The Road to 2200: USCF Electronic Knights Tournament

The Road to 2200: USCF Electronic Knights Tournament


Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash  


Before sharing the latest updates on my progress in the Electronic Knights tournament, I want to share a fun story and a cherished memory involving the legendary chess player Rainer Schlenker. This memory is connected to the Week 23 puzzle, which featured one of his games.

Rainer Schlenker, a German International Master (IM), has significantly contributed to the chess world through his exceptional play and dedication to the game. Over the years, he has competed in numerous national and international tournaments, showcasing his strategic prowess. Beyond his playing career, Schlenker has also been an advocate for chess, engaging in both promotion and teaching.

The term “knight on the rim” is a nod to the adage “A knight on the rim is grim,” yet history has shown that these edge knights can be game-changers. Notable examples include Bobby Fischer’s surprising Nf6-h5 move in his 1972 World Championship match against Boris Spassky and Magnus Carlsen’s occasional use of the “edge knight system” with moves like 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Nf6 3.e5 Nh5.

In German, a knight on the rim translates to Randspringer, which was also the title of Raomer Schlenker’s self-published magazine.

Back in the day, publishing a magazine involved a typewriter and a lot of passion—a true testament to Schlenker’s love for the game.

Randspringer Magazine

Today, technology makes sharing our love for chess easier through platforms like this blog. While it still requires effort, the process is much more accessible. Now, let’s get into the updates on my latest results in the Electronic Knights tournament.

Electronic Knights - Finals

Section 21ENf01

First of all, this shows how correspondence chess goes. The tournament started in 2021, and we are now—three years later—in the finals. That sets things in perspective. I have to say it was a great decision by USCF to move to the ICCF server with this engine-free format. It makes things much easier than with email. The start date was 1/19/2024, and the end date is 7/19/2026.

As of May 2024, I was on the top 100 player list and ranked as nr. 73 Schroeer, Egbert Heinrich (30088451) with ELO 2099.

All details about ratings with calculation examples are here for those who want to learn more.

And now I finished the first two games. Enjoy!

Game Analysis: Nohr, Matthew

I don’t remember exactly, but this might be my fourth game against Mathew, whom I met first to discuss how to implement a chess engine compute cluster with ChessBase, but that’s a different story. Have a look at the annotated game. You will find my thoughts during the game, also added in annotations.

Game Analysis: Barclay, Dean

I have never played Dean, and it was an interesting experience. Under correspondence, I thought this was more like a “correspondence blitz.” My pawn majority at the end didn’t bring me over a winning finish line, and I offered a draw when a threefold repetition by White would have been very likely.

My thoughts during the game are in the annotations, too.

I am considering looking into it again, especially considering the calculated sidelines during the game.

Game Analysis: Corkum, Tim

And then -update 06/17/2024- after posting the blog I finished this game against Tim Corkum. I played Tim before and was able to secure a draw, but this one ended different - in favour for Tim; and as he always says “sláinte”

Tim Corkum is a Correspondence Chess Master (CCM) from Wisconsin. He has had significant achievements in the world of correspondence chess. He won the Electronic Knights title 3 times: 2011, 2016 and 2018. He was the co-champion of the 2022 US Chess Absolute Championship with John Walton. This is a testament to his skill and dedication to the game of chess.

As you can see, I never recovered from my move 36. That’s how it goes in correspondence chess. Over the board you might have had a chance to draw, but not here. I have 3 games to go and ranked actually at 3rd place. Let’s wait and see how it goes.

You can find my other game from semi-final here

Amici Sumus

See you next week, when I will share the 2024 Electronic Knights Preliminary results so far. If you enjoy my insights, consider supporting me with a virtual coffee! ☕️ Or a beer? Either way 😎 - Your support fuels me to continue sharing valuable content.

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