ICCF 2005 Villa La Angostura
Neuquen - Argentina
3 November 2005
3 November 2005
We arrived in Argentina tired but on time. We were immediately impressed by the beauty of the lakes and mountains of the Patagonia region. Villa la Angostura is a rapidly growing village with more ice cream and chocolate shops than I’ve even seen on one main street before. It is a haven for skiers in the winter and hikers in the summer. Our Argentinean hosts put us at ease and insured us that every need would be taken care of.
Congress met in a restaurant that was part of the Bahia Manzano hotel complex. It was a joy to have to walk outside with a view of the lake and mountains to our coffee breaks and lunch. Much better than any hotel lobby! The closing banquet will be there also.
The Opening Session entertainment was provided by 2 Argentinean musicians playing various instruments. Their repertoire included both Argentinean folk or country music and other popular music. They began with “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” later, we were moved nearly to tears by their rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “El Condor Pasa,” and the theme from Chariots of Fire.
The Opening Banquet, hosted by Argentina, began with a tour of the Messidor, the summer residence of the province of Neuquen’s governor. This was followed by a traditional Argentine dinner of Carne Asada at a nearby restaurant and more music by the same musicians.
After acknowledging that we were short several important people, especially Med Samraoui and Alan Borwell, we proceeded with the agenda. We had to keep to a strict time table because the meeting room had to become a restaurant each night. For the first time in years, there would not be evening sessions!
Victor Palciauskas and Michael Millstone completed the USA delegation. Victor’s opinions are always useful and respected. Michael’s surprise offer to take on the Financial Director position was welcomed by all.
The fun session is always the Tuesday morning Title Awards ceremony. We are pleased to announce that the SIM title was awarded to Chris Sergel. The overall number of titles was less than in prior years, perhaps due to the strengthening of the IM award in Seixal. Congress increased the requirement for the IM to 2 norms over 24 games that year.
USA also has 3 new International Arbiters: Keith Rodriguez, James B. Skeels, and Wesley K. Underwood. The new IA’s are particularly welcome. The new Arbiter Committee Rules provide that certain levels of tournaments have an IA as TD, whereas lower level tournaments do not require that the TD be an IA. The Arbiter Committee has finally been created after at least 3 years of Congress’ discussing and carrying the proposals over for further drafting. The TD Manual will be a great help to all TD’s.
Many Committee Chairmen were not present. Their reports were presented by other Committee members present, or by Pedro Hegoburu, Nol van´t Riet, Ragnar Wikman, Max Zavanelli, or me.
The work was completed in time for the Wednesday afternoon coffee break. All present agreed that it was a very successful Congress. Max received a large round of applause after hitting the gavel for the final time.
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