Tele Chess

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
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MJMcCready
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Tele Chess

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Oct 19, 2023 2:21 am

Hi there, I notice that in 76 London played both Belgrade and New York in telechess matches, and the following year there was the first telechess olympiad. Was this the beginnings of that phenomena or are there earlier recorded events? I am having trouble tracking them down but have only just started looking.

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John Upham
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Re: Tele Chess

Post by John Upham » Thu Oct 19, 2023 11:09 am

Are you interested in matches where moves are transmitted by telegram, Telex, telephone, telegraph or other technologies such as Morse code or facsimile transmission?
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MJMcCready
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Re: Tele Chess

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Oct 19, 2023 1:06 pm

Yes definitely. I'm aware that matches began by telegraph with the anglo/American cable matches around the turn of the 19th century but I didn't think that sort of thing carried in into the 70s to the point where an olympiad was formed from it. Why didn't it continue through the 80s? Why was there only one such olympiad?

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Re: Tele Chess

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Oct 19, 2023 1:45 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2023 1:06 pm
Yes definitely. I'm aware that matches began by telegraph with the anglo/American cable matches around the turn of the 19th century but I didn't think that sort of thing carried in into the 70s to the point where an olympiad was formed from it. Why didn't it continue through the 80s? Why was there only one such olympiad?
Some reasons.

https://gardinerchess.com.au/gm-rogers- ... ed-part-1/

https://gardinerchess.com.au/gm-rogers- ... ed-part-2/

edit : also http://www.olimpbase.org/1990to/1990aus.html
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MJMcCready
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Re: Tele Chess

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Oct 19, 2023 2:42 pm

Ok thanks, so it was a bit of a disaster then?

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Tele Chess

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Oct 19, 2023 5:14 pm

Rogers wrote a typically readable account of all this in a recent Chess Informant.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Tele Chess

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Oct 19, 2023 10:25 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2023 5:14 pm
Rogers wrote a typically readable account of all this in a recent Chess Informant.
Is that the same account as at the links Nick gave above?

It appears that the accounts above were written in around 2015 ("25th anniversary").

Was the Chess Informant account more recent than that?

I must admit I had been completely unaware of this aspect of chess history until now, and it is a really amazing story!

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Tele Chess

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Oct 20, 2023 12:15 am

It is in volume 156, out earlier this year. It may well be a rewrite of the above piece, yes.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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MJMcCready
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Re: Tele Chess

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Oct 20, 2023 1:45 am

It's the wider context I am interested in. According to this link Holland and Sweden also played a match by telex and someone wrote a book about it.

https://find.slv.vic.gov.au/discovery/f ... s&offset=0

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MJMcCready
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Re: Tele Chess

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Oct 20, 2023 1:49 am

I also wasn't aware that Fischer had to resort to it once too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capablanca_Memorial

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Tele Chess

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Oct 20, 2023 6:15 pm

GDR players were restricted in their foreign travel from the mid 1970s, so Telex matches were one of the few ways they could reliably get Western opposition - maybe not so surprising that they took the events seriously.
Last edited by Matt Mackenzie on Sat Oct 21, 2023 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Andy Stoker
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Re: Tele Chess

Post by Andy Stoker » Sat Oct 21, 2023 8:24 am

Am I right in thinking that matches by telephone were reasonably common in the 60s / 70s? I remember playing for my Birmingham school in at least two phone matches in the latter stages of the Sunday Times competition (vs Ayr Academy and Methodist College, Belfast) - the games took much longer than normal - but considerable saving on travel time, of course. I don't know how common transmission errors were - and if they were generally spotted quite quickly.

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Re: Tele Chess

Post by Ian Rogers » Sat Oct 21, 2023 10:17 am

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2023 12:15 am
It is in volume 156, out earlier this year. It may well be a rewrite of the above piece, yes.
Yes, the Informant article is a rewrite of the Gardiner Chess articles. The anecdotes are the more or less same, but I was able to include extra information I had learned in recent years, and also improve the annotations.

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Re: Tele Chess

Post by Paul Habershon » Sat Oct 21, 2023 5:56 pm

Andy Stoker wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2023 8:24 am
Am I right in thinking that matches by telephone were reasonably common in the 60s / 70s? I remember playing for my Birmingham school in at least two phone matches in the latter stages of the Sunday Times competition (vs Ayr Academy and Methodist College, Belfast) - the games took much longer than normal - but considerable saving on travel time, of course. I don't know how common transmission errors were - and if they were generally spotted quite quickly.
Absolutely right about the games taking more time, even for only six boards. Bedford played Cheltenham and Glasgow by phone in the National Club. You could occasionally ask about your opponent's clock time. Time scrambles were unsatisfactory, with opportunities for sharp practice. You used to rent a telephone line from the GPO before the days of BT.

As a teacher supervising a school team my school even had a telephone match in the Sunday Times zonal stage against a school only about 30 miles away. It became apparent that there was minimal supervision at the other end when we heard ill-disciplined behaviour and giggling. My colleague had to speak sharply to someone. Luckily the opposition was so weak that any collusion did not matter.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Tele Chess

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Oct 21, 2023 11:46 pm

Paul Habershon wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2023 5:56 pm
Andy Stoker wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2023 8:24 am
Am I right in thinking that matches by telephone were reasonably common in the 60s / 70s? I remember playing for my Birmingham school in at least two phone matches in the latter stages of the Sunday Times competition (vs Ayr Academy and Methodist College, Belfast) - the games took much longer than normal - but considerable saving on travel time, of course. I don't know how common transmission errors were - and if they were generally spotted quite quickly.
Absolutely right about the games taking more time, even for only six boards. Bedford played Cheltenham and Glasgow by phone in the National Club. You could occasionally ask about your opponent's clock time. Time scrambles were unsatisfactory, with opportunities for sharp practice. You used to rent a telephone line from the GPO before the days of BT.

As a teacher supervising a school team my school even had a telephone match in the Sunday Times zonal stage against a school only about 30 miles away. It became apparent that there was minimal supervision at the other end when we heard ill-disciplined behaviour and giggling. My colleague had to speak sharply to someone. Luckily the opposition was so weak that any collusion did not matter.
Was having a match by telephone a last resort or adherence to a trend back then? Was it actually perceived as the way forwards at some point? I can't quite work out what brought it about.

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