Miniatures for the Holidays: December Check in the Mail

postalchessdec15THOMAS WILLIAMS -- ICCM Thomas Williams grew up in a family of game players.  As a boy he would often play board and card games with his seven siblings, parents, cousins, and grandparents. As a teen he taught himself to play chess with a book of Morphy’s games. He graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in economics and became a banker, moved to California, married, and had two boys.   His responsibilities at work and home meant almost no time for OTB chess.  However, he found other ways to get his chess fix. Around 1984 he was given a Fidelity chess computer as a gift.  His chess hobby soon evolved from playing the game to an interest in how computers were changing the game. Thomas notes that some feel the game is less interesting as a result of computer advances.  He has accepted it as inevitable.   He admits to being obsessed with a “search for chess perfection” and notes that surely every chess player strives to play mistake-free chess. Correspondence and computer chess offers the best chance for mistake-free chess. He decided to enter some ICCF tournaments (since the US Chess Federation does not allow computer analysis) and has had considerable success.  He lists the reasons for that success: 1) being able to devote the time and effort 2) opening choices, with heavy use of databases and opening books 3) deep analysis of variations with heavy assistance from engines and 4) good positional instincts. GAME OF THE MONTH In this game our new International Correspondence Chess Master explains how he combines human brain cells with computer chips to produce a work of art.

