Chess

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Correspondence chess seems to attract two types of player: those without much understanding of positional chess, but who (rather like computers) compensate with intense analysis; and strategists who shun the unpleasantly combative nature of the normal game, which only distracts from their purist desire to find the best move - however long it takes.

Both today's games come from a new magazine, Chess Mail, devoted to postal chess, fax chess and e-mail chess: all the varieties in which the players can think at leisure and never have to come face-to-face with an opponent.

The first game is a miniature with a pretty finish. After 16...Kxh7 17.Rxh5+ Kg8 (or 17...Kg6 18.Nh4 mate) 18.Rdg1 f5 19.g6 Black cannot prevent mate.

White: Tiens van Greuning

Black: Iain Smuts

S Africa postal tournament, 1992

1 d4 Nf6 9 a3 Nh5

2 c4 e6 10 Bg3 Nxg3

3 Nc3 Bb4 11 hxg3 h6

4 Qc2 c5 12 0-0-0 Bd7

5 dxc5 0-0 13 g4 Bc6

6 Bf4 Na6 14 Be2 Rc8

7 e3 Bxc5 15 g5 h5

8 Nf3 d6 16 Qh7+ resigns

The next game is far more classy. Black's sacrificial attack with 14...a4 makes sense only in conjunction with 18...b3! (when 19.Qxb3 ba6+ is good for Black). White's defences held together and Black had to find 24...Nxf4! to keep the attack going. (25.exf4 loses to 25...Qb6+ 26.Kf1 Ba6+.) At the end, 32.Qxc1 Bxe2+ 33.Ke1 Bg4+ forces a draw.

White: Georg Windhausen

Black: Stevan Letic

World Champ semi-final, 1996-7

1 Nc3 c5 17 Kd2 Bc3+

2 Nf3 g6 18 Ke2 b3

3 d4 cxd4 19 Nd2 Qxc2

4 Qxd4 Nf6 20 f4 Nb4

5 Ne4 Bg7 21 Qxb3 Qd3+

6 Bg5 0-0 22 Kf2 Qxd6

7 Bxf6 exf6 23 Qxc3 Nd3+

8 Nd6 f5 24 Kg1 Nxf4

9 Qb4 Nc6 25 Qc2 Ba6

10 Qa3 b5 26 Nf3 Qb6

11 e3 b4 27 Nd4 Ne2+

12 Qb3 Qf6 28 Nxe2 Qxe3+

13 0-0-0 a5 29 Kf1 Re8

14 Bb5 a4 30 Rd2 Rc8

15 Bxa4 Rxa4 31 Qd1 Rc1

16 Qxa4 Qxb2+ Draw agreed!

Chess Mail, which is published in Dublin, costs pounds 29 for 11 issues. Phone: 00-353-1-4939339.

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