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Alex Dunne: The Check is in the Mail
December 1998. Additional Alex Dunne columns are available in the Correspondence Chess Forum.
"Correspondence chess has made valuable contributions to our knowledge of opening theory. Few realize that chess played by mail also produces a goodly amount of brilliant miniature games." - Irving Chernev

Once again it is time for the yearly miniature game column. Miniature games, games of twenty moves or under, are very common in postal play where the time and energy of a player can apply a magnifying glass to the chessboard. Small errors that might slip by in OTB chess are not forgiven. The following miniatures are presented for your enjoyment, edification, and amazement. Enjoy!

RUY LOPEZ [C64] W: Jackson Morrison (2339) B: John Mousessian (2320) USCCC 1997

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. e5 Ne4 7. Qe2 d5 8. exd6 e.p. 0-0 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. dxc7 Qd5 11. Nxd4 Bxd4 12. cxd4 Qa5+ 13. Nd2 Ba6 14. b4 Qb6 15. Qe3 Nf6, White resigns.

White chases the queen until the king falls.

KING'S GAMBIT ACCEPTED [C36] W: Charles Hiber (2022) B: Faneuil Adams, Jr. (1972) USCF CC 1997

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 d5 4. exd5 Nf6 5. Bc4 Nxd5 6. d4 Be6 7. Bxd5 Bxd5 8. 0-0 Qf6 9. Nc3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Qxd4+ 11. Kh1 Nc6 12. Rd1 Qc5 13. Rd5 Qb6 14. Qg4 Rd8 15. Bxf4 Be7 16. Qxg7 Rf8 17. Re1 Qxb2 18. Nb5, Black resigns.

OWEN'S DEFENSE [B00] W: Wesley Green (2133) B: Marvin Kornhauser (2008) 13 USCCC

1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Bd3 e6 4. Nf3 c5 5. c3 Nf6 6. Qe2 Be7 7. 0-0 0-0 8. e5 Nd5 9. a3 Nc6 10. c4 Nc7 11. d5 exd5 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Qe4 g6 14. Qxd5 Na5 15. Qa2 Bxf3 16. gxf3 d6 17. Be4 Rc8 18. Bh6 Re8 19. Qxf7+, Black resigns.

FRENCH DEFENSE [C02] W: N. Lopez B: J. Sanchez Brazil CC

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Bd3 cxd4 7. cxd4 Bd7 8. 0-0 Nxd4 9. Nxd4 Qxd4 10. Nc3 a6 11. Qe2 f6 12. Qh5+ Kd8 13. Qf7 Ne7 14. Be3 Qxd3 15. Bb6+ Kc8 16. Rac1 Nc6 17. Nxd5 Qxd5 18. Rfd1 Qxd1+ 19. Rxd1 Nxe5 20. Qe8+, Black resigns.

The Center Fork Trick doesn't always work. Here the tricker is tricked.

KING'S INDIAN DEFENSE [E62] W: T. Brandhorst (2175) B: J. Chromik (1995) CCLA Team Tournament 1997

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Nf3 d6 5. g3 0-0 6. Bg2 c6 7. 0-0 Qa5 8. h3 Qa6 9. b3 b5 10. Nd2 bxc4 11. Nxc4 Bb7 12. Bb2 Nbd7 13. e4 Nxe4 14. Nxe4 d5 15. Ne5, Black resigns.

The "if move" is the killer: Black sent "if 13. gxf3, then 13. ... e5," when the invasion of the light squares around White's king will lead to mate.

ALBIN COUNTER GAMBIT [D08] W: James Ulinski (1940) B: Don Cotten (2539) Golden Knights, 1995

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bf4 Nge7 6. e4 Ng6 7. Bg5 Qd7 8. Bd3 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Be7 10. e6 fxe6 11. 0-0 0-0 12. Qc2 Rxf3, White resigns.

A knight on the side you must not abide. Two knights on the brink really stink.

