I switched from O.T.B. to C.C. in 1983 and played this wonderfully rewarding form of chess until 1992, which was just before the introduction of computer programs which radically altered the nature of the game. These “engines” have eliminated all tactical errors and oversights and have raised the level of C.C. enormously. However there is a huge problem here which can be seen by the posing of one simple question. Who (or what) found the moves which constitute the game that was played? It is a fundamental question of identity and the “debate” about computers in C.C. is a phoney debate—the beautiful game of correspondence chess is dead. None of the proposed solutions are even remotely convincing—one cannot go back. The game below was played without computer assistance but hopefully is not too shabby despite that. It was John Gibson who persuaded me to take up C.C. and no good deed goes unpunished. This game decided the 1983 Irish C.C. Championships.
Tony Doyle — John Gibson
Irish Correspondence Championship 1983
1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. g3 Nd7 5. Bg2 e5 6. Nf3 Ne7 7. dxe5 dxe5 8. O-O O-O 9. Qc2 h6 10. Rd1 f5 11. Be3 c6 12. Rd6 (diagram)
A nuisance or a target for Black?
With the idea that White cannot play 13. Nd4 because of 13… Qc7, trapping the rook.
13. Nd4 Qc7 14. c5! Nf6
14… Nxc5 15. Ncb5 cxb5 16. Nxb5 Qa5 17. Qxc5 with a big advantage. The original notes to the game give 17. Qc4+, which can be met by 17… Be6! If now 17… Bxb2, then 18. Rb1 Qxa2 19. Rxb2! (19. Qc2) 19… Qxb2 (19… Qa1+ 20. Bc1) 20. Bd4.
15. Bf4 Qa5 16. Nb3 Qa6 17. f3 exf3 18. exf3 Qc4
A forced regrouping of the Queen but it is probably already too late.
19. Re1 Qf7 20. Be5 Re8 21. f4 g5 22. fxg5 hxg5 23. Qd2 Ng6 24. Bxf6 Rxe1+ 25. Qxe1 Bxf6 26. Nd5! Bxb2 27. Rxg6+ Kf8 28. Rd6 cxd5 29. Rd8+ Kg7 30. Bxd5 Qc7 31. Qe8 Bf6 32. Qg8+