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United States Correspondence Chess Championship
Index to the USCCC Finals
Index 1st (1974-76) 2nd (1976-78) 3rd (1978-80) 4th (1980-82) 5th (1983-85) 6th (1985-87) 7th (1987-90)
8th (1990-93) 9th (1991-93) 10th (1993-97) 11th (1995-98) 12th (1997-2000) 13th (1999-2002) 14th (2002-2005) 15th (2003-2006)

With the permission of International Arbiter Allen F. Wright I am reproducing his "History of the U. S. Correspondence Chess Championship", written during the 5th USCCC. Allen Wright is one of the most senior tournament directors in the USA and has directed many major USA tournaments, including the 8th through the 13th USCCC events.

The photograph shows Allen Wright (on the left) receiving his International Arbiter award from ICCF President Alan Borwell at the annual ICCF Congress in Daytona Beach, Florida on September 19, 2000.-- JFC

History of the U.S. Correspondence Chess Championship
by Allen F. Wright
(Tournament Director)

In 1969, Kenneth F.Williams, then President of the Correspondence Chess League of America (CCLA), appointed a Special Committee on Tournaments and Titles consisting of Walter Muir, Chairman, and Richard Callaghan, Robert Cross, and Hebert Hickman as members. All committee members were master class players with experience in International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) tournaments. One of the Committee's proposals was that a new tourney for the United States Correspondence Chess Championship (USCCC) be established.

As the sole U.S. member of the ICCF, the CCLA had exclusive right to hold the USCCC. It was organized to conform to the international practices for such events. With some modifications, the USCCC was probably the first U.S. tournament to use the 10 moves in 30 days time limit. It was to be a biennial affair conducted at two levels simultaneoulsy, candidates and final. The first candidates tourney was to have 15 sections, each with a maximum of 15 players; and the winner of each section would advance to the final. For a prestigious championship, organizers wanted a contest among the best players, a competition among equals or near equals. At the same time, they wished to develop promising younger players through a serious competition with more seasoned veterans of postal chess play.

On July 1, 1972, the First USCC Candidates' section began play. While the entries fell slightly below the 225 maximum number allowed, the field was a good one. The 15 man Final, which started in August, 1974 and concluded in late 1976, was very strong. H. Anthony Cayford, one of USCF's top rated postal chess players , won the event. Second was Robert N. Wendling, many times Colorado and Wyoming State Champion; and third was Victor V. Palciauskus, who later became an International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster and Tenth World Correspondence Chess Champion. A tournament book of the First USCCC, The United States Correspondence Chess Championship, was edited by Hanon W. Russell.

With some format and rules changes, most notably the establishment of a minimum 900 CCLA rating (mid class A) requirement for entry, the Second, Third, Fourth USCCCs were conducted in similar fashion.

In early 1980, the United States Postal Chess Federation (USPCF) was formed to further international correspondence chess and to conduct the USCCC. The initial USPCF members were the CCLA, USCF, and APCT (American Postal Chess Tournaments), the three largest U.S. correspondence chess organizations. Now rather than being an exclusive CCLA event, the USCCC was open to players from other clubs who were members of the USPCF. The Fifth USCCC was the first event held by the new organization.

The Fifth USCC Preliminary round began play in January 1981. It had 108 players divided into 12 sections. The Final of this tournament got underway in March 1983, with the round one section winners and the top three Fourth USCCC finishers.

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