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The January Check is in the Mail Print E-mail
By Alex Dunne   
January 12, 2015
Barry Endsley Michigan State Champion

Barry Endsley of Calumet, Michigan dominated the field with a near perfect nine wins and a single draw to win the 2013 Michigan State Correspondence Chess Championship.

It is not the first time Barry has been in the winner's circle - he tied for first in the 2011 Michigan State Championship finished third in the 2007 and 2010 Electronic Knights and he tied for third in the 2006 Golden Knights.


The winner of the Michigan State Championship shows his form in this thematic victory over third-ranked Stanley Jarosz.


1.e4 c5 2.Nc3

This is an invitation to play a closed Sicilian after 2...d6 3. f4.  After Jarosz's reply, Endsley decides to play more standard lines.  Jarosz doesn't comply.
2...Nc6 3.Nf3 g6
And so it is Dragon-ish, without the normal ...d6 set-up.
4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4
Endsley selects the sharpest line -- more development and central pressure. A solid alternative is 7. Nxc6 bxc6 8. e5 with White scoring well at the top levels after 7...Ng8 8. f4 or 7...Nd5 8. Nxd5 cxd5 9. Qxd5
7...0-0 8.Bb3
This retreat removes the threat of ...Nxe4; Nxe4 d5 from the list of Black counterplays.
Both 8. ...Ng4 9. Qxg4 Nxd4 10. Qd1 Nc6 and the text lead to even positions  9.0-0 White is banking on his developmental lead to gain an edge.  The endgame after 9. Nxc6 dxc6 10. Qxd8 Rxd8 11. a4 is playable.
9...a4 10.Nxa4 Nxe4 11.Nb5
So the theme of the game is laid out: which constitutes the greater advantage -- White's pressure on Black's wounded queenside or Black's potential two Pawn domination of White's evaporated center. .  
11...Ra6 12.c4!

An important move, striking at the center square d5 and in some instances supporting c5 with increased pressure.
12...d6 13.Qe2 Nf6 14.h3 Be6

Modern practice is divided between this and 14...Na5.  Mista-Bogdan, Arat Open 2014 continued 14...Na5 15. Bc2 Be6 16. b3 Nc6 17. Rac1 Qb8 18. Bb1 Nd7 19, Rfd1 Rc8 20. Nac4 Nf6 21. Nd5 += 
15.Rad1 Na5? 

 Black chooses a destructive path -- while it is true he devalues White's queenside Pawn structure, he also devalues his center -- a major shift toward the White camp.
16.Nc5 Nxb3 17.axb3 Ra8 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Rfe1 e5 20.Nc3

The damage done to Black's position is obvious now.  The mobility of the Black center is limited by the doubled e-Pawns, the Bishop is bad, for now, and White's pressure against the queenside remains.
20...Qd7 21.Qd3 Qc6 22.b4 Rad8

22...Rfc8 is not an antidote to White's troubles because of 23. c5
23.Rd2 e4 24.Qe2 h6 25.Bd4 e5 26.b5 Qc7 27.Be3 Rc8 28.b3 Qa5 29.Rc1 Rfd8 30.Nd5 Nxd5 31.Rxd5 Qa3 32.Qd1 Ra8

After 32...Bf8, the Queen is lost to 33. Bb6 Re8 34. Ra1 Qb2 35. Rd2 Qc3 36. Ba5
33.c5 Bf8 34.Qg4

At last, the weaknesses of the kingside are revealed.
34...Kh7 35.cxd6 Rxd6
Hopeless is 35...Bxd6 36. Qh4 h5 37. Rcd1 Be7 38. Rd7! Re8 39. Qf6 Rad8 40. Qf7+ Kh8 41. Bg5 and mate follows.
36.Rc7+ Bg7 37.Qh4 g5 38.Qxe4+ Kh8 39.Bc1 Qa5 40.Rxg7! Kxg7 41.Rxd6 1-0

David Funston of Corcoran, California scored 5 ½ - ½ to win the 2012 John Collins 12C12 event.

White misses his way on Move 24 opting for a weak e-Pawn and a Pawn minority on the kingside instead of lesser central influence and a kingside majority.


December Results

John Collins

David Funston  12C1 2   4 ½-1 ½

Christopher Binch  12C14  4 ½-1 ½

Walter Muir

Johnny Owens   14W19    6-0

John Davis         14W20    5-1

Aleksandr Bozhenov 14W34  6-0

Gregory Sanders   14W10   5 ½-½

Swift Quad

Jonathan Rasberry  14SQ05  6-0

Ralph Vecchio            14SQ02  6-0

Trophy Quad

Allen Woollen       13Q13   5-1

Joshua Kuzman     13Q07   5 ½-½



Don Eilmes, A Master level CC player pf Gold Canyon, Arizona, was born July 31, 1932, died at 82.

Don won the 1986 Golden Squirtes Championship and an ICCF 5-man tournament.


James Warren, born August 19, 1933, died December 12, 2014, of Lombard, Illinois. James was an OTB Expert and co-founder of the American Postal Chess Tournaments which conducted postal chess until he and hs wife Helen retired in 2005. The Warrens ran the APCT for approximately 35 years.



Bids are still being taken for the 2015 Absolute Championship.  If you are rated above 2200 you may submit your bid to be included in the 2015 event.   This event is played on the ICCF server and is the only USCF correspondence event that allows computer usage.  Send in your bid right away!


Donations for the USCF Absolute Championship will be accepted by Joan DuBois at USCF headquarters  This event features our best correspondence players fighting out for the title.  Now is your chance to support the best of the best by generously donating to the prize fund.  


Winners be sure to contact Joan DuBois at USCF, PO Box 3967, Crossville, TN  38557 to receive your $100 prize.

In the Master category the contenders were Daves-Woodard, May; McCalley-Tracz, Oct; and Tseng-Brandhorst, Nov.  The winner is Wilbur Tseng.


In the non-Master category the nominees are Stephenson-Maier, May, and  Hulslander-Brown, September.  The winner is Mark Stephenson.