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.

Top players as of June 2018

Standard chess
1 CZE Roman Chytilek
2 NED Ron Langeveld
3 RUS Aleksandr Surenovich Dronov
4 GER Matthias Kribben
5 NED David van der Hoeven
6 ITA Eros Riccio
7 ESP David Lafarga Santorromán
8 FIN Auvo Kujala
9 ROU Florin Şerban
10 ESP Joel Martin Clemente
11 GER Arno Nickel
12 GER Martin Kreuzer
13 ENG Nigel Robson
14 ENG Peter L. Coleman
15 TUR Tansel Turgut
16 ITA Elio Vassia
17 SLO Marjan Šemrl
18 RUS Vladimir Viktorovich Perevertkin
19 SLO Aleš Borštnik
20 UKR Sergei Bubir

1 RUS Shpakovsky, Aleksandr Nikolaevich
2 WLS Claridge, John B.
3 USA Paul Muljadi
4 FRA Banet, Jean
5 SLO Babič, Darko
6 RUS Pavlov, Viktor Aleksandrovich
7 AUT Komaromi, Gabor
8 SUI Weber-Widmer, Daniel A.
9 GER Ebert, Jürgen
10 RUS Voll, Aleksey Borisovich
11 GER Kribben, Johannes
12 RUS Filin, Evgeny Konstantinovich
13 SLO Korže, Danilo
14 RUS Matyukhin, Sergey Konstantinovich
15 SLO Zajšek, Franc
16 RUS Sergey Vladimirovich Nadeev
17 UKR Koshmak, Iurii
18 GER Höppenstein, Michael
19 LUX Thed Klauner
20 GER Zordick, Milon
. BRA Dutra, Alfredo

See also