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Game Courier Logs. View the logs of games played on Game Courier.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
CSS Dixieland wrote on 2022-08-24 UTCGood ★★★★

Mon Admirable Monsieur Jean-Louis Cazaux,

Je parle assez couramment la belle langue de Racine, même que je ne l’aie pas parlée depuis des années, mais veuillez me permettre d’offrir les informations suivantes dans la langue de Shakespeare, comme une aide pour ceux qui peuvent avoir des difficultés à lire Votre langue.

Le sujet est déjà suffisamment complexe en l’état tel qu'il est.

The player whom You refer has nothing less than 43 games hanging in Game Courier. The oldest is hanging since 29th June 2021 (a frightening 421 days as of 24th August 2022), the newest since 15th August 2022.

Of those 43 games, 7 games are waiting for his move and 36 are waiting for the move of his opponent. All sorts of Chess varieties are represented, out of the thousands of varieties that exist here in Game Courier. Even the most exotic and flamboyant varieties, are represented amongst his 43 games. Very few appear more than once, the vast majority appear only once. The pattern here is clear: a player who experiments with every variety that has existed, exists, and will exist, in the whole History of Chess. But also a player who does not care much about the results of his games, nor about a minimum respect for his opponents.

And of those 43 games, only 3 are timed (one with Ye, the other two with Mister Daniel Zacharias), while the other 40 games are untimed. The game that he is 'playing' with Ye was posted to the public room for any player to accept, but here it is not a question of who sent the invitation and who received or accepted the invitation. It is rather a question of DISRESPECT for the opponents, and to some extent also of abusing the resources offered by Game Courier. About technical resources the problem is trivial, because the data base of Game Courier can handle many more games than it handles now, but about the lack of respect for opponents, the problem becomes much more serious. You already know, Sir, my recommended solution.

Then, let me please proceed to explain how You can apply the solution, hopefully catering to Your personal preferences or needs. I hope to avoid too many technicalities, but pray forgive me if I dive deep into waters technical, and You find it difficult to bear with me. I am at Your disposal for answering relevant questions.

Sophisticated time controls were incorporated to Game Courier over eighteen years ago, in February 2004.

The idea was to make the Play By Mail system capable of handling games in a single session, also known as 'one sitting', or 'real time', or 'face to face', or by other names, and in several or many sessions for the same match, likewise called 'extended period', or 'delayed time', or 'correspondence', or by other epithets.

It was for that reason that complex time controls were introduced. Complete, exhaustive, flexible, with rich possibilities for any situation that could possibly be imagined. Then a manual was written and made public detailing how Game Courier can be correctly operated. GAME Code is full-fledged programming language, full of resources for implementing almost any board game in existence, short of boards of infinite extension or hyper boards of N dimensions. Naturally, the time control system had to accompany that sophistication.

It was hoped that the manual could answer almost any doubt. And in fact IT CAN answer almost any doubt, but it is easy for programmers to say that. The uninitiated may find certain explanations somewhat cryptic.

The manual assumes a certain level of Computing literacy, but any technical system offered to the public is a trade-off between technical sophistication, and usability. The most perfect computer in the World, but with the technical manual, every instruction, and all characters on screen written in Sumerian, would be useful only to those who can read Sumerian. And to a team of top-level specialists in several disciplines who would need years for deciphering the text or for discovering how the computer works by very careful process of trial and error. And even so, there is a high chance that not every feature would be discovered.

In Your specific case, which may also be the case of a number of our Esteemed Members, it seems to me that the best approach at the moment is to solve Your immediate problem, instead of delving into a rich plethora of concepts and definitions, but let me briefly inform that there is not a single method for timing competitions of Chess, or of other games, sports, or contests. Be it championship, tournament, single match, or some combination of them, various timing methods have been devised throughout History.

The first truly international Chess Tournament, organised by Mister Howard Staunton and other prominent British players, played in London in the year 1851, and won by Herr Adolf Anderssen, had no time controls whatsoever. As a consequence, some players took an exceedingly long time for their games. Twenty hours for only one game, or even two hours for one single move, were recorded for the amazement of posterity.

You will understand that under such conditions, more than a mental sport, Chess becomes a sport of pure physical resistance. The most suffered and ascetic hermit wins the game. After that horrifying experience, time controls by need had to be introduced in Chess competition. First the clepsydra (also called sand glass or hour glass), later the analogue mechanical clock, then the double clock originally invented specifically for Chess (later applied also to other competitive activities), and in the XX century the digital double clock.

