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Alex Dunne: The Check is in the Mail
April 1999. Additional Alex Dunne columns are available in the Correspondence Chess Forum.

Tony Albano is 38, married without children, and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is an emergency medicine physician practicing with the largest group in the city. He is a product of the Fischer years, teaching himself to play chess at age 12.

Tony notes that he was fortunate enough to have excellent chess coaches during his pre-college years. He has played correspondence chess since high school, and in fact notes that he has not played a serious OTB game since college.

Tony has been no stranger to success in his postal career. He played fourth board for APCT in the National Team Championship. His second place finish in the Horowitz Memorial Open was a notable success, and his score on fifth board in the fourth NATT earned him the title of International Correspondence Chess Master. Congratulations, Tony!

GAME OF THE MONTH Allan Savage was the APCT champion during much of this game. The game features one of Allan's pet lines with which he has had enormous success.

Tony anticipates Black's plan, expanding on the queenside where Black will place his king. When Allan opens up lines for an attack on the White king, a whirlpool of complications leaves White with a winning endgame.

FRENCH DEFENSE [C16] W: Tony Albano (2241) B: Allan Savage (2339) National Team Championship, Board 4

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 b6 5. Qg4 Bf8 6. Nf3 Qd7

Black's play looks peculiar, but there is reason behind it. Black has no weaknesses and will castle queenside and then open up lines on the kingside against White's king.

7. Be2 Nc6 8. 0-0 Bb7 9. a3

This harmless looking little move is actually the precursor of White's expansion on the queenside.

9. ... 0-0-0 10. b4 Nge7 11. Bg5 h5 12. Qh3 Re8 13. Bb5 a6

Allan plays to shut out the light-squared bishop, but in so doing he weakens his king's shield.

14. Ba4 b5 15. Bb3 Nf5 16. Ne2 Be7 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. c3 g5 19. Nd2 g4 20. Qd3 f6

All according to plan, but the opening of the center helps White, too, as Black has expanded on both sides of the board.

21. exf6 Qxf6 22. a4 Nd6 23. axb5 axb5 24. f3!

Black is facing some difficult defensive problems now. Savage elects to sacrifice a pawn for open lines against the White king, but Albano is in firm control.

24. ... Reg8!? 25. fxg4 Qh6 26. gxh5 Qxh5 27. h3 Nc4 28. Nf4 Qg5 29. Rf2 Rh6 30. Re1 e5

Savage must have depended upon this counterthrust when he played 24. ... Reg8!?, but Albano deciphers the key to victory.

31. Nxd5! Nxb4 32. Qf5+ Qxf5 33. Ne7+ Kb8 34. Nxf5 Rhg6 35. Nh4 Nd3 36. Bxc4 bxc4 37. Nxg6 Nxf2 38. Kxf2 Rxg6 39. Nf3 exd4 40. cxd4

White has a win in this endgame, and Albano nurses home the point without giving his dangerous opponent any counterchances.

40. ... Rb6 41. Re3 Rb2+ 42. Kg3 Kc8 43. h4 Rb3 44. Kf4 c3 45. Ne1 Bxg2 46. h5 Rb1 47. h6 c2 48. Nxc2 Rh1 49. Kg5 Kd7 50. Kg6 Bd5 51. h7 Rg1+ 52. Kf6 Rh1 53. Re7+ Kd6 54. Ne3 c5 55. dxc5+ Kxc5 56. Kg7, Black resigns.

After 56. ... Rg1+ 57. Kf8 Rh1 58. Nxd5 Kxd5 59. Kg8 Rg1+ 60. Rg7, there is no play left.

Congratulations to D. Myers who has won a 15-man Master Section in the ICCF.

Dr. Ronald Hames offers prizes for the very best in American correspondence chess once a year. The awards are given to the players who produced the best game by a master and by a non-master. Hames' award represents the very best in American correspondence chess. This year, as always, there was a rich crop to choose from. In the non-master section, the top games were Vaughan-Reithel (March) Marfia-Henderson (July) and Greene-Payne (November). And the winner, for his remarkable queen sacrifice and clever ending play, is Ray Reithel (page 36, March).

