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Garry Kasparov vs Veselin Topalov
"Kasparov's Immortal" (game of the day Apr-13-13)
It (cat.17), Wijk aan Zee (Netherlands) (1999)  ·  Pirc Defense: General (B06)  ·  1-0
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Given 90 times; par: 59 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-10-14  thegoodanarchist: <Rookiepawn: ... Otherwise you may conclude that every human being has one tit, or things like that.>

I hate when that happens.

Dec-10-14  Sally Simpson: Hi Sharpnova,

You said:

" I find it strange that the great gem of his career was crafted nine years after his peak level."

I said you seemed surprised, (not that you were) you certainly found it 'strange.'

In 1990 Kasparov was by far the best player on the planet and you don't need any mathmatical formulae to work that one out.

In 1999 the rest caught up with him, this does mean Kasparov got any worse, the rest simply got better.

And I don't care about a ton of data or how many hours some poor soul has poured into it. It is unstable (you need two humans and at least one blunder to get a positive/negative result) and the game too random for it to be of any real significance.

Kasparov himself said he peaked in 1999. I believe Kasparov, he should know, not some chess site full of numbers declaring when and when not players should be playing brilliancies.

Dec-11-14  anjyplayer: What was so special about this game ? Immortal Topalov.
Dec-12-14  sharpnova: @Sally Simpson

Well if you choose to put your faith in a human's gut over advanced statistics based on ungodly amounts of data, then that's your choice.

Dec-13-14  Sally Simpson: Hi Sharpnova,

"Well if you choose to put your faith in a human's gut over advanced statistics based on ungodly amounts of data..."

Not to sure what you mean by that.

Can the ungoldy amount of data chessmetrics has gathered measure intuition. (I assume this is what you mean by 'gut'.)

Can looking at the 1989 stats preditct Annad would be a World Champion and if one looked at the 1987 stats could you see that Nigel Short would one day be a World Chess Championpship Challenger.

I don't think so. It's a collection of old chess results dating back to the year dot being drip fed through a mathematical maze producing pie charts, graphs and things that look pretty to attract the magpies.

Yet Kasparov in 1989 and 1987 correctly predicted both these things happening. (the gut?)

This will be the same Kasparov who said he peaked in 1999/2000 and yet chessmatrics says No he is wrong....look at the numbers...the advanced statistics...they know better.

The chessmetrics site is nothing more than a curiousity. I've not yet felt the need to know who was rated No.2 in the world in August 1913 but no doubt one day I will wake up and simply thirst for this knowledge.

(It was Frank Marshall...Yes...Frank Marshall. Bless him. My 'gut' says different but you cannot argue with maths or a blinkered point of view.)

Dec-13-14  RookFile: Marshall was a terrific tournament player, so it's understandable that he would have put together a run that would have put him at #2. As Marshall himself said, he wasn't really that keen on match play, as Tarrasch, Capa, and Lasker demonstrated.
Dec-13-14  Sally Simpson: Marshall is one of my heroes, but all that time and effort using a flawed system to claim he was No.2 in August 1913.

(Just in case you are interested, Rubinstein was No.1 in August 1913.)

I suppose some find this fascinating but unlike my learned colleague Sharpnova I cannot take it too seriously nor can I 'put a little more faith in statistics.'

Each to own I guess.

Dec-14-14  sharpnova: @Sally Simpson

You sound like a religious nut. I think this conversation is past any possibility of being constructive.

If you hate statistics then get gone because it's far more relevant to this issue than you have any idea of.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Rookiepawn: sharpnova: I think the problem is not <SS> hating stats, but you loving them so much to the point of believing they say more than they actually say.

Chess strength is always relative, relative to that of other players I mean. So when you talk about "strength" you always talk about a relative measure.

In practical terms, a chess player may theoretically show a clear dominancy over a certain period, and then losing that dominancy over the next period despite playing better chess.

This means the player has objectively improved his/her chess, from an absoulte point of view he/she is <stronger> than before. But if the rest of the players improved more, then from a relative point of view the player is <weaker> than before.

So stats are great, but they must be read carefully.

Dec-14-14  Sally Simpson: Hi sharpnova,

I disagree that the statistics on chessmatrics are important and should be viewed with a very jaundiced eye. As I said, alright as a curiosity but nothing more.

So this makes me a religious nut! (I was wondering how long it would take before the insults started.)

It appears to be you who religously believes in these serioulsy flawed numbers. I am a grading/rating athiest.

You are trying to convert me.

