The Kernighan Experience
On Thursday night at the club I played NM Mark Kernighan in the Summer Tourney. Before we started, Ian Mangion (seated at the next board) joked that I should definitely play for a sac at f7, as he had done in a recent win over him. At that point, I decided I would definitely try the Cochrane Gambit if Mark went in for his usual Petroff. When Mark played the Caro-Kann, however, I said to Ian, "Oh well, no f7 sac." But the idea was definitely planted in my head and likely influenced my play in the game.
Michael Goeller - NM Mark Kernighan [B11]
KCC Summer Tourney/Kenilworth, NJ USA (5) 2011
Despite the loss of tempo, I think 3... d5!? is probably the correct move, when might follow: 4. Nf3 (4. d3!? dxe4 5. dxe4 Qxd1+ 6. Nxd1 Nf6 7. Nf2 g6 8. Nf3 Bg7 9. Bd3
Black finally develops a piece, but better may be to first expand on the queenside with 4... b5!? 5. Nf3 b4 6. Na4 d5 7. e5 g6 8. Bd3 Ba6 9. Be3 Nh6 10. Qe2 Qa5 11. b3 Nf5 12. Bf2 h5 13. g3 Bb5 14. Nb2 1/2-1/2 Zyla, J (2305)-Dawidow,J (2375)/Krynica POL 1997.
The only other game I could find to get this far continued 6... Ng8?! 7. Bd3 d5 8.
Going for rapid development and the better placed pieces. My original intention was to avoid the exchange of Bishops with 8. c4 Nc7 9. exd6 Bxd6 10. Bd3 which looks better now than it did at the board.
You know where that Knight is headed! With Black's Knights sidelined on the queenside, White can sac both of his without feeling like he is down material.
I have to be a little patient:
a) I was already eyeing 11. Nxf7!? Kxf7 but it does not seem to work, e.g.: 12. Ng5+ Kg8 (12... Ke8 13. f5 exf5 14. Rxf5) 13. f5 h6! (13... Be7? 14. f6! gxf6 15. Nf7!! Kxf7 16. Qh5+ Kg8 17. Rf3 Ne8 18. Rg3+ Ng7 19. Bh6 Bf8 20. exf6 Qxf6 21. Rf1) 14. f6 gxf6 15. Nxe6 Nxe6 16. Qg4+ Ng7 17. exf6 Rh7 18. fxg7 Bxg7
I fully expected this move, but Black probably has better:
After the game Ian congratulated me for finding a way to sac on f7! Also playable is 14. Rxf5!? Qd7 15. Rxf7 Be7 16. Rf2 (16. Qh5
Trying to conserve time, I followed my original intention and overlooked the simpler 18. Bxe7! Qe8 (18... Kxe7 19. Qf7#) (18... Qxe7 19. Rf7 is similar to the game but even stronger for White.) 19. Rf7 Kc8 20. Raf1 Kb7 21. Bd6 (21. R1f6!?) .
White defnitely has enough for the material investment, but at this point Black appears to have two routes to equality:
I don't know how I overlooked 29. Qxc6+!
31. Qg3! is slightly better, heading for g8 instead of h8.
Both of us now had under 10 seconds on the clock, so the rest was a mess and is hard to reconstruct. Black can stymie the pawn with the surprising resource 34... Rg6! 35. h7 Rg7 and it is hard to see how the Queen can vacate the queening square without dropping the pawn. But perhaps there is a way to put Black into zugzwang and pick up a loose knight in exchange for the pawn.
and somehow, with less than five seconds left on my clock, I not only managed to miss a forced mate but also to flag! My opponent blamed it on the TD passing me a Queen, which distracted me for a few critical seconds. But I accept the loss. After all, as I told someone later: losing a won game on time after a long King chase is all part of "the Kernighan experience."
Game in PGNCopyright © 2011 by Michael Goeller