Atomic on ICC

ICC was the first major server to implement a version of atomic chess.  However, their version of atomic chess differs from standard atomic rules.  In ICC’s version of atomic chess, there are no checks.  That might not seem like much, but it completely changes certain atomic chess endgames and openings.  For example, K+R v K (Kings not touching) endgame becomes a win for K+R rather than a draw.  But with how many chess players access and use ICC, it was the greatest gateway towards getting and retaining new atomic chess players.

Introduction

When Atomic first started on ICC, I am sure that not a lot of people knew that it already existed on GICS.  Most players on ICC are rather notorious for not knowing very much about the ICS universe and consider ICC to be the sun around which every other option out there circles.  But by the same token, so many players have gotten their start on ICC, that we can pretty much look past some of the flaws.  I don’t recall very much about early ICC atomic history as I wasn’t around to record its events.

DukeNukem(FM) was the first ICC player to distinguish himself and was soon followed by MoltenThinker, FireDragg, champblair, TheChessKid, tipau, and Peter-Patzer.  DN, MT, and FD were the first triumvirate of the ICC atomic players.  Then they went out onto the smaller servers around 2002-3 and began trying to find better competition for themselves.  The second wave of ICC atomic players came around 2003-4, which included a younger tipau.  Needless to say, that’s an impressive collection of strong atomic players that call ICC their atomic chess homeland.

Here are a few rare games from the early days in ICC:

RiverPlate (2631) vs. Wethalon (2485) — 2001.12.25 10:12:48 
Rated wild(27) match, initial time: 4 minutes, increment: 0 seconds

Move RiverPlate Wethalon 
—- —————- —————-
1. Nf3 (0:10) f6 (0:04) 
2. e4 (0:03) d6 (0:53) 
3. d4 (0:29) e6 (0:02) 
4. Na3 (0:13) a6 (0:14) 
5. e5 (0:24) dxe5 (0:26) 
6. d5 (0:55) Bb4 (0:56) 
7. c3 (0:04) Bd6 (0:35) 
8. Ne5 (0:25) Nc6 (0:34) 
9. Nf7 (0:12) Qe7 (0:09) 
10. dxe6 (0:15) Bg4 (0:04) 
11. f3 (0:06) 
{Black forfeits on time} 1-0

Wethalon (2475) vs. RiverPlate (2641) — 2001.12.25 10:20:47 
Rated wild(27) match, initial time: 4 minutes, increment: 0 seconds

Move Wethalon RiverPlate 
—- —————- —————-
1. Nf3 (0:04) f6 (0:02) 
2. e4 (0:17) d5 (0:03) 
3. e5 (0:14) Bg4 (0:05) 
4. d4 (0:17) e6 (0:09) 
5. h3 (0:18) Na6 (0:13) 
6. a3 (0:15) Nh6 (0:24) 
7. Bxh6 (0:18) c6 (0:31) 
8. hxg4 (0:16) h5 (0:04) 
9. Bd3 (0:50) f5 (0:21) 
10. Qd2 (0:14) Nb4 (0:57) 
11. Qg5 (0:24) Qxg5 (0:01) 
12. axb4 (0:03) a5 (0:13) 
13. g4 (0:21) h4 (0:10) 
14. gxf5 (0:01) g6 (0:01) 
15. f4 (0:02) Rg8 (0:14) 
16. f5 (0:01) gxf5 (0:03) 
17. Rg1 (0:02) Rg2 (0:03) 
18. Rxg2 (0:01) Bh6 (0:03) 
{White forfeits on time} 0-1

RiverPlate (2650) vs. Wethalon (2466) — 2001.12.25 10:30:41 
Rated wild(27) match, initial time: 3 minutes, increment: 1 second