Besides physical devices, diverse methods of timing or winning have also been experimented with variable success. There is the fixed maximum time per turn, fixed maximum time per game, increment or delay by Fischer or Bronstein Method, the Sudden Death, the tie break by points or by Armageddon, and others.

It would be my pleasure to go on describing how Chess and its ancillary equipment evolved in the course of years and of centuries, but if I continue, then this short introduction will become a book. Thus, without any further immersion into the History of Chess that I love, I am going to offer presently a concrete instruction that, as it is my hope, will be understood and put in effect without need of previous technical knowledge:

Go to a working preset that You would like to play, against a specific player or offered in the Public Room.

Activate the link that reads 'Invite'. In another page You will see "Invite Someone to Play (Name of Preset)"

Fill the relevant fields and leave the others as they are. You have already done it, so You know what I mean.

I strongly recommend that You activate the two check boxes labelled 'Rated Game ?' and 'Timed Game ?'

Once in the time controls, You set the third of seven boxes (upper right box) called 'Min Time' to 40 days.

I repeat, because this is the most important detail of the whole operation: SET MIN TIME TO FORTY DAYS.

Be careful for not setting it to 40 weeks, 40 hours, 40 minutes, nor 40 seconds. It must be for FORTY DAYS.

You leave all the other time control fields as they are: ZERO. Then You activate the link marked as 'Invite'.

I sincerely hope that the unavoidable technical complexity of the lines above have not been too confusing.

As example, You have received an invitation from me for playing Maidens Chess, a Chess variety of my own invention. The set is identical to Standard European Chess as per FIDE rules, therefore if You prefer we can play normal Chess instead of Maidens Chess. My preset does not enforce rules, neither shows legal moves.

I request the Honour of playing this game with Your person, Monsieur. Accompanying my invitation to play, You have also received from me a formal request that I include in the following lines. Good luck, Monsieur.

Mon Respecté Monsieur Jean-Louis Cazaux,

Je demande l’honneur de jouer à ce jeu avec Votre personne. Nous pouvons le jouer comme des échecs européens normales, en suivant les règles de la Fédération internationale des échecs, ou nous pouvons le jouer comme des échecs de jeune fille (Maidens Chess), une variété d’échecs de mon invention.

Le préréglage n’applique pas les règles. Le délai est exactement de 40 jours PAR COUP (entre un mois et deux mois, comme Vous l’avez demandé). Bonne chance, Monsieur.

Dixieland for ever ! P. A. Stonemann, CSS Dixieland


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-08-23 UTC

Dear Sir, thank you very much for your detailed comment and recommendations. I agree with what you say, it is common sense.

I had a problem with another unfinished game, but in this case I knew the player: he lost his terminal at one moment, and then when he got a new one, he explained to me that he could not play again because he was asking to accept cookies when connecting to CVP, and for some reasons I can't understand, he was very (very very) afraid to accept cookies. Seeing no issue and after waiting about 3 months, I have decided to delete this game that was in its end with a desperate position for him. (In fact I had already accepted not to play a checkmating move on one mistake from him few moves before).

The Fantastic XIII game which is unfinished is a pity. My opponent, RM, had made the invitation, not me. This person has played a lot of games recently on CVP, many with me, with no problem. I hope he has no serious issue and that he will come back playing one day. Indeed, I will delete this game one day if he does not show up after a while, let say in 2 or 3 months from now.

I agree that it is better to invite with timed games. The problem I see is that is very complex. The system in GC is certainly very elaborated, able to do many things for many different situations, but it is not user-friendly for common users like me, in my opinion. I would just need a mode which is ending after 1 or 2 months of non-activity of one side, a mode that can be selected by ticking just one box, not entering several parameters with subtile names. See www.chessvariants.com/play/pbm/userguide.html#timecontrols. Or maybe a set of Spare T, Grace T, Min T could be recommended in the invitation form for something simple. Of course, if I'm the only one in difficulty with that, never mind. Thank to all for your answers, I have appreciated that exchange of points of view.


