The September Check is in the Mail
By Alex Dunne   
September 1, 2010
Return of the Golden Knight

8636.jpgChuck Cullum made a dramatic return to the title of Golden Knights Champion.  Although he went undefeated in the 2002 event, he needed the luck of the draw to finish on top in 2004.

Chuck scored 5 ½- ½ in the first round, ceding a draw to Steve Fairbairn of Canada.  In the semifinal round, Chuck remained undefeated, but gave up four draws in a 4-2 finish, and so did not advance into the finals.

But the story does not end there.  The last section of the Final round frequently has to be completed with players with 4-2  scores, and Chuck was one of the fill-ins.

Chuck came roaring back with another blistering 5 ½-½ performance (including a draw with third place finisher Donald Schultheis) to edge out Bleys Rose for his second Golden Knights title.

Chuck admits he was surprised at the news he had once again won the Golden Knights Championship.  Still, an undefeated tournament with twelve wins and six draws should count as a championship performance.


Chuck Cullum             39.05
Bleys Rose                   37.85
Donald Schultheis         37.40
Patrick Ryan                 37.20
Dana Daves                  36.15
James Tracz                36.10
Wesley Gales               35.10
Chris O'Connell          35.00
Donald Schultheis       34.50
Arthur Steinman            33.85
Jan Jones                      32.90
Laurence Bonsack      32.85
Donald Schultheis         32.25
David Miller                 31.75
Barry Endsley             31.25
Bradley Rogers 31.10
Steve Fairbairn            28.40
Alberto Prieto              28.25
Riley Lane                    25.60
Jan Jones                     25.00
David Drevinsky         24.90
John Hillery                  24.40
Mark Robledo             22.80
William Jempty 21.15
Larry Crittenton          20.05
Art Marthinsen 18.15
Joseph Farrell               17.75
James Fisher                 17.00


Black avoids some nasty traps in this game, improves on previous play, and when White's queenside falls apart, pockets the point.



White: Larry Crittenton (2011)
Black:  Chuck Cullum (2465)
2004 Golden Knights Finals

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Bc4 Ngf6 6.Ng5 e6 7.Qe2 Nb6
All Caro-Kann aficionados know to avoid the trap 7..h6?  8. Nxf7!
8.Bd3 h6 9.N5f3 c5 10.dxc5 Nbd7
Cullum chooses a line thought to be inferior to the simpler 10...Bxc5 which scores about 56% for White.
And Crittenton takes up the challenge.  This is the most testing continuation.
11...a5 12.c3 axb4 13.cxb4 b6 14.Nd4?!
This sets a nasty trap but is not be best.
Here is Cullum's improvement, and it looks like a good one.  Previously played here was 14...bxc5? and after 15. Nc6, Black resigned in Klovans-Levin, Armed Forces Championship 1987 as Black loses either King or Queen to the threat of Qxe6+! 
15.Bb5 bxc5 16.Nc6 Qb6 17.a4
White is in deep trouble already so criticizing this move is pointless.
17...Nc3! 18.Qb2 Nxb5 19.axb5 Rxa1 20.Qxa1 Qxb5 21.Na7
Nor does 21. Qa8 Nb6 help. 
21...Qxb4+ 22.Bd2 Qg4 23.Ne2 Bb7 24.Nf4 Bd6 25.f3 Qg5 26.Nxe6 Qxg2 0-1

Quote: I can say without doubt that postal chess provides a kind of "good medicine" in a person's life that can be invaluable. --J. Franklin Campbell

Aleksandr Dronov

22 World Champion

Aleksandr Dronov of Russia has won the 22nd World Correspondence Chess Championship with a last-game victory over his main rival Jurgen Bucker. Dronov defended a difficult position, simplified, and won an even more difficult endgame to annex the title of 22nd World Champion.  Here is the decisive game




Herbert W. Gustafson, who died in 2008, was a great lover of correspondence chess.  His trust left very generous bequests to both CCLA and USCF to be used for correspondence chess.  In recognition of his generosity to both organizations, CCLA will be holding the Herbert W. Gustafson Open Tournament starting October 15 instead of its usual Fall Server Series.  This semi-class event, played on the ICCF server, will truly be Open, as any resident of the United States or Canada may enter with No Membership Requirement and No Entry Fee. 

Sections will be formed in order of rating, with each section having four players playing two games against each opponent.  (There may be a few five-player sections if needed to accommodate all the entrants.)  There will be prizes, in the form of $19 credits to each section winner (split in case of a tie) that may be used for a CCLA membership or, for CCLA members, entry fees into other CCLA events.  Entries will close on October 15, 2010.  Only one entry per person will be accepted.  As with other CCLA events, the use of chess-playing computer engines is not allowed.

If you are interested, please email [email protected] with your name, your rating (please specify organization), the email address you intend to use with your entry, and your ICCF ID# if you have one.

09W21 Walter Muir

Wilbur Tseng of Chicago scored a strong win in the 2009 Expert/Master Walter Muir tournament.



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]


Express Tournament
Andrew Bussom      09ET04   5-1

John Collins
Paris Mitchell       09C28          5-1
Jack Sarhage          09C28       5-1
David Funston      08C06       6-0
Antonio Romero   08C04       6-0
Joseph Daudish    08C27       4-2

Walter Muir
Calvin Parnon           10W14   5-1
Inoel Cardenas        10W16  4 ½-1 ½
Swift Quad
Jaun Le Roux         09SQ12  5 ½ -½
Alfredo Gotay        10SQ02  5 ½- ½

The Games of the Match at Chess Played by the Chess Players of the Athenaeum, Philadelphia: and the New-York Chess Club Between the Years 1856 and 1857, with Variations and Remarks by the Athenaeum Committee

contains two games played by correspondence between these two clubs.  A weakly played Sicilian (1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. Nf3 e6 4. Qxd4) and a more interesting Bishop's Opening between the two clubs are analyzed.  Originally published in 1857, this has been republished in a book of approximately 172 pages of which approximately 153 are blank pages

 (I should waste my time counting them all ?)  At $17.98, that is about 12 cents per blank page, which may be more than most book collectors would choose to spend.

David Funston dominated the 2008 John Collins event with a perfect 6-0 score.

Here is David at his sharpest:



adjudicated a win for White 1-0


A pleasant reminder that you can now make your own US postage stamps. Check out

Robert "Ted" Houser born 23 May 1034, died 8 August 2010.  Ted won the 2001 and 2002 APCT King Championships.  He was a Senior Master who considered all his chess opponents to be his personal friends.

In the following game Ted shows his imaginative attacking skills against the always strong Jon Edwards.



Tom Morrell makes some strong moves in this game, eventually sacrificing to an endgame where Black's Knight is a pathetic onlooker to a herd of White Pawns.



This is another one of those games that gives major headaches to the annotator; so -- No annotations !



Check out an archive of Alex Dunne's postal chess columns here and read his article on the 2009 Pan-American Championships in the hot off the presses September issue of Chess Life Magazine.