CORRESPONDENCE CHESS

 

Chess is the most interesting game that has ever been devised. It produces infinite strategic and

tactical variations and an inexhaustible number of ways for you to overcome your opponent, or for

you to be outwitted. After a dozen or so moves you may well be in a position that no two players

have ever reached before! On the other hand there is a vast literature available on chess in which

games played more than 500 years ago can be played through again or the examples of past

World Champions followed. Napoleon was a very strong and imaginative chess

player and several of his games have been published.

 

There is an unusual feature about the game of chess; it can be played by

correspondence (CC), the moves being sent to and fro by letter, by email or by

web server. The opponents may be great distances apart, a situation quite

common in Australia Since its establishment in 1929 the Correspondence Chess League of Australia

(CCLA) has always had a healthy membership and has become the largest chess

club in the country.

 

The CCLA administers correspondence chess in Australia. It is affiliated with
the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) which in turn is an
autonomous organisation within the Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE),
the governing body of world chess. The CCLA organises games, tournaments and

championships among its members.

 

If you are a Master player or have just learned the moves you can get a good game
of correspondence chess. Games are arranged between players of approximately
equal rating. There is plenty of opportunity to move up or down the League’s
Rating List and so meet new players whose strength matches your latest results.

 

WHY PLAY CORRESPONDENCE CHESS?

There are many reasons, any one of which might apply to you. There are country
players who cannot find suitable opponents any other way, there are those whose
hours of work or other obligations prevent them meeting other players and there
are those who for various reasons would rather play at home. There are many
people who simply prefer to play chess this way. Some players find that their
over-the-board (OTB) games are marred by blunders, often the result of fatigue,
which can be avoided with the additional time available and the opportunity to plan
deeply by moving the pieces around the board. Many others, of course, are
active OTB players as well and they find that the quickest way to improve their
game is playing by correspondence. In this way you can look for the
combinations that only the Masters can find quickly enough for cross-board play
and you can learn, in part at least, to find them more quickly yourself.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO START?

Experience has shown that the most satisfactory way to start playing CC is in small
tourneys called General Tourneys. The CCLA currently conducts two kinds General
Tourneys:

Four-Two Tourney – two games against each of three opponents;

Five-One Tourney – one game against each of four opponents

 

In these tourneys you would have either six or four games in progress at the same
time; if you feel that is too many a lesser number of ‘friendly games’ can be
arranged. All games are rated unless the players request otherwise.

 

HOW LONG DOES A GAME LAST?

Most games take between six months and a year but some games, between players of
comparable ability, can last more than two years. A player taking part in one
tourney every year is an active player.

 

HOW DO YOU START PLAYING IN A TOURNEY?

 

The Games Starter (one of the CCLA’s officers) posts a score sheet to the player

with the white pieces for every game in every tourney. This score sheet is then

mailed to and fro with each successive move recorded on it. Each player is

urged to retain their own copy in case of a missing letter (not uncommon these

days). The names and addresses of both players are on the scoresheet as is a

cross-table to record the results as games are concluded. There are also

columns to record the dates of receipt and despatch and also the number of days

used (the normal rate of play is 10 moves in 30 days, not counting time in

transit). The manner of recording moves (notation) is given below. It is also

possible to transmit moves by E-mail and, in recent times, a webserver has been

established to conduct games. Under this system players log into the ICCF

Webserver <a href="http://www.iccf-webchess.com/">www.iccf-webchess.com</a>

to make their moves, an email is then sent to the other player upon a move, that player

in turn logs into the site to make their move and so forth.

 

DOES POSTAGE COST A LOT

 

Work it out! A Four-Two tourney involves you in six games and you could expect a

move in each about once a week. Alternatively, E-mail and webserver chess does

not involve postage at all but there is a small administration fee for both at the

start of each tourney.

 

HOW MUCH TIME IS REQUIRED?


This is entirely up to you. You may choose to be a rapid player, spending only a few
minutes on each move, or you may choose to ponder for hours. The more time
spent on each move the stronger that move will be but you decide which style
will provide the greatest interest. The great Cecil Purdy, an Australian who
became the first World CC Champion, only played about 50 correspondence games
in his career but they were played very slowly and are all brilliant creations.

 

WHAT ABOUT CHESS BOOKS AND COMPUTERS?

