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1998 U.S. Blind Championship in Primm, Nevada, July 24-25, 1998


ALEXANDE BARRASSO wins United States Blind Open Chess

The United States Open Blind Chess Tournament was held in Primm, Nevada, which is 40 miles South of Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a four round swiss held on 24 and 25 July 98. The time control was 40 in two hours and then sudden death in one hour. We had eleven blind chess players playing for the Championship.

Alex Barrasso of Washington DC is this year’s US Blind Champion. He is a second year graduate student majoring in International Studies, at John Hopkins University. He currently has a summer job with the US State Department.

Tim Just was Chief TD and Ken Horne was Assistant TD. Acting as seconds were Tom Thrush, Sister Virginia Corley, Sister Bernice, John Trivett, Mike Bruns, Eric Baugus, and Bob Byrd of Davis, CA.

Blind players do not play blind folded but use a Braille chess set. On a Braille chess set the white squares are about an eighth of an inch lower in order for the players to tell the difference. The pieces are like ordinary pieces except they are pegged to go into the holes in the squares. This keeps the pieces in place. The black pieces have small pins on the top so they can be differentiated from the white pieces.

The process for moving is: a player will make a move on the board, called out the move to his opponent, punch his clock, his opponent repeats the move, and he makes the move on his board. The blind players have Braille clocks. They are like ordinary chess clocks except there is no glass over the clock and there are bumps on the face so the blind player can feel the time.

The blind players are required to keep score, some use Braille writing, some use a Braille machine, and some use a hand held tape recorder.

Report by Ken Horne

Round results:

Round 1  24 July 98, 10 am

Schmidt, Henry 1384    -  Siebrandt, Jeff 2039    0-1
Barrasso, Alex 1720    -  Hart, James 1239        1-0
McStraw, Rick 1167     -  Leventhal, Jay 1686     0-1
Pietroutungo, Al 1459  -  Earl, Krista 1042       1-0
Betts, Allen 848       -  Olynki, Henry 1431      0-1

Round 2  24 July 98, 6 pm

Siebrandt, Jeff 2039   -  Pietrotungo, Al 1459   1/2-1/2
Olynki, Henry 1431     -  Barrasso, Alex 1720     1-0
Leventhal, Jay 1686    -  Miller, Rich 748        1-0
Hart, James 1239       -  Schmidt, Henry 1384     0-1
Earl, Krista 1042      -  McStraw, Rick 1167      0-1

Round 3  25 July 98, 10 am

Barrasso, Alex 1720    -  Leventhal, Jay 1686     1-0
Olynki, Henry 1431     -  Siebrandt, Jeff 2039    0-1
Pietrotungo, Al 1459   -  Hart, James 1239       1/2-1/2
McStraw, Rick 1167     -  Betts, Allen 848        1-0
Miller, Rich 748       -  Earl, Krista 1042       0-1

Round 4  25 July 98, 6 pm

Siebrandt, Jeff 2039   -  Barrasso, Alex 1720    1/2-1/2 
Leventhal, Jay 1686    -  Pietrotungo, Al 1459   1/2-1/2
Schmidt, Henry 1384    -  McStraw, Rick 1167     1/2-1/2
Miller, Rich 748       -  Olynki, Henry 1431      0-1
Betts, Allen 848       -  Hart, James 1239        1-0 

Information provided by Ken Horne


 # Name                 Rtng  Rd 1  Rd 2  Rd 3  Rd 4  Total
 1 BARRASSO, ALEXANDE   1720  W11   W7    W4    D2     3.5
 2 SIEBRANDT, JEFFREY   2039  W6    D3    W7    D1     3.0
 3 PIETROLUNGO, AL      1459  W9    D2    D6    D4     2.5
 4 LEVENTHAL, JAY       1686  W5    W10   L1    D3     2.5
 5 MC STRAW, RICHARD    1167  L4    W9    W8    D6     2.5
 6 SCHMIT, HENRY        1384  L2    W11   D3    D5     2.0
 7 OLYNIK, HENRY        1431  W8    L1    L2    W10    2.0
 8 BETTS, ALLEN          848  L7    B---  L5    W11    2.0
 9 EARL, CRISTA         1042  L3    L5    W10   B---   2.0
10 MILLER, RICK          748  B---  L4    L9    L7     1.0
11 HART, JAMES R        1239  L1    L6    B---  L8     1.0

