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The January 2011 Check is in the Mail! Print E-mail
By Alex Dunne   
January 3, 2011
MenkePhoto.jpgJOHN MENKE - ICCM !

John received his IM title at the 2010 ICCF Congress in Antalya, Turkey.

John earned his two norms in the email Jubilee Quarterfinal and in the email Semifinal. In both events he exceeded the IM norm by half a point.


Menke demonstrates the value of a mobile center.



1.Nf3 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d6 4.d4 e6 5.0-0 Be7 6.c4 0-0 7.Nc3 Qe8 8.b3 a5 9.Bb2 Qh5 10.e3 Na6 11.Nd2 Qh6 12.Qe2 c6 13.Na4 Rb8
All this has been seen before in Holmberg-Giampiera, 19th World Championship which continued 13...Bd7 14. Nb6 Rad8 15. Nxd7 Rxd7 16. Bc3 Bd8 17. d5! when White won shortly. 
14.Nb6 Bd8 15.Nxc8 Rxc8 16.e4
Two Bishops, better center, no weaknesses: White is better.
16...f4!? 17.Nf3 Ne8 18.Bc1 g5 19.g4 Qg6 20.Re1 Rf7 21.Ba3 Bc7 22.Rad1 Nb4 23.Bc1 Re7 24.a3 Na6 25.e5 d5
Black strives to keep the center as closed as possible to favor his Knights, but the Knights have no good squares.
26.Bd2 Nb8 27.Bf1 Bd8 28.Qd3
Black's only active piece is challenged -- exchange or become passive.
28...Qxd3 29.Bxd3 Rf7 30.Rc1 dxc4 31.bxc4 Nd7 32.d5!
This sets up a decisive passed Pawn. Black cannot allow the c-file to be opened.
32...Nc5 33.Bc2 Nc7
Losing is 33...cxd5 34. cxd5 exd5 35. Bf5 Rc6 36. Nd4
34.Bxa5 cxd5 35.cxd5 Nxd5 36.Bxd8 Rxd8 37.Nxg5 Rg7 38.Bxh7+ Kf8 39.Rxc5 Rxg5 40.f3
Two Pawns is two too many.
40...Ra8 41.h4 Rg7 42.Be4 Ne3 43.Rec1 Re7 44.h5 Rxa3 45.Rc8+ Re8 46.Rxe8+ Kxe8 47.h6 1-0


Ulrich Stephan of Germany earned the title of 23rd World Champion by virtue of a last minute sprint to the title.  In the September 4, 2009 issue of the otherwise outstanding ezine Chess Today, he was dismissed as having to win 6 ½ out of his remaining 8 games to overtake GM Winkelmann.  Here is one of the games of the sprint.



Quote: Correspondence chess is not a school for technique or an academy for virtuosity, it is a discipline of deep thought, of research, of tenacity.  There is no place for the easy and convenient draw by agreement, but there is always the torment of the search for the best. -- Napolitano


DavidEisen.jpgDavid Eisen was born September 2, 1925 and died September 16, 2010.  David was one of the most successful USCF postal players.  He won or tied for first in two US Absolute tournaments, 1980 and 1981 and compiled the third highest winning percentage of Absolute players ever.  He won the USCF 1976 Super-A tournament in the early Eighties.  David held down 3rd board in the X Olympiad, Board 1 in the Third Pacific Area Team Tournament  and Board  1 in the Fourth North Atlantic Team Tournament.  David also finished tied for third in the APTB Invitational and received the ICCM title in 1998.

David was known for his great strength in the endgame, but he could thread his way through the most complicated of positions, too.  Witness this great attacking game/endgame win against Canada's Ignas Zalys.



Gerard Soricelli wins Collins 09C24


What's stronger than a Rook on the seventh rank?   How about three passed Pawns ?




