- We should like to introduce you
our international correspondence chess society:
CIF - Chess in Friendship.
- CIF was started in March 1983.
At this moment it has about 540 members from 53 countries and,
apart from the Antarctic, all continents are represented.
- The main aim of
the society was and is to combine the fun of correspondence chess
with personal friendship between the members throughout the world.
Members of CIF should be members of a large family of friends;
there is no discrimination in the CIF on the grounds of race,
colour of skin, sex, nationality, religion, philosophy of life, or
- In one of the Tournament Rules
of CIF it is stated that a mere exchange of cards, containing solely
the moves and the date, is undesirable. CIF members, playing each
other, find it normal to carry on with a friendly correspondence,
exchange views, and even to exercise their mutual non-chess
hobbies - especially collecting. There are several examples of CIF
having led to long and close friendships, not only between members,
but also between their families; they visit each other, go on
vacation together. There are also local meetings of members of
single sections, and every year we have the general meeting in
which 100 to 200 members with their families take part.
- The tradition of CIF meetings
originated in the old Czechoslovakia. At that time this was practically
the only place where a personal contact between correspondence chess
players from the divided Europe was possible. This is the reason why
even after the reunification players from the old East and West
Germanies are such a large fraction of CIF. On the other hand, the
fraction of non-German members is steadily increasing.
- Although winning and rating points
are not at the centre of the CIF philosophy, nonetheless correspondence
chess is an important aspect of our activities. The members of CIF are
especially those players who are not chasing master titles, but who
enjoy beautiful games and prefer friendly contacts to a point in a table.
- CIF offers friendly games, a
continuous competition for the CIF Cup, thematic tournaments, Youth,
Senior, and Ladies Championships, tournaments of groups of 7, 11, 21,
or 25 players, and every third year the competition for the CIF
championship starts. There are also CIF team championships, matches
between sections, national Championships, and matches of CIF teams
against other correspondence chess organisations - recently, for
instance we have played against BCCA from Great Britain, CCLA from
Australia, ASIGC from Italy, and teams from Macedonia and the war
veterans from Belorussia. Moreover, other correspondence plays as
Shogi (Japanese chess), progressive chess and draughts are offered.
Besides the correspondence by letters and/or cards, other means of
communication (facsimile, E-mail) increase in the tournament portfolio.
- There is thus a great variety
and choice of tournaments. The players do not pay to take part in
the tournaments so that their time and purse determine how many games
- CIF obtains the finance necessary
to function through gifts and contributions. All officers of the CIF
are honorary. CIF has its own Statutes, Tournament and Playing Rules.
Four times a year CIF News is published in German and English; members
receive this free of charge. CIF has an internal rating system but this
rating has no validity for obtaining international titles in ICCF.
- CIF is managed by an Executive
Committee of eight people. The Executive Committee is elected once
every four years by the whole of the CIF membership.
The conditions for acceptance as a member
of CIF are:
Completion and signing of a written request
to be accepted as member in which the member commits him/herself to keep
to the Statutes and Rules of CIF;
Payment of an annual contribution of
Immediately after acceptance the new member
is incorporated in the appropriate section and can enter for his/her
As stated above, friendly correspondence is
very much desired in CIF. A knowledge of foreign languages is thus a good
thing, however, not a necessary condition. Necessary is, on the other hand,
that a CIF member plays fair in his games, replies regularly, does not
interrupt play without any explanation for months to restart it again
suddenly, and so on. That kind of behaviour is not tolerated in any
correspondence chess association, the less so in an association based on.