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Last updated 13 October 2014

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09 Jun 14 | IA Titles for Anderson and Paine
At the ICCF Congress in Sydney today, Gordon Anderson and Dr Kevin Paine were proposed for and awarded the International Arbiter (IA) title. The main qualifying criteria were obtained during the Veterans' World Cup cycles 2-4, which were organised and sponsored by the SCCA. Scotland now has 7 IAs, with Alan Borwell (1989), Colin Macgregor (1996), George Livie (1998), Iain Sneddon (2001) and George Pyrich (2009) having previously gained the award. Many congratulations to Gordon and Kevin!

10 Oct 14 | ICCF Grading List 2014/4 Published
The fourth quarterly list of 2014 is published on the website today. Look under publications/grading list to see the web page, or go to members/downloads for the pdf version. For further information, please contact George Pyrich.

10 Oct 14 | Magazine 127 Published
The third e-mag of the 2014 set is being distributed by email today. Printed copies are in the post tonight. As usual, members will be asked to download their e-mags from the secure Members' page on the website, while complimentary e-mags will be attached to the email. Download times will be a touch longer than last quarter. If you have any problems with this edition, please drop me an email at: webmaster@scottishcca.co.uk and I'll do what I can to help. Enjoy the read!

09 Oct 14 | Russia v Rest of the World Chess 960 Match
Michael Millstone, ICCF General Secretary, writes to announce the second Russia v Rest of the World Chess 960 Match. Each ICCF federation may nominate up to five players to represent the Rest of the World team. Normal CC ratings will determine board order, and around 50 boards are expected. Games are played on the webserver, with a time control of 10 moves in 50 days. Initial positions will be randomly allocated. Results will be rated on the ICCF Chess 960 Rating System.
There is no entry fee and registration completes on 15th November. Play is expected to start on 1st December. Please email George Pyrich before 10th November, for further details and to register your interest.

01 Oct 14 | ICCF Webserver Hosting Change
Austin Lockwood, ICCF Services Director, writes to announce a change in hosting supplier for the ICCF Webserver:
Following a number of incidents affecting server availability, and the failure of our hosting company to adequately support us during these incidents, we will shortly be moving the ICCF webserver to an alternative hosting arrangement.
This move will take place between 07:00 and 13:00 UTC on Wednesday 8th October, we will endeavour to keep the down time as short as possible, however please expect the server to be unavailable for up to six hours during the transition.
The new server hosting will be based in the United Kingdom, so the server time zone will move from UTC+2 (Central European Summer Time) to UTC+1 (British Summer Time). Server time will go back a further hour on 26th October to UTC+0 as daylight saving time ends in the UK.
27 Sep 14 | Friendly Versus Switzerland Starts
Team captains George Pyrich and Matthias Rüfenacht have finalised their teams and we now start a 25-board friendly match against Switzerland. We last played the Swiss back in the nineties in a postal-only encounter, being drubbed 8½-39½ with two games void. This time it's an all-webserver event. The official start date is 1st November, but moves can be played from today. Best wishes to both teams for enjoyable chess and new acquaintances!

14 Jul 14 | ICCF 2014 World Championship Candidates Announced
Gian-Maria Tani, ICCF Title Tournaments Commissioner, writes to announce the candidates stage of the 34th World Championship which will start on 20th September. The following players are eligible for the 34th candidates:
  • the participants of one of the previous or running finals who scored at least 50% of the possible points.
  • the participants in one of the previous or running candidates stage who finished in 2nd place (in the exceptional event of only one qualifying place for the final being available), 3rd or 4th place, or scored at least 60% of the possible points but did not qualify for the final.
  • the first and second placed players in every semi-final group.
  • the first and second placed players in a final of the ICCF World Cup tournament.
  • the first and second placed players from the acknowledged Zonal Championships of Category IX or higher.
  • all previous World Correspondence Chess champions.
  • the holders of the Grandmaster Title with at least 5 Grandmaster norms
  • those players who have a fixed rating of 2600 and above, as at July 1, 2014, or from the current FIDE list.
Candidates sections normally have 13 players with the possibility for the TTC to extend them to 15 or 17 players (or reduce to 11 players) if appropriate in special situations. Normally, only four Candidates sections are started each year with 1st & 2nd qualifying for a final.
Registration completes on 23rd August, so please email George Pyrich before 9th August, for further details and to register your interest.

