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viscovery ♡ 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Best correspondence chess. What do you consider the best correspondence chess games ever played? Why?

ganstaman ♡ 40 ( +1 | -1 )
Estrin - Berliner, 1965

1) It's one of the few games I know that I personally know to be a CC game.

2) As far as I know, it's of theoretical importance with regards to the opening.

3) Just look at it! It's insane, it's amazing. How many of us would have been able to hold things together through all that?
ionadowman ♡ 62 ( +1 | -1 )
Great game, ganstaman! ... I also recall Fred Reinfeld's book of Paul Keres's best games. It included 4 or 5 correspondence games from Keres's youth. They are pretty fantastic, some of them - I seem to recall at least one of them in which the tactics continue well into the endgame. I haven't been able to find a copy of Reinfeld's book for years, but maybe some kind soul could post the opening correspondence games on this thread?
(One is Baron von Fielitsch vs Keres was a Queen Pawn Countergambit that Black had to fight like a demon to save...)
muppyman ♡ 34 ( +1 | -1 )
Ortvin Sarapu Ortvin Sarapu once told me that he played a cc game against Paul Keres which lasted 3 years and ended in a draw. He didn't show me the game, just mentioned it in passing, and I am posting this mainly to grab an opportunity to name-drop :)
Keres and Sarapu were, of course, fellow countrymen.
viscovery ♡ 69 ( +1 | -1 )
Is this the game? Dear ionadowman,

Are you referring to the 1st game? I got it from

[Event "corr"]
[Site "corr"]
[Date "1934.??.??"]
[Round "0"]
[White "Von Feilitzsch,Baron M"]
[Black "Keres,Paul"]
[Result "1/2"]
[Eco "C40"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nxe5 dxe4 4.Bc4 Qg5 5.Bxf7+ Ke7 6.d4 Qxg2 7.Rf1 Bh3 8.Bc4 Nf6
9.Bf4 Nbd7 10.Qd2 Nb6 11.Be2 Nbd5 12.Nc3 Nxf4 13.Qxf4 Be6 14.h4 Rg8 15.Nc4 Kd8 16.0-0-0 Bxc4 17.Bxc4 Bd6 18.Qg5 Qf3 19.Qb5 c6 20.Qxb7 Rb8 21.Qxa7 Re8 22.d5 c5 23.Nb5 Nd7 24.Qa6 Rb6 25.Qa5 Ke7 26.Nxd6 Kxd6 27.Bb5 Reb8 28.a4 Ne5 29.Qe1 Ra8 30.b3 Rxb5 31.axb5 Ra1+ 32.Kd2 Rxd1+ 33.Qxd1 Qf4+ 34.Kc3 Qf3+ 35.Kd2 1/2

[Event "Deutsche Schz-1 corr3233"]
[Site "Germany"]
[Date "1932.??.??"]
[Round "0"]
[White "Von Feilitzsch,Baron M"]
[Black "Keres,Paul"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Eco "C22"]
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Bd2 0-0 7.0-0-0 Re8 8.Bc4 d6
9.f3 Na5 10.Bd3 d5 11.Qg5 h6 12.Qh4 d4 13.Nce2 Bxd2+ 14.Rxd2 c5 15.c4 Be6 16.b3 b5 17.Nf4 bxc4 18.Nxe6 Rxe6 19.bxc4 Rb8 20.Ne2 Qb6 21.Kd1 Qb4 22.Qg3 Nd7 23.Rc2 Qa3 24.f4 Rg6 25.Qf3 Rxg2 26.e5 Rb1+ 27.Rc1 Nxc4 28.Rxb1 Ne3+ 29.Qxe3 dxe3 30.Bc4 Qa4+ 0-1

kansaspatzer ♡ 15 ( +1 | -1 )
N Johansson vs Ramon Rey-Ardid, 1933
ccmcacollister ♡ 26 ( +1 | -1 )
a great game was Bob Woodworth (winner) vs Marconnet/ or vice versa for colors. Not sure now.
About the most tense I've seen. Was between two players around 2000ish. I believe from APCT, possibly USCF. But I must try to find my old Metro Chess copies and handcopy it if i can.
ionadowman ♡ 334 ( +1 | -1 )
Sarapu-Keres 1961... ... I think I might have found the score of the game muppyman mentioned in an earlier posting. At least, it has the look of a CC game, and the date given is just a year.

Turns out it's something of a thriller. Black plays the Dragon, White goes in for the classical attack beginning 6.Be2. By move 15, White is breaking into Black's outlying entrenchments, when the latter mounts a quick sortie. There ensues a swirling tactical mellay that spans the whole board. When the smoke finally clears, Black has two pawns for the Exchange, but settles for a draw.

