ICCF Congress, Pleven - Bulgaria

20 - 26  September 2008


The ICCF Congress 2008, in conjunction with meetings of the Executive Board and Management Committee, took place in the Minicipal Hall, Pleven and the Hotel Kaylaka, Pleven, Bulgaria

The Congress was arranged by the 

Correspondence Chess Federation of Bulgaria (BCCF)

The Congress was arranged by the Correspondence Chess Federation of Bulgaria (BCCF), who provided an outstanding programme, with excursions to the historical Panorama, a tour of the City of Pleven, a superb classical music concert and a day trip which included visits to Etara Museum, Trjavna and Veliko Tarnovo, the old capital city. There was also an interesting and extensive ladies programme, a chess match with Pleven Chess Club, an open blitz and a traditional ICCF blitz tournament


The ICCF Honorary President, Alan P.Borwell (SCO) responded to warm welcoming speeches by the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Mr. Rumen Petkov, the Bulgarian Sports Minister, Mrs. Vesela Lecheva, the President of the Correspondence Chess Federation of Bulgaria (BCCF), Mr. Petyo Marinov and the BCCF Delegate, Professor George Sapundjiev.  He expressed thanks to the Governor of Pleven, Mr. Tzvetko Tzvetkov for the privilege of opening the Congress in the fine Municipal Hall and for the civic hospitality provided. 

The ICCF Honorary President conveyed the apologies of ICCF President, Med Samraoui, who had been unable to attend because he did not have the necessary travel documents, who had extended his best wishes to everyone in attendance.  The ICCF President had asked the ICCF Honorary President, Alan P. Borwell (SCO) to chair the 2008 Congress, assisted by Honorary Member Nol van ‘t Riet (NED), with Eric Ruch (FRA) having agreed to be Congress Secretary (due to the absence at Congress of the ICCF General Secretary and other Executive Board members).

The ICCF Honorary President expressed pleasure that a Congress was being held in Bulgaria for the first time in ICCF’s history and that delegates were looking forward to discovering more about the local culture, scenery and architecture of Pleven and the surrounding area.  He referred to famous sports stars of Bulgaria, including World and European Rifle Champion, the Bulgarian Sports Minister, Mrs. Vesela Lecheva!  He congratulated FIDE GM Veselin Topalov on his many super tournament successes, including his most recent one of the FIDE Grand Slam Final in Bilbao.  In correspondence chess, Bulgaria had been active internationally for almost 70 years and he referred to pioneers of Bulgarian CC, which included Prof. Georgi Sapundjiev and Dr. Stefan Sergiev, both of whom he was delighted to welcome to Congress.  It was heartening that in recent years Bulgaria had been represented at ICCF Congresses by Petyo Marinov and that he had been able to offer to host the ICCF Congress in such a short time of involvement.  The ICCF Honorary President thanked Mr. Marinov for his initiative, enthusiasm and commitment.

The ICCF Honorary President referred to all dear CC friends who had passed away since the last Congress and he mentioned, in particular, Gerhard Radosztics (AUT), Witold Bielecki (POL), Günter Henrich (GER) and Robertas Sutkus (LTU).  Delegates then stood in silence to the memory of all departed CC friends.

In his Report to Congress, the ICCF President, Med Samraoui referred to the resignations from the Executive Board of Michael Blake (ENG), sadly for health reasons, and Hans-Jürgen Isigkeit (GER), who had replaced Günter Henrich in the BdF Board. 

The ICCF Honorary President wished delegates, partners and friends a productive and very enjoyable week and declared the ICCF Congress, Pleven, Bulgaria 2008 duly open.  After the playing of the ICCF Anthem, the Congress was entertained by a young folk singing group.

The ICCF Honorary President then made some introductory remarks describing intentions for dealing with agenda items on each of the four days planned for meetings of Congress and a meeting of the European Zone delegates.

As the ICCF officer responsible for strategic and financial planning, the ICCF President had provided a summary of points which he considered should be discussed by the Congress and it was explained that his proposals would be intimated under specific agenda items by the Deputy Chairman for the Congress, Nol van ‘t Riet (NED).

Election of Executive Board members and other appointments

The ICCF Honorary President reported that following the retirement of the Finance Director Hans-Jürgen Isigkeit (GER) and the Marketing Director Michael Blake (ENG), elections for mid-term vacancies had been organised but no candidates had been nominated by member federations.  However, he intimated that the ICCF President had been successful in finding two officials who were willing to be appointed to the respective vacant positions.

Before accepting the position of Finance Director, Søren Peschardt (DEN), indicated that he was prepared to carry out the function on condition that the ICCF Finance Committee would be available to help him to carry out the role.  Eric Ruch (FRA) had indicated his willingness to accept the position of Marketing Director and both of these appointments were enthusiastically approved by Congress.

Congress also approved unanimously nominations for the vacant positions in the Management Committee:

Michael Blake (ENG)      Webmaster

Ron Langeveld (NED)      Qualifications Commissioner


Membership matters

The General Secretary reported that there were no recommendations or applications for new members of ICCF. The situation of member federations in arrears with payment of membership and tournament fees was discussed and it was agreed that provisions decided by the 2004 ICCF Congress in Mumbai, should be fully implemented. The ICCF President would send a letter to all member federations which had not paid fees due at 31st December 2007.  If they remained unpaid at 31/12/2008, provisions decided by 2004 Congress in Mumbai would be applied. For those countries with fees outstanding for years 2006 and/or 2007, a levy of 2% per month would be made starting from 01/01/2009 and those countries would not be able to participate in ICCF team tournaments, e.g. Olympiads, and no Invitational/Open Tournament would be approved until unpaid fees and levies had been paid.  Congress also approved that no Direct Entry rebate would be credited to any defaulting member federations. For countries with fees unpaid for earlier years than 2006, non-payment before 31/12/2008 would result in such federations being immediately suspended from ICCF membership

World CC Championship

World Correspondence Chess Championship Trophies were presented to the respective national delegates for the following World CC Champions, their certificates and medals having been presented at previous Congresses :-

 World Correspondence Chess Champion XIX -  Christophe Léotard (FRA)

World Correspondence Chess Champion XXI - Joop J. van Oosterom (NED)

Congress acclaimed the new Ladies World Correspondence Chess Champion XII – Mrs. Olga Sukhareva (RUS) and her trophy, certificate and medal were presented to the delegate for Russia

The Award of Bertl von Massow Medals

The Bertl von Massow medal in Gold and Silver to: Georgi Sapundjiev (BUL) for 15 years meritorious work for ICCF

The Bertl von Massow medal in Gold was awarded to: Gerhard Binder (GER), Janko Bohak (SLO),  Ervin Liebert (EST), Milan Manduch and Pavol Polakovic (SVK), Alan J.C. Rawlings (ENG), Merike Rõtova (EST)  for 15 years meritorious work for ICCF.

The Bertl von Massow medal in Silver was awarded to: Marijonas Rocius (LTU), Jean-Pierre Dondelinger (BEL), Leonardo Madonia (ITA), Hirokaz Onoda (JAP), Guy José Bendaña Guerrero (NCA),  for 10 years meritorious work for ICCF 



Match: ICCF - BCCF   6 - 14