ICCF 2006 -- Dresden, Germany
Note from George Pyrich, Delegate for Scotland (SCO)

Day 4, 18 October 2006

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Hi Franklin,

Herewith the news from 4th and final business day of the 2006 ICCF Congress! First the important news! Results from the blitz tournament held yesterday evening. The event was an 11 round swiss with 28 players, excellently organised by some of ICCF´s best arbiters , Nol van t´ Riet and Evelin and Gerhard Radoszticz. FIDE master Petr Buchnicek (CZE) proved himself a class above the rest, overcoming a 1st round mishap and finishing clear of the field with an excellent 9,5 points from 11. Marian Semrl (SLO) took 2nd place on 8/11 and Rabchonok (LAT), Dmitry Lybin (BLR) and Per Soederberg (SWE) shared 3rd place on 7,5/11.

The main business of the day was focused upon ICCF tournaments and the arrangements for future events. World Tournaments Director Frank Geider (FRA) led Congress through an interesting examination of all ICCF events - postal, email and server - as in previous year there was a lively discussion on the "dead man defence" phenomenon and, as previously, there was no satisfactory resolution. New Title Tournaments Commissioner Marco Caressa (ITA) led a very interesting presentation on arrangements for World Championship Finals. The Congress was advised that presently there are 43 players holding 48 qualification places for World Championship Finals, the Congress also noted that ICCF have had 4 new World Champions since 2004 (T. Hamarat, J. Van Osteroom, I. Bern and C. Leotard). Whilst mindful that the change adopted at the 2005 Congress whereby the number of qualifiers from the Candidates tournament cycle was reduced, the Congress agreed that measures must be taken in order to break the current "log jam" and avoid the possibility of there being two or even more new World Championship Finals started in one year. Following considerable discussion, the Congress agreed an arrangement whereby all those eligible to participate in a World Championship Final will be invited to play in a new World Championship Final played on ICCF server and starting at the end of 2007. In view of the large numbers of players who may choose to take part, pairing (15 games) will be randomised but also modified to provide all participants with opposition of equal overall strength (rating). Additionally, special arrangements (likely email "nodes") will be provided in order to accommodate players who wish to play only by post. Those players who choose not to participate in this event will still retain their qualification rights to take part in a future final but they will be allocated a place only if a final is not filled by those players now competing in the current qualifying tournaments. It is hereby envisaged that the current "log-jam" will be cleared and we will return to the situation in place some years ago whereby a new World Championship Final started only every second or third year.

The rest of the day´s business was taken up by a number of other matters including progress with the development of the ICCF historical archive, plans for an international schoolchildren s team tournament to be played on the ICCF webserver. The dissolution by ICCF of the longstanding co-operation agreement with Fernschach magazine following breaches of the agreement by the owner of Fernschach magazine.

A brief "post mortem" on the debacle on the FIDE Olympiad and the participation of an ICCF team , and finally a progress report on the ongoing sponsorship agreement with "New in Chess" magazine.

Finally, the Congress enjoyed a brief representation by the Spanish Delegate Josep Mercadal Benejam on arrangements for the 2007 Congress, scheduled to be held in Benalmadena, Spain.

ICCF Anthem was approved and will be played after each ICCF opening Congress. The Anthem will be put on the ICCF website in a mp3 format.

The Congress expressed its appreciation of the excellent efforts of the ICCF President.

That´s all for now! We have an over the board match this evening against local Dresden players and the customary congress excursion tomorrow.

Regards
George

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