Congress Report #3
Mason, Michigan, September 28, 2000.
Left to Right: Max Zavanelli, Ralph Marconi, Alan Borwell, Alan Rawlings, Ragnar Wikman
Wednesday September 20, 2000
Its been a full week. Today is the last day of official business. President Alan Borwell (SCO) announced plans for a special celebration tournament in honor of the ICCF Jubilee next year (50th year). The nine living world champions will be invited to participate in an email event with a large prize fund. If the current championship hasnt been decided then the highest rated available player would be invited to join the current eight champions.
A Grand Open event will also begin in 2001. This will allow for the maximum number of CC players to participate in a free Email event to celebrate the ICCF Jubilee. There will also be a free entry postal tournament. A third special event is planned for all officials and organisers. Stay tuned to the ICCF.COM site in the future for final plans.
Pedro F. Hegoburu (ARG), the ICCF Marketing Director, then presented his Marketing Report.
A brochure is being prepared for new member countries. This will consist of approximately 20 pages and will provide guidance to help pave the way for the creation of new national federations. It will also provide points of contact for people who desire to establish a new national organization. It should be finished by the end of the year.
An advertising budget was approved at last years Congress. Advertisements will be placed in chess magazines on a rotating basis. Since advertising rates generally favor running a number of ads in the same publication, the ads will be rotated on a yearly or so basis. E.g., a series of ads may appear in Chess Life magazine over a year. The next year a second magazine would be used. Pedros report contained statistics showing the costs and circulation figures for the magazines identified as having the best potential for attracting new players. USA delegate Max Zavanelli emphasized that in most cases Marketing should contact the national federation to initiate discussions with magazines, since they may already have a working relationship with the publishers.
With the expansion of the activities of the Marketing Commission, it is necessary to appoint additional people to get all the work done. The new Press Officer J. Franklin Campbell (USA) was introduced. He delivered a short report on his ideas for this position, including preparing press releases that will inform both current ICCF participants and those not familiar with ICCF activities. Re-writing tournament reports for the ICCF web site that were written by non-English speaking tournament directors is also one duty of this position. This duties of Press Officer are still being refined and such activities as distributing press releases still need work.
The ICCF 2000 publication is a major responsibility of Pedro Hegoburu, and considerable work has already been done. Some national federations have yet to reply with material and they are encouraged to do so. The name of the publication will be changed to reflect our celebration next year of the ICCF Jubilee year.
This publication will contain the following: Introduction in all official ICCF languages (remaining material in English), a history of the ICCF and crosstables, articles and games of the major events of the ICCF (Mens and Womens World Championships, Mens and Womens Olympiads, World Cups). It will also include an article on ICCF in the future, probably an edited version of Nol vant Riets presentation at last years Congress in Thun, plus a selection of photographs. Alan Borwell called for those with historical photographs from ICCFs past to send them to him (Borwell) as soon as possible. Hopefully some sponsorship will be found to help finance the book.
This publication will be typeset and printed in Hungary. It is intended to make this book available at the 2001 Congress in Rimini, Italy next year. National Federations may be able to buy the books in quantity at discounts. Pedro offered thanks to all those who have helped with the book.
A sponsorship pamphlet is planned to aid in the procurement of sponsors. Other new projects/ideas are:
Alan Rawlings announced a new recipient of the Friend of ICCF award. Last year Tim Hardings Chess Mail site and John Knudsens CC.COM chess domain received the first two awards, in the form of a special logo to be displayed at the web sites. This year Clube de Xadrez Epistolar Brasileiro (CXEB - webmaster Richard Mitsuo Fuzishawa) received this honor. You can visit the site at: http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Loge/7600/
Next came the Webmaster Report by Søren Pershardt. He revealed that the site receives 700 visits per day (a 50% increase) and that Saturdays and Sundays have the lowest hit counts. The most popular pages are the main index page and the tournament index.
