Dear countries-members of I.C.C.D.

Now that the New Year 2016 has started, it is a good time to reflect on the ICCD’s efforts over the past 12 months. For the new ICCD Board, It has not been plain sailing but I would like to think that they have surpassed their expectations in their first year in office. But the praises must go elsewhere and of all the great people, I would like to single out two in particular: the Mongolian EnkhbayarJanchivnyambuu and the Azerbaijan Akif Hajiev. They both were different but equally difficult tasks but successfully accomplished them – thanks to Enkh’s majestic efforts, Asian deaf chess has risen in stature for his handling of the Asian Deaf Chess Championships at Ulaanbaatar was absolutely outstanding – it was a great privilege to be at the Games and witness Enkh raise the bar for deaf chess in Asia. As for Akif, he probably had not anticipated the onus of organising the first ever European Team Championships at Baku in vastly difficult circumstances but nevertheless pulled it off like a magican. It has to be remembered that he was the organiser of three events not just one. I, as President, salute them for playing their part in creating deaf chess history.

Our work continues, and we have the World Individual Deaf Chess Championships to look forward to in Yerevan, Armenia. There will be world titles to be defended and challenged at the Tigran Petrosian Chess Centre in memory of the 9th FIDE World Champion who became deafened in later life and wore a hearing aid. It is a fitting tribute that the Armenian hosts have chosen this building as an venue for our prestigious event.

It will be a busy year for we would need to champion the cause of recognising chess as a sport and cement our place in the ICSD – someday we will participate in the Deaflympics. We need to convince the ICSD of our worthiness and be fully accepted by all. We shall be inviting the honourable ICSD President Valerty Rudkhledev to the 33rd Congress at Armenia for we have his utmost support to include chess as a sport.

Thank you for supporting the good cause of ICCD!
Yours in chess
Phillip Gardner, President
on behalf of the ICCD Board