5th to 12th October 2002 The ICCF Congress 2002, in conjunction with meetings of the Presidium and Commissioners, took place in the Quinta Valenciana, Fernao Ferro (Municipality of Seixal), Portugal from 5th to 12th October 2002.
The Congress was arranged by the "Comissão Nacional de Xadrez por Correspondéncia" (CNXC), supported by generous sponsorship from the "Municipío do Seixal".
Participants of the Congress, and accompanying families and friends, were offered a programme of events, including excursions to Lisbon and the local area. There was also the traditional ICCF Blitz Tournament and a chess match against players from the Seixal area of Portugal.
Congress participants (memberships of Commissions are listed in Appendix K) Angel Acevedo Villalba (PER) as delegate
Luz Marina Tinjaca' Ramírez (ITA) as delegation member and as ICCF Assistant Webmaster (web tables)
Dr. Héctor R. Tepper (ARG) as delegate with proxy for Uruguay
Guillermo F. Toro Solis de Ovando (CHI) as delegate with proxies for Guatemala and Nicaragua
Georg Walker (SWZ) as delegate and as Assistant Treasurer
Ragnar Wikman (FIN) as Honorary Member, as delegation member and as ICCF Deputy President (Rules)
Prof. Max Zavanelli (USA) as delegate with proxies for Australia and Hong Kong
Opening the Congress, the ICCF President, Alan Borwell (SCO), referred to the contribution which international correspondence chess made in generating greater friendship between peoples throughout the World and that every effort should be made to further develop and promote such ideals, to enhance the peaceful existence of all nations.
Sadly, since the previous Congress, ICCF had lost many friends, including ICCF Honorary President, Henk J. Mostert (NLD). The President referred to the immense contribution which Mr. Mostert had made to CC in his own country and then with ICCF, including 17 years as a Vice-President, 6 years as General Secretary and 10 years as ICCF President, before his retirement in 1996, when he was elected as ICCF Honorary President.
He also paid special tributes to Karlis Vitols (LAT), who was host for the 1998 Riga Congress, Carlos Ros Miro (ESP) who had been delegate for Spain for 30 years and Editor of Mate Postal magazine since it started in 1974, and André Giraudet (FRA), who was an ICCF Vice President from 1979-83 and host for the 1982 Congress in Paris. All had died in the last year, as had Milan Jovcic (YUG), Dietmar Pillhock (NLD), Dr. Franz Thannhauser (OST) and Jack Collins (USA). Congress stood in silence, in honour of them and of all departed CC friends.
The ICCF President spoke about the rich history of correspondence chess in Portugal, which dated back for some 80 years, although CNXC was not constituted as an autonomous CC federation for Portugal, until 1983. Teams from Portugal played in the first Olympiad of European teams and then in the first CC Olympiad, achieving a creditable fourth place in the Finals of both events. He mentioned that a player from Oporto, Alexandre Gonçalves, had achieved a famous victory over Cecil Purdy, which was one of the only two defeats which the 1st World CC Champion, ever suffered throughout his illustrious CC career. The ICCF President also referred to GM Luis Santos, who performed exceptionally well in the 13th World CC Championship and had been in the top 5 rated players of the World for some 15 years and to Portugal’s other GM Álvaro Pereira, organiser of the Seixal Congress and to the significant number of other CC titleholders for a relatively small country!
The ICCF President then welcomed all new CC friends to the Congress. He referred in particular, to the FIDE Delegate, David Jarrett and his wife Valentina – the first occasion that a FIDE official had visited an ICCF Congress since Prof. Dr. Max Euwe had attended in Arnhem in 1972. The President welcomed delegates from South Africa, Kazakhstan and Mexico, the first time that these countries had been represented at an ICCF Congress, and to delegates from other continents, particularly the very good representation from Latin America. He also welcomed the many partners and families accompanying delegates.
For his customary theme for the Congress, the ICCF President referred to the imminent publication of the ICCF Jubilee book, “ICCF Gold”, and emphasised that this celebration of ICCF’s first 50 years, needed to be taken forward with a spirit of celebration, but also with a unity of purpose and spirit of adventure to ensure that the next 50 years would be even more successful for ICCF.
The ICCF President then declared the 2002 ICCF Congress, duly opened.