The webmaster requested that tournament directors continually proof read the crosstables and submit corrections. Corrections will only be accepted from tournament directors. There are 1700 crosstables that are updated monthly. He suggested that crosstables for all invitationals be added to the web site.
Wes Green was recognized for his excellent work on the chess archive of finished games (I can verify that this is a very demanding and difficult job).
The Game of the Month column by Victor Palciauskas (World Champion V) is a very popular feature of the web site. He stated that the most difficult thing was getting appropriate games. Victor suggested that tournament participants be asked on their tournament assignments to submit their best games to him for this column.
There was also a suggestion that all news items concerning ICCF events be presented first on the ICCF web site.
Alan Rawlings next discussed the ICCF Archives. He asked that everyone please send copies of all publications and mark them for the archive. Volunteers are being sought to input games into standard PGN format for the archive. ICCF is seeking a new Gamescore Archivist to succeed Pietro Cimmino. ICCF is also looking for a permanent home for the archived material. There is a possibility that one will be found soon, possibly in Germany. The material would then be available for use by chess researchers and historians. Also, if the large quantity of material stored in President Alan Borwells attic isnt moved soon it may come crashing through the ceiling!
The next item on the agenda was Internal Matters presented by ICCF President Alan Borwell. A small Presidents Commission will be formed to report to Congress. They will examine the current structure of ICCF and recommend changes. The following individuals were suggested as potential members of this commission: Alan Borwell, Alan Rawlings, Nol van t Riet, Gerhard Radosztics and Mohamed Samraoui. The proposed schedule was that the commission would be consultative through the next Congress, with definitive proposals voted on at the the second; any Statute changes would therefore be in effect before the 2003 Congress, which is the next election year.
Alan Rawlings stated that ICCF needs to appeal more to minorities, one such minority being women. The President asked him to go forward with explorations in this area. He also stated that a past problem with juniors was the length of time required for postal chess. Volker Jeschonnek commented that some national federations were already dealing with these problems.
After approval of the 1999 Minutes, the proposal from Thun for amendment to Statute 2.1, to permit "only one federation per country" had been agreed,
without opposition, to become effective at 1/1/2001.
On the final day of the Congress, under Internal Matters, Dr. Tepper, the delegate for Argentina, gave his views on the CC situation in his country. In his discussions with CC players in Argentina, he said there was an overwhelming desire for a unification between LADAC and CAPA, and he asked for ICCF support to achieve this outcome.
The President indicated that, although ICCF was pleased to hear of these initiatives, a unification of the two federations must be an internal matter within Argentina, as ICCF could not be involved with the internal affairs of any member country.
However, for all international matters, under the ICCF Statute 2.1, only one federation could be a member for Argentina from 1/1/2001. It was much hoped that "amici sumus" arrangements would be made soon to ensure all Argentinean CC players could continue to participate fully in ICCF and CADAP (Zonal) events and activities, without any exclusion or form of discrimination.
Dr, Tepper gave an assurance to Congress that the rights of all Argentinean CC players would be protected, for international purposes, until greater internal unification had been formally achieved.
Alan Rawlings then reported that V. D. Pandit of India had written with a suggestion that ICCF sponsor the attendance at the Congress by two delegates from new countries. Alan Borwell suggested that it would an appropriate expense to be covered by the new Development Fund. This will be considered at Congress next year when the Development Plan will be fully discussed. It was further proposed by President Borwell that we provide funds to India to cover expenses for their delegate to attend Congress next year. This popular proposal passed overwhelmingly.
ICCF Code of Conduct Guidelines were then discussed briefly. Alan Borwell quickly outlined the topics to be covered by these guidelines. This will be a subject for future discussion.
This was a very full final meeting of the entire Congress. In the final report Ill finish my coverage of this final session and also report on next years Congress, the Blitz tournament played in the evening, the special outing to the Kennedy Space Center and the closing banquet. Later I hope to provide a photographic album of this years Congress.
Of course, much more definitive information will be contained in official Congress Minutes currently being prepared by the ICCF General Secretary, to be published by end of October.
J. Franklin Campbell