17 March 2021

Three Time World Correspondence Champion

In a recent post, Small Projects for 2021 (February 2021), I wrote,
The ICCF started one new World Championship, the 32nd, but finished none. It might be worthwhile to write a post about three time ICCF winner Aleksandr Dronov, so I'll keep that in mind.

My first stop was the ICCF site, from which I cobbled together the following composite image. It shows GM Dronov's titles and ICCF events

140915 RUS GM Dronov, Aleksandr Surenovich

Comparing the 146 games there with The chess games of Aleksandr Surenovich Dronov (chessgames.com; 'Number of games in database: 47'), shows that many of his games are not in the online databases. If the best correspondence player in the world is underrepresented, the same must be true for lesser players.

My next stop was Wikipedia's page, Aleksandr Dronov (en.wikipedia.org). The following 'snippet' repeats nearly the entire content of the page.

Aleksandr Surenovich Dronov is a Russian International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster. He is most famous for being the 22nd, 27th, and 29th World Correspondence Chess Champion.[1][2][3] He is the only person to win the World Correspondence Chess Championship three times.

Country: Soviet Union; Russia
Born: 6 October 1946 (age 74) Moscow, Russia
Title: ICCF Grandmaster (2005)

The footnotes '[1][2][3]' lead to the relevant crosstables on ICCF.com. That English language page is not very informative, but indicates that Dronov also has Wikipedia pages in six other languages. Only one of these, the German language page Alexander Surenowitsch Dronow (de.wikipedia.org), has much to add. Google Translate informs,

Dronow began in 1988 at the age of 41, inspired by the successes of Fritz Baumbach with correspondence chess. Before that he had tried his hand at local chess without any notable success and had been taking a break there since 1981. After taking 3rd place on the first board of the 13th Correspondence Chess Olympiad behind Baumbach and Chytilek, he won the gold medal on the 1st board of the opening group for the 18th Correspondence Chess Olympiad.

My final stop was a French language page, AJEC - 01.01.2011 - Interview d'Aleksandr Surenovich Dronov (ajec-echecs.org; AJEC = 'Association des Joueurs d’Échecs par Correspondance'). Taking only a small portion of the interview, Google Translate again informs,

Q: Do you have any favorite books? A: 'My System' by Aaron Nimzowitsch and 'Zurich 1953, The Art of Chess Fighting' by David Bronstein. • Q: What do you think is the essential trait that enabled you to win this [World Championship] tournament? A: A very solid confidence in [myself]. • Q: How do you prepare your games with Black? A: I always look for positions with counterplay. I always play to win.

Correspondence chess grandmasters don't get the attention they deserve, but we knew that already.

P.S. In the final of the 31st ICCF World Championship (follow the link under the image above), the leader is presently on plus-2 with all games completed. Dronov is on plus-1 with four games unfinished. He might win a fourth title!

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