During many years and till now , the postal service in Africa and in the large part of Asia was and is always the major handicap for correspondance chess development.  The apparaisal of the electronical mail in the mid 90´s ( the fax was already out of fashion) and the advantages it offers , gives to CC a new era . The games become faster and cheaper . The duration of a tournament is reduced from 4-5 years (and sometimes more ) to less than 18 months . No more postcards lost during the transmission  or waiting one or two months to receive the move.


1st email Afro-Asian championship 1998-2000


When the first zonal championship started in 1998 , it was really a curiosity , because it was the first internet´s steps in the most african countries , nevertheless 26 players from 17 differents countries applied  and the competition started with 3 sections , the 3 top players will advance to the final.

In section A  the favorite Khalid Chorfi  , the IM from Morroco  finished at 3rd place after suffering a loss to K.  Ching  from Malaysia who was  unknown  .

Ching won this section with 6,5 points/7 points, followed by H. Onoda from Japan 6 points and K. Chorfi  5,5 points. V. Pandit (IND) missed the qualification .

In section B , 3 players emerged  S. Simonenko from Turkmenistan a FIDE IM with 7,5 points out 8, G. Altanoch from Mongolia with 7 points  and Dr A. Chatterjee from India  with 6,5 points

In section C  Mekki Samraoui from Algeria was the winner with 7 points , followed by Namdeo from India  and Tjiptadi from Indonesia  both with 6,5 points.. R. Messerschmidt from South Africa was unlucky with 6 points  and missed the final.


The final was dominated by the youngest player (13 years old) conceding only one draw to  the experienced IM K. Chorfi (MRC) who finished unbeaten too. S. Simonenko not fortunate in this final , the single loss costed him the final victory . H. Onoda (JPN) took the 4th place with 5 points and G. Altanoch with 3,5 points. The deception came from K. Ching (MAS) and A. Chatterjee (IND) who  did not play consequently .




1st EAAC  1998-2000  (26 players)

Mekki Samraoui (ALG) 7,5/8

Serguey Simonenko (TKM) 6,5/8

Khalid Chorfi (MRC) 6/8

Hirokaz Onoda (JPN) 5/8

Gendengin Altanoch (MGL) 3,5/8


One game played by the winner .


Mekki Samraoui (ALG) – G. Altanoch (MGL) , 1st email Afro-Asian ch, Final

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.h5 Bh7 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 Nbd7 12.O-O-O Be7 13.Ne4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Nf6 15.Qe2 Qd5 16.c4 Qe4 17.Be3 O-O 18.Ne5 Rac8 19.f3 Qh7 20.g4 Nd5 21.Bd2 b5 22.Ng6 !! fxg6 23.Qxe6+ Kh8 24.hxg6 Qg8 25.Qe5 Bf6 26.Bxh6! gxh6 27.Rxh7+ Kg7 28.Qh5 Rfd8 29.Rh7+ Kf8 30.Qf5 bxc4 31.g5 c3 32.gxf6 cxb2+ 33.Kxb2 Rb8+ 34.Ka1  1-0.



2nd email Afro-Asian championship 1999-2001


The success met by the 1st email championship is repeated one year later  when 24 players from 12 different countries took part to the new battle for the title of Zonal champion.

In the preliminaries all the favorites achieved the qualification to the Final.

In section A , the title holder Mekki Samraoui is the runner up with 6 points behind K. Prabhakar from India who finished with 6,5 points . Akadegawa (Japan) hold the third qualificative place with 5 points.

In section B , N.R Anilkumar (India) and E. Hojdahl (Japan) were the best with 6 points and the IM K. Chorfi once again is third  after losing his game vs Hojdahl and will qualify only thanks to the better SB. The unfortunate player was D.Dempster from Australia .

In section C , Paul Santhosh (India) made a perfect score , winning all his games , he was follwed by his countryman A. Chatterjee who finished with 5,5 points . The third place was shared by K.Tjiptadi from Indonesia and Kagiyama from Japan . Due to a lack of times Dr Chatterjee was not able to attend the Final , missing an absolut record of 4 indian players in the same Final .

