"It is much easier to play like Kasparov or Alekhine in correspondence chess. One has plenty of time, days and weeks; and one can move the pieces on the board, check and recheck ... it was a great pleasure for me to calculate the lines over and over again."

— Eugene Martinovsky

 

Myers is the Man!

 

Jerry Meyers of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has become the latest American to enter the hunt for the ICCF World Championship crown. Jerry has won a Master-level tournament in the second round of ICCF competition. This is a rare accomplishment — only a few Americans have ever progressed this far, and I wish Jerry great skill in the third round competition.

In order to avoid confusion, I need to note that ICCF/US has relied on a bad translation and refers to the second round of international play as the semi-final round. My dictionaries define "semifinal" as the next to the last round. ICCF/US calls the final round the 3/4-finals. I would suggest to ICCF/US they use the simpler and less confusing second round, third round, and final round to name these qualifying tournaments.

Without worrying about semantics, Jerry Meyers has secured a fine victory. His win also secured him the International Correspondence Chess Master title. Go, Jerry!

On the domestic front Jerry runs a youth chess program for the Western Pennsylvania area. Currently he runs a program for children at about thirty-five schools, with at least ten more joining next year. For the past several years the Pittsburgh Chess Club has signed up close to the highest number of new USCF members of any affiliate in the country due to his efforts. His youth tournaments (http://trfn.clpgh.org/orgs/pcc/ youth.htm) typically draw 200 or more kids. Jerry notes that he hopes the USCF will do more to promote youth chess operations around the country in places like Pittsburgh.

Jerry Meyers has achieved a fine victory, and has kindly agreed to share some of the secrets of his successful play.

 

GAME OF THE MONTH

Jerry’s strategy in this tournament was to search hard for opening innovations in most every game. His method was to immerse himself in a main subvariation of each opening by going through many years of Informants and other periodicals and playing over lots and lots of games. That was before databases were as prevalent as they are today, but he is not sure that the computer assisted method is as useful as playing the games over on a real chessboard. He suggests that databases frequently lack players’ notes and that he tends to experiment more with real chess pieces. By going through lots of games, especially old ones, the new move reflects a lot of chess history, which is quite different than just popping up with a new move which isn’t found in a book. In many cases these opening ideas helped him gain an advantage he was able to convert into points.

 

DUTCH DEFENSE

A87

W: ICCM Anders Eriksson

B: Jerry Meyers (2500)

XIX World CC Championship, 1993

 

Notes by Jerry Meyers.

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nf3 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 0-0 6. 0-0 d6 7. Nc3 Qe8 8. d5 Na6 9. Rb1 Nc5

At the time I played this move, in the spring of 1992, there was no mention of it in the books which was one of the reasons I decided to try it. Previously I had experimented with it in several blitz games and had results that were at least as good as with the more popular alternatives of that time: 9. ... Bd7, 9. ... c6, or 9. ... c5. More recently, I’ve noticed several grandmasters, including the pioneer of the Leningrad Dutch, Malaniuk, began trying 9. ... Nc5 in some of their games beginning around 1994.

Objectively it may not be better than the alternatives, but there is something to be said for taking your opponent out of book and into a position where you have some experience. Those interested in opening theory may wish to refer to Portisch–Malaniuk (Moscow, 1994); Skomorokhim–Tschkovsky (Novgorod, 1995); and to some extent Wojtkiewicz– Elhvest (New York, 1993).

10. Nd4 a5 11. e3 Nfe4 12. Nce2

White has more space in the center so he avoids exchanges that might uncramp Black’s position. The hope of his shrewd retreat is to show that the seemingly happy placement of my knights is unsustainable. He intends first to chase them back with pawns and then to advance in the center and on the queenside. The drawback to his plan is that it takes a lot of time, and in the meanwhile Black organizes counterplay.

12. ... c6 13. b3 Bd7 14. Bb2 g5 15. f3 Nf6 16. Qc2

I don’t think this was the best square for his queen since my rook will soon come to the c-file. Perhaps better was 16. Nc3.

