Check Is In The Mail: April 2021


Welcome to the newest installment of the Check Is In The Mail. Those of you who are regular readers of this article know that Alex Dunne, our fearless leader and US Chess’s Correspondence Chess Director for many years, recently retired. While the Correspondence Chess Working Group (CCWG) is analyzing the program in its entirety and recommending how to reallocate the many tasks Alex fulfilled, I’ve volunteered to fill in as the writer for the Check Is In The Mail.

For those of you I’ve never met across the board I’m Larry Cox, a veteran postal player and long-time Class A/B OTB player. The Check Is In The Mail has been one of my favorite articles every month for the multiple decades I’ve been reading Chess Life. First and foremost, on behalf of all of us postalites, I’d like to pass along my heartfelt thanks to Alex for all he has personally done to keep correspondence chess in the US alive and on the radar in the US.

While Alex may have too big of shoes for anyone to fill, I relish the opportunity to contribute, even in this small a fashion to the enjoyment of our game and particularly in its correspondence form. In addition to the monthly article I intend to carry on, I and the rest of the CCWG have discussed producing additional articles of interest to the correspondence chess community. So, if you have suggestions for anything you’d like to see within these pages, please let me know!

With all that being said, on to the games!

In this one, Tim Corkum wears down Gerald Weiner from the White side of a Queen’s Indian Defense to clinch the 2018 Electronic Knights Championship. Tim gains an edge at move 38 and closes the game out with a nice tactical shot on move 67. Congratulations!

[pgn] [Event "2018 Electronic Knights"] [Date "2020.02.18"] [Round "18ENf01"] [White "Corkum, Tim"] [Black "Weiner, Gerald"] [Result "1-0"] 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.Re1 d5 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Nc3 Nbd7 10.Bf4 c5 11.dxc5 Nxc5 12.Rc1 Rc8 13.Bh3 Ne6 14.Be5 Nd7 15.Bd4 Ndc5 16.e3 Ne4 17.Qb3 N4c5 18.Bxc5 Rxc5 19.Rcd1 Bf6 20.Nb5 Qb8 21.Nbd4 Qe8 22.Rd2 Bc8 23.Bg2 Bb7 24.h4 Ra5 25.Nxe6 fxe6 26.Rc1 Ba6 27.Nd4 Kh8 28.Qd1 Qf7 29.Rdc2 Bxd4 30.Qxd4 Rxa2 31.e4 Bc4 32.exd5 exd5 33.Rc3 Qe7 34.Rf3 Rxf3 35.Bxf3 Qf6 36.Qe3 Qf8 37.Rd1 Rxb2 38.Rd4 Rb3 39.Rf4 Qd8 40.Qe5 d4 41.Rxd4 Qf8 42.Rf4 Qd8 43.h5 Rb5 44.Qc3 Bg8 45.h6 Rg5 46.hxg7+ Rxg7 47.Rf6 a5 48.Rc6 a4 49.Rc8 Qg5 50.Kg2 Qf5 51.Rc7 Qg5 52.Ra7 h6 53.Ra8 a3 54.Qxa3 h5 55.Qc3 h4 56.g4 Qf4 57.Re8 b5 58.Re4 Qd6 59.Re5 Bc4 60.Qa1 Bf7 61.Rxb5 Qf4 62.Qc3 Kg8 63.Kh3 Bg6 64.Rb4 Qf8 65.Rb6 Kh7 66.Qe3 Qe7 67.Qxe7 1-0[/pgn]
This game is a sharp encounter where veteran Johnny Owens counters e4 with a Scandinavian Defense and both combatants strive to punish the other’s King for staying in the center of the board. The resulting hard-fought draw earns both players safe passage into the 2020 Electronic Knights semi-finals.
[pgn] [Event "2020 Electronic Knights"] [Round "20EN09"] [Date "2020.07.04"] [White "Goodwin, Mark"] [Black "Owens, Johnny"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "1584"] [BlackElo "2286"] 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 Nc6 6.c4 Qd7 7.Be3 Bxf3 8.Bxf3 Rd8 9.d5 Ne5 10.Be2 b5 11.Nc3 Nxc4 12.Qb3 a6 13.a4 Nxe3 14.fxe3 e6 15.axb5 exd5 16.bxa6 Bc5 17.Na4 Ba7 18.Qa3 c6 19.Nc5 Qe7 20.Nb7 Ra8 21.Qxe7+ Kxe7 22.Ra3 Rhe8 23.Bf3 Kd7 24.Kd2 Ne4+ 25.Ke2 f5 26.b4 Nd6 27.Nxd6 Kxd6 28.Rc1 Rab8 29.Rac3 Rec8 30.Rb1 Rb5 31.Kd2 Rcb8 32.Rcb3 Ke5 33.Be2 R5b6 34.Kc3 g6 35.h4 Rg8 36.Rh1 Rbb8 37.Kc2 Rgc8 38.Rhb1 Rb6 39.Rc3 Rcb8 40.Rcb3 h6 41.Bd3 h5 42.g3 Kd6 43.Kc3 Kc7 44.Be2 Re8 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Patrick Walsh uses this hard fought game to also qualify for the 2020 Electronic Knights semi-finals when Bruce Hedman holds on for the draw against Walsh’s Catalan.
[pgn] [Event "2020 Electronic Knights"] [Date "2020.09.27"] [Round "20EN14"] [White "Walsh, Patrick"] [Black "Hedman, Bruce"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [Section "14"] [Stage "Preliminary"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. d4 O-O 6. Qc2 c6 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Rd1 b6 9. b3 Bb7 10. Nc3 Qc7 11. Bf4 Bd6 12. Bxd6 Qxd6 13. e4 Nxe4 14. Nxe4 dxe4 15. Qxe4 Rac8 16. Rd3 Nf6 17. Qe2 c5 18. Rad1 Be4 19. R3d2 Bxf3 20. Bxf3 Qc7 21. g4 h6 22. Kg2 Rfe8 23. Qe3 e5 24. dxc5 Qxc5 25. Qxc5 Rxc5 26. Kg3 e4 27. Be2 Rcc8 28. Rd6 e3 29. f3 Kf8 30. h4 h5 31. g5 Ng8 32. Rd7 Ne7 33. Rxa7 Nf5+ 34. Kh3 Rcd8 35. Rad7 Rxd7 36. Rxd7 g6 37. a4 Ra8 38. Rd3 Ra5 39. f4 Ke7 40. Bf3 Kf8 41. Rd8+ Ke7 42. Rd1 Ra7 43. Re1 Rd7 44. Be4 Ke6 45. b4 Rd4 46. Bxf5 Kxf5 47. Rxe3 Rxc4 48. Kg3 f6 49. gxf6 Kxf6 50. Rb3 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
For our finale this month Kele Perkins defends an English Open after White errs on move 7 to win the game and Walter Muir E-Quad 20W10 with a 5-1 score.
[pgn] [Event "2020 Walter Muir E-Quad"] [Date "2020.04.23"] [Round "20W10"] [White "Queenan, James"] [Black "Perkins, Kele"] [Result "0-1"] 1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Bf4 d6 7.g3 Nxd4 8.e3 Ne6 9.Bg2 Bg7 10.O-O Nxf4 11.gxf4 O-O 12.Rc1 Rb8 13.h3 Be6 14.Qc2 Bxc4 15.Rfd1 Be6 16.Qa4 a6 17.a3 Qd7 18.Qxd7 Bxd7 19.Bf1 Rfc8 20.Bg2 Bc6 21.b4 Bxg2 22.Kxg2 Nh5 23.Nd5 Rxc1 24.Rxc1 Bb2 25.Rb1 Bxa3 26.Rb3 e6 27.Nb6 Bc1 28.Kf3 Rd8 29.Ke2 d5 30.Rb1 Nxf4+ 31.exf4 Bxf4 32.b5 axb5 33.Rxb5 Bc7 34.Rb2 Bxb6 35.Rxb6 Rd7 36.Rb4 Kg7 37.Kf3 f5 38.Ke3 Kf6 0-1[/pgn]

