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Member since Feb-25-09 · Last seen Jun-21-18
Phil Van Dusen, USCF member for a long time, current OTB rating 2040. I started playing rated tournaments after entering high school, breaking even in my first, then gradually improving results until I made a 2nd place finish at the Washington-Baltimore HS championship of 1972.

Over the next three years, I lived in England, playing regularly at the Scarborough Chess Club and in inter-scholastic events as my school's first board. One memorable success in this period was getting a win against Bent Larsen (1 of only 4 achieved) when the Great Dane conducted a 74-board simultaneous exhibition in Teesside, England. A less enjoyable, but similarly memorable encounter was getting crushed in the first round of a tournament by top-10 GM-to-be Jonathan Speelman.

After returning to the states, I continued playing rated chess tournaments, but started shifting my focus to weekend table tennis competitions, seeking physical exercise as an offset to a mostly sedentary IT job. It's interesting that USA Table Tennis uses the Elo rating system, borrowed from chess. During this period, when I was generally curtailing active tournament chess play, I got one of my best results. A lucky last-round draw against GM Niaz Murshed allowed me to finish in a tie for 2nd at the 1990 Maryland Open, but the more accomplished and deserving Allan Savage (NM) won the Maryland State title on tiebreaks, even after losing a heartbreaker to GM Max Dlugy in the last round.

In 2007, I started to run some small days camps that combined chess and table tennis. The camp was designed primarily for kids, but some adults participated and enjoyed it. This was the derivation of the handle CHESSTTCAMPS, which I'm keeping even though I'm unlikely to try running one again.

In 2015-2017, I started part-time chess teaching with Silver Knights Enrichment and also Curie Learning Center. SKE focusses on elementary schools in Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland. I found it a very satisfying experience and met some great teachers.

In 2017, I moved to Vermont. Here, I look forward to playing and teaching more chess, but also making time for other hobbies (especially various puzzle-solving, cross-country skiing, birdwatching, hiking, and gardening). Full Member

   CHESSTTCAMPS has kibitzed 1992 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Jun-06-18 B Adhiban vs D Andreikin, 2017
CHESSTTCAMPS: Oops - bad analysis.
   Jun-05-18 D Perez vs J Jackova, 2008 (replies)
CHESSTTCAMPS: Even though material is close (black one pawn up), the game is not. With two pieces tied down by absolute pins, white's queen alone provides no counter-play. Black can finish precisely with 33... Rxf1+ 34.Kh2 (Kxf1 Qxd1#) Qf4+ 35.g3 Rxf2+ 36.Kg1 (Kh1 Qc1#) Qxg3+ and # next.
   Jun-04-18 N Lopes vs U O'Boyle, 2008
CHESSTTCAMPS: The one available check leads to a forced mate-in-3. It has been a while since I've visited this forum. Can someone remind me if there is an index that allows direct access to previous puzzles of the day - preferably in reverse chronological order? Thanks.
   Jul-13-16 Santasiere vs B Thurston, 1956
CHESSTTCAMPS: Currently frustrated with mediocre results in ChessTempo tactical problems, so looking for a lighter challenge in the Wednesday POTD. Material is even, but white owns the semi-open h-file and an f6 pawn that functions as an extra piece in the attack. Giving priority to the most
   Jun-23-16 K Ulanowski vs E Kustal, 2009 (replies)
CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is essentially even, but black's lag in development leaves the back rank fatally weak, making Black's threat of 27... Rxg2 ineffectual. White can ignore the threat with 27.Nf6+!: A. 27... gxf6 28.gxf6+ Rxg2 29.Rd8+ Qe8 30.Rxe8# A.1 28... Kh8 29.Qg7# A.2 28... Kf8 ...
   Jun-22-16 A S Rasmussen vs T Rydstrom, 2014 (replies)
CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is essentially even, with white having very well-placed minor pieces that are much superior to black's passive bishop pair. The pin on black's f-pawn allows the white queen to get to g6, a familiar attacking pattern against a king-side castle. Therefore, 24.Nf6+! gxf6 ...
   Jun-21-16 G Mittermayr vs C Kleijn, 2009 (replies)
CHESSTTCAMPS: White has B+N+P for the bishop pair, but the castled white king is more vulnerable, even though the black king is caught in the middle. I was initially focused on two candidates, 25... Bf4+ (to be followed by 26.Kb1 Qa5 27.Ba4), and 25... Ra1+ 26.Kd2 Bc3+ 27.Ke3, where the ...
   Jun-20-16 W So vs S Fedorchuk, 2015 (replies)
CHESSTTCAMPS: White is up two pawns and threatens 32.Bxf3 (primary) and 32.dxc8. But black is completely prepared to exploit white's weak back rank with 31... Rh1+ 32.Bxh1 Rg1#
   Jun-09-16 Korchnoi vs Yusupov, 1988 (replies)
CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is essentially even, with black having the bishop pair. Black owns the open d-file with the rook battery, but white's ownership of the h-file is more important, given that the black king-side is so poorly defended. It quickly becomes apparent that f7 is weak - 31.Rh7! ...
   Jun-08-16 N Bakulin vs Korchnoi, 1950 (replies)
CHESSTTCAMPS: Korchnoi has a knight for three pawns in this endgame position, but appears to be in the process of losing a piece with the attacked knight forced to give up its defense of the bishop. No worries though - the remaining pieces work together perfectly. 38... Nc4+! forces mate: ...
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