Archive for June 22nd, 2010

Kindred’s Special: The Art of Correspondence Chess–the CCLA Way

June 22, 2010

WHAT HAS SIZE TO DO WITH THE VALUES ONE MIGHT PLACE ON A CHESS ORGANIZATION? For most I would say value is placed on the number of members and tournaments, the size and frequency of literature and explanation of rules and procedures that enable especially new players but also refreshing those of established members of current policy. In past columns I have touched upon the positive merits of THE CORRESPONDENCE CHESS LEAGUE OF AMERICA (CCLA) and can affirm the integrity and the leadership qualities possessed within that organization, the skill of and friendliness of its membership, and quality of both published games, annotations, and further on the occasional articles devoted the opening, middle or endgame. I have been a member since 1958, served as editor for a 3-year period (1966-8) filling in until a permanent editor could be found and lst Vice President on one of the most active Boards having insight and quality leadership at every level and some really good membership suggestions. It was a team effort where brainstorming and ideas were fully aired. For many years Dick Rees (who was quite handicapped) did an excellent job although tended to be overprotective of his position as Secretary; he was followed by Jerry Honn, a very strong player as well as a great administrator. Jerry retired but continues to play in CCLA. CCLA success was continued with quality leadership through all these years.The magazine THE CHESS CORRESPONDENT was the forerunner of Reuben Fine’s treatise IDEAS BEHIND THE CHESS OPENINGS. His openings and explored ideas were first seen in it’s pages and in those days CCLA was bigger than the US Chess Federation, The two merged but eventually USCF to appease Al Horowitz of CHESS REVIEW decided to devote its full energies to overtheboard chess. At that time, CHESS REVIEW (the picture magazine) was America’s most popular chess magazine with over 11000 readers. What was most important is– that commercial magazine was sold on newsstands as well as through subscriptions.

I just got my hard copy for April-June 2010, vol.83. no. 2. The article under the title: CCLA Server Play FAQ, covers a host of questions and answers that is relevant to any chess enthusiast wishing to play or refresh policies and rules. If you are a CCLAer right now, no problem, but if you are not and want to join or get info, the president to contact is: Herbert Hickman. The mailing address is: CCLA, P. O. Box 142, Livingston, NJ 07039-0142. I encourage you to visit the website and happy chess adventures await you!

Some of the upcoming tournaments are, 19th U.S. Correspondence Chess Championship (July 1, 2010).  CCLA Women’s Championship (July l, 2010).  A full listing of all tournaments are on the tournament schedule of CCLA. Update schedules as they apply.

For some years now I have been inactive in cc play due to family illness,  falling off a roof, having physical problems, etc. I started two tournaments but had to withdraw so as not to make my opponents suffer unduly. It would have been too much for me to fully observe the rules of cc play. I hope to return to active play should I find the time. I am not supposed to sit for long periods without exercising my limbs since I rely upon my brain as my main source of chess skill. Sitting at the board these days is not the cup of tea I need!