The November Check is in the Mail
By Alex Dunne   
November 4, 2011
Ciaran O’Hare has gained his third Senior International Master norm and should be receiving his Senior Master title soon.  He earned the title by his result in the Rochade 20 Year Tournament where he scored 9-5, thus bringing the seventh Senior International Master title to Ireland and the first to Oklahoma.

Ciaran O’Hare annotates the critical draw that gave him the required points for his Senior Master norm.

Notes by Ciaran O'Hare
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.Be2 Qc7 8.a4 b6 9.f4 Bb7 10.Bf3 Nbd7 11.Qe2 Be7?!
Black chooses to hunker down for the coming storm 11...Rc8! 12.0–0 h5 is an attempt to actively slow White 13.Kh1! Qc4! 14.Qe1÷
12.g4 Nc5 13.Qg2
I became nervous about castling into White’s attack (though this may be best)  and chose to sac the d-pawn for activity.  This works well OTB but in this game leads to a long and difficult defense.
I remember an adage for Black in the Sicilian - If you can play d5 you must! - even though I saw 18.Ke2 coming [¹13...0–0N 14.g5 Nfd7 15.0–0 (15.0–0–0 b5 16.axb5 axb5 17.Ndxb5 Qb6 18.Qe2 Qa6 19.Rhe1 Qa1+ 20.Kd2 Qa5 21.Bxc5 Nxc5 22.Ke3; 15.h4) 15...Rfe8 16.Nde2 Nb8 17.f5 Nc6 18.f6 Bf8÷
14.exd5 Nxd5
14...exd5? 15.0–0!N 0–0 16.Nf5±
15.Nxd5 Bxd5 16.Bxd5 exd5 17.Qxd5 Bh4+ 18.Ke2!N
The King doesn't block the Rook [18.Kf1 0–0 19.Qc6 Qxc6 20.Nxc6 Rfe8 21.Ne5 Bf6 22.Bxc5 bxc5 23.Re1 Bxe5 24.Rxe5 Rxe5 25.fxe5 ½–½ (42) Hamman-Sloth 1965]
18...0–0 19.Qc6 Qa7
Black hides the Q to harass the W King later
20.Rhd1 Rfe8 21.Nf5 Rac8 22.Qf3 Be7 23.Kf1
23.NxB? - The N is much better
23...Bf8 24.Kg2
24...Qc7 25.Bxc5 Qxc5 26.c3 g6 27.Nd4 Qc7 28.Rd3 Re7 29.Rf1 Rce8
Black has done well by claiming the e-file, removing the N and hampering a white K-side Pawn push
30.Rf2 Re4 31.b3?!
31.f5! Bc5 (31...g5? 32.Ne6!) 32.Re2 R4e5 33.Rxe5 Qxe5 34.Rd2±
31...Bc5 32.Re2 Rxe2+ 33.Nxe2 Qe7
I am basing my resistance upon black square control
34.Ng3 Qe6 35.c4?
This careless move seals the Q-side and increases Black's drawing chances. [35.Qd1 a5 36.f5±]
36.a5!? bxa5 37.Rd5 Bb4 38.Re5
36...a5! 37.h4 h6
Now I swap K-side pawns
38.Qg4 hxg5 39.Qxg5
39.h5 f5 40.Qxg5 Qxg5 41.fxg5 f4
39...Qb7+ 40.Rd5; 39...Qxg5 40.hxg5 Re3 41.Rxe3 Bxe3 42.Kf3 Bd4 43.Ne2 (43.f5 Be5 44.f6 Kf8 45.Ne4 Ke8 46.Ke3) 43...Bc5 44.Ke4 Kf8 45.Nc3 Ke7 46.Kd5 Bb4 47.Ne4 Kd7 48.Ke5 Ke7 49.Nf6 Bd6+ 50.Kd4 Ke6 51.Ke4 Be7 52.Nd5 Bc5 53.Kf3 Kf5 54.Ne3+ Ke6 55.Ke4 Bb4 56.f5+ gxf5+ 57.Nxf5 Bf8 58.Kf4 Bb4 59.Nd4+ Kd6 60.Ke4 Bc5 61.Nf5+ Ke6 62.Ng7+ Kd6 63.Kf5
40.f5? Qxg5 41.hxg5 Re3 I felt I could draw this when he couldn't generate an outside passer.; 40.Qxe7+? is easier for Black. 40...Rxe7
40...Kg8 41.Qg5 Kf8 42.Kf3 Qe1
 42...Qb7+? 43.Qd5 Qe7 (43...Qxd5+ 44.cxd5 Ke7 45.Ne4) 44.h5! Qf6 45.hxg6 Qxg6
43.f5 Qb1
 43...gxf5 44.Kg2!+-
44.Qh6+ to push the K away
44...Kg8 45.Qd2 Qg1
I think Black is OK now.
46.Kg4 Be3 47.Qd1 gxf5+ 48.Kh3 Qxd1 49.Rxd1 f4 50.Nh5 Re6 51.Kg4 f3 52.Kxf3 Bc5
46...fxg6 47.Kg4
47.Qg5 Qf2+ 48.Kg4 Qf7 49.Qd5 Qxd5 50.cxd5 Bd6 51.h5 Kg7 52.hxg6 Kxg6 53.Nf1
