Al Kaufman / Correspondence Game On QuantumGambitz

by National Life Master Loal Davis



Recently a member of the QuantumGambitz chess playing community passed away; his handle was “Big Bad John” – I wouldn’t be at all surprised if his first name was “John”.  I played several games with him, but did not save any that I am aware of.  Well – that got me thinking of another player/friend of mine who recently passed away.  I don’t remember his handle, but his real name was Al Kaufman.  I knew Al from my California days and we were long-time friends both on and off the board.  We stumbled across each other at the chess club in Livermore California.  At that time many of the members were not just local-yokles, but also employees of the Lawrence Livermore Lab; Al included.  He worked on projects so secretive that if he told me what they really were, he’d have to “kill me”.  I do know that a lot of his work was high-level national security “stuff” and he frequented the Norad defense facility.  After several chess club meetings, we stumbled upon another common interest – Music.  Al played the violin; fairly well.  Although I grew up playing the violin, I eventually switched to viola and have a performance degree from Indiana University at Bloomington.  Al and I played for many years in a string quartet (two violins, viola, and cello) and performed for a wide variety of functions – wine tasting events, bar mitzvahs, music educator groups, etc.  When I moved back to Missouri, I tuned Al onto this site (Quantum-Gambitz) and we played several games here.  My favorite was an English Opening where I was Black.  I’m sure Al would forgive me for showing this game (a loss for him), but we found the ending rather pretty.  I hope you enjoy it as well.


Quantum Gambitz     2009

English / Classical

White “Al Kaufman”
Black “Loal Davis”

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bg2


Black To Move



This is obviously not the only move, but the idea behind this “retreat” is to avoid exchanges (emphasizing Black’s spacial advantage and keeping White in his slight cramp) plus controlling the d4 square.  “Normal” developing moves might allow White to eventually play d4 himself.

6. e4

This creates a horrible energy “hole” on d4.  In retrospect he might have thought that since he “had me on the run” (moving sideways/backwards) that this “stab” at the center was justified. It is not.

Nc6 7. Nge2


Black To Move



One doesn’t usually see this deep incursion which blocks/chokes White’s development and central control.  There is a famous Paulsen vs Morphy game from New York 1957 where Morphy made a similar move.  A master friend of mine in California said that this move reminded him of that Morphy game.

8. O-O Bg4 9. f3 Bc5+ 10. Kh1 Bd7 11. b3 O-O-O 12. Qe1 h5 13. Bb2 h4 14. Nc1

Queen under fire; what to do?


Black To Move


h3 !

This leads to a forced mate.

15. Nxd3

Should White capture on h3, Black recaptures with his Rook.  Why?  See Ahead.

hxg2+ 16. Kxg2

Now a Bishop check will allow White’s King to hide on h1.


Black To Move


Rxh2+ !

No hiding.  

17. Kxh2 Rh8+ 18. Kg2 Bh3+ 19. Kh1 Bxf1# 0-1


Final Position


Click On This Diagram To Step Through The Game (PGN Notation)


Fun Stuff.  Thanks Al.


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One Comment

  1. Steven Edward DuCharme

    Rest with pieces to all deceased members of QG

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