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The March Check is in the Mail Print E-mail
By Alex Dunne   
March 9, 2012
Alfredo Gotay takes Walter Muir 11W13
Alfredo Gotay of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico has won the Master/Expert 11W13 Walter Muir with an undefeated 5-1 score.

Beauty comes in different shapes.  There is the beauty of the sacrificial attack, where material seems meaningless.  There is the beauty of the positional squeeze where even the squares of the board seem to assist the winner.  And there is the beauty of the utilitarian conversion of a Pawn plus in the opening to an endgame victory.  Let the beauty begin!


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ Bd7
Statistically Black has little reason to avoid the more usual 6...c6. 
7.Qe2 Bd6 8.Nc3
Scoring very well here has been 8. b4, but only because Black rarely replies with the strong 8...c6!
Morozevich-Sokolov, Sarajevo 1999, continued 8...00 9. Bxd7 Qxd7 10. a3 b6 11. d3 c6 12. b4 Nb7 13. dxc6 Qxc6 14. Nce4 and White went on to win.
9.dxc6 Nxc6 10.0-0
Herbrechtsmeier-Prill, Badenweiser 1988, continued 10. Bxc6 Bxc6 11. 00 00 12. d3 with a sound, safe position and an extra Pawn for White and development, mobility, and the two Bishops for Black. 
Saxlova-Chalupa, Most 1999, saw the more flexible 10...00 but that would most likely transpose into the Herbrechtsmeier game after 11. Bxc6.
11.Qd3 Be7
If Black is to use his lead in development,  11...Rc8 would make more sense.  After 11...00 White has 12. Bxd7 Qxd7 13. Nd5! Qf5 14. Nxf6+ gxf6 15. Qxf5 Nxf5 16. Ne4 with chances.
12.Re1 Bxb5?!
This leads to an exchange of Queens and a Pawn plus endgame for White.
13.Nxb5 Nc6 14.Qxd8+ Rxd8 15.Nf3 e4 16.Ng5 a6 17.Na3 0-0 18.Nxe4 Nxe4 19.Rxe4 f5 20.Re3 Bxa3 21.bxa3
Avoiding 21. Rxa3 Nd4 and White loses material.
21...Nd4 22.Rb1 Nxc2 23.Rc3 Nd4 24.Rc7 b5 25.Kf1
Black's problem in this endgame is not so much the Pawn minus -- that is nearly negated by the doubled a-Pawns, it is the passed d-Pawn that hasn't yet moved and a remarkably healthy Bishop despite the fact that shortly almost all White's Pawns will be on dark squares.
25...f4 26.Bb2 f3 27.g3 Rf7 28.Rxf7 Kxf7 29.Rc1 Ne6 30.Ke1
White has relentlessly simplified away his problems and now stands to win the endgame.  The aggressive looking Pawn on f3 is isolated from the Black forces and is a weakness, not a strength.  The caged-in White King will soon escape via d1-c2-d3.
Black should probably try emergency aid to f3 by 30...g5!?
31.Rc3 Re5+
This check just seems to help White, but the endgame is already beyond salvation.
32.Kd1 Rf5 33.h4 a5
Helpless flailing now.  This advance only gives White another target to shoot for.
34.Kc2 h5 35.Kd3 g6 36.Rc6 Nc5+ 37.Ke3 Nd7 38.Ra6 a4 39.Bc3 Ne5 40.Ke4 Nd7 41.Rd6 Nc5+ 42.Ke3 Ne6 43.d4
At last the d-pawn begins its march toward queening. 
43...Ng7 44.Rd7+ Kf8 45.d5 1-0
At this point Black exceeded the time limit and lost but the battle is hopeless.  White will soon play Ke4. Bb4 and Rb7 annexing the queenside Pawns with an easy win.


Please note !  If you suspect one of your opponents of cheating by using a chess engine, DO NOT inform your other opponents of your suspicion.  That is defaming your opponent and may lead to disqualification - yours !

The correct procedure is to inform me, the Tournament Director.  I take all such accusations seriously and will investigate your claim. 

It has been my experience that players with a losing position are most likely to believe the opponent is cheating.  They see strong move after strong move being made against them and think: Computer!  But strong moves are what CC is all about. 

If you have suspicions, contact me!

The 2012 Absolute Championship

Once again thirteen of our best CC warriors have entered into combat.  In order of ratings they are John Menke 2453, Ted Brandhorst 2432, Harry Ingersol 2388, Dan Woodard 2369, Abe Wilson 2347, Kristo Miettinen 2321, Chris Torres 2325, Gordon Magat 2309, Danny Horwitz 2271, James Rhodes 2268, Thomas Connelly 2249, Barry Endsley 2246, and by special invitation 2007 Electronic Knights champion James Sawaski 2167.

The 2012 Absolute is to be a computer-free tournament, but starting in 2013 computer use will probably be allowed ONLY in the Absolute Tournaments.   Prize money First $500, Second: $300, Third: $200.

Special thanks for the generosity of Chuck Cullum, Corky Schakel, John Menke, Abe Wilson, Joan DuBois, David Sogin, Robert Rizzo, Danny Horwitz, and James Sawaski.


Swift Quad
            Cesar Tamondong 11SQ09  6-0
            David Stone            11SQ15 4-2

John Collins
            Steve Wyant            09C36   5-1
            Thomas Buchanan  09C36   5-1
            Francis McDyer      10C21   6-0
            Carl Gooding          09C29  4½-1½
            Robert Thunelius    09C29  4½-1½
            Benjamin Wilreker 10C36   6-0

Walter Muir
            David Hertz            11W25   6-0
            John Badger           11W32  4 ½-1 ½
            John Badger           11W18  6-0
Quote: I feel that one who just writes the moves down is missing out not just on dessert but on the main course of a meal besides. Just writing down the moves is like having an appetizer and passing on the prime rib and cherries jubilee. - Stephen Chase


Sidney Stark
Born August 30, 1919, died February 8, 2012.  Sidney is recalled as straightforward and upfront, and capable of good, solid chess.  He worked in airplane design with Charles Lindbergh and received the US Army's Outstanding Civilian Service Award in 1973. 


Clyde Bate

Clyde Bate of Nashville, TN, born July 20, 1935, died 5 January 2012.  Clyde was a fan of lightning matches.

clip_image006[2].jpgLaMoyne Splichal

LaMoyne Splichal of Denver, CO, born August 7, 1954, died January 27, 2012. LaMoyne was CC active until about ten years ago.  He was inducted into the North Dakota Chess Hall of Fame in 2003.

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

When White goes Pawn sniping on the kingside, he gets picked off on the kingside.


A very tactical two Bishops endgame shows the Bishops being raised to the second power.



The following is a wild West affair with both sides having six guns drawn.


This melee has the reader guessing who is going to win until Move 40.


The unexpected withdrawal of Bruce Reynolds from the finals deprived us of more games like this one.


After Black's slip on Move 11, White is merciless.  That's what good chess is all about.


The positional squeeze occurs when one side gradually takes over the board one square at a time.  In this game, it is the f5 square that starts the squeeze with 23. g4!


The King and Pawn endgame seemed good for Black, but the draw was well fought.  Can a reader find an improvement ?


When White's Queen wanders too far afield, Black turns all his guns onto the other side of the board, resulting in a 0-1 score.