Having calculated all variations to a draw
48.Rxe3 Bxe3 49.Qd5+
[49.Qd3 Kf7]
49...Kg7 50.Qb7+
White checks get nowhere with his K exposed, and the B guarding b6 [50.Qh1 Qxh1 51.Nxh1 Kf6 52.Kf3 Bc5 53.Ke4 Ke6=]
50...Kf6 51.Qf3+ Kg7 52.Kh3 Bf2! 53.Ne2 Qe1
 53...Qf1+? 54.Kg4 Kh6+-
54.Qc3+ Qxc3+ 55.Nxc3 Kf7 56.Kg4= Ke6 57.Ne4
57.Nd5 Ke5 58.Kg5 (58.Ne7 Kd4 59.Nd5 Kd3)58...Kd4 59.Kxg6 Bxh4 60.Kf7 Kc5 (60...Kd3 61.Nxb6 Kc3 62.c5 Bf2 63.Nd7 Kxb3 64.c6 Bg3 65.Ke6 Bc7 66.Nc5+ Kc4 67.Kd7 Bh2 68.Ne6 Kb4)61.Ke6 Bg3 62.Kd7 Be5 63.Kc8 Kc6 64.Kd8 Bb8 65.Ne7+
Draw offered by Black and accepted 
57...Bc5 58.Nxc5+ bxc5 White cannot penetrate.
Now is the time to send me your short shorts – 20 moves or less – for possible inclusion in the December miniature column. 
It’s all in good fun – Now is your chance to show that spectacular loss !
Trophy Quads
            Brian Wood     09Q08             6-0
            Jerome Lewis  10Q02             5-1
Swift Quad
            Jeff Levine        11SQ18           5-1
Walter Muir
            Michael Burrus   10W38  5-1
            Brian Higgins        11W19  4 ½-1 ½
            Ian Schnee           11W24  5 ½-½
John Collins
            Thomas Buchanan  10C28  6-0
            Richard McLaughlin 10C18  5 ½-½
Quote: The most important factor in a correspondence game is a sound plan.  Then hard work, an uncompromising will to win, ending knowledge and a little luck will bring success. -- Palciauskas
Walter Lewis of Soledad, CA, won the 2009 John Collins 09C20 in a close fought battle with three other Experts.
Lewis 2058 11 11
Flowers 2146 ½½ ½½
Risk 2082 00 ½½ ½1
Fairbairn 2093 00 ½½ ½0
Lewis’ 22. Ne5 allows Black to gain the advantage and inflict his only defeat.


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.  AlexDunne, 324 West Lockhart St., Sayre, PA 18840
Chess booklet for sale:  2004 Golden Knights Championship  --  booklet of the 57th USCF CC Championship -- $10.00 postage  paid.  35 pages, 90+ games
One more Absolute player (for a total of two!) has offered his opinion on computer play in the Absolute. “Since the USCC Championship does count for international ratings, I think computers should be allowed there.  Since the Absolute only counts for domestic ratings, computers should not be allowed.
“But I’m afraid that rule cannot be enforced.  In relation to what you mentioned, you could have as extra rule that participants in the Absolute have an OTB rating above, say 1800.”
The 2012 Absolute is coming up.  I would still like to hear from Absolute players on the problem of computers in the Absolute.
After some original opening play, the game plan becomes who can win the most Pawns.  White wins.

Black sacrifices a Pawn on Move 8 for 30 moves of pressure

White constructs an unusual Rook trap and Black is powerless against Kd6-c7xb6.


Black’s game is difficult when he errs on Move 28 and White immediately gangs up on his queenside.
How to attack the kingside: First get all your opponent's pieces over to the queenside....