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Archive of ICCF-U.S. News for 2009
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December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's 2010 From ICCF

Greetings to all ICCF-US players...we have reached the end of another year. 2009 will ring out tonight along with all of the ICCF games we have each completed this year. I hope you all had your share of successes and wish you all good chess in the New Year! Follow the link below to a New Year's greeting from ICCF President Eric Ruch

New Year's Greeting From ICCF

Dan Perry, ICCF-US Webmaster
Corky Schakel, ICCF-US Secretary

December 19, 2009

Announcing the 16th Correspondence Chess Olympiad Finals

The list of qualifiers for the 16th Olympiad Finals has been announced. Congratulations to the ICCF-US preliminary team of Gary Kubach, Jerry Weisskohl, Keith Holzmueller and Mihai Harabor for qualifying for the Finals!

16th CC Olympiad Finals Announcement

Corky will assemble the Finals team and we'll run a longer article at that time.

December 7, 2009

Announcing 2010 WCCC Preliminaries

ICCF today announced the World Correspndence Chess Champoinship Preliminary round for 2010. As decided at the ICCF 2009 Congress in Leeds, in a major change from previous WCCCs all sections start on the same date and you will only have one chance to enter this year. You must be entered by the end of January and all sections will begin 10 March 2010

2010 WCCC Prelims Announcement

If you received Corky's letter (forwarding Marco's official qualification list) informing you that you have a qualification into the WCC Preliminaries, you will need to act soon or you will have to wait until 2011. Give it a shot. It could be your first step toward winning the World Championship!

November 10, 2009

Announcing A.L. Al'pert Memorial Open CC

The Russia CC Association has announced the A.L. AL'PERT MEMORIAL Open CC tournament, information below. Entry is via National Federation only, so those who want to play this event can send the $12 entry fee to schakels@comcast.net , or a check to ICCF-US, 16052 Quality Ct S, Lakeland MN. This is an Open event with three rounds, and the list of players already entered is available on the attached link.

Alpert Memorial Open CC

Corky Schakel, ICCF-US National Federation Rep

October 24, 2009

ICCF-US Announces Sponsorship Agreement with Opening Master

ICCF-US has signed a sponsorship agreement with Opening Master, joining ICCF and several of the other national CC organizations (see sponsorship logo in left column). Click on the logo to peruse Opening Master's site and array of database products.

Dan Perry, ICCF-US Webmaster

October 24, 2009

Friendly Match Hong Kong vs. USA -- Announcement

Hong Kong has challenged ICCF-US to a Friendly Match, and expect to have about 15 players with ratings both above and below 2000. The match will be played by server, two games per person, with an entry fee of $6. Players will be selected to approximately match opponents' ratings. If you are interested in playing, please send an email to schakels@comcast.net. If anyone would like to act as team captain, or organize the team, again send an email to the above address.

Corky Schakel, ICCF-US Secretary, NAPZ Director

October 12, 2009

The 62nd ICCF Congress in Leeds, England - ICCF-US Secretary's Report

The recently concluded 62nd ICCF Congress in Leeds, England was a constructive 4 days, a great experience for all participants. The highlight of the Congress for me was receiving medals and certificates for our new titleholders: GM Dr. Edward Duliba and SIM Dan Perry. It was also a great honor to accept Franklin Campbell’s Bertl von Massow certificate and silver medal for 10 years of outstanding service to ICCF.

The Congress approved Antalya, Turkey for the 63rd ICCF Congress next October. The site is a marvelous resort, and anyone is welcome to attend, especially those receiving a title. Istanbul is the likely site for the 65th, 2012 Congress, in conjunction with the FIDE Congress.

A most notable result from the Congress was that the USA team of Gary Kubach, Jerry Weisskohl, Keith Holzmueller, and Mihai Harabor will qualify the USA for the 16th Olympiad Final. This is the last postal Final in the current format, but there will be separate post Olympiads in the future. A major change in the World Championship cycle is that all WC sections of the same level shall start on the same day - CT, SF, PR once per year.

