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The January Check is in the Mail Print E-mail
By Alex Dunne   
January 8, 2012
Wilson200.jpgABE WILSON WINS 2005 GN !

Abe Wilson                  43.95
Chuck Cullum               43.45
Patrick Ryan                 38.35
Shane Schultheis           38.35
R. McLaughlin  35.80
Chris O'Connell           36.75
Steven Smith               34.65
James Ellis                  32.90
Gary Adams                32.70
Edward Addis              32.40
Patrick Ryan                 31.75
Edward Lupienski         31.65
Steven Smith                31.10
Bruce Reynolds          30.50
Barry Walker               29.65
Peter Radomskyj          29.55
Thomas Connelly          29.40
David Porter                 28.40
Wayne Pressnall           27.20
Mark Robledo              26.05
Michael Allard  25.05
Mark Robledo              23.80
Jiri Kovats                   21.65
Preston Ladson            20.00              
Michael Allard  18.30
William Jempty  17.65
Mark Garner                17.10
A, J. Zeppa                  12.20  

With the winter winds beginning to blow, Abe Wilson has two achievements the rest of the chess world can envy: he lives in Hawaii and he has won the Golden Knights tournament for the second time.

Abe began his correspondence chess career with the 1987 Golden Knights and progressed up the ranks, finishing fifth in 1995 and fifth again in 1996, becoming a CC Master in 1999, and winning the 2000 Golden Knights.  And now he has annexed the title again, becoming one of the nine men who have won the tournament twice over the sixty years of Golden Knight play.

Abe Wilson's game is usually geared to a slower, methodical takeover of his opponent's game.  Here he shifts gears into an attacking mode.


1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6
This escape hatch for the Queen is a usual  part of the Center Counter tabiya.  If 5...e6 6. Bc4 Nbd7 7. Bd2 Be7? 8. Nd5 Qa4 9. Bb5 wins
6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Bd2 e6
Black can also play more meekly with 7...Qc7, but Center Counter players are not typically meek players.
8.Nd5 Qd8 9.Nxf6+ gxf6
Black can safely recapture 9...Qxf6 though the Queen is not particularly well placed on f6. After 10. Qe2 Black has to avoid 10...Bxc2?! 11. d5! cxd5 12. Bb5+! Nc6 13. Nd4 with complications that favor White. Saner is 9...Qxf6 10. Qe2 Nbd7 11. 000 Nb6 12. Bb3 as in Karpatchev-Kuehn, Oberliga Baden 2001
Now on 10. Qe2!? Black can safely take the c2 Pawn -- 10...Bxc2 11. 00 Be7 12. Bh6 Bg6 13. Rad1 Nd7 with about even play Nispeneau-Stefanova, Krynica 1998
10...Qc7 11.Qe2 Nd7 12.a4
This is a critical situation for the opening -- where is Black's King going to live?
12...Bd6 13.a5 0-0-0
Black had two choices here -- kingside or queenside.  After 13...c5 14. 000, Black can try 14...00, though White is better.   Now Wilson has a target.
14.a6 b6 15.Nh4
This is a standard idea in this position and quite effective.  The Knight will either exchange itself for the Bishop on g6 or reposition itself via g2, and though it doesn't make it in this game, then either f4 or e3 depending on Black's play.  There is also the possibility of playing f2-f4-f5.
15...Bg6 16.g3 Kb8 17.0-0 b5?
Black's idea is to drive his knight to d5,  but there was a better route with 17...f5!? and Nf6-d5.  Now Black is punished for loosening his King's shield.
Of course!  With Black's g6 Bishop and h8 Rook out of the picture, White can unleash a lot of firepower against the Black King.
18...bxc4 19.Bxc4 Nb6 20.Rfc1 Qe7
White can mop up after 20...Nxc4 21. Rxc4 Rc8 22. Rac1 Qb6 23.  Qf3 Qxa6 24. Rxc6 Rxc6 25. Rxc6 Qa1+ 26. Kg2 Qxb2 27. Nxg6 hxg6 28. Qxf6 Rc8 29. Rxd6 Qxd2 30. Qxf7 Qd3 31. Qxe6+
21.Ba5 Rc8
21...Bc7 isn't much better after 22. Bb3 Rxd4 23. Nxg6 hxg6 24. Rxc6 Qd8 26. Rac1 when Black is all tied up.
22.Bxb6 axb6 23.a7+ Ka8 24.Qf3 1-0

Black has no good defense to Bb5.  After 24...e5 the ending is won by 25. Nxg6 hxg6 26. Bd3! f5 27. dxe5 Bxe5 28. Rxc6 Rxc6 29. Qxc6+ Qb7 30. Qxb7+ Kxb7 31. Bd5 Rd8 32.Bd5+! 