The Final was very exciting with 4 candidates fighting for the victory  and finally Anilkumar emerged as the new champion with 6,5 point . K. Chorfi followed him with 6 points and Mekki Samraoui took the third place with 5,5 points .

P. Santhosh , the star of the preliminaries met some difficulties during this Final  and was not able to reach the podium . One year later he achieved the GM norm in the 1st ICCF email Olympiad . That is relevant for the quality of top zonal  players .


2nd EAAC  1999-2001

N. Anilkumar (IND) 6,5/8

Khalid Chorfi (MRC) 6/8

Mekki Samraoui (ALG) 5,5/8

Erik Hojdahl (JPN) 5,5/8

Paul Santhosh (IND) 5/8


 N. R Anilkumar (IND) – K. Johansson (SWE) : 1st email Olympiad

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.a3 Be7 8.b4 Be6 9.Rb1 f6 10.00 00 11.d3 a5 12.b5 Nd4 13.Nd2 Bd5 14.Nxd5 Nxd5 15.Ne4 f5 16.e3 fxe4 17.exd4 exd4 18.Bb2 Nc3 19.Bxc3 dxc3 20.Bxe4 Qd4 21.Rc1 Bf6 22.Bxb7 Rad8 23.Be4 Qc5 24.Qb3+ Kh8 25.Kg2 Bd4 26.f4 Rb8 27.a4 c6 28.Qc4 cxb5 29.Qxc5 Bxc5 30.axb5 Bb4 31.Bc6 Rfd8 32.Rfd1 Rd4 33.Kf3 Rbd8 34.Be4 R4d6 35.d4 g6 36.Bc6 Rxd4 37.Rxd4 Rxd4 38.b6 Rc4 39.b7 Bd6 40.Bd5 Rc5 41.Ke4 Bb8 42.Kd4 Rc7 43.Rxc3 Rxc3 44.Kxc3 Kg7 45.Kc4 Kf6 46.Be4 a4 47.Kb4 a3 48.Kxa3 h6 49.Bxg6 Kxg6 50.Kb4 h5 51.Kc4 Kf6 52.Kd4 h4 53.Ke4 h3 54.Kf3 Kf5 55.g4+ Kf6 56.Kg3 Bd6 57.Kxh3 Bxf4 58.Kg2 Kg5 59.h3 Bb8 60.Kf3 Bc7 61.Ke4 Bb8 62.Kd5 Kf6 63.Kc6 Ke6 64.h4  1-0 .



3rd  email Afro-Asian championship 2000-2002


Again 24 players from 10 countries have applied to this competition.

The winner and his runner up were the top favorites in section A , but surprisingly Anilkumar did not defend his title . His withdrawal let the competition very open and Ali Dikmen from Turkey won convaincly the section with 7 points . K. Chorfi , this time unbeaten , is qualified for the third time in row with D.Knol from South Africa ,both achieved 5 points . S.Terada (IM from Japan) missed the qualification with 4,5 points .

In section B two winners  with 6 points and the same SB  : L. Ball from South Africa and G. Altanoch from Mongolia . With 5 points Yamaguchi was the 3rd qualifier .  I. Smuts (RSA) with 4,5 points and the former finalists  Kagiyama (JPN) and Tjiptadi (INA) have not been able to jump to the Final.

 The  section C  was won  by Mekki Samraoui and Arif Kucukali from Turkey , both with 6 points , for the third qualificative place P.Kemp won the tie over his countryman  S. Stone , both with 4,5 points . K. Benbachir with 4 points , missed again the qualification..


The final was played with 11 players , the IM/FIDE  S. Simonenko (TKM) who finished second in the first edition  and F. Balabaev (KAZ)  who reached in 2002 an ICCF rating of 2661 have been invited by the zonal director to strenght this Final . Mekki Samraoui , who won the 1st zonal championship and the section C has choosen to play for Germany , he was replaced by S. Stone who finished 4th in the same section .


