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Alex Dunne
August 1999. Additional Alex Dunne columns are available in the Correspondence Chess Forum.

Once a chessplayer has savored postal play, I believe he will never abandon it.

- Sanakoev

Joseph Callaway was born in 1926 in a small town in Arkansas. At the age of 70-plus, Joseph has been awarded the title of International Correspondence Chess Master. An insurance man by trade, he retired in 1982 to enjoy life, chess, grandchildren, and square dancing, not necessarily in that order. Joseph has a knack of being in the finals of some strong tournaments. Nine times he has played in the Golden Knights Finals, finishing 17-1 in his best result; three times he has played in the CCLA Championship, winning in the Fifth; twice he fought to the end in the USCCC, 1 and 6. He has played in three Anglo Pacific Tournament Bureau Master Sections, winning one of them. That victory and a 9-1 score on Board 6 in the Sixth Pan American Team Championship earned him his ICCM title.

GAME OF THE MONTH In the following game Callaway shows award-winning defensive play, skating on the edge of the rim of fire until at the end it is White's king that is sacrificed to the volcano.

CENTER COUNTER DEFENSE [B01]
W: Dave Eklund (2275)
B: Joseph Callaway (2250)
Second Anglo-Pacific Championship, 1994

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bf5 6. Bc4 e6 7. Ne5 c6 8. g4!? Be4 9. Qe2!?

This is new. Aseev-Koenig (Munich, 1990) continued 9. 0-0 Bd5 10. Bd3 Bd6 11. f4 with an advantage to White. Instead Eklund sets a nasty trap - 9. ... Bxh1? 10. Nxf7! Bd5 11. Bxd5 cxd5 12. Qxe6+ Be7 13. Nd6+ and mate next - but the move also implies a pawn sacrifice which Callaway elects to take.

9. ... Bb4! 10. 0-0 Bxc3 11. bxc3 Qxc3

The rest of the game is easy to understand. Black will keep his king safe, use his extra pawn, and eventually take advantage of White's weakened kingside. White will attack, attack, attack. Who stands better? The better player, no doubt.

12. Rb1 b5 13. Bb3 Bd5 14. g5 Ne4 15. Rd1 0-0 16. Rd3

The introduction of this rook to the kingside attack demands that Black get rid of the dangerous attacking knight.

16. ... Qa5 17. Bxd5 cxd5 18. Ba3?!

This may be the losing move. In any attack, timing is the important thing. After 18. Rh3!? White's attack appears to be stronger.

18. ... Rc8 19. Qh5 g6 20. Qh4 Nc6 21. Rh3 h5 22. gxh6 e.p. Nxe5 23. h7+ Kh8 24. dxe5 Rc3!

All Black's pieces come to his aid. Now 25. f3? Qxa3! leaves Black winning. Black's knight on e4 is pure power..

25. Rb4 Rxh3 26. Qxh3 Ng5 27. Qe3 Nxh7 28. Rh4 g5!

Cutting off the queen's access to h6 and effectively ending the game, but only with some more well-played defensive moves.

29. Rh3 Qa4 30. Qf3 Qxc2 31. Qxf7 Qd1+

Now Black softens up White's king - as soon as the Black rook is brought into the game, it will be the end.

32. Kg2 Qg4+ 33. Rg3 Qe4+ 34. Kg1 b4 35. f3 Qb1+ 36. Kg2 Rc8! 37. Qxe6 Rc2+ 38. Kh3 Qf1+ 39. Kg4 Qc4+, White resigns.

After 40. Kf5 comes 40. ... Qf4+ 41. Kg6 Nf8+ 42. Kh5 Qh4 mate.

One of the things missing in correspondence chess is the ability for postal players to get together with one another and enjoy the company of their opponents. Only one organization that I am familiar with sponsors a get-together once a year. The NOST Convention is coming to Corning, New York, November 14. Those interested can get more information at garry|[email protected] I plan to have a column describing what such a convention is like.

Canada's Correspondence Chess Association has changed its rules to allow postal players to use computers. Readers with thoughts on this are invited to write me.

Chess Mail, Tim Harding's excellent postal chess magazine, has finished its search for the best correspondence chess game ever played. The winner received twice as many votes as the runner-up (Timmerman-Andersson, Norwegian Jubilee 1994). Here is the best of the best.

TWO KNIGHTS' DEFENSE [C57]
W: Yakov Estrin (Soviet Union)
B: Hans Berliner (United States)
Fifth World Championship, 1968

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 b5 6. Bf1 Nd4 7. c3 Nxd5 8. Ne4 Qh4 9. Ng3 Bg4 10. f3 e4 11. cxd4 Bd6 12. Bxb5+ Kd8 13. 0-0 exf3 14. Rxf3 Rb8 15. Be2 Bxf3 16. Bxf3 Qxd4+ 17. Kh1 Bxg3 18. hxg3 Rb6 19. d3 Ne3 20. Bxe3 Qxe3 21. Bg4 h5 22. Bh3 g5 23. Nd2 g4 24. Nc4 Qxg3 25. Nxb6 gxh3 26. Qf3 hxg2+ 27. Qxg2 Qxg2+ 28. Kxg2 cxb6 29. Rf1 Ke7 30. Re1+ Kd6 31. Rf1 Rc8 32. Rxf7 Rc7 33. Rf2 Ke5 34. a4 Kd4 35. a5 Kxd3 36. Rf3+ Kc2 37. b4 b5 38. a6 Rc4 39. Rf7 Rxb4 40. Rb7 Rg4+ 41. Kf3 b4 42. Rxa7 b3, White resigns.

Peter Cullen was on the winning team in the 1992 USCF Team Championship. Here he brings home an important point.

BLACKMAR-DIEMER GAMBIT [D00]
W: Peter Cullen (2329)
B: Ferdinand Lang (2144)
USCF Team Championship, 1992

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. e4 dxe4 4. f3 Bf5 5. fxe4 Nxe4 6. Qf3 Nd6 7. Bf4 Qc8 8. Bxd6 exd6 9. 0-0-0 Be7 10. Re1 Nc6 11. Nd5 Kd8 12. Nxe7 Nxe7 13. Bc4 f6 14. Nh3 Nc6 15. Nf4 Nxd4 16. Qe3 Nc6 17. Ne6+ Bxe6 18. Bxe6 Qb8 19. Qg3 g6 20. Qh4 Ke7 21. Rhf1 Qf8 22. Bf7+ Kxf7 23. Qxf6+ Kg8 24. Qe6+ Kg7 25. Qd7+ Kh6 26. Rxf8, Black resigns.

Scott Kissinger sends in his first win against an ICCM in this e-mail game. The poisoned pawn turns out to be only a mild case of heartburn.

SICILIAN DEFENSE [B97]
W: ICCM Karl-Heinz Soetges
B: Scott Kissinger (2231)
EXCLAM! e-mail, 1998

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd2 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. f5 Nc6 11. fxe6 fxe6 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. e5 dxe5 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. Ne4 Be7 16. Be2 h5 17. Rb3 Qa4 18. Nxf6+ Bxf6 19. c4 Bh4+ 20. g3 Be7 21. 0-0 h4 22. Bd3 Rg8 23. Qf2 Kd8 24. Rd1 Qa5 25. Bh7+ Kc7 26. Bxg8 Bc5 27. Re3 Bd7 28. Bh7 Rf8 29. Qe2 Qc3 30. Rd3 Qc1+ 31. Kg2 Bxe3 32. Rxe3 h3+ 33. Kxh3 Rh8 34. Rxe5 Rxh7+ 35. Kg2 Bc8, White resigns.

 

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