Let me introduce the history of the idea to produce that book first.
ICCF published an ICCF Gold Book (in paper) 10 years ago as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.
Pedro Federico Hegoburu, Editor-in-Chief for Gold Book, writing 10 years ago “Peoples maintained their history for future generations through oral stories and tales, or preserving history through written means, in stone tablets or paper books. Today we have at our disposal common electronic means to store data, and the near future will show us more advanced and incredible options such as holograms and interactive two or three-dimensional programmes. This book on Correspondence Chess could be the last printed book on the subject …” was right.
ICCF experienced huge technological transformation during last 10 years from postal tournaments through fax and email to server events. The best example of that progress was the 11th ICCF World Cup organised by BFCC (England) in the period of 1997-2011. Now all you need to meet (or make new) friends is an internet connection on your laptop or tablet/smartphone – without leaving your home or quite the contrary wherever you go all over the world. So it was time for new technology for our Diamond Book, as well.
The concept of an ICCF Diamond Book (in the form of a Web Book) being produced for its 60th anniversary was presented by ICCF Honorary President, Alan Borwell, during the ICCF Congresses in Leeds (England) 2009 and Antalya (Turkey) 2010 but with a pre-requisite being the availability of a new ICCF website with facilities to enable the development and hosting of such a Web Book. Congress in Turkey was my first one and I was very enthusiastic finding such an interesting and ambitious project.
There was further discussion on the concept during the ICCF Congress 2011 meeting in Finland and, although facilities were not yet available on the ICCF website „iccf.com”, as the delegate for the Polish Chess Federation, I offered to accept material for the Web Book in a development area on the Polish Correspondence Chess Commission website. Finally, the ICCF Congress 2011 in Finland accepted my offer to be the Project Leader for the ICCF Diamond Jubilee Web Book, with Alan Borwell (SCO) providing support.
Therefore, we could begin to assemble the Diamond Web Book and this was planned in a sequence of stages.
Step 1 – to import material from the ICCF Gold publication into the new facility (end of September 2011).
Step 2 – be to obtain updated and new material from member federations, ICCF officials and volunteers (end of October 2011).
Step 3 – to assemble the ICCF Diamond Jubilee Web Book on the Polish website in readiness for release (end of year 2011), with a link from “iccf.com” and eventual transfer to new “iccf.com” facility.
I started my work immediately, at the ICCF Congress 2011 in Järvenpää (Finland) already. Together with Alan Borwell we had several meetings and discussed a lot of details, including the name of the website. Finally, we agreed on the name “Celebrating 60 years of the ICCF“. Alan kindly handed me over all ICCF Gold Book documentation in an electronic version. Then I created website at address http://kszgk.com/iccf/ and started from good design, which was rearranged few times before final version.
In Step 1 I had to choose an appropriate tool. After some experiments and analysis I decided to use web supported by Word Press. I considered several themes to be used, but finally I found theme Atahualpa to be the most suitable one. Capabilities of a tool/theme and design were the main criteria. Atahualpa is a very customizable and browser-safe (incl. IE6) theme.
Then material from the ICCF Gold publication was imported into the new facility in the middle of September 2011. The structure is based on Gold Book more or less and the final version is presented in Appendix 5. It includes following chapters: Foreword, Presidents welcome, About ICCF, Site Route Map, History of ICCF, ICCF Meetings, Member Federation Articles, Playing CC with ICCF, The Future.
In the meantime member federations were asked – in August 2011 (request repeated in October and December) – to provide updated information to supplement the articles which were in ICCF Gold (ie National Federation correspondence chess history, games, pictures, etc.) and other information regarding ICCF tournaments, titles, ratings, ICCF history. Response was very good and most of member federations answered positively. Some special articles were requested from various officials. Several articles were reviewed and updated, if necessary.
In Step 2 I obtained updated and new material from member federations, ICCF officials and volunteers (mostly between October and December 2011). When they came, they were edited and assembled in real time (which belonged to Step 3) to the ICCF Diamond Jubilee Web Book on the Polish website. Then providers were asked to review material, this time at the web, again. Main work was done by the end of December 2011 and the Web Book was released.
All the stages initially planned to create the Diamond Web Book have been completed now.
However, the website is not perfect yet and some editorial corrections (language, spelling, cross tables design improvement, providing games in pgn format) need to be made. In many cases these are very time consuming activities and not manageable to one person only.
ICCF webserver is an integrated website for ICCF. Link from it to the ICCF Diamond Jubilee Web Book is provided at introductory page “About ICCF“. Eventual transfer to new “iccf.com” facility is under consideration, however there is a lot of limitations. That is why country pages on the list “Nations & Zones” (new ICCF website) have been linked to their MF articles (MF brief description).
Further steps will be to update the ICCF Diamond Web Book so that it will become a permanent ongoing CC history of ICCF and its Member Federations.
I strongly believe this book reflects both the progress and the wonderful passion of Correspondence Chess and that you will enjoy it. I hope that many new people will join us in celebrating these friendships over a chessboard, whatever it is – solid or virtual.
I would like to thank everyone for his collaboration in making this web book possible.
ICCF Delegate to Poland
 Appendix 1: ICCF Congress Leeds 2009 Minutes (excerption)
 Appendix 2: ICCF Congress Antalya 2010 Minutes (excerption)
 Appendix 3: ICCF Congress 2011 – Finland – Minutes (excerption)
ICCF Congress Leeds 2009 Minutes
ICCF Diamond Book
Congress agreed with the proposal for a web book (possibly with a CD/DVD) to be developed located on “iccf.com” based on the ICCF Gold Book but updated for the Diamond Year and ideally thereafter, to provide a comprehensive ongoing history of ICCF tournaments, games, memorabilia, CC personalities (national and international) etc.
This should be taken forward in conjunction with Marketing, Services and Webmaster and a small group would be formed under Chairmanship of Honorary President, Alan Borwell to begin work immediately, for completion for 2011.
ICCF Congress Antalya 2010 Minutes
Among others, the following activities were discussed and suggested by the Marketing Committee and by the former Marketing Director Dr. Uwe Staroske:
- Alan P. Borwell will organize and edit the work necessary to produce an ICCF Diamond Jubilee electronic book. Mr. Borwell kindly requests that all Federations update their Federations last 10-years of history, accomplishments, and photos, and submit them to him as soon as possible.
ICCF Congress 2011 – Finland – Minutes
60th Anniversary E-Book
Discussions and efforts toward a 60th anniversary e-book have seemed to slow for a variety of reasons, including content and technology considerations. Delegates accepted the offer of Mariusz Wojnar (POL) to be the Project Leader for the ICCF Diamond Jubilee Web Book, with the Delegate Designee from Scotland (SCO) providing support. The book will be hosted on the Polish CC Federation webpage waiting for the iccf.com to be ready to host it.