[Event "5th ICCF Webserver Ann."]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Williams, Thomas"]
[Black "Terreaux, Gilles"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E68"]
[WhiteElo "2347"]
[BlackElo "2431"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventType "corr"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 {This is the
Fianchetto System of the King's Indian Defense.} 6. O-O Nbd7 {My opening was
partially influenced by three previous games where Terreaux played 6...Nc6. He
drew all three, but I thought I could improve as White. With 5...Nbd7 I have
no previous Terreaux games to consider.} 7. Nc3 e5 8. e4 c6 9. b3 Qb6 {Not an
uncommon move here, but it's possibly too early to place the Queen given
Black's slow queenside development. 9....exd4 looks better.} 10. Rb1 {White
has scored quite well after this move.} exd4 {10...Re8 looks better.} 11. Nxd4
Nxe4 $6 {This has been played by several Masters, includng GMs Nataf and
Timoshenko in the past. But this game result shows that it's dubious to engage
in central piece excganges before Black is developed. 11...Qc7 is probably
best as played by Komodo 5 in an engine game in 2012.} 12. Nxe4 Bxd4 {Diagram
# Rather than just mechanically finishing the sequence of exchanges wit 13.
Nxd6, lets assess the position: 1) Black is behind in development on the
queenside. 2) the d4 Bishop is over-advanced. White can play strong developing
or space-grabbing moves while threatening it. 3) The b6 Queen is also probably
misplaced. It hampers Black's development by taking a possible squae from the
Knight and preventing a possible b7-b6 to free the c8 Bishop. 4) Black is
offering the d6 Pawn. Can this become a powerful Knight outpost with Pawn
anchor on c5? White would have an advantage from this alone if it is not too
costly to achieve. And finally, 5) Black's kingside is weakly defended,
especially on the dark squares -- a direct result of having to recapture with
the g7 Bishop too early in the game. With all these points in White;s favor, I
always consider an attack with initiative, even if the long term result is
unclear. In contrast, computers are still highly focused on tactics and are not
very good at strategizing like this. If they can't see an actual variation that
proves an advantage, they won't proceed down that path.} 13. b4 $1 {I'm very
proud of this novelty, which was my own idea, only later confirmed by engines.
I had to keep pushing the move in a kind of argument with the engines I use.
Finally, they agreed with my instincts, but not until about 28 ply of analysis.
This is rare; most of the novelties I play are first brought to my attention
by the engines. The immediate threat is clear enough: c4-c5 with a double
attack on Queen and Bishop. The tougher task is to realize that there is no
good defense, because the attack will lock up Black's queenside, giving White
a lasting initiative. 13 Nxd6 is too early. It allows Black to catch up in
development. 13...Ne5 14. Kh1 Bg4 15. f3 Rad8 =} Bg7 {There is nothing better.
Material will be even, but Black can't prevent c4-c5, which will anchor the
powerful d6 Knight outpost. 13...Ne5 14. c5 dxc5 15. bxc5 Qd8 (15...Qxb1 16.
Nxf6+ Kg7 17. Qxd4) 16. Rb4 Ba1 (16...Bxc5 17. Nxc5) 17. Bh6 Qxd1 18. Rxd1; 13.
..Nc5 14. bxc5 Qxb1 15. Qxd4 Qc2 16. Bh6 with mate to follow.} 14. Nxd6 Nf6 15.
c5 Qc7 16. Bf4 {I get to develop with threats.} Nh5 $6 {A surprise, which
defends against my planned Ne8-Nxg7, but the Black Knights is now "dim on rhe
rim". I had expected 16...Be6 17. Ne8 Qd8 18. Nxg7 Kxg7 19. Qc1 when White
owns the dark squares. A surprise, which defends against my planned Ne8-Nxg7,
but the Black Knights is now "dim on the rim". I had expected 16...Be6 17. Ne8
Qd8 18. Nxg7 Kxg7 19. Qc1 when White owns the dark squares.} 17. Be3 {17 Ne8
Now this is ineffective: 17...Qd7 18, Nxg7 Nxf4 19. gxf4 Qxd1 20. Rfxd1 Bg4 =
17 Ne8 Now this is ineffective: 17... Qd7 18, Nxg7 Nxf4 19. gxf4 Qxd1 20.
Rfxd1 Bg4 =} a6 {Black sees that his queenside is still vulnerable to attack.
17...Be6 18. b6 Rab8 19. Qa4 Black sees that his queenside is still vulnerable
to attack. 17...Be6 18. b6 Rab8 19. Qa4} 18. a4 Rd8 19. b5 axb5 20. axb5 Be5 {
Alternatives are no better. White's Knight, space advantage, and open lines
are simply too much. 20...Be6 21. Qc1 Rab8 22. Nxb7! Qxb7 23. Bxc6 +- 20...Nf6
21. Qc1 Nd5 22. b6 Qd7 23. Bg5 +-} 21. Bg5 f6 22. Qb3+ Kg7 {Now Black's Knight
is even dimmer !} 23. bxc6 bxc6 24. Rfe1 $18 {I still don't see a tactical
victory, but it is inevitable as long as I don't bluinder.} Bxd6 25. cxd6 Rxd6
26. Be3 Re6 {Attempts by Black to try to wrest the initiative are futile while
he is still effectively a piece down (dim Knight). 26...Bf5 27. Bc5 Rd7 (27...
Bxb1 28. Bxd6 Bc2 29. Qb4 +-) 28. Rbc1 +-} 27. Qb4 {Threatens g3-g4 and
maintains dark square dominance.} g5 28. Bf3 Kg6 29. Qf8 Ng7 {Black is finally
able to get the Knight off the rim, but White's army is ready to overwhelm
Black's ragged kingsde defense.} 30. h4 Qe5 31. Rbc1 Re8 {31...gxh4 32. gxh4
h5 33. Qh8 Qf5 34. Kh2 Qh3+ 35. Kh2 Qh3+ 35. Kxh3 Re8+ 36. Kh2 Rxh8 37. Be4+
Nf5 38. Rxc6+} 32. Qb4 Rb8 33. Qd2 Qb2 34. Qd1 gxh4 35. Rc5 Bf5 {Black's queen
Bishop finally enters the game on the 35th move.} 36. Rxf5 $1 {And is promptly
eaten!} Nxf5 37. Bh5+ Kg7 38. Bxe8 Nxe3 39. Qh5 Qa2 40. Rxe3 Qd5 41. Re7+ Kf8
42. Qxh7 Rb1+ 43. Qxb1 Kxe7 44. Bg6 hxg3 45. fxg3 {With a wide-open board it
is now a fairly simple matter for White to force the exchange of Queens. On
Oct, 16, 2014, Gilles resigned, graciously saying, "Well played! You left me
no chance after 13. b4!"} 1-0[/pgn]
With a wide-open board it is now a fairly simple matter for White to force the exchange of Queens.  On Oct, 16, 2014,  Gilles resigned, graciously saying, "Well played!  You left me no chance after 13. b4!" CALL FOR ABSOLUTE PLAYERS Once again the year will be changing, this time to 2016 and the 2016 Absolute Championship will be forming.  If you are rated over 2200 CC, a USCF member, and would like to tangle with the strongest USCF correspondence players and their engines, please send in your name for possible inclusion in the 2016 Absolute Championship.  Entry is free. And if you would like to be a donor to the prize fund, please send your donation to USCF, Att:  Joan DuBois, PO Box 3967, Crossville, TN  38557, and clearly mark that it is for the 2016  Absolute Prize fund.. NOVEMBER RESULTS Walter Muir Richard Vandale  15W21  4-2 John Collins David Birozy         14C09  6-0 Thomas Buchanan 14C07  5-1 David McCann      14C08  5-1 Arthur Holmer          15C04  5-1 Frank Spooner       15C04  5-1 OBITUARY Gerald Sitter, Jr. born March 5, 1955, died October 19, 2015.  In the following game Gerald fights hard, but gives up too soon.  

