Quotes from Freestylers' Emails


In addition to previous reports and reviews we like to add these quotes from emails and letters...

Yuri Ermakov (aka Funvillage, email of April 9th(!), 2014)

...Thanks, for the work done. Everything was top level. I hope to be playing again and again. It was great!”


Nick Carlin (aka Flyingfatman, email of April 11th, 2014)

...Thanks again for running a fantastic tournament. I really enjoyed and given my constraints I'm satisfied that my placing in the final table is correct.

And a big thanks for sending the games after each round and reminding us of the start times - I think that was an essential reason behind the tournament being such a success.

Lastly the greatest thanks goes to the sponsor of course.”


Olivier Evan (aka Oliviereven, email of April 15th, 2014)

...Thank you very much to the sponsors and to you for this great chess tournament.

As you could found, I did not play my best in this tournament.

This is due to a health problem for 6 months, in fact I took a preventive treatment against cancer.

And this morning the morning told me the news, I defeated the beginning of cancer.

I still wanted to thank you for your great work for this chess event.”


Nate Stubbs (aka Newton296, email of April 16th, 2014)

...First of all , congrats to team intagrand for a hard earned victory.

this was my first experience with freestyle chess and I gotta say, I was very impressed with the level of preparation, determination, and commitment displayed by all the players over the 3 months of competition. I think we had only one player drop out over the 3 months and he was quickly replaced . also,  who can forget joboy, who despite being hospitalized, managed to complete all his games and narrowly missed a win in the final game to finish tied for 10th. also special mention goes to all alvin whose games didn't start until 10pm and lasted sometimes until 2am in the morning, yet he still managed a  second place finish (amazing alvin)

personally, I had a pretty good run in the tour. I had many chances to win games but I fell short too many times due to stiff defense from players and unfortunately, a few move input errors. (ugggh). at times the tour became quite challenging especially when it overlapped a trip to Dallas TX. and I was forced to use engine mode for 4 games. thanks goes to my dedicated friend for filling in for me on these days. 

finally, after reading the specs of the other players pc's, I am even more amazed and proud to finish tied for tenth using only a quad core (intel 3570k oc 4.3) . I enjoyed the challenge of playing such big silicon and of course, it made my wins that much sweeter.

special thanks for td arno and all your hard work to make the tour so special. also thanks to gm lutz for your work on the game reports, and of course. special thanks to the sponsors and infinity who made it all possible in the first place.”



Dr. Michael Glatthaar (aka Donkasand, email of April 23rd, 2014)

...My thanks and appreciation for all the effort you and your team have put into this tour. As has been mentioned, the fact that almost the whole starting field crossed the finish line is testament to a very well organised tour. May it grow from strength to strength!

The amount of extra effort put in by you to sort out the occasional problems I experienced is appreciated.

At the start of this tour I knew that I would not be physically at my PC during many games to interact with various engines, so made the decision to play as an engine only. I maintained a virtual presence, though, sometimes with very dodgy internet connections.( I did attempt a few games as centaur near the beginning of the tour, but these were less than optimal, so reverted to pure engine mode). Also I was curious to measure average hardware + decent book against top centaur teams.

My philosophy was to use a good up to date book, disguise my engine name to keep centaurs guessing, and hope for the best. I used an i7 4770 quad for the games. Recent Stockfish editions were used throughout. I am very appreciative of the book's author. Without the book I am certain I would have finished much further down the field. I am curious if top end hardware would have improved my final standings.

As is usual in these events, luck did play some part. In my first game, some hardware glitch caused me to lose a lot of time in my game when I was in (IMHO) a winning position, but had to settle for a draw. On the other hand, some of my opponents' engines made inexplicable losing moves or bad moves while still in book.

I could spend some time in analysing some of the games after the fact, but seeing they were basically all Stockfish games with no input from me, I feel it would serve no purpose. GM Lutz has annotated some of them already.

Congratulations to all the top finishers! Clearly the amount of effort and preparation you put in, paid handsome dividends.”



Mark Sabu (aka Deepthroat, email of April 30th, 2014)

“…The tournament for me was organized pretty well. I just had slight issues with slow gui and laggy server. Maybe in the future the development team should focus more on making the gui more snappy especially when opening game windows and more robust servers (…).”


> How about preparation, highlights and drawbacks? Did you play in some kind of team or get any support from helpers?


I played alone using komodo, stockfish and houdini running on intel 4770k 4 core and Amd 1090t 6 core cpu in all of the games. Occasionally I did use 24 core xeon e5 v2 on a remote pc from my work but probably no more than 5 games.

I almost have no pre-game opening preparation as I have a busy schedule and analyze the possible openings on the game itself. And I only use public books and database like Hiarcs 14 and 1337chess v5 books and engine games from gladiators chess. Though I don't use human games like megabase, as I believe they are of low quality at this level of play. (...)”


Big thanks to all,

Arno Nickel (aka Jojo, TD)