In March of 1950 a young David Eisen had his first game published in Chess Review. That game foreshadowed signs of the master to come. Fifty years later, I would like to celebrate Dave Eisen's latest success - the title of International Correspondence Chess Master. Born September 2, 1925, David has had a long and successful career - 1976 Super A Champion, 1980 and 1981 Absolute Champion of the USCF and, during the early 80s, the Number-1 rated player in USCF and CCLA. An excellent team player, David led the U.S. on Board 1 in its successful win of the Third Pacific Area Team Tournament, and played third board in the X Olympiad and the First Anglo-Pacific Bureau Championship. David is now playing third board in the Fourth North Atlantic Team Tournament. David has always been generous with his advice to those who would follow in his postcards. He suggests you not exhaust yourself with voluminous notes as it discourages taking a fresh look at the position. Any line, he suggests, that can't be reconstructed on revisiting the position is probably faulty. Congratulations IM David Eisen!


David Eisen's greatest strength is in the endgame. In the following game, David takes sight of the endgame early on and brings home the point against a former Canadian and Irish champion.


W: Eugene Gibney (2374)

B: David Eisen (2380)

North Atlantic Team Championship 1996

Notes based on those of David Eisen

1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Nxc3 Nc6 5. Nf3 d6 6. Bc4 a6

Eisen is following Tim Taylor's analysis claiming to refute the Morra where Taylor argues that b5 has to be securely protected.

7. 0-0 Nf6 8. Bg5 e6 9. Qe2 h6

This h-pawn advance is also Taylor's analysis, along with the chasing of the dark-squared bishop.

10. Be3 Ng4 11. Rfd1 Nxe3 12. Qxe3 Qa5 13. a3 Qc5 14. Qe2 Ne5 15. Nxe5 Qxe5 16. Rac1 Be7 17. b4 0-0 18. g3 g6 19. f4 Qg7 20. Qe3 Bd7?

Completing his development, but it is a mistake. Eisen suggests 20. ... Rd8 as an improvement.

21. e5! Rfd8

The seemingly solid 21. ... d5 runs into 22. Bxd5! exd5 23. Nxd5 Rfe8 24. Nf6+ Bxf6 25. Rxd7 Bd8 26. Rxb7 with full compensation for the piece.

22. exd6 Bf8 23. Ne4 Bc6 24. Bb3 Kh8!

A fine defensive move, avoiding both the bishop's diagonal and a knight check on f6.

25. Rd3 Rd7 26. Rxc6!?

White sees the impending doom of the d-pawn after ... Rad8 and ... Bc6xe4 and so sacks the Exchange for queenside play.

26. ... bxc6 27. Qc5 Qa1+ 28. Kg2 Rad8 29. Qe5+ Bg7 30. Qc5 Qxa3 31. Nd2 a5 32. Nc4 Qxb4 33. Qxb4 axb4 34. Ba4 Bf8 35. Bxc6 Rxd6 36. Nxd6 Rxd6 37. Rxd6 Bxd6

Two pawns ahead in a bishops-of-opposite-color endgame is not always a win. The key is to establish two passed pawns as far apart as possible. Here Eisen decides on a b-pawn and a g-pawn, as the bishop is the wrong color for an h-pawn.

38. Ba4 Kg7 39. Kf3 f5 40. Bb3 Kf6 41. h3 e5 42. fxe5+ Kxe5 43. Ke3 g5 44. Kd3

44. ... g4!

A draw would occur after the hasty 44. ... f4 45. g4! Bc5 46. Bd1 f3? (46. ... Bd4 should still win) 47. Bxf3 Kf4 48. Bg2 Kg3 49. Bd5 Kxh3 50. Bf3! h5 51. gxh5 g4 52. Bxg4+ Kxg4 53. h6 Bf8 54. h7 Bg7 55. Kc4 Bc3 56. h8=Q.

45. hxg4 fxg4 46. Ke2 Kf5 47. Kf2 Kg5 48. Kg2 h5 49. Bc4 h4 50. gxh4+ Kxh4 51. Be6 Kg5 52. Kf2 Kf4, White resigns.

David Eisen's title at 75 is not the record. That belongs to Grandmaster Hermann Heemsoth, who gained his title in 1987 at the age of 77.

How do you defeat a correspondence GM? Daniel Fleetwood shows just how to do it - a dubious TN by Black on Move 10, an incisive decision at Move 17, a piece sacrifice on Move 19, an energetic king hunt starting on Move 21, and at the end, Black cannot defend against Qb7-g7+ - a neat win!


W: Dan Fleetwood (2491)

B: Maurice Johnson (2579)

XIX World Championship 2000

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 0-0 9. 0-0-0 Be6 10. Kb1 Qd7 11. h4 Ne5 12. Bh6 Rfc8 13. Bxg7 Kxg7 14. g4 Bc4 15. g5 Nh5 16. f4 Bxf1 17. fxe5 Bc4 18. Nf3 Qg4 19. exd6 Qxf3 20. dxe7 b5 21. Qd4+ f6 22. Rh2 Qg4 23. gxf6+ Nxf6 24. h5 Qe6 25. h6+ Kf7 26. Rf2 Qxe7 27. Nd5 Bxd5 28. Qxd5+ Qe6 29. Qb7+, Black resigns.

Matt Borden (Ottawa, Canada) knows art when it cuts him. He sends in this game against an 82-year-old retired surgeon. Trimpi shows that he's game.


W: Matt Borden (1774)

B: Howard Trimpi (2293)

U.S. Postal 2000

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. a3 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 dxe4 6. Qg4 Nf6 7. Qxg7 Rg8 8. Qh6 c5 9. Bb2 Nbd7 10. Ne2 Qa5 11. Qe3 b6 12. Ng3 Bb7 13. Be2 cxd4 14. Qxd4 h5 15. h4 e3 16. Qxe3 Bxg2 17. Rg1 Be4 18. 0-0-0 Bg6 19. Bd3 Qc5 20. Qf3 Rd8 21. Rd2 Bxd3 22. Qxd3 Rg4 23. Re1 Rc8 24. Ne4 Nxe4 25. Rxe4 Ne5 26. Qd4 Rxe4 27. Qxe4 Nc4 28. Rd4 Qb5 29. Qb7 Qxb2+ 30. Kd1 Qb1+ 31. Ke2 Qxc2+ 32. Kf1 Ne3+ 33. fxe3 Rxc3 34. Qb8+ Rc8 35. Qd6 Qf5+ 36. Ke2 e5 37. Rd5 Qg4+ 38. Kd2 Qg2+ 39. Kd1 Qf1+ 40. Kd2 Qc1+ 41. Ke2 Rc2+ 42. Kd3 Rc3+, White resigns.