Lifetime Best Game


I am 71 years old and have won many tournaments including the United States Correspondence Chess Championshion with a score in the finals of 13 wins, 1 draw, no losses.

Some time after that I was active in what was call TCCMB

the correspondence chess message board. May top correspondence players including a world champion messaged each other and told stories.

They also had a TCCMB TEAM. In their first match they played a strong correspondence master. He played the white side of the Albin Counter Gambit and they won rather quickly.

Then I challenged them to a game using their gambit.

I had only played 1. d4 once before in all my hundreds of correspondence games but I thought I could beat that gambit. I did not know they had been studying that gambit for years and already had written a lot of their own theory.

Their top player Steve Ham is now a correspondence grandmaster and was and is an avid Albin Counter Gambit player and fan.

To start there were 10 players on their team Here were the top 7

Steve Ham 2498

Mercian  2455

Karsten Flynn 2353

San Paul 2350

Bruce Kover   2283

Joe Shipman  2258

They were also joined by John Knudsen, the master they had beaten earlier.

Dave Taylor [2528] vs TCCMB TEAM [median 2283]

I decided to try very hard to immediately answer their moves. If I could answer the same day--then no time on my clock. If I answered the next day--then one day on my clock.

The time control was 10 moves in 70 days.

This would seem adequate as after all we could think on our opponents time...One catch--for the whole game of 53 moves--I only used one day of time! This was quite distrubing for the team as they might take a week or more to decide on their move--they would send it to me and a few hours later get my response and they would have to go through the same process again!

They sent many thousands of emails back and forth in determining their moves.

Tournament director was Steve Ryan.

At one point he warned the team as they were taking vacations and holiday and other time outs to excess in trying to keep up with me.

The team replied it was really their match and they were using the time limit of 10 moves in 70 days only as a goal and they could take longer! Actually I did not mind as I thought I was winning.

at the end of the game they had used 301 days of reflection time but that was not counting maybe 30 or more days of timeouts etc. I had used 1 day.

The game was on the internet and hundreds of people watched every move. To make things more interesting I gave a quote with each move. To respond they had to assign one of their lower rated players to give a quote back.

Don't be cruel  Elvis  A horse, a horse, of course, of course Mr. Ed many quotes were something to do with the game.

This game features a N sacrifice in the endgame. It was something nobody had seen coming--not the team or even any of the hundreds of spectators. 

This sacrifice had to be seen several moves before it actually happened so it has to be one of my best of all time.

Even after I made the sac many watching on could not understand why I traded my N for a Pawn. However the

team knew they were lost and they gave  me a list of if moves to shorten the out

come of the game.


Always nice to see the albin get killed haha!


Great game!  


thank you birdy and lava and vince--first time in hundreds of correspondence games I played 1. d4 followed by 2. c4


Ponz, with your knowledge of the positional qualities, it seems you could play any of the mainline openings and find great ideas.


Maybe--I just found a line in the Ponziani which will change a whole variation which took several pages in my Ponziani book Smile

It is hard to find new lines in the opening-any opening.


Ponz, does it change it for the good or for the bad?  The funny thing is that one day, something is heroic in quality, and later someone finds the answer.


Regarding the Ponziani variation.

about 24 hours ago I discovered a very good line vs a certain variation of the Ponziani . [one of the very good players on showed it to me and I could not refute the variation. Also there were other moves in that Ponziani variation that I have never liked all that much.

So what to do?  It was really a threat to the whole Ponziani Opening?

Because even though I helped write a very comprehensive book on the Ponziani Opening--if one variation could be found which gives Black the advantage--then there goes my years of efforts Frown

But in the past in such a situation I decided to try and be creative--to think of a line which nobody has thought of or played before--and I think I did it!  I will wait til the opportunity comes up and then show that move.


hey, no matter what, even if you cannot prove white, that is okay too...


self-adulation at its best...what a heroic story...Innocent


DF, I think it is a great story - we all share our best games, why can't he share his?


I will admit to bragging here but after all I am 71 years old and way past my prime and it was a very hard struggle to play a team like that.


This one is really good David.  I love it.  Just one question:

I'm curious why they played Kxb3.  Couldn't they just sack the bishop at g7, then do the Zugswang thing with the king at b7-b6.  They would lose the c6 pawn but probably win.  The Zugswang looks in their favor, or at worst, draw.

I'm telling everyone I know I got to meet you at and what an amazing thing you did at Chicago.  I'm impressed, and I NEVER impress.  Except for Alekhine that is.   


Does white play R d8?


That's how I thought it would go.  Wow!  I would bronze a board with the ending and put it on my wall!  Well done!  


In reply to question from Zep I think the question is why did not Black play

48. ...Kxb3 [in my game]  the follow up would have been 49. Na5+  Kxa4 50. Nxc6 

Bg7  51. Kxf4  Kb3 52. Ne5  Kb4  53. Ke4  Bf8 54. Kd5  Kh5  55. Nd7 and wins.

ponz111 wrote:

In reply to question from Zep I think the question is why did not Black play

48. ...Kxb3 [in my game]  the follow up would have been 49. Na5+  Kxa4 50. Nxc6 

Bg7  51. Kxf4  Kb3 52. Ne5  Kb4  53. Ke4  Bf8 54. Kd5  Kh5  55. Nd7 and wins.

What a beauty, Ne5 was the lock in win I missed.


Brilliant game Ponz! Wonderful knight sac, absolutely wonderful.


Yes, Firebrand, your suggestion of a defense would be far better for Black.

I suspose White would play 25. Rd2 [if I have position correct]