Buenos Aires, Argentina,
October 8, 2001.
Tuesday morning was quite different to the previous morning, because both Chris Lüers and I woke up early and made it in time for the usual "Tuesday morning" Title Awards! There was a huge Italian group ready to receive their newly acquired International Titles (you surely saw the picture we posted some days ago). Additionally, all national delegates collected the diplomas and medals corresponding to their players. Once again, Germany was on top of the chart with a couple dozen different titles, but this year their delegate, GM Fritz Baumbach, was well prepared and played a joke on the ICCF President! Alan Borwell always tells him to bring a big bag in which to put so many (and heavy!) medals, and this time Fritz did bring the biggest bag he could find! The audience laughed at the scene!
"I'm bad, I'm nationwide" (ZZ Top)
After the ceremony was over, it was time for the four Zonal Directors to
give their reports. NAPZ informed that Mexico had decided to officially join
them (previously they had been participating in both NAPZ and CADAP). Ralph
Marconi, ZD for NAPZ, also informed they were planning to offer e-mail sections
for their Class tournaments, and that the Final of the First e-mail
Championship had recently started with 15 players (I am the TD so they better
play carefully!). Ralph was followed by Med Samraoui, head of the Africa/Asia
Zone, who sadly informed he had lost contact with the Federation from Malawi.
All the chess activity in this zone is focused on e-mail play, with excellent
results (just check at Kalabaev's rating!). Med is constantly working to
improve the Zone and therefore we can expect more tournaments and activity in
the months to come.
The European Zone is still the biggest within ICCF (in number of players) and this often means their entries for tournaments exceed by far those from all the other three zones! The biggest problem with this is that an European player often wants to play tournaments with non-European players, but generally what they get after some time is a "European" section with one or two "foreigners"! I'm afraid that the other ZDs will have to work hard in order to correct this, which can only be done with more entries by non-European federations to World Tournaments. Don't be afraid to play internationally!
The head of the European Zone, Egbert Bösemberg, also informed they will soon offer e-mail sections for European players.
The last Zonal Report came from "the Viceroy", as we like to call our good Argentinean friend Carlos Cranbourne. He confirmed the trend that has been happening over the last few years: as postal service in Latin America is not good, mostly all the activity within the Zone has shifted to e-mail. A quick analysis of the Zone shows two very contrasting situations: on one hand, that of Brazil, which topped the number of entries for the e-mail Jubilee Open with almost 300 entries, beating Germany and USA! On the other hand, the lame Argentinean show: players divided between two national groups, with no real representation (there were four Argentines at Congress but the proxy was given to Italy first and then switched at the very last moment to France!). Argentina, with all its potential, only sent some 40 players to the same FREE Jubilee event, and committed the political faux-pas of having requested the dismissal of the Zonal Director... who is from Argentina! In my very first Pre-Congress report, I wrote "Times, they are a'changin'" but now I add "Don't cry for me, Argentina"...
"Good times are out to get you" (The Infectious Grooves)
Indeed, the future looks bright ahead for ICCF and the CC community! Soon we will receive the pairings for the sections in the Postal Jubilee Open, and there are many news regarding e-mail events! Chris will surely let you know in detail, but I was very glad to hear of the upcoming Team tournaments which will allow any player to get together with three friends and compete in a league! Watch out for the CLAPDAC teams, we're looking strong with players such as Pietro Cimmino, Jaromir Canibal, Max Zavanelli, Alan Rawlings, Soeren Peschardt (now he has time to play CC!), Gerhard Binder (please stop rating the blitz tournaments in my ELO!), and the new members George Pyrich and Chris Lüers! And if we need some more raw power, we can get Nol van' t Riet to play, and I can even show up... or maybe Captain Freeze will? :-P
Another proposal from Chris was the implementation of GM Tournaments for those high rated players who can't play in Master Class or Master Norms. This was a very important issue, but sadly there were not many delegates present during the discussions, as some delegates decided to join the girls in the tour to San Marino! I hope they do not complain later, as they were not there to raise any questions!
But the good news do not end there. Maybe the biggest bet comes from our CC server, which will allow any player to record his move online and thus end the problems with time zones, lost messages, etc. This huge project will be helmed by Eckhard Lüers, and that means he'll deliver, as he already did with our first Website! Once again we see ICCF showing the lead...
Also on Internet issues we have many news. Soeren stepped down after three hard-working years, and the new Webmaster will be Evelin Radosztics from Austria, with the help of Luz Marina Tinjaca' and Marco Caressa from Italy. I had a brief chat with Evelin, sharing some ideas for marketing and the website, and we might come up with some nice new features for our virtual home, so keep in touch and visit us often!
The official meetings ended on Wednesday afternoon as there were many extra things that needed to be covered. I think the last time we finished on Tuesday
On Wednesday night we had the usual Simul, this time with GM Efimov, who was very hard opposition for our CC enthusiasts!A final score of 18-4 showed his might, with the following results (in board order): Efimov ½ De Blasio (ITA); 1 Carrettoni (ITA); 1 Battistini (ITA); 1 Incelli (ITA); 1 Chambers (ENG); 1 Pyrich (SCO); ½ Bullockus (USA); 1 Gaujens (LAT); 1 G. Radosztics (AUT); 1 C. Lüers (GER); ½ E. Lüers (GER); 1 Sampieri (ITA); ½ Halme (FIN); 1 Cimmino (ITA); ½ Canibal (CZE); ½ Mrkvicka (CZE); 1 Walker (SWZ); 1 Bresadola (ITA); 1 Salcedo (CUB); ½ Cranbourne (ARG); 1 Samtani (IND); ½ Toro Solís (CHI).
On Thursday we visited Urbino and Gradara, two very interesting places to visit. On Friday morning some of us went to San Marino, and in the afternoon we had the traditional Blitz tournament, with these results (the first two players in each group qualified for a Final group):
Prelim Group "A":
Prelim Group "B"
Prelim Group "C":
Prelim Group "D":
The TD, Chris Lüers, had to arrange a final match between the two top tied players in order to have a winner. G; De Blasio won convincingly 2:0 and clinched the prize!
Some hours after the Blitz we had the Closing banquet, which is always a sad moment when we say goodbye to our friends until the next Congress. Although this was quite a joyful banquet, given that we saw the performance of a Brazilian group of dancers which entertained us with their music and show!
Finishing these unofficial reports, I want to share with all the readers a poem written many years ago by one of the most famous and renowned Argentine writers, the great Jorge Luis Borges. I hope you will also appreciate its beauty, and see how relevant it is with the current situation in which the World is involved...
See you all in Seixal 2002!
|Back to Congress Home Page|