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Gerry McCarthy vs Maurice Kennefick
"Domdaniel: Beloved Writer, Arts Journalist, and Chess Mate" (game of the day Jan-18-2019)
Castlebar open (1977), Castlebar IRL, rd 1
English Opening: King's English. Two Knights' Variation Keres Variation (A23)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-28-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: Hoot!!

Nobody blinked on the 8th rank in this one.

When did you get it added to the database?

And what is a <doyen>?

This better be on the up and up...

Poor chap resigning with two queens on the board.

Probly still keeps him up at night.

Hoot!

Jun-28-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: Hoot!
Jun-28-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Actually, I have a lot of sympathy for the 'poor chap', Mr Kennefick. Just before the tournament I'd seen a game from the previous Olympiad in a magazine, where some European played the Veresov attack against him and got ripped to pieces in about 17 moves. I seemed well on the way to sharing this fate - achieving an effectively lost position from the opening, despite having White.

So Mr K did what I keep doing these days against lower-rated opponents -- assuming that they've missed a tactic. When not only have they seen it, but they've also seen the sting in the tail.

Some comments.
13.h4?!
I've never really understood why I played this. Attacks with h4 later became trendy in the English, but I certainly wasn't thinking along those lines. It's obvious that Black is about to play ...f5 -- maybe I thought that h4 would prevent it by magnetism, exerting an invisible force across the g-file. Or maybe I was trying to overprotect g5, Nimzo alone knows why.

13 ... f5
As expected

14.e4?!
I now figured I was lost, so I lashed out in the centre. I'd seen one unlikely continuation, though, and was hoping it might come to pass. Amazingly, it did.

14 ... d4?!
Black should exchange pawns on e4 first with ...fxe4, then play ...d4 with a large advantage. This way lets me play my pseudo-combo, with both pawns off on their own missions. I believe this paatern is called 'Excelsior!', from an old poem of that name.

So to the pawns proceed until
17 ... bxc1(Q)
18.dxc8(Q)

Now, if black tries to carry on capturing, 18...Qxd1 is answered by 19.Qe6+ and white is better. (19.Qxd8? loses to ...Qxf1+).

This check option - there was also a Qb3+ possibility during the excelsior sequence, was what I'd seen when I played e4. Mr K only became fully aware of its ramifications now, and decided his best chance was to keep all the queens on and try to mix things.

After 20.Nxe5 I was walking round nervously and bumped into the author Tim Harding, who joked "it could be a draw if the queens capture everything else!" -- there had been 11 successive captures. (I think the record is 13.)

I went back to the board, saw ...Bc5 played, and slowly realized that Qg4 gave me a winning position.

This, btw, was my very first game in a top-level or open tournament, round 1. I'd only played in intermediate or junior events before. It was a good start, beating a current olympiad player in round one. A veritable scalp, everyone assured me afterwards.

And it's been downhill ever since.

Jun-29-08  Zebra: These chess books these days, they just don't teach the importance of connecting your queens.
Feb-13-09  Woody Wood Pusher: Hey nice game <Dom>

A 2200 take down... Wow, you are a beast!

14..d4 was sloppy on Black's part, I think he was underestimating you, serves him right!

Did you ever cross swords with him again?

Mar-03-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I guess I don't see the problem with 14...d4 After 15. exf5 Bxf5 and he's still better. Too bad Black didn't play one more move, 24...Nd5. I am guessing 25. Qbxd5+ would be a unique move in chess history.
Nov-15-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Ohio> -- < I am guessing 25. Qbxd5+ would be a unique move in chess history.>

Nah, I bet Nakamura has had a game where the choices were 25.Qbxd5+, 25.Qcxd5+, 25.Qfxd5+, 25.Qhxd5+ ... and he picked the only one that drew.

Stranger things have happened.

Nov-18-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I have determined at least that "Qbxd5+" is a unique to this page kibbitzing term on Chessgames.com.
Oct-08-11  LIFE Master AJ: This game is VERY nice ... I like it alot ... I like the FOUR QUEENS on the board so early! Unique!

Cool game ... VERY KOOL GAME!!!!!

