The 1999 Congress, in conjunction with meetings of the Presidium, took place in the Hotel Freienhof in Thun, from 18th to 23rd September 1999.
The participants of the Congress, and accompanying ladies and friends, were offered a programme of events, including a full-day excursion to the Schilthorn and a Civic reception provided by Thun City Council.
There was also a simultaneous chess exhibition given by Vlastimil Hort, and the traditional ICCF Blitz Tournament
Opening the Congress, the ICCF President, A.P. Borwell (SCO) expressed great pleasure that the last Congress of the Millennium was being held again in Switzerland. He referred to the record attendance for the Congress and contrasted it with the much smaller numbers which had attended Congresses in Switzerland in 1968, 1971 and 1985.
The President referred to the deaths of several leading CC players during the last year and Congress paid its respects to their memories and of all departed CC friends, by observing a minute's silence.
The ICCF President then welcomed many old and new friends attending the 1999 Congress, including the ladies and families accompanying delegates and officials. He referred to the traditions of ICCF, particularly to its "amici sumus" philosophy and motto. His theme looked back at the development of ICCF traditions and values and forwards to the challenges and opportunities of the new Millennium. He emphasized the importance of "unity and partnership" between ICCF officials and member federations, through effective communication and consultation. He called upon everyone to work in harmony, with respect and understanding, to ensure that the position and reputation of ICCF is maintained and enhanced as the World Authority for International CC, using all forms of modern transmission (i.e. post, fax, Email etc.).
At the start of the business meetings of Congress, the ICCF President took the chair and, after describing some procedural matters, the Minutes of the 1998 Congress were formally adopted and signed. The General Secretary then confirmed the list of proxies which would be valid for the 1999 Congress.
The ICCF President, on behalf of the Presidium, proposed that Honorary Membership of ICCF should be awarded to Mr. Ragnar Wikman (FIN) for his outstanding work and dedication to ICCF for more than 25 years. The proposal was agreed unanimously by Congress and Mr. Wikman received the warm acclamation by Congress when he was presented with his certificate by the ICCF President
of Presidium Office-Bearers and Auditor (1/1/2000 to 31/12/2003)
Following the late withdrawal of other candidates, the following nominated officials were unopposed and all were elected unanimously for the four year period from 1/1/2000 until 31/12/2003: President A.P. Borwell (SCO), Deputy President (RULES) R. Wikman (FIN); Deputy President (Tournaments) H-E. Lüers (GER), General Secretary A.J.C. Rawlings (ENG), Treasurer C. Flores Gutiérrez (ESP). Marketing Director P.F. Hegoburu (ARG)
World Championship Final XIV was almost complete. Congratulations were extended to the winner Tonu Õim (EST) and to the other medallists Ove Ekebjærg (DEN), Tunc Hamarat (OST) and Michel Lecroq (FRA). The final of Ladies’ World Championship V was complete. Congratulations were extended to the winner Luba Kristol (ISL) and to the other medallists Ingrida Priedite (LAT) and Eva Mozna (CZE). The next final would commence 15.11.1999 with 9 players, and Mrs. Kristol would defend her title. The Deputy President (Tournaments) reported briefly on the four current World Cup cycles, and congratulated A.G. Lepikhov (UKR) on his victory in Cup VII. It was agreed to invite the Federation of the Czech Republic in conjunction
The Report of the General Secretary
referred to the impending retirements of the Deputy President (Development) and himself at the end of 1999, due to professional and other commitments, and that the Deputy President (Rules) had become the principal deputy to the ICCF President from 1/5/99. He referred to the resignations of Messrs. J.S. Morgado and R.G. Alvarez from the ICCF Email Tournament Office at 30/11/98 and that the President had thanked them for their excellent work during the two years they had carried out these duties. Mr. J-C. Lüers had taken over these most capably, without interruption, and he had already introduced enhancements to ICCF Email services. The General Secretary reported that an application for membership had been properly received from the Kenya Correspondence Chess Federation, which would increase the number of countries with full ICCF membership rights to 64, with one additional member federation under the condition in Statute 2.1. The admission of Kenya (KEN) into membership was accepted unanimously by Congress and it would be included in Zone 4 (Africa/Asia). Both he and the ICCF President had been in communication with possible new federations and also with some existing federations to try to stimulate greater CC activity and ICCF involvement. He referred to the private visit which the President had made to Australia in the Winter of 1998/9 and to the excellent reception which he had received from many CCL of Australia officials and friends. Excellent progress had been made during the year by the ICCF Webmaster and considerable assistance had been provided by Mr. John Knudsen via his WW site “The Correspondence Chess Place”. He referred to the first Email Chess World Championship, sponsored by New in Chess, as an important step into the future. The General Secretary concluded by thanking all delegates and officials for their co-operation and assistance during his period in office and extended his good wishes to his eventual successor. In response, the ICCF President expressed warm appreciation to Dr. Baumbach for his valuable work as ICCF General Secretary during his four years service in this important position.
The Award of Bertl von Massow Medals
The ICCF President reminded delegates that these medals were introduced in 1983 by Hans-Werner von Massow as a memoriam to the life and work of his wife Bertl von Massow on behalf of ICCF and international correspondence chess. Mr. von Massow had defined the criteria for these awards which were:- “These medals in Gold and Silver will be awarded respectively for 15 years and 10 years of faithful service to ICCF as the Delegate of a National Federation, as a Member of the Presidium or the Commissions, the European Organizing Committee, or as Tournament Secretary, as well as the Team Captain of a winning or highly placed team in the CC Olympiads or Continental Team Tournaments." He then asked the General Secretary to announce the names of the persons who would receive the awards and each came forward (or their respective delegate) to receive the medals and certificates in recognition of their valued service, with the acclamation of Congress
A Bertl von Massow medal in Gold and Silver, for 15 years and 10 years meritorius work for ICCF to: Maurice Carter (USA).
Medal in Gold, for 15 years meritorius work for ICCF to: to: Dr. G.S. Benner (USA), I. Bottlik (HUN), J.K. MacDonald (CAN), P. Rasmussen (DEN)
Silver medals for more 10 years of meritorious work for ICCF to M. Gluth (GER), E. Gromotka (GER), T.D. Harding (IRL), K. Podzielny (GER), U. Wagnar (GER).