ICCF Congress, Villa La Angostura - Argentina

29th October - 4th November 2005


The ICCF Congress 2005, in conjunction with meetings of the ICCF Executive Board and the Management Committee, took place in the Resort Bahia Manzano, Villa La Angostura, Neuquén Province, Argentina

The Congress was arranged and hosted by the "Liga Argentina de Ajedrez por Correspondencia" (LADAC) and its President Carlos Cranbourne, and the hotel facilities and hospitality offered by LADAC were remarkable

The meeting was originally planned for the Convention Centre, but that was for very large groups (450 people) so the hotel location was more appropriate. The hotel management and cooperation was excellent and they made sure everything was always ready and well prepared. Also, the resort had a beautiful view of the Manzano Bay on Lake Nahuel Huapi, with outdoor dining facilities.

Participants of the Congress, and accompanying families and friends, were offered an extensive programme of events, including an excursion to the city of San Carlos de Bariloche (ski resort town). There was also a programme for ladies and families provided by the hosts.

The Opening Banquet took place at Mesidor, the summer residence of the Governor of the Neuquén Province. Everyone was treated to typical local dishes (empanadas, asado and salads) in this wonderful property by the shores of the Nahuel Huapi Lake. Additionally, a new musical entertainment of popular songs was performed by the same two musicians who had previously done so during the short cultural programme on Sunday morning.

There was the traditional ICCF Blitz Tournament, with chess sets kindly provided by Círculo de Ajedrez “Torre Blanca” in Buenos Aires, which was won by GM Fritz Baumbach.

An optional post-Congress tour to Southern Chile (organised by Liga Chilena de Ajedrez Postal and its President Guillermo Toro) was offered.


ICCF Acting President Max Zavanelli (USA) gave a speech in English language which was also read in Spanish by GM Guillermo Toro. The Acting President said that the major decisions for ICCF had been taken by past Congresses, and it was our task to only deal with minor changes and improvements at this congress: ICCF needed to continue with what had already been started - we could draw upon our successful past to move forward in the future.

He said we must keep in mind that ICCF is an organization of federations, not individuals, and that one person is not so important. We must also remember that every federation has a different environment, structure, and situation. Our ability to accommodate all, the true meaning of Amici Sumus, is the secret of our success. This means that when we have a democratic vote and it is not unanimous, then we must pay attention to even a single dissenting voice. Of course there can be philosophical differences. But we should avoid disagreements and instead allow players to choose what suits them best. We can let players play by post, by email, by webserver or by any other means. We should encourage organizers to be flexible and creative in their design of tournaments and time control. We must support all forms of correspondence chess. We must not argue over what form as that - like a chess opening – is a matter of preference, but we can recommend and tell others of improvements.

Additionally, ICCF should not forget that the needs of ordinary players can be quite different from that of the top players. The ordinary player wants an entertaining and pleasant experience with the minimal amount of accounting, recording, distractions, and difficulties in getting timely moves from his opponent, and ICCF must provide that. Too many of our rules are designed for the World Champions and not for players who wish to just enjoy a game of Chess. The web server technology is a huge step in the right direction toward this goal.

And lastly, we must not forget the organizers and administrators who work long and hard on a volunteer basis so we can have tournaments. Without organizers, we would have no tournaments and our great players would have no opportunity to show their ability and win glory. In correspondence chess, we have been blessed with another type of top player, world champions who are humble, who are human beings, who are true to Amici Sumus. ICCF has been blessed with great workers and organizers – especially in the world tournament office. The work of Pedro Hegoburu, Daniel Finkelstein, and many others this year had been extraordinary.

In the heat of competition, sometimes a player can have misunderstandings and abuse the tournament director if he does not get his way. Also our TD’s are human; they must interpret the rules and guidelines and make decisions. We should encourage even our most experienced TD’s to ask advice of other senior TD’s when the situation is unusual. And as the former President Josef Mrkvička, correctly pointed out, we must not shout at our volunteers.

So the Acting President proposed that our theme for this Congress would be the spirit of Amici Sumus, that of accommodation to the views and opinions and situations of others.

The President then paid tribute to the memories of all CC friends who had passed away since the Mumbai 2004, including the CC Grandmaster Simon Webb (ENG), long-year ICCF Tournament Director Harro Otte (GER), Vaclav Rut (CZE), Alvaro Rosa (POR), Giancarlo De Lorenzo (ITA), Alberto Laurencena (ARG) and delegate and Senior International Master Ilja Hristov (BUL). Delegates stood in two minutes silence to the memory of all departed CC friends.

Ending the two-minute silence, the ICCF Acting President declared the 2005 ICCF Congress, duly opened.

New ICCF President: 

Mohamed Samraoui      38 votes 

Claudio Javier Gonçalves  17 votes

 Unfortunately, the ICCF President-elect Med Samraoui (ALG) and Honorary President Alan P. Borwell (SCO) could not make it to Congress due to airline troubles, and they sent their apologies and best wishes to Congress.


Former President’s Report

The former ICCF President Josef Mrkvicka gave a short report on his work between the 2004 Congress in Mumbai and his resignation in late December 2004. He said that he hoped to be able to contribute to ICCF in the near future, in other positions. He was thanked for the work done and Congress gave him a round of applause.


Membership matters

The Membership and Services Director reported that an application for membership had been received from Burkina Faso (BFCCF - Burkina Faso Correspondence Chess Federation). It was agreed unanimously by Congress that Burkina Faso should be admitted to ICCF membership.

Two Federations were in arrears for two years for their dues, caused by communication problems. The Executive Board proposed they be allowed to vote during Congress sessions, and to give them until December 31, 2005 to resolve their obligations with the Financial Director, otherwise their membership would be suspended and they would not be able to nominate individuals or teams to ICCF competitions.


The Award of Bertl von Massow Medals

The Bertl von Massow medal in Gold & Silver was awarded to: Santiago Cardoso Contreras (MEX), Joachim Walther (GER) and Jorge Eduardo Deforel (ARG) for this meritorious work in the organization of ICCF for more than 15 years. 

The Bertl von Massow medal in Silver was awarded to: Dimitry Lybin (BLR), Egbert Boesenberg (GER), Jose Daniel Finkelstein (ARG), Guido Bresadola (ITA), Thed Klauner (LUX) and François Riva (LUX)







Franklin Campbell (USA)



Maurizio Sampieri (ITA)