Dr. Uwe Staroske (Germany) was elected Marketing Director, and Neil Limbert (England) was elected Qualifications Commissioner. The new ICCF President, Eric Ruch (France), presided over a constructive Congress, and the future of ICCF is in good hands! My thanks go to all participants, and especially to Michael Millstone, the other USA attendee, and Direct Entry Commissioner for ICCF. More complete minutes are available on the ICCF Website

Corky Schakel, ICCF-US Secretary, NAPZ Director

October 4, 2009

ICCF-US Top 50 Rated Players List Updated

Using the latest ICCF ELO (player rating) lists [effective 1 October 09], Bob Rizzo ICCF-US Titles Officer has compiled the latest ICCF-US Top 50 Rated Active Players list. For the first time in several lists we have no new entrants just minor shuffling in the order of the top 50 based on rating changes. To access the list choose "PLAYER RANKS" from the upper left menu bar.

September 29, 2009

ICCF Thematic Tournaments for 2010 Announced

The themes and dates for all 2010 ICCF Thematic Tournaments have been announced by Leonardo Madonia in the ICCF Thematic Tournament Office. For details please select from the following announcements. Postal Thematics and Webserver Thematics.

Entry details will appear on the ICCF Webserver "New Events" page when the announced times approach.

August 27, 2009

Press Release -- Dan Perry Earns Senior International Master

SIM Dan Perry
SIM Dan Perry

ICCF-US Webmaster Dan Perry completes his qualifications for the SIM level, to be awarded at the Leeds Congress. Congratulations Dan!

Click here to read the ICCF-US press release.

August 5, 2009

US Correspondence Chess Championship (USCCC) News

All qualifiers for USCCC18 Final have been determined (crosstables at http://www.iccf-webchess.com/Tables2.aspx under National Tournaments, USA, Semifinals). First or tied for first in each section qualified for the Final. USCF and CCLA will be invited to nominate a participant, and one or more previous Champions may be invited to complete a field of 13 or 15 players. With a number of international tournaments starting early this Fall, and several of our finalists in them, the Final will likely start late this year.

USCCC19 is planned for early 2010, again by server with seven player sections. An ICCF rating of 2000 is required, or a USCF or CCLA rating of 2000 for players without a fixed ICCF rating. With a less than perfect mailing list, please watch for an announcement here on iccfus.com.

Corky Schakel, ICCF-US Secretary

July 28, 2009

ICCF-US Top 50 Rated Players List Updated

Using the latest ICCF ELO (player rating) lists [effective 1 July 09], Bob Rizzo ICCF-US Titles Officer has compiled the latest ICCF-US Top 50 Rated Active Players list.

Congratulations to

  • #49 Steve R. Douglas
for cracking the Top 50 List for the first time at a rating of 2395. To access the list choose "PLAYER RANKS" from the upper left menu bar.

July 25, 2009

Press Release -- J Franklin Campbell to Receive Silver Bertl von Massow Award

J. Franklin Campbell
von Massow Award Winner
J. Franklin Campbell

The ICCF-US would like to add our thanks to Franklin for his years of devoted service to correspondence chess. This recognition from the international chess community is richly-deserved.

Click here to read the ICCF-US press release.

Bob Rizzo, ICCF-US Titles Officer

July 25, 2009

Press Release -- Ed Duliba Earns Grandmaster Honors

GM Ed Duliba
GM Ed Duliba

Ed Duliba becomes only the ninth US Correspondence GM. Congratulations Ed!

Click here to read the ICCF-US press release.

June 19, 2009 (Updated July 18)

USA vs. Rest Of the World (ROW) under 2100 -- ENTRY CLOSED

ICCF-US is happy to announce that the match is filled and underway with 54 boards (45 U.S. players with nine playing two boards each). Good Chess to the combatants!

ICCF-US is sponsoring a Friendly Match "USA vs. ROW under 2100". Any player with a fixed or provisional ICCF rating under 2100 on the 2009/2 rating list is eligible to play. USA players will pay a $6 entry fee for two games, and ROW will play with no entry fee. Please send your name, country, ICCF number, email address, and 2009/2 rating to schakels@comcast.net . Pairings will be based on rating order, and the event start is tentatively sometime in August 2009.

