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18 th Olympiad Final 2012

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Player Profiles

GM Stephen E. Ham
GM Stephen E. Ham

I learned to play chess around age eight. Due to living in rural SE Minnesota where OTB chess opportunities were unknown, correspondence chess eventually became my only chess option. Upon graduation from St. John’s University (MN.), the need to hold a job and have time for dating left little time for OTB chess. So, I accepted the fact that my only future in chess would be in the correspondence arena.

In November 1999, I became famous, maybe infamous is more accurate, for playing a four-game correspondence match against the two strongest chess engines of that time...and losing. The purpose of the match was to play without any external (e.g. computer) assistance, and act as if my opponents were human. In short - no anti-computer stratagems were allowed. Those games, plus my live annotations are found here:

Presently, I'm 58, married to Tao (she's from China), and the father of Alexander (15) and Cordelia (13). Professionally I'm a commercial credit analyst at US Bank. Hobbies include: gardening, listening to Celtic music, reading, and soccer.

I've attached a photo taken when Corky gave me my GM certificate. [profile updated 24-Nov-2012]

GM Jason Bokar
GM Jason Bokar

Currently, I am a research design engineer at Michelin North America in their research center in Greenville, SC USA . Previously, I was a professor of Mechanical Engineering for 3 1/2 years at Clemson University, South Carolina USA, and an instructor at North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC, USA for 4 years. I have been playing chess since I was about 7 years old. I taught myself by reading a simple board game book which included chess, checkers and backgammon (of which I still enjoy playing all three!). The book had the basic moves, and ideas only. However, my father noticed I had a talent for it as soon as I started defeating my uncle (and Expert player) regularly. He bought me another book, Capablanca's "Last Lectures". It covered everything from Endings to Openings (the order in which Capablanca believed the game should be studied!).

Shortly after that I was introduced to Cliff Zeigler from Cleveland, Ohio. He served as an informal chess coach and introduced me to many of Northern Ohio's best players, and I was able to reach master class. Unfortunately, I stopped playing active chess in 1982 when I went to college to study engineering. When I graduated, work duties interfered with active play, so I started playing postal chess in 1990 by entering a United States Chess Federation Golden Knights section.

In the early-1990s I started playing ICCF, and now I have completed nearly 400 games. I received my GM title in 2007 and had the chance to play in the 24th ICCF World Championship in which I came in an undefeated 5th place. In late 2011 I became the North American Pacific Zone director. [profile updated 23-Nov-2012]

GM Daniel Fleetwood
GM Daniel M. Fleetwood

Dan Fleetwood received his Ph. D. in Physics from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, in 1984. Dan joined Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM, in 1984. In 1999 he left Sandia to accept the position of professor of electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. He also serves as chairman of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. Dan earned the International Correspondence Chess GrandMaster title in 2008, the Senior IM title in 2000, and the IM title in 1997. He finished first in the 1993 USCF correspondence Absolute Championship in 1993. [profile updated 20-Nov-2012]

Dan Fleetwood's personal web page:

GM Edward Duliba
Photo from ICCF-US report
on winning the 15th USCCC
GM Dr. Edward P. Duliba

I learned to play chess when I was about 12. I have played very few over-the-board tournaments since my college days as I don’t like the time pressure. I started postal chess in 1973 and have concentrated on postal play ever since. I don’t like the switch to server chess and have continued mostly postal play. I started ICCF play in 1988.

I have won a USCF Absolutes, two US Correspondence Championships, and a USCF Golden Knights (definitely the toughest ). I have played in five ICCF semi-finals but have never qualified for a world final. I play against the psychology of the opponent to compensate for my analytical deficiencies. I detest draws.  I received the ICCF GM title in 2007 (approx.).

I received my Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1983 from the Univ. of Illinois after finishing my undergrad at Cornell Univ. I subsequently obtained an MS in statistics and an MBA in finance from Rutgers Univ. I worked in industrial research for 25 years until my retirement. I currently have a staff position at Ohio Northern Univ. in Ada, Ohio, with a greatly reduced workload. [profile updated 25-Nov-2012]

SIM Keith Holzmueller
SIM Keith Holzmueller and Birdy
Keith and Birdy
For a larger size photo click here
SIM Keith Holzmueller

Keith is 57 years old, and reached an Expert level in OTB chess before discovering that correspondence play was his real strength. He first played in the Golden Knights and other US events, and began ICCF play in the mid-1990s. Keith was awarded the ICCF IM title in 2007 and achieved SIM status in 2010. In addition to being part of the current Olympiad 18 Finals team, he is currently in the final stages of play in the 16th Olympiad Finals.

