PRESIDENT‘S COLUMN 


by Josef Mrkvička,
ICCF President

 

 

Dear readers, dear ICCF friends,

 Welcome to my 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.

 

1. News from the ICCF Webserver Steering Group

 

a) The ChessMail ICCF-Webchess Inauguration Tournament started!

 

The ChessMail ICCF-Webchess Inauguration tournament started on 15th July, 2004, in 13 sections with 7 players each. At the date of this report, some games have already been finished.


The participation in this tournament is free; however, the participants committed themselves to give the Steering Group their feedback, which will be very useful for the further improvement of the system and its administration and playing facilities.

 

Feedback from players and officials has generally been very positive so far, but the Steering Group is still collecting contributions from players / Officials. Therefore, we encourage all of you to visit the ICCF Webserver on

 

www.iccf-webchess.com

 

To see most of the system facilities working, you need not to be logged to the system. Moreover, you can see all games played in the ChessMail ICCF-Webchess Inauguration tournament on-line, with a 3-moves delay.

 

A direct link to be found on the ICCF website  www.iccf.com,  as the top item in the left column menu, including a detailed instruction how to view the games on-line.

 

b) Additional volunteers wanted to help the Webserver team

 

When visiting  www.iccf-webchess.com,  please note and read the Announcement by the Steering Group dated on 28th July, 2004.

 

You will learn that shortly after the ICCF Congress in Mumbai, we want to start the phase 2 of the ICCF Webserver project, containing further functional and design improvements of the existing system. The final outcome of these envisaged improvements would enable ICCF to move much of the manual administrative work to the Webserver system and to spare much time for the responsible ICCF Officials, particularly for both the Rating and Qualification Commissioners, for Tournament Offices and Tournament Directors.

We have been successful recruiting several volunteers to help with the development and testing work, which has enabled us to save ICCF funds, budgeted for this project. However, some of these volunteers will not be able to continue for the duration of the project.

Therefore, the Steering Group is looking for additional volunteers to join our project, test and administration teams. The work is challenging, interesting and you will be on the cutting edge of the ICCF’s future!

 

The initial response from our recruitment announcement on the ICCF website has been very good.  However, we encourage each national federation to actively promote the idea of volunteering to work on the Webserver teams to their members and current volunteers.

 

c) New composition of the ICCF Webserver Steering Group

 

After some withdrawals and new appointments, the ICCF Webserver Steering Group has worked in the following composition, since May 2004:

 

Chairman: Grayling V. Hill (USA)

Members: Raymond Boger (NOR), Pedro F. Hegoburu (ARG), Chris Lüers (GER), Iain Mackintosh (SCO), Nol van’t Riet (NED).

 

The ICCF President Josef Mrkvička (CZE) has participated in the work of the Steering Group as an ex-officio member who is consulted in all of the important Webserver issues.

 

d) Meeting of the Steering Group in Dortmund, Germany, 24-25th July, 2004-08-02

 

On 24-25th July, 2004 the Steering Group held a two-day meeting in Dortmund, Germany. The meeting took place in the Römischer Kaiser Hotel and was chaired by the Project Manager Iain Mackintosh (SCO). Furthermore, the ICCF President Josef Mrkvička (CZE), World Tournament Director Chris Lüers (GER), Ratings Commissioner Gerhard Binder (GER), Webserver Developer Martin Bennedik (GER) and Test Team Manager Jens Lieberum (GER) were invited and participated in this meeting.

 

The comprehensive agenda of the meeting comprised i. a. the following items:

 

·         review of phase 1 of the Webserver Project and early feedback from the ChessMail ICCF-Webchess Inauguration Tournament  players,

·         new event types for phase 2, particularly zonal and national,

·         direct entry of players via the Webserver, particularly where no national federation is involved,

·         automation of rating system features and integration with the Webserver,

·         switching games between postal, email and Webserver modes,

·         administration of “non-Webserver” events on the Webserver,

·         integration of games archive with the Webserver,

·         language support for German, Spanish and other languages,

and many other items.

 

The Minutes from this meeting will serve the Steering Group as a background for the preparation for the phase 2 of the Webserver Project.

 

e) Interesting interviews about the ICCF Webserver Project

 

Herewith I call your attention to the interview made by the Editor of the AICCF Bulletin, Dr. Ambar Chatterjee (IND) with the Webserver Project Manager, Iain Mackintosh (SCO) and the Webserver Developer Martin Bennedik (GER).

