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Golden Knights

The Golden Knights is the United States open correspondence chess championship. It is held annually by the United States Chess Federation (USCF), and is open to all members of the USCF residing in the continental United States or Hawaii, or who have an APO or FPO address. It was first held in 1943 under the name Victory Tournament, the next year it was called the Postal Chess Championship and in 1945 it was finally renamed as the Golden Knights tournament. The 59th annual Golden Knights tournament began in 2006. About 5,000 players typically participate in each tournament.

The tournament is played in three stages: the preliminaries, semi-finals, and finals. At each stage, the participants are divided into a number of seven-player sections, with each participant playing one game (three with White, three with Black) against every other player in the section. Each participant plays in the preliminaries, playing in a section with players having a wide range of ratings. The top finishers in the preliminaries advance to the semi-finals. The top players in the semi-finals advance to the finals. A score of 5-1 or better was previously required to advance from the preliminaries to the semi-finals, or from the semi-finals to the finals, but since at least the 2001 tournament, 4.5 points has been sufficient. A player's score is determined by her weighted-point total, which is determined by multiplying her score at each stage by a coefficient that weighs later results more heavily than earlier results. The coefficient used for each point in the finals (4.5) is slightly more than twice that used for each point in the semi-finals (2.2), which is slightly more than twice that used for each point in the preliminaries (1). Thus, a player who wins all of his games except for one draw in the preliminaries will have a higher weighted-point total (44.7) than a player who won all of his games except for a draw in the semi-finals (44.1), and both of those players will have a lower weighted-point total than a player who won all of his games except for a draw in the finals (42.95). The weighted-point system ensures that no player will be able to coast home with a series of draws, and enables a player who is behind to make up a lot of ground with a strong result in the finals.

Golden Knights Champions

# Year Winner
- 1943 John H. Staffer
- 1944 Marvin C. Palmer
1 1945 Charles F. Rehberg
2 1946 Richard L. Aikin
3 1947-1948 Leon Stolzenberg
4 1949 James T. Sherwin
5 1950 Leon Stolzenberg
6 1951 John H. Staffer
7 1952-1953 Ignaz Zalys
8 1954 Reuben Klugman
9 1955 Hans Berliner
10 1956 Hans Berliner
11 1957 Raymond Doe
12 1958 J. Whiteczak
13 1959 Hans Berliner
14 1960 Leon Stolzenberg
15 1961-1962 Lionel B. Joyner
16 1963 Gary R. Abram
17 1964 Anton Sildmets
18 1965 Brian E. Owens
19 1966 Harry Mayer
20 1967 William F. Gray
21 1968 Kenneth Collins
22 1969 Robert H. Burns
23 1970 Juris Jurevics
24 1971 Robert G. Cross
25 1972 Richard A. Cayford
26 1973 Bill Maillard
Richard Cayford
George Krauss
27 1974 Ben Bednarz
28 1975 Rob Salgado
29 1976 K. Redinger
30 1977 Tom Sweeney
31 1978 Richard Aiken
Walter Milbratz
32 1979 Tom Friedel
33 1980 Gary Kubach
34 1981 Tom Friedel
35 1982 S. Kowalski
S. Sinding
Meeks Vaughan
36 1983 Rob Salgado
37 1984 Edmund Hermelyn
38 1985 Andre Reichman
39 1986 Mike Colucci
George Kirby
J. Timms
40 1987 Stanley J. Elowitch
41 1988 Michael P. Decker
42 1989 Jon Applebee
43 1990 Murray Kurtz
John Penquite
44 1991 Joseph A. Schwing
45 1992 Edward P. Duliba
Charles Van Buskirk
46 1993 Anthony D. Eaker
47 1994 Robert B. Ilderton
48 1995 Robert F. Keating
49 1996 Robert F. Keating
50 1997 Chris O'Connell
51 1998 Leonard "Corky" Schakel
52 1999 John Burton
53 2000 Abe Wilson
54 2001 John Burton
55 2002 Chuck Cullum