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42th Meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia 25.7. - 1.8.1998


Official Participants

Bedrich FORMÁNEK Slovakia President
Hannu HARKOLA Finland 1st Vice-President
Kjell WIDLERT Sweden 2nd Vice-President
Bernd ELLINGHOVEN Germany 3rd Vice-President
Günter BÜSING Germany Secretary
Agchin MASIMOV Azerbaijan Delegate
Petrovich SITCHOV Belarus (new member) Delegate
Ignaas VANDEMEULEBROUCKE Belgium Delegate
Josip VARGA Croatia Delegate
Jiri JELINEK Czechia Delegate
Jan MORTENSEN Denmark Delegate
Michel CAILLAUD France Delegate
David GURGENIDZE Georgia Delegate
John RICE Great Britain Delegate
Byron ZAPPAS Greece Delegate
Gabor CSEH Hungary Deputy for Tibor Szabó
Uri AVNER Israel Delegate
Tadashi WAKASHIMA Japan Delegate
Kir SIVERTSEV Kazakhstan (new member) Delegate
Zivko JANEVSKI Macedonia Delegate
Albert IVANOV Moldova (new member) Delegate
Sonomun CHIMEDTZEREN Mongolia Delegate
Henk le GRAND The Netherlands Delegate
Wladislaw ROSOLAK Poland Deputy for Jan Rusinek
Mircea MANOLESCU Romania Deputy for Virgil Nestorescu
Jakov VLADIMIROV Russia Delegate
Marko KLASINC Slovenia Delegate
Thomas MAEDER Switzerland Delegate
Jewgeni REITZEN Ukraine Delegate
Newman GUTTMAN USA Delegate
Milan VELIMIROVIC Yugoslavia Delegate
Barry BARNES Great Britain Honorary Member
Victor CHEPIZHNY Russia Honorary Member

Initially 22 of the 35 member countries were represented. After the late arrival of some delegates and acceptance of the new membership application by Belarus, Kazakhstan and Moldova (see § 3) 30of the 38 member countries were represented.

The following persons were excused:

Helmut ZAJIC Austria Delegate
Fadil ABDURAHMANOVIC Bosnia-Hercegovina Delegate
Francesco SIMONE Italy Delegate
Manuel MUNOZ Spain Delegate

It was noted that the Italian delegate could not attend the meeting because he had not received a visa for Russia. Other participants had also problems to get visa. The organisers informed the Commission that there had been problems with the registration at the Russian foreign ministry which were solved at a very late stage.

No delegates were nominated by Brazil, Bulgaria and Latvia. Estonia had nominated as a new delegate Toivo LUKATS who, however, was not present.

Active visitors fulfilling tasks as members of subcommittees, tourney directors, assistant directors, etc., were: Barry BARNES (Great Britain), Ofer COMAY (Israel), Colin SYDENHAM (Great Britain), Neal TURNER (Finland), Igor VERESHCHAGIN, Andrei SELIVANOV, Anatoli SLESARENKO, Oleg PERVAKOV, Nikolaj KRALIN (all Russia) and Viktor MELNICHENKO (Ukraine). Also several Russian assistants worked very effectively in the background.

§1 Opening address, remembrance for deceased problemists

After words of welcome President Bedrich Formánek remembered the Commisison of the great Russian history in chess composition and mentioned in particular that 9 Russian composers have been awarded the title of grandmaster for chess composition. He expressed his thanks to Jakov Vladimirov, Andrej Selivanov and to the Russian Chess Federation for the invitation to the meeting, and then declared the meeting open.

Thereafter the President regretted the death of several prominent problemists. A minute of mourning and remembrance was held for:

Roald Bukne (11.2.25 - 10.10.97), Attila Koranyi (18.2.34 - 17.11.97), Pekka Massinen (4.1.21 - 4.12.97), Cyril Swindley (10.6.35 - 17.9.97), Alexandr Guljajev (Grin) (18.11.08 - 18.2.98) and Tividar Kardos (26.9.12 - 15.5.98).

§2 Verification of Attendance and Voting Rights

Initially, 22 member countries out of 35 were represented. The meeting was declared legal.

