The ICCF Congress 2002, in conjunction with meetings of the Presidium and Commissioners, took place in the Quinta Valenciana, Fernao Ferro (Municipality of Seixal), Portugal from 5th to 12th October 2002
Participants of the Congress, and accompanying families and friends, were offered a programme of events, including excursions to Lisbon and the local area. There was also the traditional ICCF Blitz Tournament and a chess match against players from the Seixal area of Portugal
ICCF President, Alan Borwell (SCO), referred to the contribution which
international correspondence chess made in generating greater friendship
between peoples throughout the World and that every effort should be
made to further develop and promote such ideals, to enhance the peaceful
existence of all nations. Sadly,
since the previous Congress, ICCF had lost many friends, including ICCF
Honorary President, Henk J. Mostert (NLD).
The President referred to the immense contribution which Mr.
Mostert had made to CC in his own country and then with ICCF, including
17 years as a Vice-President, 6 years as General Secretary and 10 years
as ICCF President, before his retirement in 1996, when he was elected as
ICCF Honorary President. He
also paid special tributes to Karlis Vitols (LAT), who was host
for the 1998 Riga Congress, Carlos Ros Miro (ESP) who had been
delegate for Spain for 30 years and Editor of Mate Postal magazine since
it started in 1974, and André Giraudet (FRA), who was an ICCF
Vice President from 1979-83 and host for the 1982 Congress in Paris.
All had died in the last year, as had Milan Jovcic (YUG), Dietmar
Pillhock (NLD), Dr. Franz Thannhauser (OST) and Jack
Congress stood in silence, in honour of them and of all departed
The ICCF President spoke about the rich history of correspondence chess in Portugal, which dated back for some 80 years, although CNXC was not constituted as an autonomous CC federation for Portugal, until 1983. Teams from Portugal played in the first Olympiad of European teams and then in the first CC Olympiad, achieving a creditable fourth place in the Finals of both events. He mentioned that a player from Oporto, Alexandre Gonçalves, had achieved a famous victory over Cecil Purdy, which was one of the only two defeats which the 1st World CC Champion, ever suffered throughout his illustrious CC career. The ICCF President also referred to GM Luis Santos, who performed exceptionally well in the 13th World CC Championship and had been in the top 5 rated players of the World for some 15 years and to Portugal’s other GM Álvaro Pereira, organiser of the Seixal Congress and to the significant number of other CC titleholders for a relatively small country!
The ICCF President then welcomed all new CC friends to the Congress. He referred in particular, to the FIDE Delegate, David Jarrett and his wife Valentina – the first occasion that a FIDE official had visited an ICCF Congress since Prof. Dr. Max Euwe had attended in Arnhem in 1972. The President welcomed delegates from South Africa, Kazakhstan and Mexico, the first time that these countries had been represented at an ICCF Congress, and to delegates from other continents, particularly the very good representation from Latin America. He also welcomed the many partners and families accompanying delegates.
For his customary theme for the Congress, the ICCF President referred to the imminent publication of the ICCF Jubilee book, “ICCF Gold”, and emphasised that this celebration of ICCF’s first 50 years, needed to be taken forward with a spirit of celebration, but also with a unity of purpose and spirit of adventure to ensure that the next 50 years would be even more successful for ICCF.
The ICCF President then declared the 2002 ICCF Congress, duly opened.
The Report of the General Secretary
The General Secretary reported that an application for membership had been received from Venezuela and that a formally constituted body for CC was being formed, with backing from Venezuela Chess Federation. Fees had been paid to 31/12/2002 It was agreed by Congress that Venezuela should be admitted to ICCF membership. It was reported that Malawi was inactive and that Wales and Yugoslavia had not paid their membership fees. On recommendations from the Treasurer and ICCF Presidium, it was agreed by Congress that membership of these three countries should be suspended, with immediate effect. The financial situation for other countries with fees in arrears was discussed. All federations were reminded of the financial obligations (as specified in Appendix A), as had been decided by the 2001 ICCF Congress in Rimini, and these provisions would be strictly applied in future.
The Deputy President (Rules) then addressed Congress and, on behalf of the Presidium, he proposed that ICCF Honorary Membership be awarded to:- Alan P. Borwell (SCO) in recognition of his substantial contribution to ICCF and international correspondence chess, for over 20 years. This proposal was a complete surprise to the ICCF President. It was carried unanimously by Congress, with acclamation and Mr. Borwell expressed his grateful appreciation for the award and for the kind words expressed.The ICCF President presented an engraved Gold Plate to the Netherlands delegate, for the XV World Chess Champion, G.J. Timmerman (12/16pts) and a silver medal and certificate for J.J. van Oosterom (11 pts), who finished in second place, after application of tie break rule. The bronze medal and certificate were awarded to the Danish delegate for A. Poulsen, who had also been successful on tie break, with G. Gottardi (SWZ) being in fourth place and narrowly missing a medal placing. All these players were congratulated on their achievements
The ICCF President presented an engraved Gold Plate to the Netherlands delegate, for the XV World Chess Champion, G.J. Timmerman (12/16pts) and a silver medal and certificate for J.J. van Oosterom (11 pts), who finished in second place, after application of tie break rule. The bronze medal and certificate were awarded to the Danish delegate for A. Poulsen, who had also been successful on tie break, with G. Gottardi (SWZ) being in fourth place and narrowly missing a medal placing. All these players were congratulated on their achievements
The Award of Bertl von Massow Medals
The General Secretary announced the names of those officials which the ICCF Presidium considered should receive 2002 awards, and each recipient (or their respective delegate) came forward to receive their medal and certificate, with the acclamation of Congress
The medals in Gold and Silver for 15 years meritorious work for ICCF to: Carlos Ros Mirò (ESP) - posthumous award, Gustavo Paz y Barriga (PER).
The medals in Silver for 10 years meritorious work for ICCF toere awarted to: Sergey Grodzensky (RUS), George D. Pyrich (SCO), Lembit Vahesaar (EST), Karlis Vitols (LAT) - posthumous award, Hector R. Zabala (ARG)