We just got back from town.
Let me know if there is anything else I can do.

I'm available tomorrow and Thursday. Friday We're heading for Vancouver to play chess. The BC Open.
As long as Kai and I can snow shoe to the main road a logger will pick us up. We'll make our way to the airport and fly. :)

Scott

chess.com
Our biggest concern would be properly authenticating that members are who they say they are. How would you:

- confirm id #
- confirm expiration date (if any)
- and IF that information is public knowledge (as it is on USCF sites) it won't be good enough, there will also need to be a "pin" or something that only the member him/herself would know.

We actually have the technology to do everything you described below already built. And we will also be hosting USCF online rated play soon too (once they build in a proper way to authenticate pin #s, etc).
The USCF, in addition to ID # and Expiration, etc -- gives all members a four digit "pin" that they can only find on their chess life magazine OR by emailing the USCF.

This is a HUGE level of extra authentication. And we need it. We get too many members impersonating real people (celebrities and titled players) to NOT have this in place.

The USCF is building an API that will be on our end that can "cross check" pins to an upload spreadsheet or something on the USCF's server with those pins.

We would need the same from you.

If proper authentication is built, we will allow you to use our server and full social services (community, groups, etc) free of charge for the first whole year.

We can then re-discuss options AFTER we've all decided it was a good idea or not :)


playchess.com
In general, we from playchess.com (ChessBase GmbH) are interested in a cooperation between us and the Canadian Chess Federation. And yes, we are able to host online rated games and tournaments, between individuals and teams as well.
We have already developed a concept for questions like this one and I will give you more detailed information about our ideas in this mail.
We offer a program as playing-client and a web-server to play. For the program the user needs a microsoft-based pc. In order to play via the webclient all the user needs is an internet-connection. He/she might play with any system, a tablet, an IPad or a smartphone, everything is technically possible.
You might take a look on yourself on both options. You might have a look at the web-client under http://playchess.com (http://playchess.com/) and you may download the program and give it a try under http://download.chessbase.com/download/PlayChessV7Setup.exe.
Supporting Tournaments
We do offer supports for tournaments which will be held online.
Our software has a great and since twelve years tested feature for tournament directors which allows almost any form of tournaments.
In addition we offer virtual rooms were the games will be played with are accessible via a website. You might have a looked on a example-website which we have designed for the Swedish Chess Federation and you will get an immediately glance what I mean. Please click on http://playchesscontent.chessbase.com/en/example-sweden/.
With a website like this and the links you are able to support online tournaments efficient and a makeable amount of work in time. The players will find the virtual playing rooms easily as they have just to click on it.
In addition, the website offers opportunities for the clubs of the federation and the trainers in Canada as well to present themselves. In our virtual rooms the users might play free or rated games, they might play tournaments or they might enjoy lessons, were the board will be used as a demonstration board and the communication might be done either via chat or via Skype (or something else).
Costs
In general we do offer the virtual rooms for free. We will inform you how to create the links and we will do purchase nothing for the virtual rooms.
However, to use the rooms efficiently the players do need an playchess account and serial numbers to use playchess.com. We offer two types off accounts, the standard and the premium account. For more detailed information have a look here:http://en.playchess.com/Home/Membership.
If we will agree on a form of cooperation and the CFC will buy for their members serial numbers we do offer a substantial discount. The excact discount is depending of the numbers of serial number which the federation will buy.
In addition we offer services in teaching tournament directors in online chess tournaments, we do offer help and advice when you will build up this playing offer.
Therefore I can’t say nothing about exact numbers. We simply have to negotiate what you want and then we will have to agree on exact numbers.
We offer two kinds of serial numbers.
The standard-membership (serial number), which allows the user to play rated games, participate in tournaments and hold them, to chat with each other and to all and to enjoy live-transmissions of tournaments. The regular costs are €32,90 per year.
In addition we have the premium-membership (serial number), which allows the user to receive live-training (via video or audio), taking part in live-commentary or enjoy Internet-TV (like the Powerplay Show or Endgame Magic etc.) and taking part in simuls against GM. The costs are € 49,90 per year.
This are appr. 46 Canadian Dollars (Standard) and appr. 69,50 Canadian Dollars respectively, depending on the exact exchange rate.
From a technical point the serial number sis 5x5 digit-code which the user have to enter when they are online with their accounts. When entering the code your membership will prolonged for another year. For example: If your membership will end regularly on the 31st December 2014 and you will enter the code on the 1st December 2014, your member ship will be prolonged until the 31st December 2015.
As I mentioned in my last e-mail we are able to offer the CFC substantial discounts. Our regular model for this one is that the federation will buy the serial numbers and transfer them to the members. If the Federation will charge anything, a lesser or the same amount we charge, is up to the federation. Most federation do keep a part of the discount in order to run and finance online tournaments, especially the work involved in. The main reason for the substantial discount is that we do not have the same amount of work compared when we sell them individually. I think this kind has advantages for both of us. The federation may make some money from the serial-numbers and are able to pay their online-efforts and we do create new members. The members will receive for a lower fee – compared to individuals - the advantages and fun of our serThe exact amount of the discount depends on the number of serial numbers the federation will order and the cooperation in all.
In the case you ask for a discount for members of the Canadian Chess Federation, but we have the work of billing in any individual case etc., we do not offer something like that.
However, we do offer an “Affiliate-Program” for clubs and federations. A club, or a federation, may offer a link on their website to our online-shop. This link maybe a link to a single ChessBase-Item or to the ChessBase-Shop in general. The club will receive a reference –idea which have to be added to the link and for each item which will be purchase via the link the club/federation will receive a payback of 10% (without VAT).

