THE INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENCE
CHESS FEDERATION
http://www.iccf.com/
ICCF Press Officer
J. Franklin Campbell
Email:
franklin@voyager.net

 

 

ICCF Congress
Congress Report #2

Daytona Beach, Florida (USA), September 20, 2000.
REF: Congress Report #2000-2

 

Daytona Beach, Florida, USA , September 20, 2000.

My admiration for Pedro Hegoburu (ARG), Soren Peschardt (DEN) and John Knudsen (USA) for their production of last yearís reports from the Thun (SWZ) Congress continues to grow a little more each evening, or rather each morning, as I finish my work around 3am. Itís a good thing these Congresses donít last two weeks! But the opportunity to spend time with these and the other quality people involved with ICCF makes it a pleasure and privilege to be part of this special organization. I am incredibly impressed at how the official ICCF motto AMICI SUMUS (We Are Friends) is a real, living principle in the decisions made by this body.

Of course, itís difficult to approach the hard job of dealing with rules with the requisite penalties while trying to proceed in a purely friendly fashion, so the concept of fairness is also a guiding principle in the actions of this Congress. You can see by the resolution of what appears to be an unfair situation in the current World Championship semi-finals reported below that there is a strong desire to treat the players as fairly as possible. Often the rules allow for exceptions to be granted where the regular rules may not give a completely fair result, and the Congress and Presidium members have acted to make the corrections.

However, the orderly and timely conduct of official and serious chess competition requires a well thought out set of playing rules and the administrative structure to enforce these rules.

Monday September 18, 2000

Monday morning the Congress resumed its work on the playing rules that began in Congress four years ago. Ragnar Wikman (FIN), the ICCF Deputy President (Rules), once again led the examination of the rules and presentation of the proposals from these four years of work. Ragnar placed most of this material on his web site to make it possible for Congress participants to study them carefully before these final discussions and formal votes. He "gently reminded" those present that if they had new suggestions at this late date they should recall that they had ample opportunity to supply them before Congress.

The clear attitude towards the new proposed set of rules is clear. The word is flexibility. The first step is to encourage the players to solve problems between themselves. Tournament Directors may allow considerable latitude in the types of agreements players make among themselves, such as adjustments in time controls. As long as the players notify their tournament director of their mutual agreement, if the TD believes it is reasonable and isnít a clear breach of the rules, then this mutual agreement should be accepted. This, of course, makes the job of the tournament directors and arbiters potentially more difficult since different players may be playing under different "rules", but it is certainly to the advantage of the players and should make playing the game of chess a larger part of the competition and worrying about the rules a smaller part. I would characterize this as a real "user friendly" approach to competition.

An interesting feature of the annual ICCF Congress is the signing of cards. As business is being conducted [we are sitting in a large room with long tables set side by side in a large circle] postcards are being passed around for signatures. These are souvenirs of this yearly event and signing cards is a much loved tradition. Friends who canít be present are remembered by having a card passed around for them. Some ICCF enthusiasts have collections of cards from many years and can produce signatures of many famous CC players and organizers, as well as for old friends who may no longer be among us. No one seems to object to the constant signing of cards.

Four different sets of rules make up the playing rules for ICCF:

  • Postal
  • Email
  • Postal Team Tournament
  • Email Team Tournament

Each set of rules has its own peculiarities and requirements, though much effort is made to keep them identical as far as possible.

Now itís time for coffee break! One little detail that occurs in this mixing of cultures is the different tastes in coffee. In many countries the coffee is prepared much stronger than in the USA, and the hotel staff found this difficult to comprehend. However, Ruth Ann has been able to work out an agreement. Those who wish to have double-strong coffee are to ask for "Chess Coffee". The only bad moment was at one breakfast where a poorly informed employee had misunderstood the guidelines and produced coffee of half strength! Fortunately, that little international incident was quickly corrected.