Standings provided by Ken Horne


Round 1

Board 1
Schmidt, Henry 1384  - Siebrandt, Jeff 2039  - 0-1 
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 e6 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 c5 7.e3 Nc6 8.d4 
b6 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Nc3 Bb7 11.a3 Rc8 12.b4 Be7 13.Nb5 Ba6 14.a4 Bxb4 
15.c3 Be7 16.Re1 Nd7 17.Nbd4 Nc5 18.Nxc6 Rxc6 19.Ne5 Rc8 20.Bf1 Bxf1 
21.Kxf1 Ne4 22.Rc1 Bf6 23.f4 Bxe5 24.fxe5 Qc7 25.Qd4 Qc4+ 26.Kg2 Qb3 
27.Re2 Rc4 28.Qd3 Rxa4 29.Rec2 Rc8 30.Ra1 Rxa1 31.Bxa1 Qc4 32.Qd1 b5 
33.Qb1 b4 34.Rb2 Nxc3 35.Qe1 a5 36.Rd2 Qe4+ 37.Kh3 Qxe5 38.Ra2 Qf5+ 
39.Kg2 Nxa2 0-1

Board 2
Schmidt, Henry 1384  - Siebrandt, Jeff 2039  - 0-1 
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 d6 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Qxd8+ Nxd8 6.Nxe5 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 
Bxd2+ 8.Nxd2 Ne7 9.Bc4 Be6 10.0-0-0 0-0 11.f4 Bxc4 12.Ndxc4 Ne6 13.
Rd7 f6 14.Rxe7 Rae8 15.Rxe8 Rxe8 16.Nd3 Nd4 17.Re1 b5 18.Nd2 a5 19.
Kd1 h5 20.e5 f5 21.Nc5 Kf7 22.Re3 Ne6 23.Nxe6 Kxe6 24.Nb3 Kd5 25.Kd2 
a4 26.Rd3+ Ke4 1-0

Board 3
McStraw, Dick 1167   - Leventhal, Jay 1686   - 0-1
1.e4 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 d6 5.h3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.d3 
Bd7 9.Be3 a6 10.d4 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Qc7 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.c5 Rfe8 14.Bf4 
Qb8 15.Qd2 Qb4 16.cxd6 Nxe4 17.Qc2 Nxc3 18.Bd2 Nxe2+ 19.Kh2 Qxd6+ 20.
g3 Bf5 21.Qd1 Nd4 22.Bf4 Qd5 23.f3 e5 24.Bxe5 Rxe5 25.Rf2 Rae8 26.Kg2 
Re2 27.Rxe2 Rxe2+ 28.Kf1 Qxf3+ 29.Kg1 Qg2# 0-1

Board 4
Pietroutungo, Al 1459  - Earl, Krista 1042     - 1-0 
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 d6 3.Nf3 Ne7 4.e4 Nbc6 5.Be2 g6 6.b3 Bg7 7.Bb2 0-0 8.d3 
a5 9.Qd2 b6 10.h4 Bf6 11.h5 Bg4 12.hxg6 Nxg6 13.Qh6 Qd7 14.Qxh7# 0-1

Board 5
Betts, Allen 848     - Olynki, Henry 1431    - 0-1
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d3 Nf6 4.Bg5 e6 5.Nc3 Be7 6.Be2 Nc6 7.0-0 0-0 8.
Na4 b5 9.c4 bxa4 10.b3 axb3 11.axb3 Bd7 12.Qd2 Rb8 13.Rab1 Rb4 14.d4 
Nxe4 15.Qe1 Nxg5 16.Nxg5 Bxg5 17.dxc5 dxc5 18.Bf3 Nd4 19.Bh5 Bc6 20.
Ra1 Qa8 21.Ra5 Nxb3 22.Ra6 Bxg2 23.f3 Bxf1 24.Kxf1 Nd2+ 25.Kg2 Rb2 26.
Qa1 Nxc4+ 27.Kg1 Qd5 28.Rxa7 Qd2 29.Ra8 Qg2# 0-1