John Collins

Gerard Soricelli            09C24   4-2
Christopher Ballard       09C22   6-0
Richard Wienckowski 09C19  6-0
Steve Baer                   08C16  4-2
Doug Ray                     09C09  4½-1½
Matthew Myers           09C34 4½-1½

Trophy Quad
Jill Jaris 08Q11       6-0
 Francis McDyer 10Q07    6-0

Express Tournament

Francisco Quintana-Razo  10ET01  5-1

Walter Muir

Kirk Finkbeiner  10W09    4-2
Lelan Conti         10W09    4-2
Jessica Lauser     10W22    5 ½-½
Tadas Vizbaras   10W28    6-0

Palciauskas Tournament

Louis Biasotti    08P05   5-1
Michael Butler  08:P05  5-1

Walter Muir, chess champion of Roanoke, VA., recently sent a move in a correspondence game to an opponent in Czechoslovakia.  The postcard happened to bear a United States postage stamp through which his country honored the 110th anniversary of the birth of the founder and first president of the Czechoslovak Republic, Thomas G. Masatyk.  The card was returned to Muir, bearing notations in several languages that it was "not admissible" in Czechoslovakia.  When Muir sent a second card with another kind of stamp with less dangerous political connotations, it went through without difficulty!  -- Chess Life, December 20, 1960
stamp200.jpgThe postcard pictured above was sent by Mikhail Chigorin in a postal chess match against Vladimir Brzheski on March 11, 1901.  The card was recently sold at auction on eBay for  $1136.  The lesson to be learned?  Save your old chess postcards !?


Bids for the championship will be accepted until 15 January at which time the 13 highest rated players (according to the latest CC ratings) bidding will be playing for the 2011 Absolute Championship.  The entry is free and there will be a nice purse this year, though the exact amount is not yet known.  Interested angels who would like to donate to the purse are requested to send their money to Joan DuBois, PO Box 3967, Crossville, TN 38557.

On a side note - I have finished the rough draft of my latest book - the USCF Absolute Championship 1976-2009. More about this later.

The brawl in this game threatened to spill out into several nearby games.



Christopher Ballard notched up a perfect 6-0 win with games like this.



An instructive video featuring The World vs. 15th World CC Champion Gert Jan Timmerman is available for free viewing at http://itschess.blogspot.com/2010/12/creating-and-fixing-weaknesses.html


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]

Spoiler Alert !  This is the game that sidetracked Brandhorst's run at yet another Absolute title.



A most unusual game at the top level -- Black's Queen travels from d8 to f8 in ten moves.



It's amazing how much suffering one will pay for a Pawn.



Find an archive of Alex Dunne's postal chess columns here.

January - Chess Life Online 2011

St. Louisan Dominates World's Best at International Chess TourneyBest of CLO 2010: #2GM Hikaru Nakamura Wins Tata Steel Chess! Best of CLO 2010: #3Paragua Wins Jimmy Quon Memorial (Video) Nakamura Captures Clear Lead at Tata Best of CLO 2010: #4 Nakamura Close to Career-Best Triumph in Wijk aan ZeeBest of CLO 2010: #5 The US Chess School Comes to Los Angeles Updates on US Championships and US Women's Nakamura Back on Top with Anand in Tata Steel Best of CLO 2010: #6 Nakamura Tied for Tata Lead after Facing Two Titans Best of CLO 2010: #7 Tata Steel Round 7: Nakamura Captures Clear LeadThe US Chess Scoop on the Liberty Bell OpenChess & Football: IM Marc Arnold advises on CBS SegmentBest of CLO 2010: #8Building Thinking Skills through Chess The Reincarnation of the Fight Club Chess Comes to Sundance!Best of CLO 2010 #9: The Sicilian Slayed Best of CLO 2010 #10Nakamura Starts Strong at Tata Steel Bojkov and Bryant Best in ConcordBest of CLO 2010: Meet the Judges and Runners-upResults in at MLK Day Tourneys! Jimmy Quon Memorial: Details and Pre-Tourney AnalysisNakamura Leads Tata Steel ChessMLK Weekend Tourneys Approach Conclusion Choosing to Break 2200 Tata Steel Chess Begins FridayThe Staunton Code: Part III An Adult's Last Stand in Utah Happy New Norm Year in Berkeley! Raven Sturt's Rating Jumps into 2011 Shankland Nears GM Norm in Berkeley!Berkeley Norm-Hunting Update The Staunton Code: Part II Van Wely in Clear Lead at Berkeley International The Charm & Anguish of the Pan-Ams: An Organizer's Summary The January 2011 Check is in the Mail!Berkeley International Kicks off the New Year!