16. ... Qg6 17. Nc3 Rac8 18. Qd2 f4!

This move opens lines for several of Black’s pieces while helping to cramp White and block in his light squared bishop.

19. gxf4

If 19. exf4 gxf4, 20. Qxf4? loses the queen — 20. ... Bh6 21. Qh4 Bg5. Not much better is 20. gxf4 Nh5 21. f5 Bxd4+ 22. Qxd4 Bxf5 23. Rbd1 Bh3 24. Rf2 Nf4.

19. ... gxf4 20. e4 Nh5 21. a3 Kf7

Winning a pawn by 21. ... Bxd4+ 20. Qxd4 Nxb3 was also possible, but I felt the game continuation was even stronger. The point of the king move is to get an attack going on the g-file as soon as possible by freeing g8 for the rook.

22. Nce2 Rg8 23. Rf2

Worse is 23. Nxf4 Nxf4 24. Qxf4+ Bf6 25. Qd2 (If 25. Qg3, then 25. ... Qh6 26. Qf2 Nd3 27. Qc2 Bxd4+ 28. Bxd4 Bh3 wins) 25. ... Nd3 26. Kh1 Qxg2+ 27. Qxg2 Rxg2 28. Kxg2 Rg8+ 29. Kh1 Nxb2 30. Rxb2 Bxd4 with a clear edge for Black.

23. ... Bf6 24. Kh1

Ruinous are 24. Nxf4? Nxf4 25. Qxf4 Nd3, and 24. Qxa5? Nd3 25. Rbf1 Bh4

24. ... cxd5 25. cxd5 Qh6 26. Bf1

Again, 26. Qxa5? would be punished by 26. ... Nd3 27. Kg1 Nxf2 28. Kxf2 Bh4+ 29. Kg1 Qg5.

26. ... Bh4!

Yet another piece enters the attack. This bishop is destined for e3!

27. Rg2 Rxg2 28. Bxg2

After 28. Kxg2? Qg6+ 29. Kh1 Nxe4 30. fxe4 Qxe4+ 31. Nf3 Qxb1, Black wins.

28. ... Bf2 29. Ne6

Desperation — White tries to slow the attack by offering a pawn again, but Black isn’t deterred. If instead 29. h3, then 29. ... Ng3+ 30. Kh2 Nxe2 31. Qxe2 Bg3+ 32. Kg1 Bxh3 33. Bxh3 Qxh3 is in Black’s favor.

29. ... Be3 30. Qd1

Once again, the a-pawn is taboo: 30. Qxa5 Ng3+ 31. Nxg3 fxg3 32. h3 Nxe6 33. dxe6+ Bxe6 followed by 34. ... Bxh3 wins.

30. ... Bb5, White resigns.

Threatening 31. ... Bxe2 32. Qxe2 Ng3 mate. If 31. Bh3 Nd3 32. Kg2 Nf2 33. Qe1 Nxh3 34. Kxh3 Bxe2 35. Qxe2 Ng3+ wins. Equally painful for White is 31. N6d4 Nd3 32. Qf1 Nf2+ 33. Kg1 Nxe4+ 34. Kh1 Nhg3+ 35. Nxg3 Nxg3 mate.

 

 The IV Ladies’ Olympiad Final is over. First place went to the team from the Czech Republic, with a three point margin over Russia. The Czech team and the Russian team dominated the board prizes. The Czechs won the prize on first and third boards, Mozna scoring 7–1 on first and Kubikova 7-1 on third. The Russian women took second and fourth boards with Zaitseva scoring 6–2 on second and Rufitskaja 6˝–˝ on fourth.

The only American woman making better than an even score was Christine Rosenfield. Playing on Board 1, she scored a very credible 4˝–3˝. Her U.S. teammates did not fare as well. Donnely, Board 2, scored 1˝–6˝, Rammelkamp, Board 3, was shut out, and Markowski scored 1˝–6˝ on fourth board.