Corky Schakel, ICCF-US Secretary, NAPZ Director

June 7, 2009

USA Friendly Matches Update

2007:   57 Sweden--USA 53
2008: 43.5 Spain--USA 38.5     2 games not finished
2007: 31 USA--England 27
2008: 11.5 Scotland--USA 8.5     22 server and all 10 post games not finished
2008: 14.5   USA--Romania   13.5     38 server games not finished
2009: 0 USA--Finland 0     just started with 47 server boards, 9 post

Crosstables and game scores available at: www.iccf-webchess.com under "Friendly Matches".

Corky Schakel, ICCF-US Secretary

April 25, 2009 (updated 17May09 - games added)

USA Clinches First in Pan American Team 9

After more than two years since play began, with only four games still to be completed, Pan American Team 9 silver and bronze are still up for grabs, but the USA team has clinched first in a field of 16 teams to get the gold, either outright or by tiebreaker. Here is how it stands:

USA  40.5
Peru (Rojo)  39.5 one game remaining with Brazil (Verde); USA wins the tiebreaker with more team match wins
Brazil (Amar)  39.5
Chile  39 one game remaining with Canada

The other two open games are Mex-Gua and Arg (Cel)-Nic.

On Bd. 1 SIM Ted Brandhorst scored an impressive 8/15 in a field with three GMs and six IMs, and six players rated over 2500. His win over Peru (Rojo)'s GM Angel Acevedo Villalba (2551) was critical to the team gold; a draw would very likely have meant silver. Click here to play through Ted's key win.

On Bd. 2 SIM Michael Millstone scored a terrific 11.5/15 in a field with five SIMs and an IM, and his win over the Peru (Rojo) opponent was again critical to the team result. An annotated game will also be linked to this page. The 11.5/15 score exceeded the SIM norm by a full point, and Michael was in a two way tie for first for Bd. 2.

On Bd. 3 SIM Michael Proof scored an unheard of 12.5/15, a full two points ahead of any other Bd. 3 player, and exceeding the SIM norm by 1˝ points. And his win over Peru (Rojo) was also critical, along with wins over the players from Brazil (Amar) and Chile. A key win by Michael was already annotated as game of the month June 2008. Click here for analysis.

On Bd. 4 IM Corky Schakel scored an undistinguished 8/15, and is having difficulty finding a game worth annotating. Thanks to my teammates for carrying me! Here is a link to the crosstable; completed games can be displayed by clicking on a score.
Pan American Team 9 Crosstable

Corky Schakel, ICCF-US Secretary

May 6, 2009

GM Robin Smith, 1952-2009

ICCF has received the sad news that GM Robin Smith passed away recently at the age of 56. Robin was a two time US Correspondence Chess Champion, and achieved the Grand Master title in fewer games than nearly anyone. He scored 9/10 for a GM norm in his first World Championship Semifinal, which he entered unrated. Shortly after that in the Itzhak Veinger Memorial, a Category XII event (average rating between 2526-2550) he completed his GM title.

Robin was an Electrical Engineer, and worked for Hewlett-Packard for some years. His ICCF record shows only 64 games, but in those he achieved a 2642 rating. He authored "Modern Chess Analysis" in 2004 [in my opinion, the most instructive book in print on computer aided chess analysis - ed.], and although he was retired from competitive correspondence chess, in 2008 he received coauthor credit for Fritz Baumbach’s book "Who is the Champion of Champions?" Those of us who played him know that Robin was well qualified for this project. He was right up there with the very best players of all time.

Corky Schakel, ICCF-US Secretary, North America Pacific Zone Director.

May 1, 2009

Veterans World Cup 2 - ICCF Tournament Announcement

The Scottish CCA offered in Pleven to organise the second and ongoing editions of the Veterans World Cup starting yearly in 2009. They have announced the second edition will be a three round tournament (adding a semi-final to last year's format) starting 1 September 2009. This year's edition is held in memoriam of Gerhard Radosztics.

If you are 60 or over and think you can beat the best of the veterans or you just want some good games with other "old hands" this is your tournament. See Official Announcement. for tournament and entry details.

