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The March Check is in the Mail Print E-mail
By Alex Dunne   
March 2, 2011
ICCM Pavao Bjazevic and wife

Pavao Bjazevic is an International Correspondence Chess Master living in Florida.  Pavao was born in Ecuador but is now a US resident.  Pavao was asked in an interview what he thought of correspondence chess compared to internet blitz chess.  He replied, "I would say that the most important is that correspondence chess lets you interrelate with your opponent and cultivate a beautiful friendship.  Of course this doesn't happen with everybody but more often than not my email opponents after our long games invite me to their homes, show me the pictures of their family, that's it.  You get a really close relation with another human being from elsewhere in the world, something completely opposite to what happens in blitz chess on the net."

Pavao operates a website where interested readers can find free chess programs at www.freechesstools.com

Thematic tournaments are very popular events in some chess organizations.  Everybody plays the same opening, once from the White side and again from the Black.

White: Pavao Bjazevic (2245)
Black: Gregor Netolitzky (2263)
King's Indian Thematic, Final, 2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4
This was the required starting position in this the final round of a King's Indian Four Pawns Attack.  White claims a great amount of space at the cost of development.
Black could accent his developmental advantage by first playing 5...00.  Instead he has a Benko Counter Gambit Pawn sacrifice in mind.
6.d5 b5 7.cxb5 a6 8.Nf3 Qa5 9.Bd2 0-0 10.a4 Qb4
Black scores very badly with this continuation.  Better at least statistically is 10...axb5.
11.Qc2 axb5
A catastrophe was 11...Nfd7 12. Nd1 1-0 as in Gasperi-Costantini, Lido Estensi 2002
12.Bxb5 Bd7 13.0-0 Bxb5 14.axb5 Nbd7 15.Rae1 Ng4 
Black had to try the standard maneuver here of ...c4 ...Nc5 and ...Nd3 to gain some counterplay.  Now White just takes over.
16.h3 Bd4+ 17.Kh1 Nf2+ 18.Kh2 Qc4 19.Nxd4 cxd4 20.Rxf2 dxc3 21.Bxc3 Qxb5
White is a healthy Pawn to the good, a sharp looking Bishop against a dull Knight and a Black kingside weakness to contemplate.  White is winning.
22.f5! Ne5 23.Qc1 Qb6 24.Ref1 Ra4 25.fxg6 Nxg6 26.Rf3 f6 27.Qh6 Qb5 28.b4
The conclusion could be 28...Ra2 29. Re1 Rc8 30. Rg3 Qe8 31. Rb1 Qb5 32. h4 with an irresistible attack.
28...Ra2 29.Re1 Rc8 30.Rg3 Qe8 31.Rb1 Qb5 32.h4 1-0

I have finished writing and proofing my new book The Absolute Correspondence Championship of the USCF 1976-2009 What happens next is unclear.  I have offered it to the USCF for publication (right of first refusal) but no decision on this has yet been made.



If you are a Woody Allen fan and a CC player with a sense of humor, you might try "The Gossage-Vardebedian Papers" by Woody Allen.  You can download it at http://maxxwolf.tripod.com/wppdy.html


ChessonEdge.jpgChess on the Edge by Bruce Harper and Yasser Seirawan

Duncan Suttles of Canada is one of the few players ever to earn a Grandmaster title for both OTB and CC play.  Famous for his handling of the Rat Defense with 1...g6, the first volume of this three volume set contains some of his correspondence games.  The annotations are clear and plentiful, and though only a handful of his CC games appear in Volume 1 (I haven't yet read Volumes 2 and 3) for players interested in slightly offbeat lines, this should be a good guide.     


USA Under 2100 vs. Rest of the World

The rest of the world took this 54 board match by a score of 58 ½-49 ½.  The US lost it on the last seven boards when it was outscored 13-1.  Here is US vs. South Africa


8th Olympiad Women's Final

Playing First Board Roselle Estey scored the only points for the US team.  Here is her win over of Ilda Miranda of Portugal



LEARN CHESS BY MAIL !  Lessons given by mail, telephone, ICC - many different ways.  I specialize in players rated 800-2100 who would like to improve their game.  Contact me for information.  Alex Dunne, 324 West Lockhart St., Sayre, PA 18840 or [email protected]


North Atlantic Team Tournament VI was a disappointment for the US team, finishing in sixth place of eleven teams.  Michael Millstone and Kristo Miettinen made plus scores, but Gary Walters made the best showing with a +6 on Board 8.

