USCF Home Chess Life Online 2012 February The February Check is in the Mail
|The February Check is in the Mail|
|By Alex Dunne|
|February 12, 2012|
Sawaski wins 2007 Electronic Knights
James Sawaski of Michigan has won the 2007 Electronic Knights Championship. James works as a Corrections Educator in a prison and as an Adjunct Instructor for Bay Mills Community College.
James learned to play at age 7 and climbed up to, in his words, a scrappy Class A player OTB. Because of his isolated geographic location, his chess regimen is 95% study and 5% playing. That 95% seems to have paid off, however.
Chess, he notes, is his one true passion, but he has other interests. James is a chess novelist having written a couple novels and short stories with a chess theme.
James Sawaski - 2007 EN Champion
2007 ELECTRONIC KNIGHTS FINAL STANDINGS
James Sawaski 40.25
Harry Ingersol 40.20
Barry Endsley 37.90
Steven Van Enk 35.60
Gary Walters 34.50
Gordon Magat 33.55
Stephen McGregor 32.25
Sal Celauro 30.70
Thomas O'Donnell 25.70
Barry Endsley 23.25
Gillmore Hoefdraad 22.20
Gary Walters 20.10
Timothy Harris 15.40
Franklin Taylor 13.90
GRUNFELD DEFENSE (D85)
1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.d4
Normally I would play g3 here, but this is the Electronic Knights Finals -- wins are a must. All of my databases have this as the most active with some winning percentages in the 60% + area. That was the choice.
5...Nxc3 6.bxc3 g6 7.e4
Again, I decide not to play around with my normal g3 positional stuff. My opponent has chosen an open type of game and I decided to oblige him. There is risk, but again you have to take chances in a finals section like this.
Another active move -- and again, the database research has proven like a good poker play, there is a good percentage of success with this line for White.
This move is not listed with the resources I have. However, it did jump out at me as an extra developing move. White has one chance to check the King and develop a piece at the same time. This type of position calls for rapid development for White, look how the doorway to 00 is open as well. The grip on the center is firm. This looks like an e4 type of game now instead of an English. 9. cxd4 is the standard book line.
I think 9...Nc6 is better. Black was probably worried about Bxc6 and the fear of an isolated c-Pawn might have also been concerning. 9...Nc6 10. cxd4 00 11. Bxc6 bxc6 but there is really nothing for Black to be afraid of -- he can use that isolated Pawn to chip away at the center.
10.cxd4 0-0 11.0-0 Nf6 12.Re1 Bg4 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3
White maintains rapid development. If you count the pieces White has developed, it is seven. Black has three pieces developed and if you count the Queen's open posting -- then it is four. The offer of a Pawn sacrifice is suffice in this position.
14...Qxd4 15. e5 Ne8 16. Ba3 and White's development will far overwhelm Black.
The Bishop has to come home. It is possible to move it to d3 or e2, but then the d-Pawn becomes more vulnerable because part of the offer of the sacrifice was to get the Rooks rolling and harass the Queen. So, Bf1 keeps those threats intact.
I can't understand my opponent's logic. This move does nothing to improve his position. 15...b5 would have been fine. All I can think of is that he meant b5 and ended up with b6. An error in notation, maybe ? b6 does nothing for Black.
16.e5 Nd5 17.Bc4 Nc7 18.d5 b5 19.Bb3 Qd7 20.Ba3
20. Bg5 might have been better, only because White won't have to deal with a future ...a5 and have Bishops be harassed.
White must keep up the pressure to win.
21...exd6 22.Bxd6 Rfd8 23.a4
This is clearly a correspondence chess move. Up to this point, including 9. Bb5+, everything has been pretty typical. Yet, I must admit, my intuition was screaming -- "Do not allow ...b4 -- Do not allow ...b4!" In an OTB game I probably would listen to this warning, but here after some careful study -- I welcome ...b4.
It's just natural reflex to deeply root a beautiful passed Pawn. Yet, the beauty here is an illusion. The lesson to learn is that intuition can't always be trusted. In correspondence, everything must be examined, no matter how silly or strong it may seem.
Black's Queen is now overworked and in a little bit of danger.
And White not only wins a Pawn, but the protected passed Pawn!
25...Qa7 26.Bd6 Rac8 27.h4
White is up a solid Pawn, but his position still calls for attack. Now comes the classic Pawn storm idea.
27..h5 28.g4 hxg4 29.Qxg4 Qd7 30.Re3 1-0
The Rook lift spells doom for Black and my opponent didn't hang around for the fireworks. This was my favorite game of the tournament, although 15...b6 I believe was a pretty flagrant error on my opponent's part. The move 9. Bb5+ and 23 a4 I thought were important moves that helped me win this game and White played an active initiative opening and never released the pressure. A very enjoyable game for White to play.
Meiners wins 10W27
Edwin Meiners of Mesa, Arizona, scored an undefeated 5 ½-½ to win his Master/Expert 2010 Walter Muir section.
In the following game Meiners establishes dominance by first harassing the Queen and then the King.
QUEEN'S PAWN GAME (D03)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chess booklet for sale: 2004 Golden Knights Championship -- booklet of the 57th USCF CC Championship -- $10.00 postage paid. 35 pages, 90+ games
Best Games Prize award
In the Master category - the finalists are Siddiqi-Fass, March issue and Kinney-Calogridis, Aug. The winner: Michael Calogridis
BENKO COUNTER GAMBIT (A57)
In the non-Master category the nominees are Soricelli-Mahon, January and Iglesias-Cardenas, April. The winner is Gerard Soricelli.
ENGLISH OPENING (A39)
Quote: Correspondence chess is easier for older players -- Steven Lopez
King hunts are always exciting. This game is no exception.
KING'S INDIAN DEFENSE (E57)
Dennis Martin 11SQ04 5-1
Alan Wilson 11SQ08 5 ½-½
David Long 11SQ11 6-0
William Baumer 09P06 6-0
Thomas Chromczak 10C26 6-0
Ryan Richardson 10C15 5-1
Louis Biasotti 10Q14 5 ½-½
Mike Donnelly 10Q03 5-1
Joseph Cahill 10Q03 5-1
Louis B. Owen born Feb 18, 1944, died January 1, 2012
Louis Owen was a Michigan history teacher who made chess history. Louis finished tied for third in the 1989 and 1991 Absolute tournament and tied for first in the 1992 Absolute Championship. He played sixth board for the USA in the 12th Olympiad and won the gold medal for his performance on ninth board at the Third North Atlantic Team Tournament.
Louis was also an avid fly fisherman and enjoyed rural life along the Pilgrim River
Here is a sample of Owen's strength as he lands the very strong N. Darrell LeGore, hook, line and coachman.
SICILIAN DEFENSE (B31)
Saul Silverman Jan. 19, 1944 - October 10, 2011.
Saul of Rego Park, New York, played in the Golden Knights and John Collins tournaments.
Norman Cotter submits this game where he plays the part of the steam roller, slowly flattening Black's position,
NIMZOVICH DEFENSE (B00)
Mark Stephenson notes that the following game is a fairly extreme example of the principle, "When material up, trade pieces not Pawns".
LATVIAN GAMBIT (C40)
An interesting game capped by a two-Pawn sacrifice in the endgame to produce an unbreakable pin and the win.
NIMZO-INDIAN DEFENSE (E32)
Boymel makes the mating attack on the Black King look inevitable.
RUY LOPEZ (C74)
If attacking the opponent's King is fun, then this game is hilarious.
SICILIAN DEFENSE (B99)
For more by Alex Dunne see a pdf index of Check is in the Mail columns.