Posts Tagged ‘Alex Dunne’


December 24, 2015


24 December 2015 

Hi, Chris !


            Congratulations on attaining the rating of Master in USCF Correspondence Chess. This is an excellent accomplishment and the attached certificate honors your success.         


                        Pax, Alex Dunne

                                 USCF CC Director

It’s a Great Time to Play Correspondence Chess in the United States

June 3, 2012

The United States is truly becoming one of the greatest countries in the world of correspondence chess. Our Olympiad team has made the world finals in every Correspondence Chess Olympiad from the thirteenth to the eighteenth in 2012. Since the year 2000, the ICCF has awarded 80 international titles to correspondence chess players living in the United States. Our country is perhaps the only nation to have two ICCF affiliates. One of these affiliates is the Correspondence Chess League of America which has been running rated correspondence chess tournaments since 1897. The other affiliate is the United States Chess Federation which operates its competitions under the guidance of the correspondence director Alex Dunne.

The U.S.C.F. recently opened its own online correspondence chess server and now offers correspondence chess by mail, email and chess server. Alex Dunne does an outstanding of creating playing opportunities that fit the needs of all levels of chess players. Alex also masterfully covers all of the events in his monthly column humorously titled the “Check is in The Mail.” The June 2012 edition of Chess Life magazine even featured correspondence chess master Abe Wilson on its cover.  The USCF is making it very clear that it supports correspondence chess and is doing everything possible for its players.

I strongly encourage those thinking of trying their hand at correspondence chess to consider joining the USCF’s Golden Knights Championship. The Golden Knights is the United States’ Open Correspondence Chess Championship and is a great way for over the board players to get their feet wet in a large pool of strong correspondence players. Below is a game from the finals of the 2006 Golden Knights Chess Championship. I hope it inspires some of my readers to give USCF correspondence chess a try.

For ease of reading, copy the text below and paste it into your favorite chess program.

[Event “2006 Golden Knights Finals”]

[Site “correspondence”]

[Date “2011.01.??”]

[Organization “USCF”]

[White “Torres, Chris F.”]

[Black “Walker, Barry Wood”]

[Result “1-0”]

[WhiteElo “2315”]

[BlackElo “2232”]

[ECO “B01”]

[Opening “Scandinavian”]

[Variation “2…Qxd5, Main Line, 8.Qe2”]

[PlyCount “51”]

1. e4 d5 {Barry Walker chooses the Scandinavian Defense.} 2. exd5 Qxd5 {The other choice for black here is to not capture the pawn but develop the knight to f6 instead.} 3. Nc3 {Develop with threats.} Qa5 {The overwhelming favorite choice among strong players. On a5, the queen will remain active and pin the c3 knight if white chooses to play d4.} 4. d4 {I have access to over 29,000 games where white decided to control the center with this move.} Nf6 {Black has two pieces developed. White has a pawn in the center and one pinned piece in the game.} 5. Nf3 {Once again, I adhere to classical principles and develop a piece.} c6 {Often times, the Scandinavian player ends up with a Caro–Kann (1 e4 c6) pawn structure (pawns on c6 and e6).} 6. Bc4 {Now I have three pieces developed and a pawn in the center.} Bf5 {Black is keeping up on development.} 7. Bd2 {The most logical move. Now my knight is no longer pinned and I have a discovered attack on my opponent’s queen.} e6 {Now black really does have a Caro–Kann style structure.} 8. Ne4 {Supposedly, this is just an alternative to Nd5 with the same basic ideas. However, I use this to start an attack I have been waiting to try in a high-level game.} Qd8 {This is black’s second favorite choice behind Qc7.} 9. Ng3 {The main line here is Nxf6+. White can reach that position by playing 8 Nd5 as well. I have discovered some new attacking resources for white following 9 Ng3.} Bg6 {If black plays Bg4 then white should play c3.} 10. h4 {White wins 74% of the time with this aggressive move.} h6 {This creates the escape square of h7 for the bishop but creates a small weakness for white to attack.} 11. Ne5 {White wins 94% of the time he plays this move.} Bh7 {This is forced.} (11. .. Be7 12. Nxg6 fxg6 13. Qe2 Qd6 14. O-O-O Nbd7 15. Bxe6 {and black is in serious trouble.}) 12. Qe2 Qc7 (12. .. Be7 13. Nxf7 Kxf7 14. Qxe6+ Ke8 15. Nf5 Qd7 16. Nxg7+ {Objectively speaking black is doing all right. However, white is having all the fun.}) 13. Bf4 {This is a new move. Before this game 13 0-0-0 was played twice with one win and one draw. 13 Bf4 is an improvement.} Nd5 {This or Qe7 are the best choices for black.} 14. Nh5 {This is strong tobasco.. The bishop on f4 is now defended which means that my knight on e5 is no longer pinned. Also, now the Ne5 can move and reveal an attack on my opponent’s queen. The knight on h4 is threatening two checks and adds to the complexity of black’s problems.} Nxf4 {The obvious choice to render white’s attack impotent. The only problem is that it doesn’t.} 15. Nxf4 Bd6 {Now black is starting to look ok.} 16. Nxf7 {Bam! Looks can be deceiving.} Qxf7 (16. .. Kxf7 17. Nxe6 Qe7 18. Rh3 {and black is in hot water.}) 17. Nxe6 Qf6 {Qe7 is an improvement. White would castle queenside and still be in the driver’s seat.} 18. Rh3 Nd7 {Black could have tried the exciting 13 … b5.} 19. Rf3 Qxh4 20. O-O-O {The white king is perfectly safe. The black king… not so much.} Nb6 21. Bb3 {Allowing my opponent to trade pieces would weaken my attack.} Qe7 {This defensive manoeuvre takes away my discovered check.} 22. Re1 {But sets up other ideas.} Kd7 {This move nearly saved black’s game.} 23. Rf7 {A good chess player must analyze all checks, captures and threats. Without forcing myself to do this I would have missed this killer tactical combination.} Qxf7 {Pretty much forced.} 24. Nc5+ {The purpose of 23 Rf7 is revealed.} Bxc5 25. Bxf7 Bd6 26. Qg4+ {Barry Walker has had enough and resigned here. Hats off to my friend for a hard-fought game} *