You are permitted to consult any book during the course of a game and strong
players do so all the time, notably during the opening stage of each game.
Computers of any kind can only be used for reference purposes (e.g. databases),
just as for a book or periodical. They are not permitted to be used for
analysis.

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

 

If you would like to ‘have a go’ fill in an application form (see the web site)

and send it to the Secretary at GPO Box 2360, Sydney, NSW, 2001.

 

HOW THE CCLA WORKS

The aim of the CCLA is to foster correspondence chess throughout Australia and
to do this it needs an efficient organising body. This body is known as the Council.

Council consists of a dozen or so members of the CCLA and includes all those who have specific

jobs to do. All are voluntary workers.

 

An example of the CCLA in operation can be seen from the point of view of a new
member. A new player’s application form goes via the Secretary to the Treasurer
(with fees) who then passes on requests for games to the Games Starter. This
officer then issues score sheets to the various competitors. New members also
receive a rule book.

 

From the start of play in any tourney all games are under the control of a Director
of Play (DOP) whose name and address appears on all score sheets. Most tourneys
are completed without incident, the score sheet passing back and forth until
the games are completed. The winner then sends it on to the DOP, who records
the result. The DOP then informs the Ratings Registrar, who makes ratings
adjustments for both players. At the conclusion of a tourney the DOP informs
the Treasurer who issues any relevant prizes.

 

If some hitch crops up in a game the DOP is consulted. The rule book sets out the
circumstances under which the player should communicate with the DOP and the
action which should follow. Most incidents of this kind are minor, such as a
lost score sheet, but occasionally a matter arises upon which the DOP is called
upon to make a ruling according to the rules.

With experience some players may wish to compete with overseas players; they would

contact the International Secretary. General enquiries are normally addressed

to the Secretary. More games can be requested at any time by contacting the

Treasurer and enclosing any entry fees. Nobody should be prevented from playing

CC for want of financial means. Pensioners and students have a reduced

membership rate and may apply for reduced fees for Major Tournaments. There is

also a special CCLA fund to support people who are totally unable to pay any

fees. Finally there is a Disputes Committee to which any member may appeal if

dissatisfied with the actions of any officer of the CCLA.

 

The ‘Quarterly’

Each February, May, August and November every member automatically receives a copy
of the official magazine of the League, the Australian Correspondence Chess
Quarterly
. It contains news, games, results of tourneys, notice of
up-coming events, articles and an updated Ratings List. It also provides a means
of communication between members as Letters to The Editor may be published.
Formerly known as the CCLA Record ,its title was changed in 1987 to more accurately reflect

its subject matter. Under its two names the magazine has a continuous publishing history, under
quite a few editors, dating back to 1948.

 

CCLA Ratings

Each member has a numerical score called a rating, which is adjusted up or down
according to the results of completed games. This system serves to indicate
relative playing strength. Upon joining the CCLA each new member is allotted a
temporary rating based on the following table:

  • Beginners 800
  • Players with one year’s experience 1050
  • Regular home players 1180
  • Regular Club players 1270
  • B Grade players 1400
  • A Reserve players 1490
  • A Grade, lower boards 1625


The Ratings List is adjusted four times per year by the Ratings Registrar.

 

PRINCIPAL EVENTS

 

General Tournaments As mentioned above, these Four-Two and Five-One tournaments are

started, between players of approximately equal strength, every month, or when there

are enough applications. There is no entry fee and the winner receives a souvenir
bookplate.

 

Friendly Games These are arranged on request for members at all levels. Single games (one colour only)

or pairs of games (one colour each) are arranged when opponents are available.

A member may start up to five ‘friendly games’ in each quarter; those wanting

more games will find one of the tourneys more satisfactory.

 

Championships and Major Tournaments The Australian

Correspondence Chess Championship is conducted by the CCLA every year,

alternating between normal mail transmission one year and webserver

transmission the next. Below this level there is a descending series of

championships which are filled in rating order. These tournaments are the

Australian Reserves, the Sendak Memorial, the Parker Memorial, and the Laughton

Memorial. The CCLA also conducts the Australian Women’s Championship and State

Championships when enough players are available.

 

OVERSEAS PLAY

 

The International Secretary is responsible for this sector of the CCLA’s activities.

Being affiliated with the International Correspondence Chess Federation, the

CCLA’s members may take part in international competitions. This was once a very

slow process, with post cards sent by air mail taking some time in transit.

