Ukraine - MF brief description
Article provided by: Koshmak, Iurii
There is no doubt that the city of Kharkiv may be regarded as the cradle of correspondence chess in Ukraine.
It is known that before 1917 the territory of Ukraine was a constituent part of the Russian Empire; later on, its larger part has become a part of the USSR as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1878 the great chess player Mykhailo Chigorin has organised a match on 4 chessboards against Kharkiv chess players.
In 1879 French chess magazine initiated a match between the cities of Kharkiv and Besancon (France).
Mykhailo Shabelsky, an army physician from Kharkiv was the winner of the first correspondence chess tournament (1882-84) in Russian Empire.
An interesting event took place in 1932 - a telegraph match between the cities of Kharkiv and Berlin.
Commission of Correspondence Competitions affiliated with the Chess Federation was organised in Ukraine in 1958 and chaired by general Yakiv Shereshevsky.
Ukrainian individual men’s correspondence chess championships were initiated since 1958, whereas team and ladies’ tournaments – since 1966.
Among the main organizers and promoters of correspondence chess in Ukraine at different times one should mention Pavlo Grizo, Mark Usachy, Leonid Chepurnoy, Elena Salnikova, Rudolf Kolesnikov, to name but a few.
Ukrainan correspondence chess players A.Vaysman, V.Kaluzhin, A.Podolsky and M.Usachy were European champions, whereas A.Volchok, S.Gubnitsky, A.Gurvich, O.Milyutin, Y.Sadovoy were prize winners of European championships.
Svitlana Ignatenko and Aleksey Lepikhov were bronze medallists of the world championship.
Soon after Ukraine got its independence, the Correspondence Chess Federation was created and recognised by the ICCF Congress in Remini in 2001.
Many Ukrainian correspondence chess players are successfully participating in different competitions carried out by the ICCF.
Ukrainian chess player Nikolai Papenin once had the highest ICCF rating.