An Absolute Pleasure

April 30, 2012

The 2012 USCF Absolute Chess Championship is in full swing. Founded in 1976, this annual tournament’s stated purpose is to determine who is the “absolute” best correspondence chess player in the United States. The USCF Absolute Chess Championship is only open to the strongest thirteen correspondence chess masters who respond to USCF Correspondence Chess Director Alex Dunne’s invitation. All games played in the Absolute Chess Championship are archived in the Correspondence Chess section of the United States Chess Federation’s website.
Below is a list of the entrants for this year’s tournament including your humble reporters name.

1. John Menke 2453
2. Ted Brandhorst 2432
3. Harry Ingersol 2388
4. Dan Woodard 2369
5. Abe Wilson 2347
6. Chris Torres 2325
7. Kristo Miettinen 2321
8. Gordon Magat 2309
9. Danny Horwitz 2271
10. James Rhodes 2268
11. Thomas Connelly 2249
12. Barry Endsley 2246
13. James Sawaski 2167

Correspondence Chess News

February 4, 2010

It has been said that “The plight of the Correspondence Chess player is to toil in anonymity to add a grain of sand to the body of chess knowledge.” As a regular part of my blog, I will now feature the often misunderstood hobby of correspondence chess. Many of the chess opening novelties we have seen featured in locations such as Linares, Wijk aan Zee and Sofia were indeed created in the lonely laboratories of the correspondence chess master.  Below is February’s United States Chess Federation list for the top 100 correspondence players.  Of special mention is Alex Dunne who writes a wonderful monthly article on the subject of correspondence chess entitled “The Check is in the Mail.” You can find his collection of articles here:

1 Cullum, Chuck (12683996) MA USA 2486
2 Duliba, Edward P (10147310) PA USA 2485
3 O’Hare, Ciaran (12540472) OK USA 2447
4 O’Connell, Christopher Ian (10206600) DE USA 2436
5 Van Enk, Steven J (12729266) OR USA 2433
6 Brandhorst, Wesley (10177103) FL USA 2432
7 Greene, David F (12547622) NJ USA 2423
8 Cook, Randy (12414122) AZ USA 2421
9 Wilson, Abe L (12483963) HI USA 2412
10 Miettinen, Kristo, Maj (12486315) NY USA 2403
11 Rose, Bleys W (12405134) CA USA 2395
12 Concha, Hugo J (12464289) FL USA 2391
13 Tracz, James G (12398324) OH USA 2385
14 Brack, Frank Edward (12412040) TX USA 2383
15 Brower, Walter J (12416332) AL USA 2379
16 Langland, Thomas P (11236219) CA USA 2373
17 Daves, Dana Drew, Sr (12395110) NC USA 2369
18 Schultheis, Donald H, Sr (10183758) MD USA 2365
19 Levine, Joel (10099200) NY USA 2361
20 Keating, Robert F (12641782) IA USA 2358
21 Buss, Michael D (12437668) IN USA 2355
22 Swan, Peter Lee (10163421) CO USA 2349
23 Fass, Robert (10127319) NY USA 2348
24 Walters, Gary (12617923) OH USA 2342
25 Adams, Gary R (12515217) AZ USA 2339
26 Baffo, Jeffrey (10340195) CO USA 2335
27 Sogin, David Warren (12546407) KY USA 2327
28 Rodriguez, Keith (10118735) FL USA 2310
29 Ballow, John (12397699) CA USA 2309
30 Anderson, Laurence Allyn (12238840) MO USA 2308
31 Woodard, Daniel S (12410084) NV USA 2307
32 Stueber, Guido J (12677347) FL USA 2304
33 Schakel, Corky (10318602) MN USA 2303
34 Ryan, Patrick J (10050880) NJ USA 2300
35 Greene, Sanford I (10107369) NY USA 2289
36 Prieto, Alberto (10377811) GA USA 2287
37 Ingersol, Harry (10347394) MO USA 2285
38 Weiner, Gerald H (10061237) CT USA 2283
39 Magat, Gordon B (10088828) NY USA 2281
Funston, David A, P-37790 (12829713) CA USA 2281
41 Gales, Wesley V (12487508) WI USA 2278
42 Boege, Harold W (10323126) MN USA 2274
43 Endsley, Barry E (10397901) MI USA 2272
44 Jacobs Jr, Charles A (12746276) AK USA 2271
45 Miehm, Robert (11046894) TN USA 2262
46 Bonsack, Laurence T (12500562) CA USA 2261
47 Cruz, Humberto (10231221) FL USA 2259
48 Walker, Barry Wood (12483835) MO USA 2255
49 Motta, Paul S (10435986) OR USA 2254
50 Rhodes, James E (12687721) CA USA 2248
51 Jones, Jan (12475891) AZ USA 2247
52 Ireland, R Scott (12217080) FL USA 2246
53 Dunne, Alex (10155576) PA USA 2245
Strock, Faraday J (12501396) IL USA 2245
55 Cross, Gregory W (12280220) TX USA 2244
56 Hillery, John K (10010250) CA USA 2242
57 Marshall, Michael J (12126310) GA USA 2240
58 Meiners, Edwin Paul, Iii (10395801) AZ USA 2239
Smith, Steven Richard (11097332) PA USA 2239
60 Calogridis, Michael S (10394546) TX USA 2238
61 Eilmes, Don P (10462398) CA USA 2232
62 Shipman, Joseph L (10114322) NJ USA 2227
Mcgregor, Stephen Dean (12437976) TX USA 2227
64 Everitt, Gordon T (12201480) LA USA 2223
65 Kell, Spencer R (10431646) CA USA 2222
66 Endler, Jeffrey I (10031923) DE USA 2215
67 Brochard, Thomas W (11155669) CT USA 2214
68 Albanesi, Paul L (11033482) NY USA 2213
Delehanty, Thomas (12642096) NY USA 2213
70 Poole, Kenneth J (12249130) CA USA 2210
71 Connelly, Thomas P (10132258) VA USA 2202
72 Porter, David William (12514878) MD USA 2194
73 Hensley, Michael F (12713876) MS USA 2192
74 Van Dooren, James (12658352) FL USA 2191
75 Harris, Timothy Mark (13443503) SC USA 2189
76 Robledo, Mark, Sr (12597337) IL USA 2188
77 Hampton, Robert C (10426162) NM USA 2181
Vaughan, James Gerald, Jr (12543480) OH USA 2181
79 Ellis, James R (11301037) GA USA 2179
80 Radomskyj, Peter (12460475) NJ USA 2178
81 Mclaughlin, Richard Francis (12443601) NY USA 2173
82 Rogers, Bradley K (12317970) MI USA 2172
83 Addis, Edward L, Ii (10505551) OR USA 2168
84 Ovadya, Menahem (12746310) CA USA 2164
85 Barber, Richard A (10416787) CO USA 2162
Furse, Norman J (10890527) KS USA 2162
Tseng, Wilbur (12692226) IL USA 2162
88 Boles, Robert Lowell (10483522) CA USA 2160
Lauterbach, Michael (12028490) CT USA 2160
90 Hammel, David C (10261694) IA USA 2159
91 Babcock, Thomas Charles (10841704) MN USA 2158
92 Lane, Riley E (12135170) GA USA 2151
Flowers, Brian R (12447657) CT USA 2151
94 Allard, Michael N (10365520) MD USA 2148
Soricelli, Gerard C (12428749) NY USA 2148
Hoefdraad, Gillmore Andre (12806102) MD USA 2148
97 Murray-Miller, Morgan (12609710) NY USA 2147
98 Weiss, Lester (10279321) IN USA 2142
99 Chilson, Steven Wayne (10137446) VA USA 2139
Lewis, Walter J (10470544) CA USA 2139

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