Our Interim CCD, Chris Bird, has provided us with some other useful information that all US Chess correspondence chess players should be aware of.

Did you know the postage rate for postcards increased by a penny to $0.36 in January? Please ensure you are using the correct postage if you are sending your moves on postcards.

All sections that started prior to March 1, 2018 have been closed out and any games still open in those sections declared drawn per our thirty-month rule. At the end of this month (April), all sections that started prior to July 1, 2018 will be closed out. If you still have an active game going in such an event, you have until the end of the month to request a claim of a win or draw by following the adjudication instructions in the rules. If neither player submits a claim, the games will be declared drawn.

In Passing

We are sad to report that the following correspondence chess players passed away recently, Kendrick Aung, Lee Kemfort and Charles Brown.

Recent Event Winners

2018 Electronic Knights - Tim Corkum, 36.25 pts

18C13 Scott Sensiba, 5-1
18C14 Mark Bellnap, 6-0
19C02 Vernon Young, 6-0

18Q05 Bryan Petersen, 5-1
18Q06 Scott Sensiba, 5.5-0.5
18Q07 Brian Rogers, 6-0
18Q09 Andrew Perry, 6-0
19Q07 Alex Dunne, 5-1
19Q08 Jeremy Aiken, 5-1

19W16 Carlos Graupera, 4.5-1.5
20W06 Kele Perkins, 5.5-0.5
20W09 Inoel Cardenas, 5.5-0.5
20W10 Kele Perkins, 5-1
20W16 Gregory Hall, 5-1
20W18 Allyne Smith, 4.5-1.5
20W19 Roddye Davis, 6-0
20W20 Sahithya Saravanan, 5-1

20SQ05 Wallace Mann, 3.5-2.5
20SQ06 Michael Burrus and Scott Blackburn, 5-1
20SQ07 Patrick Gordon-Davis, 6-0
20SQ08 Joshua Hoggan, 4.5-1.5
20SQ11 Linda Dechaine and Scott Blackburn, 5-1

See you next month!