Russell Sherwood Wednesday, December 12, 2018
On January 1st the biggest shake-up in ICCF tournaments for a number of years is taking place with the Introduction of the New Title Tournaments.
Historically ICCF offered two "open entry" events - the Master Norm for players over 2300 and the Grandmaster Norm for players rated over 2400. These tournaments served well for a number of years but an increasing frustration was seen in recent years driven by a number of issues:
- The introduction of the CCE and CCM Titles, which whilst some federations took a lead to organise their own qualifying events, were not available for open entry.
- Modifications made to the GM Norm tournament to facilitate the obtaining of SIM Norms had the negative effect of making GM Norms much harder to obtain.
Following an in-depth analysis of the situation, a proposal was presented at the Llandudno Congress which was accepted and comes into operation on Jan 1st.
So what has changed? First, instead of 2 Tournaments, there are now 10 events, 2 each focused on GM, SIM, IM, CCM and CCE Titles.
The first thing to notice is that the entry requirements for the GM events are higher than before. A GM Norm is possible in the SIM-A and possible SIM-B event but these will be much more difficult to obtain, the same being true for each subsequent lower tier.
So what is the benefit of this? For each Tier, we have a much narrower rating, which for the 'A' events means that, typically, the event is a Category higher and hence requiring a slightly lower score (generally one less win) for the Title Norm. This will still be difficult to achieve but this reorganisation should make the obtaining of titles slightly easier.
Another benefit, which may not be immediately apparent is that events in which "elo leeching" is not really possible in these events!
So have a look and make your choice! If you want any advice on these events, please get in touch.