In 1975, Jack Straley Battell, then the Correspondence Chess Director for the US Chess Federation, envisioned a new event for masters which would ultimately determine an "absolute" champion of correspondence chess, thus the "Absolute Correspondence Chess Championship" was born. Jack initially proposed to structure the first event in 1976 with class level pairings. But after some discussion it was decided to make it an invitational. The top-rated masters who accepted their bid to the annual invitation would play a round-robin event. The Absolute Championship of the US Chess Federation is akin to the over-the-board Closed Championship whereas the US Chess Federation’s Golden Knights is the correspondence version of the over-the-board US Open.
The tournament will be a 13-player round robin event held on the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) server. The tournament will be held annually, starting on March 1 each year, or as soon as possible after March 1 if it is delayed for some reason.
The tournament will be rated by both ICCF and US Chess and use ICCF rules, which allow the use of computer assistance.
The top 13 players on the January US Chess Top 100 Correspondence Chess Players list will receive invitations to that year’s Absolute Championship. If a player declines their invitation, the next player down on the list will receive an invitation, and so forth until 13 players accept.
Players must be US Chess members to appear on the Top 100 list, be US Chess members at the time of invitation and throughout the entire event. Players must also have access to the ICCF server and have an ICCF account in good standing.
There is no official prize fund for this event. Donations will be solicited for a potential prize fund and prizes will be paid out based on the donations received.