SICILIAN DEFENSE [B34] W: Charles Ventimglia (1696) B: J. Mason Jones (1502) IECC, 1998

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. Be3 d6 7. Bb5 Bd7 8. 0-0 Nf6 9. Qe2 Ne5 10. f4 Neg4 11. Bxd7+ Qxd7 12. Bd2 Nh5 13. Qd3 0-0 14. h3 Nh6 15. Rae1 Rae8 16. f5 gxf5 17. exf5 Bxd4+ 18. Qxd4 e5 19. Qh4, Black resigns.

NIMZO-INDIAN DEFENSE [E32] W: Alex Dunne (2183) B: Robert Hughes (2046) Golden Knights, 1996

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 b6 5. e4 Bb7 6. Bd3 0-0 7. e5 Bxg2 8. exf6 Bxh1 9. Bxh7+ Kh8 10. Be4 Bxe4 11. Qxe4 Bxc3+ 12. bxc3 Nc6 13. Bg5 Kg8 14. Qh4 Re8 15. fxg7 f6 16. Bxf6, Black resigns.

SICILIAN DEFENSE [B31] W: Jeffrey Baffo (2250) B: S. Kramer Golden Knights, 1997

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. 0-0 Bg7 5. c3 Nf6 6. d4 cxd4 7. cxd4 Nxe4 8. d5 Nd6 9. Na3 Ne5 10. Nxe5 Bxe5 11. Re1 Bf6 12. Bh6 Nf5 13. Qd2 a6 14. Rac1 Nxh6 15. Qxh6 Bxb2 16. Nc4 Bxc1 17. Nd6 mate.

Theory now says that White is lost after the natural looking 7. exf7+. At the end, if 12. Qd2, then 12. ... Ng4+ wins.

CENTER COUNTER DEFENSE [B01] W: Floyd Halwick (2462) B: Bobby Ang (2243) IECG Cup 3, 1997

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. d4 Bg4 4. f3 Bf5 5. c4 e6 6. dxe6 Nc6 7. exf7+ Kxf7 8. Be3 Bb4+ 9. Nc3 Re8 10. Kf2 Rxe3 11. Kxe3 Bc2, White resigns.

The 1990 Golden Knights co-champion shows positional play can be fast, too!

RETI OPENING [A12] W: Murray Kurtz (2306) B: J. Blood (2268) Golden Knights, 1990

1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 c6 3. b3 Nf6 4. Bb2 Bf5 5. g3 e6 6. Bg2 Nbd7 7. 0-0 h6 8. d3 Be7 9. Nbd2 0-0 10. a3 Qc7 11. b4 a5 12. Qb3 axb4 13. axb4 b6 14. Rfc1 Qd6 15. Nd4 Bg4 16. Rxa8 Rxa8 17. h3 Bh5 18. Nxc6 Qxc6 19. cxd5, Black resigns.

QUEEN'S GAMBIT DECLINED [D06] W: Michael Ware (1509) B: Joe Boudreau (1568) APCT, 1998

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c5 3. cxd5 Qxd5 4. Nc3 Qxd4 5. Bd2 a6 6. Nf3 Qd6 7. Qb3 Nf6 8. 0-0-0 e6 9. g3 b5 10. Bf4 Qb6 11. e4 Bb7 12. Ne5 Nbd7 13. Nxb5 axb5 14. Bxb5 Bxe4 15. Nxd7, Black resigns.

Our Oops! Award of the year belongs to this peculiar ending.

KING'S GAMBIT ACCEPTED [C36] W: Tim Nagley B: J. Mason Jones (1502) IECG, 1998

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 d5 4. exd5 Bd6 5. d4 Ne7 6. c4 Nf5 7. Qe2+ Qe7 8. c5 Qxe2+ 9. Bxe2 Be7 10. Bxf4 c6 11. Nc3 0-0 12. 0-0 Bd7 13. Bxb8 Rfxb8 14. Ne5 Bc8 15. dxc6 Nxd4 16. c7, Black resigns.