Keith currently works in marketing research as a Vice President of client services. He has been married for 15 years. His 14 year-old son, Nathan, participates in OTB play through USCF and the Illinois High School Sports Association, which has brought Keith back to some casual OTB play.  Keith’s wife, Birdy, is not a chess player, but grew up around the game thanks to her grandfather, who was an enthusiastic player and president of the Syracuse Chess Club. [profile updated 15-Dec-2012]

SIM Dr. Carl L. Siefring
SIM Dr. Carl L. Siefring

I'm 55, married with two college age boys and two dogs and two cats.  I earned a PhD from Cornell University in Electrical Engineering in 1987.  For 26 years I have worked as a research physicist studying the upper atmosphere and ionosphere mostly to determine how they affect satellite based communications and navigation systems.

My love of chess started early, near age 4 or 5, when my Father taught me the moves.  I played on the chess team in High School and in a few tournaments in College, but became much stronger in graduate school where one of my roommates was a USCF Expert rated just below 2200.  There was an active chess community with an IM, several USCF Masters, and dozens of Experts.  A strong blitz opponent could be found just about any time of day and there were many local USCF tournaments.  I stopped playing in OTB tournaments to finish my PhD thesis.

In 1996 I discovered e-mail chess and played about 250 games through IECG, which has now merged with the LSS.  I did well in IECG, finishing second (once tied for first) in three of their Cup tournaments and second in the 2008 IECG/LSS Championship.   I also played a few Golden Knights tournaments making the Finals in the 1996 and 1997 postal tournaments and finishing third in the 2004 Electronics Golden Knights.  Now I primarily play in ICCF on the server, but I also play some in CCLA, mostly in team tournaments.  In 2011 I earned the ICCF IM title and in 2013 the SIM title

One of my goals when I started CC was improving my endgame skills. For many years I’ve tried to get into favorable endings, at the first opportunity, looking for those positions where I have all the winning chances.  At this point, I find endings are the most enjoyable part of the game.

On a personal note, I enjoy building and flying radio controlled model airplanes and working with our dogs.  The family, also, fosters dogs for the local Humane Society while they wait to find a permanent home. [profile updated 18-Sept-2013]

IA J. Franklin Campbell
J. Franklin Campbell
For a larger size photo click here
IA J. Franklin Campbell

I have been playing chess for 53 years and cc for 48 years. My degree is in mathematics. I also studied celestial mechanics at Yale Observatory. I've been married to Anne since 1969, one daughter Meg and two grandchildren. The URL for my personal web domain is

I have worked as a software engineer, systems engineer and systems programmer. I am currently retired. Besides chess my hobbies are photography and astronomy. I have had a personal web site The Campbell Report since 1998 (now seldom updated), which received the "Friend of ICCF" award for 2005 and CJA award for Best CC Web Site for 2004, 2005. 2006. I was webmaster for the ICCF-U.S. national federation site, which received the "Friend of ICCF" award for 2003. I still serve the USA as games/crosstables archivist. I am also webmaster for Chess Journalists of America and was webmaster for seasons 1,2,3 of the ICCF Champions League. I have served ICCF as Press Officer 1999-2000, served on the webserver commission, took over the CL webmaster job in 2003 when Klaus Wrba was unable to continue due to health, and have directed several tournaments, including the 4th NAPZ Championship, 4th Pacific Area Team Tournament, 2nd USCCC Email Final and numerous Canadian friendlies. My proudest moments in OTB were winning the Kansas State Championship tournament in 1967 and being official match photographer for the Nigel Short-Lev Alburt match in 1985. Some great cc moments were being TC for the past two Olympiad semi-finals and seeing my team qualify to the finals. Fantastic! I received the International Arbiter title at the 2004 ICCF Congress in Mumbai, India and the Silver Bertl von Massow award at the 2009 ICCF Congress in Leeds, England.

Update: photo added at right of me standing next to the "celebrity photos" on the wall of Mert's Specialty Meats in Okemos, Michigan with copy of Chess Life cover for January 2008 with 17th Olympiad team when we qualified for the finals. For a larger size photo click here.

[profile updated 10-Dec-2012]

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