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Header presents collection of trees in blossom pictured on 29.04.2012 during my visit in the Botanical Garden in Powsin Warsaw (Poland).


MT-Bielecki Top Players



Nowadays ICCF webserver can be used in 8 languages (English, Polish, German, French, Spanish, Czech, Russian, Japanese).

Games to be completed

The system allows many different ways for games to be completed. Players are encouraged to be familiar with these methods, as it may be their responsibility to take action.

The system can automatically detect certain conditions, including checkmate and stalemate. However, some situations require from a player to claim a result via the TD (through the option provided at the server from game window “Claim win” or “Claim draw” under “Game” pull down menu), for example:

  • win (if, say, the opponent has exceeded the time limit or taken more than 40 days for his last move)
  • draw (if, say, a threefold repetition or the 50-move rule has occurred)

The system automatically stops a game if a player exceeds the reflection time, but will not enter a result. The game needs to be claimed by the opponent, before the TD can manually enter the result. The system will not automatically stop a game if a player takes more than 40 days to respond, players need to alert of this infraction and claim the game to the TD.

Please remember that claim of a draw has to be submitted when you are on move!

If in doubt, please communicate with the TD in good time.


There are few solutions to avoid time-trouble or game forfeited on time.

  • Better time management.
  • Take leave. Each player has 30 day leave per calendar year. So please take it (you can see it in green in your leave calendar window) or use option for special leave – “Request special leave” under Event menu in your game window giving reasonable justification (if confirmed you can see it in red in your leave calendar window).
  • Submit “Use 40+ reflection” under “Game” pull down menu in your game window, if you have spare time and want to use reflection time more than 40 days.
  • It is better to inform TD about your problem, when you cannot continue your games instead of being silent. You may avoid suspension from ICCF events for longer period than 6 months, if accepted withdrawal (in case of not accepted withdrawal usually 1-year suspension, in case of silent withdrawal at least 2 years).

Special leave request

In your game window under “Event” pull down menu you can find feature called “Request special leave”.

Special Leave (if approved) will apply to ALL active ICCF tournaments in which you are participating, with the following exceptions: (a) Friendly tournaments (country to country), (b) National Federation only tournaments, (c) Thematic, and (d) Unrated tournaments. For these tournaments only, you will need to request Special Leave from the Tournament Director (or through your Team Captain in team events).

Please enter your reason for special leave. Please note that the reason will remain confidential within the Office of Special Leave (OSL). Please try to provide as many details as possible. Incomplete or missing details may delay the decision of your request. Your special leave request will be forwarded to the ICCF Office of Special Leave, where several things will happen: (a) your request will be received and evaluated against present ICCF special leave rules.

If approved, Special Leave will be entered for you in all applicable tournaments. (b) During the period of Special Leave, you will not be allowed to enter any moves.

If denied, you will be informed of the reason why. In either case, your request, reason, and decision will be entered into a special leave database for archival and appeal purposes. By clicking on the checkbox, you acknowledge the above rules.

Fair play

Few excerpts from “Code of Conduct” should be reminded here in support of players’ awareness, because some behavioural issues happen again and again.

In 1984, ICCF adopted the motto “amici sumus” (we are friends) and this is the underlying philosophy in setting behavioural standards for players, officials and member federations. This should prevail in all communications between players in a game of CC, between players and tournament directors, officials of ICCF and international contacts of member federations. Sending an abusive, obscene or objectionable communication is not acceptable, in any circumstances.

Whether it be in games with playing partners or with tournament directors, players are expected to be friendly in all communications, bearing in mind that we are playing a game, TDs are all volunteers and are all trying to promote international bonds of friendship and sportsmanship.

It is recommended that friendly messages are exchanged with playing partners at the start of a game/tournament and that such friendly exchanges continue throughout, until conclusion. Being generous in defeat and modest in victory are commendable virtues!

Players should observe the (…) rules carefully. [Ignorance (or unfamiliarity) of the rules cannot be plead as an excuse.]

Any disputes or claims by a player must, in the first instance, be communicated to the official TD of the tournament (except in team events, where the team captain should be the point of contact). The facts must be clearly reported and a player should avoid creating any unnecessary antagonism towards a partner, even when disputes occur. Abusive remarks have no place in ICCF philosophy.

Wherever possible, players should try amicably to resolve any problem quickly with a playing partner, before referring the matter to the TD (or TC).

Extending of a game

It is good practice to finish game in good time, especially when it comes to 6-piece (or less) ending (but not exclusively). Sometimes players hesitate to come to an agreement, but please be aware that Nalimov Endgame Tablebases (EGTB) for 6 pieces (or less) are accessible online (e.g. Knowledge4IT or ChessOK) for everybody. So extending of a game is not fair or worse – might be suspicious when ending goes to a different conclusion from EGTB. Both cases might be considered by TD as behavioural issues.

Adjudication Guidelines

After the end date of the tournament all unfinished games are called for adjudication.

Both players involved shall submit to TD statement claiming either a win or a draw (using ICCF webserver facility – “Claim win” or “Claim draw” under “Game” pull down menu from game window). Players should submit analysis to support their claim. Analysis does not necessarily mean possible variations; it also includes general plans where appropriate.