Check is in the Mail
by FIDE Master Alex Dunne
Jim Skeels newest ICCM
Jim Skeels started playing correspondence chess in 1968, entering a Golden Knights event that he found in the back of a Chess Review magazine. Newly married and working, he had no free time or extra money for OTB chess. Correspondence was his only means to play chess at his leisure, and he enjoyed playing opponents from all over the U.S. as well as overseas. Jim found opponents who liked to trade stamps, postcards, magazines, and buttons. Correspondence chess, he discovered, was a great way to meet players from all walks of life. One even sent him an autograph of Max Euwe. He would suggest to all new players to not just send moves only but to correspond and enjoy the friends you meet as well as the games! The combination of personal friendliness and ruthless chess moves certainly paid off for Jim Skeels - he was recently awarded the title of International Correspondence Chess Master. Congratulations, Jim!
GAME OF THE MONTH
Faced with a new line, Skeels relies on a classical pawn center and marches it deep down the board.
SICILIAN DEFENSE [B90]
W: Caesar Posylek (2320)
B: Jim Skeels (2355)
First NAPZ Championship Finals, 2002
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bf4 e5!?
With 8. ... g5, Black could transpose into standard lines, but Skeels seeks new territory.
9. Nf5 Nf6 10. Bg3 Bxf5 11. exf5 Qa5 12. Bd3 Nc6 13. 0-0 d5
Black has established a classical pawn center. White has to take immediate steps to combat this monster before it overwhelms his position.
14. Re1 Bd6 15. a3
This is too slow: White has to go in for 13. Bxe5 Nxe5 14. f4 Qb4 15. fxe5 Bc5+ 16. Kf1 Ng4 and ride the complications. Now Black stabilizes his center and stands better.
15. ... Qc7 16. Qd2 Rd8 17. b4 0-0 18. b5 Nd4 19. bxa6 bxa6 20. Ne2
Taking the pawn loses after 20. Bxa6 Qa5 21. Bb7 Nxf5 22. Bxe5 Bxe5 23. Rxe5 Nd6 24. Bxd5 Nc4.
20. ... Nxe2+ 21. Qxe2 e4!
The pawns begin to claw their way down the board.
22. Bxd6 Rxd6 23. Bxa6 Rc6 24. Ra2 d4 25. Bb5 Rc5 26. Rb2 Rd8 27. a4 Rxf5
Material is now even, but White's game is disorganized and Black's is powerfully centralized.
28. h3 Rc5 29. Qd2 Rc3 30. Qd1 Rd5 31. Bf1 Rg5 32. Kh1 Qa7 33. Bb5 Qa8 34. Rb3 Rxb3 35. cxb3 e3 36. f3 Qa5 37. Rg1 Qd8 38. Re1 Rd5 39. g3 Nh5 40. Kh2 Nxg3! 41. f4
After 41. Kxg3, Black's attack breaks through: 41. ... Rg5+ 42. Kh2 Qc7+ 43. Kh1 Qg3 44. Re2 Qxf3+ 45. Kh2 Rh5 and wins.
41. ... Nh5 42. Qf3 Rf5 43. Rf1 Nxf4 44. Qe4 Rf6 45. Rxf4 Qb8 46. Bd3 Qxf4+ 47. Qxf4 Rxf4 48. Kg1 Rf2, White resigns.
* ICCM John Timm and ICGM Alik Zilberberg have both qualified for the XIX World Championship Finals.
* The 14th Olympiad Finals, the first e-mail Olympiad, has begun. The U.S. team consists of Board 1: GM Alik Zilberberg, Board 2: SIM (Senior Int'l. Master) Stephen Jones, Board 3: SIM Dan Fleetwood, Board 4: SIM Gary Kubach, Board 5: IM Christopher Sergel, and Board 6: IM Jeffrey Tilghman. Reserves are IM Tony Albano and Richard Aiken. Our Team Captain is Tom Dougherty. Good skill, gentlemen!
The U.S. Section includes Argentina, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, and Switzerland.
* Max the Axe uses the d-file in masterly fashion to cleave out the win.
NIMZOVICH DEFENSE [B00]
W: Bernard Hanison (2063)
B: Max Zavanelli (2444)
Reg Gillman Memorial, 2000
1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Bg4 5. Bb5 a6 6. Bxc6+ bxc6 7. h3 Bh5 8. 0-0 e6 9. Qd3 Be7 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. e5 Be7 13. Rfe1 0-0 14. Na4 Qb8 15. b3 Rd8 16. c4 Qb4 17. a3 Qb7 18. Qe3 a5 19. Qc3 Bxf3 20. Qxf3 dxe5 21. dxe5 Rab8 22. Reb1 Rd4 23. Qc3 Qa7 24. Rd1 Rbd8 25. Rxd4 Qxd4 26. Qe1 Bg5 27. Rb1 Bf4 28. Qxa5 Bxe5 29. Re1 Bg3 30. Rf1 Bd6 31. c5 Be5 32. Qb4 Qxb4 33. axb4 Rd3, White resigns.
* When White can't find how to use his isolated d-pawn as an attacking weapon, Black forces him on the defensive and takes over the initiative.
SICILIAN DEFENSE [B22]
W: Richard Fatigati (2204)
B: Jason Bokar (2460)
14th USCCC, 1999
1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Be2 e6 7. h3 Bh5 8.
0-0 Nc6 9. Be3 cxd4 10. cxd4 Be7 11. Nc3 Qd6 12. a3 0-0 13. Qb3 Rfd8 14. Rfd1 Nd5 15. Ne4 Qc7 16. Rac1 Nf4 17. Bxf4 Qxf4 18. Qe3 Qxe3 19. fxe3 Rac8 20. Nc5 Bxc5 21. Rxc5 Bg6 22. Bd3 Nxd4 23. Rxc8 Nxf3+ 24. gxf3 Rxc8 25. Bxg6 hxg6 26. b4 Rc7 27. Rd8+ Kh7 28. f4 g5 29. fxg5 Kg6 30. h4 Rc3 31. Rd7 Rxe3 32. a4 Re4 33. Rxb7 Rxh4 34. a5 a6 35. b5 Rg4+ 36. Kf2 Rxg5 37. bxa6 Rxa5 38. a7 Ra3, White resigns.
* Z. L. King has played 145 correspondence games, all inside prison walls. In this game he develops winning queenside pressure in direct fashion.
OLD INDIAN DEFENSE [B22]
W: Z. L. King (1430)
B: Wade Chabassol (1932)
1. e4 e6 2. d4 c5 3. c3 cxd4 4. cxd4 Nf6 5. Bd3 Nc6 6. Nf3 d6 7. Nc3 Be7 8. 0-0 0-0 9. a3 e5 10. d5 Nb8 11. Be3 Bg4 12. Be2 Nbd7 13. Qb3 b6 14. Rae1 Rc8 15. Qd1 Nc5 16. Qb1 Qd7 17. b4 Nb7 18. Bb5 Qd8 19. Bc6 Rb8 20. Nd2 Bd7 21. f3 Qe8 22. b5 Nc5 23. a4 Qc8 24. Qc2 Nh5 25. Ra1 f5 26. a5 Qc7 27. Nc4 fxe4 28. axb6 axb6 29. Bxc5 exf3 30. Bxb6 Rxb6 31. Nxb6 Qxb6+ 32. Qf2 Qd8 33. Ra8 Bh4 34. g3, Black resigns.