Sunday, 6 December 2020

Online Odds and Sods

 A quick round-up of yet more online activity that at least some people might be interested in.

1) Last Thursday the club held its second Online Arena Tournament, this time at 5 mins + 5 secs over 90 minutes. Lionel ran out a convincing winner (modesty forbids me from saying who was the only person to lower his colours - which are the tricolour, by the way) ahead of Jude and Joshua. We had 9 players this time round, with Artistic Bernard the only person who played in the first tournament who couldn't make the second. But why no new players?? Give it a go! It's good fun, especially if you join in the banter on Discord too.

2) On Sunday afternoon, the first LDCL Online Individual Swiss took place, organised by Ben, and also using the 5 mins + 5 secs rate of play. In a field of 14 players, it was a great triumph for KCC as Jude took out first place with an unbeaten 6/7, dropping half points against me and the clock - he was late for Round 1 and only got a half point bye! A useful warm up for the U-10 Online World Championships this week, I hope. I was second with 5.5, losing horribly to Dave Riley of Rugby - who finished third with 5 pts, and Bernard R was half a point off the podium, finishing alone in 4th place on 4.5, so almost a clean sweep by us. Ben was clearly affected by the strain of organising and playing, finishing in midfield, while Joshua turned up for Rd 1, lost horribly and immediately disappeared into the ether.

3) Just in case you haven't caught up with the news, the British Online Championships are being held in December and early January, with a variety of time controls from 60 mins to bullet, and with events for all ages and standards. All the information can be found here. I hope we can rustle up a good turnout to match the impressive numbers we managed at the last OTB British Championship in Torquay in 2019.

4) Some potentially useful technical/practical advice from Mike who has been a relatively recent - and not always enthusiastic! - convert to online chess. Whether any of this will help the hapless Bernard R in his fight to stay connected on is another matter! Thanks for the contribution anyway, Mike.

Type of mouse used 
(a) laptop touch pads with pressable solid button are OK speedwise for drag and drop of pieces but can become slippery after some period of play. For making a move in 1-2 seconds  they can be viewed as "slow" and not reliable.
(b) old fashioned ball mice (maybe rated at 400 dpi) used with a mouse mat and wire, are relatively slow compared to laptop touch pads and can suffer from severe skidding and judder, which may make a move difficult to complete. They need large movements of the mouse to move the cursor any sort of distance and may result in the mouse moving off the mat.
(c) gaming type of mice at, say, 4000dpi or above, are far too sensitive for chess and may suffer overrun.
(d) I  have today tested, using Chessbase only so far, a cordless wireless mouse with "darkfield" invisible laser. This is rated at 1000dpi and works on any surface (no mat needed) and needs very little movement of the mouse to move the cursor the distance of an electronic chess board.

Internet connection 
For Windows 10 based computers the automatic reconnection switch needs to be set at "on". Recent updates of Windows 10 have tended to reset this as "off" with no notification of this to the user.

Automatic loss on
This seems to occur in something like 2-3 minutes if:
- an internet disconnection occurs for this sort of time scale (note that very short disconnections often occur during a game on which appear to have no effect)
- if a player arrives later than 2-3 minutes from the start time of an organised match.

5) And finally, on the eve of the European Qualifier for the U-10 Online World Championships, "Good Luck, Jude". We're all rooting for you!

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