The Rules discussions ended the official business of the day, but the big ICCF World Team vs. the host USA Team event was yet to come! This was a 21-board match played at 90 minutes for the game. Of course, the USA team attempted to bring in the strongest players possible, but the World Team took full advantage of their great resources to field an unbeatable team. In the end the USA played the perfect host and "let" the world team win by the convincing score of 13-8. It was a fun evening, and itís not every day you get to see four world champions battling it out. A USA advocate may want to call this a 3-board match and just count the top three boards (a USA 2-1 win!) but fairness requires revealing the results on the other boards as well. There were draws on the top two boards in the Berliner-Sanakoev and Palciauskas-Baumbach world champions games. The full results follow, with the ICCF World Team listed first (top):

Tuesday September 19, 2000

There was a discussion about tournament organizers who have not paid prizes to winners. A possible reasonable explanation was offered by ICCF-U.S. Secretary Max Zavanelli that prize money (entry fees, etc.) are often invested to earn interest to increase the prize fund. Such investments are often not available early without forfeiting the interest. It was generally felt by Congress members that prizes should either be paid in a timely fashion or that the winners should be notified when they will be paid, in the case of delayed payment. Preferably this information should be available earlier, perhaps with the tournament announcement. Chris Luers, Controller of the Email Tournament Office, pointed out that the guidelines to be published at the web site should cover this subject to help avoid future problems.

Following this the Congress adopted proposed guidelines for International Open Tournaments.

The afternoon session started with an awards ceremony for Continental Championships. The following were recognized:

NAPZ Zone: Rene duCret (USA)

African-Asian Zone: Mekki Samraoui (ALG)

European Championships

#53: Fatih Atakisi (TUR)

#56: Werner Hase (GER)

#57: Gabriel Cardelli (ITA)

#58: Siegfried Neuschied (OST)

After 1997 the ICCF Congress initiated an annual cycle for the European Championship.

The Congress created a new position of Rules Commissioner and subsequently appointed Dr. Ian Brooks (ENG) to this position. Authority for dealing with the web-based guidelines was then delegated to this position with Presidium oversight.

ICCF General Secretary Alan Rawlings has partly taken on the role of Deputy President (Tournaments) during the leave of absence taken by H-E. (Eckhard) Luers. Congress had previously delegated authority to this position to grant proposed tournaments ICCF approval, but he brought two specific tournaments to the attention of the Congress, feeling Congress approval was required due to some irregularities (violations of ICCF practices). In one case the tournament was given rapid approval, in the spirit of Amici Sumus. The second case presented more difficulties, since there were multiple serious infractions, but the sponsor (who was organizing the event) may not have been fully aware of these issues. After much thoughtful discussion this tournament was also given approval by the Congress. Due to the unavailability of the Deputy President (Tournaments) in the past, some communications might have been unaswered, which may have contributed to the problem. The tournament was approved but a warning will be noted in the minutes to remind future organizers to avoid these infractions.

Mr. Rawlings also presented a list of the tournaments that have been approved since the last Congress.

At a future date the games played between the world champions in the USA vs. ICCF (Rest of World) will be made available. Next year the Congress will be held in Rimini, Italy. This will be the year of ICCFís Jubilee (50th year), so we are sure to see some special celebration events scheduled.

J. Franklin Campbell
ICCF Press Officer


1

Sanakoev, Grigory (RUS)
Berliner, Hans

Ĺ
Ĺ

2

Baumbach, Dr. Fritz (GER)
Palciauskas, Victor

Ĺ
Ĺ

3

Soderberg, Per (SWE)
Timm, John

0
1

4

Cranbourne, Carlos (ARG)
Edwards, Jon

1
0

5

Toro Solis, Guillermo (CHI)
Embrey, Kevin W.

1
0

6

Tepper, Dr. Hector R. (ARG)
Parnas, Anatole

1
0

7

Hegoburu, Pedro F. (ARG)
Fleetword, Daniel

Ĺ
Ĺ

8

Binder, Gerhard (GER)
Grabliauskas, Virginijus

0
1

9

Hall, Richard (ENG)
Savage, Alan

0
1

10

Rocius, Marijonas (LIT)
Eisen, David

1
0

11

Gaujens, Artis (LAT)
Eckert, Douglas

0
1

12

Pyrich, George (SCO)
Green, Wes

1
0

13

Sarink, Hendrik B. (NLD)
Zavanelli, Max

Ĺ
Ĺ

14

Harding, Tim (IRL)
Bullockus, Ted

1
0

15

Onoda, Hirokaz (JPN)
Campbell, J. Franklin

1
0

16

Flores Gutierrez, Carlos (ESP)
Carter, Maurice

0
1

17

Bielecki, Witold (POL)
Jeschonnek, Volker

1
0

18

Ramirez, Abraham Raul (ARG)
Jones, Alan

1
0

19

Borwell, Alan P. (SCO)
Lerman, Harvey

Ĺ
Ĺ

20

Radosztics, Gerhard (OST)
Sirutis, Al

Ĺ
Ĺ

21

Peschardt, Soren (DEN)
Hill, Grayling

1
0

Tot

World Team

USA Team

13

8