Home Page arrow Chess Life Magazine arrow 2014 arrow March arrow Jim Thoune Wins US Blind
Jim Thoune Wins US Blind Print E-mail
By Bruce Leverett   
October 26, 2014
Jim Thoune of Bowling Green, Kentucky (pictured above playing against Al Pietrolungo), won the U.S. Blind Championship after a stunning upset of Stephen Brumagin of Los Angeles, rated 360 points higher.  The eight-player swiss was held in Pittsburgh on October 24-25.  Players attended from Boston, Brooklyn, and, of course, Pittsburgh.


After 26...Rxe3, White can draw, but must act promptly.  27. fxe3 is correct; now White must find a way to activate his rook before Black's king gets too deeply into White's position.  After 27 ... Kf8 28. Kf2 Ke7 29. Re1! Kf6 (29 ... Rd2+ 30. Re2 leads nowhere) 30. Ke2 Ke5 31. Rf1 f5 32. Rf4, White is safe.   Black cannot bring his king in more quickly with 27 ... f5 because of 28. Kf2 Kf7 29. e4. 

After the game continuation, Black went on to win after 27...Rd2 though even easier was 27. ... Rd1+ 28. Kh2 Rd2.

Thoune also won a nice attacking game vs. Jeffrey Turner of Boston, a new face to the US Blind who scored a nice upset in round two. 


32. Qd1 was a blunder, but Black was ready to play 32. ... Kf7, to defend the f-pawn, followed by 33. ... g5, to break through the kingside, and White was helpless to prevent this. 

Henry Olynik (White) vs. Brumagin; TD Mike Holsinger stands nearby

Also see our US Chess Scoop video with Joan Dubois for more about  Blind Chess at the USCF.