Round 2

Board 1
Siebrandt, Jeff 2039 - Pietrotungo, Al 1459
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bxf6 
Nxf6 8.Bd3 Bd7 9.c3 Bc6 10.Qe2 Nxe4 11.Bxe4 Bxe4 12.Qxe4 Qd5 13.Qe2 0-
0-0 14.0-0 Bf6 15.c4 Qh5 16.Rfd1 g5 17.b4 g4 18.Ne5 Bxe5 19.dxe5 Qf5 
20.g3 Rxd1+ 21.Rxd1 Rd8 22.Rxd8+ Kxd8 23.b5 h5 24.a4 Qb1+ 25.Kg2 Qb3 
26.a5 Qa3 27.h3 gxh3+ 28.Kxh3 Qxa5 29.Qxh5 Ke8 30.Qh8+ Ke7 31.Qc8 Qb6 
32.f4 c6 33.c5 Qxb5 34.Qc7+ Kf8 35.Qd8+ 1/2-1/2

Board 2
Olynki, Henry 1431   - Barrasso, Alex 1720
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 Bb4+ 4.Nc3 c5 5.e3 0-0 6.Bd3 d5 7.0-0 Bxc3 8.
bxc3 Qc7 9.Re1 cxd4 10.cxd5 dxc3 11.d6 Qa5 12.a4 e5 13.e4 Bd7 14.Bc2 
b5 15.Nxe5 b4 16.Nxd7 Nfxd7 17.f4 Nc5 18.e5 Nbd7 19.Be3 Rab8 20.Rb1 
Rfe8 21.Bf2 Qd8 22.Re3 Re6 23.Qd5 Qe8 24.Rh3 Nb7 25.Bxh7+ Kf8 26.Bf5 
Rh6 27.Rxh6 gxh6 28.e6 fxe6 29.Bxe6 Qg6 30.f5 Qg5 31.Bxd7 c2 32.Qd3 
c1Q+ 33.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 34.Qf1 Qxf1+ 35.Kxf1 Nxd6 36.Bc5 Ke7 37.Bb5 a5 38.
Ke2 Rc8 39.Bb6 Nxb5 40.axb5 Rb8 41.Bxa5 Rxb5 42.Bc7 b3 0-1

Board 3
Leventhal, Jay 1686  - Miller, Rich 748
1.d4 e6 2.e4 Bb4+ 3.c3 Bd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e5 0-0 6.exd6 cxd6 7.Bd3 Nd5 8.
Nbd2 Qf6 9.Ne4 Qg6 10.Nh4 Qxe4+ 11.Bxe4 Nc6 12.0-0 f6 13.Qh5 g6 14.
Nxg6 Nde7 15.Nxe7+ Kh8 16.Qxh7# 1-0

Board 4
Hart, James 1239     - Schmidt, Henry 1384
1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.d4 Bg4 5.Be2 Qe7 6.Ne5 Bxe2 7.Qxe2 Nd7 
8.Nc6 Qxe2+ 9.Kxe2 bxc6 10.Bf4 0-0-0 11.Rd1 Ngf6 12.Rd3 Nh5 13.g3 
Nxf4+ 14.gxf4 Bd6 15.Rf3 Rde8+ 16.Kf1 Re4 17.c3 Rxf4 18.Rxf4 Bxf4 19.
Na3 Re8 20.Re1 Rxe1+ 21.Kxe1 Bxh2 22.Ke2 h5 23.Kf3 f5 24.Kg2 Bd6 25.
Nc2 g5 26.Ne3 f4 27.Nf5 Bf8 28.f3 Nf6 0-1

Board 5
Earl, Krista 1042    - McStraw, Rick 1167
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.e3 a6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bd3 e6 6.0-0 Bb4 7.e4 dxe4 8.
Nxe4 Nxe4 9.Bxe4 Bd7 10.Qd3 g6 11.Bg5 Be7 12.Bh6 Nb4 13.Qc4 Bc6 14.
Rae1 Qd6 15.a3 Bxe4 16.Rxe4 Nc6 17.Rd1 0-0-0 18.b4 Bf6 19.c3 Rd7 20.
Bf4 e5 21.Bc1 Rhd8 22.g3 exd4 23.cxd4 Qd5 24.Qd3 Nxd4 25.Nxd4 Bxd4 26.
Rxd4 Qxd4 27.Qxd4 Rxd4 28.Rxd4 Rxd4 29.Be3 Rd3 30.a4 Rb3 31.Bc5 b6 32.
Be7 Kd7 33.Bf8 Kc6 34.a5 Kb5 35.axb6 cxb6 36.h4 Rxb4 37.Bxb4 Kxb4 38.
f4 a5 39.Kf1 a4 40.Ke1 a3 41.Kd1 a2 0-1