Feb-17-12  waustad: <This, btw, was my very first game in a top-level or open tournament, round 1. I'd only played in intermediate or junior events before. It was a good start, beating a current olympiad player in round one. A veritable scalp, everyone assured me afterwards.>

I had a similar experience once as an unrated. A former West Virginia champion came to town and played in a Saturday Swiss. He was white and had a better position than I did, but seeing "unrated" he only paid attention to what he could do to me and ignored the mate in 2 he handed me.

Jun-04-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: 30 years later, I'm trying the ...c6 (Keres/Kennefick) line as Black against the English. One win so far.

I just hope nobody plays my Four Queens Variation against me.

Jun-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom> Only faced 3....c6 once, against old friend Gerry Agnew in a match game from 1979. He won, and my recollection was that the line was regarded as being a bit dodgy by theory. Don't recall why, though.
Jun-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <perf> Me neither. My memory is that other lines - especially 3...Bb4 - took over from 3...c6 in the 1970s. And then the whole 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 line went out of fashion, with either 2.g3 or the 4 Knights taking over.
Jun-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom> Played a lot of the Four Knights with 4.e3 from the eighties on, but I am not sure it offers much against correct play by Black. A line I tried as Black was 4....Bb4 5.Qc2 d6, which I first spotted in the BCM in Hartston's column in the game Korchnoi vs Timman, 1977.

My opponent in the game mentioned was an English specialist who was a time trouble addict and I knew this would help provoke such an outcome, plus he was familiar with 5.Qc2 0-0 6.Nd5 Re8 7.Qf5, a line I was then prepared to play but which never actually made it on the board in any of my games.

No use giving someone a chance to bang out twenty moves of theory when one can cause them to burn up loads of clock time.

Jun-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <perf> Funny, I also knew that 7.Qf5 line pretty well, but don't think I ever played it. I agree, of course, about causing opponents to burn clock time ... I've given up the mainline English in favour of 1.Nf3 and winging it from there...
Jun-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom> Knew there was something familiar about your opponent's name: he employed a line I liked vs the Veresov in G Philippe vs M Kennefick, 1976.

Kennefick and I even have a common opponent, surprising due to the scant number of games he has in the DB: Kamran Shirazi.

Jun-09-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <perf> I remember the Kennefick-Philippe game ... I saw it in a magazine just before the Castlebar tournament, where I found myself playing Kennefick in the 1st round.

He played in the '76 Olympiad, but soon after gave up competitive chess and switched to bridge.

Jun-09-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom> Kennefick was hardly the only strong player to have gone over to bridge: Irina Levitina has been tremendously successful at the game. Alan Fraser Truscott was a fair hand at chess too, though he became a world-renowned player and writer in bridge.
Dec-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <perf> I suspect that a great number of chess players turn to bridge in their 20s -- it's more sociable, it can be played by couples (an important factor at that age) and it nevertheless has intellectual depth.

Apart from those mentioned, at least two former Irish champions -- B.Kernan and D.Dunne -- turned to bridge.

I played bridge, poker and scrabble competitively, with modest success, but always returned to chess.

Dec-15-14  Caissas Clown: <Domdaniel>: <perf> I suspect that a great number of chess players turn to bridge in their 20s

I am told that Bridge is rather addictive.Having been consumed by Chess ,I steadfastly refused to learn how to play Bridge ! A man can handle only so many vices.

Dec-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Tony Miles was playing bridge obsessively towards the end of his life, and at quite a high level. Of course he also continued to play chess.
Dec-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <CC> and <Dom> Played some bridge in those days, but it was never more than an occasional pastime. Liked reading on it, though, and still do.

Never knew Miles had an interest in the game.

Dec-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <perf> In the brilliant Miles biography, <It's Only Me> - you'll see why I like that title - Tony's friends un Birmingham describe how, between chess tournaments, he liked to play brudge four or five nights a week.

I also like to read newspaper bridge columns. I must admit that they're often more interesting than the chess equivalent.

Dec-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom.....I also like to read newspaper bridge columns. I must admit that they're often more interesting than the chess equivalent.>

Agreed, possibly because it is far more difficult to treat a game with the depth that can be conveyed, come to a bridge hand.

Nov-15-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I mentioned here how many chess players take up bridge in their 20s, at the age when playing a more social game -- talking between deals! talking to actual live female people between deals! -- becomes important.

Recently a longtime chess friend of mine took up bridge in his 60s.

"Stayman?" I pleaded, but he left anyway.

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