Chess by mail is an exciting sport, particularly to those who enjoy watching paint dry or grass grow. A typical game takes 6 to 18 months. I played postal chess beginning in the mid-1960's, took a break, and then got back into it in the early 90's. Most of my games were far from memorable ... but the people whom I met were fun to correspond with. Here's a summary of my encounters, based on US Chess Federation records. If you find your name on the list (or spot somebody you know) please drop me a line and tell me how it's going!
- 1992 (class tournament 92CA362) --- a pair of wins over Evan Moffic (Milwaukee, WI) and the same against John Andrew McCleerey (Indianapolis, IN), plus a couple of hard-fought draws with my brother Keith Zimmermann (Austin, TX).
- 1992 (class tournament 92CC412, played via Prodigy email) --- two victories over Robert A. Distefano (Linden, MI), and similarly two wins versus Halford H. Fairchild (Los Angeles, CA), but a draw and a loss to Ronald London (Albuquerque, NM). I still remember that loss, due to my foolish hastiness early in the opening. It was a Two Knights Defense, and I thought I could visualize the position and move without consulting the board. I was wrong!
- 1993 (Golden Knights preliminary section 93N107) --- wins against Bronislaw Chrzanowski (Satellite Beach, FL) and Christopher W. Jens (Sergeant Bluff, IA), a draw with Stewart J. Lessel (Utsonomiya-shi, Japan), and losses to Donald E. Beaulieu II (Attleboro, MA), Jeff S. Arnold (Temecula, CA), and Donald Partrick II (Greenville Junction, ME). Donald Beaulieu is blind, but saw the chessboard more clearly than I did. Jeff Arnold was far stronger than the rest of us in this group; he finished with a perfect 6-0 record.
- 1993 (class tourney 93CA217) --- a pair of lucky victories over my brother Keith, a win plus a draw with Jerry Greer (Jacksonville, FL), and a win and a loss to Brian French (Hixson, TN).
- 1993 (match 93P94 with Robert A. Distefano) --- after losing to me twice in an earlier tournament, Robert wanted revenge, and he got it! In our six-game match I won only one, drew two, and lost three. Ugly, from my side of the board. Throughout my ordeal Robert was a gentleman.
- 1994 (class tournament 94CB172) --- six glorious wins, two apiece against Thomas P. Bonnet (Indio, CA), Ralph Walter Fisher (Denver, CO), and Hank Cox (Santa Cruz, CA). (OK, I got lucky!)
- 1996 (match 96P5 with Keith Zimmermann) --- again my brother in Austin played better than I did, but I managed to struggle to an even result, two wins, two losses, and two draws.
- 1996 (class tourney 96CB182) --- another sweep, six wins for ^z, two each over Leo Strull (Montebello, CA), James T. Fenton (West Chester, OH), and Tom Beechey (Mystic, CT).
My correspondence chess rating began at 1600, the bottom edge of Class B. It random-walked with a slow upward drift during the next five years, and ended in the lower third of Class A ... a proud 1859. Five years, hundreds of dollars in postage, thousands of hours of head-scratching, for a gain of 259 points. Definitely worth it!
Wednesday, August 16, 2000 at 20:15:30 (EDT) = Datetag20000816
(correlates: ZimmermannEnvironmental, Kolache Memories, CorrelationCausalityAndAstrology, ...)