Round 3

Board  1
Barrasso, Alex 1720  - Leventhal, Jay 1686
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.0-0 e6 8.
Qe2 Be7 9.Rd1 Nd7 10.Bf4 0-0 11.Bxd6 Bxd6 12.Rxd6 Qe7 13.Rad1 a6 14.
e5 Rd8 15.Qd2 Ncb8 16.Qf4 Re8 17.Qg4 Nf8 18.Bd3 Nbd7 19.Qg3 b5 20.Rd4 
f6 21.Ne4 Nxe5 22.Nxe5 fxe5 23.Qxe5 Bd7 24.Qh5 Qf7 25.Qh4 Ng6 26.Qh5 
Rf8 27.Rxd7 Qxd7 28.Ng5 Rfe8 29.Bxg6 hxg6 30.Qh7+ Kf8 31.Rxd7 Re7 32.
Qh8# 1-0

Board  2
Olynki, Henry 1431   - Siebrandt, Jeff 2039
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.Nc3 c6 7.e3 Nbd7 8.
Bd3 0-0 9.0-0 Re8 10.Rb1 a5 11.a3 Nf8 12.Ne5 N6d7 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.
Nxd7 Nxd7 15.Re1 Nf6 16.f3 Qd6 17.Kh1 g6 18.Bc2 Kg7 19.e4 dxe4 20.
fxe4 Ng4 21.e5 Nf2+ 22.Kg1 Nxd1 23.Rbxd1 Qc7 24.Rf1 Be6 25.Rf3 Rad8 
26.b3 Qb6 27.Na4 Qb5 28.Rf4 Bxb3 29.Bxb3 Qxb3 30.Nc5 0-1

Board  3
Pietrotungo, Al 1459 - Hart, James 1239
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.e3 dxc4 5.Bxc4 Be7 6.b3 0-0 7.Bb2 Nbd7 8.
Rc1 a6 9.0-0 b5 10.Be2 Bb7 11.Qc2 Rc8 12.a3 c5 13.Qd1 Rc6 14.d3 Qc7 
15.Nd2 Rd6 16.Qc2 Rc8 17.Bf3 Bxf3 18.Nxf3 Nd5 19.Nxd5 Rxd5 20.Rfd1 
Rh5 21.b4 Bd6 22.g3 Qb7 23.Ne1 Rc7 24.bxc5 Rhxc5 25.Qd2 Rxc1 26.Rxc1 
Rxc1 27.Qxc1 Qc7 28.Qd2 Nf6 29.Qe2 Qe7 30.Nc2 a5 31.Qd2 b4 32.axb4 
axb4 33.h3 h6 34.e4 Nd7 35.Kf1 Nb6 36.Ke2 Na4 37.Ba1 e5 38.Ne3 Qe6 39.
Nc4 Be7 40.Bxe5 Qxh3 41.Qc2 Nc5 42.Nd2 Ne6 43.Bb2 Qg4+ 44.Ke1 Ng5 45.
Qd1 Qe6 46.Nc4 Bf8 47.Bc1 Qf6 48.Bb2 Qe6 49.Bc1 Be7 50.f4 Nh7 51.Bd2 
Qh3 52.Qf3 Bh4 53.Kf2 Qh2+ 54.Ke3 Be7 55.Ne5 Bc5+ 56.d4 Qg1+ 57.Ke2 
Qxd4 58.Qd3 Qxd3+ 59.Nxd3 Be7 60.Bxb4 1/2-1/2

Board 4
McStraw, Rick 1167   - Betts, Allen 848
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.a3 Nf6 4.Nc3 d6 5.h3 Be7 6.Bc4 Be6 7.Bxe6 fxe6 8.
Ng5 Bf8 9.Nxe6 Qe7 10.Ng5 h6 11.Nf3 Qd7 12.0-0 Rd8 13.d4 d5 14.Nxe5 
Nxe5 15.dxe5 Nxe4 16.Qh5+ g6 17.Qxg6+ Qf7 18.Qxf7+ Kxf7 19.Nxe4 dxe4 
20.Re1 Rd7 21.Rxe4 Rd1+ 22.Kh2 Rf1 23.Rf4+ Ke7 24.g4 h5 25.Kg2 hxg4 
26.Kxf1 Rxh3 27.Rxg4 Rh1+ 28.Rg1 Rh3 29.Bg5+ Ke8 30.Rd1 Bh6 31.Rd8+ 
Kf7 32.Bf6 Rh5 33.Rg3 Rh1+ 34.Ke2 a5 35.Rd7+ Kf8 36.e6 b5 37.e7+ Kf7 
38.Rf3 Ke8 39.Rd8+ Kf7 40.e8Q# 1-0