CSS Dixieland wrote on 2022-08-23 UTCGood ★★★★

Distinguished Monsieur Cazaux:

At the end of the rules for my preset of Constructing Chess You can see my brief instructions for erasing an untimed game, and my warning for not proposing or accepting untimed games to or from unknown players:

"Either of the two players can erase the game from the data base of Game Courier at any stage during current play, or can erase a finished game. The operations of drawing or of erasing a game should be done only by AGREEMENT between the two players, or in case of one player having disappeared for a long time in a game without time limit".

"Players should not propose or accept games without time limit, except to or from players whom they know very well".

I only play untimed games with players with whom I have already played many times, players with whom there has been satisfactory conversation via Game Courier or other manners of contact, and players of whom so far I have no justified reason for doubting of their gentlemanship, honesty, and sportive spirit.

Otherwise there is risk of meeting some stupid who may keep an unfinished game hanging, because he is losing, and in his small mind he is not man enough for accepting his defeat. Even with perfectly trustable players, I prefer to avoid untimed games unless there be justified reason. Unreliable Internet, for example.

A game may hang for a month or more due to cause of force majeure. The other player may be suffering some tragic, unforeseen, or overpowering circumstance. He may have had a serious accident and be in hospital. Or in prison. Or in cemetery. Or fighting the War for the Glorious Cause of Independent Ukraine.

Such events happen. In the first case he may be absent for months. In the second for years. In the third, for ever. And in the fourth, I patiently wait for the return of the Hero, if I do not join the Heroic Struggle myself.

For preventing a long waiting time, players are advised not to play untimed games with unknown people.

There is no need of modification to the algorithm of Game Courier. The solution is as simple as avoiding untimed games, except in cases where the other player is fully trustable, or if there be a justified reason.

Or else, erasing a hanging game. But for this, players should make a reasonable effort to ascertain that a long time has passed without reply from the other player, whose whereabouts are completely unknown.

Such cases are rare with me, but they occasionally happen. Fortunately they have not happened to me in Game Courier so far, but they have happened for untimed games in other servers. I follow the policy of waiting for a maximum of about twenty days. Then I try to make contact with my opponent, if possible.

If I have no way to contact him, or if after a few more days I do not receive any reply from him, then I take the game out of my list of current games, if possible I erase the game from the server (in Game Courier it can be done by either of the two players), and I include the name of the missing player in my black list.

If I receive a reply, then my decision will of course depend on the content and trustability of that reply.

After all those important considerations, Monsieur Cazaux, if You honestly believe that a game has been hanging for too long without conclusion, and You have no way to contact Your opponent, or no reply from him, or the reply have not been satisfactory, then You are undoubtedly entitled to follow this procedure:

List all games played in Game Courier by Monsieur Jean-Louis Cazaux (nom de guerre 'timurthelenk'): https://www.chessvariants.com/play/pbm/logs.php?userid=timurthelenk&age=0&sort=age&stat=actfin

You will see that most games are finished from 28th April 2020 to the end of 3rd August 2022 (server time) but there is an untimed game of Fantastic XIII that has been hanging since 31st July 2022. Make a serious effort to contact the opponent and tell him that You are still waiting for his move. If You have reply, then use Your best judgement as to Your correct action. But considering that twenty-four days have already passed, if You have no reply in a few more days (or if You have no contact with him at all, in this case without need of further waiting), then continue to the sad but necessary method for solving these fastidious situations.

Activate the hyper link at the right side that reads 'Delete'. You will see a warning for not deleting a game in progress without a justified reason. If You honestly believe that You have justified reason (and I personally believe that You have), then proceed to delete the game from the data base. For that You will need to enter Your identity or be logged-in, and Your password. Then You will have made a favour to Game Courier. Then You should include the offender in Your black list. Then You should NEVER play an untimed game without a very powerful reason to do so. Finally, You should continue honouring Game Courier with Your presence.

Dixieland for ever ! P. A. Stonemann, CSS Dixieland


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-08-20 UTC

Thanks


Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2022-08-19 UTC

I think that playing at least once in 2 months in a game that will require 80 or 100 moves is a fair minimum. Otherwise better resigning and not play at all. I don t catch the interest for someone to play one move every 2 months. It is unpolite and not respecting the opponent.

The way I see it is I know starting an untimed game creates a risk that it will go unfinished. That's why I don't make untimed games with someone I trust to keep playing. If for some reason the other person stops moving for long enough, there's always the option of deleting the log.


