1 January 2022
This web site was started as "natochess.org" with a Danish web master. In 2008 it had a new owner and it was renamed as "natochess.com". It contains a lot of history about the NATO Chess Championships.
Organizing a NATO Chess tournament is all volunteer work from chess players and non chess players of the different member countries. After many years of a small tournament, the first NATO Chess Tournament was started in 1989. In the last 30 years, a lot has happened in the world. Many countries doesn't have military conscriptions anymore, with the result that Military Chess has lost a pool of potential players. There were financial cuts, with the result that there was less attention about Military Chess. It is remarkable that at the time of writing, the tournament still exists!
In every tournament, negotiation skills are important as sponsors and locations have to be found and the NCC tournaments are no exception. The NCC tournament is a FIDE rated tournament and it gives players an opportunity to maintain their FIDE rating. For some member countries, this is a rare occasion.
According to many players, a NCC tournament is special. Many players experienced more comfortable playing conditions than in open tournaments. Have you ever imagined that gifts are exchanged before each game? Furthermore, I have never imagined that an opponent beats you during the game, and still can talk to you in a normal social way beside the chess board, even days after the game. Outside the NCC tournaments I have never that experience...
During the years, I got complaints from chess people outside the NCC community that the quality of the games is poor, comparing the level of national competitions. Here is my opinion. If you are following our games online, please switch off the engine. We are not professional chess players! Nowadays with strong engines of more than 3000 ELO, it is easy to say behind the desk that 2 patzers are playing a game online at the World Championship.
All chess players at the NATO countries have (or had) a regular job at the departments. We have had players with a lot of variation in jobs. We have known chess players in the Operations field, IT specialists, a pilot, a surgeon, a musician and a lot of other branches. In our pass time we play chess or organize chess events. Some have other sports too. Have you ever imagined that the current web master has finished the 200km (!!) speed skating event at the Weissensee and he has also finished 2 times the Comrades Marathon (appr 90km within 12 hours, encountering 50 hills, experiencing 25-30 degrees Celcius), in 2 consecutive years, earning the Back-to-Back medal? How many chess players in the world can reach that level?
I, the current web master, do not consider myself special. Everybody with a lot of dedication can achieve a certain level, also with chess. Many players of the NCC tournaments have started as club level and have progressed to the level of national competitions.