|Shankypanky before he became a GM.|
To play standard games on ICC, I recommend several several options.
- The fastest and most popular standard time control on the internet is 15 0, commonly denoted G/15. People argue that this rapid pace is too fast for serious practice, but I disagree. G/15 serves for opening and tactics practice, but allows enough time for a handful of extended calculations. I recommend joining the 15-minute pool on ICC (automatic pairings, no computers, no adjournments) by clicking on the 15 pool ball. Take your time!
- The Tuesday night STtourney runs four rounds monthly at 60 0 time control (aka G/60). California players will prefer the 8pm and 11pm sections (ICC uses EST). To play, log in before the round and add channel 32 (type: /tell 32 hello!). Join Pear robot (type: /tell Pear join), or if U1500, join Automato robot (type: /tell Automato join). Ask questions and watch for announcements in channel 32.
- The best organized standard club is the Team 45 45 League. Volunteers run four tournaments a year, with six rounds followed by 2-3 rounds of playoffs. The next tournament starts on February 19, but teams must register by February 12. Each round players contact their opponent to schedule the game at a mutually convenient time and day. This is approximately a 2-3 hour commitment each week (but a long endgame could exceed 4 hours). The league, which began nearly 15 years ago, has sections at 200 point intervals from 2200 on down, based on the average rating of top 4 players on each team. Before joining, carefully read the Quick Guide and Player Handbook. The league enforces strict rules requiring personal responsibility and parental/family support. I enjoy playing and know more than a dozen Bay Area players who are active in this league.