WFCC online Meeting, 8th November 2023
30 Member Countries took part in the WFCC online Meeting that was mostly devoted to discussion about the future WFCC events and the host of the 66th WCCC and 47th WCSC 2024.
At the beginning, the FIDE Album Committee spokesman Harry Fougiaxis announced the new title-holders in chess composition:
- Grandmaster: Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen (DEN)
- International Master: Karen Sumbatyan (RUS)
- FIDE Masters: Sergiy Didukh (UKR), Daniel Keith (FRA), Jan Sprenger (GER), Aleksandr Stavrietsky (RUS)
These norms were fulfilled according to the results of the Section D (endgames) of the FIDE Album 2019-2021, published on 4th November.→read more: WSC rules and discussion by country…
Assembly was informed about the new sentence in the Rules for the World Solving Cup, Point 4, proposed by Roland Ott:
“Organisers should try to avoid holding their tournament on the same weekend as another WSC tournament that has already been published”.
During a short discussion, Neal Turner was against this kind of restriction for the WSC organizers, claiming it has already been rejected in Batumi, and should be rejected again. Other delegates, including Georgy Evseev, Kjell Widlert and Harry Fougiaxis, thought differently, that new formulation isn’t mandatory at all, that it’s only a good reminder. At the end, this additional sentence was accepted.
Marjan Kovačević presented the latest version of Calendar of composing tournaments, prepared and compiled by Kenneth Solja. He urged delegates to contribute to it, in order to complete the final goal, an official WFCC Calendar on the WFCC website.
The main discussion, about the situation in each country, and about the future WFCC events, took a long time and the whole Meeting lasted around two and half hours. The first ones to talk were delegates who presented bids to organize the WCCC & WCSC 2024.
Marcos Roland (the Rio de Janeiro bid) described his attempts to popularize chess composition in Rio and Brasilia trough the series of online lectures and solving competitions. He stressed the problem of presenting helpmates and selfmates to newcomers, and suggested these genres should be omitted in the competitions for beginners – a topic left for future meetings to be discussed.
Harry Fougiaxis, who offered the bid for Rhodes, informed about the Solving Cup to be simultaneously happening in several cities in Greece. He expressed opinion that tradition of ECSC, WCCC and WCSC each year shouldn’t be broken. In order to assure having hosts for ECSC, Harry suggested that some countries from the Central Europe should step forward and say they are ready to organize it. He thinks the suitable location and short weekend program would allow this competition to keep going and attract many participants.
Julia Vysotska explained she wanted to organize in Jurmala a Congress she would like: a kind of summer festival in an enjoyable and friendly atmosphere. Another important reason was to give a chance to young solvers she has been gathering during the last seven years, having in mind a lack of support from local chess federation. For the same reason, she supported organizing ECSC in easy to get destinations in Central Europe.
This long-lasting session was interrupted after speeches of some other delegates, to execute secret voting while all participants were still present. Out of 30 delegates in the Zoom Meeting 21 gave vote to Jurmala, four to Rhodes and three to Rio de Janeiro. One delegate didn’t vote and one was abstained. After adding two more votes sent by email, Jurmala convincingly won straight majority with 23 votes from 32 delegates.
With such a wide support, we will be preparing for a memorable Congress in Latvia, from 27th July to 3rd August 2024!
After the voting some delegates had to leave, while others continued the review by countries.→read more: discussion by country…
When it comes to difficulties chess composition faces, many delegates regretted not having better connections with their chess federations. A sense of general agreement was felt in the hopes that FIDE would accept official solving competitions in the context of the World Youth Chess Championship. Although Polish solvers have a relatively good position in their chess federation, Piotr Górski was also insisting on the same goal, as a good way to increase interest of the national chess federations.
Opinions about having both ECSC and WCSC each year were divided, with majority supporting it. As some of the reasons to keep the tradition, Harry Fougiaxis named chances to gain the highest solving norms, and possibility of having 4th solver in the ECSC team.
Marjan Kovačević thought two competitions per year increase organizing and financial burden, while the lack of interested hosts leaves WFCC no real possibility to control the standard of events. He insisted there should be a competition of at least two bids for each event.
Marko Klasinc suggested having WCSC and ECSC every second year, with additional competitions, such as Fairy solving. From his point of view, both competitions had a higher importance at the times before the World Solving Cup where solving norms could be gained now.
Other options to reduce costs of both events were mentioned too. Pavel Kamenik suggested ECSC to be organized simultaneously in several countries, while Dinu-Ioan Nicula strictly opposed this idea, putting under question the regularity of such events. From his side, Dinu-Ioan suggested reducing number of solvers in ECSC teams to three. He gladly announced the strong intention to organize WCCC 2025 in the year of centenary of Romanian chess federation.
17 delegates took part in this review by countries. Many of them shared the same list of difficulties: chess composition societies are getting older and smaller; the numbers of magazines and publications are reducing, and there is no adequate support from chess federations.
For a difference, Bjørn Enemark reported about the first youth solving championship in Dеnmark and continuation of the Thema Danicum magazine in PDF form; Shankar Ram explained Indian chess composers activities in other countries (The Problemist, Julia’s Fairies …);. Yochanan Afek told good news the Variantim has been published in both PDF and paper form, and endgame study has been flourishing in Israel (including Yehuda Hoch coming back after 25 years).
Italian composers are not many but Marco Guida reported they have regular weekly Skype meetings and prepare two magazines in PDF form: Sinfonie Scacchistiche and Best Problems. As Vidmantas Satkus explained, apart from keeping their magazine Šachmatija in both PDF and paper form, Lithuanian solvers have an excellent position. They have a separate sports organization out of the chess federation, with a direct support from their government. Romania is another example of good position in national Sport organization, thanks to personal involvement of Dinu-Ioan Nicula in national chess federation.
This Zoom Meeting was excellently organized by the secretary Mohammad Alhallak. He also replaced the UAE delegate Abdulla Ali Aal Barket in presenting optimistic plans about development of solving in the UAE, in neighboring countries and in the whole Asia.
Marjan Kovačević, WFCC president