§3 Application of new Members

Belarus, Kazakhstan and Moldava applied for new membership in the Commisison. The nominated delegates of these countries orally repeated the application and informed the Commission about the situation of chess composition in their countries. In separate votes, the applications for membership were accepted with results as follows: Moldova: 23 in favour (unanimous); Kazakhstan: 21 in favour, 1 abstention; Belarus: 22 in favour, 1 abstention.

§4 Approval of the Pula minutes 1997

The minutes of the 40th Meeting in Pula (1997) were approved with the following addendum in Par. V.I. on page 7, after line 7:
"Before the vote was taken, the President once again urged Delegates to approve the 4 proposals presented by Russia and Georgia, even though the presentation had been made at a late stage in this year's series of PCCC meetings."

§5 Checking of the Standing Subcommittees

1. Codex:

2. WCSC:

3. WCCT:

4. FIDE-album:

5. Qualifications:

6. Computer Matters:

7. Studies:

8. Terminology:

9. Presidium Election:

10. World Championship for Composing:

§6 Proposals by Members

6.I Proposal by several countries

The delegates of Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, France, Switzerland and Honorary President K. Wenda had submitted the following proposal ("international proposal"): "The title of "World Champion" determined on the basis of the FIDE Albums, as decided in Pula, should be withdrawn for the current album (1992-94) and for all future Albums. Instead, a special subcommittee should be established to consider how a World Championship might be organised."

The President defined the questions to be discussed as follows:
1. Do we need a world championship?
2. If yes: Should the FIDE-album be the basis for determining the world champions?
3. If the answer to question 2 is no: Should published or original problems be taken into account?
4. How many compositions should be taken into account?

He suggested that the Commission should discuss and decide on the first and second of these questions and then give the matter to a subcommittee for a detailed discussion of the method to be adopted.

In the ensuing discussion, formal and substantial points were raised. In particular, Uri Avner considered last year's decision for introduction of the title as invalid because no two-thirds majority was reached in the vote. Different opinions were expressed whether the two-thirds majority requirement in § X of the Statutes applies only for life titles (Masters and Judges) or for all kind of new titles. In this context, H. Harkola suggested to clarify the wording of the statutes. B. Ellinghoven stated that the discussion went into the wrong direction because he felt that most of the delegates wanted to maintain the title. The discussion should therefore concentrate on the method.

D. Gurgenidze reminded the delegates that last year's proposal, which had been made by Russia and Georgia, was intended as an incentive for composers to further advance compositional chess in general. He observed that some well-known composers have supported the open letter of the so- called "Album-Rescue-Campaign". He would like to find a reasonable compromise such that the album will be saved and world championships are also maintained.

J. Vladimirov defended the decision as taken in Pula and considered it as the most reasonable one. He did not support the idea of having a new competition for the determination of world champions. If a subcommittee should be established in accordance with the proposal, such subcommittee should not exclude from its considerations that the album might in future form the best basis for determining world champions.

In a vote, the international proposal as defined above was accepted with 21 delegates in favour, 2 against and 2 abstentions. Subsequent thereto, the Subcommittee was established as indicated in §5.10 above.

6.II Further proposals

Further proposals were discussed in various subcommittees and are referred to under other paragraphs of these minutes (§8 FIDE Album, §9 Qualifications).

§7 Competitions

7.I  22nd World Chess Solving Championship

Jakov Vladimirov selected the problems for the 22nd WCSC. Victor Melnichenko and Neal Turner directed the WCSC.

The final results of the 22th WCSC were as follows:

a) Teams:
1. Israel 149.50 points, 651 min. 2. Russia 137.00, 703 3. Ukraine 136.50, 695 4. Finland 129.75, 640 5. Yugoslavia 128.75, 606 6. Great Britain 128.75, 623 7. Russia-2 117.00, 712 8. Germany 106.00, 707 9. Netherlands 101.50, 712 10. Poland 98.00, 718 11. Slovakia 94.00, 717 12. Japan 92.00, 720 13. Georgia 86.75, 712 14. Azerbaijan 85.25, 714 15. Belarus 83.75, 720 16. Latvia 78.50, 711 17. Slovenia 76.75, 718 18. Czechia 57.00, 710 19. Moldava 56.50, 719 20. Belgium 42.00, 702 The team Russia-2 was an inofficial participant.

b) Individuals:
1. Georgy Evseev (Russia) 74.50 points, 355 min. (World Champion) 2. Valery Kopyl (Ukraine) 74.50, 356 3. Ram Soffer (Israel) 70.50, 332 4. Ofer Comay (Israel) 67.00, 337 5. Jorma Paavilainen (Finland) 66.75, 336 6. Jonathan Mestel (Great Britain) 66.00, 316 7. Marjan Kovacevic (Yugoslavia) 64.25, 332 8. Michel Caillaud (France) 62.75, 353 9. Mark Erenburg (Israel) 62.50, 342 10. Pauli Perkonoja (Finland) 60.00, 304 11. Milan Velimirovic (Yugoslavia) 58.00, 292 12. Sergej Rumjantsev (Russia) 57.00, 353 and 58 further participants.

