Dennis M's Chess Site

This is a blog for chess fans by a chess fan. I enjoy winning as much as anyone else, and I've had a reasonable amount of success as a competitor, but what keeps me coming back to the game is its beauty. And that, primarily, is what this site will be about! All material copyrighted.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Undisputed World Chess Champion

...of correspondence chess is now Joop van Oosterom of the Netherlands, who has an uncatchable final score of +8=6-0 in the 18th Correspondence Chess World Championships. I don't know the man personally, but I'm quite pleased for Van Oosterom, as he has contributed to the pleasure of chess fans everywhere through his sponsorship of the annual Melody Amber blindfold+rapid event in Monaco.

I offer this brief news item not just to celebrate his accomplishment, but as a heads-up to my readers to check out the tournament's games, also downloadable from the ICCF page. (The games are available through the first "6.2" link, the news blurb through the second "6.2" link, and a crosstable can be found by first clicking the first "5.2" link and then clicking on "XVIII".) While many correspondence games are of embarrassingly low quality (this isn't different from over-the-board chess, but it seems that really bad correspondence games are more likely to get into databases than their OTB counterparts), there are also plenty of tremendous battles between great players in mainstream and offbeat openings alike. This event is no exception, and especially for those interested in the English Attack vs. the Najdorf Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3+f3 (sometimes played in reverse order)), this tournament constitutes a real feast!


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