These days the ICCF’s webserver <a href="http://www.iccf-webchess.com/">www.iccf-webchess.com</a>

makes play very quick and very user friendly which is fast becoming an attractive option to many members.

 

Facilities for international play are available to all members of the League by means of

the individual tournaments conducted by the ICCF. Australia also enters teams in the

Correspondence Chess Olympiads (the World Teams Championships) and has done

well over the years.

 

Australian players have reached the world championship candidates & finals and

performed creditably in most world championship events thus far.

 

ICCF PROMOTION AND RELEGATION TOURNAMENTS


ICCF Rating

  • Open No entry qualification
  • Higher 1900+
  • Master 2100+
  • Master Norm 2300+
  • Grandmaster Norm 2450+

 

Open and Higher class have seven-player sections, with Master Class having eleven-player

sections, Master Norm and Grandmaster norm having thirteen-player sections. By

winning your respective class a player can go to the next level. However, the

winner of a Master class tournament is seeded into a section of the Semi-finals

of the world championship, which in turn may lead to the Candidates and ultimately

the Finals of the world championship.

 

OVERSEAS MATCHES

 

In addition to the above, the League also plays friendly matches against various

countries around the world. These matches are played at all levels - from beginner to

expert with each player having two games (one as white, one as black) against a single

opponent.

 

NOTATION

 

The General Laws of chess do not give sufficient guidance on notation for the

purposes of Correspondence chess. The following notes give interpretations

acceptable within the League. The English initials representing the pieces are

these: K = King; Q = Queen; R = Rook; N = Knight; B = Bishop; P = Pawn.


Abbreviated Algebraic

 

This is the most popular form of notation and is adopted in all modern chess books

and magazines. The files are named ‘a’ to ‘h’ and the ranks are numbered ‘1’ to

‘8’, both starting from White’s left-hand corner. The board is always described

from White’s point of view.

 

Move by a piece: Give the initial of the piece and the square it moves

to; a hyphen between is optional, e.g. Bb5 or B-b5.


Capture by a piece: Give the initial of the piece and the square upon
which it captures; a colon ‘:’ or ‘x’ between is optional, e.g. Bb5, B:b5 or
Bxb5.


Move by a pawn: Give the square it moves to, e.g. h6.


Capture by a pawn: Give the file it moves from and the square upon which
it captures; a colon or x between is optional, e.g. cd4, c:d4 or cxd4.

 

Avoidance of ambiguity: If either of the Rooks, Knights or Bishops can make

the same capture state the file or rank from which it moves and the square upon

which it captures; again a colon or x is optional, e.g. Nbd7 or Nb:d7 and R8b4

or R8xb4.

 

Promotion: Give the pawn move together with the promotion piece

in brackets, e.g. g8(Q).

 

Castles: King-side = O-O; Queen-side = O-O-O. The hyphens are recommended in handwritten moves.


Check: Use + or ch, or omit altogether.

 

Full algebraic


This system is the same as abbreviated Algebraic except that the square from which
the piece or pawn moves is also given, e.g. Bf1-b5, e7-e5 or Nh6-f5.


English descriptive

 

This system describes the position from players’ perspective, not just the White side.

Starting from the left-hand corner of the player with the move the files are named QR, QN, QB,

Q, KB, KN and KR. The ranks are numbered from the point of view of the player with the
move. Unless there is ambiguity the Q and K are omitted from the R,N and B
files.

 

Piece and Pawn moves: Give the initial of the piece, or P for pawn, a hyphen and the square to which it moves,

e.g. B-N5, P-Q3.

 

Captures: Give the initial of the piece, or P for pawn, an ‘x’, and the initial of the captured

piece, e.g. QxB or NxP.

Avoidance of ambiguity: A common problem with this system:

 

Describe fully the square moved to, e.g. B-KN5, P-QR3


State in brackets the square moved from, e.g. R(R1)-Q1,

 

Describe fully the item captured, e.g. QxKRP, RxN(N5). Remember that in this latter case the

captured piece is described from the point of view of the player making the

move.

 

For the first move of a piece only, a prefix K or Q can be used to show which side of the
board a B, R or N comes from, e.g. KN-K2. After a piece has moved, however, a
player is not expected to remember where a piece began the game.


A pawn may be described according to the current file upon which it stands, e.g. BPxP.

It does not matter which file it started from.

Give the pawn move and the promotion piece in brackets,

Castles: King-side = O-O; Queen-side = O-O-O. Hyphens should be used.

