Alex Dunne's "The Check Is In The Mail" July 1998 CL column:


Isay Golyak of Rochester, New York, has won the 1989 Golden Squires championship. Isay was born December 9, 1931, in the former Soviet Union. He is a retired high-energy physicist (University of Rochester, Department of Physics and Astronomy) in Rochester, New York. Isay has been playing chess for about 50 years and postal chess for about 30 years, and retains his youthful enthusiasm for both life and chess.

He earned his ICCM title with an excellent performance in the XVIII WCCC semifinal and an undefeated second place in the very strong Horowitz Memorial (1990-1993). Isay also won the silver medal in the Third North Atlantic Team Tournament. Isay is also a very active OTB player (fourth most active in the USA in 1992) playing in the United States, Canada, and Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Holland, etc.) As Isay says, "I like chess very much — OTB and postal!"



About forty years ago, Bobby Fischer explained how to defeat the Dragon Sicilian: Pry open the h-file, sac, sac ... mate! A lot of defensive resources for Black have since been found, but the basic philosophy remains the same.


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 0-0 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. 0-0-0 Rc8 11. Bb3 Ne5 12. h4 h5


An idea popularized by Andy Soltis: if White is going to pry open the h-file, it won’t be as easy as sacrificing a pawn by simply advancing the h-pawn.


13. Bg5 Rc5 14. Kb1 b5 15. g4 a5 16. gxh5 a4 17. h6 Bh8 18. h7+ !?


This is the aggressive Golyak — sac the foremost h-pawn to open the h-file a little more than in Popov–Mueller (correspondence, 1990), where complex play resulted from 18. Bd5 Kh7!?, blockading the h-file.


18. ... Nxh7


Hopeless is 18. ... Kxh7 19. h5! Nxh5 20. Rxh5+ gxh5 21. Qh2 axb3 22. Qxh5+ Kg8 23. Rh1, followed by mate.


19. Bd5 b4 20. Nce2 Nxg5


This decision opening up the h-file for White must certainly be branded as suspect, but what can Black do? He can’t disturb the pawn position around his king and 20. ... Nc4 looks harmless.


21. hxg5 Bg7


Anderson–Taylor (Great Britain Correspondence, 1994), continued 21. ... e6 22. Qf4 Bg7 23. Qh4 Re8, and Black escaped with a draw.


22. Nf4


Now the e6 square groans under White’s pressure.


22. ... Re8 23. Nfe6!


Isay begins a nuclear reaction with this move. The result will be many explosions around the Black king.


23. ... Bxe6 24. Nxe6 Rxd5


There is no defense. 24. ... fxe6 gets blown apart by 25. Bxe6+ Nf7 26. Qf4 Rf8 27. Qh4 and mate along the h-file.


25. Qxd5 fxe6 26. Qxe6+ Kf8


After 26. ... Nf7 the quietus is 27. Rh7!, threatening 28. Qxg6. On 27. ... Kxh7 28. Qxf7, there is no defense to 29. Rh1+.


27. Rh4


Finding access to the f4 square. The game is over.


27. ... Qd7 28. Rf4+ Bf6 29. Qxd7 Nxd7 30. gxf6, Black resigns.


The ending is elementary after 30. ... Nxf6 31. e5 dxe5 32. Rxb4.


 Some recent international successes have been scored in the North American-Pacific Zone tournaments. Jon Edwards scored a first place in his sectionwith 5½–½. Bob Martinec and Bill Paulson tied for first in their section with 4½–1½, while Craig Smith finished with an undefeated 5–1 in his. Tim Sawyer has won an APM section with an undefeated 4½–1½.

 The 1994 Absolute, covered in the February issue, is now finished. The crosstable for this event is at the bottom of the previous page.

 Of all chessplayers, the ones most likely to have a fine collection of chess books would have to be the postal players. I have invited postal players to share a profile of their libraries, and Michael Allard (Bowie, MD) has kindly agreed to give us an insight into his library. Now in his fiftieth year, Michael purchased his first book, a Reinfeld work on the openings, when he was fifteen. Not being able to afford a chess teacher for most of his life, Michael turned to books to help him learn the game. In the beginning his focus was on opening theory and game collections. He now has about 300 books that are collections of master games, and about 200 endgame studies, most of which he has collected during the last ten years.

He notes that he has enjoyed monitoring the evolution of opening fads and theory. His total collection is in excess of 3000 books and has recently been put to use by Bryce Avery (who is writing a history of American postal chess) and ICCM Allan Savage. Books by Reti, Euwe, Tarrasch, and Nimzovich, those by Larry Evans (New Ideas in Chess), Ludek Pachman (on strategy and tactics), and Suetin (opening theory) have been his favorites. Michael notes that books are not a substitute for the lessons gained from an OTB or postal game.


 In the same vein, the abundance of information on the Web is a Brave New World — or just a wormhole. Do you have a library that you are proud of? Drop me a line describing your library. Readers with games, news, and other items of interest to postal players are invited to write me at the address at the top of the column.


 Improvement over the years in postal? In 1977 CCLA did a survey of members who had been with the organization 20 years, and they noted the rating in 1957 and the rating 20 years later. Out of 30 members, 13 ratings went up into a different rating category, 14 ratings stayed the same, and only three went down. The implication here is that postal chess is a life-time learning experience, and improvement over the years can be expected, unlike OTB where physical stamina and an up-to-date memory are frequently factors that bring ratings down. It might be interesting to see an update of this study with a larger database. Interested, USCF?


  Bill Paulson demonstrates how a centralized knight can dominate a passive bishop in this victory from the very strong Horowitz Memorial.

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bg5 e6 4. e3 Be7 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 Nbd7 7. Nbd2 b6 8. 0-0 0-0 9. Ne5 Nxe5 10. dxe5 Nd7 11. Bxe7 Qxe7 12. f4 Bb7 13. Qh5 g6 14. Qh3 f6 15. exf6 Rxf6 16. Bb5 a6 17. Bxd7 Qxd7 18. Nf3 Rf5 19. Ne5 Qe7 20. g4 Rf6 21. g5 Rff8 22. Rad1 Rad8 23. Qg4 Rde8 24. h4 Kg7 25. Rf2 Rh8 26. Rh2 Ref8 27. h5 Qe8 28. Rdd2 Bc8 29. Rh4 Qa4 30. hxg6 Qe4 31. Nf7 Qxe3+ 32. Rf2 hxg6 33. Rxh8 Rxh8 34. Nxh8 Kxh8 35. Qf3 Qxf3 36. Rxf3 Kg7 37. b4 Bd7 38. bxc5 bxc5 39. Kf2 Bb5 40. Ke3 a5 41. Rf2 Kf7 42. Rb2, Black resigns.