Correspondence or Postal Chess today is generally played
through some intermediate group. With the advent of the internet, the days
of licking a stamp and sending a move through the mail is as passť as
handwritten letters. Today most Correspondence Chess is handled through
sites with a board on which the moves can be made and transmitted, where
players can meet and match up and where ratings are laboriously calculated
Some such sites are
But life, nor chess, wasn't always so easy, not even on the internet
Until the early 1990's the internet, which was government
funded and therefore restricted in use to governmental, educational and
research purposes, was predominately habituated by professionals in those
fields which also happen to be fields where chess is a common pastime.
Chess was being played over the internet (in fact, ICS, the
Internet Chess Server - the forerunner to ICC and FICS -
began in the late 1980's as an ASCII based system) but with the primitive
protocols, slow connections, limited availability and nascent technology,
chess playing, even by email (which was also rather primitive) was
unorganized and haphazard at best.
Toward the mid 1990's
things began to happen. The internet opened up commercially, graphical
browers such as Mosaic (and graphical interfaces) were being developed
while Delphi, followed by AOL, Prodigy and CompuServe started offering
personal connectivity. Daniel Dominic Kaplan Sleator, a professor of
computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, re-wrote the ICS
code with the intention of commercialize it as ICC and in
January1994 Lisa Powell started a group called
IECG, the Internet Email Chess
Group. Ms. Powell left IECG in October 1994 and the following year
founded IECC, the Internet
Email Chess Club actively seeking out members with the following posting
to the chess newsgroup:
CEO/TD: Lisa Powell [Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Founder of International Email Chess Group
The IECC defines itself as a small intimate chess club, as was
the IECG when Lisa Powell founded it at the beginning of 1994 with a dozen
Please reply with:
1. First Name and Last Name
3. Current or past rating, and from what chess organization
-- or your best guesstimate.
4. Activities you elect to participate in.
[IECC Pyramid participation automatically assigned for new members.]
The IECC is free and has a variety of special events
tournaments, swiss tournaments, round robin, two match pairings, etc.
The IECC also published a regular newsletter called Chess
Bits and Pieces from March 1995 until March 1998. With the idea of
presenting and preserving these newsletters, they are listed below and
reproduced with permission from
IECC, the Internet Email Chess Club.
THE FOUNDER'S CORNER
By Lisa Powell
The inevitable question, which I get asked almost every day by new
members joining IECC: "What's the difference between IECC and IECG?"
To friends of mine, the short-form reply is "me."
Although that's an entirely unsatisfactory answer, there's a germ of
1. Fact: I started IECG at the beginning of 1994 with a dozen players,
none of whom are now on the staff of IECG. Some joined before I left;
others joined later.
2. Fact: When I relinquished the position of CEO/TD to Franz Hemmer in
October 1994, the membership of IECG had passed the 800-member mark.
When asked why I surrendered my position as CEO/TD of IECG, I pass. The
reasons were personal, and still are.
3. For a time I was permitted to stay of the staff of IECG as "Chairman
Of The Board." In the business world, that means something; in the world
of chess, it doesn't.
4. Close friends of mine who had belonged to email chess organizations
long before I started IECG asked me to get back in the game. Hence, IECC:
the International Email Chess Club. The original idea was to keep it
small, but when I was told that I could NOT have more than 100 members
in IECC, I naturally ignored the prohibition, for all the obvious
5. Why did I resign from my creation IECG? Basically, to avoid conflict
6. I have been told by new members that IECC is friendlier than IECG.
That has to be categorized as a matter of opinion, of course. This not
not a "Who is friendlier" contest -- nor indeed a contest at all, on
this side of fence. IMHO, the appropriate place for aggression in the
world of chess should be on the battlefield of 64 squares.
I do hope that both my children -- IECG and IECC -- will continue to