Check: Use + or ch, or omit altogether.

International Numeric 

Both files and ranks are numbered from 1 to 8 starting from White’s left-hand
corner. The board is always described from White’s point of view. All piece or
pawn moves or captures are written as a four-figure number: the file the piece
or pawn moves from, the rank it moves from, the file it moves to and the rank
it moves to; e.g. de4, d5:e4, QPxKP, and 4554 are all the same Black move.
Similarly Qh5, Qd1-h5, Q-R5 and 4185 are all the same move for White. Castling

is indicated as a King move, e.g. 5171 or 5131 for White and 5878 or 5838 for Black.

Promotion is indicated by adding a fifth number to the normal four-digit move,

according to the following code: 1 = Q, 2 = R, 3 = B, 4 = N, e.g. 67681
is equivalent to f8(Q) or P-B8(Q).

 

BRIEF HISTORY

In the middle of 1929 a small group of enthusiasts founded the Commonwealth
Correspondence Chess League
 as an offshoot of the Melbourne Chess Club.
Mr. R Saunders was the first Director and membership reached 39 by the end of
the year.

Mr.L Spinks was Director from 1932 until 1936; he began many new tournaments,
including a correspondence match between NSW and Victoria, and another between

Australia and New Zealand. By his introduction of the ‘Perpetual Handicap’ laid the foundations

for the system of regular competition among members, the main source of the League’s

strength.

In 1937 it was decided that the League, which had by now acquired its present
title, should be formally founded as an independent organisation. A committee
was formed with G Koshnitsky as President, G F McIntosh as Secretary and F M
Hallman as Director of Play. The Australian Chess Review, under the editorship of
C J S Purdy, was confirmed as the CCLA’s official organ. A policy of expansion
saw a substantial increase in membership and the start of the first Australian
Championship.

Cecil Purdy became the most notable force in raising correspondence chess in Australia

to its present high standard. By the strength of his play he became the first
Australian Correspondence Chess Champion, as well as holding the cross-board
title several times. He then went on to win the first World Correspondence
Chess Championship. By his editorship of Australian Chess Review (later

Chess World) he publicised correspondence chess at home and abroad.

In 1946 the CCLA affiliated with the ICCF (International Correspondence Chess
Federation) and since then has regularly entered in international events. Some
of these have been on an ambitious scale; for example, matches with 100 boards
were held against Great Britain and the USA. Many such friendly overseas matches

are still conducted and, in addition, teams and individual players are entered in the

ICCF’s regular series of Olympiads and other events, including, of course, the

World Championships.

By 1948 membership had grown to over 400 and the League was able to start its own
journal and to fund it the subscription was raised to ten shillings. In that
year also, seven-player trophy tournaments were introduced in place of the
original twelve-player which had proved larger than convenient.

 

In 1950 came the automatic Rating System. At this time League membership had been

 

arranged into a number of classes and operation of the ‘Perpetual Handicap’

often meant waiting for promotion or demotion from one class to another. The

new system thereafter determined the class of each member. Forty years later

the ELO system was adopted by the League.

 


The moving spirit behind these early advances was S E Ward, at the time Secretary

and Director of play.

W.A.Parker became Director of play in 1951 and was later Secretary and Journal
Editor. His death in 1956 was untimely. As well as this contribution he had
been an enthusiastic player in the lower grades so a Memorial Trophy is now
held in his honour.


In 1952 the Four-Two tourneys were introduced. In 1959 Maiden Tourneys (conducted
as 4/2 tourneys) were also introduced, open to members in the lower classes who
had not previously won a tourney. 


The 750 Membership mark was passed in 1962. At the time R G Gilbert was Secretary,
serving a record term from 1957 to1963 and A J Walsh was Director of Play,
having filled this post since 1959. At this time the Rules of Play were
re-drafted and various steps taken to minimise delays in tourneys. Previously,
each move had to be made in three days but this was altered to the present
system (10 moves in 30 days) which provides greater flexibility. In 1960 the
position of Games Starter was established and D J Fraser was the inaugural occupant.
 

The League had over 1000 members in 1968 and a number of DOP’s were appointed to
handle the additional work-load. In 1966 a regular cycle of Major Events was
introduced and in 1971-72 the Master title was revised and Life-Membership
conferred on Masters. At the same time Class Championships were introduced.
With the world-wide interest in chess generated by the Fischer-Spassky World
Title match in 1972 the League’s numbers swelled to over 2000. In the years
since the Council has made numerous adjustments to the rules to reflect
changing circumstances.