 

To be viewed on  http://www.geocities.com/aiccf/misc/interview_iain.htm  and  http://www.iccf.com/interview_martin.shtml.

 

 

2. World Championship Finals

 

a) The Final of the 19th World Championship started

 

The Final of the 19th Correspondence Chess World Championship (1st Email Chess World Championship, sponsored by New In Chess) was started on 20th April 2004, with 13 players who qualified from the Candidates Tournament.

 

Category 15, 8 GMs and 5 SIMs participating. Tournament Director is IA Dr. Iain Brooks (ENG).

 

b) The Final of the 20th World Championship planned for 15th October, 2004

 

The start of the Final of the 20th Correspondence Chess World Championship is planned for 15th October, 2004. In line with the decision of the ICCF Congress 2003 in Ostrava, this Final should be started as a postal tournament, with optional Email play. The Tournament Director will be IA Witold Bielecki (POL).

 

All qualified players were invited directly by the ICCF Title Tournaments Commissioner, Jose Daniel Finkelstein (ARG), with a questionnaire re further Finals included. The deadline for entries is 10th September, 2004.

 

All Delegates are kindly asked to remind their qualified players that they should keep to this deadline.

 

3. CC Olympiads

 

a) The Final of the 13th Correspondence Chess Olympiad (Postal) announced

 

The following teams qualified for this Final:

Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Poland, Slovakia, Russia and USA

 

 

The Final will start on November 1st, 2004. Unfortunately, the originally planned start in June 2004 had to be postponed, as the decisive games in the preliminary section 4 (despite of being speeded up by email play) finished much later than expected.

 

This Final will be played normally by post, with an optional Email play. The Tournament Director will be IA Roald Berthelsen (NOR).

 

 

 

b) The preliminaries of the16th Correspondence Chess Olympiad
(Postal) postponed to 2005

 

The start of the preliminaries of the 16th CC Olympiad has been postponed to May, 2005.  The postponement is a result of the delayed start of the Final of the 13th CC Olympiad (see above) and the Ostrava Congress decision which required that the time between the start of the Final of the 13th CC Olympiad and the preliminaries of the 16th CC Olympiad should be at least 6 months,

 

The postal Olympiad 16 would be started on the condition that a minimum participation of 27 teams was secured. The ICCF Congress in Ostrava approved to reduce from 6 to 4 the number of boards in all future postal Olympiad cycles, including this Olympiad. TD still to be decided.

 

 

4. The start of the first regular
Champions League season announced

 

The first Regular Season of the ICCF Champions League will start on 1st November, 2004.


As most of you know, the ICCF Champions League is a continuous Email Team Tournament. It is played in seasons and comprises several divisions with promotion and relegation. All games are ICCF rated. Depending on the final number of teams in each League, each player would normally play 10 games.

 

A Qualification season started in 2002. Teams in that season have been divided into 4 Leagues with "A" being the highest. Top scoring teams will move up a league in the following season and the lowest scoring teams will move down.

 

This season only, there will be a "Fast Track" open to any returning team or new team (see also FAQ 31) who wishes to enter here. The maximum number of Fast Track teams accepted for the 2004-2006 season is 44. If there are more than 44 team requests, only the teams with the highest average ratings will be included in the Fast Track. The rest of the teams will be included as follows:
- returning teams will play in the leagues they qualified for,
- new teams will play in League D.

 

Every 4 player team may consist of players from 1 or more countries. A player can play only for one team in a season. Players should be members of an ICCF
national federation member. The team must choose a name and a Captain, preferably one familiar with ICCF email rules.

Entries are due by 15 September 2004. Fee for teams entering via National Federations is CHF 40 or equivalent in the national currency, for those entering via the Direct Entry facility (see FAQ) is USD 50 per team. You must include Team name, Captain’s name, players' names, their countries and their email address with the entry fee. The Team Captain is responsible for collecting the money and sending in the entry form.

 

A Prize Fund of approximately USD 5000 will be divided among the top teams in each league, the best new players, and for the best game.