Kevin Pacey wrote on 2022-08-18 UTC

@ J-L C: If I recall right, one way is that there is a 'Delete' link you can click on that's beside any given game log (to its right) on your personal list of your game logs (accessible by first mousing your name if that appears on the menu at the top of your screen after you login to CVP). You can then find 'Delete log' (or something to that effect) somewhere on the page that pops up. After clicking on that you can go back to your personal list of logs to verify that it's not on your personal list of logs anymore.

KP


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-08-18 UTC

@Kevin: how do you delete hanging untimed games?


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-08-18 UTC

@Daniel : sure timed games work. This system seems very complete but it is far much complex for me. I have read the explanations maybe 30 times and at the end I don t understand the numerous parameters. But this is not the issue here

I think that playing at least once in 2 months in a game that will require 80 or 100 moves is a fair minimum. Otherwise better resigning and not play at all. I don t catch the interest for someone to play one move every 2 months. It is unpolite and not respecting the opponent.


Kevin Pacey wrote on 2022-08-17 UTC

Sometimes it seems like 'Gentleman's Rules' are used on Game Courier, as I haven't noticed many cases where CVP staff intervene to resolve a complaint about a given game. In the past on occasion people used to take back a whole series of moves sometimes without asking, and I think since then automation was introduced so that an opponents' move could not be taken back by a player, to solve that.

It happened to me a few times before that change that a player took back my moves without asking, and I eventually just deleted all my games against that player, and tried to never play him again (with the IDs he used at the time, at least). Deleting games is something people do without asking their opponent sometimes, deliberately in an unsportsmanlike fashion (when losing or even confused about a CVs rules), too. I don't know how you'd prove it, though (I don't remember a case where a player typed in 'drawn' or 'won' without opponent agreeing, but I suppose that's possible too - CVP staff might intervene then upon complaint, if clear-cut case where the other side is winning).

I now normally delete hanging untimed games with players who stop playing, say after 60 days or more without their moving (unless I know them personally, and ideally they have told me they're taking a break), though often it seems they have decided never to return to CVP after losing many games badly. Otherwise I don't like looking at all the unfinished games either (there are many people here don't seem to mind them, though). I now don't mind too much the idea of not gaining a few Game Courier rating points, as I think something like a FIDE rating system should be used instead anyway.

I forget whether I ever asked long ago, but I think a time forfeit of untimed games after a very long period (say one year, not as little as 60 days) would work in cases where an opponent has suddenly stopped visiting CVP site since. If a player shows up only every 2 months to make a move, I don't know what you can do other than complain to him or CVP staff (besides just deleting the game and any others with same opponent). Like I alluded to, sometimes it's hard to avoid the 'Gentleman's Rules' concept.


Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2022-08-17 UTC

Is it timed games not ending properly? I like that it's possible to start games without any time limits.


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-08-17 UTC

When I look at my page of "Your Games on Game Courier" I see several lines which correspond to games that are not finished because my opponent stopped to play. I don't know what was the reason my opponent stopped to play, but it was in most of the cases for games on which my position was quite stronger than his. I don't like to see games unfinished like this, and I think it is unfair. Would it be possible for the editors to fix a hard limit, say 30 days or 60 days, after which a game not played will be automatically considered lost for the player who had to play? And won for the other player, the last to have played.

This would clean the tables which have many unfinished games.

Do other users of CVP agree with me?


CSS Dixieland wrote on 2022-07-10 UTC

Chess Variants World Wide Web server availability report. By P. A. Stonemann, CSS Dixieland

About 15 hours Universal Time Coordinated on Sunday 10th July 2022 the Uniform Resource Locator: https://www.chessvariants.com/

...has been checked for availability. The initial page of that Web document has been loaded from various world-wide locations, according to details given below in this report. A short introduction is given first:

For measuring up-time several checks would be necessary along a defined period of time. Such measuring has not been executed, as it is at the moment deemed more important to check geographic availability, than chronographic availability. Many causes may intervene in the availability of a server to one or several locations, or to all of them. A typical cause is maintenance: the Web Master, or also the hosting provider, need some time for performing tasks of technical nature. During that time the document or service may be redirected to another server, or may show a page informing the visitor that there is a temporary down time for attending maintenance work, or may simply be unresponsive and result in a message of error after the time limit set for the query. The server may not be down completely, but may be slow in responding. A more detailed explanation of possible causes is beyond the scope of this report, but the Distinguished Players of Game Courier, if interested, will find general information in Internet. They may also write to the author of this report for more specific guidance to technical documents on the subject, which will be instructive.