Dec-14-14  thegoodanarchist: <Sally Simpson: ...

So this makes me a religious nut! (I was wondering how long it would take before the insults started.)>

Too bad that no one ever takes it as a compliment.

Dec-14-14  Sally Simpson: 'Nut' I'll take as a compliment. I am nuts.

But not religious. (They are the real crazy ones.)

Chessmatrics includes games that did use clocks. Chessmatrics uses games that had adjournments. There are mistakes in recording who won games. Known thrown games are in there. pre game agreed draws are in there.

One v one matches should be not be included in any rating system (sorry Bob).

The whole lot are mixed up and rolled out in an effort to turn games of chess into a number.

It's full of chaotic data.

Nobody should take it seriously.

Dec-17-14  KeyanChess: Very beautiful game. 24. Rxd4!!! was so shocking and brilliant, it looked like a blatant error when I first saw the move! Topalov played a great game as well, but Kasparov prevailed by finding and making brilliant moves one after another.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Rookiepawn: <SS> made a good point about another potential weak point of stats: data quality. You should believe in stats as strongly as in their data quality. Stats are really tricky.
Jan-16-15  Poulsen: <Rookiepawn><Stats are really tricky>

You are off course right: stats ARE tricky - not only because of data quality (a point Jeff Sonas' Chessmetrics is well aware of), but also because of the way stats are or can be used and interpreted.

For example <sharpnova> in his above arguements CHOOSES to use Kasparov's peak performance at Tilburg 1989 to argue, that around this time Kasparov was strongest. This victory (among others) leads to a rating of 2885 on the april 1990 ratinglist - according to Chessmetric.

However in may 1993 Kasparov goes to 2886 - following his performance at Linares - and in june 1999 Kasparov reaches 2884 - once again following a great performance at Linares.

These 3 peaks are visible on the graph shown on Chessmetrics, but over all Kasparov is clearly the no. 1 player throughout the 90'es and beyond - with Anand, Karpov and Kramnik as the closest contenders.

Thus - contrary to what <sharpnova> believes - I don't think, that Chessmetrics supports the claim, that he was stronger in 1990 than in other periods.

To compare: Bent Larsen's peak performance came at Buenos Aires 1979 at a point when his career had long been in decline.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kinghunt: What a long way engines have come. At d=25, Stockfish has 24. Rxd4 as its first choice move. (It considers black better due to the response 24...Kb6!)

Stockfish cannot, however, find 27. b4+, for whatever reason, at least not at d=29. However, as soon as I set PV=2, it finds it and picks it as clearly best almost instantly. Must be some weird super aggressive pruning going on. (Stockfish actually believes itself to be losing until b4 is found/forced.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kinghunt: I take back the second part of my previous comment. I was using the old version of Stockfish before. I just installed Stockfish 6, and it finds 27. b4+ at d=24 (~5 seconds).
Mar-19-15  islam tolba: Kasparov declared by himself that " the game is considered the best chess game ever played " .
Mar-19-15  Howard: Someday I'll have to get a computer....
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I enjoyed playing through this game the first time. The second time I got bored halfway through and put Carry On Doctor on.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < offramp: I enjoyed playing through this game the first time. The second time I got bored halfway through and put Carry On Doctor on.>

If a man is tired of this game he is tired of life.

Mar-19-15  Baron Harkonnen: <If a man is tired of this game he is tired of life.>

What about a man who believes in the M61MG book?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: The comment about finding it strange for kasparov to play this gem in 1999 rather than 1990 "at his statistical peak" was certainly weird, and certainly not because Garry's gut says his peak was in 1999.

Its weird because elo takes victories, losses, and draws as its sole input. Creativity and beauty are completely unquantifiable, or at any rate no one has made an attempt to quantify them for the sabrematricians of chess. Moreover, whether a game was a massacre, a narrow victory, the result of opponents' extreme blunders, a product of time pressure or tournament circumstances, a slow positional dance or a hyperkinetic tactical melee - this all goes completely outside the algorithm.

So the thought that Garry's highest statistical likelihood of winning a game against a given opponent would have been nine years earlier is unbelievably irrelevant to the quality of this or any other game. To think otherwise isn't just a religious attitude toward statistics, it's an innumerate one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: My latest video annotation for this amazing game - one of the greatest games ever played:

Apr-18-15  narayase: Why not 20... Qd6?

After 31 Qf6 Rd1+, 32 Kb2, Qd4+ forces Queen exchange and black's position becomes stronger. I don't see anything immortal in this game.

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Kasparov on Kasparov: Part I
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