Home Page arrow Press arrow Keith Holzmueller Earns the ICCF SIM Title
Keith Holzmueller Earns the ICCF SIM Title Print E-mail
By Robert Rizzo, ICCF-US Titles Officer   
February 8, 2010

Keith Holzmueller has earned the title of Correspondence Senior International Master (SIM), as confirmed via email from International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) Qualifications Commissioner, Neil Limbert. Keith’s Medal and Title Certificate will be awarded at the ICCF Congress to be held in October in Kemer, Antalya, Turkey. 
While generally two norms are needed to earn the SIM title, Keith required a third because his first two tournaments did not contain the requisite total of 24 games. One of the three norms earned (World Championship 26 Semifinal 04) even met the Grandmaster (GM) standard, exceeding the SIM mark by 1-1/2 points. Keith achieved SIM norms in the other two tournaments (OLY16P03B3 and WCCC27CT06WS). In that last event he was a mere 1 point shy of a second GM norm which would have given him the GM title also! The combined field included seventeen titled participants - three GMs, seven SIMs and seven International Masters (IM)s. In all he contested 33 games and finished with a record of 15 wins and 17 draws against a single loss. Those opponents were rated an average of 2418 translating to an overall performance for Keith of 2588. That performance well surpasses the benchmark (approximately 2525) to achieve a SIM norm. The links to the crosstables for the three tournaments are as follows: 

Here is one of the games that Keith authored on his journey to the SIM title. It is from the 27th World Chess Championship ¾-final Webserver tournament. Keith hits his Brazilian GM opponent with a novelty to known theory on move 20 and we can only suppose he was subsequently entranced by Keith’s dancing knights. 

ECOCode: B80 
Opening: Scheveningen Sicilian 
White: IM Holzmueller, Keith (USA) 
WhiteElo: 2483 
Black: GM João, Névio (BRA) 
BlackElo: 2589 
Event: WCCC27CT06WS 
Location: ICCF WebServer 
Date: 2007 
Result: 1-0 
Annotation: Holzmueller, Rizzo 

