ICCF 2005 Villa La Angostura
Neuquen - Argentina
Well, thatīs it for another year. The others have gone out for the afternoon and so I have exclusive use of the hotelīs pc! The closing banquet is this evening and then we start the long trek home to-morrow.
A few more details of the congress. By no means exhaustive and very much a selective report: Claudio Goncalves is to take over from Med as the Marketing Commissioner - it seems that he has a number of ideas heīd like to put into effect. Much time spent discussing (arguing!) about the Presidentīs Commission changes to the Statutes - eventually these were accepted but with one or two small amendments. Wes Green has retired as Archivist and has been replaced by George Pyrich who will work in partnership with Laurent Tinture. Webmaster Evelin Radosztics plans an almost complete revamp of the ICCF web site and possibly weīll have cross-tables which link directly to the server. Nol presented a very interesting Marketing & Publications Report on behalf of the absent Med - amongst many interesting developments are plans by Fritz Baumbach and Vytas Palciauskas to produce a book on the World Champions Jubilee event with biographical details and games by all the deceased world champions as well as the annotated games of the event and another new section on the new world champions crowned since the event started. Ericīs Report as QC was really excellent and included proposals (later approved) to change the qualification criteria for IAīs to include a minimum of 1,000 games supervised and also new rules for substitutions in team events. Pedro delivered an interesting report on website and email policy - basically people were advised to behave sensibly and also to be respectful to others. Pedro also delivered his Membership & Services Directorīs Report - the main news here was a request that Congress approve a budget of 1,000 euros to fund a team to play in the 2006 Torino Olympiad (more on this to follow).
Tuesday saw the presentations of awards and titles - awards were presented to the delegates of Netherlands and Italy in respect of new World Champions Joop van Oosterom and Alessandra Riegler. Angel Acevedo (PER) and Marcio Barboso Oliviera (BRS) were on hand to pick their GM awards and Fritz picked up the Gold Medals for Germany in the 14th Olympiad. Lithuania took 2nd place here but Gold in the 6th Ladies Olympiad. Argentina I and II took gold and silver in the 7th PANAM teams event with Mexico getting bronze. Overall there were far fewer individual awards than in previous years - we donīt seem to hear talk of "titles inflation" any more.
Daniel Finkelstein as Title Tournament Commissioner presented a very interesting and detailed report - amongst numerous other details he lamented the quite substantial shortfall in the take-up of MFNīs to the WC cycle, not least because of the loss of income to ICCF. Eugenīs report as Non-Title Tournaments Commissioner contained a great wealth of information - interestingly in the 9 months to September 2005 heīd been able to start 72 events on the server, 27 by email and 14 by post. Thematics Commissioner Leonardo Madonia reported that tests would be conducted to hold these events on the server during 2006 - Congress reluctantly agreed the end of the Fischer Random events as there had been only 5 held by email and none by post.
The new delegate for the Czech Republic, Petr Buchnicek was on hand to announce and otb tournament for cc players to be held at the Silesian University, Karvina, Czech Republic in July 2006 - it will be an authentic FIDE rated event with a substantial prize fund.
Pedro then reported on the progress in the various World Cup events - friends from Slovakia sent a paper with details of their plans to host World Cup 15 starting late 2006 - however, they expressed that they were not prepared to include postal sections in this event- fortunately, Fritz Baumbach, as delegate for Germany, was on hand with a spontaneous offer to organise a postal World Cup 16 to start at about the same time - the Congress was delighted to approve these plans. Congress also noted the resounding success of the Championīs League and that we now had 1824 registered players (1776 of whom are currently active) on the ICCF server - it seems that this is more than a well-known commercial European based server which, of course, isnīt recognised by FIDE and doesnīt have reputable rating and titles systems.
The big news at the end of Tuesday was that an email was received from Med confirming the participation of an ICCF team in the Torino Olympiad! - Med had attended the FIDE Congress in Dresden earlier in the year and it seems that his lobbying on our behalf brought forth a suitable reward!
The day ended with a lengthy discussion of the Playing Rules or more specifically items such as "dead manīs defence" and the 40 day clause - the end result was the passing of a resolution (by 25 votes to 19 with 3 abstentions) to have 10 in 50 by 1 January ī06 - in reality, I donīt think that there was anything else to be done to try to tackle the problem of playerīs accumulating vast quantities of time and then playing very slowly - after all, players are free to allocate their use of time as they please. Congress also approved revised Adjudication Rules and Guidelines.
The last day started with discussion of the ICCF events calendar and saw Congress approve Pedroīs plan that (by and large) ICCF events should start during even-numbered years whilst Zonal events would be given priority during odd-numbered years. Thereafter, we gave formal approval to changes to the Tournament Rules with regard to IA Qualification, qualification to the World Ch. Cycle from events such World Cups and Zonal events, Substitutions in Team events. Unfortunately the Ratings Commissioner Gerhard Binder was unable to attend - nevertheless we all congratulated him (again) on his really excellent work and approved his plans to have ratings for all events transferred (in stages) to the server by 2007. Thereafter the Congress approved Ruth Annīs presentation of an "Arbiterīs Manual" and also the formation of an "Arbiterīs Committee" (to be chaired by former Deputy President Ragnar Wikman).
More details of the Torino Olympiad emerged - ICCF will pay for players' bed and board at the Olympic Village but players will have to fund their own travel there. Each member federation will be invited to submit 2 nominations for consideration for selection and the EB will then select the team of 6 with 2 reserves - possibly not all the selection criteria will be objective as the EB will seek to select those who will prove to be "good ambassadors" (Max) for ICCF. Torino resident, Gian-Maria Tani will be invited to serve as Team Captain.
Finally, Congress approved Dresden, Germany as the venue for the 2006 Congress whilst an application from the Spanish Federation for the 2007 event was also approved. Congress also approved that our friends from Finland should host the 2011 event as they celebrate their 50th anniversary that year.
All in all, a very satisfactory Congress with a number of worthwhile accomplishments - personally I donīt quite go along with the "spin" put on things by Max and Pedro. It was very unfortunate that our new President, Mohamed (Med) Samraoui was unable to attend as was Honorary President Alan Borwell who reportedly planned a last minute application for the post of Finance Director. Also, whilst the huge volumes of work put in by the likes of Pedro and Ruth Ann should of course be publicly recognised and acclaimed, it should be noted that the EB was not called to account for some of the extraordinary events (or rather the extraordinary messages distributed by some of its members) during the earlier part of this year - as reported earlier elsewhere, Soren tried unsuccessfully to have these matters raised - perhaps unwisely, he then left the Congress.
Hope to see you in Dresden next year!
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