Dragon Defence, 1961
White: Paul Keres
Black: Ortvin Sarapu
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6
5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.0-0 0-0
9.Nb3 Be6 10.f4 Rc8 11.f5 Bd7 12.g4 Ne5
13.Nd2 gxf5 14.exf5 Kh8 15.g5 Rg8 ...
16.Rf2 Qa5 17.Nb3 Qd8 18.Rg2 Rxc3 19.bxc3 Ne4
20.Nd4 Nxc3 21.Qd2 Nxe2ch 22.Qxe2 Nc6 23.Qd3 Bxf5
24.Nxf5 Bxa1 25.c3 Qa5 26.Nxe7 Qxc3 27.Qxc3ch Bxc3
28.Nxg8 Kxg8 29.Rc2 Be5
30.Kg2 Kg7 31.Kf3 Kg6 32.Kg4 a6 33.Rd2 b5
34.Bb6 f5ch 35.gxf6 e.p. ch Kxf6 Draw agreed.

As I half expected, the two played a second game at the same time, with colours reversed. This time our man wasn't so fortunate, though the game was just as hard fought. Keres apparently gets the better of the early manoeuvring and drives Sarapu back, winning a pawn. Sarapu at once fights back, invades Black's Q-side and establishes a firm hold on the centre, and wins back the pawn. But he still has to apprehend his weak King's position. It all ends with something of a minor puzzle, though...

Ruy Lopez, 1961
White: Ortvin Sarapu
Black: Paul Keres
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6
5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0
9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4
13.cxd4 Nc6 14.a3 Nd7 15.Nb3 Bf6 16.Bg5 Bxg5
17.Nxg5 Nb6 18.Bd3 Na4 19.Qd2 Qb6 20.Nf3 exd4
21.Bf1 d3 22.Re3 Ne5 23.Nxe5 dxe5 24.Rxd3 Be6
25.Rd6 Qb7 26.Na5 Qxe4 27.Re1 Qf4 28.Re3 Rfe8
29.g3 Qf5 30.Bg2 Rac8 31.b3 Nc5 32.Bc6 Rf8
33.g4 Qg5 34.Qb4 e4 35.Rc3 Nd3 36.Qxe4 Nf4
37.Rd4 Ng6 38.b4 Rfd8 39.Rcd3 Rxd4 40.Qxd4 ...
At this point the result is given as 0-1 - a win to Keres. Yet material is even, and there doesn't seem to be any quick kill for Black that I can find. Is it possible that White's last ruined the game for him (e.g what if Black's knight can reach e2 quickly)?
An examination of the position does seem to indicate that Black has the edge, here, but how big an edge is hard to say. 40...Qc1ch doesn't seem to achieve much. 40...h4 combined providing a "luft" for the king, with attack on White's weakened K-side. But I like 40...Nf4 at once, exploiting the fork threat. The continuation might have been:
40...Nf4 41.Re3 Rd8 42.Qe4 h5 (or maybe ...Rd1ch) 43.Nb7 (say) Rd1ch
44.Kh2 hxg4 with a fierce looking attack. All the same, White's resignation does seem a little early. Maybe Sarapu, figuring his chances of successful resistance to be problematical at best, offered to resign this game at once if Keres accepted his draw offer in the other. I don't know whether such "package deals" are "done" in CC, but it doesn't seem unreasonable, nor unlikely.

Perhaps slightly off topic, but there's something ... je ne sais quoi ... about the idea of two compatriates (Estonian) battling it out from opposite ends of the earth...
muppyman ♡ 8 ( +1 | -1 )
ionadowman, Thanks for finding this, it was the Estonian Expat's correspondence tournament in fact.
ionadowman ♡ 45 ( +1 | -1 )
viscovery... ... Thanks for the scores of the Keres-von Fielitzsch games. Sorry I hadn't acknowledged it earlier (I think I forgot to "Post" the message after "Review/Post", a mistake I make now and then).

That source is a very useful one. I think I found a Keres-Stalda correspondence game that Reinfeld also included in his collection. That one was also a fighting draw... I might include that in a later post...
ccmcacollister ♡ 389 ( +1 | -1 )
NEAT position, ION ... Another to look at tomorrow, for me. But looks exciting, that Keres "Win". At first glance I thought BL was going to get two pieces for the Rook with 40. ...RxBc6, but guess I just fell in GM-K's little trap; 41.Qd8+! and QxQd8 42.RxQd8+ Nf8 43.NxRc6 looks good enough. Had BL actually been able to Get those two pieces and keep his N active, seems like an obvious plan to try to get the B to the long diagonal etc. Plans only for Wonderland.
It did make me wonder tho, about 40. ...Qc1+ 41.Rd1 RxBc6?!, thinking (hoping, I mean!) 42.RxQc1 RxRc1+ 43.Kg2? Bd5+ 44.Kg3 Rg1+ 45.Kh2 Rh1+ 46.Kg3 Rg1+ but like you say, not enough. Only a perpetual check even there with WT blundering and missing the zwishenzug completely, 42.Qd8+ Nf8[]box.
Then viewing other Tactical-Elements for BL: Nh4 / Bc4/ and Nf4.
Nh4 doesn't look like an immediate Candidate-Move to me, for 40. ... but maybe sometime later it might gain consequence? {Do any of you learning tactics analysis ever do that? ...write down all the Tactical-Elements found in your position, then only need to put them together into an ordered combination(hopefully:)?
Much like when when you are doing an assessment of Positional-Aspects. }

