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William D Collins vs John A Curdo
102nd US Open (2001), Framingham USA, rd 3, Aug-06
King Pawn Game: Parham Attack (C20)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-19-13  LIFE Master AJ: Is 7...g5!? sound? I wonder what the computers think of such a move.

BTW, I once heard someone say - I shall not say who - that Curdo was NOT a creative player.

I think this game "speaks for itself." (And very loudly so, at least in my mind.)

May-19-13  LIFE Master AJ: John Curdo for IM!!! (I am DEADLY serious!)

Lobby FIDE, write them a letter!

May-19-13  LIFE Master AJ: If nothing else, it could be in recognition for his MANY (800+!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) tournament wins!
May-19-13  Colonel Mortimer: <If nothing else, it could be in recognition for his MANY (800+!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) tournament wins!>

At last, you're talking about something you have experience of.

May-20-13  hedgeh0g: <Is 7...g5!? sound? I wonder what the computers think of such a move.>

Why shouldn't it be? It's not even a pawn sacrifice and Black is afforded space, development and a kingside initiative. The idea of exchanging flank pawns to rapidly activate one's rook is a recurring positional motif.

May-21-13  RookFile: No, I didn't play this game. I would never have the cheek to play 2. Qh5 against John Curdo.
May-21-13  RookFile: Also, despite my name, I think 14. a4 was really bad. White probably needs to do something to get rid of that lobster on f4 sooner rather than later.
May-21-13  LIFE Master AJ: <RookFile> If this is not your game, where did it come from?
May-21-13  RookFile: The answer is likely the Metrowest Chess Club. 2001 US Open was held in Framingham, Massachusetts. This chess club would have been located either in Framingham or nearby Natick then, I forget which.

The point is that John Curdo was there on day 1 of this club and helped to get it established. What clubs do sometimes is publicize games of their leading members. At some point it made it into this database.

Probably something like this.

May-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <RookFile> I thought you played this game when I read this old post:

<Sep-01-05 RookFile: I thought 7... g5 was a really sharp move from Curdo, didn't see that one
coming. Maybe 7. d3 was better...
but then Black replies 7... Be6
and the theat is ....Bxb3 and ...Nxc2
White then plays 8. Kd1 !? I guess.
Kind of a murky position, black's queen and white's king are in awkward spots.>

Saying "I did not see that one coming" makes it sound like you played it.

But if you say it's not you, then my mistake.

May-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Ah, yes-the good ol' Metrowest club. Don't remember whether it was known by that name when I played there fairly often from 1986-1989, though.
May-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I just checked the tournament crosstable for that 2001 US Open event.

William Collins, Massachusetts resident.

He won 5 games, one draw three losses.

Not bad.

May-21-13  LIFE Master AJ: <chancho> Still, thanks for pointing it out. (Even if someone gave it the wrong name.)

Is it possible that there were/are more than 2 Bill Collins out there? (Maybe.)

I know - at one of the U.S. Opens (1990) that I played in, there were several people there were the same last name ... it lead to problems in more than one case.

May-21-13  RookFile: Hi Chancho: yeah, I meant, when playing over the game here on chessgames, that I was a little surprised by ....g5.

Curdo has been an 1. e4 e5 player for umpteen years. He probably thought of the idea in less than a minute.

May-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <RookFile.....Curdo has been an 1. e4 e5 player for umpteen years.....>

So he has, but we had a few games with 1.e4 Nc6 as well. He even played a Loewenthal Sicilian against me in 1985, after I won a game using his favourite 5.d4 against the Steinitz Deferred.

May-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Yeah, Nimzovich Defense.

There are three games of that defense in one of his Caviar books.

I'll upload them to the database.

May-22-13  RookFile: Oh yes, I remember 1. e4 Nc6. I think that was his "I'm going all out for a win" variation. Don't think he really believed it was sound, but viewed it as a good surprise weapon.
May-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I remember when Curdo lived in Chelmsford (took a few lessons) and then he moved to Auburn when he got married.

The dude's in his 80's and still playing tournaments.

And yeah, a real class act.

Oct-11-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I must admit I hadn't heard of Curdo before -- he's an interesting player. It seems to me that the USA has many strong players who play mainly in local state and regional events, and who build up a reputation without ever being awarded the IM or GM title ... (cf The Connecticut Capablanca, The Jersey Janowski, The Louisiana Lasker, The Florida Fischer, etc). In Europe, such players would probably make it onto Olympiad teams, at least in smaller countries - and would certainly have more opportunities to test themselves against masters.
Oct-11-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom>: Curdo worked for Honeywell for a number of years-don't recall exactly what he did for them-but round about 1978, he quit his day job to play chess on a full-time basis. For about ten years he was able to fare reasonably well in swisses throughout New England (we met at least once in all six states in the region), but age and players such as Alexander Ivanov made the going much tougher for him. No less a player than Art Bisguier opined in 1979 that John could well have made IM in different circumstances-back then, however, any titles were tough to earn Over Here.

John is, and always was, a decent man and ferocious competitor-I am glad to see he is still active, for I talked with a mutual acquaintance two years ago, who intimated that the end of John's playing career might then be nigh.

Oct-13-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <perf> Titles were harder to earn everywhere back then. In recent years, about seven Irish players have made the IM title ... but I don't think any of them are stronger than 70's players like Moles and Kernan, who never got a title. Wolfgang Heidenfeld, several times champion of South Africa and Ireland, wrote a book called 'Lacking the Master Touch', showing how, despite wins against top players, he still fell short of a title. His son, Mark Heidenfeld, is now an IM -- and yet I suspect that Wolfgang was the stronger player.
Oct-13-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom>: Agreed, and about impossible if one were an aspiring American GM, without travelling to Europe. Jim Tarjan had to go to Yugoslavia for six months or more to garner the necessary invitations, and he was one tough player.

On another page, I brought up the point that it is easier nowadays for any aspirant, partly because there are many more titleholders and partly because norms no longer lapse after three years. In reference to Irina Krush, I believe I mentioned the latter factor as being significant, though <dx9293> pooh-poohed the idea. Most probably, Ben Finegold is another strong American who would be still be an IM back in the old days.

On the topic of Heidenfeld <pere>, I have enjoyed the following game since seeing it in the Olympiad tournament book: W Heidenfeld vs Hecht, 1974.

Oct-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <perf> Yeah, that's a nice game. When White's King began to stroll up the board, I thought it might be heading into a sacrificial assault like Reshevsky vs Vaganian, 1976 (one of my favourite games). But Heidenfeld managed to 'castle' via e3 ... quite an achievement, but then I think he also once castled twice in a single game.

At the risk of sounding too nostalgic, in those days it was possible for near-masters like Heidenfeld to play top GMs, and not just in Olympiads.

And, of course, the fact that strong players such as WH were still short of GM status is another reminder of just how brutally strong GMs are ... as you and I have to keep pointing out to various persons who just don't get it.

Oct-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom>: So it was; one need only peruse crosstables of events such as the annual Palma affray from the sixties and seventies, with their blend of world title contenders and lesser lights. Those who follow top chess nowadays and were not around for the typical 14-18 player events, and are accustomed to elite 4-6 player DRRs and ten-player events, would have their eyes opened for certain.

The line used by Vaganian was nearly always my choice against the French Tarrasch, and I scored well against 5.f4 in particular-even beat the young Patrick Wolff in it (he was roughly 2450 then, not yet a strong GM).

Oct-21-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: How can this be <rookfile>'s only game in the database, and it's not even him? <rookfile>, you should upload some.
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