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Daniel Steininger 2010 US Blind Chess Champion Print E-mail
By Bruce Leverett   
October 13, 2010
Pietrolungo vs. Steininger (Varchetto at rear)
At the 2010 US Blind Championships in Pittsburgh, PA (October 11-12), Daniel Steininger of Indiana prevailed with a score of 4-0. Michael Allain of New Jersey and Albert Pietrolungo of Baltimore tied for second with 3-1. Olynick and Rosenkoetter finished with 2, and Alverson and Roda with 1.

Olynik vs. Allain
The gathering seemed to be unusually lively with hope and plans for the future. It was felt that a good site had been found, that the organization and direction were competent, that the USCF had been generous in coming up with about 1/2 the prize fund, that "new blood" had gratifyingly been recruited to play, and that next year, with a site and date known well ahead of time, there would be time and ability to do some real publicity. 

Virginia Alverson and Elijah

Marc Roda and Luke

Steininger-Allain was a titanic struggle, which was ended on the 62nd move by a gross blunder in time pressure. Allain had Q and B and pawns against R and pawns, and was on the verge of mating, but allowed the queen to be skewered by a check from the rook. 

1 e4 a6 2 d4 b5 3 Bd3 Bb7 4 f4 e6 5 Nf3 c5 6 c3 c4?!
They teach you in grade school not to break the tension in this kind of setup. But Allain seems to play by his own rules as we will see.
7 Bc3 Nc6 8 O-O Nce7!?? 9 Qe2 Qb6 10 Be3 d5 11 e5 g6 12 Nbd2 Nf5 13 g4?!

Patience is the word. I would expect 13 Bf2 followed by g3 and eventually h3, g4, etc.
13...Nxe3 14 Qxe3 Ne7 15 Nh4 Bh6 16 Qf2 O-O-O 17 b3 Rhg8 18 g5
If there was still a kingside attack it's gone now, but there's still a game to be played.
18...Bg7 19 bxc4 dxc4 20 Ne4 Qc6 21 Qf3 Kb8 22 Nd6 Rxd6! 23 exd6 Qxd6 24 Be4 Nd5 25 a4 Kc7 26 axb5 axb5 27 Ra7 Ra8 28 Rxa8 Bxa8 29 Ng2 Bc6
Threatens ... Nxc3
30 Bxd5 Bxd5 31 Qe3 Ac6 32 Rf2 Bf8 33 Qe5+
In the post-mortem Steininger regretted sending his queen off into the weeds.
33...Bd6 34 Qf6 Qd7 35 Ra2 Kb6 36 Ne3 Be4 37 Rd2 Qc7 38 Rf2 Qa7 39 Rf1 Bd3 40 Re1 b4
Now the game takes a terrifying turn. How will Black's king not get mated?
41 Nd5+ Kb5 42 Nxb4 Bxb4 43 Qe5+ Ka4 44 cxb4 44 Ra1+ Ba3
44...Kxb4 45 Rc1
Is there nothing better? In the post-mortem we could not find anything conclusive.
45...c3 46 Qc5+?? Qxc5 47 dxc5 Kb3!
Of course not 47 ... Kxc5 48 Rxc3+ Bc4 49 Ra3
48 Ra1 Kb2 49 Ra7 c2 50 Rb7+ Ka3 51 Ra7+ Kb2 52 Rb7+ Kc3 53 c6 c1(Q)+ 54 Kf2 Qxf4+ 55 Kg2 Be4+ 56 Kh3 Bf5+
Both players were down to a couple of minutes. The players can ask the helpers how much time they have left, and they can even feel the clock face, which is "braille", but still, time pressure is more intense if you can't see. Here, 56 ... Bf3 intending ... Qg4 mate would do the job.
57 Kg2 Qxg5+ 58 Kf2 Qf4+ 59 Kg2 Bg4 60 Ra7 Qf3+ 61 Kg1 Bh3?? 62 Ra3+, Black resigns.

Steininger (left rear) vs. Alverson (right front)


October - Chess Life Online 2010

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