International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) was founded in 1951 as a new appearance of the International Correspondence Chess Association (ICCA), which was founded in 1945, as successor of the Internationaler Fernschachbund (IFSB), founded in 1928.

The current chairman is Eric Ruch.



Correspondence chess

Correspondence chess is a variation of chess played between towns, chess clubs and/or individuals, in settings where the opponents are not situated face-to-face. Means of communicating moves include:

In the past, postal chess was the most common appearance of ICCF.

In most sports a player can only play regularly on an international basis when they are a national top-player. One of the charms of correspondence chess (whether playing the email or the postal version) is that players can play at an international level, even when they are starting to play this kind of a game for the first time.

Before ICCF

Some sources say that correspondence chess was already played in the 12th century.[5] Most chess historians doubt whether this is true. In the 19th century chess clubs and magazines started to organize more regular tournaments, national as well as international tournaments. Finally in 1928 the first international league (Internationaler Fernschachbund) was founded. Alexander Alekhine, Paul Keres and Max Euwe were well-known enthusiastic correspondence chess players during some periods of their chess careers.

Current membership

ICCF, the present successor of the IFSB, is a federation of national member organizations. At this moment there are worldwide 56 ICCF national member federations with altogether more than 100.000 individual member correspondence chess players. Most of them are playing several games simultaneously. Some of them are even playing more than 100 games at the same time. Most strong players think that 15 email games at the same time is the upper limit.


Using its own language-independent chess notation, ICCF organizes all kind of tournaments: individual and team championships, title norm tournaments and promotion tournaments (from Open Class until Master Class) – in postal, email and the ICCF correspondence server versions. Starting from 2011 ICCF organizes chess960 events.

Almost the same kind of tournaments also exists within the four zones into which ICCF is divided: Europe, Latin America, North America/Pacific and Africa/Asia.

Zone 1; Europe Director : Caressa, Marco

Zone 2; Latin America Director : Figlio, Gino Franco

Zone 3; North America/Pacific Director : Bokar, Dr. Jason

Zone 4; Africa/Asia Director : Akkaraju, Sailesh Chandra

ICCF is closely co-operating with the leading world chess organization FIDE. All ICCF titles, championships and ratings are recognised by FIDE.

Highest-rated players as of December 2017, standard chess

PlaceICCF IDCountryTitleNameGamesRating
1130853CZEGMRoman Chytilek1782688
2370930NEDGMRon Langeveld1442679
3140915RUSGMAleksandr Surenovich Dronov1532668
481027GERGMMatthias Kribben2232653
5370921NEDGMDavid van der Hoeven1592648
6241018ITAGMEros Riccio4252644
7160789ESPGMDavid Lafarga Santorromán2162644
8460342FINGMAuvo Kujala602635
9440534ROUGMFlorin Şerban1762628
10169064ESPGMJoel Martin Clemente3042623
1181026GERGMMartin Kreuzer932623
1281282GERGMArno Nickel4092621
13211305ENGGMNigel Robson1632617
14490124TURGMTansel Turgut1342614
15211303ENGGMPeter L. Coleman2432611
16249221ITAGMElio Vassia1112611
17480098SLOGMMarjan Šemrl1212606
18141280RUSGMVladimir Viktorovich Perevertkin1302603
19480135SLOGMAleš Borštnik1722602
20940623UKRGMSergei Bubir1572601


PlaceICCF IDCountryTitleNameGamesRating
1141671RUSSIMShpakovsky, Aleksandr Nikolaevich142615
2810160WLSIMClaridge, John B.132528
3180396FRASIMBanet, Jean462514
4480273SLOIMBabič, Darko502512
5141746RUS Pavlov, Viktor Aleksandrovich322505
6149208RUSGMMatyukhin, Sergey Konstantinovich232503
7100246SUI Weber-Widmer, Daniel A.142500
8140123RUSGMVoll, Aleksey Borisovich682496
985898GER Kribben, Johannes642494
1086235AUT Komaromi, Gabor152490
11142597RUS Filin, Evgeny Konstantinovich202488
12480084SLOGMKorže, Danilo332487
1381087GERIMEbert, Jürgen302486
14480334SLOCCMZajšek, Franc542477
1570640BRAIMDutra, Alfredo212470
16940981UKRIMKoshmak, Iurii632463
1785280GERCCMHöppenstein, Michael122460
18570023LUXSIMThed Klauner122460
19515808USA Paul Muljadi132459
20142038RUSIMSergey Vladimirovich Nadeev422452

See also