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Header presents collection of flowers, fruits and trees pictured on 29.04.2012 during my visit in the Botanical Garden in Powsin Warsaw (Poland). Mariusz Wojnar

ICCF Presidents

World Champions

Lady World Champions

South Africa

Name of Federation: South African Correspondence Chess Association (SACCA)

Year of Foundation: 1934

ICCF Delegate: Dinand Knol (dinandknol@lantic.net)

 E-Mail contact: Iain Smuts (sacca@xsinet.co.za)

Website: http://southafricacca.webs.com/

Article provided by: Leonard Reitstein and Dinand Knol


Historical background

In 1934 Huxley St. John-Brooks founded the South African Correspondence Chess Association (SACCA). This was the first national chess body that ever existed in South Africa. The first counter-part in over the board chess only came into existence 14 years later in 1948 when the South African Chess Federation was founded.

SACCA is still in existence today as the one and only national correspondence chess (CC) body. The membership has never been very numerous as it must be kept in mind that the climate in this country is very user friendly. With over 300 days of sunshine per year, outdoor activities get all the support.


The administration of SACCA has always been in the hands of a committee consisting of a president, vice president and secretary. The latter runs the day to day activities with the former two supervising and ensuring that all the members’ interests are upheld. The present committee is:

  • President and ICCF Delegate: Everdinand Knol
  • Vice-president: Vacant (after the sudden death of Pieter Kemp)
  • Secretary: Iain Edward Smuts

Activities for Members

Members can participate in single and double round robin events and receive a national rating. Thematic tournaments are also held from time to time. Friendly team matches against other national federations (NF) have also been held over the years.

The only events of significant stature are the national championships. These consist of round robin tournaments made up of member players who qualified over a period of time as well as “wild cards” invited by the committee. The maximum number of participants (excepting for the 1950-52 event) has been 16.

The 4th national championship (1950-52) was a special one. A total of 53 participants who qualified or were invited took part in the largest correspondence chess tournament ever held in South Africa. There were nine preliminary groups with a maximum of six players each playing a double round robin. This was followed by a final single round robin of 12 players. Chris J Hayes – one of the greatest CC players that our country has ever produced – eventually won the event.

A book entitled “South African Correspondence Chess Championship Tournament 1950-1952” was written and published by our former president Leonard Raymond Reitstein. It is the only book published in South Africa pertaining to CC.

During 1998, a new event in the form of a national open championship was launched. Here the format of six player double round robin preliminary events and a single round robin final was adhered to. The tournament was open to all players and was won by Everdinand Knol.

National CC Champions of South Africa

No Period Champions
1st 1935 – 1936 H Guvland and JJ Leicher
2nd 1936 – 1937 C Coopersmith
3rd 1937 – 1939 I Goldslaff
4th 1950 – 1952 Chris J Hayes
5th 1954 – 1955 JE Eriksen
6th 1955 – 1956 Kenneth F Kirby
7th 1957 – 1958 Kenneth F Kirby
8th 1959 – 1960 Leonard Raymond Reitstein
9th 1961 – 1962 L Wilken
10th 1962 – 1963 RF Griffiths
11th 1964 – 1965 NW King
12th 1965 – 1966 I Friedman
13th 1967 – 1969 John A Barlow
14th 1969 – 1971 BP Donnelly
15th 1971 – 1973 BP Donnelly
16th 1973 – 1975 BP Donnelly
17th 1976 – 1978 BP Donnelly
18th 1979 – 1983 VE Justus
19th 1985 – 1986 VE Justus and N Preece
20th 1987 – 1988 George SP Oosthuizen
21st 1989 – 1990 Dr HL (Boet) Bösenberg & Erwin Feilmayr
22nd 1991 – 1992 Erwin Feilmayr
23rd 1993 – 1996 Everdinand Knol
24th 1997 – 2001 Everdinand Knol and Dieter T Morschel
25th 2000 – 2003 Pieter Kemp
26th 2002 – 2006 Everdinand Knol
27th 2004 – 2006 Ben Bester
28th 2006 – 2009 Iain Edward Smuts
29th 2010 – 2011 Iain Edward Smuts


ICCF Titles and Medals Awarded to SACCA Members

Year Member Description
1997 John A Barlow IM
2000 John A Barlow SIM
2001 John A Barlow GM
2002 Everdinand Knol IM
2002 Pieter Kemp IM
2003 Everdinand Knol SIM
2004 Pieter Kemp SIM
2010 Everdinand Knol Bertl von Massow Silver Medal
2011 Iain Edward Smuts IA
2012 Ben Bester IA

IM=International CC Master; SIM=Senior International CC Master; GM=CC Grandmaster; IA=International Arbiter of the ICCF

ICCF Olympiads

South Africa has participated in all the preliminaries of the CC Olympiads since the 12th one that started in 1991. The details of our teams are as follows:

Board ICCF Olympiad
12th Olympiad – Section 2
1 Dr Arthur Albert Ponelis (Captain)
2 Erwin Feilmayr
3 George SP Oosthuizen
4 JMdeK (Jannie) Knipe
5 Everdinand Knol
6 KJG (Koos) Bultman
13th Olympiad – Section 4
1 Dr Arthur Albert Ponelis (Captain)
2 Everdinand Knol
3 JMdeK (Jannie) Knipe
4 Dirk J Terblanche
5 JT (Hansie) Benadé
6 MG (Tiens) van Greuning
14th Olympiad – Section 3
1 John A Barlow
2 Dr Arthur Albert Ponelis (Captain)
3 Everdinand Knol
4 AG (Abrie) van Wyk
5 JT (Hansie) Benadé
6 Pieter Kemp
15th Olympiad – Section 1
1 John A Barlow
2 Everdinand Knol
3 Pieter Kemp
4 Dr Arthur Albert Ponelis
5 Laurence Ball
6 Iain Edward Smuts (Captain)
16th Olympiad – Section 2
1 John A Barlow
2 Pieter Kemp
3 Everdinand Knol
4 André de Beer
Iain Edward Smuts (non playing captain)
17th Olympiad – Section 4
1 Pieter Kemp
2 Everdinand Knol
3 Dr Arthur Albert Ponelis
4 Dieter T Morschel
5 Ben Bester
6 Iain Edward Smuts (Captain)
18th Olympiad – Section 1
1 John A Barlow
2 Ben Bester
3 Marius J Fourie
4 Pieter Kemp
5 Everdinand Knol
6 Iain Edward Smuts (Captain)
19th Olympiad – Section 3
1 Everdinand Knol (Captain)
2 Dr Arthur Albert Ponelis
3 Iain Edward Smuts
4 Hector A Cronje


ICCF Congress 2012

South Africa is the host for the 2012 ICCF Congress that has been scheduled to take place in Pretoria at the Roodevallei Lodge from 28 October to 3 November. All the necessary arrangements and co-ordinations are being handled by SACCA. The ICCF Congress website is continuously updated at http://southafricacca.webs.com/iccf-congress-2012

Dinand Knol – President and ICCF Delegate for South Africa and Zone 4 Africa/Asia Director