I rarely talk chess here. Today will be an exception. Here are two of my correspondence games currently in progress
[White "Jempty William"]
[Black "Menke John"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nf3 c5 7.O-O dxc4
8.Bxc4 Nbd7 9.Bd3 b6 10.a3 cxd4 11.exd4 Bd6 12.Re1 Bb7 13.Ne5
Be7 14.Bf4 Nxe5 15.dxe5 Nd5 16.Nxd5 Qxd5 17.Be4 Qxd1 18.Raxd1
Bxe4 19.Rxe4 Rfd8 20.Red4 g5 21.Be3 Rxd4 22.Rxd4 Bc5 23.Re4 Bxe3
24.Rxe3 Rd8 25.Kf1 Rd2 26.Re2 Rd1+ 27.Re1 Rd2 28.Re2 Rd1+ 29.Re1
Rd5 30.Re3 Kg7 31.g4 Kg6 32.Ke2 a5 33.h3 a4 34.Re4 Rb5 35.Rxa4
Rxb2+ 36.Kf3 Rb3+ 37.Kg2 Rd3 38.Ra6 b5 39.Ra5 h5 40.Rxb5 Rxa3
41.Kh2 Rc3 42.Kg2
[White "Jempty William"]
[Black "O'Connell Christopher"]
1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 d5 5.c4 c6 6.O-O Bd6 7.b3 Qe7
8.Bf4 Bxf4 9.gxf4 O-O 10.Nbd2 Bd7 11.e3 Be8 12.Qc2 Ne4 13.Ne5
Bh5 14.Nxe4 fxe4 15.f3 exf3 16.Bxf3 Bxf3 17.Rxf3 Nd7 18.Nxd7
Qxd7 19.c5 Qf7 20.Kh1 Qf5 21.Rc1 Rf6 22.Rg3 Kf7 23.Rg5 Qxc2 24.Rxc2
Rf5 25.Rxf5+ exf5 26.Kg2 Re8 27.Kf3 Re6 28.Rg2 Rh6 29.Kg3 Rg6+
John Menke is rated 2411 and Chris O'Connell 2446 by the assignment sheets that assigned us to play. My latest rating was 2134.
Though the June 2007 ratings list has John rated at 2346. CC ratings updates have been notoriously slow to update. I'm not sure which is correct but knowing John's past history, I'd say he's 2350 or above at least.
Chris O'Connell's rating puts him in the top 10 active CC players. If we use John's 2411 rating, he i s in the top 10. I'm a lifetime .5-3.5 against these two players. My rating against the USCF top 15 is pretty rotten, but that would be expected from someone of expert class. I do have a win against top 10 player Ed Duliba but that game was played way back in 1985. I've beaten no other top 40 player The next highest players I've beaten are, Gary Adams who comes in at #43, Roy Tate, who comes in at #52 and James Tracz who comes in at #55. I've got a winning record vs. Adams and .500 vs. Tate all in 3 games or more lifetime. I've completed games against 16 of the USCF top 50. In addition to Duliba and Adams, I've drawn Randy Cook(#19) and Robert Rizzo(#25) and Abe Wilson(tied at #43) in our only completed encounters. Abe and I have a game in progress. Mark Robledo isn't on the list, though I just got assigned to play Mark for the third time. I've drawn Mark our two previous encounters, and the 06NS04 assignment sheet puts him at a rating of 2330, which would be good enough to rate Mark #39.
What am I getting at? Besides Chris and John being high rated, both seem determined at present to play on games that are hopelessly drawn. Both games are rook endings with no mentionable weaknesses for either player.
John just took 11 days on two move(One was conditional). All pawns are on one side of the board, which in rook endgames means a draw 95% when one player has a pawn advantage. A famous example, Spassky-Fischer 1972 World Championship game #16. Except material is dead even in my game against Menke.
The O'Connell game has pawns on both side sides, but the only weaknesses are a isolated h pawn and backward e pawn but where does black breakthrough in this game? Chris last move was terribly inventive if he wants to win, he delivered check. If there is a chance, and I'm saying there isn't, it will have to come on the queen-side in that game. So why is he bothering with the kingside?
Don't answer that. I'm not soliciting advice.
In both games, the only way one side will win is to have their opponent either- Die or make a notation mistake.
Both players have turned down two draw offers of mine. Chris was complaining about being distracted and but fired back he doesn't take draws in under 40 moves. John said something similarly at around move 20, and then declined another offer without a word spoken at move 40-41.
Why are these two playing? I don't get it except for one possible reason. Snobbery, they don't like getting drawn by someone rated 300 pts below their rating. I'm their inferior, therefore I must lose. It would be a disgrace to draw me.
There is some grounds for this theory. US Grandmaster Boris Gulko is known to get angry or irritated if offered a draw by a player he considers his inferior. No matter what the status on the board.
I probably shouldn't care. What's it costing me? The Menke game is via email, so not a dime. The O'Connell game isn't. I guess I will have to spend another $10-15 dollars on Chris. Then aren't I a masochist? So let them pound their heads against the wall, and waste time on a game that can't be won. I'm not going to lose, and the games won't distract me from ones I can win and my other games won't distract me from a certain draw against either John or Chris.
Linked to- Cao, Right Wing Nation,