This Final was fantastic , with high level and interesting games . After more than one year of play  A. Kucukali emerged unbeaten with 8 points , followed by D. Knol with 7 points who would regret his single loss to Kucukali . 3 players shared the “bronze” medal with 6,5 points S. Simonenko (TKM) , L. Ball (RSA) and P. Kemp (RSA) . A wonderful results for South African players who took , places 2, 4 and 5 in this very strong Final . The new ICCF GM F. Balabaev finished only at the 6th place with 5 points suffering 3 losses to Ball , Kucukali and Knol . 3 other players  -K. Chorfi , A. Dikmen and G. Altanoch - shared places 7 to 9  with 4 points . Ali Dikmen made a bad tournament and was disturbed by a beautiful story : the birth of his child . He will take his revenge one year later .



The decisive game is :

A.Kucukali (TUR) – D. Knol (RSA) , 3rd email Afro-Asian  championship Final

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Be2 Qa5 12.O-O Be7 13.Kh1 Nc6 14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.Bf3 Kf8 16.f5 h5 17.Rb3 exf5 18.exf5 d5 19.Qf4 Bd7 20.Na4 Bxf5 21.Nb6 Bxc2 22.Qc7 Kg7 23.Qxe7 Rae8 24.Qb4 Qxb4 25.Rxb4 a5 26.Rb2 Bd3 27.Rc1 Re6 28.Kg1 h4 29.Kf2 Rhe8 30.Nd7 Bc4 31.Rd2 Kg6 32.Nb6 Ba6 33.Rdc2 Bb7 34.Rc5 Ba6 35.Rxa5 Be2 36.Ra8 Rxa8 37.Nxa8 Bxf3 38.Kxf3 d4 39.a4 c5 40.Ra1 Re3+ 41.Kf4 c4 42.Nb6 c3 43.Nd5  1-0.



3rd EAAC  2000-2003

Arif Kucukali (TUR) 8/10

Dinand Knol (RSA) 7/10

Serguey Simonenko (TKM) 6,5/10

Laurence Ball (RSA) 6,5/10

Pietr Kemp (RSA) 6,5/10

Balabaev 5pts , Dikmen 4 pts, Chorfi 4pts




4th email Afro-Asian championship 2001-2003


With 39 players from 16 countries a new record is broken , and for the first time China is represented with 3 players . The same profil like in the previous preliminaries was adopted .

In section A , the former European champion  F. Atakisi from Turkey and K. Sakai from  Japan  finished with 10 points . Thanks to his win over H. Odeev (TKM) , P. Kemp (RSA) obtained 8,5 points to be alone at the 3rd place , relegating his infortunated opponent and T. Balabaev (KAZ) at  the 4th place  , each with 8 points .

In section B , Ali Dikmen (TUR) emerged with  11 points  as the winner , behind him 3 players  - K. Chorfi (MRC) , D. Knol (RSA) and F. Balabaev (KAZ) shared the 2nd place with a creditable result of 10 points . Baron (AUS) missed the qualification to the Final with 8 points despite his win over K. Chorfi .

In section C , G. Altanoch from Mongolia realised a brillant result with 11 points , just behind him with 10,5 points H. Nechadi (ALG) who was unbeaten too .O. Pascual (PHI) with 9,5 points  completed the trio of qualifiers . The battle was very exciting and R. Laureles (RSA) with 9 points , D. Hurd (RSA) with 8,5 points  or Bin from China havethe possibility to qualify until their last respective game .


The final with 11 participants was the strongest one with high level players . This tournament is almost over and the 3 still unfinished games have no incidency anymore , these games are opposing O.Pascual (PHI) to H.Odeev (TKM), D.Knol(RSA) and K. Somani (IND) who was qualified throught his win in the AA open tournament .


 When this final started there were 8 potential candidates for the title .The surprisr came from A. Dikmen (TUR) who after a very bad start cocluded with 2 losses vs two favorites K.Sakai and F. Balabaev , realised a fantastic 6 wins in all remaining games , his last games vs SIM Atakisi  which reached  82 moves , was particularly crucial to determine the new zonal champion.


