Irving Ellner Remembered
Irving Ellner passed away this week at the age of 90. He will be long remembered at the Kenilworth Chess Club as the man who single-handedly kept the club alive through the post-Fischer years, from 1975-1985, when attendance dropped off steeply. What some may not know is that Irving, an Expert player over the board, played some serious correspondence games for over 30 years, until his final days, achieving a master rating of 2224 in the last ICCF ratings list. The following two games show him at his best.
Irving Ellner - Duane Andruss [C56]
I think the following game is likely Irving's "Immortal."
This actually may be stronger than the book recommendation:
7. Nxd4 d5! (7... Bc5? 8. Rxe4+! fxe4 9. Qh5+ g6 10. Qxc5)
(7... Qh4 8. g3!)
8. Bb5 (8. Nxc6?! bxc6 9. Rxe4+ fxe4 10. Qh5+ Kd7)
8... Bc5 9. f3! Qh4 10. Bxc6+ (10. Be3? f4)
10... bxc6 11. g3 Qf6 12. c3
The only way to save the Queen without getting mated immediately.
William D. Jempty (2143) - Irving Ellner (2224) [E66]
USCF 59th Golden Knights /Correspondence 2006-2007
The following game was sent into The Newark Star Ledger by Irving's long time friend Mike Wojcio, who intended it as a surprise for Irving, who always read the Ledger's chess column. As fate would have it, Irving died only days before the game appeared.
In his book Play the King's Indian, Joe Gallagher recommends instead the Classical system 6... Nbd7 7.
Careless play, especially in correspondence. This move may protect the c4 pawn, but it loosens the protection of the Knight on c3 and allows a standard long-diagonal tactic that wins a pawn for White.
The Rook should stay where it is to support a potential kingside advance -- so 16. Nd2 with ideas like f4 looks a better try.
20. f4! still looks like White's only good idea.
Stronger 21... c4! exploiting the pin on the Knight at e3.
Though Black has returned the pawn, he has complete dominance on the dark squares, which is more important long term.
Every one of Black's pieces is more powerful than White's, and his queenside pawn majority is much more threatening than White's stymied center majority.
Much stronger than recapturing, since keeping the pawn on the a-file means it will not be blockaded.
As Pete Tamburro suggests in his Star Ledger column, this final combination "shows a sense of humor on the part of the winner."
Games in PGNCopyright © 2008 Michael Goeller