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Correspondence Chess Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) Print E-mail
November 26, 2014

Q: If I play US Chess Correspondence Chess (CC) will I get a chess rating?
Yes! As soon as you finish your first game, notify the Correspondence Chess Director (CCD) at US Chess and a provisional rating will be calculated. After you have 25 CC games rated, your rating is recognized as Established.

Q: I am unrated, how do I determine what Class to start in?

Class A: very strong (1800-1999)
Class B: strong (1600-1799)
Class C: average (1400-1599)
Class D: Novice (beginner to playing chess) (1399- below)
(Note: If you have a US Chess over-the-board rating, use this as a guide.)

Q: Can I use my chess computer?
No. Using the chessplaying algorithms of a software program, except when such computers/programs are expressly permitted by special rules, is prohibited.

Q: Can I refer to chess books?
Yes. Players are free to consult chess publications or literature but are not permitted to consult with other players.

Q: What equipment do I need?
Suggested items to purchase are move-mailing postcards. Move-mailing cards are designed for playing chess through the mail. You can purchase them from our online chess store!

Q: How do I contact my opponent?
You will receive a pairing sheet w/playing instructions from the Correspondence Chess Director (CCD). If you are playing in a chess-by-mail event, it will be sent through the Post Office. If you are playing in an e-mail event via the Internet, the pairings will be sent to you at your e-mail address. You will exchange moves with your opponent via the same manner in which you receive your pairings from US Chess. If you are playing in a "through the mail" event but you and your opponent want to exchange moves using email, it will be allowed.

Q: If I play Correspondence Chess (CC) will I get an official US Chess rating?
Yes! As soon as you finish your first game, notify the Correspondence Chess Director (CCD) and your game will be rated. You will receive a Provisional rating (less than 25 games rated) and be published, in our annual rating list which appears on our website, when 4 or more games are on your record. After 25 games are rated your rating is recognized as being Established. After each game your result information will be posted in an online searchable database on our website – see Correspondence Chess area behind “Activities & Interests” on our homepage, uschess.org. Your CC rating will also appear on your Chess Life magazine label.

Q: Can I achieve a title?
US Chess awards two titles for over-the-board play, National Master which is obtained by reaching a 2200 US Chess rating after 26 games and Life Master is obtained by playing 300 games at 2200 or higher. In Correspondence Chess after 25 games you are Established and if your rating is: 2000-2199 the title is Candidate Master, 2200-2399 is Master and 2400+ is Senior Master.

Q: How do I get started?
A: Contact US Chess Correspondence Chess Director, Alex Dunne: Mail: PO Box 367, Sayre, PA 18840. E-mail:
[email protected]. Or call the US Chess office using our tollfree to enter: 1-800-903-USCF (8723) When you are ready to enter, you can mail your entry to: US Chess, Attn: Correspondence Chess, P.O. Box 3967, Crossville, TN 38557 or Enter online at https://secure.uschess.org/webstore/index.php by clicking on, "Register For A Correspondence Chess Tournament."

Q: Where can I find the Official US Chess Correspondence Chess Rules?
The Correspondence Chess area of our website offers information pertaining to playing Correspondence Chess regarding rules, cc news, suggested equipment, copies of CC Columnist Alex Dunne, rating lists and a game result search engine.

Q: Are there any Master games offered on your website which I can play over?
Yes. Within the CC area of our website we offer hundreds of games from past Absolute Correspondence Chess Championships. Just click on the game and the java script will present the game to you!