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ICCF tournament play is conducted via three modes of correspondence move transmission.

  • By far the largest and most popular mode is now Webchess (Webserver chess) with transmission of moves via the ICCF Webserver at a nominal time limit of 10 moves over 50 days.
  • Email transmission is still supported in a limited number of sections (same time limit as Webchess) as email sections are requested by the entrants.
  • Traditional Postal (snail-mail) transmission sections are still available in some tournaments at a transmission rate of 10 moves over 30 days. Due to the limited number of postal players sections will fill very slowly and you may have a long wait for a section to start, if they fill at all.

Tournaments for All

Whatever your aspirations in correspondence chess, ICCF has a tournament for you!

Ascension Tourneys provide a chance for players to find their level of play and meet new international opponents while working toward master level. Thematic tourneys allow players to experiment with new openings. Master and Grandmaster Norm Tournaments give opportunities for the serious player to earn the coveted titles of ICCF International Master, ICCF Senior International Master and for the best, ICCF International Grandmaster.

Another path to titles and to the ultimate prize is the World Correspondence Chess Championships (WCCC) where by outstanding results in other tourneys you may qualify to the Preliminary round or Semifinals and win your way into the Candidates where the top qualifiers make the Finals and the ultimate victor is crowned World Correspondence Chess Champion. High rated and titled players may also qualify to directly enter the Prliminary, Semifinal or Candidates rounds. Perhaps you prefer team tournaments or cup tournaments or even prize sections. Throw in a mix of special tournaments as announced and you will find a rich milieu of playing opportunities.

ICCF Open Tournaments

Short descriptions of the major open ICCF Tournaments follow. See the  ICCF New Events  page for current sections forming and official Tournament Announcements with complete qualification and prize information.

    • World Ascension Tournaments - International "class" competition at three levels (Open, Higher and Master) with winners qualifying to the next level.
    • rook LEVELS OF PLAY
      • Master Class - 11 player sections open to winners of Higher Class sections and those nominated as qualified by their national federations.
      • Higher Class - 7 player sections open to winners of Open Class sections and those nominated as qualified by their national federations.
      • Open Class - 7 player sections open to all. (First, Second and Third Classes have been combined as of January 1, 2000)
    • Master Norm – 13 player sections for players with ratings above 2300 Fixed (30+ ICCF games) or 2350 unfixed play for an International Master (IM) [or Senior International Mater (SIM)] norm.

    • Grandmaster Norm – 13 player sections for players with ratings above 2450 Fixed (30+ ICCF games) or 2500 unfixed play for a Grandmaster (GM) norm.

    • World Cup Tournaments – 7-11 player sections open to all players (organized about once a year). Winners advance to Semifinals and Finals. Winners of Finals receive Cup and the IM title. If conditions are met, title norms and qualifications for the World CC Championship Semifinal may be earned.

    • Money Prize Tournaments – New in 2007, 9 player sections open to all players. Winners receive 200 CHF and second place 100 CHF. Direct Entry(DE) only. No entry through ICCF-US.

    • Thematic Tournaments - Play begins with a fixed opening and then the competitors take over from there. This style of competition has been very popular amongst European players for quite some time.

    • NAPZ Tournaments - Competition amongst players from Australia, Japan, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and the United States. All matches in NAPZ events are conducted in English. The NAPZ organizes seven player section webserver tournaments, team webserver tournaments and email tournaments. All US citizens are eligible to compete in the NAPZ and there is no membership fee.

      If you are a citizen of Australia, Japan, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Hong Kong, or Singapore your country secretary will organize their country's registration for all NAPZ email events. Please visit the ICCF information page to obtain Country Secretary contact information. Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Canada also have web sites. Links to these country sites can be found on the Links page.

      For a list of current NAPZ tournament crosstables, go to:
      North American/Pacific Zone (NAPZ) Tournaments Index.

    • Team Tournaments -Players get the opportunity to represent the USA in teams of ten to one hundred in play against other nations in the ICCF world. Team events are two games in duration and offer players a unique opportunity to meet others around the world that share their love of the game.

How to Enter

Entry into all of the ICCF tournaments (except Money Prize Tournaments) may be made through the  ICCF-US Order form or through  Direct Entry (DE). For NAPZ and non-regularly scheduled tournaments, follow the directions in the announcement for entry.

Please contact the ICCF-US office if you have any questions about tournament entry or player rankings. Remember, you can't get a ranking if you don't join!


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