The 2004 Congress, in conjunction with meetings of the ICCF Executive Board and the Management Committee, took place in The Retreat Hotel, Mumbai, India from 31st October to 6th November 2004.
of the Congress, and accompanying families and friends, were offered
an extensive programme of events, including an excursion to the
fascinating City of Mumbai and a visit to the ancient sculptured rock
caves on Elephanta Island. There
was also a programme for ladies and families provided by the hosts.
was the traditional ICCF Blitz Tournament, a Simultaneous exhibition
by GM Pravin Thipsay (IND) and an OTB chess match against players from
the Mumbai Chess Club and AICCF.
An optional post Congress excursion was also arranged by AICCF to the “golden triangle” cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, which was greatly appreciated
President's opening speech
President Josef Mrkvička (CZE) emphasised that for the first time
in the ICCF history, the ICCF Congress was being hosted in India and
in the Asian continent, and he expressed heartiest thanks, also in the
Hindi language, to the AICCF for inviting ICCF to their country.
remembered the late Mr. Haresh J. Samtani, past President of
AICCF, who had attended the ICCF Congress at Rimini 2001, Italy and
was the spiritual father of the idea to organise the ICCF Congress in
India and expressed sadness that, because of his unexpected death two
years ago, he could not see how his ideas had been realised. He
highlighted some achievements of the AICCF
in the years since the affiliation of AICCF to ICCF in 1997, in
particular their excellent Bulletin published quarterly, regular
national championships, friendly international matches with many other
ICCF national federations, Indian participation in the CC Olympiads,
as well as a participation of AICCF players in ICCF events, including
Afro-Asian tournaments. He also acknowledged the significant
contribution of Dr. Ambar Chatterjee to the ICCF Webserver Project.
President paid tribute to the memories of all CC friends who had died
since the Ostrava 2003 Congress, including the CC Grandmasters Csaba
Melegyeghi (HUN) and Alexey Tsvetkov (RUS), long-year ICCF
Tournament Director Poul Rasmussen (DEN), CC International
Masters Dr. Simon Fitzpatrick (AUS) and Michael Valvo (USA),
ICCF International Arbiter and Captain of the winning Czechoslovak
Olympiad team, Stanislav Foglar (CZE), national TD and chess
publisher Gerd Giebel (BRA), chess journalist and Honorary
Member of LADAC Luciano Camara (ARG), Jose Fumero Sánchez
(ESP). He also remembered the hundreds of people who
had died in Spain and Russia as a result of merciless and cold-blooded
Delegates stood in two minutes silence to the
memory of all departed CC friends, as well as fellow citizens of Spain,
Russia and the rest of the World whose lives were ended or shattered
during the past year.
ICCF President recalled the big changes which had come to pass in the
overall correspondence chess environment in the past five years. Most
of Nol van’t Riet’s visions as presented to the 1999 Congress in
Switzerland about the future of correspondence chess in 2010, had
already come true. The implementation of email and webserver
transmission of moves had greatly speeded up CC games and tournaments.
What had taken many years in the past, was nowadays completed in
months or even weeks. Internet connection was no longer a privilege of
those in highly developed countries, but was now available literally
in all countries. He emphasised that the ICCF Statutes should reflect
such developments. ICCF
was facing strong competition from dozens of email and Webserver chess
clubs which could not offer international CC titles but they did
facilitate free chess games and various tournaments worldwide. The
ICCF President stressed that, although ICCF was the only international
correspondence chess organisation whose titles were universally
recognised, and also acknowledged by FIDE, it must not underestimate
competition and it needed to be ready to accept the challenge. ICCF
must continually monitor overall developments, be flexible and react
quickly and ICCF and National Federations must provide good service to
all CC players, otherwise they could lose them to competitor
ICCF President declared that in the year 2004, ICCF had entered a new
era of its history – the era of Webserver chess. He briefly referred
to the initial steps of the system development and reported on the
fulfilment of the task given to the Webserver Steering Group.
