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

Tnyu Oim of Estonia has achieved what no postal great has done before. Tnyu has won the World Correspondence Championship twice. The Estonian powerhouse had previously won the ninth World Championship. Now Tony, as he is known to his American admirers, has won the XIV World Championship, beating out his nearest rival, Ove Ekebjaerg, by half a point.

Tony also won the Axelson Memorial (1984-1993) finishing 1D points ahead of Eric Bang and by an even wider margin over Juan Morgado and earlier World Champions Jorn Sloth, Victor Palciauskas, Vladimir Zagorovsky, and Fritz Baumbach. Such a score can only be compared to the domination of Hans Berliner in the fifth World Championship.

While talking to Tony on the telephone, he jokingly asked if his latest victory might push him past the late Vladimir Zagorovsky as the greatest correspondence player of all time. Joking aside, Tony has asked a very critical question, one worth pondering. I would like to hear from knowledgeable readers - Has Tnyu Oim vaulted to the top of the all-time list of postal chessplayers?

GAME OF THE MONTH It was clear some time ago that the critical game in the XIV World Championship would be Oim's match-up with XII World Champion Grigory Sanakoev. In the previous World Championship, Sanakoev had won their individual encounter and had gone on to win the title. This time the results would be different.

RUY LOPEZ [C64] W: ICGM Grigory Sanakoev B: ICGM Tnyu Oim XIV World Championship, 1994-1999

Notes based on those by Tnyu Oim

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 4. c3 Bb6 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 Nce7 7. d5!?

Oim notes that he had prepared this line especially for the XIV Championship. Theory rates this position as better for White, but Oim disagrees with this evaluation.

7. ... a6 8. Ba4 Nf6 9. Nc3 0-0 10. e5

Oim faced 10. d6 in Franzen-Oim (Massow Memorial Tournament, 1997-99), which was unclear after 10. ... cxd6 11. Qxd6 Bc7 12. Qd3 b5.

10. ... Ng4 11. 0-0 d6 12. Bf4 Ng6 13. Bg5 f6 14. exf6 gxf6!

This is Oim's new idea: to use the open g-file for rapid counterplay against the White king.

15. Bc1 Kh8 16. Bc2 Rg8 17. Ne4 Qf8 18. a4?

Oim points out that this is a waste of a tempo. Better is 18. b4 immediately.

18. ... Ne7 19. b4 Qf7 20. Bb2 Ne5 21. Nxe5 fxe5 22. Kh1 Nxd5 23. f4 Qg7 24. Ng5 Nxf4 25. h4 Rf8 26. Bxh7 Bf5 27. Bxf5 Rxf5 28. Qg4 Rxg5!

By removing the two most dangerous White pieces, Black enters into a favorable endgame.

29. Qxg5 Qxg5 30. hxg5 Kg7!

With the defense of 31. Rxf4 Rh8+ 32. Rh4 Rxh4 mate.

31. Kh2 Nd5 32. Ra3 Be3 33. Bc1 Bd4 34. Rb3 b5 35. axb5 axb5 36. Kh3 Ra1 37. Rbf3 e4 38. Rf5 Be5 39. Kh4 Kg6 40. Rf8 Ra2!

With the posting of this rook on the seventh rank, Black wins a difficult ending and with it the title of World Champion.

41. Rg8+ Kh7 42. Rb8 Rxg2 43. Rxb5 c6 44. Rb7+ Kg6 45. b5 e3 46. Rf3 e2 47. Bd2 Rg1 48. bxc6 Rd1 49. Ba5 Nc3!

Shutting out the bishop, and if 50. Re3 Rd4+ 51. Kh3 Rd3! wins.

50. Bxc3 Bxc3 51. Re7 e1=Q+ 52. Rxe1 Bxe1+ 53. Kg4 Rd4+ 54. Rf4 Rxf4+ 55. Kxf4 Ba5 56. Ke4 Bc7, White resigns.

Black has a simple win after 57. Kd5 Kf5! 58. g6 Kxg6 59. Ke6 Bb8 60. Kd7 d5 61. Kc8 Bf4.

• Walter Muir, the dean of American correspondence chess, has been made an Honorary Member of ICCF for his pioneering efforts in bringing true international play to the United States. Congratulations, Walter, on a well-deserved honor!

• One of the lesser-known abilities of the strongest players is their ability to maneuver. They shift their pieces, apparently doing very little, and then suddenly all the pieces are in the right places.

