Eric Ruch

I was born the 26th August 1961 in Molsheim, Alsace (the city where Ettore Bugatti designed and built his fabulous cars!). I lived for many years in the nearby small city of Mützig, which is famous for the beer that was produced there for many years.

After my “baccalauréat”, I stayed two years in the Lycée Kléber in Strasbourg before entering the Ecole Supérieure d’Optique in Orsay, south of Paris. In 1984, I become a graduate Optical Engineer from this prestigious engineering school. After one year in the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique for my military service, I entered a small company named Reosc mainly devoted to optical manufacturing for astronomy and space components. I am still working in this company, now acquired by Sagem, and I am charge of the Marketing and Business Development for these activities.

I am married with Catherine since 1990 and we have three lovely children, Camille, Elodie and Alexis.

As for many teenagers of my generation, my love with chess was born in September 1972 with the match Fischer – Spassky. For some time I played in a chess club but when I became student I discovered that correspondence chess was better suited to my chess capabilities, avoiding the dramatic zeitnots that usually spoiled my best over the board games. I have started my correspondence chess career twenty five years ago, in 1984 playing in various promotional tournaments organized in France by the magazine Europe Echecs, and became member of AJEC (Association des Joueurs d’Echecs par Correspondance) in 1989. In this pre computer time, it took me almost a decade to progress from the 4th and last division to the French Correspondence Chess championship title that I have won in 1998. In parallel, I played in a few international tournaments and obtained the Correspondence Chess International Master title in 2001 and the Senior International Master title in 2002. I am also International Arbiter since 2006.

I have been elected at the AJEC Executive Board in 2001 and I am AJEC Vice President since 2003. I have been the French Delegate to ICCF (International Correspondence Chess Federation) since 2001. I have served as ICCF Qualifications Commissioner from 2003 to 2008, appointed ICCF Marketing Director during the Congress in Pleven in 2008. I have been elected ICCF President in May 2009 and reelected for the term 2012 – 2015, during the Congress in Järvenpää, Finland in 2011.

I have been interested in Correspondence Chess history and especially the history up to 1900, for many years but I have really started serious researches in the early years of Correspondence Chess around 2001. I am a founding member of the Ken Whyld Association and also of the ICCF Historical Research Committee. My first book in this area L’histoire du jeu d’Echecs par Correspondance au XIXe siècle. Volume I: des origines à 1840 has been published in 2010. I am also a regular contributor to the French magazine Le Courrier des Echecs, in which I publish a column Elements d’Histoire des Echecs, devoted to Correspondence Chess history. Similarly, I publish a column called Correspondence Chess Reminiscence in the ICCF electronic magazine ICCF Amici.

Chess Publications

L’histoire du jeu d’Echecs par Correspondance au XIXe siècle. Volume I: des origines à 1840. Aachen, 2010.

The Cincinnati Commercial Gazette Correspondence Tourney, 1882-1885, in Quarterly for Chess History 16/2007, Olomouc, 2011.

Chess Columns

Elements d’Histoire des Echecs (EHE) in Le Courrier des Echecs (Magazine of the Association des Joueurs d’Echecs par Correspondance -AJEC)

Other Publications

Optique Instrumentale, in Optique géométrique et propagation, Traité Electronique, Génie Electrique, Microsystèmes, Lavoisier, Paris, 2003

The Challenge of Optics in Future Extremely Large Telescopes, in Astronomy at the Frontiers of Science, Integrated Science & Technology Program, Volume I, Springer, 2011

Miroirs de télescopes: Evolution et Révolution in L’Astronomie, n°33, décembre 2010.

Les futurs télescopes géants : in L’Astronomie, n°34, janvier 2011.