Fernschach gives this example of two heavyweights slugging it out for an early TKO.

PIRC DEFENSE [B07] W: Marc Geenen (2555) B: Roberto Marucchi (2426) VIII/IX ICCF Cup, 1992

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 c6 4. f4 Qa5 5. Bd3 e5 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. Be3 exd4 8. Bxd4 Qb4 9. Be2 Nxe4 10. 0-0 d5 11. Nxe4 dxe4 12. c3 Qxb2 13. Re1 c5 14. Ne5 Be6 15. Qa4+ Nd7 16. Bb5 Rd8 17. Reb1 Qxb1+ 18. Rxb1 cxd4 19. Re1 Be7 20. Rxe4, Black resigns.

A newly refurbished defense to the King's Gambit scores a full point.

KING'S GAMBIT ACCEPTED [C34] W: Jaap van der Kooij (2222) B: John Elburg (2330) ICCF, 1998

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 h5 4. d4 g5 5. Bc4 h4 6. 0-0 d6 7. c3 c6 8. Qb3 Nh6 9. Nxg5 Qxg5 10. Bxf4 Qg6 11. Bxh6 Qxh6 12. Bxf7+ Kd8 13. Qd1 h3 14. g3 Qe3+ 15. Rf2 Bh6 16. Nd2 Rf8, White resigns.

SICILIAN DEFENSE [B34] W: J. Draxl B: O. Breiholz Compuserve, 1997

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Nb3 Bb4 7. f3 d5 8. Bb5 0-0 9. exd5 Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 Nxd5 11. Qd3 f5 12. Bc4 Be6 13. Ba3 Rf7 14. Nc5 Na5 15. Nxe6 Qh4+ 16. g3 Qxc4 17. 0-0-0 Qxa2 18. Qxd5 Nc4, White resigns.

QUEEN'S GAMBIT ACCEPTED [D21] W: Warren Loveland (1772) B: Albert Erkel (1999) CCLA, 1997

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 c5 4. e3 b5 5. a4 cxd4 6. axb5 d3 7. Na3 e5 8. Nxe5 Bxa3 9. bxa3 Be6 10. a4 Nf6 11. Qf3 Qa5+ 12. Bd2 c3 13. Qxa8 cxd2+ 14. Kd1 Bb3 mate.

SICILIAN DEFENSE [B96] W: Sadurni Flores (2355) B: A. Klaiman European Team Championship, 1996

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 b5 8. e5 dxe5 9. fxe5 Qc7 10. exf6 Qe5+ 11. Be2 Qxg5 12. Qd3 Qxf6 13. Rf1 Qe5 14. Nf3 Qc7 15. Ng5 f5 16. Qd4 h5 17. 0-0-0 Bc5 18. Qh4 g6 19. Nxe6, Black resigns.

FRENCH DEFENSE [C02] W: Arnold Swinkels (2430) B: Peter de Heer (2243) Netherlands, 1997

1. e4 c5 2. c3 e6 3. d4 d5 4. e5 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nge7 6. Na3 cxd4 7. cxd4 Nf5 8. Nc2 Be7 9. Bd3 Qb6 10. 0-0 0-0 11. g4 Nh6 12. Bxh6 gxh6 13. g5 Kh8 14. Kh1 hxg5 15. Nxg5 Bxg5 16. Qh5, Black resigns.

TORRE ATTACK [A46] W: J. Yates B: Harold LeGros (1855) USCF CC, 1997

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 c6 3. Bg5 Ne4 4. Bf4 Na6 5. c3 c5 6. e3 cxd4 7. exd4 e6 8. Bd3 f5 9. Nbd2 d5 10. Ne5 Qh4 11. Qa4+ Ke7 12. g3 Qh3 13. Nxe4 fxe4 White announced mate in six starting with 14. Bg5+.

 

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