John Collins
            Kenneth Douglas  09C42  5-1
            Ron Hall                10C30  4 ½-1 ½
            Robert Eisthen        09C44  5 ½-½
            Jeffrey Levin           10C31  6-0
            Jack Sarhage         10C34  6-0
            Lee Kemfort           10C08  6-0

Swift Quad
            Beilin Li             10SQ09    5-1
            Kairav Joshi         11SQ01   5-1

Walter Muir
            John Badger         11W09   4-2
            Vladimir Iglesias 11W09   4-2
            John Wright           11W30  5 ½-½
            David Long          11W27   6-0
            Zackary Dressner 11W31   6-0
            Inoel Cardenas     11W10  5-1
            Joseph Hawkins   11W10  5-1
            Michael Burrus    11W21  5 ½-½

            Jerome Lewis    10P06   6-0

Trophy Quad
            Ken Koepplin  10Q08  5 ½-½


Dennis R. Kohler

Dennis Kohler died November 19, 2011, at the age of 81.  Dennis was a prolific CC player, finishing over 500 games in USCF play by post, email, or server.  He jointly holds the American record of playing the most games with one opponent,  over 143 games with his long time chess friend Hobart Newton.

PHILIDOR'S DEFENSE (C41)                   

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]

Chess booklet for sale 2004 Golden Knights Championship  --  booklet of the 57th USCF CC Championship -- $10.00 postage  paid.  35 pages, 90+ games

Quote:  "Correspondence chess is not a school for technique or an academy for virtuosity, it is a discipline of deep thought, of research, of tenacity.  There is no place for the easy and convenient draw by agreement, but there is always the torment of the search for the best". -- Napolitano


The 2012 Absolute championship will be starting soon.  The Absolute is our premiere invitational tournament, the best of the best.  I am looking for some angels to donate to the prize fund to give these e-warriors a purse to fight for.  Please send in your donations clearly marked USCF Absolute prize fund to USCF, PO Box 3967, Crossville, TN 38557, or to me, Alex Dunne, PO Box 367, Sayre, PA 18840.

Let's make the 2012 Absolute a big success!


Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he is bringing a server to the USCF.  I have received news from a higher power that the USCF will have a server, soon, Stay tune to a USCF near you for further details on this special present.

What will it mean to USCF  CC players?  For one thing all the new email tournaments will now be available as server play.   You will be able to view your up-to-date crosstables on line, no more recording errors, and your CC bookkeeping will be done for you.

The server will also be a boon to OTB players, but I believe it will benefit the CC world just as much if not even more.


If you are rated above 2200 and would like to try your skill against the best of the best, it is not too late to make a bid to play in the 2012 Absolute.  Once again it is that time, time to form the USCF Absolute Championship.  The thirteen top-rated applicants will be selected to participate.  This is a computer-free tournament so it will hopefully be a contest of human vs. human.  Send in your bid soon as the tournament will be formed shortly.

Working hard to push his b-Pawn to queen, Black suddenly shifts ground to create a surprise mating net on the kingside.


Is this the end of the Belgrade Gambit (5. Nd5)?  A major improvement for White is needed.


After White sacrifices a queenside Pawn on move three, he spends the next thirty moves scrambling to justify its loss.  Through sheer will power he succeeds.


Jeffrey Levin's Knights show that a 15-year layoff from postal chess hasn't cooled their hoofs any.


Masters sometime have to make something out of nothing.  Patrick Stephens proves that sometimes Class A players can do it, too.


Some sharp center tactics determine whose hyphen is the winner.


Black plays this game like he owns it - Suddenly the White King finds itself on h5.


Tacticians will enjoy this banquet.


For more by Alex Dunne see a pdf index of Check is in the Mail columns.


January - Chess Life Online 2012

Best of CLO 2011 #3- Kostya Kavutskiy on Breaking 2366 Best of CLO 2011 #4: Tale of a Winter Rating Spike by Jennifer ShahadeAronian Dominates in Wijk aan ZeeAronian Wins Tata Steel; Nakamura and Kamsky Finish SolidlyBest of CLO 2011 #5- Shankland on the World Cup Kamsky, Nakamura Face Off Friday in Tata Steel Best of CLO 2011: #6- Hilton on Chess Cosmpolitanism Best of CLO 2011 #7- Dreams and Local Heroes by Chad Schneider Best of CLO 2011 #8- An Amateur Invades the World Team Champs Justin Sarkar on a Golden Win Life Master, Kevin 'Kirby' Burnett, Appears on Jeopardy! Best of CLO 2011 #9: Keep the Draw, Fix the Flaw by Tom Braunlich Best of CLO 2011 #10- Nakamura in Brazil by GM Ian Rogers Nakamura: Two Wins in a Row in Tata Steel Endgame Contest: The Results are in! Best of CLO 2011: Meet the Judges and Runners-Up The US Chess Scoop on the Liberty Bell Open [VIDEO] Nakamura and Kamsky looking for a WaZ winWin a Copy of Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Rise and Fall Results are in at Golden State & Liberty Bell GM Perelshteyn on Rediscovering Live Speed Chess Hilton on Immigrant Life in Belgium, Part ITata Steel Pairings Up; Field Includes Kamsky, Nakamura Shankland Wins Northern California International New to New to Chess: En Passant [VIDEO] The January Check is in the Mail Shankland Leads Northern California International Giri Wins Reggio Emilia as Nakamura Falters Rulebook & Td Certification Rules Updated Robert Hess in Groningen: A Win Over Winter BreakAmanov Wins 27th North American Masters; Shankar & Jayakumar Earn NormsNakamura: Fireworks in Italy Vallejo Reigns in Vegas