Home Page arrow Chess Life Online arrow 2010 arrow January arrow The October Check is in the Mail
The October Check is in the Mail Print E-mail
By Alex Dunne   
October 6, 2010
Tom Biedermann
In October at the ICCF  Congress in Antalya, Turkey Tom Biedermann will receive his ICCM title.  Tom is 48, has been married 25 years, and has two children and one grandchild.  Tom notes that his son has begun his first tournament and is excited to begin his chess career.

Tom has also finished his SIM qualifications.  He grew up in Minnesota and went to Moorhead State University (now Minnesota State University at Moorhead).  He began playing chess in 1978  in high school matches.  Tom gives special thanks to Paul Shannon who used to drive out of his way through terrible weather to pick him up to take him to those matches.  In 1990 Tom turned to CC play in the Golden Knights where he finished fifth.  He finished first in the 16th United States Correspondence Chess Championship and will finish near the top in the 18th.

Tom recommends any CC player who wants to do well that as the opening of the game is extremely important, the proper use of a database will take them to a much higher rating and better result.


White outplays his opponent in the following game because he understands the demands of the position better.  That's what makes an ICCM !



1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Nc3 0-0 8.e4 d5 9.cxd5 Bxf1 10.Kxf1 exd5 11.e5 Ne4 12.Kg2 Qd7 13.Re1
Van Wely, who specializes in this opening, changed from 13. Re1 to 13. Qc2 in Van Wely-Adams, Stanton Memorial 2009, but after 13...Nxd2 14. Qxd2 Nc6 15. h4 Nd8 the game was drawn on Move 22.
13...Nxc3 14.Bxc3 Nc6 15.Qd3 Nd8 16.Ng1
This is new -- Naumkin-Psakhis, Ostend 1992, saw 16. b4, but this was drawn on Move 24. Biedermann plans kingside action, which seems right.
With White planning a kingside Pawn storm, Black repositions his Knight on c6.  More contentious was 16...c5.
17.f4 a5 18.f5 Nb4 19.Bxb4 axb4
Black has found his queenside play, but at the cost of the disappearance of White's bad Bishop and structural problems.  White is better here.
20.Nh3 c5 21.Qf3 Rfe8 22.Re2 cxd4
White is better after 22...c4 23. e6! fxe6 24. fxe6 Qd6 25. Nf4 Red8 26. Rf1
Black has "won" the battle of the queenside, but White's position looks more harmonious.
23...Ra5 24.f6 Bf8 25.fxg7 Bxg7 26.Ng5 h6 27.e6!
White's pieces are infused with life after this thrust.
27...fxe6 28.Nxe6 Raa8 29.Qf5 Qf7 30.Qxd5 Ra7 31.Qb5 Rae7 32.Nf4 Rxe2+ 33.Rxe2 Qb7+ 34.Kf2 Rxe2+ 35.Qxe2 Qa8 36.Kg1
The d-Pawn is not going anywhere, the Black queenside Pawns are doubled, the Black King is more exposed than White's, so basically White is a Pawn ahead with a winning game.
36...Kh8 37.Ng6+ Kh7 38.Ne7 Kh8 39.Qc4 Qe8 40.Qc8 Qxc8 41.Nxc8 Kh7 42.Kf2 Kg6 43.Nxb6 Kf5 44.Nd5 Bf8 45.Ke2 Ke4 46.Nf4 Bd6 47.Nd3 Be7 48.Nf2+ Ke5 49.Kf3
Next step: get the kingside Pawns moving.
49...Kf5 50.Nd3 Bd6 51.h3 Bf8 52.h4 Be7 53.g4+ Ke6 54.Ke4 Bxh4
Hobson's choice: Black can't hold on to anything.
55.Nxb4 Kd7 56.Kxd4 Be7 57.Nd5 Ba3 58.Nf6+ Ke6 59.Ng8 Bc1 60.Nxh6!
This is a 21st century move.  The (not too difficult) endgame is turned into a sure thing, because now the Nalimov tables will give the precise lines to a winning game.
The Nalimov tables inform us that White mates in 28 moves against perfect defense, and also that 61. g5? Or 61. Kd3? only draw.
61.b4 Bg7+ 62.Kc4 Bf6 63.a4 Kd6 64.a5 Kc6 65.b5+ Kb7 66.a6+ Kc7 67.Kd5 Bh4 68.Ke6 Kb6 69.Kf5 Bf2 70.g5 Bd4 71.g6 1-0

2004 Golden Knights, 2nd and 3rd

The champion may get all the accolades, but one thing is certain about the runners-up to the champion -- they know how to play chess, too !  The second and third place finishers for the 2004 Golden Knights were: second -- Bleys Rose, third -- Donald Schultheis.  And here follows proof these two can play our game !

ImageBleys Rose
Rose games from the 2004 Golden Knights are as scarce as the move bxa8(N) mate. One will be published in a future issue of Chess Life.  For your viewing pleasure, here is a game from an earlier tournament.

That is the a symptom of the disrespect CC players sometimes find from OTB players.  Some of these games are outstanding games and need to be saved.  That is why Finals games from Golden and Electronic Knights are now required to be sent in. 

The reading public should not be denied the chance to watch struggles like the following Rose win.


The final position was adjudicated a win for White.

ImageDonald Schultheis
Donald Schultheis' third place finish matched his 2002 Golden Knights finish.  Don, a policeman in Baltimore, runs marathons and plays a game like the following that gives the expression "only a draw" new meaning.