 

 The result of the game Osmun– Edwards from the 10th USCCC has been successfully appealed. The win for Edwards has been demonstrated to be a draw. The appeal was ruled on by XII World Correspondence Champion Fritz Baumbach — ICCF does not encourage frivolous appeals for major games. Adjudicators do this on a volunteer basis, and their time and talent is certainly appreciated. So Jonathan Edwards finishes with 13-3, and Erik gains sixth place with a 10-6 score.

 The V Ladies World Championship is drawing to a conclusion and Luba Kristol will win the title, a repeat performance of her victory in the III Championship. The USA’s Christine Rosenfield will finish somewhere in the top half of the field. More details will be forthcoming when the tournament has come to its conclusion.

 Tom Delahanty writes that there is a commercially available product (Chess Base Endspiel CD-ROM set) which completely "solves" all five-piece endings. If a correspondence chess player encountered a five-piece ending (or the possibility of transposing into one), would consultation of these CD-ROMs be ethical? In my opinion, yes, using such a collection would be legal. It is similar to consulting Basic Chess Endings or Practical Chess Endings, although the CD-ROM is much more extensive. Such a collection does not generate moves as much as evaluate all the possible continuations. However, I would like to hear from readers with a different point of view.

 Congratulations to H. Sunna who tied for first in an ICCF 7-man Master section.

 In the following game White hits upon the idea of exploiting the weaknesses along Black’s dark squares. He follows this thematic idea even when material is greatly reduced, producing the full point.

 

KING'S INDIAN DEFENSE

E67

W: Richard Aiken (2287)

B: Jochen Bastian (2160)

ICCF, 1998

 

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. d4 d6 5. g3 0-0 6. Bg2 Nbd7 7. 0-0 e5 8. h3 exd4 9. Nxd4 Ne8 10. e3 Nc5 11. Qc2 Ne6 12. Nce2 Rb8 13. Rd1 Bd7 14. Rb1 Nxd4 15. Nxd4 Qg5 16. Qe2 c6 17. b4 a6 18. c5 Qe7 19. a4 d5 20. Kh2 Nf6 21. Rb3 Ne4 22. f3 Ng5 23. e4 dxe4 24. Bf4 Bxd4+ 25. Rxd4 Be6 26. Re3 exf3 27. Bxf3 Nxf3+ 28. Rxf3 Rbd8 29. Rd6 Rfe8 30. Qb2 Bd5 31. Re3 Be4 32. Bh6 f5 33. Qd4 b5 34. g4 Qc7 35. axb5 axb5 36. Kg1 Ra8 37. Rd7 Qe5 38. Qxe5 Rxe5 39. gxf5 Ra1+ 40. Kh2 Ra2+ 41. Kg3 gxf5 42. Kf4 Re6 43. Rg3+ Rg6 44. Rxg6+ hxg6 45. Rg7+ Kh8 46. Re7 Ra8 47. Bg7+ Kg8 48. Be5 Ra3 49. h4 Ra2 50. Kg5 Rg2+ 51. Kf6 Bd5 52. Re8+ Kh7 53. Ke7 Bg8 54. Kd6, Black resigns.

 

  Leon Poliakoff (Bonham, TX) asks, "Who says chess isn’t fun at any speed?" He certainly demonstrates that he can have fun at U.S. Post Office speed.

 

CARO-KANN DEFENSE

B12

W: Leon Poliakoff (2151)

B: Kevin Tang (2121)

1995 Golden Knights

 

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 c5 6. Be3 Qb6 7. b3 Nd7 8. 0-0 Ne7 9. dxc5 Nxc5 10. Nd4 a6 11. Nd2 Qa5 12. c4 Bg6 13. a3 Nd7 14. b4 Qc7 15. f4 dxc4 16. Bxc4 Rd8 17. Rc1 Qb8 18. Qf3 Nb6 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. Nxe6 Rd3 21. Nc7+ Kf7 22. f5 Bxf5 23. Qe4 Kg8 24. Rxf5 Rxd2 25. Bxd2 Nxf5 26. Qxf5 Qc8 27. e6 h6 28. Qf7+ Black resigns

 

  Tim Rogalski (Ashburn, Va) first demonstrates he has a draw by repetition and then proceeds to beat the tar out of his notable opponent.