ICC
We can certainly consider it! We already have for example a weekly USCF tournament, and a tool to play team events, which you can find here: http://apps.chessclub.com/teamplay/
Cost wise, we could consider just charging you a small monthly stipend so that we have staff set aside to organize each tournament and event for you. Something reasonable and in line with the amount of activities you'd like to hold.
To help you market things, we could offer CFC members exclusive reduced ICC membership rates, helping you promote the online events and adding tangible value to the CFC membership.

I'm sure we can figure something out, but with my most respect, I think it's a way too informal the manner in which this is taking place.
I appreciate your initiative, it's great, but you would agree it's awkward that you're practically negotiating on behalf of the CFC.
If this conversation can be formally addressed by the CFC, i would be more than happy to continue discussing it.
Not much information to be had from Ruy.





On February 2, 2015 at 2:05 PM Vladimir Drkulec <vdrkulec@hotmail.com> wrote:

Thanks, Scott. I should have some time to sort through our correspondence tonight and post the results in the meeting. Being snowed in has some advantages.
Vlad

Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2015 13:28:01 -0800
From: scott@caribooblades.com
To: vdrkulec@hotmail.com
Subject: server information

Hi Vlad.

Please consider any information I gathered towards partnerships with the different chess servers your information free to distribute.

Regards,
Scott.

Paul Leblanc
02-04-2015, 09:17 AM
Snowshoe, logging truck and airplane to the BC Open. Now there's dedication!

Vladimir Drkulec
02-04-2015, 12:42 PM
Snowshoe, logging truck and airplane to the BC Open. Now there's dedication!

In the winter that is what they have to do to make it to a tournament.

I would think that starting a relationship with a chess server would result in more chess being played both online and online/over the board hybrid events.

Lyle Craver
02-04-2015, 01:32 PM
I do not think we could use player number and expiry as a 'key' uniquely identifying an individual since this info is part of the publicly available TD list.


We could certainly put additional fields on our membership database (and think we SHOULD be storing e-mails on a voluntary basis). On the subject of e-mails however I warn you all that some folks change e-mail addresses like they change their socks an d some get really upset when you don't have their 'latest and greatest'. The trouble is in my business that many don't let us know when they move or change e-mail (the ones that bounce back at us we know) but I regularly get customers telling me they aren't at the address we have for them (we don't do mail marketing) and some choose to provide the new info some don't.

Net result is that most OTB TDs DON'T ask for ID other than membership card and often not even that particularly when the player has pre-registered online. Thus even OTB it would be fairly easy for someone to play either under a false name or someone else's name. Given the nature of the technology this would be even easier on a server and I don't have a definite answer on how to bulletproof this. For example if I spoofed some relatively inactive master or expert who was not prominent and if I played to MY usual standard (hint: career B player, lifetime high 1950) they could easily lose 200-300 rating points before I was found out. If this is a parallel rating system it's not so serious - but if it's CFC ratings...

Halldor P. Palsson
02-04-2015, 02:11 PM
To play regular rated CFC on line a TD has to be present. Active or whatever quick chess ratings are in play on line when you play solo I do not worry about. I think we should ask the CFC Executive to move the file forward and get something done on line.

There are around 100 TDs that annually rate with the CFC. Sadly most know all their customers. Identification of chess players is not a big issue for TDs and the CFC # will do for on line chess as well.

Christopher Field
02-06-2015, 01:25 PM
If we could start our own server....

If FQE has developed a server, let's find out the details concerning it!
A made-in-Canada server serving both FQE and CFC - what could be better?