14 Jul 14 | ICCF Ladies World Championship Semi-Finals and Final Announced
Gian-Maria Tani, ICCF Title Tournaments Commissioner, writes to announce the 10th Ladies World Championship final and 11th Ladies World Championship semi-finals, both of which will start on 20th November. The following players are eligible for the 10th final:
  • the top three players from the 9th final.
  • winners and runners-up from the 10th semi-finals.
  • if eligible players decline entry, ICCF may offer places to next-ranked players from the 9th final and 10th semi-finals.
  • ICCF may also offer two free places on the basis of extraordinary international performance.
The final will be played on the ICCF webserver, with at least 11 players. The following players are eligible for the 11th semi-finals:
  • the participants of finals 8 and 9 who have scored at least 30% of the possible points.
  • the participants of semi-finals 9 and 10 who finished in places 3 or 4 or scored at least 60% of the possible points.
  • holders of the International CC Ladies' Master title
  • lady players with fixed ICCF rating above 2100 as at July 1, 2014.
The semi-finals will be played on the ICCF webserver, with sections from 9-13 players, depending from the number of entries.
Registration for both events completes on 1st October, so please email George Pyrich before 15th September, for further details and to register your interest.

14 Jul 14 | ICCF European WS Championship Semi-Finals Announced
Marco Caressa, ICCF-Europa Zonal Director, writes to advise that the semi-finals of this tournament will start on 20th September in multiples of 11, 13, 15 or 17-player sections, with winners and 2nd places qualifying for the candidates stages. The following players are eligible:
  • players rated between 2300 and 2499 at the time of application.
  • players who 1st or 2nd in a European Championship Preliminary, regardless of rating.
  • the participants of previous or running Candidates who have scored at least 45% of the possible points, if they have not earned a higher qualification.
  • the participants of previous or running semi-finals who have scored at least 55% of the possible points, if they have not earned a higher qualification.
  • winners of European WS Master Class started during the years 2011-2013.
Registration completes on 10th September, so please email George Pyrich before end-August, for further details and to register your interest.

01 Jul 14 | ICCF Grading List 2014/3 Published
The third quarterly list of 2014 is published on the website today. Look under publications/grading list to see the web page, or go to members/downloads for the pdf version. For further information, please contact George Pyrich.

01 Jul 14 | Magazine 126 Published
The second e-mag of the 2014 set is being distributed by email today. Printed copies are in the post tonight. As usual, members will be asked to download their e-mags from the secure Members' page on the website, while complimentary e-mags will be attached to the email. Download times will be similar to last quarter. If you have any problems with this edition, please drop me an email at: webmaster@scottishcca.co.uk and I'll do what I can to help. Enjoy the read!

09 Jun 14 | ICCF Veterans World Cup 7 Announced
Dr Uwe Staroske, president of BdF (the German CC Federation), writes to announce that VWC7 will start on 1st September, 2014, with the closing date for entries 1st August. As with previous VWCs, the event will be organised in three stages, which will allow several players from each group stage to advance to the Semi-finals and Final. The number of promotions will depend on total entries received, but it is envisaged that groups at each stage will comprise 13 players (12 games) played by webserver with a rate of play of 10 moves in 40 days. Playing time in each stage will be 18 months, with a fixed closing date specified at the outset. VWCs are open to all players who are 60 years old or more at the start date of the tournament. Although the number of preliminary groups which each player may enter is unlimited, no player will qualify for more than two Semi-final groups or more than one place in the Final. Players may enter through their National Federations (the SCCA entry fee per section is £8.50) or, where eligible, via the ICCF Direct Entry system. For further information, please contact George Pyrich before mid-July.

09 Jun 14 | SM Title for Bennett
At the Executive Committee meeting in Perth on 8 June, Peter Bennett was assessed as having four SM grading norms: 2307 on the 2012/4 list (142 games); 2331 on the 2013/2 list (169 games); 2336 on the 2013/4 list (191 games); and 2302 on the 2014/1 list (213 games). Peter was proposed for the SM title by George Pyrich and was unanimously approved. Peter collected his certificate at the 2014 AGM which followed. That brings us up to 34 SMs in total (3xGM, 5xSIM, 10xIM and 16xSM). Many congratulations to Peter! In addition, Robert Montgomery was assessed as having two full SM norms.