Well, onward now, saving any ...Nh4 thoughts for tomorrow! :)
Another Wonder-About I have is if BL might follow your 40.... Nf4 41.Re3 with 41... Bxg4?! threatening B-move discoveries and also Nxh3+, both, if not captured. Indeed my analysis indicated hxg4 is FORCED or all other attempts get Mated, or lose the WT Queen with an easily won BL position as well. SO .... Indeed Ion's Nf4 line seems it may be The Real Deal after all, causing RESIGNATION by WT.
40. ... Nf4 41.Re3 Bxg4 (Probably"!!"}
42.hxg4 {PRACTICALLY FORCED, denoted here by [p] , the "p-box" symbol }
42. .... Qxg4+
43.Rg3?? Nh3+! {Is better than 43...Ne2+ 44...QxQd4 0-1 because the ...Nh3+ Wins WT's Queen too, but the clean-up is much simpler due to a "Kicker" at the end, where ...RxBc6, Nxc6 is in a position where BL's Queen has immediate check that also wins the Nc6 next move.} and 44...QxQd4 0-1 of course.
*** *** ***
So not 43.Rg3 & 43.K-hFILE is quick Mate, leaving only one reasonable try:
43.Kf1 Qg1+ 44.Kd2[] Qxf2+ {Now 45.Kc1?? Ne2+ Wins WT Queen again}
45.Kc3 QxRe3 46.QxQe3 Nd5+ 47.Ke3 NxQe3 48.KxNe3 {Bb7 may be better, so needs review still} ... now the line I reviewed goes like:
48. ... Rb8 49.Bb7 Re8+ 50.Kd4 Re6 51.Kc5 h5 52.Nc6 h4 53.Bxa6 h3 54.Bf1 h2 55.Bg2 Rb1
A couple caveats:{I believe 55.Bg2 Rb2! 56.Be4 Rb1 may be a bit better, to gain a tempo in case WT played inaccurately with 56.Bh1 . But going back to move #48, if WT does go KxNe3 perhaps BL is better to immediately push with 48....h5!?, not a need to force WT into Bb7, & still having Re8+ when the B does move there.}
But in the unimproved line, my continued play-out was that BL h1/Q was taken by
Bxh1 & RxBh1 then started pushing the g-pawn & WT pushed-in a8/Q a tempo ahead of BL's g1/Q. But the former had No Checks then! Whereas the Qh1 Was check upon promotion. Basically seeming BL winning by a tempo. But the analysis is spotty & needs ideas explored, like WT trying to roll 2 pawns together, etc. And especially some Improvement for BL ... since this whole ...Nf4 concept may well be the RESIGNATION Bringer. I feel it WILL win for BL; but do not feel I've proved it today. Perhaps Namalov Endgame d-base is called for ...but I've not yet explored.
Right now I want to Post this, to avoid any disappearance-accident of any type (pardon the pun, plz).

PS// I have not yet, but still want to look at 40. ... Bc4!? Which seems interesting if 41.Nxc4 Rxc6 and more-so if 41. ... bxc4!
However, apparently WT does not have to capture the Bc4. For EG. 41.Rc3 saves his R & defends his back-rank from Qc1+ as well, solving one of his problems. The other great one being to ascertain BL can never gain control of the long a8-h1 Diagonal with his B, especially B+Q; as such a development tends to become fatal in having such loose wt-squares. But I don't see anything here that would make me in a hurry to Resign, If I were playing WT. Anyone find something to it?
* * * * * * *
PPS// I certainly wish "NAM{a/e/i ?!}LOV" + OTHER COMMON CHESS NAMES & TERMS were in the SPELL-CHECKER! ESPECIALLY GM's, being the hardest to do, & more-so when translated into English alphabetaphonetics.
But spell-check being so new, perhaps it will be another great up-grade to come !!?
* * * * *
ccmcacollister ♡ 128 ( +1 | -1 )
Positions Fenned for Nf4 lines ... The lines with 41... Bxg4 42.hxg4 Qxg4+ are still working out if WT plays 43.Kh1 or Kh2 , for then BL responds Qh4+ forcing 44.Kg1 again, and Ne2+(or Nh3+) to win WT's Queen by QxQ.
iT does appear that the time I cease trying to continue in any Tournament or Forum-Analysis participation has probably arrived, in spite of lingering force of habit, and love of the game, and those who also enjoy to play it.
I do hope each of you finds as much pleasure from play, and meeting players, as I have over more than 30 years involved in Chess.


ionadowman ♡ 43 ( +1 | -1 )
Craig... ... Some very interesting analysis! I never considered 40...Bc4 at all, but the game seems in White's favour after 41.Nxc4 Rxc6 42.Qd8ch Qxd8 43.Rxd8ch Nf8 44.Ne5 Rc7 45.Ra8 f6 46.Nd3 Rc6 47.Nc5...