7.II  6th WCCT
Uri Avner reported that a delay in the study section had occured because the judge changed his reply to a very important question concerning the theme. After consultation between Hemmo Axt, the director of the 6th WCCT, the spokesman of the subcommittee and the President of PCCC, it had been decided to postpone the closing date for the study section by three months.

Günter Büsing reported to the Commission on behalf of the tournament director Hemmo Axt that 35 countries are taking part in the competition. The number of entries is as follows: 2#: 90; 3#: 78; n#: 64; studies: not yet known, due to postponed closing date in this section; h#: 92; s#: 81 and fairy: 83. The entries are presently harmonized and a brochure containing all of them will presumably be distributed to the team captains and the judges until end of 1998. After the following 4 month protest phase, the judges have to consider the problems and the possibly raised protests. Provided that all the judges work as expected, the result of the 6th WCCT may be available by the end of 1999.

7.III Future WCCTs
Uri Avner reported that, continuing last year's discussion on this topic, the WCCT subcommittee had again discussed ideas concerning the judging in future WCCTs. The subcommittee made a recommendation according to which the current system should not be continued in future. Instead, five (possibly participating) countries will be invited to prepare a judgement within a certain period by establishing a ranking for the top 30 problems. The countries should by themselves decide of how to prepare the judgement. The countries do not judge their own compositions but the remaining awards are averaged and the thus established average is taken as a fifth ranking for the judging country. After discussion of details of the procedure, it was decided by voting that future WCCTs should be based on 5 judgements (24 in favour, 5 abstentions, 0 against). Details of the method will be defined after clarification of the mathematical method.

The next WCCT might perhaps start in 2000, but no exact date could be given so far. Themes will be discussed during next year's meeting. A country willing to organize the WCCT is being sought.

§8 FIDE-Album, Report by the Subcommittee

8.I General
A proposal by Mr. Aloni related to album and title points was given to the qualifications subcommittee because it concerns title points rather than album points. A proposal submitted by Mr. Kusnezov was to return to a point system with only full points because he considers the present half-point system as too complicated. The subcommittee recommended not to support this proposal because the present system works well. This view was generally accepted by the Commission.
A further proposal by Mr. Kusnezov was to take into account different styles of composition. The subcommittee's view was that this has always been done and saw no reason for changing the present method. This view was also generally shared by the delegates. Mr. Garai had submitted a proposal concerning the work of preparing and producing the album. Kjell Widlert reported that this text could be used either as a foreword in one of the next albums or as an annex to the Statutes (after slight revision). The matter will be discussed next year in further detail.

8.II FIDE Album 1986-88 and 1989-91
Kjell Widlert, the spokesman of the subcommittee, reported that the new edition of the FIDE-album 1986-88 in three languages is not yet available. The Album 1989-91 is presently sold out but more copies will be bound in the near future.

8.III FIDE Album 1992-94
The spokesman informed the Commission that several judges and directors had decided to interrupt their work in view of last year's decision to combine the album with the grant of titles of World Champion for Chess Composition. At the moment it is not sure whether the album can be finished. Provided a solution to the problem of World Championship will be found (see § 6.I in this respect), K. Widlert assumes that publication of the album can be expected in 2000. If, however, the problem could not be solved, then about 10 replacement judges would be needed, and a considerable delay had to be expected in that case.

8.IV FIDE Album 1995-97
The announcement for the next album for the period 1995-97 has been made. The closing date will presumably be 30. September 1999. Judges and directors have been nominated. A list including the names will be distributed after the candidates, or reserve candidates, have agreed to their nominations.

§9 Qualifications

Ignaas Vandemeulebroucke gave a report on the work of the subcommittee which included the following proposals.

