Check Is In The Mail: April 2022


This month’s article represents my one-year anniversary writing the Check Is In The Mail. I want to thank everyone for playing along these past 12 months. As always, if you have any suggestions for ways to make the article better, let me know.

And now, on to the games!

Our first game comes from the 2014 Golden Knights Finals where Gary Adams upends Richard McLaughlin from the black side of a French Defense. After 29 moves where White and Black seem to be parrying each other’s threats, White slips at move 30 and Black pounces. After a few moves he starts to pry open White’s kingside. Then with 46...Qc6, Black emplaces a pin from which White never recovers. Annotations from Adams.

[pgn] [Event "2014 Golden Knights Final (14Nf02)"] [White "McLaughlin, Richard (2194)"] [Black "Adams, Gary (2409)"] [Result "0-1"]1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Be7 6. Bxf6 Bxf6 7. Nf3 O-O 8. c3 Nd7 9. Bd3 e5 10. O-O exd4 11. cxd4 g6 12. Re1 Bg7 13. Rc1 Nf6 14. Nxf6+ Bxf6 15. h3 Be6 16. Bc4 Bxc4 17. Rxc4 c6 18. Qb3 Rb8 19. Qa3 a6 20. Qc5 Rc8 21. Rc2 Kg7 22. b3 h5 23. Rcc1 Qd7 24. Ne5 Qc7 25. Re4 Rfd8 26. f4 Rd5 27. Qc2 Rcd8 28. Qf2 R8d6 29. Kh2 Qd8 {Loading up Alekhine's Gun} 30. Rd1 c5 {Not the best. Looks like the gun is very intimidating. Better was Rc4. I am glad I was able to get this move in.} 31. dxc5 Rxd1 32. cxd6 Qxd6 33. Qe2 b5 34. Nf3 Rb1 35. Ne5 Rc1 36. g3 h4 37. gxh4 Bxh4 38. Qb2 Rd1 39. Nf3+ Bf6 40. Qe2 Rd3 41. Kg3 Rc3 42. Re3 b4 43. Re4 Qc5 44. Qf1 Bd8 45. Kg2 Bb6 46. Re5 Qc6 47. Qd1 Kh6 48. Re1 f6 49. Re7 Bc5 50. Re1 Be3 51. Re2 Bxf4 52. Rf2 Kg7 53. Rf1 Rc1 54. Qd3 Rc2+ 55. Rf2 Rc3 56. Qf1 Be3 57. Re2 g5 58. Qe1 Bc5 59. Qf1 f5 60. Rd2 g4 {If 61. hxg4 then fxg4.} 0-1[/pgn]

2020 US Chess Absolute

Congratulations to CCM Mark Stephenson (TX), the 2020 US Chess Absolute Champion! This is Stephenson’s first Absolute championship.

Stephenson won on tiebreaks over second place finisher IM Andrew Leonard (SC). Both finished with a score of 6 points, with two wins and 8 draws. Stephenson and Leonard split the point in their game.

Wins were hard to come by with eleven full points from the 55 games played. The cross table can be found @

Eleven players began competition on February 27, 2020. Look for key games from this event in the coming months.

2021 US Chess Absolute

CCE Daniel Horwitz (TX) is the 2021 US Chess Absolute Champion finishing with a score of 8 points, with four wins and 8 draws! (Yes, I’m sure this time!) This is Horwitz’s second Absolute championship having also claimed the 2016 title.

The tournament continues with second place still in play. Tim Corkum (WI) has completed play, scoring 7.5 points. Corkum also garnered four wins along with seven draws. His only loss was to Horwitz. CCM Chris Lewis (VA) and John Millett (CA) currently have scores of 6.5 points with one game remaining. Both are still battling it out with Joel Levine (NY).

Lewis has three wins, seven draws and one loss, also to tournament champion Horwitz. Millett has scored two wins and nine draws.

The tournament cross table can be found @ Play began March 1, 2021.


In our second game, Rod Schmidt scores an upset in this nice game over Joseph Cadarett. When White slips, Black overtakes the center. Then he pushes and pushes until he invokes a lethal pin on d2. White sacs a bishop for a pawn to try to save the Nd2. But the pin is so strong that Black keeps it in force to eventually topple White’s king.

