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The March Check is in the Mail Print E-mail
By Alex Dunne   
March 10, 2015
Bachler-(1).jpgKevin "Caveman" Bachler

Kevin Bachler of Park Ridge, Illinois, has won the 2014 Walter Muir 14W22. He had previously won a 2008 Walter Muir.


King's Indian fans are I for a treat this month as  Kevin Bachler demonstrates that a healthy disregard for a Pawn or two is a small price to pay for the initiative.


White: Bradley Rogers (2180)
Black: Kevin Bachler (2152)
Walter Muir 2014

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.h3

This line, still popular today, was seen as early as 160 years ago in Cochrane-Mahescandra, Kolkata 1855.  One game continued 6..h6 7. Be2 c6.
5...0-0 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.Bg5 e5 8.d5
Equal was Reti-Kreycik, Vienna 1914, which continued 8. dxe5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Bc5 Re8 11.Qf3 Be6 12. Rdf1 Qc8.  White could continue with 8. Be2, but that does not agree with 5. h3.  A likely continuation would be 8...exd4 9. Nxd4 h6 10. Be3 Nc5 11. Bf3 Qe7 12. Qc2 Re8 when 13. 00!? keeps the position about even after 13...Nxe4 14. Rae1
Black omitted 8...h6 in Bareev-Svidler, Elista 1997, and played 8....a5 9. Bd3 Nc5 10. Bc2 c6 11. Qd2 cxd5 12. cxd5 Bd7 13. a4 Qb6 when Black fought for the initiative.
9.Be3 a5
Necessary to establish the Knight on c5.
A wide variety of moves are available here besides the text -- 10. Nd2, 10. Bd3, 10. Qc2, 10. a3, and the aggressive 10. g4.  Gurevich-Mayer, Las Vegas 1993, continued 10. g4 Nc5 11. Nd2 Ne8 12. Rg1 Kh8 13. a3 f5 14. gxf5 gxf5 15. Qh5  when 15...Nf6 keeps things even.
Black can also play 10...Nc5 here as in Belous-Kanrnic, Porto Carras 2010 when taking the e-Pawn leads to too much play for Black after 11. Bxc5?! dxc5 12. Nxe5 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 Bxe5 14, Nxc5 Bxb2 15. Rb1 Bc3+ 16. Kf1 Re8 17. Nxb7 Qf6 18. Nc5 Bf5
11.Qd2 Kh7 12.0-0
After the very aggressive 12. g4 Nf4 13. Bxf4 exf4 14. Qxf4 Nc5 chances were about even in Ramos Aguilar-Rodriguez Fernandez, El Saugal 2006.  The passive 13. Ng1 as in Delgado-Taner, ICCF 2012, was met by 13...Nhf6 also with equality.
12...b6 13.Ne1
White forces the issue around f4.
13...Nf4 14.Bg4
There is no advantage for White after 14. Bxf4 exf4 15. Qxf4 Qe7 16. f3 Bd4+ 17. Kh1 f5 18. Qd2 Bxc3 19. Qxc3 fxe4.  Now the battle is fought over f5 and f4.
14...Ba6 15.g3 f5 16.exf5 gxf5 17.Qc2 Qf6 18.Ne4 Qf7
In White's favor is 18. ...fxe4 19. Bxd7
19.gxf4 Kh8!?
Equal is 19...exf4 20. Ng3! fxg3 21. fxg3 Ne5 22. Be2
20.Ng2 exf4 21.Nxf4 fxg4 22.hxg4 Ne5
Black has compensation for his Pawn with the more active pieces and White's wounded kingside.
23.Nd2 b5!? 24.c5
Better was 24. cxb5 Bxb5 25. Rfe1.  Now Black's initiative proves too much.
24...Rae8 25.f3 b4 26.cxd6 cxd6 27.Rae1
White cedes the exchange as after 27. Rf2 Nd3 28. Ne6 Rxe6 29. dxe6 Qxe6 30. Re2 Ne5 31. Rf2 Nxg4 his game falls apart.
27...Bxf1 28.Rxf1 Kg8 29.Ne6 Rxe6 30.dxe6 Qxe6 31.Qb3

Black could also play the endgame after 31...Qxb3 32. axb3 d5 with a plus, but the middlegame still offers more.
31...d5 32.Bc5 Rc8 33.Bf2 a4! 34.Qxb4

After 34. Qxa4 comes 34...Nxf3+ 35. Nxf3 Qxg4+ when Black wins easily.
With a threat of ..Rxd2
35.Re1 Qf6 36.Rd1 Qa6! 37.Re1 Qd3

All that's left now is mopping up.
38.Qb8+ Kh7 39.Rxe5 Qxd2 40.Qa7 Qxf2+ 41.Qxf2 Rxf2 42.Rxd5 Rxb2 43.a3 Ra2 44.Ra5 Bd4+ 45.Kh1 Rxa3 46.Kg2 Ra2+ 47.Kg3 Bb6 48.Ra6 Bc7+ 49.f4 Ra3+ 0-1

14W22 WalteMuir


Brian Flowers of New Haven, Connecticut scored an undefeated 5-1 in winning John Collins 12C26.   Brian added this John Collins win to his 2007 win in an earlier one.

12C20 John Collins



2015 Absolute

The 2015 Absolute is underway.  Competing for the title of Absolute USCF Correspondence Champion and $180 for first prize (second prize is $80) are Harry Ingersol (2410), James Tracz (2404) Gary Walters (2371)  David Sogin (2357) Kristo Miettinen (2353) Gordon Magat (2315) James Vaughan (2306) Danny Horwitz (2302) Charles Jacobs (2250) John Procopi (2248) and Abe Wilson (2222).

Previous winners participating in the 2015 event are 2010 champion Harry Ingersol and 2009 co-champs Gary Walters and David Sogin.


Trophy Quad

                Roger Pedersen  13Q03   4-2
                John Terrall        13Q03   4-2
                Carl Gibson             13Q14  5-1
                Errol Acosta        13Q14  5-1
                David Sherman   12Q06  5-1

John Collins

                Jill Jaris        14C05   5 ½-½
                Brian Flowers 12C20  5-1
                John Koehler   12C19  5-1

Walter Muir
                Kevin Bachler  14W22  5 ½-½
                Gregory Sanders 14E04   5-1
                Timothy Weil    14W04   5-1
                Errol Acosta   14W39  5-1

                Christopher Ballard  13P03  6-0

Quote:  I'm of the opinion that all chess players should give correspondence chess a try at least once.  It's a totally different discipline from over the board chess.  Obviously, you have more time to ponder your moves, which leads to a more relaxed atmosphere.  At the same time, it requires a great deal more patience than OTB chess.  -- Steve Lopez


                      Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth Anderson was born January 17, 1956 in Ames, Iowa, died January 10, 2015.


After a simple mistake on Move 13, relentless simplification produces the point for Black.


Michael Miller sends in this unusual draw.  He writes "...the ending was unlike anything I coukld find in chess literature (Fine, Smyslov, Averbakh) that I have on my shelf".



White uncorks a surprise trap on Move 12.


When Black discovers he can't take on d3 because of Nb6, his game is beyond help.


White's Knight forks Black's Queen and Rook twice but still comes up empty handed.