by Josef Mrkvička,
ICCF President



Dear readers, dear ICCF friends,

 Welcome to my very first column in ICCF AMICI!


In this column, I will inform you regularly about the work which was done in the ICCF Executive Board in the period since the last ICCF AMICI issue.


Webserver Project


The Webserver Project approved at Congress in Ostrava is running in line with the agreed time schedule and budget for the year 2004. I am pleased to announce that in comparison with the time schedule, the developing work even could be accelerated, without any negative impact on the costs and quality.


The Steering Group has elaborated and approved the Functional System and Detailed Design of the ICCF Webserver. These documents are progressively updated, depending on the progress of the programming and testing work. Based on these fundamental documents, the developing work started in the end of 2003 and has progressed significantly. The Steering Group has already elaborated and signed off initial Webserver rules.  A special test team of experienced ICCF players and International Arbiters, lead by Carlos Cranbourne (ARG) has been created; this team will test the particular system features before the system is released.


Furthermore, the Steering Group has progressed significantly in its discussions about the detailed Patron of ICCF programme (as in general approved in Ostrava) and about the structure of the ICCF Webserver tournaments in 2004. Special announcements about Patron of ICCF programme schemes are published at another place in this ICCF AMICI issue.


Zonal matters


On 1st January, 2004 the new elected Zonal Directors took over their positions and appointed their deputies as follows:


Zone 1 – Europe

Gian-Maria Tani (ITA) – deputised by Sergey Grodzensky (RUS)


Zone 2 – Latin America

Guillermo Toro Solís de Ovando (CHI) – deputised by Carlos Cranbourne (ARG)


Zone 3 – North America and Pacific

Ruth Ann Fay (USA) – deputised by Jason Bokar (USA)


Zone 4 – Africa / Asia

Mohamed Samraoui (ALG) – deputised by Dinand Knol (RSA)


As you know, the ICCF Congress in Ostrava decided that effective from 1st January, 2004 the European Zone should have its own administration, tournament office and financial management, as the other Zones have.


The reports of new Zonal Director of the Zone 1, Gian-Maria Tani show that this task has been pushed ahead successfully. Today, the decisive positions in the new European Executive Committee have already been covered, including the Tournament Office for European title and promotion tournaments.


In the Zone 4, Indonesia was recruited as a new member federation and granted a provisional ICCF membership according to the ICCF Statutes. The new membership should be confirmed by the ICCF Congress in Mumbai.


Vacant position in the Management Committee


Unfortunately, and despite all our efforts, the important position of the Marketing & Public Relations Commissioner still remains vacant.

The principal task of this new ICCF Senior Officer should be to develop marketing documentation on ICCF tournaments and services for use by the Deputy President & Development Director, Webmaster and media outlets both via WWW and printed material, co-ordinating appropriately with other ICCF officials – in other words, to provide an administrative “marketing support“ to the Deputy President & Development Director.

Furthermore, in consultation with the Deputy President & Development Director, he should produce attractive and informative material for use in the encouragement of potential new member federations and for the attraction of new sponsors of ICCF. Finally, he should be responsible for the production and editing of the ICCF Telechess Articles for the ChessBase Magazine.

On behalf of the Executive Board, I ask kindly all national Delegates to help us to find an appropriate person who would be able and willing to perform this work. The proposals should be sent to the Deputy President & Development Director, Max Zavanelli (USA)


Other personal and organisational matters


Shortly after Congress in Ostrava, the following ICCF Commissioners were appointed:


Rules Commissioner: Gerhard Radosztics (AUT) – deputised by Per Söderberg (SWE).


Non-Title Tournaments Commissioner: Valer-Eugen Demian (CAN) – deputised by Daniel Finkelstein.


The Qualifications Commissioner Eric Ruch (FRA) appointed Frank Geider (FRA) as his deputy.  The Title Tournaments Commissioner Søren Peschardt (DEN) appointed Kristian Rohde Jensen (DEN) as his deputy.


For personal reasons, the ICCF Title Tournaments Commissioner Søren Peschardt (DEN) recently retired. In March, 2004 the Executive Board promoted Daniel Finkelstein to this important position. Therefore, Daniel will have to be replaced as the deputy of the Non-Title Tournaments Commissioner. For a new update of the Table of Qualifiers, a small working group chaired by Peter Coleman (ENG) has been established.


