"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Friday, 28 October 2011

Correspondence Chess

"I drink, I smoke, I gamble, I chase girls – but postal chess is one vice I don't have." - Mikhail Tal (1936-1992)

Kosten's Masterpiece
When recently friend of mine, Phill Beckett, came up with an idea that I could "beef up" the Grantham Kings Correspondence Chess Team, the above mentioned statement of the former world chess champion Mikhail Tal was the first thing which occurred me.
Yes, I have some previous experience with correspondence chess, when in my heydays as a student of the grammar-school in the heart of Europe behind the "iron curtains", my school fellow, late Zdeněk Páv, had organised a team match with the group of Finnish guys. As far as I remember, I played 1.d4 and after 1...f5 I played Staunton gambit 2.e4 and then all what I can recall is that I really had not enjoyed the game.
More then 30 years later I had the guts to say: "Yes Phill, with pleasure!" So Phill was hopefully happy and I was happy too. And then we have played two friendly games together. With Black I played very boring stuff which ended up with draw quite soon. But playing White I wanted something special. And Phill helped me very much.
After my 1.c4 Phill went for The Three Knights variation of the English Opening and basically he fell into a theoretical opening trap which has been already published in ECO as well as in the excellent Tony Kosten's book "The Dynamic English". So we both have contributed to the theory of this line and you can see now how.
I would say two things: First, thank you very much Phill. I enjoyed the game very much and second, a good game wasn't it?

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