Union SCIPT Team Chess Championship history
The origin of the union was as follows. At the invitation of the Dutch Administration, representatives from 4 Postal Administrations (Austria, Belgium, Italy and Yugoslavia) and 3 national Post Office Sports Associations (France, Germany and Sweden) met on 8th March 1955 to discuss the foundation of a European Post Office Sports Organisation. Since then the Union Internationale Sportive des PTT has expanded to include a total of 14 member countries: Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Holland, Sweden and Switzerland. The Union, known as SCIPT those days aims a.o. at contributing to the physical and intellectual well-being of staff, understanding and friendship among its members, developing communications with and between members. See their home site
While the very beginning of sports activity of postal workers was in 1950 with a 15km walk in full uniform, the quadrennial chess event began only in 1958. With the absence of many powerful chess nations (mainly from Eastern Bloc) none of participating teams managed to dominate the event over decades. Starting from 1987, both postal and telecom teams were eligible to participate, which became a strict rule recent years. The number of participating teams reached its peak at 14 in 1995 and 1999. The level of play is usually moderate and decent teams are like within 2100-2300 Elo range, with Polish GM Wlodzimierz Schmidt being by far the most eminent figure to ever appear in the series.
Hans Suri (b. 1927), member of the Swiss team, is a living legend of the championship. He had participated in all 15 editions held so far in a span of 49 years. In 2007 he was 80 as he won bronze medal with his team.
Winners: 3x Hungary, 2x West Germany, 2x Austria, 2x Yugoslavia, 2x Netherlands, 1x Great Britain, 1x Switzerland, 1x Poland, 1x Denmark