09 Jun 14 | 2014 AGM Highlights
At the AGM in Perth on 8 June, the following items were noted:
  1. Full audited accounts showing a surplus of £142 and net assets of £10,482 were produced by Gordon Anderson.
  2. Alan Hind was reappointed as auditor.
  3. The secretary post will continue to be covered by Kevin Paine (enquiries), Jim Anderson (domestic events) and Iain Mackintosh (minutes).
  4. SCCA membership subscriptions and entry fees remain unchanged.
  5. ICCF entry fees were reduced (as expected last year) with effect from January 2014.
Members can download AGM and Executive Committee minutes from the members download page. 2013-14 Accounts can be viewed on the accounts page.

01 Jun 14 | 1st British Chess960 Championship
Austin Lockwood (WAL, and also ICCF Services Director), writes to announce the inaugural British Chess960 (aka Fischer Random Chess) tournament which will be played on the ICCF webserver with a time control of 10 moves/35 days. Entrants must be British residents and members of SCCA, WFCC or BFCC. Entry is £5; there will be no cash prizes, but the title of British Champion and a trophy will be awarded to the winner. Registration closes on 1st September and play begins on 5th October. Entry via SCCA costs £5.00. For further details, please contact George Pyrich before 22nd August.

28 May 14 | Friendly Versus Venezuela Starts
We haven't quite completed the match against Venezuela which started in 2013, but the Venezuelans are keen to have a quick rematch, so off we go again! Team captains George Pyrich and César Reyes Maldonado have added some extra boards (25 in total this time), and have shuffled their packs so that players who took part in the first match will have different opponents in this one. We've just reached the magic 22½ points mark in the first encounter, which gives us the win with three results still to be declared. Best wishes to everybody for more enjoyable chess and new acquaintances!

24 May 14 | SCCA AGM 2014
This will be held at 7 Tullylumb Terrace, Perth PH1 1BA at 4:00pm on Sunday, 8th June. Skype facilities can be made available for those unable to attend in person (please contact the president). The agenda is:
  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes of Previous AGM and Matters Arising
  3. President's Remarks
  4. Secretary's Report
  5. Treasurer's Report
  6. International Secretary's Report
  7. Election of Office Bearers
  8. Appointment of Auditor
  9. Proposed Subscriptions and Fees
  10. AOCB

08 May 14 | Burridge Wins BFCC Best Game Prize
Member Raymond Burridge recently sponsored the inaugural SCCA Best Game Prize won by Richard Beecham. So, he was pleasantly surprised to learn that he himself had won the BFCC Best Game Prize for 2013! British Champion Peter Catt judged the competition and selected Raymond's win as Black against Steve Cole in a BCCA Webserver Trio game. You can play over this game by looking up edition 125 of the SCCA Magazine where it features in the Games Column. Very well done Raymond!

06 May 14 | 6th ICCF Webchess Open Announced
Markus Hömske (FRA), ICCF Non-Title Tournaments Commissioner, writes to announce this tournament which will be played in three stages: preliminaries, semi-final and final. It's a webserver event, with preliminary sections of 7 players, and section winners will receive books or DVDs worth 20€. Semi-final winners will receive a subscription to a magazine or a book (worth about 100€), while final winners will earn cash prizes of 1st 900€, 2nd 700€, and 3rd 400€. Registration closes on 30th June and play begins in early July. Entry via SCCA costs £4.50 (note that players new to ICCF are entitled to one free section). For further details, please contact George Pyrich before 25th June.

06 May 14 | LIPEAD-40 Tournament Announced
Gino Figlio writes on behalf of the Peruvian Federation (LIPEAD) to announce the semi-final stage of the LIPEAD-40 tournament in memory of founding member Gustavo Paz y Barriga. Registration is open to players rated 2200 or above, and closes on June 1st. Play is expected to start on June 15th. This is a webserver event, time control 10/50, with groups of 13-17 players balanced by rating. Norms may be available. Entry fee is 26$ (US) or 20€, via Paypal or agreed alternative methods. Cash prizes for final winners are 1st 1,000€, 2nd 300€ and 3rd 200€. For further details, please contact George Pyrich before 25th May.

21 Apr 14 | Scotland Team for Tri-Nation Friendly Match
Captain George Pyrich has announced the team for the <2200 Tri-Nation friendly international against England and Wales which starts on May 1:
  1. Eoin Campbell
  2. Derek Price
  3. Prof Alastair Dawson
  4. Raymond Burridge
  5. Ian Jamieson
  6. Derek Coope
  7. William Cormack
  8. Alan Armstrong
  9. Andrew Macmillen
  10. Iain Campbell

21 Apr 14 | Scotland Team for 10th Euro Championship
Captain George Pyrich has announced a strong team for the European Championship due to start on June 10:
  1. IM Tom Matheis
  2. IM Iain Mackintosh
  3. GM David Kilgour
  4. Peter Bennett
  5. SM David Cumming
  6. SM Gordon Anderson
  7. Robert Montgomery
  8. SM Geoff Lloyd

11 Apr 14 | Scotland Wins Another Friendly Match!
Hard on the heels of our coupon-busting win over the Danes (26½-19½), the boys in blue have done it again, this time against Peru (21½-18½). Team captain George Pyrich reveals that he's in regular touch with Gordon Strachan to exchange coaching tips and the contact details of overseas grandmothers with colourful histories. Latest news from other matches against Spain, Australia and Germany suggest that form is indeed a temporary phenomenon...

