Name of Federation: Oesterreichischer Schachbund – Fachgruppe Fernschach (OESB-FS)
Year of Foundation: 1947
ICCF Delegate: Dipl. Ing. Tunc Hamarat (firstname.lastname@example.org)
E-Mail contact: Rudolf Hofer (email@example.com)
Article provided by: Tunc Hamarat
History of Austrian CC
In Austria, CC developed relatively late, i.e. in the second half of the 19th century. To be more precise, it was not until 1865, when the “Wiener Schachgesellschaft” (Viennese Chess Society, founded in 1857) played a set of matches against some prominent clubs of other cities: 1865-1866 Vienna-Insterburg 2-0, 1867-1869 Vienna-Berlin 2-0, 1872-1874 Vienna-London 0.5-1.5, to mention only the most important ones.
Here is one of the interesting games.
With the establishment of the “Wiener Schachzeitung” (Viennese chess newspaper) in 1898 and the beginning of Vienna’s “golden era” of chess, playing chess boomed. At the same time, under the protectorate of Georg Marco, the “Wiener Schachzeitung” organized some correspondence tournaments, which attracted some of the best known masters of those days: Adolf Zinkl (1871-1938), Carl Schlechter (1874-1918), Siegfried R. Wolf (1867-1951), Heinrich Wolf (1875-1943) and even the very young Ernst Gruenfeld (1893-1962). In Graz Johann Nepomuk Berger (1845-1933) was the first Austrian to win an important international correspondence tournament, the “Monde Illustré 1889-1892”, and he did so with the remarkable result of +45 =3 -0. World War I brought a sudden end to this development, and it was only in the mid-twenties that Austrian correspondence chess came close to the heights of pre-war victories. Here the “Pan-European Tournaments” of the new “Wiener Schachzeitung” under the direction of Albert Becker (1896-1984) played an important role.
New impulses came to CC in 1928 with the establishment of the IFSB and the magazine “Fernschach” (CC), where the Austrian Franz Kunert proved to be an excellent supervisor and designing mind of the new organization.
(OTB) IM Hans Müller (1896-1971) claimed a huge success by winning the coveted IFSB tournament of 1932 (an unofficial CC world championship) in front of Dr. Eduard Dyckhoff and the later Austrian (OTB) GM Erich Eliskases (1913-1998).
Friendly matches with other countries began in 1930 and they were conducted regularly after 1950. In the first CC-Olympiad of European countries (an idea of Franz Kunert) 1936-1939, the Austrian team with Grünfeld, Eliskases, Müller, Becker, Poschauko and Haberditz finished the finals in second place: Hungary (20½) was 1st, followed by Austria (19½), Switzerland (16), and then Portugal, Denmark and Germany.
After World War II, in 1947, Hans Schmid founded the section for Correspondence Chess within the Austrian Chess Federation. In the same year, Austria joined the ICCF. In 1952 the well-known CC-master Egon Spitzenberger (1917-1990) took over the correspondence section and was its indefatigable organiser and promoter of CC until his death. The best known players of his generation were IM Leopold Watzl (1911), who finished sixth in the finals of the World Championship 1950-1953 after winning his preliminary section; Kurt Kaliwoda (b.1914), who won the semi-finals of the second World Championship 1956-59 and finished 14th in the finals; Josef Giselbrecht (1928-1994), who shared first place in the 1st International Swiss CC-Tournament 1969-1973; and Oskar Kallinger (1925-1999), who made it to the World-Championship semi-finals four times, and three times to the finals of European CC Championships.
The top of the younger generation is represented by IM Georg Danner (b.1946), who finished 13th in the 11th CC WC final 1983-86 after winning his semi-final; Friedrich Schätzel (b.1932), who won the semi-finals and ended 9th in the ¾ finals of the 13th CC WC 1979-82, and was fourth in the finals of the 1st ICCF Cup 1968-1977; Max Aigmüller (1929-1996), who shared 1st place in the 43rd European Champion-ships; and Wilhelm Rupp (b.1944), who finished 2nd in the finals of ICCF-Cup 1973-77. The most important correspondence chess player of Austria is Tunc Hamarat, who became World Champion giving great acceleration to Austrian Correspondence chess.
In team events, Austria has not fared as well so far. Two notable exceptions were the final of the 1st European Team Championships 1973-1983, in which Austria claimed 3rd place behind the USSR and FRG, with Giselbrecht, Spitzenberger and Danner playing on boards 1-3; and in the 4th European Team Championships 1993-1999 when Austria finished 4th behind Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
Austrian CC Grandmasters
Gertrude Schoißwohl (1920-1997)
She finished second in the finals of the first Ladies’ CC World Championships 1968-1972 behind Olga Rubzova after winning the semi-finals 1965-1968. For this achievement she was awarded the ladies’ IM-title in 1975 and in 1997 the title of GM posthumously -unfortunately, she had already passed away.
Tunc Hamarat (b.1946)
Tunc Hamarat originates from Turkey and became an Austrian citizen in 1988. His score in the cycle of the 14th and 16th World Championships is truly remarkable: He won the semi-finals 1986-90, went on to win the Candidates Tournament 1990-94 and finished shared third in the finals of the 14th CC WC 1995-99; he also qualified for the finals of the 16th CC WC. He became 16th CC World Champion (1999-2004) and this result gives Hamarat the second largest winning margin in a world final with a 2 points difference to the next player – only exceeded by Berliner in the 5th Championship.
Dr. Harald Tarnowiecki (b.1943)
He claimed victory in one the Abonyi-Tournament 1989-95 groups, won the semi-finals of the 20th WC and participated in the Vidmar Memorial II (a GM-Tournament).
Friedrich Rattinger (b.1950)
GM Rattinger is our new important player and has qualified for a Final and is playing recently in 26th CC World-ch Final and won the following game in this tournament.
[games in pgn format]