A half point behind the winner , the new GM F. Balabaev (the only player unbeaten in this Final)  and IM  Kemp shared the second step with 7 points , then the title defender A. Kucukali with 6,5 points and with only 5,5 points K. Sakai and  F.Atakisi  were not very lucky , particularly the strong turkish players who made the illusion before he crashed  at the end with only one point out his 4  last games . Surely both Sakai and Atakisi can do better and Sakai is in the way to win the 5th zonal championship , hoping that Atakisi will imitate him in the future to be the first player in CC history to have won both thr European and Afro-Asian title .


Once again the decisive game in this Final

A.Dikmen – F. Atakisi , 4th email Afro-Asian ch , Final

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 Qb6 5.Bd3 Bxd3  6.Qxd3 e6 7.Nge2 Ne7 8.0-0 Nd7 9.a4 c5 10.a5 Qa6 11.b4 c4 12.Qd2  b5 13.Rb1 g6 14.Qe3 Nc6 15.Na2 Bg7 16.c3  Qc8 17.Bd2 Qd8 18.Qh3 h6 19.Nf4 Qe7 20.Rbd1 O-O-O 21.Rfe1 Kb7 22.Nc1 Rdg8 23.Qg3 Nf8 24.Nce2 Nh7 25.f3 Bf8 26.Kh1 h5 27.Ng1 Qd8 28.Rf1 Ne7 29.Qe1 Nf5 30.Nfe2 a6 31.Bc1 Be7 32.Nf4 Nf8 33.Nfe2 g5 34.Ng3 Nxg3 35.Qxg3 f5 36.exf6 Bd6 37.Qe1 Qxf6 38.Nh3 Rh7 39.Qe3 Rhg7 40.Rde1 Bf4 41.Qe2 Bc7 42.Qc2 Qe7 43.Qe2 Qd6 44.g3 Qd7 45.Kg2 h4 46.g4 Rg6 47.Kh1 Qg7 48.Bd2 Bd8 49.Bc1 Qd7 50.Bd2 R6g7 51.Rf2 Qc6 52.Rg2 Bf6 53.Bc1 Re7 54.Qc2 Nd7 55.Rge2 Rgg7 56.Bd2 Nf8 57.Qc1 Nh7 58.Qc2 Rg8  59.f4 gxf4 60.Nxf4 Nf8 61.h3 Ka8 62.Nh5 Bh8 63.Bf4 Nd7 64.Kh2 Nf8  65.Re3 Rf7  66.Kg1 Bf6 67.Bh6 Bg5 68.Bxg5 Rxg5 69.Qh2 Qd7 70.R1e2 Rg8 71.Qe5 Qd8  72.Rf2 Re7 73.Nf4 Ng6 74.Nxg6 Rxg6 75.Rf6 Qg8 76.Ref3 Rxf6 77.Qxf6 Qh7 78.g5 Rc7 79.g6 Qh5 80.Kf2 Kb7 81.Qxe6 Qh6 82.Ke2  1-0




4th EAAC 2001-2004

Ali Dikmen (TUR) 7,5/10

Farit Balabaev (KAZ) 7/10

Pietr Kemp (RSA) 7/10

Arif Kucukali (TUR) 6,5/10

Kiyokata Sakai (JPN) 6,5/10

Atakisi 5,5 , Odeev 5 , Knol 5 ..



 5th email Afro-Asian championship 2002-2004


This new cycle started with only 30 players from 12 countries and of course the same modus as before .With no real surprise S. Ohtake from Japan won the section A beating A. Dikmen to finish with 8 points . A. Dikmen who some months later became zonal champion achieved 7,5 points to share the second place with S. Kim from Kazakhstan .

Yuk Man from Malaysia with 6,5 points and L. Ball  -who finished at 3rd place in the 3rd edition – with 5 points missed the qualification to the final .

In section B N. Ernazarov (KAZ) new Asian champion met no problem to win his section with 8,5 points . He was followed by the well known figures K. Sakai (JPN) with 8 points and D. Knol (RSA) with 7 points . 6,5 points were not enough to I.Smuts (RSA) to jump in the Final .

