The February Check Is in the Mail


Wilbur Tseng – 2009 Golden Knights

In addition to the 2008 and 2009 Electronic Knights Championships and the 2013 Absolute Tournament and the ICCM title, Wilbur Tseng has now annexed the 2009 Golden Knights Championship, ceding only two draws in his qualifying section and winning his finals section with a perfect 6-0 score.


In this game from Tseng’s 6-0 sweep of the 2009 Golden Knights Finals, Tseng demonstrates how proper technique can bring in the full point against strong opposition.

On Move 36, the White Rook enters b4 and it is imprisoned there for the rest of the game.


Wilbur Tseng       42.40

Spencer Kell       39.45

James Vaughan      37.35

Laurence Bonsack     35.75

Paul Boymel       35.65

Daniel Woodard       33.90

James Tracz        33.40

Gary Adams      33.35

Bradley Rogers      30.00

David Hammel      29.65

Robert Boles      28.40

Abe Wilson     28.25

James Rhodes       27.75

John Coulter      26.65

Eric Godin       25.65

J. Zeppa     25.50

William Clark      24.40

Rafael Camacho     23.90

J. Zeppa      23.90

Lee Kemfort       14.40


John Collins

Scott Sensiba      15C06    4-2

John Ellison      15C96    4-2

Thomas Pippin      15C06    4-2

Philip DeAugustino     15C02 5-1

Joshua Kuzmen       14C11    4-2

Alphonso Zenoh      16C03    4-2

Joseph Nadworny      16C03    4-2

Walter Muir

Patrick Walsh      16W27   5-1

Joe Nolte      16W15   6-0

Andrew Leonard      16W22  6-0

Thomas Kirk      16W28  5 ½- ½

Swift Quad

Allan Ong      15SQ07   5-1

Jake Garcia      15SQ07  5-1

Paul Castle      15SQ08  5-1

“Years later I woke up dreaming that I was defending my title but not having enough time for the analysis and therefore making mistakes.”

–Hans Berliner, 5th World CC Champion


Alphonso Zenoh of Topeka, Kansas, has died.  Alphonso was born October 9, 1958.  He was an enthusiastic correspondence chess player completing over 200 games in his US Chess CC career.  Alphonso was known for his disdain of material on the board.

HANS BERLINER   1929-2017


Hans Berliner, born January 27, 1929, died January 13, 2017.  Hans Berliner was the Fifth World Correspondence Chess Champion.  His record in correspondence play, both national and international, was unsurpassed.  He won the 1955, 1956, and 1959  Golden Knights championship with a perfect 18-0 score each time.  He then won the Fifth World Correspondence Championship finishing three points ahead of the field, ceding only four draws.   His overall record in CC play was +91 =13 -3, two of the losses and five draws coming 40 years after he retired from CC play.  In 1990 he was initiated into the US Chess Hall of Fame, the first correspondence player to be so honored.

His book The System was an attempt to merge machine logic with human to explain choices and  planning in chess.

Hans also worked developing chess playing  computers.  In 1985 he developed HiTech which quickly became Senor Master strength, and was the first computer to defeat a Grandmaster, Arnold Denker, in a match.

Hans was an over-the-board International Master and played in several United States Championships.

In Andy Soltis’ book The 100 Best Chess Games of the 20th Century  Berliner’s game against Jakov Estrin was ranked as the number one best game.


Excitement excitement excitement

White’s 22nd move proves fatal.

A fight to the bitter end…

White’s King, alone and besieged, cannot resist the combined force of Black’s Rook and two Bishops.


  1. Black to move and win! Starting with Black’s 25th move, Wilbur Tseng’s masterful technique in this instructive Rook and Pawn endgame versus Zeppa could also serve as an endgame study. Good column and always appreciate Alex Dunne’s selection of fine correspondence games.

    Hans Berliner is a legend and was a pioneer in digital science. I hope those that read Dunne’s column will take the time to carefully play through Berliner’s famous victory which gave his the world Championship title. It is certainly one of the most fascinating games in correspondence history! Indeed, the Estrin – Berliner game, 5th CC World Championship Final, 1965-68, can not only be found in Soltis’ book, as Dunne points out, but it’s also showcased as one of the greats in “The Mammoth Book of the World’s Greatest Chess Games,” by Burgess, Emms and Nunn. I believe the most complete, detailed annotations of this awesome game can be found in Tim Harding’s classic “64 Great Chess Games: Masterpieces of Postal and Email Chess.”

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