10 Apr 14 | ICCF Grading List 2014/2 Published
The second quarterly list of 2014 is published on the website today. Look under publications/grading list to see the web page, or go to members/downloads for the pdf version. For further information, please contact George Pyrich.

10 Apr 14 | Magazine 125 Published
The first e-mag of the 2014 set is being distributed by email today. There's a delay in getting printed copies out, but I hope to have them in the post soon. As usual, members will be asked to download their e-mags from the secure Members' page on the website, while complimentary e-mags will be attached to the email. Download times will be similar to last quarter. If you have any problems with this edition, please drop me an email at: webmaster@scottishcca.co.uk and I'll do what I can to help. Enjoy the read!

05 Mar 14 | 10th European Team Championship Announced
Marco Caressa, ICCF-Europa Zonal Director, writes to announce the semi-final stage of the 10th European Team Championship. This event has been somewhat delayed due to the late finish of the previous cycle, but play is now scheduled to begin on 10th June 2014. Each participating country fields an 8-person team, and 13 teams will contest the final (the size of semi-final sections will depend on numbers entering). Games are played by webserver and there are no entry fees. Registration closes on 30th April; if you are interested in representing Scotland, then please email George Pyrich before Good Friday, April 18th.

04 Mar 14 | Friendly Versus France Starts
George Pyrich and his counterpart Laurent Tinture have concluded the pairings for another friendly match, this time versus France. The formal start date is 10 March, though play is possible now. The match is on webserver, over 23 boards. We've played France twice before: back in 1997 we started an all-postal fixture over 29 boards, losing 23-32 with 3 void ties, while more recently in 2011 we started a mixed webserver/postal match over 32 boards and were thrashed 17-47. They're still quite handy, so another tough contest awaits! Best wishes to everybody for enjoyable chess amid friendships old and new!

07 Feb 14 | ICCF Events Player Links Updated
With a relatively small active player pool in Scotland, SCCA members enter numerous ICCF and National Federation events each year (we had a record 98 such entrants during 2013). The SCCA website offers a series of pages where members can quickly link to the relevant x-tables held on the ICCF webserver. The pages are organised by the type of event, e.g. the major team tournaments (Olympiads, European Team Championships, Champions League), and popular individual events (World Championships, Norms, Master/Higher/Open Classes, World Cups, Thematics, etc.). The new ICCF Aspirers event is included this year. To access the pages, use the Events Menu, then either ICCF Team or ICCF Individual. Links are now up to date as of 31 December 2013.

01 Feb 14 | SCCA Website Hosting Change
We changed hosting suppliers last night, so some of you may have experienced an outage on Friday evening/Saturday morning. Everything seems to be connected now, but please contact the webmaster if you encounter any problems.

30 Jan 14 | ICCF Webserver Player Survey
Eric Ruch, ICCF President, writes to invite players to complete a short survey to help guide future ICCF development and services. Please click ICCF Survey to complete the questionnaire. All entrants will have a chance to enter a prize draw to win a free Direct Entry to an ICCF event of their choosing (qualifications permitting). To enter the prize draw you must record your ICCF ID on the questionnaire, however this is optional, and your responses will be treated as being confidential. The survey will close on 15th March 2014.

13 Jan 14 | ICCF European Championship Candidates 2014
Marco Caressa, ICCF-Europa Zonal Director, writes to announce the Candidates stage of the 2014 Championship. This is a webserver event and registration is open from now until 20th February. Play is scheduled to start on 15th March and sections are expected to have 13 players. The following players are eligible:
  1. a player rated 2500 or over at the time of application.
  2. the holders of the Grandmaster Title.
  3. the holders of the Senior International Master Title with a rating over 2400 at the time of application.
  4. the holders of the International Master Title with a rating over 2450 at the time of application.
  5. those participants of EU/SF 68 and 69 who achieved at least 55% scores (unless they already hold qualification under any of 1 to 4 above).
  6. the participants of previous or running Finals who have scored at least 45% of the possible points, if they have not earned a higher qualification.
Please email George Pyrich for further details and to register your interest. Entry fee via SCCA will be £12.

