65th WCCC – Highlights and Decisions

65th World Congress of Chess Composition

Batumi, Georgia
September 2-9, 2023

31 member countries were present, 4 of them via Zoom connection.

Armenia was welcomed as the 44th member country of the Federation.

Legal and financial matters: Attempts to open an official WFCC bank account have been continuing in Fujairah, where the WFCC main office was opened. The urgent expenses in 2023 were covered from the Fujairah Government financial support of 5.000 EUR. Some other proposals to assure WFCC financial stability will be discussed during 2024.

Sanctions on Russia and Belarus: The WFCC meeting confirmed the continuation of the earlier sanctions decided in 2022, until further notice: a) Individual solvers from Russia/Belarus are allowed to participate in ECSC/WCSC if they appear without country designations or under the FIDE flag. No RUS/BLR team result is applicable; b) The results of new solving tournaments (including ISC Cat.1 & Cat.2) organized in Russia and Belarus are not included in the calculation of solvers’ ratings.

WCCT: It was decided to continue discussion about proposals for rules change. While the idea was considered logical, a number of negative points were found, like difficulty of understanding, inability for manual checking, potential dependence on small changes in marks.

To avoid potential conflicts with the FIDE Album schedule the 12th WCCT should be started in 2024 or 2025. Decisions were made to initiation the search for the Director, and to ask for proposals for themes and judging possibilities from member countries.

WCCI: New spokesman Marco Guida and the WCCI 2022-24 Director Narayan Shankar Ram had done most of the hard work before the WCCC 2023 meeting. In several months they had completed a proposal for a panel of all 40 potential judges for the WCCI 2022-24, taking care about many different aspects, including broadening the base of WFCC Member Countries providing judges for WCCI. Approximately 150 composers/judges from 47 countries had been screened, 67 of them from 37 countries have been invited and finally 40 from 27 countries have kindly accepted (in writing). The complete panel was discussed within the WCCI Committee and preliminarily accepted. This list will not be published and will remain unofficial until the official announcement.

The WCCI Committee suggested a new text of the General Rules for WCCI to be published on the WFCC website, in replacement of the obsolete text. The new text was essentially taken from the WCCI 2019-21 Announcement, with some minor formal amendments and a revision of the portion of text that sets some general criteria for the selection of judges to account for real world constraints and opportunities (e.g. removing the requirement that judges shall be ranked among the top-15 in the previous WCCI). 

An initial discussion concerning the future of WCCI (beyond 2024) will be continued in the future WCCI Committee Meetings.

FIDE Album: All sections of the current FIDE Album 2019-21, except for the endgame studies, have been finalized. In section D, the judge Branislav Djurašević was late (he has scored 2/3 of the studies up to the end of September). The director and the spokesman have decided that Jan Sprenger will score the rest of the studies.

After reviewing the proposal by Vlaicu Crişan and Narayan Shankar Ram of 2022, the committee suggested to the Assembly that the fairies section of the next Album 2022-24 should include a new group (sub-section) G3 for help-self problems only. Several delegates expressed doubt or concern for it, or suggested some alternative split of the judges’ workload in section G. The spokesman Harry Fougiaxis stated that the committee will revisit the issue in the next congress with the intention to ask the delegates to vote.

Starting with the 2022-24 Album, it was unanimously decided that together with the results of each section, the final spreadsheet will be also posted with the TOTAL score of each composition. Scores of the individual judges will NOT be shown. Selection of directors and judges for the 2022-24 Album has started.

The committee agreed with Narayan Shankar Ram’s suggestion that an updated errata list of all Albums should be made available. This is a major project and requires time. The committee did not support the suggestion made by Igor Yarmonov regarding the change of the submission limit for problemists who have a lot of joint compositions with other composers.

Compositions with mathematical content will have to be submitted to the fairies section.

The suggestion by Bedrich Formánek and Juraj Brabec regarding the use of Z-System in the albums will be discussed in the next congress, when the editor is present.

Solving: Four changes were accepted, and two of them got slightly different formulations after the Congress. It was decided to amend Rule 4.3 of the WCSC/ECSC Rules (changes in bold): “A country may nominate three more solvers from extra categories, one of each from (juniors, women, seniors) out of this quota. For the junior’s / women’s / senior’s championship juniors / women / seniors from the regular national quota compete as well.”

The Rules 8 a) & 8 b) were extended with new sentences at the bottom of each paragraph (exact wording may still be changed):

a) In a moremover with a threat, it may be that a Black defence leads to a variation with the same White next move(s) as in the threat, but a continuation (up to and including White’s penultimate move) that diverges from that of the threat line – this variation must be written.

b) In a selfmate moremover with a threat, it may be that a Black defence leads to a variation with the same White next move(s) as in the threat, but a continuation (up to and including White’s last move) that diverges from that of the threat line – this variation must be written.