[pgn][Event "2022 Electronic Knights Preliminary (22EN03)"] [White "Cadarett, Joseph (1437)"] [Black "Schmidt, Rod (1269)"] [Result "0-1"]1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Nbd7 8.O-O Bb4 9.Bd2 O-O 10.Nh4 Nb6 11.Bb3 Bd3 12.Re1 c5 13.dxc5 Nbd7 14.Nf3 Nxc5 15.h3 Rc8 16.Na2 Bxd2 17.Nxd2 Qb6 18.Nc1 Rfd8 19.Ra2 Ba6 20.Bc2 Qb4 21.Bxh7+ Nxh7 22.b3 Ne4 23.Qg4 Nhf6 24.Qf4 Rxd2 0-1[/pgn]

In Passing

I’m sad to report the passing of John R. Williams of Moorpark, California on February 5, 2022 after a long battle with cancer. John had not played postal chess since 2003. He carried a 2219 CC rating and was a veteran OTB player, participating in numerous US Amateur Team West tournaments. If interested in reading more about Mr. Williams, please read the fine memorial at


In this interesting game, what starts out as a Modern/Pirc Defense gets weird (technical term...) quickly. In the early middlegame, White conjures up a passed pawn seemingly out of thin air, while unveiling a devious attack against Black’s wayward QR. Instead of being satisfied with the Exchange, White uncorks 16. Bb6 to win the rook for just a pawn. Once White gets his king protected, it’s just a matter of using his other advantages to exert his will.

[pgn][Event "2022 Electronic Knights Preliminary (22EN01)"] [White "Chirillo, John (2032)"] [Black "Harris, Robert (1545)"] [Result "1-0"]1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Be3 a6 5. f4 b5 6. e5 Ng4 7. Bd2 Bg7 8. h3 Nh6 9. Qf3 Ra7 10. O-O-O O-O 11. Bd3 c5 12. dxc5 dxe5 13. Be3 Qa5 14. c6 Rc7 15.Nd5 Be6 16. Bb6 Qxa2 17. Nxc7 e4 18.Qxe4 Qxb2+ 19. Kd2 Bf5 20. Qd5 Bxd3 21.Qxd3 Nxc6 22. Ne2 Rb8 23. Nd5 e6 24. Bc7 Rc8 25. Rb1 Qa2 26. Ndc3 Qa3 27. Qd7 Na7 28. Rb3 Qc5 29. Bd6 Qb6 30. Ke1 Nf5 31. Ne4 Nxd6 32. Nxd6 Rc7 33. Qd8+ Bf8 34. Ne4 Nc6 35. Nf6+ Kg7 36. Ne8+ Kg8 37. Qxc7 1-0[/pgn]

In our final game for April, 1862-rated Edward Krickel holds 2341-rated John Walton to a draw, from the Whiteside of a King’s Gambit Declined no less! Black starts to turn the tables, presses and presses, but White holds. Eventually, White counters with a three-fold repetition where Black (it seems) can’t vary without veering into a potentially losing endgame. Well done!

[pgn] [Event "2022 Electronic Knights Preliminary (22EN02)"] [White "Krickel, Edward (1862)"] [Black "Walton, John (2341)"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 exf4 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bb5+ c6 6.dxc6 Nxc6 7.Nc3 Be6 8.0-0 h6 9.Kh1 g5 10.Ne2 Bd7 11.Re1 Be7 12.d4 a6 13.Bd3 Qc7 14.c4 0-0-0 15.Nc3 Rhe8 16.Bd2 Kb8 17.Rc1 Ng4 18.Re2 Bf8 19.Nd5 Qd6 20.Bc3 Bg7 21.Qe1 Rxe2 22.Bxe2 Re8 23.h3 Ne3 24.Nxe3 Rxe3 25.d5 Bxc3 26.Rxc3 Ne7 27.Rxe3 fxe3 28.Qc3 Nf5 29.Kg1 Qg3 30.Qe5+ Kc8 31.Qh8+ Kc7 32.Qe5+ Kc8 33.Qh8+ Kc7 34.Qe5+ Kc8 1/2-1/2[/pgn]

Next month, more games!



News From the Front Office

Please remember to whitelist, add to your email contacts, etc. the US Chess Correspondence Chess email address: We also encourage to do the same for your opponents' email addresses. Hopefully this will prevent important correspondence chess emails from going to your spam or junk mail folders.

Another feature has been added to the Correspondence Chess website allowing Golden and Electronic Knights players to track qualification for the next round of play and scores. (Note that the pages do not automatically update when results are received.)

Recent Event Winners

John W. Collins Class Tournaments
19C05, Father Joseph Farrell, 5.5-0.5
19C08, Brian Wood, 5-1
19C10, Barry Walker, 6-0
19C14, Jason Wright 5.5-0.5
20C18, Terrance Bailey, 6-0

Walter Muir E-Quad
20W33, Tatiana Savchenko, 4-2
21W44, Mark Oliger, 5-1
21W45, Washington Taylor, 6-0
21W46, Charles Jabos, Jr., 5.5-0.5
21W48, David Jacobson, 6-0

Victor Palciauskas
20VP01, Rick Johnson, $130, 5.5-0.5



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