More interesting is section C , if  V. Annaev (TKM) was too strong for his opponents , the qualification remaining places have been very disputed and finally P. Sunao (JPN) , D. Dempster (AUS) and D. Pick (RSA) finished all three with 6,5 points . Unfortunatly  the tie-break decided  unfortunatly for D. Pick  .  D. Dempster who was eliminated throught a tie break in the 2nd edition was lucky this time .


The final which started with 9 players  - A. Dikmen (TUR) delayed his qualification and K. Hichem (ALG) was invited through his win in the AA open tournament , but due to his studies he withdrew in the beginning - is not yet finished (02.06.2004) .

K. Sakai (JPN) with 5,5 points out 7 is sure to achieve the 1st place . He can only be joined by S. Ohtake if he is able to win his two remaining games vs D.Knol (RSA) and V. Annaev (TKM) . so the title is moving to Japan this year  after 2 years domination of turkish players .

     No chance any more for S.Kim 4/6 ,
N. Ernazarov 4/7 , P. Sunao 2,5/6 ,
Annaev 2/5 or D. 
Knol 0,5/3 .


A selected game from the future zonal champion

Annaev, Vladimir (TKM) - Sakai, Kiyotaka (JPN)

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.O-O Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.f3 Kh8 13.Rb1 h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.dxe6 fxe4 16.fxe4 Nc6 17.Nd5 Ng8 18.Be3 Nd4 19.Bxd4 exd4 20.g3 Be5 21.Qd2 Re8 22.Rf1 c6 23.Nf4 Qg5 24.Qd3 Bxf4 25.Rxf4 Qe5 26.Bg4 Nf6 27.Bh3 Nh7 28.Rbf1 Ng5 29.Bg2 Re7 30.h4 Nxe6 31.Rf6 Rg8 32.Bh3 c5 33.a3 Nc7 34.Rf7 Rg7 35.R7f4 Kh7 36.Kh2 Ne6 37.Rf6 Nd8 38.Rf8 Nf7 39.Rf4 h5 40.Qf3 Nh6 41.b5 Rg8 42.R8f6 Kg7 43.Kh1 Rd8 44.g4 hxg4 45.Bxg4 Nxg4 46.Qxg4 Qxf6 47.Rxf6 Kxf6 48.h5 gxh5 49.Qxh5 Rg7 50.Qh4+ Rg5 51.Qh6+ Kf7 0-1



 6th email Afro-Asian championship 2003-2005


Starting in January 2003 with 42 players representing 17 countries , the Final is expected for July 2004  as only section B is completed , in section A 14 games are still open  and 8 in section C .

Nevertheless it is obvious that no players secured his qualification in section A , even the current leader S. Hayakawa (JPN) who finished all his games with 10 points /13 is not be sure to be qualified and can be overstepped by H. Odeev (TKM) 8,5 points and 3 games still in progress , N. Kamat (IND) 8 points (2 games unfinished) , I. Smuts (RSA) 7,5 points (4 games unfinished) , P. Dabholkar (IND) 7 points (4 unfinished) , K. Soen (INA) 7 points (3 unfinished) or Omarov (KAZ) 5 points (6 games unfinished) . It is very hard to guess who will have the right to be finalist .

In section B , the 3 qualifiers are known and again G. Altanoch (MGL) was the dominator with 12,5 pointsout of 13 games . N. Timkin (KAZ) with 11,5 points and O. Pascual (PHI) with 10,5 points joined the winner  in the Final . D. Dempster (AUS) with 10,5 points was for the third time concerned by a tie and was unsuccessful .

In section C , the situation is not complex , T. Goze (TUR) with 11 points and N. Litvinenko (KAZ) with 10,5 points have secured their qualification , but P. Sunao (JPN) with 10 points is threatened by A. Odeev (TKM)  with 9,5 points and 2 remaining games and  A. Fikry (MRC) who with 5points and 5 remaining games is not mathematically eliminated , while S. Stone (RSA) a former finalist , has no chance to acceed to the Final ..

 The famous story of the Africa/Asian championship is going on !


A new  article will be published in the future to report on this competition and the 7th email Afro-Asian championship which started earlier this year with 66 players in 6 sections where only the two top players will qualify .





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