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The Campbell Report
Correspondence Chess
News and Commentary

This page contains miscellaneous chess news items I find interesting and opinions I have on various chess subjects. I welcome input from readers. Send your news or opinions to

News and Opinion
by J. Franklin Campbell

The Nørresundby Chess Club (Denmark) has named "The Campbell Report" as the "Link of the Month" for September 1998. For the announcement see Nørresundby Chess Club Chess Links. I've added this excellent (and intelligent!) chess site to my chess links page.

Some time ago I was excited by what I considered a tremendous matchup of two of the strongest USA cc competitors. Jon Edwards is the highest rated APCT player, many time APCT champion and current USA champion. John Penquite was once touted as the highest rated USCF cc competitor in history. My personal impression is that he has an understanding of chess that is absolutely phenomenal. As top boards in a 30-board club match between APCT and ASPCC they were scheduled to play two games against each other. If you wish to follow the team match, the standings are posted both on the ASPCC pages at and on John Knudsen's site at It should be noted that one board was "cancelled" converting this match into a 29-board affair. APCT currently owns a modest lead as the improving ASPCC organization has provided some stiff competition.

Although neither player appeared to consider this match-up as particularly significant, I couldn't help but think of it as a huge event in USA cc. The games have proved to be very competitive and exciting. Following is the first completed game, a hard-fought draw that is a credit to both players. The second game is still going, with Penquite holding an edge. I'll attempt to bring that exciting game to you at its conclusion. Meanwhile, here's the first game!

[Event "?"]
[Site "APCT-ASPCC bd. 1"]
[Date "1997.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Penquite, John"]
[Black "Edwards, Jon"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B43/70"]
[PlyCount "100"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be2 b5 7. O-O Bb7 8. Bf3 Nc6 9. Nxc6 dxc6 10. Qe2 Bd6 11. g3 Ne7 12. Be3 O-O 13. Bg2 e5 14. a4 Ng6 15. Rfd1 Rfe8 16. Bh3 Nf8 17. Bf5 Qe7 18. Rd3 b4 19. Na2 a5 20. Rd2 Ba6 21. Qf3 c5 22. Rad1 Red8 23. Nc1 c4 24. b3 g6 25. Bh3 Bb7 26. bxc4 f5 27. Rd5 Bxd5 28. cxd5 Qc7 29. Rd2 f4 30. gxf4 exf4 31. Bd4 Be5 32. Bxe5 Qxe5 33. Nd3 Qa1+ 34. Bf1 Nd7 35. Qxf4 Re8 36. Re2 Ne5 37. Qf6 Ra7 38. d6 Rf7 39. d7 Rxd7 40. Re1 Qd4 41. Nxe5 Rxe5 42. Bc4+ Qxc4 43. Qxe5 Qc7 44. Qe6+ Rf7 45. Re2 Qd7 46. Qxd7 Rxd7 47. Kf1 Rd1+ 48. Re1 Rd2 49. Re2 Rd1+ 50. Re1 Rd2 1/2-1/2

In the September 1998 issue of Chess Life Alex Dunne reports that ICCF-U.S. Secretary Prof. Max Zavanelli, who has served in that post for ten years at great personal expense, is preparing to step down and is seeking a replacement. Prof. Zavanelli has sought to place the USA on solid ground by repairing the sorry financial status, paying old ICCF bills, eliminating the old problems of USA dropouts in international play and generally improving the status of USA players in the international scene. His nickname of "The Axe" came from his unwavering insistence on only the most correct behavior by all USA participants. "Silent Withdrawals" were dealt with in draconian fashion.

Apparently, his approach was highly successful as the dropout rate of USA players was minimized and USA players earned an unprecidented number of international titles. I believe it is going to be difficult finding a replacement for Max "The Axe" Zavanelli. For the sake of USA international chess I hope someone with the proper credentials and energy steps forward to fill the job. This is a story many of us will be following with great interest.

I've just found out that the Chess Journalists of America have once again named the APCT News Bulletin as the best correspondence chess magazine in the USA. The CJA annually announces the winners of their competition for the best chess journalism in various categories during the U. S. Open Chess Championship. I'm still trying to obtain a complete listing of winners and will post them when obtained. For now, congratulations to Helen and Jim Warren on once again having their magazine named as the best! I also appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this excellent publication through my regular column "The Campbell Report."

John Knudsen has announced his new correspondence chess web site:
"The Correspondence Chess Place".
He's taken this opportunity to increase his future expansion capabilities by obtaining a huge (350 MBs) site. This will allow tremendous expansion capabilities. He invites readers to submit additional material to his already outstanding web site. To quote John, "I am also actively soliciting annotated cc games, stories, articles, humor, etc." I strongly recommend that all cc enthusiasts consider ways to contribute to this outstanding Internet cc resource.
Welcome back, John ... we missed you.

John Knudsen has had significant problems with his Internet web page provider and has decided to move his entire site to another service. For the time being his web site is not available. When it becomes available again I'll put his new URL into my Chess Links page and include a notification here. Changing providers is a major project ... good luck, John!