Name: Year:

Roy Saunders 1929-1930 Director

Perc Spiden 1930-1932 Director

Les Spinks 1932-1936 Director

Gary Koshnitsky 1937-1953 President

Sam Ward 1953-1955 President

Alan Willison 1955-1957 President

Cecil Purdy 1957-1979 President

David Fraser 1979-1998 President

Maurice Newman 1998-2003 President

Tim Runting 2003- President

For those members interested in the details of the CCLA’s development, Henry Lunney
has published a History of the League called The First Fifty Years in 1980.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIP

The premier competition conducted by the CCLA is the Australian Championship. Prior
to 1937 there were three Championships held, being won by O Ludlow and F M
Hallman (twice). Since then they have been held regularly except for the war
years 1939-45.

Here is the Honour Roll:

Year Winner(s) Runner(s) Up

1937 C J S Purdy G Koshnitsky

1948 C J S Purdy G Koshnitsky

1950 R Arlauskas H Klass

1955 M C Salm K Ozols

1959 K Ozols/J V Kellner (equal)

1961 J V Kellner G F McIntosh

1963 L S Fell V Lapin

1966 M C Salm/A L Miller (equal)

1969 Dr C Barnett L L Oliver

1972 P W Thompson M V Woodhams/P L Williams (equal)

1975 M V Woodhams M C Salm

1977 Dr I Venclovas/G N Ware (equal)

1979 R J Weigand/S N Jacobi (equal)

1981 K Harrison D G Hamilton/Dr D J Kewley (equal)

1983 S W Jenkinson D G Hamilton

1985 L S Fell R M Jamieson

1987 G West F P Hutchings

1989 F P Hutchings L J P Kempen

1991 J Silva T E Runting

1993 F P Hutchings W Bundschuh/W O Megier (equal)

1995 W J Jordan/H J Barber

1997 Dr C Barnett/Dr R S Booth (equal) 

1999 M.Juradowitch Dr A.Hariman

2000 S.Dibley S.J.Henri

2001 Dr R.S.Booth R.Basden

2002 S.Kerr J-P.Fenwick

2003 G.S.Benson S.Kerr

2004 B.Oates G.McMahon

 

2005 Dr C. Barnett/J-P.Fenwick (equal)

 

2006 Dr C.Barnett, T.E.Runting/P.Boronowskis (equal)

 

The CCLA also conducts a Women’s Championship: here are the winners

(Since 1993 there have been no further women’s championships)

 

AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Year Winner(s) 

1938 Mrs E Steiner

1957 Mrs J Thompson

1961 Mrs M Cook/Mrs J Stagpoole

1963 Mrs N Kellner

1966 Mrs N Kellner/Miss J Tucker

1970 Mrs N Kellner/Miss I Ozolins/Miss J Tucker

1975 Mrs I Hawkesworth

1977 Mrs C V Henr

1979 Mrs D E Thomas

1981 Mrs R Borrell

1984 Mrs S Margan

1987 Mrs E M Berg

1989 Mrs E M Berg

1991 Mrs R H Collings

1993 Miss L E O’Mara

FROM THE ARCHIVES

The following games will give some idea of the standard of play within the League.
In the first three games the same opening, the French Defence, has produced a
series of games that are totally different in character and the games were
chosen for this purpose. First a game from the top level played by two
Australian Champions. Frank Hutchings won the title in 1989 after coming second
two years before, while Lloyd Fell was Champion in 1963 and again in 1985. They
are both also very strong cross-board players so the game is longer than usual
and has a very instructive ending.


