Catch and Release
Steve Stoyko (2299) - Mark Kernighan (2200) [D58]
Hamilton Quads/Groveville, NJ USA (1) 2006
Kernighan described this as a "game of catch and release" with him playing the role of the fish wriggling on the other end of the line. Steve finally reeled him in, but he basically had to win this game three or four times because he missed the most accurate method at several key points.
Stoyko was of the opinion that this move is an error because it liquidates the tension prematurely and gives White a potentially strong pawn formation for building a kingside attack. But he could not suggest a better move, and I do not think one can be found.
I think this is the mistake.
Encircling Black's Queen, opening the d-file to pressure the pawn at d5, discouraging ...Rc8, and inviting a kingside weakening by ...g6.
This simply loses a pawn.
b) Practically forced is 17... Nb8 , when it's not clear what White's best is, but it is much less clear how Black can disentangle. For example: 18. Qf3!? Na6 (18... Nc6?! 19. g3! Qe7 20. Nxd5) 19. Nb5!
Stopping Black's counterplay with ...f6.
31. Qf3! with ideas like Bb3, exf7+, and g4-g5 in the air.
with the winning idea of Bb3-d5-c6.
37... Rc8!? 38. Be6! (38. Qg4+? Qg6! 39. Qxc8 Qxg3+ 40. Kf1 Qf3+ 41. Ke1 Qxe3+ 42. Kd1 Qd3+ 43. Kc1 Qe3+ 44. Kc2 Qe4+=) (38. Ba4 Qg6) 38... Rb8 39. Bd5 Rc8 (39... h5 40. Bc6 Qxe7 (40... Qxc6 41. Qxb8 Kf7 42. Qf8+) 41. Qxb8 Qxe3+ 42. Kh2 Qe2+ 43. Bg2 Qxb2 44. Qxa7+) 40. Qg4+ Kh7 41. Be4+ Kh8 42. Qf5
and Black resigns, since White queens next move without allowing any checks.
Game in PGN