Since the ICCF 2003 Congress in Ostrava, it had taken only 8
months of a very hard work until the first test tournament had been
started on the ICCF webserver in July 2004. Subsequently, ICCF introduced all ICCF class tournaments to
the server, including Grand Master and Master Norm tournaments and
ICCF was able to host individual and team tournaments organised either
by ICCF or National Federations, and some federations had already
begun to use this possibility. He
cordially thanked all ICCF volunteers who had contributed to this
excellent achievement, especially the first Project Manager Iain
Mackintosh. He reminded all National Delegates that they should feel
committed to support “their” webserver system and to promote it
enthusiastically within their federations and to their players. He
pointed out that ICCF finance was another hot topic for the Congress,
and emphasised that current revenue and expense methodology was
acceptable only when the majority of ICCF games had been played by
post. With the changeover to email play and the coming changeover to
webserver play, the timing of transactions
was no longer logical or acceptable.
ICCF incurred and must pay many of its expenses on a quarterly
or monthly basis. Therefore, like with any other business, the timing
of ICCF revenue inflow must be adjusted to match its expense outflow.
Mr. Mrkvička proposed that Congress should focus on the overall
ICCF “volunteer culture”.
So far, all ICCF Officials had been volunteers, including the
President and all other Executive Board members, but they all had only
a limited number of hours available for ICCF work. Consequently, it
was not correct to “shout” at active volunteers to work harder, if
they had not enough time to dedicate to all ICCF tasks. With the
ICCF Webserver system implemented, it had become obvious that the
present ICCF volunteer culture and web chess could be in conflict.
particular, the administration and support of the Webserver needed to
work “around the clock”. ICCF had recruited many new volunteers
for this work but, despite all efforts, it had not succeeded to cover
key roles like Webserver Commissioner or Marketing Commissioner.
Even if ICCF could recruit volunteers into these roles, ICCF could not
insist that they work fixed hours or contracted periods, and there
would always be times where other parts of their lives would take
greater priority. Therefore, the President recommended Congress to
consider whether some key jobs in the marketing and webserver areas,
might require some degree of professional and remunerated day-to-day
Expressing the hope that delegates and
friends would enjoy Mumbai with an ”amici sumus” spirit prevailing
throughout, the ICCF President declared the 2004 ICCF Congress, duly
ICCF President presented an engraved plate, gold medal and certificate
to the 16th World CC Championship Final winner Tunc
Hamarat (AUT), plus silver and bronze medals and diplomas for the
2nd and 3rd placed players, Ruud Maliangkay (NED)
and Igor Samarin (RUS).
Before the prize giving, it was unanimously decided by Congress
to also award a bronze medal for Achim Soltau (GER) who had
tied for 3rd place, but with a lesser SB score.
An engraved cup and diploma was
also presented for the winner of the 10th World Cup Final, Frank
Schröder (GER) and diplomas for players in 2nd and 3rd
places, Hans-Paul Ollmann (GER) and Christian Sender (GER),
Honorary Member of ICCF
The ICCF President, on behalf of the Executive Board, proposed that ICCF Honorary Membership be awarded to: Gerhard Radosztics (AUT) in recognition of his substantial contributions to ICCF and to international correspondence chess over a period of more than 20 years. The proposal was carried unanimously, and with acclamation, by Congress
The Congress approves the application of two other countries to join ICCF: Indonesia and Tunisia
The Reports of Gianni Mastrojeni (for ASIGC)
The Award of Bertl von Massow Medals
The Bertl von Massow medal in Gold was awarded to: Manfred Gluth (GER), Tim Harding (IRL) and Ulrich Wagner (GER) for this meritorious work in the organisation of ICCF for more than 15 years.
The Bertl von Massow medal in Silver was awarded to: Jaromir Canibal (CZE), Carlos Flores Gutiérrez (ESP), Ilija Christov (BUL), Thorhallur Olafsson (ISD), Achim Soltau (GER), Per Söderberg (SWE) and Uldis Strautins (LAT)