ponz111

David Taylor
Kankakee, IL, United States
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One of my best chess results was winning the finals of the United States Correspondence Chess Championship with a score of 13 wins and 1 draw and no losses. I am the only person in the history of the finals of the United States Correspondence Chess Championship who scored all wins with the black pieces. 7 out of 7 and 4 of these were with 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 !?

 Recently Keith Hayward and I wrote the book Play The Ponziani. There are several reviews on this book.

I also wrote a book called Ponziani Power and a book called Scandinavian Uprising.

I am a "old timer" and have lots of chess stories. These are printed in my blogs.

My current Fide Correspondence rating is 2538 but I needed 3 more games to make that a permanent rating.

Too bad [for me] that at the time I was playing they did not rate games played in the preliminary rounds of the US Correspondence Championship. I was undefeated and came in first in two preliminary rounds.

Now they rate games in the preliminary sections. If it applied to me, my rating would be over 2550 and I would have a title.

I had to give up serious chess because of health problems.

However before that I played an internet game against the very strong TCCMB Team. Their top player is now a correspondence grandmaster.  They had just wiped out a very good master and I challenged them to a game using their opening Albin Counter Gambit.

I had White and played 1.d4 for only the 2nd time in out of hundreds of correspondence games. The game was an epic battle and was followed on the internet, each move posted, by hundreds of viewers. The game lasted a little over a year . I used a stragedy of almost always responding to a move the same day.  Thus my total time for the game of over 50 moves was 1 day vs over 300 days for the team [and they used time outs and vacations which were not counted against them]   They actually used more "timeouts" then they said they would at the start of the game. There was a little dispute with the tournament director about this and basically the team said it was THEIR game and they could take the extra time outs and vacations. [It did not matter to me as I thought I was winning]

It frustrated them no end that they would spend a week or more to make their move and immediately they would receive a move back. They were defending an endgame with their Bad Bishop vs my Good Knight. 

At the end of the game they mentioned they had sent thousands of emails back and forth discussing possible moves.

 To add to the game, I gave a nice quote or two with every move  such as "a horse, a horse, of course, of course" Mr. Ed. They had to have one member of their team do nothing but respond to my quotes.

Just about when they thought they were going to draw---I played a sacrifice of a N for a Pawn which led to a win in about a dozen more moves. This sacrifice had not been seen by anyone--not the team and not the hundreds of spectators. 

As I had "seen" this Knight for a Pawn sacrifice several moves before it was actually played--it is one of my best sacrifices in chess.

Dave Taylor vs TCCMB Team

White  Dave Taylor [2538]

  Black TCCMB TEAM [2283 median]

 
Here is a game played in the U S Open in 1973 vs Grandmaster Bisguier I had White 
 
For that tournament I won my first 3 games and then was paired with the then Illinois State Champion Andrew Karklins who was a few months later to play in the US closed championship.  His USCF rating was 2415 at the time. This game was one of the last of the 777 player tournament to finish that day. It was a draw.  I then won from GM Bisguier [2464], and then  won from the Chicago Champion, Al Sandrin and I was tied for the lead after 5 rounds with 3 others with a score of 5 wins and one draw. The next night I was paired with master Lawrence Day [2283] of Canada. Unfortunately he had looked up my earlier games and found a Ruy Lopez line I played as Black for which he found a refutation. He played it against me and I lost. Some advantage to staying in the tournament hotel in Chicago rather than working a full day in Kankakee Illinois and have to drive and park in
Chicago and then game over-back to Kankakee and another full day of work.  I had and have a severe insomia problem and was getting very little sleep for this US Open. I debated with myself if I should call in and drop out for my 8th round game but decided to play. My opponent was master Steve Tennant [2263] a former Illinois Champion. I knew him from city to city unofficial games where I had managed to somewhat get the best of him.  I played the Smith Morra Gambit and got into the rook and pawns end game with a two pawn advantage. But my head was swimming from lack of sleep and I only managed to draw. Undecided  Mr Tennant was very happy about the draw and kept on saying that I was up two pawns and could not win! I was  up two pawns and could not win!  He was right! I had to withdraw from the tournament because of exhaustion and lack of sleep.
My USCF rating after the US Open was 2188 - just needed 12 points to become a master!  As it turned out there was a 4 round tournament in my home town of Kankakee, Illinois. I played and won all 4 games and knew I had more than the 12 rating points needed.
 
But then there was another 4 round tournament--should I play and risk my rating points to take me under 2200?  I played and again won all 4 games.
So, for the whole year of 1973, my USCF performance rating was 2439!
I eagerly waited for my Chess Life to see my new rating.
First month same rating. Second month
same rating of 2188, third month--still 2188.  I finally remembered who was the tournament director for both tournaments and called him on the phone. He stated that not only was he tournament director--he played in both tournaments and did poorly. So he did NOT SEND IN THE RESULTS! After that I never played another USCF game and that was 41 years ago.
I was doing very well in  correspondence chess-way above 2200 and it was my first love and I decided to go with that and forgive the guy who did not send in the two tournament results for over-the-board USCF chess.  Life is to short to hold a grudge.  
 
As mentioned before I won the 7th United States Correspondence Championship.  I think use of computers were allowed but this may have been the last or next to last where computers did not play a role in the final results. This is because computers of that time could only play at approximately expert level and the level of the finalists of the above mentioned tourney was way above that. Nowadays computers are allowed and used in the United States Championship and thus the winner of the finals may have a score of 3 wins and no losses and maybe 11 draws. Current players tell me that it is near impossible to win with Black when your opponent can use chess engines. [so my records of 7 wins out of 7 games with  Black may never be equaled.]
 
At about the same times as the USA correspondence finals I had a new book come out, co authored with Alex Dunne, Center Counter Uprising . It had to do with 1. e4  d5  2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5. The Center Counter/Scandinavian was unpopular at that time and I like to think that my book and my winning of 4 out of 4 Center Counter games in the USCCC Finals helped it to gain popularity.
 
Here is one of my games using that
defense in the USCCC Finals:
N. Eric Pedersen - David Taylor
7th USCCC Championship Final
1987 - 1988
Here is another game from the Championship. This game was Dave Taylor vs Thomas Crispin. Thomas Crispin is an expert on the French Defense and I played him once before with White and only got a draw. This time I wanted to avoid his French Defense so I opened 1. c4
David Taylor vs Thomas Crispin  USCCC Final Round 1987-1988
 
 Here is another of my Center Counter Games from the finals of the USA Correspondence Championship
Shannon vs David Taylor 1988
This game is also printed in the book The Modern Scandinavian and the notes are from this book unless I mark with dt
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