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Saturday, October 2, 2010

World Correspondence Championship

I ran across an interesting site called Total Replay that allows you to replay online correspondence games from the world CC Championships as well as some other  major CC events. A brief history of “modern” CC play:
The Internationaler Fernschachbund (IFSB) was founded in Berlin in 1928 by 4 Germans and a Dutch player and organized about 200 CC tournaments in Europe during the 1930’s. Every year from 1929-38, a Bundesmeisterschaft (German Open) began. Eduard Dyckhoff, Marcel Duchamp and Paul Keres were the best known winners. The IFSB remained neutral towards Nazism and the war began, CC continued, but the main organizers were chess journals.
     The last Bundesmeister was Edmund Adam who, after the war, ran into problems but when it appeared that he had been in a concentration camp, he was allowed to take part in the world championship’s final in 1950. Adam was the winner of the last Bundesmeisterschaft.
     Olaf Barda (1909 – 1971) was the first Norwegian awarded the title of International Master in 1952. He won the Norwegian Championship six times under his birth name, Olaf Olsen. Barda won the Norwegian correspondence chess championships in 1946 and 1949/1950 and received the title of CC Grandmaster in 1953.

     You’ll notice the crosstable shows US Master and early Bobby Fischer mentor, John W. Collins, played but didn’t score too well. The 2nd World CC Championship was won by Soviet GM Ragozin followed by Endzelins and Lothar Schmid.
     There follows a horrible game from the first World CC Championship of 1950 between Barda and Adam. What makes this game interesting is mostly the fact that it’s a 24 move long blunderfest. I can’t imagine such a game being played in an event of this level today what with computers and all.

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