It has been a while since I updated my correspondence chess events status.
-I may be closing in on my first ICCF event title in four tries.
-I'm currently at the top in what is probably my last ICC correspondence event, but that could change.
-I haven't started another USCF event as certain political events must be resolved within the Federation... Or I'll cease to be a member.
-I've joined the CCLA and CJA.
In the first event I participated in at ICCF, WS/O/109, I long ago finished my games. However, there is still one game going; Deren, Marcin vs. Kýhos, Alois. If Deren wins, he and I are tied with Kýhos for 2nd-4th. If they draw or Kýhos wins, I have a clear 3rd after Pötz and Kýhos. In any case, I can do no worse than 3rd. Pötz is the clear winner after his recent result over Deren. I blogged about several games in this event; Barzaghi - Owens, Owens - Thomas, Kýhos - Owens, and Pötz - Owens. The Pötz loss made me swear off the Kalashnikov, at least for Correspondence play.
In event WS/O/120, Jan Gantar has won 1st place. I am in a fight for 2nd place with Gerardo Sánchez Carmona. As the chart shows we are tied with four points, he having attained four wins and I having three wins and two draws. Ours is the last game in the event to be resolved and I can only capture 2nd with a win. We are almost sixty moves into a Caro-Kann Gurgenidze in which as Black I am up the Exchange. Sánchez Carmona allowed the exchange for a passed d pawn, but I was able to remove that pawn. We are in the early stages of the end game and I anticipate a full point and 2nd place in this event. I have not yet posted analysis of any of these games.
In event WS/O/138, I have finished all my games with two wins and four draws. I was disappointed with my performance in this event as in at least three of my draws I had a clear advantage but was unable to press home the win. Once again, I can finish as high as my current 2nd place standing. The first five positions are still to be determined depending on the results of the last two remaining games. I have not yet posted analysis of any of the games in this event. I tried 1...e5 in my game versus Dumitrescu which became a Ruy Lopez Berlin. I entered the end game with a strong advantage but was outplayed in the end game and accepted a draw. Against Sarak I played the Black side of a 1.Nf3 game that turned into an English Symmetrical without g3. I chose a "Dragon" style set up and White responded with the Maroczy Bind. White sacced the Exchange for two connected passed pawns (d and c) that I was later obligated to return the exchange to remove. In the end game, White ended up two pawns, doubled on the g file, and I accepted a draw offer on the 78th move. Against Van henteryck, I played the White side of a Reti English and had a significant initiative late into the game. My pieces were well placed and had scope, but Black was well positioned for defense and had a passed c pawn. This game was tortuously drawn out with Black often moving only once every three or four weeks and several times coming within hours of a time forfeit. I couldn't see a definitive win and accepted a draw on the 35th move. Against Pareschi I played the Black side if an uninspired closed Sicilian (3.Bc4) that ended in a 40 move draw.
In event WS/O/172, I am cautiously optimistic about my chances. I am currently in the lead with 3.5 points (three wins and a draw). In the one draw (Owens - Lehnen) I played a Reti English as White and allowed the game to get drawish much too quickly. Richardson - Owens saw White sac a piece for three pawns early in the middle game. I sacced the Exchange to double his f pawn and open up his King side around move 25. The Black Queen and Knight moved quickly on the weakened King side and White resigned after move 31. In Laine - Owens I returned to my favorite Caro-Kann. Bucking the trend, Laine chose the Classical variation. After White castled long, Black found a very strong attack on the c file and White resigned after move 26. Owens - Pooley is still on going in a Caro Kann Advance variation that is in the middle game. I think I have a strong advantage in this one. Owens - White is in the end game of a Reti English where I am up three clear pawns, two being connected passed pawns. The Queens are still on the board so the outcome is in doubt, but I retain a very strong advantage.
I have one game in one event still going at ICC. I think this will be the last ICC correspondence event for me. Twice my opponent has over stepped the time limits and has been allowed to continue. One game, as White in the London System, where I had to fight back from a tactical blunder very early ended in a draw. The other, where I am Black in a Reti English that transposed to a conventional KID, is on going. We're just entering the end game and I think I have a decent initiative. In the event, I have scored four out of five points with one point to be determined. As the event page has not been updated I'm not sure where I stand; win, place, show, or last. Blogged games from my last two ICC correspondence events are here, here, here, here, and here.
Both of the events (USCF/WS/07WM27 and USCF/WS/07WM41) I participated in at USCF Correspondence have finished. The only game I blogged is here.
I've joined both the Correspondence Chess League of America and Chess Journalists of America. I joined CCLA as one must be a member of USCF or CCLA to play in ICCF events. There are certain circumstances that may prompt me to leave the USCF when my annual membership is due this summer. CCLA is also inexpensive. I joined CJA since this and ChessUSA place me in a "journalist" type capacity. I encourage ALL bloggers to join CJA. The fee is insignificant ($10 per year) and if a sizable contingent of bloggers join and agree to abide by the CJA code of ethics I believe bloggers will gain better acceptance both from the size of the affiliated blogging community and the ethical quality of the resulting blogs that adhere to the code.