07 Jan 14 | ICCF Webserver Update
Austin Lockwood, ICCF Services Director, writes to update the webserver information published in SCCA Magazine 124. System changes made over the Christmas period were more extensive than anticipated, so new features are available now. Players can download a briefing document in Word or pdf format. Similarly, TOs and TDs can read their briefing in Word or pdf format.

03 Jan 14 | ICCF 3rd Chess 960 World Cup
Leonardo Madonia, ICCF Central Tournament Leader, writes to announce the 3rd Chess 960 World Cup. The event will be played by server and will be organised in three or four stages, depending from the number of the entries. The sections of the preliminary round will have 6 players (10 games) with 2 qualified for the next round. All sections will be with double round robin (players will have the same position with Black and White but all positions will defer from one opponent to another). Time control will be 10 moves for 30 days. The event will be rated for Chess 960 rating system. Registration closes on 28th February and play will start on 15th March. Entry through the SCCA qualifies for the newly reduced rate of £8.50. For further information, please contact George Pyrich.

03 Jan 14 | ICCF Grading List 2014/1 Published
The first quarterly list of 2014 is published on the website today. Look under publications/grading list to see the web page, or go to members/downloads for the pdf version. For further information, please contact George Pyrich.

03 Jan 14 | Magazine 124 Published
The fourth e-mag of the 2013 set is being distributed by email and post today. As usual, members will be asked to download their e-mags from the secure Members' page on the website, while complimentary e-mags will be attached to the email. Download times will similar to last quarter. If you have any problems with this edition, please drop me an email at: webmaster@scottishcca.co.uk and I'll do what I can to help. Enjoy the read!

03 Jan 14 | ICCF President's New Year Message
To all Correspondence Chess Friends,
As 2013 ends I should like to extend on behalf of ICCF my warmest wishes to you and all those dear to you for a very healthy, happy and successful New Year. I also wish to extend my sincere thanks to all officials and delegates for their devoted work on behalf of ICCF during the last year.
This last year has indeed been demanding for all ICCF officials and volunteers but nevertheless has proved to be successful for ICCF which has achieved substantial progress and improvement.
We have further consolidated, expanding both the website and the server (now available in eight languages and is accessible by a full range of mobile devices (smartphones, i-pads, etc.)). Whilst complete statistics for entries to all ICCF events during 2013 are not yet available, we may already confirm that the number of entries received via the Direct Entry facility has continued to increase significantly. In 2009, 687 entries were received increasing to 1,349 in 2011 and now to 1,670 for the first 11 months of 2013 (more than 5 entries every day!). Additionally more than 1,000 entries were received for ICCF World Cup 20 which started in 2013, a very significant increase over the total of 749 received for the last server World Cup which started in 2011. As Entry Fees for all ICCF events will be reduced on average by 25% from 1 January 2014, we may be optimistic in anticipating further increases to entries in coming years!
The 2013 ICCF Congress in Krakow approved a number of major decisions which will now be implemented in 2014: revised time controls (including the introduction of incremental time or the Fischer clock), the removal of special leave and increase of normal leave allocation in new events starting after 1 January 2014, the introduction of table base claims, the introduction of a new rating system for Chess960 tournaments, etc.
We will devote the coming year to the consolidation of the server and the website as it is now in order to allow players, tournament directors, organizers and all officials to utilize further all the possibilities of this powerful tool. Additionally in 2014 we do not intend to introduce major changes to either the Playing or Tournament Rules and instead shall seek to assess and evaluate the implementation of the changes to the ICCF Rules approved at the 2013 ICCF Congress. At present we anticipate that a period of at least two years will be required to in order to evaluate changes, obtain feedback from users and proceed with any necessary adjustments.
Leaving aside further developments to the ICCF server and rules will instead allow us during 2014 to consider the long term future of ICCF and seek to define a strategic plan for future years. You may expect to be advised more about these issues during the coming weeks.
I look forward to meeting you in Sydney in October for the 2014 ICCF Congress to be hosted for the first time by the Correspondence Chess League of Australia.
In closing, let me once again extend to you my best wishes for the New Year. I hope that 2014 will bring satisfaction in all your endeavors, personal, professional and chess!
Amici Sumus,
Eric Ruch
ICCF President