The January '10 Check is in the Mail
By Alex Dunne   
January 2, 2010

Cesar Augusto
The lone Grandmaster playing in the 2006 Electronic Knights had to play like a Grandmaster to overcome the fierce resistance he encountered every step of the way.  There were few easy victories for GM Cesar Augusto Blanco-Gramajo.

Cesar was working in the United States when he entered the Electronic Knights, but was called home to Guatemala where he finished the tournament.

He earned his GM title in 2003 and took part in the Rest of the World vs. Russia match.  His current ICCF rating is 2530 reflecting almost 900 games played in the ICCF.  His current USCF rating is 2607, placing him at the top of the rating list.
You would expect a Grandmaster to play a game with deep positional ideas overcoming a determined resistance.  Here is Exhibit #1.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 e6 4.Qc2 f5 5.Bf4 Nf6 6.e3 Bd6

The conventional wisdom considering the Stonewall is that Black should avoid exchanging this Bishop for the one on f4 and so 6...Be7 is the more common move.  Nevertheless, some very strong players have assayed 6...Bd6.

Magerramov-Lodhim Abu Dhabi 1999 continued 7. Nc3 00 8. Bd3 Ne4 9. 00 g5 10. Bxd6 Nxd6 which was good for White though Black later won.
7...Qxd6 8.Nc3 0–0 9.Bd3 Ne4 10.Ne5

 Kosic-Heged, Croatia 2008 saw 10. 00 Nd7 11. bxe4 fxe4 12. Nd2 b6 which was about even.
10...Nd7 11.f4

This is one of the problems with 6...Bd6.  The double stonewall leaves White with a mildly better Bishop.
11...Qe7 12.0–0 Nxe5 13.fxe5 Bd7

Saba begins the arduous trek to give this Bishop some work by heading to h5 via e8.
14.Ne2 Rac8 15.c5

With the center secure, White properly seeks space on the queenside.  Black stakes out the kingside but White has the edge because of Black's somewhat insecure center.
15...g5 16.a4 Be8 17.b4 Bh5 

 Now that Black has committed himself to this kingside action, White reveals the weakness of Black's position.  Black will have to recapture with the d-Pawn leaving his center weak and no real attacking chances on the kingside as 18...fxe4 just leaves Black's kingside exposed. 
18...dxe4 19.Nc3

And now Black must always be concerned with the possibility of Nb1–d2-c4-d6 along with the problems of the bad Bishop.
19...Kh8 20.Qb2 Bg6 21.b5 Qd7 22.Rf2 f4?!

This looks like Black's best move, but it fatally weakens e4. 
23.Raf1 Kg7 24.Qd2 Rcd8 25.Qe1 h6

Black's attack has steamed out.  He must seek passive moves while White engineers the capture of the e4 Pawn.
26.h4 Rf7 27.Rd2 fxe3

This leads to exchanges that strengthen White's center influence, but Black has little choice.
28.Qxe3 Rxf1+ 29.Kxf1 Rf8+ 30.Kg1 gxh4 31.Nxe4 Bxe4 32.Qxe4 cxb5 33.Qg4+ Kh7 34.d5! bxa4 35.Qe4+ Kg7 36.d6 Qc6

This is a critical decision, but passive play fails -- 36...Rf5 37. Rb2 Rf7 38. Qxh4 Kh7 39. Qe4+ Kg7 40. Ra2 and after the elimination of a4, White will turn his heavy pieces toward the Black King with a technical win due to the d-Pawn.
37.Qg4+ Kh8 38.Qxe6 Qxc5+ 39.Kh2 Qe3 40.Rd1 Qg3+ 41.Kh1 Kg7 42.Rg1

The King is safe -- now the center Pawns are free to advance.
42..a3 43.d7 Qg5 44.Qd6 Rg8 45.e6 1-0

            Cesar Blanco               41.70
            John Menke                 39.45
            Robert Fass                  37.85
            Walter Brower             33.40
            Walter Brower             31.15
            Michael Buss                30.05
            Kenneth Goebel           30.00
            Timothy Harris  28.90
            Benjamin Coraretti     27.90
            Timothy Harris           26.15
            Corky Schakel             25.45
            Barry Walker               21.75
            William Turin                21.05
            John Gragg                   19.90
Remember to send in your bids for the 2010 Absolute now forming !  The top 13-rated players (over 2200) will be selected to participate in the 2010 Absolute.  It will be played on the webserver, the entry is free, and there is a prize fund of at least $500.  I want to hear from you!
Jeffrey Baffo wins Colorado State Championship
Scoring 7 ½ - ½, Jeffrey Baffo took uncontested first place in the 2009 Colorado State Correspondence Chess Championship.  Second was Klaus Johnson and third place was earned by Archie Shipp.


John Collins
     Antonio Romero       07C33     5-1
     Christopher Nelson   08C32     6-0
     Gerard Soricelli         07C51    4½-1½
     Leonard Carter          07C35    6-9
Swift Quads
  Na Li                   09SQ09   5 ½-½
Walter Muir
            Marc Plum        08W38   6-0
            Daniel Todd      09W05   5 ½-½
            Marc Plum        09W04   4-2
Palciauskas Tournament
         Jeff Daven     08P06   5 ½-½
 Trophy Quad
          John Terrall   09Q07  6-0
          John Terrall   09Q05  6-0
          Frank Barrett 07Q12  5-1

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]
Gerard Soricelli of the Bronx took first place in John Collins 07C51.