March 29, 2009

ICCF-US Top 50 Rated Players and ICCF-US Titleholders Lists Updated

Using the latest ICCF ELO (player rating) lists [effective 1 April 09], Bob Rizzo ICCF-US Titles Officer has compiled the latest ICCF-US Top 50 Rated Active Players list and the latest list of ICCF-US Title Holders. Congratulations to the following players for cracking the Top 50 List for the first time:

  • #39 Lawrence Coplin
  • #42 Frank Goebert
  • #48 Brian D. Smith
The only new title holder since the last list is actually an old title holder. SIM Stephen E. Ham was awarded the title in 2006 but was somehow omitted until this list. My sincere apology to Stephen for the long uncorrected oversight.

February 24, 2009

World Cup 17 Prelims - Announcement

The International Correspondence Chess Federation just announced the ICCF World Cup XVII Tournament . This event is open to all players, and will be played in three rounds on the ICCF server. Entry is available via ICCF Webserver Direct Entry , or through the ICCF-US order form .

Corky Schakel, ICCF-US Secretary

February 16, 2009


The book review below was recently written by Alex Dunne, who heads up USCF's correspondence chess operations. We are making the book available through iccfus.com, so if you are interested in ordering a copy after reading the review below please order using the ICCF-US order form found by clicking on the "ICCF-US Store" item in the menu on the left or the hyperlink at the top of this column.

Corky Schakel, ICCF-US Secretary


Who Is The Champion of Champions?

There is a new champion in the lists. Previously I had listed Sanakoev’s World Champion at the Third Attempt as the best correspondence book ever. Now there is a new champion: Who is the Champion of the Champions? by Fritz Baumbach with Robin Smith and Rolf Knobel. This superb book is divided into five parts. Part One contains bios and games of the five deceased World Correspondence Chess Champions and one of their best games thoroughly analyzed. Part Two describes the Jubilee Tournament of the World Champions, arguably the strongest tournament ever, including both OTB and correspondence. The nine living World Champions describe selected games from this tournament. The games are incredible! The annotations are incredible! This chapter alone would make this book great! Part three gives bio and a game of the four World Champions after the 2001 Jubilee Tournament began. There are photos of every Champion, and the analysis is first rate.

Die letzte Abteilung des Buches wird auf Deutsch geschrieben und zeigt einige hervorragende Spiele…Oops! Sorry about that. The last section of the book is written in German and features some outstanding games well annotated. It should have been translated for the monolingual English reading audience. Still, the games and notes are understandable without knowing German.

The Appendix gives crosstables of all the World Championship finals.

The only other flaw in this outstanding book is that the authors could not come to an agreement as to who is the champion of the champions. They express their opinions and allow the reader to choose for himself. So, reader, buy this book! Read this book! Study this book! And then decide for yourself, Who is the champion of the champions?

Alex Dunne, USCF Correspondence Chess

February 15, 2009

USCCC 16 Finals Winners With Their Trophies

Biedermann with Trophy
Tom and Trophy

We reported the end of the USCCC 16 Finals in December. Since then the winners have been awarded their trophies and Co-winners Thomas Biedermann and Larry Coplin have both been kind enough to share a picture of themselves with their awesome hardware.

Coplin with Trophy
Larry and Trophy

Put yourself in this picture. You can if you enter the next United States Correspondence Chess Championship (USCCC). So watch for the next USCCC tournament announcement and submit your entry. Remember, our winners are seldom the highest rated entries. Mr. Coplin was the second-lowest rated in the Finals!

And if you win the USCCC you will receive an entry into the World Correspondence Chess Championship (WCCC). So your entry could be the first step toward your World Championship trophy.

Congratulations once again to our champions and Good Chess to you all.

February 14, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

OK, it is Valentines Day so this is a much belated New Year's wish for all of our ICCF-US players. 2008 witnessed the crowning of an undisputed (tournament and match) OTB champion with Anand's defeat of Kramnik ... in spite of FIDE's continued lack of direction. ICCF crowned multiple World Champions, but I would say that van Oosterom's second World Championship was probably the ICCF story of the year. What will be the big chess stories of 2009? If you have an interesting speculation or a story of your own, email it to your webmaster.

The new year is also a good time to stock up on games, postcards (for the diehards who are still on the snail mail trail) or World Correspondence Champion Fritz Baubach's new book Who is the Champion of Champions? (more on that later). You will find a new order form under the "ICCF-US Store" option in the menu on the left.

Have a great 2009!

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