The February Check is in the Mail



Wilbur Tseng has won just about every US title there is –first place in Walter Muirs, John Collins, Trophy Quads, Express Tournaments, Palciauskas, first place n the 2008 and 2009 Electronic Knights and first in the 2013 Absolute Championship not to mention the Game of the Year Prize for 2014.  And now he has expanded his achievements to the international scene with the award of the International Correspondence Chess Master title. Given that he has won many awards in math and physics and his research on hippocampal systems in learning and memory has been published in numerous scientific journals, it is not too surprising that chess would naturally follow.   Wilbur is currently an analyst for the Chicago public schools.  He is currently engaged to be married in little under a year – and his chess rating has not gone down yet   😎

Wilbur notes that he feels correspondence chess is a great way for us to diversify our knowledge of other cultures.  Just from being courteous and respectful he has collaborated with many opponents from across the world on a variety of projects.  Tseng notes that is in  stark contrast to the chess scene in Chicago, which is a microcosm of everything you have read about Chicago in the news.


Tseng’s opponent won every game in this section except one, the one where he had to face Wilbur Tseng who was en route to his ICCM title.



The Game of the Year Award is given to the Master and non-Master player who played the best game published in “The Check Is in the Mail” for the year.  This year the nominees in the non-Master category are Pedersen-Bachler, March and Lewis-Sylvander, September.  And the winner is Kevin Bachler.  In the Master division the nominees are Kain-Rassler, June, and Addis-Adams, November.  And the winner is Gary Adams.  Congratulations, be sure to contact Joan DuBois for your prize.



Brian Higgins asked how much does a Golden Knights tournament actually cost ?

Not counting US Chess  membership, the first expense is the $25 entry fee,  You now have six games to play.  The average postal game is about 35 moves and that gives 35 x 6 or 210 moves or 210 postcards.  A postcard costs 35 cents so $73.50 in postcards for a total of $98.50, not counting opening books, record keeping devices, or gas for the  drive to the post office.  Expensive ?  Well, consider that the average postal tournament lasts about two years, or 730 days.  That is about 13 ½ cents a day.  Where else can you get such entertainment and involvement for thirteen cents a day?   Not to mention the excitement when the mailman comes to your mailbox! Correspondence chess is still a rare bargain.


Swift Quad

Andrew Pierce    15SQ09    6-0

David Will            ,   15SQ03   5 ½-½

Walter Muir

Mark Reeves        15W05    5 ½- ½

Stuart Wittenstein 15W25   5-1

Vincent Sereni        15W33    6-0

Dwayne Hoffman 15W31    6-0

David Wright        15W29   5-1

John Collins

Jean Moeckel        14C04    5-1

Corey Karstetter  14C10   6-0

Jason Gilley             14C17   6-0

Gary Shrum                 13C17   6-0

George Mullen     14C06  5-1

A hardcore sacrificial attack is topped with a quiet Pawn move leading to unstoppable mate.


This game is a titantic struggle with Black’s iceberg finally being the b-Pawn.


When Black misses the drawing line with 54…Ke6, the White Pawns move on to victory.



Thomas Hartmayer

unnamed (2)

Thomas Hartmayer of Storrs, Connecticut, born 15 April, 1951, died 1 January 2016.

Thomas was very active in Connecticut chess.




Mark Morss

Mark Morss of Columbus, Ohio, was born March 31, 1947 and died September 5, 2015.  Mark played in two Absolute tournaments 1997 and 1998, and kept an on-line journal of his 1998 event.


Frank Spooner, Sr.

Frank Spooner, Sr. of Baton Rouge, Louisiana,  was born January 19, 1937 and died December 26, 2015.  Frank was a prolific postal player accumulating a record of 932 games.



IM Tseng wins this queenside positional bind that allows for multiple sacrifices based on a Knight located in no man’s land.


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