Witold Bielecki (POL) was appointed as Chairman of the Tournament Rules Commission.


Furthermore, the Executive Board appointed Ivan Bottlik (HUN) as Chairman of the Historical Research Committee. Ivan will develop the work programme and recruit members for this new Committee. The first project should be a compilation of the bibliography of CC (from all over the world) – a complete list of books and periodicals. 


ICCF Statutes


The President’s Commission has started its work at the new ICCF Statutes which should be presented to the ICCF Congress in Mumbai 2004 for its approval.


The areas to be discussed are:

- legal status of ICCF, including its official seat,
- membership matters,
- range of titles awarded by ICCF,
- relations between ICCF and external CC organizations (IECG, IECC, CiF etc.),
- relations between ICCF and its sponsors,
- structure of ICCF, particularly division in Zones,
- ICCF Congresses,
- marketing functions and the promotion of ICCF,
- people issues.


As a fundamental document for this discussion, the paper “ICCF and its Future” presented by Nol van’ t Riet (NED) at Ostrava Congress was accepted. 


Review of the ICCF Playing Rules


The Playing Rules Commission is about to finalise the review of the postal Playing Rules and is still discussing the Email Playing Rules, with the “phoney day” being still one of the main issues discussed within the Email play area.


Two new members, Josep Mercadal Benejam (ESP) and Ken Reinhart (USA) were added to the Playing Rules Commission.




The Deputy President & Development Director, Max Zavanelli (USA) edited and distributed within the NAPZ a two-page informative brochure about ICCF (in PDF format). This brochure has been edited in all official ICCF languages – English, German, Spanish, French and Russian. The postage for postal distribution within the NAPZ was covered by the US national federation. Our grateful thanks to Max for this useful achievement in the marketing area.


A copy of this brochure can be claimed by Max and / or by all Executive Board members. Also, this brochure will be downloadable from the ICCF website soon. We encourage all delegates to use it within their countries for a promotion of ICCF and for recruiting new players for ICCF tournaments.


Analysis Prize Competition – New In Chess

Long ago, the participants in the 3/4-Final of the 1st Email Chess World Championship, sponsored by NIC (3/4-Final 20) and in the Semifinal of the 2nd Email Chess World Championship, sponsored by NIC (Semifinal 25) were encouraged to submit their annotated games for this competition to the ICCF Honorary President Alan Borwell (SCO). The official deadline will be within one month after the closing dates for both tournaments.

Although both tournaments have not yet been finished, the number of submissions for this competition has not been satisfactory.

Therefore, I ask all Tournament Directors in these events to encourage players to submit their annotated games for the competition. Our sponsor NIC provided us very nice prize money for that, and it would be pity not to take advantage of this opportunity. Furthermore, the delivery of annotated games is one of the ICCF commitments resulting from the sponsorship agreement with NIC.


Correspondence Chess Players Photo Album

Our Italian friends ASIGC created a very nice website with photos / short bios of correspondence chess players, which has been placed on the website of the European Zone on:

I recommend you all to visit this site and to help our Italian friends to enlarge this nice collection of photos – the ASIGC webmaster Maurizio Sampieri  would surely be grateful for any addition to his collection.


ICCF Congress 2004 in Mumbai

Our Indian friends from AICCF work hard on the Congress arrangements, strongly supported by the Zonal Director Africa / Asia Med Samraoui (ALG).

The preliminary budget and outline programme of the Congress have already been submitted by AICCF. On 13-14th March, 2004 I visited Germany and discussed the Congress arrangements in detail with Dr Ambar Chatterjee (IND) and Med Samraoui, with the aim to distribute invitational papers by end April.



Working dinner in Jülich: Med Samraoui, Ambar Chatterjee and Josef Mrkvička


Based on the results of the preliminary questionnaire, approx. 60 participants from abroad are expected to attend to Mumbai Congress.


