ICCF TOURNAMENT PLAY
ICCF tournament play is conducted via three modes of correspondence move transmission.
- By far the largest and most popular (and nearly exclusive) 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.
The rules of play are available at the
ICCF Web Site. There are separate rules for postal and
email played in individual or team events.
Tournaments for All
Whatever your aspirations in correspondence chess, ICCF has a tournament for you!
Promotion 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 Promotion Tournaments - International "class" competition
at three levels (Open, Higher and Master) with winners qualifying to the next level.
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)
- Aspirer Tournaments - 7 player sections for players with ratings 1599 or below.
- 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.
- Chess 960 Tournaments - 5 player rated (960 ratings are separate from your "chess" rating)
sections for players who want to play the chess variant Chess 960.
- Thematic Tournaments - Play begins with a fixed opening
(click Thematics for current choices)
and then the competitors take over from there. This
style of competition has been very popular amongst European players
for quite some time.
- World Zone Tournaments - Competition amongst players from the Americas and Pacific
area countries. World Zone has been formed to provide new opportunities for the players in these countries
to play and achieve ICCF Title Norms. See the World Zone Website
for World Zone tournament opportunities. All US citizens are eligible to compete in the World Zone
and there is no membership fee.
- Friendly Team Tournaments -Players get the opportunity to represent the USA
in teams of ten to more than one hundred in play against other nations in the ICCF world.
Team play consists of two games against a closely rated opponent from the opposing country
and offer players a unique opportunity to
meet others around the world that share their love of the game.
ICCF-US Invitational Tournaments
ICCF-US will also hold tournaments only open to those invited or otherwise qualified..
The United States Correspondence Chess Championship (USCCC) is the only
regularly scheduled such event and crowns the Correspondence Chess Champion of the United States. Other tournaments
in this category will normally be International Invitationals aimed at providing opportunities for
some of our higher rated players to obtain GM, SIM or IM norms.
- United States Correspondence Chess Championship (USCCC)-The USCCC will be a 15 or 17 player
event (22nd scheduled to start mid-2020). Qualifications for this event will be
determined by players' results from any of 3 types of events:
(The current list of qualifiers is available under "Lists" in the Main Menu.)
- prior USCCC Finals,
- the annual USA Invitational tournaments, and
- the annual Bringing in the New Year (BITNY) tournaments.
How to Enter
Entry into all of the ICCF Open tournaments (except Friendly Team 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!