VI North Atlantic Team Tournament



John Collins
Jim Humphrey    09C26  5 ½-½
Samuel McCann 09C14  6-0
Jim Humphrey    09C38  6-0
Benjamin Wilreker 10C16  6-0
Jason Dickey       09C08   5-1

Walter Muir
Inoel Cardenas    10W29  5-1
Daniel Todd        10W01  5 ½-½
Wade Reaves       10W02  4 ½-1 ½
Harry Van Buren 10W02 4 ½-1 ½

Swift Quad
Gregory Thompson  10SQ03  6-0

Trophy Quad
Eric Tooch       10Q12    6-0
John Terrall      10Q05    6-0

Palciauskas Tournament
Crawford Daniels         09P05  5-1

Quote: We (Chess by Mail Correspondence Bureau) are desirous, of course, of securing players who are sufficiently polite and honorable enough to continue playing, after once having started, until they win or are mated, or say, if they prefer, "I resign."  That is the kind of players we are looking for, and the kind we frequently get, but not always. - American Chess Bulletin, April 1906




The 2011 Absolute Championship has started with a prize fund of $1035 first, $690 second, and $345 third, thanks to generous donations from Corky Schakel, Keith Rodriguez, Robert Rizzo, Abe Wilson, David Sogin, Bernard Rosenthal, Joan DuBois and several anonymous donors. Participants in rating order are John Menke (2445) Stephen Van Enk (2436) Hugo Concha (2398) Abe Wilson (2383) Walter Brower (2379) Dana Daves (2366) Daniel Woodard (2365) Robert Rizzo (2363) Harry Ingersol (2356) Sandy Greene (2318) Keith Rodriguez (2314) Gordon Magat (2288) and Alex Dunne (2215).

An exchange sacrifice on Move 26 brings all White's pieces to focus on d6 - a square that remains unconquered even after the Black King abdicates.


The next time you wonder why you took geometry in high school, remember this game.


White shows survival skills equal to an Eagle Scout's.



March - Chess Life Online 2011

Last Chance: Register as a USCF Voting MemberTwo GMs and Kevin Cao Top Pittsburgh Open Armageddon Your Pieces Wins US Amateur Team Playoff Aronian Wins Amber; Nakamura Ends with BangMeet IM Daniel Naroditsky, US Championship ContenderOnline Viewer and PDF Download will be the Online Options for USCF MagazinesPairings Set for US Amateur Team Playoffs A First and Final Trip to AmberSeven Tie in Mid-America Open; Young Wins on TiebreakSadorra Annotates A Win on his Way to GM GM Team Prevails in Dallas; Sadorra Earns Final GM Norm Voting Registration Deadline Closing in Aronian Leads Amber Tournament Bachmann Prevails in Western Class Spring SPICE: Darwin Yang Earns Final IM Norm, Naroditsky and Kuljasevic Tie for 1st Groups Set at the 2011 US Chess Championships Carlsen in the New Yorker Kaidanov on Winning the Saint Louis Invitational The US Chess Scoop with Macauley Peterson UTD Invitational Pits Team vs. Top GMsFinal Amber Tournament Begins This WeekendRobson Earns Final US Championship Spot Meet the Youngest African-American Master, Joshua Colas Kaidanov Claims US Champs Spot; Ramirez and Robson Go to TiebreakKaidanov Leads in Saint Louis, Robson and Ramirez a Point BehindShabalov Wins Eastern Class ChampionshipAmateur Team Games Potpourri Saint Louis Invitational Wide Open after Five Rounds Kaidanov Leads Saint Louis Invitational Saint Louis Invitational Kicks Off Dreams and Local Heroes at the Southern Rocky FIDE Open The March Check is in the Mail Tale of a Winter Rating Spike: An Interview with Matthew Herman