Article from Gold Book. Update to follow.
Name of Federation: All India Correspondence Chess Federation (AICCF)
Year of Foundation: 1993
ICCF Delegate: Dr. Alok Saxena (firstname.lastname@example.org)
E-Mail contact: Dr. Ambar Chatterjee (email@example.com)
Article provided by: Dr. A. Chatterjee
Correspondence chess was already well established in India in the early 1960s under the banner of the Correspondence Chess Association on India (CCAI, founded in 1951). Mark W. Nelson rendered yeoman service to the cause of CC in India as Secretary of CCAI since its inception up to the time of his untimely death. In addition to his full time effort in CC, he was also a Tournament Director in OTB tournaments in Bombay (as this major Indian city was then known; now we call it Mumbai). A well-known figure in Bombay chess, Mark Nelson was much loved and well respected. After Mark Nelson, things were never the same. The management of the CCAI was taken over by A. Goswami and his group based in Bikaner, a city in the northwest Indian state of Rajasthan.
By 1993, correspondence chess activity in India had reached an all time low. CCAI was hardly functional any more. There was practically no information reaching members, circulation of the association’s bulletin had become irregular or non-existent and very few tournaments were being allotted. Clearly the survival of CC in India was at stake.
On 27 February 1993 a historic meeting of a handful of CC lovers took place at the residence of the CC Champion of India, M.B. Mulla and the All India Correspondence Chess Federation was born. Since then, under the able leadership of H.J. Samtani (President) and E.G. Meherhomji (Secretary), AICCF has been growing by leaps and bounds. The AICCF Bulletin was published bi-annually by V.D. Pandit (Bulletin Editor) from October 1993 to August 1998. After that, Dr. A. Chatterjee took over as Bulletin Editor and the AICCF Bulletin began 4-times per year publication. Shortly thereafter, our prominent member Santhosh M. Paul launched the AICCF web site at http://www.geocities.com/aiccf. All issues of the Bulletin are also published on the website.
Thanks to the efforts of V.D. Pandit, affiliation to ICCF took place in 1997. Several Friendly International Tournaments were commenced and participation of our players in ICCF Tournaments began. And by 1998, the names of 7 AICCF players appeared on the ICCF Rating List. After the AICCF elections in 1998, Dr. K. Prabhakar (Vice-President), took over the duties of regulating our International activities. Today we have 39 ICCF rated players. N.R. Anil Kumar received the CCIM title awarded at the 2001 ICCF Congress at Rimini and at the time of writing has just qualified for the SIM title. Santhosh Paul has achieved a first IM norm and M. Satheesan heads the list of AICCF members on the ICCF Rating List at 2507.
The very first AICCF Champion was A.G. Nagradjane of Pondicherry, who scored 12/15 in the Championship Tournament, 1501. He battled with physical disabilities (childhood polio robbed him of the full use of his legs and one arm), and leads a normal life. He was the first player to cross the 1200 mark on our Rating Chart and remained at the top of the Chart from August 1995 to August 1996. The second AICCF Champion was K. Lhouvum, winning the Hon. Lt. Krishnamurthy Memorial Award after emerging clear victor in the 1502 Champion, and 1503 saw the emergence of the phenomenon of N.R. Anil Kumar. He has remained at the top of the AICCF Rating Chart from February 1999 until today. He is India’s foremost player in ICCF and has achieved the SIM title.
For the first time in recent years, India entered a team in the 13th CC Olympiad Preliminaries started in 1998. The team comprises 1. Gautam De, 2. S.A. Salgaocar, 3. K. Lhouvum, 4. Dr. A. Chatterjee, 5. K.L. Gala, 6. K.C. Sukumaran. India is also playing in the 1st ICCF Email Olympiad. Anil Kumar on Board 1 has already achieved a result qualifying him for the SIM title.
IM Anil Kumar qualified for the ¾-Email World Cup. He was also Afro-Asian Champion 2000-2001. N.K. Bajpai finished 3rd in ICCF WT/GT/II/41 with 11½ /14. Starting from 1996, we organised Friendly Internationals with Sweden, Scotland, Poland, England, Italy, Norway and Denmark. Again this is a landmark, being the first exposure of AICCF players to International CC.
The ICCF Congress
For the first time, ICCF took up a suggestion made by V.D. Pandit to offer to sponsor a participant from a third world country to the ICCF Congress at Rimini (each year ICCF will sponsor one participant from a developing nation’s CC federation). Our President H.J. Samtani made history by becoming the first ever Indian present at an ICCF Congress. Not only did he get the opportunity to receive Anil Kumar’s certificate and medal for the IM title, his interaction with ICCF officials and other delegates will go a very long way in promoting CC in this part of the world.
AICCF has offered to host the 2004 ICCF Congress in Mumbai, India.