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Game 1: Mackenzie vs. Pruess, Western States Open, 2006.

An easy pick for the best game of my life. It was the first time I ever played the Queen Sacrifice Variation against a really strong human player (International Master David Pruess). It was only my fourth career victory over an International Master, and it came at an incredibly opportune time: the last round of a big tournament, with more than $500 in prize money at stake.

Game 2: Shipman vs. Mackenzie, CalChess Labor Day Championship, 2002.

Another win over an International Master. There are no really spectacular moves, but this game flowed just like poetry: Every piece seemed to be in the right place at just the right time. By the way, Walter Shipman once beat Sammy Reshevsky, who beat Bobby Fischer, therefore...

Game 3: Mackenzie vs. Hayes, Columbus (Ohio) Invitational, 1992.

This game features the most unusual and non-obvious game-winning move I ever played. Sadly, today's chess computers find the move in about a microsecond, which takes away some of the fun. That's because they are programmed to evaluate every move, no matter how silly it looks. However, I think that for a human player it still poses quite a challenge.

Game 4: Mackenzie vs. Waymouth, U.S. Open, 1998.

Fischer included a couple losses in his book, My 60 Memorable Games, and so shall I. This one gets my vote for the best combination ever played against me. After a somewhat dubious opening, my teen-aged opponent roars back with a stunning double-rook sacrifice. A wonderful and creative combination, worthy of any grandmaster.

Game 5: Harris vs. Mackenzie, North Carolina Championship, 1985.

When I won my first North Carolina title, this game was one of the key victories. I had dreamed of winning a state championship for a long time, but never really expected it to happen. Now I had to come up with a new dream!

Game 6: Mackenzie vs. Belle, U.S. Amateur Team Championship, 1983.

Did I ever tell you about the time I beat a world champion? Well, it was like this... It was actually the world computer champion, and it was back in 1983 when computers weren't nearly as good as today. Still, Belle was a formidable opponent: It had recently become the first computer ever to achieve a master rating. So I'm very proud of this game.

Game 7: Richter vs. Mackenzie, Thanksgiving Festival, 2008. [From dana blogs chess, 12/2/2008.]

Beginning now I'm going to start using this page as a repository for games discussed in my chess blog. Well, at least the better ones. This game features lots of interesting piece play, a pretty winning move that I missed, and an equally pretty winning combination a few moves later that I didn't miss.

Game 8: Mackenzie vs. Rand, Reno Far West Open, 2009.

The title of my blog entry on this game says it all: "Wild middlegame, exquisite endgame."

 
 
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