Australian Championship 1987

L S Fell – F P Hutchings (notes)

 

1. e4 e6; 2. d4 d5; 3. Nd2 Nf6; 4. e5 Nfd7; 5. f4 c5; 6.c3 Nc6; 7. Ndf3 Qb6; 8. g3 f5; 9. Ne2 Be7;

10. Bg2 My book references ran out about hereabouts. Black aims to hold the K-side and
expand on the other wing. 10…a5; 11. O-O
Ndb8; 12. Rb1 Bd7; 13. Be3 Na6; 14. Ne1 O-O; 15. h3 a4; 16. g4 cd4; 17. cd4
Qa7; 18. gf5 Rxf5; 19. Ng3 Rf7; 20. Nc2 Nc7; 21. Kh2 To this point I had rather under-estimated
White’s King-side prospects. Immediate counter measures on that wing are now
called for. 21…Bh4; 22. Bg1 Ne7; 23. Ne2 Raf8; 24. Ne1
Bb5; 25. Nd3 Nf5; 26. Rc1 b6; 27. Rc3 Na6; 28. Qc2 Rc7; 29. Rc1 Rfc8; 30. Qd2
Rxc2; 31. Rxc3 Qd7; 32. Bf3 Bc4; 33. b3 ab3; 34. ab3 bb5; 35. Rxc8 Qxc8; 36.
Bg4 g6; 37. Bxf5 gf5; 38. Nc3 Be8; 39. Bf2 Be7; 40. Ne2 h6; 41. Be1 Kh7; 42.
Nc3 Nb4; 43. Nxb4 Bxb4;

44. Qd3 Qa8; 45. Bd2 Be7; 46. Qc2 Qa6; 47. Kg2 Bh4; 48. Be3 Qa1; 49. Qc1
White chooses to defend a slightly inferior ending rather than continue the heavy maneuvering of the middle

game which has rather favoured Black. Without his Queen, however, the potent drawing resources
of perpetual check are no longer available.49…Qxc1; 50. Bxc1 Be1; 51. Nb1 White already has a difficult choice.

Here 51. Na4 Bxa4; would leave his Bishop very inferior, with Black’s able to break
through via …Ka6 and …b5. Black now achieves his immediate object of an active
post for his ‘bad’ Bishop. 51…Bb5; 52. Bd2 Bh4; 53. Nc3 Bd3; 54. Na4
Bd8; 55. Nc3 Kg6; 56. b4 Kf7; Black aims to force a static Queen-side and tie the White minor pieces to passive
defence. 57. Bc1 Ke8; 58. Kg3 Be7; 59. b5 Bb4; 60. Bb2 A point of Black’s play is that after 60. Na4
Bxb5; 61. Nxb6 Kd8; White’s Knight cannot escape. 60…Kf7; Black’s King is now free to head for h4.
Some maneuvering with the Bishops is needed in order to achieve this goal while
still restricting the White pieces. 61. Kg2 Kg6; 62. Kg3 Kh5; 63. Ba1 Bc2; 64.
Bb2 Be7; 65. Ne2 Bh4+; 66. Kh2 Bd3; 67. Nc3 If 67. Ng3 then of course not …Bxg3 conceding opposite coloured Bishops
but rather 67…Kg6; still winning the b-pawn.67…Be1; 68. Na4 Kh4; 69. Nxb6
Bxb5; 70. Ba3 Bg3+; 71. Kg2 Bxf4; 72. Be7+ Kh5; 73. Na8 With an extra pawn and two strong Bishops
Black must win but this move gives him the opportunity to force the f-pawn
through at once. 73…Be3; 74. Nc7 Be2; White resigns. A long game but not due to long distance; the
two players lived 10 kilometres apart.

The second game was part of a Qualifying Tournament, once one of the stepping
stones to a berth in the Australian Championship. This game is a good example
of what can happen if a player allows the opponent to gain time and a
positional advantage in the early part of the game.

Qualifying Tournament

S G Pick – H W M Lunney (notes)

1. e4 e6; 2. d4 d5; 3. Nc3 Nf6; 4. Bg5 Be7; 5. e5 Nfd7; 6.Bxe7 Qxe7; 7. f4 O-O; 8. Nf3 c5; 9. Qd2 Nc6;

10. dc5 Nxc5; 11. O-O-O Bd7; So far a line in the now classic French
Defence. The text move is a suggestion of Keres, mentioned but not followed up
in ECO which gives 11…f6 as the main line. 12. Bd3 Nb4; 13. Be2 White’s 12th was a plausible move
found in most lines. Not now liking 13…Nxd3; 14. cd3 
with an open file in front of the King, he retreats, and the loss
of tempo invites sharp play. 13…Rfc8;
14. Nd4 a5; 15. a3 Nxc2; Sacrifice
is essential, otherwise Black also merely retreats into equality. 16. Qxc2 Ba4; 17. Qd2 If b3, also…Ne4. 17…Ne4;
18. Qe3 Rxc3; White resigns. The second sacrifice ends matters quickly. If 19. bc3 Qxa3; 20. Kb1 Nxc3.

