News Archive 2000

Last updated 14 December 2000

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100 Club
We are keen to sell more units to assist with general fund-raising. There are two prizes per month, and you can buy units at 1 per month - refer the General section (left).

ChessBase Reviews
Bernard Milligan has been busy analysing the latest release from the ChessBase stable - you'll find his first impressions of 8.0 alongside the 7.0 series under Features (left).

Puzzle Page
We're now running a puzzle on the home page, which will be updated weekly. The main puzzle page will continue to be added to also. The idea of using the home page was plagiarised from John Glendinning of the SCA and the Braingames site - thanks to both!

Membership Forms for 2001
These are now being distributed to members and chess organisations, and our website entry form has also been updated to allow you to apply online. Note that annual membership fees are down this year due to the savings we expect to make by publishing the magazine on the web. Entry fees for all tournaments have been held at last year's rates, so this year's package represents very good value - and remember that SCCA members have unlimited free email chess also!

IM Title for Tom Craig
Confirmation has been received that Tom Craig's IM title will be awarded at the ICCF Congress in Florida during September. Congratulations!!

David Ellis
The SCCA was saddened to hear of the sudden death of David Ellis this week after a short illness. He was participating in the 2000-2001 Championship, and had finished second to Simon Gillam in the 1998-99 event, winning his individual game against the champion. We send our condolences to his family and his many chess friends.

ICCF Tournaments
A full cross-listing of Scottish teams and individuals playing in ICCF events has now been added. Direct links are provided to tables updated by the ICCF tournament directors so that results are always current. Check out the International and ICCF sections (left).

SCCA Message Board
Our site can now let you post a message or respond to someone else's comments. Follow the link under External (left). The board is hosted free by an American supplier, so apologies for the banner advertising! We look forward to your postings, and please keep them clean!

Bernard Partridge Memorial Final
13 players have now reached the final stage of the BPM, with play set to commence on 1st July. Full semi-final results are now posted, and the cross-table for the final can also be viewed - refer Bernard Partridge pages (left). 7 Germans, 2 Belgians, 2 English, 1 Dane and 1 Norwegian will contest the trophy - watch for results updates on this site!

AGM Update
The Annual General Meeting of the SCCA was held at 4pm on Sunday 11th June in the Ginger Jar Coffee Shop, Galashiels. The main issues were:
  1. David Kilgour stepped down as President after a two-year term, and received a warm vote of thanks for his work and leadership from the executive committee.
  2. The new committee consists of Iain Mackintosh (President), George Pyrich (Vice President and ICCF Delegate), Iain Sneddon (Secretary and Treasurer), Jim Anderson (Assistant Secretary), Tom Thomson (International Secretary), Raymond Baxter (Grading Officer), Bernard Milligan (Publicity and Membership), and Alan Borwell (Magazine Editor).
  3. Alan Borwell initimated that he would be standing down as magazine editor after the 2000 winter edition is published. Alan received a generous tribute for the high quality of his editorship, extending over 21 years.
  4. The new committee resolved to develop internet facilities more fully during 2000 and beyond, in particular to electronically publish the magazine and to host email tournaments.
  5. Subscription rates for 2001 were set at 80 (Life), 8 (Annual, internet magazine), and 13 (Annual, magazine extracts on paper). There were no changes to tournament fees, and SCCA members will receive free entry to SCCA email events.

