November 21, 2010
ICCF was constituted in 1951, replacing the ICCA (International Correspondence Chess Association), which itself was formed in 1945, as successor to the pre war CC organisation IFSB (Internationaler Fernschachbund).
Famous World Chess personalities and champions, including Alekhine, Keres and Euwe were well-known correspondence chess players and enthusiasts during periods of their chess careers. Many times British Champion, Jonathan Penrose was also a leading correspondence chess player and, in more recent times, top FIDE Grandmasters like Ulf Andersson and Peter Leko are participating in top ICCF Tournaments.
ICCF is the official World federation for all forms of correspondence chess, where chess moves are transmitted by players to their opponents by post, fax, Email etc. and where “playing time” is normally calculated in days, rather than where chess clocks are used for forms of “over the board” chess, which measure time in shorter periods. ICCF is comprised of established national organisations from 62 countries world wide.
At its Annual Congresses, ICCF awards official correspondence chess titles:- World Champion, Ladies World Champion, Grandmaster, Ladies Grandmaster, Senior International Master, International Master, Ladies International Master and International Arbiter. Special Bertl von Massow medals are presented to organisers, tournament directors and other enthusiasts who have given outstanding service to ICCF for over10 years. There are Honorary Members of ICCF who have given exceptional service for decades and the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented in 1998 to ICCF nonagenarian, Erik Larsson (SVE), who has served ICCF with great distinction for over 60 years!
Since 1951, 17 World Championships have been organised and Email Chess World Championships (sponsored by New in Chess) have been established in recent years. CC Olympiads are organised for national teams, with preliminary qualifying sections and Finals, with over 50 countries participating. An Email Team Tournament was successfully introduced in 1998 and, in its 50th Jubilee Year, ICCF formed a Champions League with 242 teams and almost 1000 players, with promotion/relegation with each complete cycle (1-2 years duration).
An official ICCF Rating List is published twice yearly, and the most recent list contains over 10’000 players with established ratings, of which over 1’000 are also title holders. The system includes over 30’000 active correspondence players, irrespective of form of transmission used.
ICCF works in close co-operation with the World chess organisation, FIDE, and all ICCF titles, championships and ratings are officially recognised by FIDE and by CC players world wide. Title norm scores are calculated before the start of every strong qualifying tournament, providing that the tournament has received prior formal ratification by ICCF. Many special international tournaments are arranged by ICCF and its member federations, to commemorate jubilees, famous personalities and other memorable events.
ICCF organises tournaments for all standards of chess players: eg individual and team championships, world cups, title norm tournaments and promotion tournaments (from Open Class through to Master Class) in both postal and Email versions. A similar range of tournaments exists within the 4 zones in ICCF: Africa/Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America/Pacific. Tables of results of individual games from ICCF and Zonal tournaments, are published regularly on the official ICCF Internet site, along with other news and information, at http://www.iccf.com