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The May Check is in the Mail Print E-mail
By Alex Dunne   
May 22, 2013
Holroyd_Kenneth.jpgIM Kenneth Holroyd

Kenneth Holroyd, our newest International Correspondence Chess Master was born April 20, 1958. Kenneth works at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee as Medical Director for the Technology Commercialization Center. Kenneth, who was an OTB Master, found little time for chess other than blitz chess online.  Then in 2010 he was speaking with Dan Fleetwood, an ICCF Grandmaster, who offered some encouraging words about correspondence chess.  Those words and Kenneth's skill led to the ICCM title in his first two attempts at international play.

Kenneth notes that the thing he particularly enjoys about cc is that "it is a more ‘perfect' chess, and each game can be like a work of art.  The games often have a certain logical flow.  Very often the games involve developing new opening theory and improvements, and many theoretical contributions are made.  Spending a lot of time trying to determine the truth of a position deepens your appreciation for the depth and complexity of chess.  It can only help a player's over the board and blitz chess for openings, middlegames, and endgames".


ICCM Holroyd wrote about both the work of art and the logical flow of a CC game.  This game may well be an example of both !


Notes by Kenneth Holroyd

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7
A complex position in the King's Indian Defense, which is popular in correspondence chess, offers chances for both sides.
The Bayonet Attack, a favorite of former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. The ensuing sharp play can shift rapidly from the queenside, to the center, to the kingside.
9...Nh5 10.c5
More common in recent years are 10 g3 or 10 Re1
10...Nf4 11.a4!?
Much more common is 11 Bxf4. Instead, White immediately continues his queenside expansion. This uncommon move was experimented with in 2011 by V. Kramnik in a game against H. Nakamura, which the former world champion lost after a sharp battle. Subsequently it has been played in a few other over the board games.. This game was its first use of 11 a4 in the ICCF databases. Since this game I have completed two other ICCF games with this move, with two wins. Performing new analysis of little used lines can be a fruitful area for success in correspondence chess.
11...f5 12.Bc4 fxe4 13.Nxe4 Bg4!?
Nakamura preferred 13.....h6, after which I believe 14 Ra3 is an improvement on Kramnik's play. I currently have three ICCF games ongoing with this new move.
14.Ra3 Nf5 15.h3 Bh5!?
Sharper than ...... Bxf3 on move 15 or 16, after which White has a slight advantage.
16.Kh2 Nxg2 17.Bg5
Otherwise Black has a very strong attack and advantage.
I believe better is 17.....Qe8, although after 18 Kxg2 h6 19 Bd2 Nh4+ 20 Nxh4 Bxd1 21 Rxd1 White's three pieces eventually overwhelmed the Black queen in the game Holroyd-Balabanov from the same ICCF Master Norm 82 tournament.
18.Kxg2 h6 19.Be3 Nh4+ 20.Nxh4 Bxd1 21.Rxd1 Kh7 22.Bd3
The strongest and clearest way to press White's advantage seemed to be the following knight sacrifice.
22...Qd8 23.cxd6 cxd6
23...Qxh4 does not help as after 24 dxc7 Qh5 25 Rg1 White's position is near winning.
Much stronger than 24 Nf3
If 24.....Re8 then 25 Ng3 still gives White a winning attack.
25.Nxd6+ e4!?
The best chance to survive. The two alternatives are 25....Kh5 26 Ne4, after which Black has 10 different reasonable moves as defensive attempts, and 25.....Kf6 26 Bc5, after which the strongest move for Black is 26....Rg8, and then for White 27 Ne4+ is stronger than 27 Bh7. I invite the reader to explore these variations. I found many of them to be very beautiful. As an example, my favorite variation demonstrating the coordination of White's pieces was 25... Kh5 26 Ne4 Kg6 27 Rc3 Kh7 28 d6 Kh8 29 Rc7 Rf5 30 Rdc1 b6 31 Kh2! and White has a winning advantage. Working out all of these possibilities to an winning advantage for White was necessary before playing 22 Bd3, and planning 24 Nxg6.
26.Bxe4+ Kh5 27.Bc5 Be5 28.Nf5
Black can hang on quite awhile after 28 Nxb7.
28...Rxf5 29.Bxf5 b6 30.Re3 Qg5+ 31.Bg4+ Kg6 32.Rde1 Bf6 33.Be7 Qxd5+ 34.Bf3 Qg5+ 35.Kf1 Re8
Unfortunately necessary at the end of this long forced sequence.
36.Bxf6 Qxf6 37.Rxe8 Qxf3
White has a winning advantage, as his two rooks create mating threats, and Black cannot defend by trading his queen for the two rooks, as the king and pawn endings will be won for White, due to his extra pawn. This also was reassuring to be worked out when playing 22 Bd3.
38.R1e6+ Kh5 39.Kg1 Qd1+ 40.Kg2 Qd5+ 41.Re4 Kg6 42.b5 h5 43.R8e6+ Kg7 44.R6e5 Qa8 45.Kf3 Kh6 46.Re6+ Kh7 47.Re8 Qd5 48.R8e5 Qf7+ 49.Rf4 Qb7+ 50.Ke2 Kg6 51.h4 Kg7 52.Rg5+ Kh6 53.Rgf5 1-0

White threatens Rf7 and R4f6 mate, and defending by trading the queen for the two rooks results in a lost king and pawn ending. Therefore Black resigned.