[Event "07N26"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2007.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Aiken, Richard"]
[Black "Sitter, Gerald"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C60"]
[WhiteElo "2190"]
[BlackElo "1382"]
[PlyCount "47"]
[EventDate "2007.??.??"]

{DEC} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 d5 4. Bb5 Nge7 5. Nxe5 dxe4 6. Qe2 Qd5 7. Nxc6
bxc6 8. Bc4 Qf5 9. O-O Be6 10. Re1 Bxc4 11. Qxc4 Qd5 12. Qxe4 Qxe4 13. Rxe4
O-O-O 14. d4 Ng6 15. Nd2 Bd6 16. Nc4 Rhe8 17. Nxd6+ cxd6 18. Rxe8 Rxe8 19. Kf1
Kd7 20. Bd2 Nh4 21. Re1 Rxe1+ 22. Bxe1 Nf5 23. Ke2 f6 24. Bd2 1-0[/pgn]
Lawrence Anderson, born 22 June, 1946, died 3 November, 2015.  Lawrence was from Rice Lake, Wisconsin.    

[Event "13N16"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Sordiff, David"]
[Black "Anderson, Lawrence"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B50"]
[BlackElo "1627"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2013.??.??"]

{DEC} 1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 d6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 g6 5. d3 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. Re1 Nc6
8. Nh4 e6 9. Bg5 Ne5 10. d4 cxd4 11. Qxd4 Nxc4 12. Qxc4 a6 13. Rad1 Qd7 14. e5
Ne8 15. Nf3 f6 16. Bc1 b5 17. Qf1 d5 18. Bf4 Bb7 19. Qd3 Nc7 20. Qe2 Rad8 21.
Ne4 Qe7 22. exf6 Bxf6 23. Bg5 Bxg5 24. Nexg5 d4 25. Kf1 Qf6 26. h4 Bxf3 27.
gxf3 e5 28. Qe4 Rfe8 29. Qg4 Nd5 30. Re4 Re7 0-1[/pgn]
AND NOW LET THE GAMES BEGIN…. The miniature games for 2015 Pins aren’t always what they seem.  

[Event "14W36"]
[Site "?"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Hall, Jay"]
[Black "Overturf, Shane"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B13"]
[WhiteElo "1679"]
[BlackElo "1762"]
[PlyCount "13"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]

{DEC} 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bd3 Bg4 6. O-O Nxd4 7. Nxd4
The longer you look at Black’s final position, the worse it gets.  

[Event "15WM03"]
[Site "ICCF"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Hoffman, Dwayne"]
[Black "Wright, David"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A41"]
[BlackElo "1618"]
[PlyCount "25"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

{DEC} 1. c4 d6 2. d4 e5 3. e3 exd4 4. exd4 d5 5. Nf3 Bb4+ 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. Be2 Be6
8. O-O Bxc3 9. bxc3 h6 10. Ba3 Ne4 11. Re1 Nxc3 12. Qb3 Nxe2+ 13. Rxe2 1-0[/pgn]
A neat cross pin does White in.

[Event "15CO01"]
[Site "ICCF"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Lasley, Matthew"]
[Black "Kovats, Jiri"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1784"]
[BlackElo "1964"]
[PlyCount "34"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

{DEC} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. e4 Nxe4 4. Nxe4 dxe4 5. Be3 Nc6 6. d5 Nb4 7. c4 e5
8. a3 Na6 9. Ne2 f5 10. Nc3 Bd6 11. Be2 f4 12. Bd2 e3 13. fxe3 Qh4+ 14. Kf1
fxe3 15. Bxe3 O-O+ 16. Kg1 Bc5 17. Qd2 Qg5 0-1[/pgn]
After 15. f5 Black’s French Defense is crunched.

[Event "15SQ02"]
[Site "?"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Aung, Kendrick"]
[Black "Vecchio, Ralph"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C14"]
[WhiteElo "1899"]
[BlackElo "1845"]
[PlyCount "35"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 O-O 7. Bd3 c5 8.
Nh3 g6 9. dxc5 Nxe5 10. f4 Nxd3+ 11. Qxd3 Bxg5 12. hxg5 Qa5 13. O-O-O Qxc5 14.
Qg3 Bd7 15. f5 d4 16. Ne4 Qa5 17. Nf6+ Kh8 18. Nf4 1-0[/pgn]
  Black’s King Knight almost single-handedly does the job !  

