For five years now it has been my pleasure to judge the American Postal Chess Tournaments' ''Game of the Year.'' All entries are submitted to the APCT News Bulletin and screened; then I wade through 30 or 40 of the best games to decide first and second prizes. The games are sent to me ''blind,'' that is, without the names of the players involved, so that I won't be swayed by subjective considerations.
The competition is always fierce, and deciding why one game is more worthy than another is never easy. The 1983 winner was Mike Carey, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., originally from upstate New York. Mike, whose research in clinical psychology leaves him little time for tournament play, does manage to squeeze in a few over-the-board tournaments each year. He is a US Chess Federation master, Nashville city champion, and Tennessee state champion.
The award-winning game pleased me because of the retribution inflicted on Black for violating the spirit of the opening. He plays Alekhine's Defense, named after Alexander Alekhine, one of the greatest world champions, who successfully espoused this defense in the 1920s. It was one of the first of the so-called hypermodern defenses, which among other things featured the revolutionary concept of allowing or even enticing one's opponent to occupy the center with pawns, in the hope that they could later be successfully attacked.
In the featured game Black never succeeded in disturbing White's strong central phalanx. When he did strive for counterplay, it was too little and too late; White's exploitation was elegant.
Alekhine's Defense Carey Rossell
1. P-K4 N-KB3 2. P-K5 N-0Q4 3. P-Q4 P-Q3 4. N-KB3 B-N5 5. B-K2 P-K3 6. 0-0 B-K2 7. P-B4 N-N3 8. N-B3 0-0 9. B-K3 P-Q4(a) 10. P-B5 BxN 11. PxB (b) N(3)-Q2 12. P-N4 P-KB3 13. P-B4 N-QB3 14. R-N1 P-QR3 15. P-QR4 P-B4(c) 16. K-R1 K-R1 17. R-N1 R-B2 18. B-B3 P-KN3 19. Q-N3(d) P-KN4(e) 20. NxP PxN 21. BxP R-N2 22. PxP P-B5(f) 23. BxP NxQP 24. Q-B4 N-QB3 25. BxN PxB 26. P-K6 Q-KN1(g) 27. Q-K4 N-B1 28. B-K5 QxP 29. QE-K1(h) Resigns A. Safer is 9. . . . PxP; 10. NxP, BxB; 11. QxB, QN-Q2, as Vaganian played against Geller in the Soviet championship of 1971.
B. This voluntary acceptance of doubled pawns shows a masterly understanding of the position. Now 11. . . . N-B5; 12. BxN, PxB; 13. Q-R4 or 13. Q-K2 costs Black a pawn. White intends to use his doubled pawn to maintain his center and utilize the KN file for attacking purposes.
C. Admitting that his 12th move was a waste of time.
D. It was already possible to play 19. NxP, but Black is so trussed up that White can afford to increase the pressure first.
E. This understandable try for counterplay forces White's hand, much to Black's chagrin. The rest of the play is virtually forced.
F. If 22. . . . BxNP, simplest is 23. P-B4, and White's strong central pawns will soon sweep on to victory.
G. If 26. . . . N-B1, then 27. B-K5 wins as in the game.
H. Black loses a full Rook because of the X-ray attack on the Black Bishop.