Tag Archives: Benko’s Opening

Amateur Versus Master: Game Twenty Three

I Had Some Klewe How to Draw This Correspondence Chess Game!

My opponent in the correspondence chess game is an ICCF master who lives in Germany.

White has a tendency to play unorthodox openings. In this correspondence chess game, White chose Benko’s Opening and I responded with the Modern Defense. We then transposed into the Kings Indian Defense, Panno Variation. Although I ended up playing some lines that I had never seen before, thanks to my databases of games, I was able to play a solid variation.

As Black, I ended up with a slight positional advantage and I kept that slight positional advantage after some middle game exchanges that traded down into an endgame. Part of that advantage included tandem (They are also called Horwitz Bishops after Bernhard Horwitz and mistakenly called Harrwitz Bishops after Daniel Harrwitz.) bishops that were aimed at the White Queenside. I still had those tandem bishops on move number 40 when White offered a draw, but there were no targets left on the Queenside for those bishops to attack. Because I was unable to find a way to capitalize on the very slight positional advantage, I accepted the draw offer.

This draw puts me into a temporary tie for third place in this section and fourth on tie breaks.

Mike Serovey

2011 Golden Knights Final

This game is the last one that I completed in the 2011 Golden Knights semifinal round. This draw gave me the 4.5 points that I need to advance to the final round. Wayne kept declining my draw requests even though I had a slight positional advantage throughout most of this endgame. I was irritated by that. In an OTB game it makes sense to play out even endgames if your opponent is low on time. In CC chess it is a bit of an insult to play out dead even positions hoping that I will blunder. I am not likely to blunder when I can take three days to look at a move!

In the final round I am the only one out of seven who is not a master. Still, I think that I can pull off an even score in this section and get my USCF CC rating over 2200 points, making me a legitimate chess master for the first time in my 38 year chess career.

In this game Black (me) never castled, which is unusual. I usually castle by move ten. In this game, I chose not to castle in order to break up the tension on the Kingside. I got away with that, but I still doubt if that was my best strategy here. Wayne didn’t castle until move number 21.

Mike Serovey