The following outline programme of Congress was approved:

   Saturday October 30th, 2004

arrivals & welcoming banquet

Sunday October 31st

opening & first day session & opening banquet

Monday November 1st

second day session, ladies programme & simultaneous play

Tuesday November 2nd

third day session, ladies programme & match against local club
    Wednesday November 3rd

fourth day session, ladies programme & evening 
free for EB or other  meetings

Thursday November 4th

a full-day excursion covered by AICCF & blitz tournament

Friday November 5th

a day free (or an optional excursion) & closing banquet

Saturday November 6th

departures or start of the Golden Triangle Tour



Negotiations with ChessBase GmbH in Hamburg


On 27th February, I visited the seat of the company ChessBase in Hamburg and discussed with Mr Matthias Wüllenweber the future co-operation between ICCF and ChessBase.


During these negotiations, I informed ChessBase about the ICCF development after Ostrava Congress and about the most important tasks for ICCF to resolve before and at the Mumbai Congress (Webserver Project, new ICCF Statutes, new ICCF integrated tournament structure).



Martin Bennedik, Josef Mrkvička and Matthias Wüllenweber
at ChessBase in Hamburg


Both sides stressed their permanent interest in a future close co-operation. In particular, ChessBase emphasised that they preferred to co-operate with worldwide acknowledged official chess organisations, like FIDE and ICCF.


ChessBase is ready to continue sponsoring future ICCF tournaments, preferably with book / software prizes. The detailed arrangements are to be designated for particular tournaments.


Martin Bennedik made a short presentation of the present status of the ICCF Webserver Project, which was highly acknowledged and appreciated by ChessBase.


From November 2004, ICCF proposed to ChessBase to provide their ICCF Telechess Articles for every issue of the ChessBase Magazine (bi-monthly). This proposal was thankfully accepted by ChessBase.


I asked ChessBase to make sure that no reference to ICCF events / tournaments will be made in the CBM articles presented by other CC organisations than ICCF. Mr Wüllenweber promised to forward this request to Rainer Knaak and other ChessBase people responsible for the CBM. I also emphasised that ICCF didn't consider it as correct that the articles in CBM are used for free promotion of commercial projects.


Finally, I gave an interview for the Radio ChessBase.


Negotiations with the Slovak CC Federation in Piestany


On invitation of the Slovak CC Federation, I visited Slovakia and as a special guest, I took part at the regular meeting of their Council held from 19 till 20 March,
2004 in POPPY Hotel in Piestany.




From left: Július Gajarský, Matej Botta, Peter Eiben, Milan Manduch,
Stanislav Škerlík, Pavol Veselý, Juraj Václav, Josef Mrkvička, Pavol Polakovič,
Peter Marczell, sitting Martin Kevický


On 20 March, I held a 2+ hours address to the Council members. I focused on and explained the new organisational structure of ICCF after Ostrava Congress, on the ICCF Webserver Project and on the principal ICCF tasks before the Mumbai Congress. After my presentation, I replied to some questions and gave a short interview to SIM Peter Marczell, editor of the Slovak CC Magazine.


In my address to the Council, I stressed that the Slovak players / officials should be more involved into the ICCF work.  Slovakia is not represented at all in the current structure of ICCF bodies and Commissions, while there are some experienced players / officials who surely would be able to cover tasks on the international level.



- As the winner of the 1st Slav Cup team tournament, Slovak CC Federation will organise the     second Slav Cup which should start in 2004 or early 2005. The exact start date to be agreed with the WTD. As in the first tournament, only teams from Slav countries will be eligible to participate.

- Slovak CC Federation will consider the organisation of the ICCF World Cup XV to be started in 2006.

- At the Assembly of Delegates in May 2004, the Council will address the present delegates, with the aim to recruit volunteers for the work in the ICCF Commissions and other ICCF working teams.


Negotiations with AJEC people in Paris


During our short holidays in Paris, my wife Alena and I were invited to a dinner by AJEC which took place on 27th March, 2004 in the restaurant Thoumieux. The AJEC President Olivier Bouverot, ICCF Delegate Eric Ruch and Pierre Ruiz Vidal participated on AJEC side.





Eric Ruch, Josef Mrkvička and Olivier Bouverot enjoying the dinner in the restaurant Thoumieux in Paris


Just before my arrival, I gave an interview to Eric Ruch which would be published (in French) on the AJEC website and in "Courrier d'Échecs".


Actually, we didn't "work" too much during the dinner, but nevertheless, we discussed some ICCF issues, particularly the planned ICCF Congress 2007 in France.





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