 

VIENNA GAME

C27

W: Dan Easley (2234)

B: Tim Rogalski (2178)

USCF Prize tournament, 1997

 

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4 Nxe4 4. Qh5 Nd6 5. Bb3 Be7 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Nxe5 g6 8. Nxc6 dxc6 9. Qa5 0-0 10. 0-0 b5 11. Re1 Nb7 12. Qa6 Qd7 13. Ne4 Kg7 14. c3 Nc5 15. Qa5 Nb7 16. Qa6 Nc5 17. Qa5 Nd3 18. Re2 f5 19. Ng3 f4 20. Nh1 f3 21. gxf3 Bd6 22. Be6 Re8 23. Bxd7 Rxe2 24. h4 Bxd7 25. c4 Re1+ 26. Kg2 Nf4+ 27. Kh2 Ne2+ 28. f4 Bxf4+ 29. Ng3 Bxg3+ 30. fxg3 Rf8 31. Qxa7 Ref1 32. Kg2 c5 33. Qxc5 Bc6+ 34. Qd5 Rg1+ 35. Kh3 Rxg3+, White resigns.

 

	IV Ladies Olympiad 
		1		2		3		4		5		6	7	8	9
Czech Republic		•		2˝		2		3		2˝		3˝		3˝		3˝		3˝		24
Russia		1˝		•		3		3		3		2		2˝		3˝		2˝		21
Poland		2		1		•		1˝		2˝		1˝		2˝		3˝		4		18˝
Germany		1		1		2˝		•		2˝		3		2˝		2˝		3		18
France		1˝		1		1˝		1˝		•		3		2		1˝		3˝		15˝
Hungary		˝		2		2˝		1		1		•		2		2˝		2˝		14
England		˝		1˝		1˝		1˝		2		2		•		2˝		2˝		14
Netherlands		˝		˝		˝		1˝		2˝		1˝		1˝		•		3		11˝
USA		˝		1˝		0		1		˝		1˝		1˝		1		•		7˝ 
 
	XX World Championship 
Meyers, J.			•	1	˝	0	1	1	1	1	˝	˝	1	˝	˝	1	1	10˝
Erikkson, A.			0	•	˝	˝	˝	1	1	˝	˝	1	1	1	1	1	1	10˝
Flyckt-Olsen, J.	˝	˝	•	˝	˝	˝	˝	1	˝	1	1	˝	1	1	1	10
Melson, G.				1	˝	˝	•	˝	0	0	˝	1	1	1	˝	1	1	1	9˝
Simon, M.				0	˝	˝	˝	•	˝	˝	0	˝	˝	˝	1	1	˝	1	7˝
Smith, R.				0	0	˝	1	˝	•	˝	1	1	0	˝	0	1	˝	˝	7
Klauner, T.				0	0	˝	1	˝	˝	•	˝	1	˝	˝	1	0	˝	˝	7
Isaev, A.				0	˝	0	˝	1	0	˝	•	1	1	˝	˝	˝	˝	˝	7
Koslov, M.				˝	˝	˝	0	˝	0	0	0	•	˝	˝	1	1	1	1	7
Redolfi, R.				˝	0	0	0	˝	1	˝	0	˝	•	1	1	˝	1	˝	7
Danek, L.				0	0	0	0	˝	˝	˝	˝	˝	0	•	1	˝	˝	˝	5
Sigurjonsson, B.	˝	0	˝	˝	0	1	0	˝	0	0	0	•	˝	˝	˝	4˝
Dors, R.				˝	0	0	0	0	0	1	˝	0	˝	˝	˝	•	˝	˝	4˝
Haderer, K.				0	0	0	0	˝	˝	˝	˝	0	0	˝	˝	˝	•	˝	4
Valeriani, D.				0	0	0	0	0	˝	˝	˝	0	˝	˝	˝	˝	˝	•	4