Board 5
Miller, Rich 748     - Earl, Krista 1042
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.0-0 0-0 5.d3 d6 6.Bd2 Bg4 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.
Qe2 c6 9.b4 Bxb4 10.h3 Bh5 11.g4 Bxc3 12.Bxc3 Bg6 13.d4 Nb6 14.Ng5 
Na4 15.d5 Nxc3 16.Qf3 Qe7 17.dxc6 bxc6 18.Qxc3 Rfd8 19.Bxf7+ Bxf7 20.
Qf3 Bc4 21.Rfe1 Rab8 22.Qf5 g6 23.Qf3 Rb2 24.Qa3 Rxc2 25.Qa5 c5 26.
Qc3 Rxc3 27.Red1 Nxe4 28.f3 Nxg5 29.Rd5 Bxd5 30.Rd1 Bxa2 31.f4 exf4 
32.Rd5 Nf3+ 33.Kh1 Qe2 34.h4 Rc1+ 35.Rd1 Rxd1# 0-1

Round 4

Board  1
Siebrandt, Jeff 2039 - Barrasso, Alex 1720  
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0-0 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.e5 d5 7.Bb5 Ne4 8.
Nxd4 Bd7 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.Be3 Bb6 11.Nd2 Nxd2 12.Qxd2 h6 13.c3 Qe7 14.
Rfe1 0-0 15.f3 1/2-1/2

Board  2
Leventhal, Jay 1686  - Pietrotungo, Al 1459
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 0-0 7.e3 Nbd7 8.
Nf3 b6 9.Bd3 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Bb7 11.0-0 c5 12.Bd3 Rc8 13.Qd2 cxd4 14.
Nxd4 Qc7 15.f3 a6 16.b4 b5 17.Bb2 Qb8 18.Rac1 Rxc1 19.Rxc1 Rc8 20.Re1 
Ne5 21.Qe2 Nc6 22.Nb3 Ne7 23.Nc5 Ng6 24.Qf2 Rd8 25.Bb1 Nd7 26.Ne4 
Ndf8 27.Ng3 Rd7 28.Rc1 Qd8 29.Re1 Rd2 30.Re2 Rd1+ 31.Re1 Rd2 1/2-1/2

Board  3
Schmidt, Henry 1384  - McStraw, Rick 1167
1.d4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 Nf6 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.d5 Na5 8.
Bxd7+ Qxd7 9.Ne5 Qd6 10.Nd3 0-0-0 11.Nc3 e6 12.Bf4 Qd7 13.Rc1 exd5 14.
Nxd5 Nxd5 15.exd5 Bd6 16.Bd2 Rhe8+ 17.Be3 b6 18.0-0 Nb7 19.b4 Be5 20.
Nxe5 Rxe5 21.Bf4 Rxd5 22.Rxc7+ Qxc7 23.Qg4+ f5 24.Qe2 Qd7 25.Rc1+ Nc5 
26.Qa6+ Qb7 27.Qe2 Qd7 28.Qa6+ Qb7 1/2-1/2

Board 4
Miller, Rich 748     - Olynki, Henry 1431
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d3 Nf6 6.Be3 e6 7.Nc3 a6 8.
Ne4 b5 9.d4 bxc4 10.Nxf6+ Qxf6 11.Bg5 Qg6 12.Qe2 d5 13.Qd3 cxd3 14.
Ne5 Qxg5 15.dxc5 Qxe5 16.c6 Nxc6 17.g4 Bd6 18.h4 Qh2# 0-1

Board 5
Betts, Allen 848     - Hart, James 1239
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.d3 Bxc3+ 5.Bd2 Bxb2 6.Rb1 Ba3 7.Be2 Na5 
8.Bxa5 b6 9.Bb4 Bxb4+ 10.Rxb4 Ba6 11.Nxe5 d6 12.Ng4 c5 13.d4 Bxe2 14.
Kxe2 cxd4 15.Rxd4 Rc8 16.Qd2 Rc5 17.Rd1 d5 18.exd5 Rxd5 19.Rxd5 Qc8 
20.Rd8+ Qxd8 21.Qxd8# 1-0

Games provided by Ken Horne