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.f3 b5 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.g4 Nb6 10.a4 Nc4 11.Bxc4 bxc4 12.g5 [12.a5 Bb7 13.Na4 Rc8 (13...d5 14.e5 Nd7 15.f4 Qh4+ 16.Bf2 Qxg4 17.Rg1 ½–½ Vescovi,G (2645)-Gelfand,B (2696)/Bermuda 93/(178) 2005) 14.Qc3 Nd7 15.0–0–0 Be7 16.h4 Bxh4 17.Ne2 Bf6 18.Bd4 e5 19.Be3 Be7 20.Kb1 Qc7 21.Nb6 Nxb6 22.axb6 Qd7 23.Rh5 f6 24.Ng3 g6 25.Rh2 0–0 26.Rhd2 ½–½ Leko,P (2749)-Kasparov,G (2804)/Linares 93/(178) 2005; 12.0–0–0 Qc7 13.e5 dxe5 14.Ndb5 axb5 15.Nxb5 Qe7 16.Bc5 Rxa4 17.b3 Ra1+ 18.Kb2 Rxd1 19.Rxd1 Qd7 20.Qa5 Qxd1 21.Nc7+ Kd7 22.Qb5+ Kd8 23.Bb6 Nd7 24.Nxe6+ Ke7 25.Nd8 c3+ 26.Kxc3 Qxf3+ 27.Kb2 Ke8 28.Nc6 Ba6 0–1 De la Villa Garcia,J (2475)-Yudasin,L (2615)/Pamplona 1990] 12...Nd7 13.f4 Nc5 14.f5 Bb7 [14...Qd7 15.0–0 Bb7 16.Qg2 Be7 17.fxe6 fxe6 18.Nde2 0–0–0 19.Bxc5 dxc5 20.Rf7 Qe8 21.Raf1 Rg8 22.a5 Kb8 23.h4 Ba8 24.Qg4 Bd6 25.Nd1 Qc6 26.Ne3 Qxe4 0–1 Serafim,J (2584)-Maliangkay,R (2559)/ICCF 2007] 15.fxe6 fxe6 16.Qg2 g6 17.0–0–0 Bg7 18.Rhf1 Qe7 [18...Qd7 19.Qg4 0–0–0 20.Ndb5 axb5 21.Bxc5 Bxc3 22.Rxd6 (22. Bxc3 is better) Qc7 23.Rxe6 Kb8 24.Bb6 Bxb2+ 25.Kb1 Qc8 26.Bxd8 Rxd8 27.Qg3+ Ka7 28.Re7 Qc5 29.Rff7 Rd1+ 30.Ka2 Ra1+ 31.Kxb2 Qd4+ 32.c3 Qd2+ 33.Kxa1 ½–½ Fenwick,C (2540)-Asquith,D (2446)/ICCF 2007] 19.Qg4 (Discouraging castling. I believe that white stands better.) [19.Nde2 Rf8 (19...0–0–0 20.Bd4 Be5 21.Kb1 Rhf8 22.Rxf8 Rxf8 23.Bxe5 dxe5 24.Qg3 Qc7 25.Qe3 Qb6 26.Qg3 Qc7 27.Qe3 Qb6 28.Qg3 Qc7 ½–½ Bubir,S (2384)-Robson,N (2664)/LSS 2006/Opening Master) 20.a5 Bc6 21.Qg4 Be5 22.h4 Rb8 23.h5 Bd7 24.Rxf8+ Qxf8 25.hxg6 hxg6 26.Qg1 Na4 27.Nxa4 Bxa4 28.Bd4 Qg7 29.Bc3 Qb7 30.Qg4 Bxc3 31.Qxe6+ Kf8 32.Qxd6+ Kg7 33.b3 Ba1 34.bxa4 Bb2+ 35.Kd2 Re8 36.Nc3 Qf7 37.Qd4+ Kg8 38.Qd5 ½–½ Gutsche,D (2530)-Hayakawa,S (2358)/ICCF 2008/Opening Master] 19...Rb8 [19...0-0-0 20.Nd5 Qe8 21.Nf6 Qxa4 22.Nxe6] 20.a5N (removing the a-pawn as a target and limiting the future activity of the black QB) [20.Rd2 Rf8 21.Rdf2 Rxf2 22.Rxf2 Ba8 23.Nde2 Be5 24.h4 Bc6 25.Bd4 Nxa4 26.Bxe5 dxe5 27.Nxa4 Bxa4 28.Nc3 Bd7 29.Qg3 Qc5 30.Qf3 Qe7 31.Rf1 Rb6 32.Nb1 Bb5 33.Qc3 Qc5 34.Nd2 Rb7 35.Nf3 Rf7 36.Rd1 Qf8 37.Nh2 Rd7 38.Rf1 Qc5 39.Ng4 Rd4 40.Nf6+ Ke7 41.Rh1 Kd6 42.h5 gxh5 43.Rxh5 Rd3 44.cxd3 Qg1+ 45.Kc2 Ba4+ 46.b3 ½–½ Arppi,H (2319)-Jäderholm,B (2490)/ICCF 2007] 20...Rf8 21.h4 Rf7 [21...Rxf1 22.Rxf1 Bc6 23.h5] 22.Nde2 (preparing Bd4 to neutralize black’s more active bishop) Nd7 23.h5 Be5 [23...Ne4 24.Qh3 Bc8 25. Nf4] 24.Kb1 (24.hxg6!?, hxg6 25.Na4 was also possible, but black’s lack of activity allows white to gradually build up his position) Bc6 25.Ba7 Rc8 [25...Rb4 26.Bd4 Rxf1 27.Rxf1 Nf8 28.Bxe5 dxe5 29.Rf6] 26.Bd4 Rxf1 27.Rxf1 Kd8 28.hxg6 hxg6 29.Bxe5 dxe5 [29...Nxe5 30.Qh3 Kc7 31.Rf6] 30.Nd1 (the barn door is open – 9 additional canters will be performed through move 47) Kc7 31.Nec3 Rh8 32.Ne3 [simpler than 32.Qe2 Qxg5 33.Ne3 Qe7 34.Rd1 Qb4 35.Nxc4 Rb8] Qc5 33.Re1 Re8 34.Qf3 Rh8 [34...Rb8 35.Nd1 Qe7 36.Qh3 Nc5 37.Qh6 Be8 38.Rh1] 35.Qf7 Rh3 36.Ned1 Qd6 37.Rf1 [37.Qxg6!? Rh2 38.Rf1 Rc2] 37...Rg3 38.Qxg6 Qe7 39.Qh6 Rxg5 [39...Rg2 40.Rf6!] 40. Ne3 Rg3 41.Ned5+ exd5 42.exd5 Qc5 [42...Bb7 43.Ne4 Bxd5 44.Nxg3 c3 45.Qe3] 43.Ne4+/- Qxd5 44.Nxg3 Qxa5 45.Rd1 Qb4 46.Ne2 Qe7 47.Nc3 Nb6 48.Qe3 Kb7 49.Qe2 e4 50.Qe3 Qe6 51.Qd4 Nd7 52.Nxe4 Bxe4 53.Qxd7+ Qxd7 54.Rxd7+ Kc6 55.Rd8 Kc5 56.Kc1 Bd5 57.Kd2 Kd4 58.Rd6 a5 59.Ra6 c3+ 60.bxc3+ Kc4 61.Rxa5 Be6 62.Ke3 Bg8 63.Ra7 (Black gives up because he cannot force the Del Rio position) 1–0Congratulations Keith!