After my suggested 40...Nf4 41.Re3 Bxg4 was my first thought, but I wasn't sure it led anywhere. I think I can improve on one of your suggested lines, though:
40...Nf4 41.Re3 Bxg4 42.hxg4 Qxg4ch 43.Rg3? Qxg3ch 44.fxg3 Ne2ch 45.Kf2 Nxd4 (-+)

Must dash: breakfast is ready...
I'll be back!
ionadowman ♡ 73 ( +1 | -1 )
Red Phizz Department... ... I totally misread your analysis Craig, and misread the diagram as well. Sure 43...Qg3ch wins, but 43...Ne2ch and 43...Nh3ch win the queen for nothing. How embarrassing is that! (Doh!) But the whole line points up 43.Rg3?? to be a horrible mistake. White can do much better.
After 40...Nf4 41.Re3 Bxg4 42.hxg4 Qxg4ch 43.Kf1!, how is Black to continue? There is no check on available on g2 (43...Qg2ch 44.Bxg2), so White seems to have got away with a piece. It was this continuation that persuaded me to look for alternatives for Black at move 41.
E.g. 40...Nf4 41.Re3 h5 42.Kf1 getting off the dangerous g-file; 42...Rd8 43.h4 (43.Qe4 hxg4 looks good enough for Black) 43...Rxd4 (Black has no useful Q move that I can find) 44.hxg5 Bxg4 45.Re8ch Kh7 46.f3 Bf5 47.Ra8 h4 and White's exposed king is a serious handicap, it seems to me.
ionadowman ♡ 39 ( +1 | -1 )
Further to the Sarapu-Keres game... ... In response to 40...Nf4, White can play 41.Qe3!? The pin on the knight prevents 41...Nxd3. However, the combination beginning 41...Bxg4 looks viable for Black:
40...Nf4 41.Qe3 Bxg4 42.hxg4 Qxg4ch 43.Kf1 Nxd3 44.Qxd3 h5 ...
Possibly Black retains an edge here, since neither of White's minor pieces can move for the moment, and the passed h-pawn might very quickly become dangerous.

The plot thickens...
ccmcacollister ♡ 59 ( +1 | -1 )
After 40...Nf4 41.Re3 Bxg4 42.hxg4 Qxg4ch 43.Kf1! ION, per you line above, that is what I was saying in my last post. That busts Bl's line and I dont know how my anlysis got botched for it is showing Qg1+??? there.
Regarding the Bc4 line, I am looking at it Before Nf4 tho, so there is still a Rook on d3, which is why Nxc4 bxc4 attacking rook looked interesting to me there, moreso than Rxc6. But again, WT need not capture Bc4 at all. So if ..bxc4 retake looks good for BL at all then WT could just play Rc3 right after Bc4. And again it seems BL has naught.
ow ... time for me to stop already; here comes that heaaadache agaain! so soooon
fmgaijin ♡ 29 ( +1 | -1 )
Why not simply 40...Nf4 41.Re3 h5!, eh? . . . with an awful position for White.

Much better is ION's 41.Qe3, but even then White seems to lose a P or so after Qh6!--e.g., 42.Rd4 g5! cementing White's weaknesses, eliminating back-rankers, and indirectly threatening to answer a move like Bg2 with the cute combo Bxg4! hxg4? Rc1+! Qxc1 Ne2+.
ionadowman ♡ 85 ( +1 | -1 )
fmgaijin... ... Looking back over the posts I discover I didn't actually mention the precise move order 40...Nf4 41.Re3 h5 though I did have the pawn move in mind as part of the line. I thought the intermezzo ...Rd8 might be an improvement over ....h5 at once, but left the question unanswered in my mind. The rook move did seem more active somehow, but that by no means indicates it's better, I agree.

The 41.Qe3 move took a while to find. It leaves the rook apparently attacked, and creates, for Black, a masked battery based upon a knight check.

A little puzzled as to why White would play 42.Rd4? Possibly moving the rook off the d-file invites the Black rook to d8, thence to d1 (or d3 if the opportunity arises). 42.Rd2 (or Rd1 or Rd6) Nxh3ch 43.Kg2 Qxe3 44.fxe3 Bxg4.
That seems to answer that question: the rook guards the g4 square indirectly.

Thanks fmgaijin!