Peter Radomskyj - Mark Kernighan [D52]
West Orange CC at Kenilworth CC/Kenilworth, NJ USA 2005
"Moves like this look good but are not good" remarked Stoyko after the game.
The Rook seems misplaced here, but Kernighan felt he needed to oppose on the c-file in case it ever were opened.
Egging White on in typical rope-a-dope fashion.
23. f4 Be7 Black's idea was to lure White's pawns forward and thus weaken White's Kingside. Notice that there are now lots of open lines leading to White's King, and this with all of Black's long-range pieces still on the board. However, it is difficult not to favor White's initiative.
This only helps Black. Better 28. Rf1! Bxf5 (28... Qa7 29. Qb6+/-) 29. Rxf5 Rxd4 (29... Rf8!? 30. Rcf1 Qa7 31. Qc4 Qxa5 32. Rxf7 Qd5 33. Rxf8+ Bxf8 34. Qxd5+ cxd5 35. Nd6 Bxd6 36. exd6 Rd7 37. Rb1 Kf7 38. Rb6+/-) 30. Rxf7 (30. Rxc6!? Bf8 (30... Rxc6? 31. Qxf7+ Kh8 32. Qxe7 Rc8 33. Nd6+-) 31. Ng5!?->) 30... Rd5 31. Rxc6!! Qa7+ 32. Rb6 Qxa5 33. Rf1+/-
Watching the game from the wings I did not understand how White could pass up the opportunity to grab the f-pawn, and analysis reveals that taking with either the Rook or the Queen likely wins. The silicon monster discovers a fascinating win for White that relies upon a skewer, a pin, and an amazing zugzwang:
30. Rxf7!! Qxd4+ (30... Rd5 31. Rxe7 Qxd4+ 32. Nf2) 31. Nf2! Qd5 (31... Kh8? 32. Rxe7! (32. e6+-) 32... Rxe7 33. Rd1+-) 32. Qxd5 cxd5 33. e6 and though Black can still create some complications there is no way for him to get out of the awful pin on the Bishop without losing material, yet he must break the pin eventually because otherwise White will be able to bring in his Knight either to pile up on the Bishop or overprotect the Rook at f7. It appears that White gains at least doubled Rooks on the 7th with a killer passed pawn at e6: 33... d4 34. Nd3 h6 (34... Ra8!? 35. a6! bxa6 36. exd7! Kxf7 37. Rc8+-) 35. Ne5 (35. Nf4!? d3 36. Nxd3! Rxd3 37. Rxe7+-) 35... Rd5 36. Rxe7 Rxe5 37. Rcc7+-
Now the material balance has been restored and Black has the initiative.
This blunder loses at least the exchange. Kernighan had about three minutes on his clock at this point while Radomskyj had about 30 minutes or so. Kernighan wryly observed afterward that his opponents often get a tremendous time advantage but don't make good use of their time when it counts. Necessary was 36. Nc3! Ra5 (36... Rdd8 37. Ne2) (36... Rxd4 37. Rfd1) 37. Rfd1= though White has clearly gone from being the attacker to the defender.
42. Kf2 Rd2+ 43. Ke3 Rxh2 44. Rf1 Rh6 45. Nd4 Re8 46. Rxf7 Rxe5+ 47. Kd3 Rf6 48. Ra7 h5 49. Ra1 Rd6!-+ 50. Kc4 Re4 51. Rd1 Kh7! 52. Kc5 Rexd4! An excellent decision, especially considering that Black has less than a minute left on his clock. 53. Rxd4 Rxd4 54. Kxd4 Kg6 55. Ke4 Kg5 56. Kf3 Kf5 57. Ke3 Kg4 58. Kf2 Kh3! 59. Kf3 g5 60. Kf2 g4 61. Kg1 Kxg3 62. Kh1 Kf2 63. Kh2 g3+ 64. Kh3 g2 65. Kh4 g1=Q 66. Kxh5 Qg7! 67. Kh4 Qg6 68. Kh3 Qg3# You must admire Kernighan's cold-blooded technique, especially considering that the last 20 moves of the game, all flawless on Black's part, were made in about a minute in sudden death!