Move RiverPlate Wethalon 
—- —————- —————-
1. d4 (0:08) d5 (0:05) 
2. e4 (0:09) e5 (0:09) 
3. Nh3 (0:04) h6 (0:21) 
4. Na3 (0:06) a6 (0:02) 
5. exd5 (0:59) Nc6 (1:09) 
6. Bb5 (0:12) Qh4 (0:35) 
7. g3 (0:05) Qe4 (0:02) 
8. dxe5 (0:05) 
{Black resigns} 1-0

Wethalon (2458) vs. RiverPlate (2658) — 2001.12.25 10:35:47 
Rated wild(27) match, initial time: 3 minutes, increment: 1 second

Move Wethalon RiverPlate 
—- —————- —————-
1. Nf3 (0:05) f6 (0:02) 
2. d4 (0:02) d5 (0:12) 
3. Na3 (0:07) c6 (0:13) 
4. Bd2 (0:21) e5 (0:12) 
5. e3 (0:27) Bg4 (0:15) 
6. h3 (0:06) Nh6 (0:09) 
7. Bb4 (1:05) Bxb4 (0:07) 
8. c4 (0:17) Qa5 (0:13) 
9. b4 (0:02) Qa3 (0:13) 
10. Qb3 (0:28) dxc4 (0:08) 
{White resigns} 0-1

True ICC oldtimers don’t even have to ask who either RiverPlate or Wethalon were, but since most of you probably weren’t even on ICC during Christmas of 2001, I’ll summarize rather briefly.  Wethalon is a FM (also known as Comet on FICS), who is one of the strongest wild 5 (upside down) players ever.  He’s a former world champion in that variant and plays a real mean (2500-level) game of FR as well.  RiverPlate is a massive wanker.  I just know he is Argentinean and there’s a photo of him somewhere out there in ICC-space, but it’s likely that RiverPlate is Xarqin of FICS.  Eventually, he got banned and had his wild rating reset to 2300 on ICC – because his real strength was actually around 1800 in everything, but he massively eeked his way up to obscene ratings in everything he could.  His account is still undeleted on ICC as is the case with any banned player:

Information about RiverPlate (Last disconnected Fri Jun 21 2002 12:01):

rating [need] win loss draw total best
Wild 2300 [6] 797 237 8 1042 2300 (20-Jun-2002) 
Loser’s 2336 [6] 589 275 6 870 2336 (08-Jun-2002) 
Bughouse 1646 [6] 1082 892 2 1976 1884 (19-May-2001) 
Crazyhouse 2332 [6] 1183 386 2 1571 2332 (08-Jun-2002) 
Bullet 2480 [8] 2685 2791 319 5795 2480 (20-Jun-2002) 
Blitz 2450 [8] 1112 1054 149 2315 2450 (11-Mar-2002) 
Standard 2234 [6] 54 20 13 87 2234 (16-Jun-2001) 
5-minute 1765 [8] 316 304 59 679 1877 (25-Sep-2001) 
1-minute 1734 [8] 2202 2159 299 4660 1964 (11-Apr-2002) 

1: Best atomic player ever
2: After reaching 2700 by playing atomic, admins decided to low my wild rating
to 2300 as nobody could beat me
3: Having nothing else to prove, I leave this place
4: Have good luck :=)

Groups : Argentina Bughouse

As far as I know, Wethalon never played atomic before those 4 rated games with RiverPlate.  After losing those and a couple of other new variants, he suddenly found himself with the following rating line:

Wethalon(FM) Wild 2006 [6] 48 40 2 90 2637 (28-Mar-1999) 

Now, as an odd feature unique to ICC as is the atomic twist, all chess variants except Loser’s/Giveaway (a variant of Suicide), Crazyhouse, and Bughouse are rated under a single category, Wild.  Until ICC implemented a bot (RoboKieb), around ca 2003, there was no way of telling who was a strong atomic player except if they were known by reputation / frequent playing.  Even now, there isn’t a standardized list of atomic chess bests achieved, etc… due to the ICC policy of deleting older accounts.

I think that’s a good start to the ICC section – I’ll add more at a later date, but if any ICCer wants to add their own commentary, just email me.

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