The third game is an example of descriptive notation. In another French Defence
White converts a series of threats into a nice win with a neat finish. Both
were middle ranking players at the time.

Class 5 Championship 1984

J E Ramsden (notes) – M Davey

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bb5+ Nc6 6.Qe2+ Be7 7.dxc5 Nf6 8.Nb3 0-0 9.Nf3 Re8 10.Be3 Ne4 
In this Tarrasch Variation, Black deviates from ECO which continues 10...a6 leading to an unclear position.

The text seems a little over-anxious about the pawn deficit. 11.0-0
Nxc5 12.Nbd4 Qc7 Black's KR is now loose. 12...Bd7 is a better way of
supporting the pinned Knight. 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.Bxc5 cxb5 15.Bxe7 Rxe7 16.Qxb5
Rb8 17.Qxd5 Rxb2 Now White has a pawn plus he can defend and, more
importantly, the initiative. 18.Rad1 The first of a series of threats against the back rank.

18...Re8 </b>18...Rd7 might have been preferable, e.g. 19.Qe4 Qd8
20.Rxd7 Bxd7 19.Rfe1 Be6 20.Nd4 White's
first Queen offer; if accepted, Rxe8 is mate.
20...Qc8 21.Qd6 Threatening Nc6, with the idea of 23.Ne7+ winning
the exchange. 21...Rb6 But while this parries the threat,
21...Rxa2 is more preferable. 22.Qg3 For the moment White's threats are exhausted. However, this

retreat nicely anticipates Black's next turn. 22...Bxa2 23.Nf5 Rxe1+</b> 23...Rg6 24.Rxe8+
Qxe8 25.Ne7+ loses the exchange (25...Qxe7 26.Qb8+) 24.Rxe1 Qf8 The only worthwhile try; if 24...Rg6 25.Qxg6 hxg6
26.Ne7+ 25.Qa3!! This second Queen offer, described by Black at the time as 'beautiful', collars the Bishop.

25...h6 25...Qxa3 26.Re8+ Qf8 27.Ne7+ Kh8 28.Rxf8#; 

or 25...Be6 26.Ne7+ Kh8 27.Ng6+ wins the Queen; or; 25...Re6 26.Ne7+ Rxe7 27.Qxe7 a6

28.Qe2 a5 29.Ra1 Be6 30.Rxa5 wins for White. 26.Qxa2 Qb4 27.Qa1 Black
resigns.

The final game, played at the lower end of the ranks, is a good example of the
disasters that await a timid approach to the game in the opening.

 


Seven-Player Tournament No 882

 

I C Murray (notes) – D B Morrison

 


Scotch Gambit

 


1. e4 e5; 2. Nf3 Nc6; 3. d4 ed4 4. Bc4

 

Qe7; 5. O-O h6; Over-cautious; White has no intention of

playing Bg5. 6. c3 Na5; 7. Qxd4 Nxc4; 8. Qxc4 Qc5; 9. Qe2 Nf6; 10. e5 Nd5 11. c4

Nb6; 12. b3 Qc6; 13. Nc3 Bc5; 14. Bb2 a6; 15. Ne4 O-O; 16.Nf6+ If 16…gf6;

17. exf followed by Nh4 and Qg4+ with

mate in one. If Black plays …d6 or …d5 to stop Qg4+ White plays Qh5 threatening

Qxh6 mate.16…Kh8; 17. Ng5 gf6 Of

course, if hg5 18. Qh5# 18. exf Rg8; 19. Nxf7+ Kh7; 20. Qd3+ Rg6;

21. G3 White loses a vital tempo,

forced by Black’s mate threat. 21…d5; 22. Nh8 Aiming to win the pinned Rook, but overlooking

Black’s reply 22…Bf5; 23. Qxf5 Rxh8 And

White’s sacrificial attack collapses. 24. cxd Qxd5; 25. Qc2 Bd6; 26. Rad1 Qf3; An

apparently sound move, preparing to stop the advanced pawn 27.

Rxd6 Black resigns If the first

sacrifice doesn’t succeed, try again. 27…cd6; 28. Qxc7+ Kg8; 29. Qd8+ Kh7; 30.

Qe7+ Kg8; 31. Qe8+ Kh7; 32.Qf7+ Rg7; 33. Qxg7.