ICCF President Alan Borwell Interviewed
One of the most significant SCCA events of recent years was the election of Alan Borwell as ICCF President at the Buenos Aires Congress in September 1997, succeeding Henk Mostert of the Netherlands. Alan had acted as SCCA President for 20 years, and was the past ICCF Treasurer. Here we reprint the text of an interview conducted between Alan and incoming SCCA President, David Kilgour. The interview below was first published in the Autumn 1997 edition of the SCCA Magazine.
Kilgour: Alan, perhaps you could tell readers something about yourself, mainly for those who have not met you, and when your interest in chess started, particularly your interest in correspondence chess.
Borwell: My cousin showed me the moves, but I was a late starter to chess at around age 14. However, within 3 years I had won the York Club Championship and was top board of the York team. In 1964, we won the National Club Championship, defeating Oxford University in the final (top board was Penrose v Haygarth, joint British champions!). It was during National Service in the RAF that my interest in correspondence chess began about 40 years ago, when I was asked to play for Yorkshire in the Ward Higgs Counties Postal Championship. I also formed a team to represent York Chess Club in the BCCA League, and played in B H Wood's Postal Chess Club, winning the Individual Championship in 1963, just before moving to Scotland for business reasons in 1965.
Kilgour: How did you become involved with postal chess in Scotland?
Borwell: When I came to Scotland, I was really more active as an over-the-board player. In my first year in Edinburgh, I was runner-up to Adrian Hollis in the East of Scotland Championship and represented Scotland in the British Chess Championship in Sunderland in 1966. In the 1970s, I was an SCA Council Member and SCA Secretary for several years, but began playing more postal chess, mostly internationally. This was more compatible with my profession, which involved a considerable amount of travelling and long working hours. Surprisingly, I always found postal chess relaxing after a long day at the office!
Kilgour: Do you have any Scottish roots?
Borwell: My grandmother's maiden name was McGhee and she was born in Aberdeen, but my father was very much a Yorkshireman. However, I have always felt that there is a close affinity between the Scots and the Northerners. I heard recently that in some parts of the world I am referred to as "the Highlander", but I think this is stretching my ancestry a bit too far! My wife Moira also derives from the McKay clan - maybe that is why we understand each other so well (most of the time!). I like to wear my McKay tartan ties, but have stopped short of buying a kilt. (After the comments about my knees on the Iguazu excursion, I have definitely decided against such an investment!).
Kilgour: Alan, I know that you have just been elected as the ICCF President. I wish you all the best in this role and I am sure all of our members would agree that you will do a good job. What period is the office for, or is it until you wish to retire?
Borwell: Thank you for your kind comments and good wishes. At the moment, I am not really thinking about retirement, but it is one of my "ideals" that ICCF should have a retirement age of 70 for all officials. There is a danger that officials in many organisations continue for too long and we need to encourage younger, capable people to take responsibility sooner. There will be elections again in 1999 for all ICCF Praesidium Members and at four-yearly intervals thereafter - certainly I do not envisage being President of ICCF for as long as I was for the SCCA!
Kilgour: ICCF has moved forward at the recent Congress with many new initiatives. What other changes would you like to see over your term in office as President? (The ICCF website contains the Minutes of the Congress - refer Chess Links).
Borwell: I do agree with you that ICCF is now responding actively to meet the challenges and opportunities of the modern world, especially in terms of communications and technological advancements. We are currently considering further developments, particularly for promoting CC more effectively in the continents outside Europe. This year's historic Congress in Argentina was highly successful, and I am sure will result in a significant increase in international CC activity throughout Latin America. We must also stimulate a similar response from Africa and Asia, and ICCF will be providing financial and other assistance to help to achieve really positive outcomes. Of course, the rapidly increasing interest in Email chess will provide a great springboard for ICCF to continue to develop and diversify into the new Millenium.
Kilgour: What duties does the President have, or is the role more strategic, looking forward?
Borwell: Certainly I intend to be an active and working President, and in Argentina it has already been agreed that my duties should include the responsibility for Strategic and Financial Planning. I have lots of ideas, but believe very much in teamwork, and I will consult properly with my Praesidium colleagues and member federations on all major issues. Under the new Statutes of ICCF, all Praesidium Members are expected to have meaningful and active roles.
Kilgour: Do you think there will be any changes in the way that correspondence chess is played in the next ten years? I have played in a few Email events, but find the speed of play a little quick with all the other games that I play at correspondence chess to manage as well. Do you think that we will all have to play by Email in forty years (if chess is played at all), or will there still be a demand for correspondence play?
Borwell: Gradually, I can envisage that play by Email could become more popular and predominant than by air mail. However, as you say, the speed of play by Email can be too quick and I think we will need to ensure that we provide a framework of tournaments to suit players' needs and preferences. However, it is well known that many ICCF events in the past have taken far too long to complete, and this has left many players frustrated and rather disillusioned with CC. Therefore, we must harness the new technologies to help us speed up our traditional tournaments so that they can be completed in more acceptable timescales. In future, I would hope that all tournaments can be completed within a maximum of say 3 years, and many within a shorter timespan. Forty years is a long time, but, providing CC players enjoy their games and the friendships they generate, then I can only see a bright future.
Kilgour: How does an organisation like ICCF manage to communicate when all the members of the committees live all over the world?
Borwell: It has been a problem sometimes in the past, but now nearly all Praesidium Members and officials have Email, and this has greatly assisted discussion and planning during recent months. For example, there were several very important issues which needed careful consideration and discussion prior to the Congress in Argentina. The availability of Email, I am sure, contributed significantly to their successful resolution - sometimes more than a dozen messages and answers being exchanged with colleagues in an evening!
Kilgour: Will ICCF have more tournaments, and, if so, will the current structure be kept?
Borwell: I think that the answer to both these questions will be "yes", but we are actively considering whether to make some changes to our range of traditional promotion tournaments and also to developing more Email events.
Kilgour: What are your views about official ICCF Magazines or publications - do you have any plans for these in the future?
Borwell: Currently, there are two international CC magazines; the long-established, well regarded Fernschach International published in Germany, and the excellent new publication Chess Mail from Ireland. Until last year, there were Correspondence Chess Yearbooks (from Italy) and Correspondence Chess Informators (from Ukraine) but, rather sadly, both of these were discontinued. For the new Millenium, ICCF will be producing and publishing a book about Correspondence Chess under a project described as "ICCF 2000". We will be actively looking at other ways to publish information about ICCF, its activities, tournaments and games, so indeed you can expect some future developments!
Kilgour: Well Alan, thank you for this interview and for giving our readers more of an insight into your background, the workings of ICCF, and your role and intentions as President - we wish you every success!