QUEEN'S GAMBIT DECLINED [D68] W: H. Concha (2345) B: Black: R. Presto (2000) USCF Postal, 1996

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e3 0-0 6. Nf3 Nbd7 7. Rc1 c6 8. Bd3 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nd5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. 0-0 Nxc3 12. Rxc3 e5 13. Qc2 e4 14. Nd2 Nf6 15. Bb3 Bf5 16. f3 Bg6 17. f4 Bf5 18. Rc1 Rad8 19. Rc5 g6 20. Re5 Qd7 21. Rc5 Qe7 22. Ra5 Ng4 23. Nf1 a6 24. h3 Nf6 25. Re5 Qb4 26. g4 Bc8 27. Nd2 h5 28. Nc4 Rfe8 29. Rc5 b5 30. Ne5, Black resigns.

• White's attack in the following game is like a textbook on tactical motifs in the Sozin Sicilian. Black defends dourly, but there is just one trick too many.

SICILIAN DEFENSE [B88] W: Robert Escalante (1887) B: Ted Jewell (1881) USCF Postal, 1998

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bc4 e6 7. Bb3 Be7 8. Be3 0-0 9. f4 a6 10. Qf3 Qc7 11. g4 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 b5 13. g5 Nd7 14. g6 hxg6 15. h4 Nf6 16. h5 Nxh5 17. Rxh5 gxh5 18. Qxh5 f6 19. 0-0-0 b4 20. Nd5 Qb7 21. Qg6 Bd8 22. Rh1 a5 23. f5 a4 24. fxe6, Black resigns.

• ICCM Robert Jacobs' skill with the two bishops is well known, but here he sacrifices his queen to gain The Two and the game.

SICILIAN DEFENSE [B20] W: ICCM Robert Jacobs B: Gordon Morrell (2185) Correspondence, 1995

1. e4 c5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. b3 e5 6. Bb2 d6 7. Nge2 Nge7 8. 0-0 0-0 9. f4 Nd4 10. h3 Rb8 11. g4 exf4 12. Nxf4 b5 13. Rb1 Bb7 14. Ba1 b4 15. Nce2 Ba6 16. c4 Nec6 17. d3 Bc8 18. Nxd4 Nxd4 19. Ne2 Qg5 20. Nxd4 cxd4 21. Qf3 Be6 22. Qf2 Qc5 23. Bb2 f5 24. gxf5 gxf5 25. Qh4 Kh8 26. Rf4 Qa5 27. Ra1 Rbe8 28. exf5 Bxf5 29. Raf1 Re2 30. Be4 Rg8 31. Bxf5 Bf6+ 32. Kh1 Bxh4 33. Bxd4+ Re5 34. Rxh4 Rg7 35. Be4 Qd8 36. Rhf4 Qd7 37. Rf8+ Rg8 38. Bxe5+ dxe5 39. Rxg8+ Kxg8 40. Bd5+ Kh8 41. Rf8+ Kg7 42. Rf7+, Black resigns.

XIV Correspondence World Championship • 1994-1999

D = Draw, 1/2 point

T. Oim         a   D   D   0   1   D   1   1   1   1   1   1   D   1   1     11

O. Ekebjaerg   D   a   D   1   1   1   D   1   D   D   1   D   D   1   1     10.5

T. Hamarat     D   D   a   D   D   D   1   D   1   1   D   D   D   1   1     9.5

M. Lecroq      1   0   D   a   D   1   D   D   D   D   1   D   1   1   1     9.5

J. Morgado     0   0   D   D   a   D   D   D   D   D   D   1   1   1   1     8

S. Webb        D   0   D   0   D   a   1   D   1   1   1   D   0   U   1     7.5

W. Stern       0   D   0   D   D   0   a   1   1   D   D   U   1   1   1     7.5

V. M. Anton    0   0   D   D   D   D   0   a   D   D   D   D   1   1   1     7

P. Boll        0   D   0   D   D   0   D   D   a   D   D   U   1   D   1     5.5

J. Franzen     0   D   0   D   D   0   D   D   D   a   D   D   D   U   1     5.5

L. Kristol     0   0   D   0   D   0   D   D   D   D   a   D   0   1   1     5.5

G. Sanakoev    0   D   D   D   0   D   U   D   U   D   D   a   U   D   1     5

F. Baumbach    D   D   D   0   0   1   0   0   0   D   1   U   a   U   1     5

P. Buj         0   0   0   0   0   U   0   0   D   U   0   D   U   a   1     2

J. Cordovil    0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   a     0



 

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