Who is the Champion of the Champions? - Correspondence Chess - by Fritz Baumbach, Robin Smith, Rolf Knobel
Publisher: Exzelsior Verlag, 2009
The former ICCF World Champion Dr. Fritz Baumbach (Germany), with his undoubted range of talents, has written a wonderful book which is surely one of the best ever produced. He has been assisted by American author and grandmaster Robin Smith and Swiss author and grandmaster Rolf Knobel.
Hopefully readers will learn a great deal about the World CC Champions and, of course, enjoy the many fine games which are deeply analyzed by the World Champions themselves as well as other experts of correpondence chess.
Dr. Fritz Baumbach is not only a CC player, but also a stong over-the-board player, the President of the BdF - the German CC Federation - for many years and a successful author.
He is already the author of several chess books but this book Who is the Champion of the Champions? is exceptional and I strongly recommended it to all chess enthusiasts.
There is no term other than ''masterpiece'' to describe this book which is divided into 3 parts and also includes an appendix in German language.
The contents are as follows:
Part 1 is reserved for the games of deceased CC world champions.
Part 2 covers the ICCF 50th Jubilee Tournament, with the participation of all 9 living CC world champions. This tournament, sponsored by the Max Euwe Association, Monaco, with an average rating of 2620 (category XV) was the strongest ever when it started in 2001.
The tournament was won by Michael Umansky (Russia) with the incredible score of 7 points from 8 games, conceding only 2 draws, to Victor Palciauskas (USA) and Gert Timmerman (NED) who tied 2nd-4th places with Dr. Fritz Baumbach.
Part 3 focuses on ICCF world champions 16 to 21, with portraits and annotated games of each champion.
The most interesting feature of this book is certainly the fact that each world champion contributes to it with commentary on at least 1 of his own games and so it is the first time in the history of chess literature that a chess book has been written by 9 world champions!
Amici Sumus, Med Samraoui, ICCF President: "Undoubtedly the book Who is the Champion of the Champions? will find a prominent place in the libraries of very many chess players."