The hosting provider for the Web document is Cloud Flare. The availability checking service is Uptimia: https://www.uptimia.com/website-availability-test/4d3ed533

As it can be seen in the report hyper linked above, the complete initial page of Chess Variants has been loaded from forty-three locations world-wide with and average time of 12600 milliseconds, but of course with ample variance of loading time from one location to another. Exact loading times by location, domain, content type, and other parameters, can be studied in the data referenced above. They appear normal.

Here is a list of Web availability checking services with complementary characteristics, for the interested: https://geekflare.com/monitor-website-uptime/

A second check has been performed using the services kindly offered by Regery, with the following results: https://regery.com/en/tools/site-availability-check/https/chessvariants.com

As it can be observed, the Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol numbers are 172.67.171.41 from some locations and 104.21.39.179 from other locations. The hosting server is located in Toronto. There has been no problem for loading the complete initial page of Chess Variants from: Ashburn, Bombay, Dublin, London, Frankfurt am Main, Paris, Portland, São Paulo, San Jose, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto.

The ticket for both services, Uptimia and Regery, may probably have expired by the time when this report is read. In such a case, the Illustrious Readers of Game Courier are invited to repeat the check themselves. This Web availability checking service, Regery, is heroically working from Ukraine, under appalling conditions, and requests international support for the Noble Cause of Sovereignty, Independence and Freedom of the Ukrainian Nation: https://regery.com/en/survive-in-ukraine

Conclusion: it is the assessment of the author of this report that the difficulties recently experienced by the Honourable Members of Game Courier can be explained by a probable need of maintenance work that the Web Master Mister Fergus Duniho, or another authorised person or persons, had to execute. The reason has not been disclosed by the Web Master, but it can be seen as normal in a Web document of this size.

Dixieland for ever ! Slava Ukrainie ! P. A. Stonemann, CSS Dixieland


Aurelian Florea wrote on 2022-07-07 UTC

I'm experiencing similar issues!


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-07-07 UTC

It was back to normal around noon, European time, but now (6:30 PM, Paris time) is awful again, sloooooooooow, impossible to play or read a page. Am I the only one with that problem? Is there anything changed I have to care of?


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-07-06 UTC

For me the CVP is really really slow. It's really a pain. What's going on?


Aurelian Florea wrote on 2022-06-15 UTC

It seems to have gone away.


Carlos Cetina wrote on 2022-06-14 UTC

Same to me.


Aurelian Florea wrote on 2022-06-14 UTC

For me, too!


Kevin Pacey wrote on 2022-06-13 UTC

@ Fergus:

This CVP site has been painfully slow (for me anyway) for at least a couple of weeks, especially when trying to move on GC. Any idea what's happening?


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-03-26 UTC

That's now fixed. The function for the Waffle, which moves as a Wazir or an Alfil, was using the W function, which is for the Woody Rook, instead of the WZ function, which is for the Wazir. Since the Woody Rook moves as a Wazir or a Dabbabah, it took a situation like this for the bug to be noticed.


Armin Liebhart wrote on 2021-03-26 UTC

I'd like to report a bug in a Game Courier Preset for Chess With Different Armies:

In this game between Aurelian and me (lunaris-cvgameroom-2021-48-645) on my turn 17, the preset concluded on check, even though it wasn't the case. It didn't impact the game, since my opponent took my piece anyway, but it could have, preventing him from doing another move. I read that the preset was created by Fergus, so maybe you find some time to look into that.

Thank you, Armin


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-03-23 UTC

Okay, I turned on the group write bit for all log and log backup files, and I modified Game Courier to also turn it on. That should fix the problem.


Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2021-03-23 UTC

In this private log my opponent tried to move but got an error saying the log backup failed https://www.chessvariants.com/play/pbm/play.php?game=Tiger+Chess&log=arx-agroden-2021-51-783


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-03-05 UTC

The database seems to be working now. I have adjusted the time controls for games to give ten extra days to make up for the downtime.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-12-27 UTC

I got the invitation you sent in my email, but not the one I sent. Both are showing up on the group page, though.


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