Ted Mann vs. Mark Kernighan
2005 Kenilworth Chess Club Championship, Kenilworth,
January 20, 2005
Ted tries hard to sac all of his pieces,
beginning with both of his Rooks. But in the end he
accidentally drops a Knight and resigns -- overlooking
a chance to sacrifice his Bishop and likely draw! A
fascinating game that made Mark go down to his last
seconds on the clock in order to win.
1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4
Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Be2 e6 7.Bf4!? cxd4 8.Bxb8?!
8.Qxd4= seeking an equal game.
Position after 8.Bxb8?!
Mark says he spent a lot
of time calculating the interesting alternative idea,
8...d3!? 9.Bxa7! dxe2 10.Qxd5 Nxd5 11.Be3 Bxf3 12.gxf3=
but was not satisfied with the result.
Bxf3 11.Bxf3 Qb5!? but Black looks better.
bxc6 12.b3 Bb4+
Position after 11....Qc1+
goes "all in" as they say in poker. But there
really is no hope in 12.Qd1 Bb4+ 13.Nc3 Qxb2 14.Bxd7+
Ke7! with a winning advantage for Black.
12...Qxh1 13.Bxd7+ Ke7!
The "safer looking" 13...Kd8? 14.Be8! gives White a
strong attack and at least a draw: 14...e5 15.Qa5+!
b6 16.Qd5+ Kxe8 17.Qxe5+ Kd7 18.Qxb8 =.
The best way to make Black
Better and safer
was 15...Rd8 with the edge.
Why not push the limits! An alternate try, though,
was 16.d6+!? Kxd6 17.Be8 with unclear complications.
But how often do you get to do the double-rook sac?
Again, the alternative was
17.d6+!? but Black seems to escape after 17...Kxd6
18.Qd4+ Ke7 19.Ne4 Qc1! 20.Qd6+ Kd8 21.Qxb8+ Kxd7 22.Qxb7+
This could have made
Black's life much harder. Best was 17...Qxb2!!
Position after 17....fxe6? White to play and draw???
18.b3?? and resigns without playing
on, since the Knight is hanging.
But wait! After the game, though,
Mark pointed out that White probably had a fascinating
shot that might have drawn! In fact, Mark thought it
even had a chance to win since he would have had to
find some very tough moves in extreme time pressure
while Ted would have had a considerable amount of time
remaining. I looked at some lines with Fritz and it
is quite hairy after18.Bxe6!!
Rd8!! (this is the only
way, according to Fritz, to try for the win still since
18...Kxe6? 19.Qg4+! forces a perpetual) 19.Qe4!? (19.Qh4+
Kxe6 20.Qxd8 Qxb2 21.Qd5+ Kf6 and Fritz thinks Black
can escape the checks, though it sure is tough to know
for sure) 19...Rd6!! 20.Nd5+ Ke8!! (20...Kd8?? 21.Qh4+
Ke8 22.Nc7#) 21.Bg4+ (21.Qa4+ Rc6!) 21...Kd8
22.Qc2! (22.Qc4 Rc6) 22...Rc6!
23.Qf5 Rc7! and only thus does Black escape the checks
says Fritz! But who would willingly enter into this
Possible position if White finds the Bishop sac!
And now only thus does Black win: 24.Nxc7
Qd1+!! 25.Kg3 Qd6+!! 26.f4 Kxc7–+
I doubt that Mark could have found
half of that with his flag about to fall....
Updated 03-25-2005 |