Saturday, August 26, 2006

West - Kernighan, Hamilton Quads 2006


Black to play and gain a winning position.


Black to play and win.

After playing over the game West - Kernighan, Hamilton Quads 2006, I'm sure you will agree that it was a spectacular victory for NM Mark Kernighan against one of his most frequent rivals in local tournaments, NM James R. West (of Philidor Counter-Gambit fame).

Over a year ago, I asked Mark to contribute a "best game" to our website, which he did rather reluctantly, admitting that all of his games seem to have flaws. I think Mark plays chess less for aesthetic pleasure than the joy of the struggle and often seems reluctant to have his games end (which may be why so many of them continue well into the endgame and down to the last minutes on the clock). So even his better games can be overly long and difficult to follow. The current game, however, is a different story. Though Mark does make an inaccuracy in the opening, the rest is flawless. And along the way he manages to find some very nice moves (see diagrams above).

This is a gem, and I'm sure he'll agree that it is his new "best game."

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