The Check Is in the Mail – July 2018

Danny Horwitz

Danny Horwitz has won the 2016 Absolute Championship by a full point over a cluster of rivals.  Danny, a retired rabbi and author of A Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism Reader, learned chess from his father at a very early age.  When he was 14 his family moved to Norman, Oklahoma, and for lack of over-the-board opponents began playing in Golden Knights tournaments.  He also played in APCT, CCLA, and ICCF and won the APCT King Tournament in 2004, the CCLA Server Championship in 2016, and twice qualified for the preliminary round of the ICCF World Championship.

Modestly, he admits he will not put in the amount of time it takes to advance to the highest ranks in correspondence chess.  One ICCF World Champion took a year’s leave of absence from his academic post in order to spend all of his time on the 16 games in the final championship round.  He offers these four points for students to enable them to reach a level that is both enjoyable and challenging.

Note that computer use is only allowable in US Chess CC in the Absolute Championship.

1)  Keep a manageable game load, no more than about 30-35 games going at one time.

2)  Try to spend a lot of time on the position when you need to work out a long-term plan.  You can’t beat the computer with tactics, but you can often win with a solid long-term strategy.  He might spend an hour or more on one position, set it aside to come back to it a few days later.  Danny doesn’t recall ever losing a game on time, but he notes he has lost plenty of games because he moved far too quickly.

3)  Have a steady opening repertoire of solid openings.  When other players can look up how others have responded in ECO or online, it is too easy to have your head handed to you.

4)  Try to devote at least a little time each day to a continued study of the game.  There is infinite pleasure to be gained thereby.


Walter Muir

              Patrick Walsh    18W03     5 ½- ½

      Thomas Kirk    17W20     4-2

      Patrick Walsh   18W05    6-0

              Scott Langgood   17W25    4 ½-1 ½

                 Ray Kappel    17W26   3 ½-2 ½

Victor Palciauskas

        Patrick Schilling   16P03   6-0

Trophy Quad

         Alan Andux     17Q05  5 ½ ½

John Collins

              Louis Biasotti    15C14   4 ½-1 ½

Swift Quad

          Steve White   17SQ02   6-0


After Black is all tied up, White’s slow motion attack is very effective.

Thomas Kirk

“The full history of correspondence chess begins only in 1804, when D. W. de Mauvillon of Breda played three games by post with an anonymous officer friend at the Hague – the first postal games of which we have the scores.”



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