ImageWesley Ferguson 2010 Iowa State email Champion
Wesley Ferguson, pictured above at the wedding of his son, has repeated as winner of the Iowa State Correspondence Championship.  Wesley, born February 1,1955, won the title in 2007 with a 7 ½-½ score.  This year he annexed the title with a 6-0 total.  Mark Capron was the runner-up.




John Collins
 John Lawton         08C37    4-2

Trophy Quad
Joseph Korman     09Q06   4-2
Joseph Daudish     09Q06   4-2
Timothy Grassel   09Q02   5 ½-½
Joseph Daudish    09Q04   5 ½-½
Michael Allard      08Q19  5 ½-½

Walter Muir
Alfredo Gotay       10W07    6-0
Robert Nunnally    10W23   5 ½- ½
Matthew Waller     10W20  5 ½-½

Quote: The world of correspondence chess is incredibly rich.  It's the quest for the Holy Grail of chess: the perfect game -- Steve Lopez

Julian Harris is open to contest a game, blindfolded, with any like-minded opponent by correspondence -- notice in the November-December 1943 American Chess Bulletin


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]

Zeppa must be a fan of Zorro -- there is a lot of sharp sword play in his game.



Kristo shows a most interesting treatment of the Sveshnikov



The battle between Rooks and the Queen is sometimes unfair.  In this game the Black Queen runs all over the board, the Rooks hardly move.  And yet at the end...



The big bang theory when applied to chess might start with a Pawn move -- watch how 39. e4 changes the nature of the whole universe in this game.



Brandhorst, who is known for his endgame virtuosity, shows he is no piker in the middle game either with this crushing attack which almost single-handedly made the postal rates go up.


Cuban stamps honoring Jose Capablanca

For more correspondence chess news, see the press release on the tenth-ever player to earn the ICCF GM title, Jon Ostriker.

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


January - Chess Life Online 2010

Carlsen Takes Corus; Nakamura Ties for 4th Americans in Gibraltar at the HalfCarlsen Takes Lead in CorusCarlsen and Kramnik Lead in CorusBest of CLO 2009: #1The Hare and the Tortoise: GM Rogers on Corus Chess in Paradise: Not too Late!The US Chess School in Atlanta: A Student's Perspective USCF News: Calling All State and College Chess Champions Best of CLO 2009: #2Kramnik Grabs Lead in CorusBest of CLO 2009: #3World Team Lecture Series in Saint Louis Nakamura Falls to Karjakin; Kramnik Defeats Carlsen Kosteniuk Simul Set for Elementary Nationals; Book Your Rooms Now! Americans Arrive in GibraltarBest of CLO 2009: #4 Lenderman Dances To the Top at Golden State Best of CLO 2009: #5Nakamura Falters to Kramnik in CorusBest of CLO 2009: #6US Championship, Olympiad Qualification and 2011 World Team Championship RulesNakamura Beats Shirov in Corus! The Scoop on Liberty Bell, Part IIBest of CLO 2009: #7Nakamura Draws in Corus "A", Robson Tearing up "C" Best of CLO 2009: #8Nakamura- Carlsen Battle Drawn; Shirov Still BlazingThe Scoop on Liberty Bell: Part I Best of CLO 2009: #9 Chess-in-the-Schools' MLK Tournament Draws Hundreds of Players Best of CLO 2009: #10 Results in for Golden State: Lenderman Wins Shirov Still Perfect in Corus; Nakamura Holds Anand Svidler on Nakamura: An ICC Treat Shabalov Grabs Clear First at Liberty Bell The Chessdrum on Helping Haiti Nakamura, Shirov and Carlsen Win Again in CorusJennifer's US Chess League Game of the Year Countdown Khachiyan Leads in Concord Chess Exhibition Raises Funds for Haitian Earthquake VictimsNakamura Defeats Van Wely in Corus Van Wely and Shirov Off to Running Start in Corus; Nakamura Draws Golden State Open Begins Hilton on Not Playing the Pan-AmsCorus Schedule Set Best of CLO 2009: Meet the Judges and Honorable Mentions Big Chess Weekend Ahead Silver for the Team and Two Individual Golds: World Team Closing GalleryUSA Takes Silver at World Team!!Instant Replay: USA Loses Lead But Hunts for Medals Robson and Rich on the World Team: US in Clear LeadInstant Replay: US Wins in Round 7 and Leads World Team Barracuda Alert: Adamson on the Board and Fish on the Plate!Ray Robson Officially a GM! Nakamura Annotates Gelfand ScorcherInstant Replay: USA-3, Brazil-1 24th North American Masters BeginsInstant Replay: USA-2.5, Israel-1.5Instant Replay: USA-3, Egypt-1Shankland and Sevian Shine in Santa Clara Paths to the Top: GM Josh on Edmonton and Vegas Instant Replay: Russia-3, USA-1Robson Annotates US Victory Over IndiaKamsky Wins Clutch Game in ItalyInstant Replay: US-3 India-1 at the World TeamsStrong start for U.S. at World Team Championship Lost and Found: An Interview with Jeff Sarwer USA Beats Turkey 3-1 In World Team U.S. Team Arrives, Prepares for World Team ChampionshipSturt,Lapshun and Yudasin Win New Year OpenLenderman Wins the Eastern Open First GM Scalp for Ostrovskiy Kamsky in Italy: Inspiration for the New Decade! World Team Silhouettes Pan Am Photo Gallery: Fun & Games in South Padre IslandThe January '10 Check is in the Mail