Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ing. Jozef Spanik Registered Mail

In 1978 Walter Muir convinced me to try international chess play. Thus I made my first tentative attempt at competition in the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF). I was the only player from the USA. The transmission time between moves was very slow. This was my shortest game.

My first opponent was Ing. Jozef Spanik whom I think was from Czechoslovakia. That was a country made up of what is today the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

I wore out my copy of the book Bishop's Opening by Tim Harding. Probably we were still in the book when my opponent failed to reply to my 14th move.

In ICCF, if you did not receive a move from your opponent within say 2-3 weeks, then you were to send a repeat of your last move via registered mail and notify the tournament director. If your opponent did not reply to your repeat move, then eventually you were awarded a forfeit win.

In most countries, the cost of registered mail was a slight increase to normal mail prices. In the USA registered mail was like 10 times the cost of a normal postcard. I found myself spending a lot of money in the late 1970s. Those were my early poverty years. I was trying to support my family.

The US economy was terrible back at that time 1978-1980, leading Jimmy Carter to be voted out of office by a landslide. Almost every state voted for Ronald Reagan and the economy turned around. Like most people, I voted for Jimmy Carter the first time, but would not make that mistake that second time. I voted for Reagan in 1980 and 1984.

For my game vs Ing. Jozef Spanik, I was awarded a win. The process annoyed me. I decided to spend my money on my family. That worked. I am still married to the same wife! I quit my 1978 ICCF section. In future years I returned to ICCF and sometimes played well.

My free Chess Training Repertoire each Thursday covers openings. Sign up if you want to receive it by email.

Sawyer - Spanik, corr ICCF, 1978 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nxe4 [After 3...Nc6 I played what I called the "Chicken King's Gambit". I would back into that opening via 4.d3 Bc5 5.f4 d6 6.Nf3 King's Gambit Declined, when White does not actually sacrifice a pawn.] 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 [5.Qxe5+ Qe7 6.Qxe7+ Bxe7 7.Bb3=] 5...Nc6 [5...Be7 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Nxe5=] 6.Nb5 g6 7.Qf3 f5 8.Qd5 Qe7 9.Nxc7+ Kd8 10.Nxa8 b6 11.d3 [Another way to play this is 11.Nxb6 axb6 12.Qf3 Bb7 13.d3 Nd4 14.Qh3] 11...Bb7 12.h4 h6 [The more popular way to stop the threat of 13.Bg5 winning the Black queen is by 12...f4 13.Qf3 Bh6 14.Bd2 Nd4=] 13.Qf3 Nd4 14.Qg3+/= Black stopped playing. 1-0

Sets: Chess Games 1.e4 Series and Chess Games 1.d4 Series
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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Joy of Alapin-Diemer French

A couple days ago I faced a French Defence and chose the Alapin-Diemer Gambit. 20 years ago I played it all the time. I still wheel it out once in a while since my performance rating with 3.Be3!? is higher than any other variation after the position reached by 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5. Usually, I refer to anything after 3.Be3 as the Alapin French.

Diemer won with 3.Be3 vs the French Defence many times. The gambit can be declined with 3...Nf6, but critical is 3...dxe4. The main line is 4.Nd2 Nf6 5.f3. Alapin's original idea was 5.c3 and 6.Qc2. Diemer's continuation 5.f3 double-attacked e4. More often than not, Black plays 5...exf3 6.Ngxf3.

My new French 3.Be3 Playbook is a step by step guide to the Alapin Diemer Gambit.

Sawyer-superdave99, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 07.07.2012 begins 1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Be3 dxe4 4.Nd2 Nf6 5.f3 exf3 6.Ngxf3 Bd6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Bg5 c5 10.Qe1 cxd4 11.Qh4 h6 12.Bxh6 gxh6 13.Qxh6 Qa5 14.Ng5 [14.Nc4 Qh5 15.Qxh5 Nxh5 16.Nxd6+-] 14...Qe5 15.Ndf3 [15.g3+-] 15...Qe3+ 16.Kh1 Bf4 17.Rae1 Bxg5 18.Nxg5 Qxg5 19.Qxg5+ Kh8 20.Qh6+ Kg8 At this point that clocks read 2:00 - 0:55. Here I slowed way down to consider which checkmate is the fastest. Seeing that I was now thinking, Black resigned. 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bond Wins Snyder Anti-Sicilian 2.b3

Jocelyn Bond provides us with a Sicilian Defence in the 4th round game, second game vs his second opponent Normand Corneau, in the Championnat club d'échecs de Jonquiere in Canada. As he notes: "In the second game I won too as black in only 14 moves... Big opponents to come!!"

Back in the 1970s, the Snyder Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.b3) was well-known as the favorite line of master Robert M. Snyder in a book he wrote and promoted. The line is fine, but Snyder was not fine. He is a convicted sex offender about whom America's Most Wanted had done an episode scheduled for October 24, 2009. That episode was pre-empted by the baseball playoffs and apparently never aired. Robert Snyder fled the United States and was captured in Belize. USCF had this note about his capture.

[Note: I do not believe there is any relationship nor connection between Glenn Snyder (who seemed like a fine and decent person) and the infamous Robert M. Snyder.]

The variation 1.e4 c5 2.b3 is one of many Anti-Sicilian lines that are fully playable for White. Like most opening lines, it leads to equality. Whatever opening you play, if you play it all the time, you will score better than those who play it only once in a while. In the game below, White misses tactics. We all make tactical mistakes and lose sometimes.

Corneau-Bond, Championnat club d'échecs de Jonquiere (4), 04.07.2012 begins 1.e4 c5 2.b3 Nc6 3.Bb2 d6 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 e6 7.Nf3 d5N 8.exd5 [8.Bd3!?=] 8...exd5=/+ 9.Qe2+ Be7-/+ 10.Nxd5? [Better is 10.Bd3-/+ ] 10...Nxd5-+ 11.Bxg7 Rg8 12.Bf6 Rg6 [12...Nxf6 13.0-0 Bh3-+ Oops. I dream of the gain of the White queen and didn't see that the bishop is in the air.] 13.Bh4?? [13.Bxe7 Ncxe7 14.Ne5-+] 13...Re6 won the queen. 0-1 [Notes by Bond/Deep Fritz]

Sets: Chess Games 1.e4 Series and Chess Games 1.d4 Series
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