The next ICCF Congress will be held in Riga, Latvia September 20-24, 1998. Future conferences are planned as follows:
1999 - Swiss Federation (SFSV)
2000 - USA (ICCF-U.S. in Florida)
2001 - Italy (ASIGC)
For more information check out ICCF President Alan Borwell's message at the ICCF Website under "What's New" or check out the Chess Mail Frontpage site listed below.
Eckhard Lüers, who created the ICCF web site and acted as webmaster for the 18 months since then, has stepped down. Søren Peschardt of Denmark will become webmaster for the ICCF web site starting 1 September 1998. His email address is

For more information and a nice picture of Mr. Peschardt check the Chess Mail page at Chess Mail Frontpage. You can also check out the ICCF Congress Agenda while you're there.

News just in from the Scottish CC Association: SCCA has announced that the "Friends of Scotland" email tournament, scheduled to start on September 1st, has been postponed indefinitely (at least until after the ICCF Congress in Riga in late September). The delay is apparently needed to work out the details of (hopefully) gaining ICCF rating for this event. If SCCA pulls this off, they'll have an excellent international event. I'm planning to play either way it goes. I suggest that you keep an eye on the Scottish Correspondence Chess Association (SCCA) web site for future information.
ICCF-U.S. Secretary Prof. Max Zavanelli recently announced that 60 USA players have now received their first ICCF rating. ICCF has been working on rating events retro-actively. If you've never had an ICCF rating before but have played in a number of events in the past, you might find that you now have a rating. Check out the well-designed web pages at ICCF rating list.

I would like to recommend that you visit a relatively new website (actually it's a bit older than "The Campbell Report!"), namely the Scottish Correspondence Chess Association (SCCA). While there, check out their just-announced first email tournament, the "Friends of Scotland" email tournament. Help our Scottish cc brothers celebrate their joy in chess competition by signing up for one (or more) free 7-person email sections. We're promised complete coverage of this event at the web site. It's also possible it will be ICCF-rated! More later.
Disaster strikes the John Knudsen CC Site! While John was away from home for a few days for a well-deserved vacation, his entire web site was accidentally deleted by his service provider (they even deleted the backups!). Many lesser men would curl up their toes and look for other ways to spend their time. However, John is hard at work restoring his vast cc resource for his many world-wide friends. Please don't be critical if some features take a while to restore, such as the games for downloading. This is one of those nightmares we never expect to actually happen to us. John already has a number of features restored and will undoubtedly have everything back to normal soon. Way to go, John Knudsen!
I would like to congratulate my friend Ian Brooks on qualifying for the ICCF International Master title. I recently received this note from Ian, who previously was a fellow columnist for the APCT News Bulletin:

"I just finished my last game in the Pelikan memorial when Parkkinen agreed to my draw offer. It is a game I should/could have won, but my final score of 6/14 meets the norm for the IM title :) I am just waiting for confirmation from the TD, Juan Morgado."

Shortly after that Morgado did confirm the title and the ICCF qualifications commisioner George Pyrich (who was also playing in the Pelikan) also confirmed the title. So I say, "Congratulations, IM Ian Brooks!"
Based on my 3-4 months experience as a "webmaster" I have a few comments/suggestions directed at the users of these sites.

Creating and maintaining a good chess site requires a tremendous commitment of time and energy. Of course, much of this is a labor of love by the webmaster. However, there is no doubt that positive feedback is appreciated. In fact, without such feedback it is likely that the chess website creator/maintainer will "burn out" and the site will run out of steam. New material will cease and the site will die a slow death. You can supply the much-appreciated positive feedback in several ways ... and I suggest that you reward the sites you appreciate with such feedback.

  • Sign the Guestbook ... such a simple thing yet so often ignored. I know how often I check my Guestbook for a new entry ... and how seldom I find one. This is a good place to vote for the continuation of a site you like.
  • Drop the webmaster an occasional E-mail ... I treasure the rare compliments that arrive at odd moments in my e-mail inbox. Even a single sentence can work wonders.
  • Provide information ... some chess sites need input from others. If you have appropriate news items or the ability to write the type of articles/tournament reports/annotated games/instuction/etc. that is published at the website, then provide a little of the effort required to keep the site going.
  • Provide ideas ... if you recognize a feature missing from the web site that would be a good addition, send the webmaster your suggestion.
  • Provide a link ... if you also have a web site, provide your readers with a list of links to your favorite web sites. Chances are that people who like your site will also like the sites you recommend.
  • Follow through ... if you think of some web sites that deserve some of the treatment I suggest above, follow through. If you make a commitment to send information or write an article for a web site, follow through. Many webmasters have learned not to depend on people, even well-known and respected chess journalists, to deliver on their promises. This is a disappointing and discouraging experience and will certainly lead many webmasters to abandon their former passion for producing a quality web site.

If any other webmasters out there have additions to make to this list I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Copyright © 1998 by J. Franklin Campbell