The new WT/A postal promotional tournaments

Thursday, December 30, 2021: The number of postal players is constantly decreasing and it is always more difficult to start new postal promotional tournaments.

While until 2017 the number of new tournaments was acceptable (a total of 19 in 2016 and 18 in 2017), as of 2018 it was quite difficult to start new WT/M and WT/H sections: 2 M and 2 H in 2018, 3 M and 1 H in 2019, and only 1 M and 2 H in both 2020 and 2021! Thankfully, the WT/O hasn't suffered as much of this decline, with a number of new starting sections consistently between 5 and 7.

What to do? Someone suggested dismissing postal tournaments, as has already happened in many countries. But ICCF started its adventure by post and it would be absolutely unfair to tell the very few postal game lovers, generally elderly people without Internet facilities, that they are now "out of the new world" and can no longer play with the ICCF!

Therefore I proposed to the 2021 ICCF Congress to unify the two upper classes, WT/M and WT/H, into a single category. This will make it easier to start new sections, players will not have to wait too long after registering and… maybe the postal play will have a new impetus!

My proposal was accepted. Therefore, as of 01/01/2022, there will be only two postal tournament classes: the "old" WT/O, for players rated < 1900, and the "new" WT/A, for players rated 1900 or more.

Each WT/A tournament will have 4 players who will play 2 games with each other, one with White and one with Black, for a total of 6 games.

If the number of registrations is the same as in the last two years, I plan to start about 4 WT/A sections every year, without long waiting times. But I am confident in an increase in the number of registrations. Let's wait a couple of years to see if my idea will work!

Finally, I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to the two postal TDs, Rubens Battistini and Josep Guevara i Pijoan, who with their commitment and dedication (conducting a postal tournament is much more difficult than a server one!) allow "postal game lovers" to continue to cultivate their passion.

Gian-Maria Tani

ICCF Postal Tournament Office

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