|Steininger Captures Third US Blind Title|
|By Bruce Leverett|
|August 26, 2012|
Dan Steininger (of Indiana) captured the US Blind Championship (Pittsburgh, August 24-25) for the third year running. He defeated Michael Davis (the 2004 Champion) in round 3.
Pietrolungo was clear second place. The players mostly have older Braille clocks, which are analog, and don't have increment or delay, and this caused some trouble with the G/135 time control. Here's an instructive endgame that almost cost Steininger a whole point:
35 ... b6 (desperation); 36 b3? (36 h6 c6 37 h7 Kg7 38 Kxe6 Kxh7 39 Kd7 is easy) 36 ... a5 37 h6 c5 38 dxc5? (This is real trouble; 38 h7 is still good) 38 ... bxc5 39 a3 (39 h7 Kg7 40 Kxe6 d4 and Black wins) 39 ... Kg6 40 b4 axb4 41 axb4 (even here White can save it by 41 cxb4: 44 ... c4 45 Kd4 e5+ 46 Kc3 e4 47 Kd4) 41 ... d4! and Black is better. But after 42 h7 Kxh7 43 b5 dxc3 44 b6 c2 45 b7 c1=Q 46 b8=Q, Black's flag fell.
This year's sponsors included the U.S. Chess Trust, the US Chess Federation, and the U.S. Braille Chess Association, as well as several individual donors. I would like to commend the Myers family -- for the past three years Sterling (and his sister) have been game monitors, while Mom and Dad have arranged for lunch for the players, volunteers, and director.