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with 4-0 but managed just half a point from the final three games. At this diffi- cult personal moment, James’ thoughts were with the team he played for. He stayed in the team room, waiting for the results that would determine its fate. Isaac Barayev was the next to return. He came back wearing a smile of relief; his had been a narrow escape. Despite an inferior position, he had rejected draws to pursue the necessary result. With his win, the outlook became considerably brighter. But James was fixated on the idea that his draw would cost the team dearly. He approached Isaac. “It’s my fault. We’re going to lose by half a point, and it’s going to be my fault.” Isaac’s reply was immediate. “Last year it was my fault.” Hunter had topped 318 by half a point the previous year, with Isaac not reaching his own high expectations. Justus was next to return: He had won

the most important game he had ever played for his school. His position had been difficult, and a draw would have suited him from a purely chess stand- point. “But I knew we needed as many points as we could get.” For the second straight year, he scored 51

⁄2 out of 7 to lead

the team in the high school nationals. Hours into the final Sunday in Minneapo- lis, everything rested on 318’s unlikely board four. Matthew Kluska was locked in

battle with Miami expert Sam Silberman, from the Gulliver School. The game, which started as a quiet exchange Slav, burst into life: Kluska had accepted an uncomfortable king position in return for other positional advantages. As he had so many times in his eighth grade year, Matthew found a way. He crowned his comeback from 1


out of 2 with the most clutch win of his life, taking 318 to 20 points. But would it be enough? A Catalina Foothills versus Thomas Jefferson pairing had ended in an early draw, ultimately helping knock both teams out of first place contention. Hunter, however, had picked up three wins so far. Only Alec Getz remained, the picture of concentration, locked in battle with Minnesotan Matthew Dahl. Getz needed a win for Hunter to over- take 318. The tension of the moment was not lost on John Galvin, watching from the sidelines. “Both teams fought so hard. ... they should call the whole thing a draw.” It was strange to think we were rooting for Alec Getz to come up short. He was Hunter’s rock, tying for first in 2010 and scoring an unbeaten 6/7 in 2011. Like his Hunter teammates, he was a class act on and off the board. Knowing a draw would not suffice for his team, Getz bravely continued in a difficult rook

ending, trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Finally he accepted the inevitable and agreed to a draw, placing Hunter and 318 in a tie for first place. Word of 318’s superior tiebreaks reached

the team room quietly. Galvin walked in with a single index finger raised in the air, the universal sign for “first.” When Spiegel noticed, she wore the exhaustion, disbelief, and release of tension on her face. Celebrations began. Alumnus Pobo Efekoro ran down the hallway, nearly trampling Spiegel. Galvin permitted him- self a fist pump, the first of the entire weekend. For a brief moment, a few gra- nola bars assumed the role of projectiles, hurled across the room in an outpouring of joy. Elizabeth Spiegel, that most intense, most serious of teachers, just smiled. Her students made history, but they were, after all, middle schoolers.


See the individual champion’s report begin- ning on the next page.

There are many opportunities now for chess scholarships. Check Chess Life Online reg- ularly for announcements about application deadlines and general announcements. Twosourcesare scholarships/ and


2012 Open Correspondence Chess Golden Knights Championship $1,000 FIRST PRIZE

(plus title of USCF’s Golden Knights Champion and plaque)

2nd place $600 • 3rd place $400 • 4th place $300 • 5th place $200 6th thru 10th place $100 each • ENTRY FEE: $25

These USCF Correspondence Chess events are rated and open to all USCF members who reside on the North American continent, islands, or Hawaii, as well as those USCF members with an APO or FPO address. USCF members who reside outside of the North Am erican continent are welcome to participate in e-mail events. Your USCF membership must remain current for the duration of the event, and entry fees must be paid in U.S. dollars. Those new to USCF Corre spond ence Chess, please estimate your strength: Class A: 1800-1999 (very strong); Class B: 1600-1799 (strong); Class C: 1400-1599 (intermediate); Class D: 1399 and below (beginner level). Note: Prize fund based on 300 entries and may be decreased proportionately per number of entries assigned.

2012 E-mail Correspondence Chess Electronic Knights Championship (Seven-player sections, one game with each of six opponents.)


(plus title of USCF’s Electronic Knights Champion and plaque) 2nd place $400 • 3rd place $300 • 4th thru 10th place $100 each • ENTRY FEE: $25

These USCF Correspondence Chess events are rated and open to all USCF members with e-mail access. Your USCF membership must remain current for the duration of the event, and entry fees must be paid in U.S. dollars. Maximum number of tournament entries allowed for the year for each player is ten. Note: Prize fund based on 200 entries and may be decreased proportionately per number of entries assigned.

TO ENTER: 800-903-USCF(8723) OR FAX 931-787-1200 OR ONLINE AT WWW.USCHESS.ORG Name_________________________________________ USCF ID#_______________________________________

Address _______________________________________ City___________________ State ___ ZIP ____________ Phone __________________________ E-mail____________________________________ Est. Rating __________ Credit card # (VISA, MC, Disc., AMEX) _________________________________________ Exp. date ____________


If using VISA, need V-code ________________ qCheck here if you do not wish to have an opponent who is incarcerated. *Note: This may slow down your assignment.


NOTE: Except for Lightning Matches, Swift Quads, Walter Muir E-Quads & Electronic Knights, players will use post office mail, unless opponents agree to use e-mail.


Win A Correspondence Chess Trophy Four-player, double round-robin with class-level pairings. 1st-place winner re ceives a trophy. ENTRY FEE: $10.

Victor Palciauskas Prize Tournaments Seven-player class-level pairings, one game with each of six opponents.

1st-place winner receives $130 cash prize and a certificate signed by Victor Palciauskas. ENTRY FEE: $25.

John W. Collins Memorial Class Tournaments Four-player, double round-robin with class-level pairings (unrateds welcome).

1st-place winner receives a John W. Collins certificate. ENTRY FEE: $7.


Lightning Match Two players with two or six-game option. ENTRY FEE: $5.

Swift Quads Four-player, double round-robin format. 1st-place prize merchandise credit of $30. ENTRY FEE: $10.

Walter Muir E-Quads (webserver chess) Four-player, double round-robin e-mail format tournament with class-level pairings. 1st-place receives a certificate. ENTRY FEE: $7.

Please circle event(s) selected.

Chess Life — July 2012




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