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The November Check is in the Mail Print E-mail
By Alex Dunne   
November 3, 2009
Chuck Cullum

Chuck Cullum has won the 2002 Golden Knights.  Chuck was born on 17 July 1944  and raised a proud Dorchester boy.

Married for the last eight years to a beautiful southern belle, father to three grown children and five grandkids, Chuck has enough businesses and hobbies to keep him very busy - with just enough time for CC play. 

Chuck states that his approach to CC seems to echo that of Burton, Duliba, O'Connell and others - take your time! Study! Use the books and databases, set up the position on the board and move the pieces around! And above all, leave it alone if you are preoccupied with other matters!

Chuck avoids OTB tournament play as it reminds him too much of what his normal life is like: hectic, fast-paced, constantly dealing with distractions and sometimes annoying people. Scroll down for 2002 Golden Knights Standings.       


The technique of good correspondence chess lies in playing good moves - Graham Mitchell



White: Chuck Cullum (2416)
Black: Preston  Polasek (2237)
2002 Golden Knights Final

1.d4 c6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.e4 e5 6.Be2 g6 7.0-0 Bg7 8.d5
8.Re1 0-0 9.Bf1 a5 10.dxe5 Vostrotin-Koehs, ICCF email 2003 drawn shortly
8...Nc5 9.Qc2 a5 10.Be3


A natural move, but a careless one.  White now wins a Pawn after which it is a "matter of technique". Black can afford to castle, after which if White tries to win the e-Pawn, Black will play ...Re8 regaining the button.
11.Nxe5! Nfxe4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Nxc6 Nc5 14.Nd4 0-0
White has pocketed a free Pawn and has a winning edge.  Now White sets his sight for the d6 Pawn.
15.Nb5 Qb6 16.Bf4 Bf5 17.Qd2 Ne4 18.Qe3!
With the Queens off the board it only gets easier for White.
18...Qxe3 19.fxe3 Bxb2 20.Rab1 Be5 21.Bd3!
Now Black has to face the threat of g4 as well as 22. Bxe4 Bxe4 23. Nxd6.  Faced with these threats, Black does best to take the offered exchange.
21...Nd2 22.Bxf5 Nxf1 23.Kxf1
Also good for White was 23. Bd3 Bxf4 24. exf4 Ne3 25. Nxd6 but this is simpler.
23...Bxf4 24.exf4 gxf5 25.Nxd6
Two passed Pawns in the center, two unguarded Pawns under attack, an active Rook and a handsome Knight -- what more would White want for the exchange ?
25...Rfd8 26.c5 Ra6 27.Nxf5 Rf6 28.Ne7+ Kf8 29.Rxb7 Rxf4+ 30.Kg1

The simplest win is 30...Re8 31. d6 Rd4 32. h3! a4 33. Nf5 and the Pawns will advance.


Jason Bokar
The US team consisting of Daniel Fleetwood, Jason Bokar, Tim Murray, Joseph DeMauro, Gary Kubach, and Stephen Jones finished in eleventh place in the 15 Olympiad Final.  The US was led by three Grandmasters and three Senior IMs against a tough field.  Norway, led by World Champion Ivar Bern, finished first, Germany, led by Hans-Marcus Elwert, runner-up in the 18th World Championship, second, and the Netherlands, by former World Champion Joop van Oosterom, third.  Special mention should be made of GM Daniel Fleetwood who finished with an even score at top board. The bright spot for the US, however, was the performance by GM Jason Bokar, scoring 8-5. Among his opponents Jason had to face  XV World Champion Gert Timmerman with whom he tied for second but took the bronze on tie breaks.

15 Olympiad Final Standings

1.  Norway         48-30
2.  Germany       47-31
3.  Netherlands   46 ½-31 ½
4.  Portugal         43 ½-34 ½
5.  Russia           42 ½-35 ½
6.  Slovenia         41 ½-36 ½
7.  Estonia          39 ½-38 ½
8.  Austria           38-40
9.  Lithuania        37-41
10. Ireland          36-42
11. United States 34 ½-43 ½
12. Latvia             34-44
13. Kazakhstan      30-48
14. Poland           28-50

Defense is the hardest.  Here Bokar defends and defends until his Polish opponent finally collapses from exhaustion.




Swift Quad

Jaun Le Roux      09SQ07    5 ½-½

John Collins

Michael Hensley    07C46  5 ½-½
David McCann      08C12   5 ½-½
Thomas Everson    07C23   5 ½-½
Louis Biasotti        08C05   4 ½-1 ½
Stephen Fairbairn  08C05   4 ½-1 ½
Greg Whitlock       08C38   5 ½-½

Walter Muir

Thomas Hullsiek          09W24     6-0
James Sawaski              08W44    5-1
Souvik Roychoudhury 08W44     5-1
Wade Reaves                08W49   5 ½-½
Sandip Chattopadhyay 09W14   5 ½-½

Trophy Quad

Ken Koepplin        07Q08   5-1
Palciauskas Tournament
Jeffrey Baffo     08P03    5 ½-½


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]


December will be the month for our usual miniature games presentation.  If you have won (or lost) (or drawn!) an interesting, amusing, instructive, agonizing, surprising, original or slashing correspondence game of 20 moves or under, please send it to me for possible publication in the December issue. 

If you like chess jokes, you can find more at www.chess.com

Two chess players are playing a correspondence game. White lives at the South Pole, and Black lives at the North Pole. The postal service is rather slow and play proceeds at the rate of one move per year.  After 22 years of play, white makes a daring queen sacrifice, the consequences of which are by no means clear. A year later, as he sees the postman returning, he is very excited. He thinks "Will Black take my Queen ?" "Is the sacrifice sound ?"

He tears open the reply and sees, "Jadoube".