In the Guidelines for directors of solving tournaments, changes were made in the Point 6 (changes in bold):

6. Selection of problems

All the problems and studies must be:

– originals;

– or published problems at least six years old;

– or modified published problems (correction, versions, etc.) at least six years old. Mirroring is not recommended as solvers easily recognize them if they know the original problem;

– not used in previous rated solving tournaments (especially WCSC, ECSC and ISC). Check the website of the WFCC and the Solving Tournament Database.

– not used in previous solving tournaments with the exception of a maximum of two problems which were not used in previous solving tournaments in the last 10 years and not at all in any WCSC, ECSC, ISC or tournaments in the same country. Check the Solving Tournament Database of the STM.

Criteria of acceptability of tournaments at which ratings and norms can be gained were changed in the part R4 (new text in bold): At least 12 problems of different types must be presented to the solvers. This slight change prevents a case when an incorrect problem may reduce the needed number of problems.

Youth: The 7th Youth Chess Composing Challenge attracted 42 participants from 16 countries with 64 entries, and included 7 out of the 10 best young solvers according to the July 2023 rating list. The Youth Committee expressed satisfaction with the rise in quality and suggested a few novelties for the 8th YCCC 2024. One of them is to introduce prizes for the five best representatives from five different countries. Two additional competitions for juniors will be included in 2024: Synthetics (proposed and directed by Vlaicu Crișan), and an online Solving Challenge (proposed and directed by Brian Cook).

Studies: Yochanan Afek informed about the new technical method of producing long endgames, with little or no creativity needed. It is based on simple and fast mining on a 7-men tablebase. The new method raises the questions of authorship and evaluation of the products of mining. The 1st Prize from the latest FIDE World Cup 2023 was mentioned as an extreme example.

Codex: Andrew Buchanan had made a number of proposals concerning the Codex. All of them were discussed, but no decisions were made this year, as some more proposals are announced for 2024.

New titles:

  • International Grandmaster of the FIDE for Chess Compositions: Mikola Kolesnik (UKR), Václav Kotěšovec(CZE), Gennady Kozyura (UKR), Pavel Murashev (RUS), Abdelaziz Onkoud (FRA), Manfred Rittirsch (GER)
  • International Master of the FIDE for Chess Compositions: Eric Huber (ROU), Anatoly Skripnik (RUS), Mihailo Stojnić (SRB), Dmitry Turevsky (RUS), Igor Yarmonov (UKR)
  • FIDE Master for Chess Compositions: Marcin Banaszek (GER), Sergey Bilyk (RUS), Oleg Efrosinin (RUS), Volker Gülke (GER), Kenan Velikhanov (AZE), Viktor Zaitsev (BLR), Saturnin Limbach (POL)(†), upon request by the country, Dawid Przepiórka (POL)(†), upon request by the country
  • International Solving Grandmaster of the FIDE: Ural Khasanov (RUS)
  • International Solving Master of the FIDE: KevinasKuznecovas (LTU), Ulrich Voigt (GER)
  • FIDE Solving Master: Mihnea Costachi (ROU), Jakub Marciniszyn (POL), Nikita Ushakov (RUS)
  • International Judge of the FIDE for Chess Compositions: Vlaicu Crişan (ROU) – fairies, retros and helpmates, Gérard Doukhan (FRA) – twomovers and threemovers, Paul Răican (ROU) – retros and fairies, Manfred Rittirsch (GER) – extension to helpmates

Bernd Ellinghoven (Germany) was nominated Honorary Member.

Statutes changes: In order to adjust to demands of time and allow easier work, two changes were suggested by the Presidium and accepted (changes in bold):

Page 8, Point 9.1 Presidium members:

The Presidium appoints the Treasurer.

Page 12, Annex II: Detailed rules for the admission and expulsion of Member Countries:

Visible activity in the composing or solving of chess problems or studies must exist in a country applying for admission to the WFCC.

Solving in the context of FIDE Youth events: Dinu-Ioan Nicula presented a proposal for official solving competitions in the context of FIDE Youth World Championships, from 2024 on. The proposal was prepared by a working group, in agreement with Akaki Iashvili, FIDE Special Tasks Director, chair of the FIDE Events Commission.

20th International Solving Contest (ISC) on 21 January 2024, central organizers Luc Palmans and Arvydas Mockus.

17th European Chess Solving Championship (ECSC) iHagen, Germany 19-21 April 2024.

66th World Congress of Chess Composition (WCCC) and 47th World Chess Solving Championship (WCSC): the deadline for bids extended till October 15, decision postponed for the WFCC online Meeting.

Comments are closed.