The ICCF Champions
League team tournament is now in its second season,
officially called "First Season" to distinguish it from
the "Qualifying Season".
It is a relegation tournament, so teams that do poorly
are relegated to the next lower
league in the next season while teams that do very well
advance to a higher league
the following season. The Qualifying season sorted teams
out into Leagues
"A", "B", "C", and "D" for the First (regular) Season.
However, a "Fast Track" league
was also set up in the current season to allow new teams
to qualify directly to the
higher leagues for the next season.
I got involved
about half way through the qualifying season when the
webmaster of the Champions League web site Klaus Wrba
unavailable to continue in that job. It became my job to
take over his duties and
to keep the web site and all the CL tables updated. I was already playing
a group of four people involved in developing and
maintaining the correspondence chess domain
That's a great thing about the Champions League ... it
gave people an opportunity
to form teams will their friends, even across national
boundaries. For instance,
our team had two from USA, one from Canada and one from
good example is The
Gambiteers Guild consisting of players
Denmark, Netherlands and the USA. My current team
consists of players from England, Canada and USA. In
this case we are all
ICCF International Arbiters giving us a common interest.
Teams were free to
establish their own identities and many do, some with
some specific common
element that binds them together, whether it's the love
of gambits, membership
in a local OTB club or something else.
I personally felt
quite excited about these opportunities to enjoy
with friends, quite independent of the desire to win
games and high
placement for the next season. One thing I and others
thought about were
appropriate team logos to represent our teams. I asked a
friend and fellow
worker Tina Ciaramitaro, who is a professional graphics
artist, to design a logo
for our team based on some sketchy ideas I had. The
result was a very exciting logo
with a dragon breathing flames over a chess board field
scattering the pieces.
How it all started
that in the next season (the "First" season) I would
make an effort
to promote the concept of having fun in this event. The
idea of players banding
together across national boundaries and playing for the
joy of it is a powerful one,
in my opinion. Some may play for titles and high
ratings, even for championships,
but most of us can't challenge at the very highest
levels. We can still enjoy the
Royal Game, though. Fun chess sites and team logos
seemed a natural idea. In fact,
a number of teams did create team web sites and
interesting team logos. My first
attempt during the qualifying season was to make a links
page at the
web site listing all the team web sites
I could find along
with displaying the existing team logos. I spent some
time with Google
looking for web sites, and I actually found a couple
that way! You can see this
early display of logos from the qualifying season at
CC.COM links page.
appointed webmaster of the Champions League web site for
qualifying season I naturally extended this idea to the
web site for
qualifying season and created a
displaying the team logos there.
Of course, this is old stuff and some of the team web
sites listed there have
vanished, but you can see my first efforts. The team
divided into the leagues they qualified for in the
season, unlike the qualifying season, is being
The sponsor allocated a set amount of prize money for
the expected number
of groups, but when the season started there were fewer
groups than expected.
After consulting with the sponsor I was delighted that,
instead of simply
moving a bit more money into the existing prize funds
for winning certain
playing prizes, some of the prize money was put into two
"Best Team Web Site" and "Best Team Logo". Excellent! I
want to thank the
sponsor for being willing to award teams for non-playing
activities. Is this a first in
ICCF competition? See
Awards Announcement for the sponsor's
The deadline for submitting team logos for the
competition was 31.12.2005.
An amazing 55 logos were submitted! All eligible team
logos are shown
on the current
page. The web sites won't be judged till after
30.06.2006 to allow the teams to provide additional
content based on finished games.
The logos have already been judged and the award
announced. Complete information
is shown below, or you can see
of "Best Team Logo"
at the official web site.
You can also read the sponsor's
Team Logo Press Release.
I was determined
to recognize the best team logos, though there was only
cash prize, so I asked the judges to choose the best two
logos for each league.
After that the judges chose the best logo from the top
pick for each league.
There were some excellent logos designed by the teams
which showed both
originality and excellent artistic skills. All teams are
to be congratulated on their
wonderful efforts and for participating in this fun
My objectives in
the judging was to set down some basic voting rules,
an outstanding panel of judges, and then to tally the
votes and announce the winners.
On the second count I think I did an excellent job ...
the voting panel was a true all-star
selection. The five judges are shown with their photos
below. The judges were:
GM Tunc Hamarat (AUS), 16th World Champion
SIM Josef Mrkvicka (CZE), Former ICCF
(USA), Webmaster/Owner of
SIM John Knudsen
(USA living in GER), Webmaster/Owner of
(AUS), Webmaster of
My thanks go to these five judges for
accepting this job and for handling their
judging duties in a professional and prompt manner. My
thanks to the many
creative team members who were responsible for these
great logos. If you're
planning to compete in a team event such as the
Champions League I urge you
to consider creating a web site and/or a team logo to
add to the fun. For now
check out the top logos from this event and get
Here are the
top two logos for each league, as selected
by our distinguished judging panel.