As computer strength increased, certain positions (such as R+B vs. R and  Q vs. 2 B's  endgames, among others) were found to have solutions that would exceed the 50-move rule.  These positions are recorded now in Nalimov Endgame Databases and are available for free online.  OTB play continues to uphold the 50-move rule.  An argument has been proposed in ICCF play (to be decided upon in the 2010 ICFF Congress in Turkey by the Rules Commission). The argument is made that CC being more scientific and practical, the OTB oriented 50-move rule contradicts the basic correspondence chess approach, supposing an artificial restriction to the mathematical solution of a problem.  What do the USCF readers think ? 


Ralph J. Bos
Ralph Bos of Seal Beach, California, born on Valentine's Day 1931, died on 2 October 2009.  Ralph was an active member of USCF CC play.



ShozDijiji ShisInday

shoz.jpgShozDijiji ShisInday born 8/30/55 died on August 29, 2009 on Texas' Death Row where he had been imprisoned for twenty-seven years.  ShozDijiji, born Danny Thomas, claimed to be of Master strength, but this is the only game (fragment) I have of his play.  He died before making his fifth move.



R. Scott Ireland, second place finisher in the 2002 Golden Knights is a photographer and a member of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior.  His website  has some outstanding astronomy and volcano photos.. 

His chess may not be quite as fiery, but in the following game he makes it plenty hot for A. J. Zeppa.

You can view Scott's nature photos at www.rsiphotos.com



Donald Schultheis of Baltimore, MD, finished third in the 2002 GK. He shows that he is a hard man to beat in this fine defensive effort against John Hillery.



This is bruising chess: both sides make mistakes but the last loses.



It's a familiar, but always-beautiful dance:  The queenside is the floor for all the action until there is a quick slide and the game is decided on the kingside.



2002 Golden Knights Standings:

Chuck Cullum               41.70
R, Scott Ireland            39.55
Chuck Cullum               39.50
Donald Schultheis         39.50
Donald Schultheis       39.10
Donald Schultheis         38.50
John Hillery                  37.50  
Laurence Bonsack        37.25
Bleys Rose                   35.05
Brad Lundstrom           34.95
Michael Buss                33.90
Paul Albanesi                32.40
Corky Schakel             32.35
Robert Miehm              31.75
Gerald Weiner              31.60
Preston Polasek            30.45
William Jempty 29.50
Walter Brower             29.40
Gary Adams                 28.90
William Jempty 28.90
Robert Miehm             27.80
Wes Hopkins               27.25
Norman Furse             26.15
Richard McLaughlin      26.15
William Jempty           26.00
David Porter                 25.55
Paul Kolis                     25.50
A. J. Zeppa                  25.05
Guido Stueber             24.55
Donald Cotton              19.40
William Jempty 18.15
Ronald Comstock         17.15
James Fisher                 17.00
David Lay                    16.65
Gerard Van Deene       13.80

See the archive of Alex Dunne's "The Check is in the Mail" columns here.


November - Chess Life Online 2009

In Dallas, A Rocky Start, a “Rocky” FinishNewsflash: Results in for Thanksgiving TourneysFront Page News: University of Texas at Dallas Chess Team Travels to Cuba Three Lead American Open at Halfway Point Nakamura Tops Carlsen in BNbank Blitz in Norway Thanksgiving Tourneys Begin in Philly and LAAmericans in the World Cup: Kamsky OutAmericans in the World Cup: Akobian and Shabalov Out GM Josh Friedel on the World Cup: All the Way to Siberia for This? Sharks and Knights in US Chess League Championships! Morales and Samuelson Win Duncan Oxley New National Event: US Girls Junior OpenKamsky Advances; Akobian and Shabalov Head to TiebreaksIce Cream, Two Minute and Norm Hopefuls at the University of Texas at DallasWorld Cup Round 2, Game 1: Kamsky Wins, Onischuk FaltersShabalov and Akobian Advance in World Cup! Action and Upsets in IllinoisSilver for Tanuj and Samritha! Americans in the World Cup: Two Advance, Three Go To TiebreakNorm Hunting in Texas BeginsNational Youth Action in Full SwingUSA Scores 4.5/10 in World Cup Game 1 Two Rounds to Go in the World Youth! GM Josh Friedel on the World Cup: A Long Road to Siberia Tanuj, Jarod and Samritha Roll on Countdown to the World CupA Parent's Perspective on King's IslandBig US Scorers Increase Pressure at World Youth Video From the King's Island Open Tanuj, Sarah, Samritha and Jarod on 5/6 in Turkey Five Tie in Turkey BowlKnockouts, Knights, Sharks and Mechanics Advance in USCL Playoffs Alena and Tanuj Still Perfect at World YouthUps and Downs in Round Two of the World YouthUS World Youth Squad Scores 22/25 in Round 1 Big Opens Kick Off in Ohio and FloridaAbby Marshall Previews the World YouthOn the Way to TurkeyGM in Residence at the CCSCSL: Ben Finegold GM Ronen Har-Zvi Hosts Kick off Schenectady Simul 15 spots up for grabs at 2010 U.S. Chess ChampionshipUS Chess League Heads to PlayoffsGM Larry Kaufman's Final Word on the World Senior Texas and Belgrade Colleges Battle Kaufman on the World Senior's Final Stretch GM Robert Hess on Channel One 25 Player World Youth Squad SetLenderman Fifth in World Junior!All-American Battle Set for Round Eight of the World Senior GM Joel on Quality vs. Quantity in Your RepertoireThe November Check is in the Mail World Cup Round 1 PairingsBryan Smith Scores 14-3 in Allentown Halloween Simul Week 9 US Chess League RecapUS Chess Scoop #9- A Lesson with Lenderman