Name of Federation: The Correspondence Chess Association of the Slovak Republic
Year of Foundation: 1991
ICCF Delegate: Milan Manduch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Article provided by: Milan Manduch
The territory of Slovakia was a part of Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy up to this time. The first correspondence chess player of Slovakia is considered to be Rudolf Charousek (1873-1900), who took part in the first Hungarian correspondence chess tournament organised by a magazine “Budapesti Sakkszemle” in the years 1893-1897. Charousek won this tournament together with the Hungarian chessplayer Geza Maroczy, both of them scoring 16 points out of 18. Rudolf Charousek had been a great talent but a lung ailment curtailed his chess career and his life at the early age of twenty-seven.
1918 – 1939
Czechoslovakia as a common country of Czechs and Slovaks was established out of the remains of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy in October 1918. This political change has positively influenced correspondence chess development in Slovakia. Slovak players started to take part on Czechoslovak tournaments and, step-by-step, they began to gain ground on the international field. From this aspect, it was Martin Folkmann (b. 1909) who had an important role, playing in contests organised by the Wiener Schachzeitung and IFSB (predecessor of ICCF). His biggest successes were the win of VI Master band Wiener Schachzeitung (1932-1934), the third place at IFSB tournament (1933-1935), the fourth place at the VI IFSB tournament (1934) and the sixth place at the VII ISFB tournament (1935). At the VII ISFB tournament he won against the winner Paul Keres (later a celebrated and strong Grandmaster). Martin Folkmann was mentioned for the last time in the magazine Czechoslovak Chess No. 6 in 1938. Since this time he is missing, in spite of an inquest conducted by the Red Cross. His traces have been lost during the Second World War.
One of the pioneers of Slovak correspondence chess and a dedicated administrator in the 1930s was Richard Brix (1906-1980) from Bratislava. He began as a player in Czechoslovak events but later became a meaningful player of the Czechoslovak and Slovak chess movements.
1939 – 1945
The first independent Slovak Republic was established at the beginning of the World War II in March 14, 1939.
During this complicated war Slovakian correspondence chess has reached efficacious distinction. The magazine Slovak Chess was published, permanent tournaments of the country in two categories (H, M) were played and the historical first two championships of Slovakia have been organized. The I Slovakia Championship (1941-1942) won by Aladar Kerekes, the II Slovakia Championship (1943-1945) won by Julius Janac.
1945 – 1992
The Slovak Republic became a part of Czechoslovakia again after the Second World War.
Slovak players and officers were much more intensively involved in Czechoslovakian chess happenings than in the period before the war. The players took part regularly in the Czechoslovakian tournaments. In this period, 22 Czechoslovak Championships (III-XXIV) were played, and Slovak players won and became five-times Czechoslovakia Champions: Jozef Franzen, XIV Championship (1971-1972): Igor Prívara, XVIII Championship (1979-1980), Milan Manduch, XIX Championship (1981-1982), Peter Marczell, XXI Championship (1985-1986), Ján Slovák, XXIII Championship (1989-1990).
The Slovakia Championships started when the unitary Czechoslovakia adapted into a federative structure in 1968. Because of political reasons, the numbering of tournaments began again from number one. During the period 1970-92, ten Slovakia Championships were organised: I (1970-1972) Štefan Marsina; II (1974-1976) Jaroslav Rábik; III (1977-1978) Ján Ergh; IV (1979-1980) Emil Daniš; V (1981-1982) Dušan Kriško; VI (1983-1984) Ivan Čavajda; VII (1985-1986) Pavol Polakovič; VIII (1987-1988) Boris Djubek; IX (1989-1990) Marek Kolčák; X (1991-1992) Vladimír Hefka.
In this period, the best Slovakian players represented Czechoslovakia in the Correspondence Chess Olympiads, European Team Championships and in individual ICCF tournaments.
1993 – up to now
After peaceful agreement, the Czech-Slovak Federation was split into two independent countries – Czech Republic and Slovak Republic – on 1.1.1993.
The Slovak Correspondence Chess Association, which was established on May 4, 1991, was accepted as a member of ICCF at the congress in Gdansk (Poland) in September 1993.
Because player potential in both of the newly established countries was strong and broad, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic continued to be effective in the international arena in team and individual competitions.
Since the establishment of the second independent Slovak Republic, an additional ten Championships were completed: XI (1992-1993) Vladimír Hefka; XII (1993-1994) Štefan Berza; XIII (1995-1996) Miroslav Kantorík; XIV (1997-1998) Kvetoslav Rákay; XV (1999-2000) Juraj Václav; XVI (2001-2002) Ján Csjernyik; XVII (2003-2004) Emanuel Mičiak; XVIII (2005-2006) Juraj Štec; XIX (2007-2008) Norbert Zambor; XX (2009-2010) Ladislav Fenes.
Pavol Polakovič, Milan Manduch and Ján Bulla had the biggest contribution on Slovak correspondence chess development since 1968.
The most significant success of Slovak correspondence chess has been the participation in the common team of Czech and Slovak Republics that won the XI Correspondence Chess Olympiad (1992-1999). In the six men Olympiad team there were two Slovaks playing – Alois Lanč and Igor Prívara.
A huge result was also the 4th place of the Czechoslovakian team in the Final of X Correspondence Chess Olympiad (1982-1987) in which half of the team were Slovak players (Franzen, Prívara, Manduch).
The team of independent Slovakia participated for the first time in the Final of the XIII. Olympiad (2004 – 2009). Slovak players Lanč, Marczell, Prívara, Hefka, Kolčák and Manduch achieved the 7th place. Slovak women’s team (Chorvátová, Syčová, Pappová, Caklová) was classified on the 8th place in the Final of the VI. Women Olympiad (2003 – 2006). Slovak women’s team (Karasová, Plšková, Hulecová, Piasecká) participated also in the Final of the VIII. Women Olympiad (2008 – 2010) and finished on the 5th place.
The team of Czechoslovakia was classified on the 4th place in the Final of the II European Championship (1983-1988) and in the Final of the III European Championship (1988-1994). Five Slovak players (Jan Báňas, Igor Prívara, Alois Lanč, Milan Manduch and Peter Marczell) have participated in these achievements.
In the Final of the V. Europe team championship (1999-2004) finished the Slovak team (Franzen, Lanč, Prívara, Hefka, Marczell, Kolčák, Maláč, Jánoš, Rákay, Berza, Drtina, Čavajda) on the 4th place. In the Final of the VI. Europe team championship (2004-2008) finished the Slovak team (Lanč, Marczell, Kolčák, Rákay, Maláč, Manduch, Eiben, Mražík, Lelenko, Polakovič, Mičiak, Povchanič) on the 5th place.
In the Final of the VII. Europe team championship (2008-2011) finished the Slovak team (Lanč, Hefka, Kolčák, Helbich, Povchanič, Eiben, Horváth, Kolesár) on the 1st place and achieved a historical success.
At individual competition the biggest accomplishment was achieved by Jozef Franzen, who finished in the Final of 12th World Championship on the second place, a half point after the winner Sanakoev.
In the Final of the 21st World championship Alois Lanč shared the 3rd position.
Peter Marczell was placed third in the Final of the 58th European Championship (1996-2000).