Details in FAQ at: http://tables.iccf.com/email/ChLeague/2004/season1faq.htm
Entry from at:
http://tables.iccf.com/email/ChLeague/season1form.htm
Rules and information about ICCF at
http://www.iccf.com

 

J. Franklin Campbell (USA) has created a very nice new Champions League website which promises to be a model website for team events.

 

For any questions, please contact Eugen Demian (CAN) at  [email protected]  who will kindly answer them.

 

5. ICCF World Cups

 

a) The ICCF World Cup 14 announced

 

According to the decision of the ICCF Congress in Ostrava, 2003, the Australian Correspondence Chess Federation (CCLA) will be the main organiser of the ICCF World Cup 14. The Central Tournament Leader is George Stibal (AUS).

 

This tournament will be played in three stages, with separate postal, Email and Webserver sections in the preliminary stage, which will start in December 2004 at the latest.

 

Preliminary groups will all have 9-11 players, with the winners of each group
qualifying for the Semifinal stage.
Other qualifications will depend on the number of entries for the preliminary stage. 

 

b) The ICCF World Cup 15 assigned to the Slovak CC Federation

 

The Executive Board considered the application of the Slovak CC Federation and decided to assign the World Cup 15 (to be started in 2006) to this Federation. This decision will have to be formally approved by the ICCF Congress in Mumbai, 2004.

 

 

6. Other tournament matters

 

a) Temporary leave of the World Tournament Director

 

The ICCF World Tournament Director, Chris Lüers (GER) has been temporarily unavailable, because of his urgent studying duties. He will resume his work from 10th September, 2004.

 

During his leave, the ICCF Membership & Services Director Pedro F. Hegoburu (ARG) and the ICCF President Josef Mrkvička (CZE) volunteered to cover his duties in the planning area (Pedro for World Championships, Champions League and invitational tournaments, Josef for Olympiads and World Cups).

 

The Title Tournaments and Non-Title Tournaments Commissioners will execute the normal day-to-day operational work of the WTD, until he resumes his work.

 

b) Invitational tournaments

 

The ICCF Membership & Services Director, Pedro F. Hegoburu (ARG) [email protected] kindly asks all national Delegates to resend him any requests for approvals of invitational tournaments, which have not yet been confirmed by the World Tournament Director because of his temporary leave.

 

c) Member Federation Nominations (MFN) for World Championship Semifinals

 

Unfortunately, there is still a lot of MFNs, which have not yet been used for the Semifinal 28. Recently, all Delegates involved received a detailed list of unused MFNs from the Title Tournaments Commissioner.

 

We ask all Delegates to review this list and submit their nominations to the Title Tournaments Commissioner, Jose Daniel Finkelstein (ARG) [email protected].

 

 

7. New composition of the ICCF Arbitration Commission

 

Since 1st August, 2004 the ICCF Arbitration Commission has worked in the following composition:

 

Chairman: Richard V. M. Hall (ENG)

Members: Nol van’t Riet (NED), J. Ken MacDonald (CAN)

 

Appeals to this Commission (with observation of the procedure given by the Article 6 of the Code of Conduct Guidelines) to be sent via the National Federations to the Chairman Richard V.M. Hall, Email: [email protected].

 

8. ICCF Congress 2004 in Mumbai

 

The deadline for applications elapsed on 30th July, 2004. As at 25th August, 2004 47 participants submitted their applications to the AICCF organiser. Unfortunately, some friends who regularly attended to previous Congresses and originally, signalled their participation changed their minds, so that the overall participation probably will be slightly below our previous expectations.

 

Nevertheless, we are delighted to announce that the 16th World Champion, Tunc Hamarat (AUT) confirmed his participation at Congress, so that he will be able to receive his award and trophy in person in Mumbai!

 

9. 80th Anniversary of FIDE

 

The Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) celebrated its 80th anniversary on 20th July, 2004.

 

On the same day, and on behalf of the ICCF community, I cordially congratulated the FIDE President Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and all FIDE Officials and Member Federations on this important milestone in the FIDE history.

 

Dear friends,

 

I wish very pleasant holidays to those that are just enjoying them, or will be leaving for them soon. Because of the big workload before the Mumbai Congress, I had to refrain from my summer holidays this year; however, I hope to enjoy some relaxing days after the Congress, when the main work has been done.

 

With my best regards,

AMICI SUMUS!

 

Josef Mrkvička

ICCF President

 

    
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