9.I Honorary Master
The proposal of the delegate from Israel to grant the title of Honorary Master of Problem Chess to Mr. Eliahu Fasher from Israel was supported and unanimously accepted by the Commission.

9.II International Judges
The subcommittee recommended to award the title of international judge to:

The Commission accepted this proposal (26 in favour, 1 abstention)

9.III Titles for solvers
Based on the results of the open solving tourney and WCSC, the award of the following titles was recommended:

The Commission accepted this proposal by unanimous decision.

9.IV Titles for composers

Based on the results of the FIDE album 1989-91, grant of the following titles was recommended:

FIDE Master

The Commission accepted this proposal by unanimous decision. Subject to confirmation by FIDE, all the proposed titles were thus granted.

§10 Codex, Report by the Subcommittee

After the acceptance of the new Codex during the meeting 1997 in Pula, the spokesman Günter Büsing reported on the progress in making the Codex known to problemists. Publications have so far been made in German (Die Schwalbe, XII/1997; also in Rochade Europa, V/1998 and are soon foreseen also in feenschach [meanwhile published in VI-VII/1998]), French (Phénix V/1998), Russian (Schachmatnaja komposizija ), English (according to I. Vandemeulebroucke in Belgium, source unknown; foreseen also in The Problemist [meanwhile published in VII/1998]) and partly in Czech (Sachova skladba).

The subcommission discussed first reactions on the codex and will continue to collect reactions and consider them in view of possible amendments or improvements of the text.

§11 Computer Matters, Report by the Subcommittee

Henk le Grand, the spokesman of the subcommittee, reported to the Commission that the web-site offered last year by Kenneth Solja did not really work. He mentioned that Hannu Harkola runs a (non-official) web-site into which he puts important information concerning the PCCC.

The standard for exchanging compositions from one computer program to another has not made progress during the last year.

From next year on, Thomas Maeder will presumably be the spokesman of the subcommittee.

§12 Studies subcommittee

John Roycroft, the spokesman of the subcommittee, informed the Commission that one short but productive meeting had taken place. The subcommittee discussed and agreed on the method of how to chose in future the study of the year. It further decided that informal minutes should be taken on the meetings of the subcommittee, which will be published in "eg". With regard to the paper including the result of the study of the years 1989-91 which had been distributed together with last year's minutes, J. Roycroft asked for feedback from the delegates on what actions had been taken in their countries in order to publicize the results. In Great Britain, the results had been sent to about 100 chess journalists.

§13 Terminology Subcommittee

The spokesman John Rice reported to the Commission that the work of the terminology subcommittee proceeds, but not at great speed. The definitions agreed so far will be circulated with the minutes of this meeting. J. Rice hoped that terminology relating to studies will be dealt with by the studies subcommittee, but this cannot happen before the next PCCC meeting.

§14 Future Meetings and future WCSC

Invitation 1999: A proposal from Mongolia to organize next year's meeting was not supported by the majority of the delegates. Milan Velimirovic indicated that there might be a possibility to organize the meeting in Montenegro, and Uri Avner did so for Israel. However, no details could be given during the session. A majority of delegates favoured to have the meeting in Montenegro and M. Velimirovic was invited to make a proposal as soon as possible. Israel was also invited to prepare an invitation in case that the Montenegro suggestion should fail.

§15 Presidium Elections

The election of the new presidium had the following results:

After the elections the re-elected President informed the delegates that Günter Büsing will continue to act as Secretary.

§16 Any other Business

16.I  Hannu Harkola distributed a new updated (third) edition of the Chess Problem Lists. The President expressed his thanks for the preparation of this very useful documentation.

16.II  The distribution of certificates to the most successful composers in the FIDE-album 1989- 91, i.e. to the World Champions and the runner-ups in the various sections, was intended for one of the sessions but delayed for those who were present until the final banquet.

16.III  Kir Sivertsev suggested to have an official press center in future years and to invite press to the congress.

As there was no further other business, the President finally expressed his thanks for the good work of the delegates, the Secretary, the subcommittees and the organizers of this meeting, and then declared the meeting closed.

Bratislava, November 1998

Dr. B. Formánek

München, November 1998

G. Büsing

Annex: List of addresses

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Created by © Hannu Harkola, Helsinki, 1999, E-mail: hannu.harkola@sci.fi
Updated 24th February 1999