In the master division there were many rich games to choose from. With difficulty I narrowed it down to two games, Zecha-DeMauro (April) and Matt-Golyak (October). The winner played a classical kingside attack against the very strong Artur Matt of Germany (page 19, October). Congratulations, Isay Golyak!

Canada has a new ICCM. Murray Kurtz, Canadian Closed Champion and 1990 Golden Knights Champion, has earned the title by virtue of games like the one below. White is flattened like a pancake as Black's pieces flow freely like a rich maple syrup.

SICILIAN DEFENSE [B66] W: W. Guttieri (2104) B: Murray Kurtz (2306) 1990 Golden Knights

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8.

0-0-0 h6 9. Be3 Be7 10. f4 Bd7 11. Bd3 b5 12. h3 Nxd4 13. Bxd4 Bc6 14. Rde1 b4 15. Nd1 Qa5 16. Kb1 e5 17. Bf2 0-0 18. g3 Qc7 19. Qxb4 d5 20. Bc5 Rfb8 21. Qc3 dxe4 22. Bxe7 Nd5 23. Qxe5 Qxe5 24. fxe5 exd3 25. Bd6 dxc2+ 26. Kxc2 Nb4+ 27. Kb3 Rb7 28. Bxb4 Bxh1 29. Rxh1 a5 30. a3 axb4 31. axb4 Rab8 32. Re1 Rxb4+ 33. Kc2 R4b6 34. Re4 Kf8 35. Kb1 Rb3 36. Re3 Rxe3 37. Nxe3 Rb3, White resigns.

ICCM Robert Jacobs has made a career out of defending the Slav. Here he shows some of his power in this game from the Anglo-Pacific Tournament Bureau, where he earned his title.

SLAV DEFENSE [D16] W: Alan Fichaud (2210) B: Robert Jacobs (2415) APTB 2 1998

1. c4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Na6 6. e4 Be6 7. Ne5 Qa5 8. f3 Rd8 9. Be3 Qb4 10. Qe2 g6 11. Nxc4 Bg7 12. a5 0-0 13. Ne5 Rxd4 14. Nxc6 bxc6 15. Bxd4 Qxd4 16. Qxa6 Rb8 17. Qe2 Nd7 18. Nd1 Nc5 19. Qc2 Nb3 20. Ra3 Qb4+ 21. Nc3 Nd4 22. Qc1 Qxb2 23. Qxb2 Rxb2 24. Bd3 Rxg2, White resigns.

Over 12 years (1979-1991) Peter Vlahos (Newburyport, MA) had the pleasure of playing 14 postal games with the great Sammy Reshevsky, with the final result being +7 -2 =5 in Vlahos' favor. Here is one of the best of the series.

SICILIAN DEFENSE [B23] W: Peter Vlahos B: GM Samuel Reshevsky Correspondence 1991

1. f4 g6 2. e4 c5 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. Bb5 e6 6. Bxc6 bxc6 7. d3 d5 8. e5 h5 9. 0-0 Nh6 10. Na4 c4 11. dxc4 Qa5 12. b3 dxc4 13. Bd2 Qb5 14. Nd4 Qb7 15. Bb4 Bf8 16. Bxf8 Kxf8 17. Qd2 c5 18. Nxc5 Qd5 19. b4 h4 20. Rad1 h3 21. gxh3 Bb7 22. Nxb7 Qxb7 23. Qg2 Rb8 24. c3 Ng8 25. Nc6 Rc8 26. Rd6 Ne7 27. Nxe7 Qxe7 28. Rfd1 Qh4 29. Rd7 Rh7 30. Qf3 g5 31. f5 g4 32. f6 Re8 33. Qa8 Qe1+ 34. Rxe1 Rxa8 35. Red1, Black resigns.


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