[Event "CCLA"]
[Site "?"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Daniel, Bob"]
[Black "McMurry, Robert"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B21"]
[PlyCount "18"]
[EventDate "2013.??.??"]
[EventType "corr"]

1. f4 c5 2. e4 d5 3. exd5 Nf6 4. Bb5+ Bd7 5. Bc4 b5 6. Bf1 Nxd5 7. g3 Bc6
8. Nf3 Ne3 9. Qe2 Nxc2+ 0-1[/pgn]
Kings aren’t safe in an open center.  

[Event "14N21"]
[Site "?"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Buss, Michael"]
[Black "Draves, Rodney"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B00"]
[WhiteElo "2410"]
[BlackElo "1322"]
[PlyCount "33"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]

1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Bg4 5. Be3 e6 6. h3 Bh5 7. d5 Ne7 8.
g4 Bg6 9. Nd4 exd5 10. exd5 Nexd5 11. Nxd5 Nxd5 12. Bb5+ c6 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14.
Bxc6+ Ke7 15. Bg5+ Nf6 16. Qe2+ Be4 17. Qxe4# 1-0[/pgn]
Sometimes, after a brisk workout, the Queen is just too stuffed to move from h8.  

[Event "15N03"]
[Site "?"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Biasotti, Louis"]
[Black "Whitted, Daniel"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A09"]
[WhiteElo "1944"]
[BlackElo "1764"]
[PlyCount "38"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 d4 3. b4 f6 4. e3 e5 5. c5 a5 6. Bb5+ c6 7. Bc4 axb4 8.
Nxe5 fxe5 9. Qh5+ g6 10. Qxe5+ Qe7 11. Qxh8 Nf6 12. Bb2 Be6 13. Bxd4 Nbd7 14.
Bxe6 Qxe6 15. g4 O-O-O 16. g5 Ne4 17. Nc3 Nxg5 18. Ne2 Bh6 19. Nf4 Qe4 0-1[/pgn]
A trap worth knowing in the Budapest  

[Event "12WM08 "]
[Site "ICCF"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Wright, David"]
[Black "Lasley, Matthew"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A51"]
[WhiteElo "1547"]
[BlackElo "1902"]
[PlyCount "14"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ne4 4. a3 d6 5. exd6 Bxd6 6. Nf3 Nxf2 7. Kxf2
Bg3+ 0-1[/pgn]
White’s Queen is the heroine of this piece.  

[Event "15EN11"]
[Site "?"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Kearns, Charles"]
[Black "Clark, Dylan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A04"]
[PlyCount "23"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. Nf3 Nc6 2. g3 e5 3. d4 g6 4. d5 e4 5. dxc6 exf3 6. Qd5 bxc6 7. Qe5+
Qe7 8. Qxh8 fxe2 9. Bxe2 Ba6 10. Nc3 O-O-O 11. Qd4 c5 12. Qe4 1-0[/pgn]
The Knight on e4 is pinned.  So, by X-ray, is the Pawn on e7.  Mate ensues.  

[Event "14C01"]
[Site "?"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Kuhajda, Joseph"]
[Black "Buchanan, Thomas"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D00"]
[WhiteElo "1309"]
[BlackElo "1364"]
[PlyCount "33"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]

1. d4 d5 2. e3 a6 3. c4 c6 4. c5 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Be2 h6 7. h3 Bf5 8.
Bd3 Bh7 9. Qb3 Ra7 10. Nbd2 g5 11. Qc2 Bg8 12. O-O Nbd7 13. Re1 a5 14. e4 dxe4
15. Bxe4 Nxe4 16. Nxe4 Bh7 17. Nd6# 1-0[/pgn]
White shows that even Masters can be miniaturized  

[Event "USA-Cuba"]
[Site "?"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Stephenson, Mark"]
[Black "Ronqillo Tamarit, Walfredo"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B72"]
[WhiteElo "2197"]
[BlackElo "2200"]
[PlyCount "15"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[EventType "corr"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Bb5+
Nc6 8. Nxc6 1-0[/pgn]


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Thank you for posting! Thoroughly enjoyed Thomas Williams' outstanding annotations to his remarkable game. It was a pleasure to replay the game with such valuable objective guidance.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] writer, and  74. You can find an index of his articles on correspondence chess here, as well as his December 2015 column on miniatures.  FM Kostya Kavutskiy is an active player, coach, writer, and a former Best of CLO winner. He […]

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