By Med Samraoui
Following the tradition of my predecessors, may I take the opportunity of sending a message to wish you all a peaceful and blessed season.
Of course, 2005 will remain a specific year in ICCF’s history, with some good and some less good things having occurred but, hopefully, all our actions can now be oriented to the future.
During the last year, we lost several valuable officers like former President Josef Mrkvička, World Tournament Director Chris Lüers, Direct Entry Administrator John Knudsen, Finance Director Grayling Hill and Games Archivist Wes Green and I just would like to thank them for their great efforts and say they will all be welcome to rejoin the ICCF team, at any time.
Most vacant positions were filled by the ICCF Congress in Los Angostura and I am confident about the abilities of the newly appointed officers. All will work very hard to improve ICCF standards and to offer, in coordination with National Federations, good service to all players.
Significant planning has been started this month to further improve the facilities of the ICCF Webserver and recently more than 2000 players were recorded as having used the webserver, which confirms the correctness of the decisions of my predecessors to invest in this modern technology system. Playing new forms of CC is growing permanently but postal players can be assured that ICCF will continue to serve those who enjoy playing their CC games by post.
With this message, I address an appeal to all National Delegates to encourage volunteers to join ICCF Commissions. We need active representation in the Marketing and Webserver Commissions, including Help Desk, and in Website tasks etc. as well as in providing regular and interesting articles to Raymond Boger, the editor of “ICCF AMICI”. This publication (ICCF’s online magazine) is yours and it needs to be supported by all National Federations.
One of our major goals for 2006 is to have strong relationships with FIDE and, for the first time, an ICCF team will be playing in the FIDE Olympiad in Torino (Italy). We hope that ICCF will also be able to be represented by a ladies team from 2008, which would be a great stimulus for promoting women´s correspondence chess in the future. We will also start to be more proactive in encouraging juniors and younger players to take up CC eg by webserver.
All pending issues will be considered actively in the coming months and far reaching ideas and proposals will be prepared for consideration and decision at the next ICCF Congress in Dresden (GER) from 14th to 20th October 2006. We are hoping for a great attendance at the 2006 Congress as Dresden is ideally situated and very well served in terms of transportation.
As we move towards 2006, it is a time to wish to all members of the Executive Board and Management Committee, all members of Commissions, all National Delegates and all CC players and friends a happy New Year with lots of friendship, health, happiness and success.
First of all; I must apologize for the magazine being a little bit late. this due to some late received supplies - today !, but better late than never.
I must thank those of you who took the time to contribute to this number of ICCF AMICI,
in particular George Pyrich and Eric Ruch.
Nor must I forget to thank the newcomer Corky Schakel.
There is a President’s Column this time. Since we have a new president in Med Samraoui. Who also contribute with a zonal report from the Africa / Asia zone. Thank you Med !.
In this number we also have a interview with Ivar Bern who
have the possibility to become the new CC Worldchamp.
This interview was first printed in 2004 in NSB.
(Norsk Sjakkblad – Norwegian Chess Magazine)
We hope to have a new interview with
Ivar Bern when he have become the new world champion in CC. !
I have seen our new ICCF-president is writing in his zone-report
that Japan is the new CC-dominator in the zone Africa/Asia.
I will accordance to this have to say a few words: Norway is the leading
Chess Nation of the World! An I will argue in this way ......
I will garantuee for 96% for security that Norway will have the next CC Worldchamp.
He is interviewed in this number of ICCF AMICI and his name is Ivar Bern.
He is first in the ongoing WC XVII, and only one draw for his
opponent Borioslav Vukcevic is probably enough for Bern to win.
A little bit history........ I remember a cold afternoon in September 2003
at the Prague Airport I was waiting for the check-in to Ostrava,
eastern in the Czech Republic, the place for the ICCF Congress this year.
I saw a typical Englishman walking ( sorry Iain! ) around in the waitinghall
with his suitcase. He must be more than a chessplayer, a CC-player!, I thought.
I took contact and we gave each other a short presentation. And quite true I was right:
We had just played against each other in the First North Sea Team Tournament.
My new friend was Scotsman Iain Mackintosh and he told me he was on his
way to Ostrava too. His was heading for this year ICCF congress to try to rerise
his ICCF webserver Project. Which nothing had been done with since Rimini 2001.
Sitting at the airport in amusing friendlyship we caught sight of a ( new )
man stressing at both sides. I thought he was not a typical Englishman!,
but he has to be a chessplayer, I was sure.
We took contact and sure I was right, he was a chessplayer, and also the
editor of the CC-magazine Chess Mail. his name was Tim Harding.
He took place by our table and we where talking about much, most chess.
After a while I mentioned we in Norway has a very great talent
named Magnus Carlsen 12 yaers old. I don’t know if Iain and Tim did
believe me?! Perhaps my both friends thought I was a bit out of mind telling
them about a little young boy from Norway.
The rest is history. Magnus has showed his great talent: He was the
youngest GM at a time when he was 13. Nobody has reached so long in
World Cup as him, both Fisher and Kasparov was elder.
Magnus is now back from the World Cup in Sibir being number 10, and among
the qualified in the candidates matches 2006. Magnus can perhaps be the next
World Champ. Perhaps then Norway will have two maestros!
Albeit we aren't the best chess nation in the world;
then we have to be better than Sweden !!
One last thing; Magnus have now started to play CC.
He is now playing for Norway in our celebration / friendly match against Sweden
Anyway I will use the opportunity to wish you all a Happy new year!
Enjoy the reading !.........
Best wishes & Amici Sumus!
Correspondence Chess Reminiscence N°7
The Radio Match Great Britain – URSS (1946)
The first game played by radio between Great Britain and URRS took place between June, 19 and June, 20 1946. It was the first event organized by the “Anglo – Russian” chess club and was recognized by both chess federations.
According to the newspaper, this match was also the opportunity to demonstrate the friendship between the two countries. The rooms, where the games were played, were decorated with the flags of the two countries, and many Britain officials visited the place during the games.
M. Silkin, minister of government, welcomed the players with a magnificent speech that the English players will remember for ever. Emphasizing the development of chess in his country, he said that the Members of the Parliament used to play much more than in the past. He concluded by wishing that MM. Bevin and Molotov could solve their different points of view on a chessboard!
The players of the two teams, listed from board 1 to board 12:
Great Britain USSR
C.H.O.D Alexander M. Botvinnik
E. Klein P. Kérès
I. Konig V. Smyslov
H. Golombek I. Boleslavsky
W.A. Fairhurst S. Flohr
P.M. List A. Kotov
W. Winter D. Bronstein
J.M. Aitken I. Bondarevsky
B.H. Wood A. Lilienthal
G. Abrahams V. Ragozine
Miss E. Tranmer V. Byelova
Mrs R.M. Bruce I. Rudenko
Viacheslav Ragozine, the second correspondence world champion, wrote an article about this match, that was published in “Le Monde des Echecs” in 1946. It is a very interesting document that was probably not published (as far as I know) outside URSS.