ICCF Definitions and Acronyms

Current List

ICCF Definitions and Acronyms List V1.0  November 2020 

This list is provided to assist the player in understand ICCF Rules and communications. In all cases relevant Rules documents take precedence should there be a difference with this document.




AA Zone

Zone representing Federations and players from Africa and Asia

Accepted Withdrawal

A withdrawal for an event (or multiple events) which meets ICCF criteria. Players are not able to enter any other events for a period of six months


Process where the result of a game is determined by an independent anonymous third party


Player who carries out adjudications. Generally, a stronger player than those playing the game.


A tie-break utilising the number of Wins a player achieves.


Tie-break system where the opponents raw scores are totalled. Used with Silli System

Buchholz 2nd Stage

Tie-break system where the opponents Buchholz scores are totalled. Used with the Silli System

Buchholz Cut 1 (BC1)

Tie break where the Buchholz score is reduced by the removal of the lowest scoring opponents. Used with Silli System

Buchholz Cut 2 (BC2)

Tie break where the Buchholz score is reduced by the removal of the two lowest scoring opponents. Used with Silli System


Correspondence Chess Expert


Correspondence Chess Master

Code of Conduct

Rules surrounding how competitors are expected to behave in ICCF events

Code of Conduct Draw Rule

Optional draw rule where if a player has a draw offer declined, they cannot offer another draw their opponent has done so.

Conditional Move

A move played as a pre-determined response to an opponent move. Allowed in all ICCF event from 2020 onwards


The normally annual meeting of the Member Federations of ICCF


Central Tournament Leader

Direct Entry

Events entry via ICCF.com


“Dead Man’s Defence”

Double Round Robin

A pairing system where each player plays every opponent with both black and white pieces


Executive Board. The elected executive directors of ICCF


Entry Commissioner


Rating or Rating system


Exceeded Time Limit

Event Viewing

A set of options which define how the games in an event are viewable to other competitors and the public. Made up of a combination of Event, Game(s) status and move delay.


Finance Director


International Chess Federation

Fixed Rating

Rating achieved when more than 30 games are completed and visible on the next eligible rating list after this point

Forecast Rating

The forecast rating a player will achieve in the next rating period once a minimum of 12 rated games are completed.

Friendly Match

Match played between Federations and or Zones (Specific rules apply)


General Data Protection Regulations (EU Law)


Grandmaster (both FIDE and ICCF)


General Secretary


ICCF Helpdesk who may be contacted for Technical queries

Hutton System

A pairing system used in large team tournaments where each team will play all other teams, but players will only take part in a single match against an opposing team.


International Arbiter (also Level 3 Tournament Director)


International Correspondence Chess Federation

ICCF Rules

A basic set of rules required to be observed for all international events.

ICCF Voucher

A voucher issued by ICCF which allows entry to the value of the voucher into ICCF Tournaments


International Master

Inter- Zonal Events

Events organised for Teams and Individuals for matches between zones


An event following ICCF rules including players from more than one Federation


International event with limited participation, recruitment via NF/ZD only, approved by WTD

Isolated Player

A player who is not a member of an ICCF member federation. Generally, these players are represented by the relevant Zonal Director


The process where a player may take leave an event by stopping the clocks for a specific length of time. Only available with the rules and limits of the event.


Lady Grandmaster – Legacy title equivalent to CCM


Lady International Master – Legacy title equivalent to CCE


Marketing Director


A more experienced Tournament Director who mentors TD’s seeking to achieve TD Level 3 or the International Arbiter Title.


An event including only players representing a single federation

National (also Member) Federation

ICCF member federations who represent the interests of the players of their respective federation.

National Federation Entry

Entry made via National Federation


National Delegate


National Federation


A performance standard achieved in a qualifying tournament. For the relevant title to be achieved 24 qualifying games must be within the event(s) that the Norm(s) were achieved in.


Non-Title Tournament Commissioner


International Event with Open participation and recruitment, approved by WTD


Within the Title Norms process a situation where a player scores more than the required tariff for a specific Norm, allowing an effective reduction in the number of games required to achieve the title.


Portable Document Format


Portable Game Notation


Events played by Post (or email by agreement)


A proposal made by a Member Federation or ICCF Official to amend the ICCF Rules or Statutes. Voted on as part of the ICCF Congress

Provisional Rating

A rating assigned by the TO at the start of an event for a player without an ICCF rating. Defined within ICCF rules


Qualifications Commissioner/Commission


A game which is rated for the appropriate ICCF rating list (Chess or 960)

Rating List

A rating list (Chess or 960) updated and published four times a year.


Rules commissioner/Commission


International event with players from a limited number of Federations represented, co-proposed by the Federations involved. Approved by the WTD


The process where a player replaces another in a team or individual event, where the player takes all rating gains and losses and potential title Norms. Specific rules define if a player is replaced or substituted.


Services Director


Online server at ICCF.com

Silent Withdrawal

A withdrawal where a player stops making moves and/or does not respond to ICCF or Tournament officials

Silli System

A pairing system used for large, normally single round, events, where a player competes against a semi-random set of opponents selected from all entrants by an allocation formula. Tie breaking by 1) Score 2) Buchholz Cut 2, Buchholz Cut 1, 4) Buchholz, 4) Buchholz 2nd Stage


Senior International Master

Single Round Robin

A pairing system where each player plays every opponent only with either black or white pieces

Sofia Rule

An event option where draws cannot be offered before a certain number of moves has elapsed (excluding forced draws)


A tie-break where the score of the opponents are totalled, based on the players performance against that opponent.

Special Leave

No longer available in ICCF events.

Standard Time Control

ICCF standard time control system in the format of x moves in y days


The process where a player substitutes for another player in a team event. Rating gains are taken by the substitute player, but rating losses are taken by the original player. Specific rules define if a player is replaced or substituted.


A database with known outcomes for all positions with 7 pieces or fewer.


Team Captain


Tournament Director


Tournament Director Committee

Ten Moves Draw Rule

Optional draw rule where if a player has a draw offer turned down, they cannot offer another one for 10 moves (specific exclusions apply)


Unrated events


Tournament Organiser


Triple Block Time Control


Title Tournament Commissioner

Unaccepted Withdrawal

A withdrawal from an event (or multiple events) which does not meet ICCF criteria. Leads to suspension from ICCF eventss.

Unfixed Rating

Rating achieved when a player has completed more than 12 and less than 30 rated games.


A game which is not rated for any ICCF Rating list


World Correspondence Chess Championship or Champion


Process where a player withdraws from an event. Can be Silent (where a player stops communication), Accepted (where a specific set of criteria is met) or Unaccepted.

World Zone

Zone representing its member Federations (generally outside of Europe, Asia, and Africa but open to all Federations regardless of geographical location)


World Tournament Director


Zonal Director

Zonal Events

Events organised and controlled by the Zonal Director and their teams for players within that Zone.


National Federation Groupings

Zone 1/Europe

Former zone representing Federations and Players from the Europa (Main Europe add other areas such as Israel)


Any suggestions for additional entries or corrections should be sent to Russell Sherwood, ICCF Marketing Direcor (Contact details as under ICCF Officials)


last updated Wednesday, September 13, 2023

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