QuoteFor players with a good imagination: before going to sleep analyze the position without sight of the board.  Thereby his subconscious is also included in the creative process during sleep - Horst Rittner


Auro Bustillo

Bustillo.jpg Auro Bustillo  was born Aug. 11, 1934,died March 14, 2013. Auro was born in Bolivia but lived in  San Jose, CA. Auro reached Expert strength. His daughter remarked that one of Auro's greatest loves was the game of chess.


Joseph J. Kennedy of Chalfont, PA  born December 1, 1933, died this January. Joseph played in CCLA and USCF tournaments and OTB.


Robert Byrne

Byrne.jpgRobert Byrne, Grandmaster at OTB,  was born April 20, 1928 and died April  12, 2013.  He developed his early skills in the game at postal  chess. Here is 15 year old Robert in a game against the strong John Staffer. Ratings are old style (add approximately 700 points)


Robert Reynolds

Robert Reynolds was born July 20, 1950, died March 10, 2013.  Robert was an International Master at correspondence chess, but he was also much more.  In 1988 his record at correspondence play was 33 ½- ½ . That half point?  That was when he won the 6th US Correspondence Chess Championship with a 13 ½- ½ score. In the early Nineties Robert was listed in the top 10 in the world in ICCF rating. 

Robert also issued the "Reynolds Challenge" in the mid-eighties where he offered to bet that no computer could beat him in a match.  That challenge was never accepted.



Walter Muir
      Fletcher Penney  12W40  6-0
        Mark Reeves       12W38  4-2
        Donald Wade      12W38  4-2
        Gregory Sanders 12W19  6-0
        Nathaniel Wood  13W05  5 ½-½
        Gregory Sanders 12W32  5 ½-½
        Charles Gibson   13W03  6-0
        Doug Frame        12W23  4 ½-1 ½
        Francis McDyer  12W24  4 ½-1 ½
        Jonathan Allen    12W24  4 ½-1 ½

Palciauskas Tournament
            James Ruth   12P01   6-0
            Joel Levine   11P05  5 ½-½
John Collins
            Vernon Simmons     11C20  5-1
            Philip DeAugustino 11C20  5-1
            John Flanagan          10C32  4 ½-1 ½

Swift Quad
            Eric Arnold       13SQ01     6-0

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


is now available at McFarland Publishers and Amazon for $45.00 and also Kindle at $16.49

NEW!  2006 Electronic Knights Championship ebook.  190 games some annotated, all the crosstables, bios of the top three, list of all the finalists, ChessBase format, .pgn notation  and Microsoft .pdf format.   $4.00 postage paid for the disk, $2.00 sent to you via email. Hard copy $10 postage included.

Doug Frame defeated his main rival in this key game from 12W23.


The Fantasy Variation of the Caro Kann isn't seen too often.  Here it gives White some bad dreams.



ICCM Holroyd demonstrates that advanced center Pawns are more valuable than passed but passive wing Pawns.


Two raking bishops more than compensate for the exchange.


See a pdf index of Alex Dunne's columns.

August - Chess Life Online 2014

Back to School with Jeevan KaramsettyCaruana Off to a Crushing Start in Sinquefield Cup US Masters Returns to GreensboroBack to School with Becca Lampman Strongest Chess Tournament Ever Begins in Saint LouisCaptain Melik & Coach Yury Reflect on Tromso Brownsville Recognized as Chess City of the Year [FULL AWARDS LIST] Rogers Previews World's Strongest Tournament: Sinquefield Cup Tang & Kats Pick Up Big Norms in Canada The August Check is in the Mail President's Report From Tromso Ricardo DeGuzman Tops The Field In The ValleyBookstore Bids Open for National Scholastics Azarov Wins in Washington, Sevian Nabs Final Norm Hoffman & Rohde on Impressions from the Olympiad The Captain’s Report: Donaldson on the Last Round in Tromso Brown & Guadalupe Report from FIDE Congress US Teams Win Vs. Argentina & Vietnam US Splits Both Matches Sevian Leads Washington International USCF President Ruth Haring Reports in Orlando The US Splits Match vs. Hungary Captain's Report: Donaldson on the Olympiad Last Day Discount for Millionaire Chess FIDE Congress Underway in Tromso US Wins Big vs. Uzbekistan Rest and Run: Team USA Victorious in Round 62014 Sinquefield Cup Strongest Chess Tournament in HistoryTeam USA in Norway: Shankland Stays PerfectLevon Aronian Headlines Metropolitan Chess Camp US Teams Rebound in Round Four The US Falters in Round Three GM Conrad Holt Wins US Open Title The US Team in Norway: Big Battles Set for Round 3 Four Pull Ahead in Orlando Chess Life Bonus: Melekhina Annotates Krush Draw Ten Tied After Big US Open Merge