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Ivan Sokolov vs Garry Kasparov
"Put a Sok in It" (game of the day Nov-20-11)
It (cat.17), Wijk aan Zee (Netherlands) (1999)  ·  Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Bernstein Defense (E58)  ·  1-0
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Given 22 times; par: 34 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-20-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I like the pun.
Nov-20-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <plang: ... After the game Kasparov remembered that he had seen the stronger defense 21..Kf8 played in a junior team championship 25 years earlier by his team mate Rajik Tavadian against Agorov.>

It's mind-blowing what you have to remember (in this case, alas, belatedly) to be a world-class player. I have a very good memory, but I can't imagine remembering something like this. There are very few opening lines that I know 20+ moves deep.

Nov-20-11  Eric Farley: If what people say here is true : that kasparov lost this game because his opening preparation didn't take this variation into account and he was surprised by that, then he may not have been the great player that some people advertise him to have been. He is supposed to solve OTB problems using his talent. Capablanca and Alekhine did it. As a matter of fact, his endings left a lot to be desired, so many blunders, more than would be acceptable for a player of his --supposed -- caliber. A chess player is to be rated based on his overall knowledge not just by the opening novelties he introduces here and there. I'm beginning to suspect that it wasn't he who was great, but his contemporaries that were poor. And if you check the Tal Memorial going on now, you'll understand what I mean. Nakamura and Nepo kept on playing for 85 moves in a position well-known as a book draw. A position found in The ABC of Rook Endings in Korchnoi's book "Practical Rook Endings." The Vancura position.
Nov-20-11  newzild: < Eric Farley: If what people say here is true : that kasparov lost this game because his opening preparation didn't take this variation into account and he was surprised by that, then he may not have been the great player that some people advertise him to have been. He is supposed to solve OTB problems using his talent. Capablanca and Alekhine did it. As a matter of fact, his endings left a lot to be desired, so many blunders, more than would be acceptable for a player of his --supposed -- caliber. A chess player is to be rated based on his overall knowledge not just by the opening novelties he introduces here and there. I'm beginning to suspect that it wasn't he who was great, but his contemporaries that were poor. And if you check the Tal Memorial going on now, you'll understand what I mean. Nakamura and Nepo kept on playing for 85 moves in a position well-known as a book draw. A position found in The ABC of Rook Endings in Korchnoi's book "Practical Rook Endings." The Vancura position.>

I couldn't disagree more. Kasparov was world champion for 16 years and set a record high elo rating that is yet to be beaten. Only Fischer is a credible candidate as a stronger player.

As for Naka and Nepo playing on in a drawn position, isn't this what chess players have been demanding for years? I've read dozens and dozens of forum threads in which chessplayers have complained about players agreeing to quick draws and refusing to play out positions for the enlightenment of lesser mortals, like ourselves.

Nov-20-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Eric Farley: ... A chess player is to be rated based on his overall knowledge not just by the opening novelties he introduces here and there. I'm beginning to suspect that it wasn't [Kasparov] who was great, but his contemporaries that were poor.>

That is certainly a novel perspective. Few people would consider the likes of Karpov and Anand to be "poor" players.

Nov-20-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Appearances can be deceptive. What looked to me like W dictating play after 21... Rxh7 was (according to Rybka) rather finely balanced ... albeit on a knife edge.

Even after 25 Qc1 B's position was just about defendable, about +1.1 in favour of W. Qf5, Qh5, Rh7 all seem playable, but Kh7? lost directly.

As with other recent GOTDs the loser's game was objectively OK, as long as best play from both sides. OTB the loser was the one whose position demanded greater accuracy, and was less forgiving of mistakes.

21 ... Kf8 would not have been easy to find. If B didnt know it, or didnt remember it, he was condemned to a very difficult position to defend.

Nov-20-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: +I don't know if I like the pun as I don't get it.
Nov-20-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <lost in space> There's an expression "Put a sock in it." - basically a more colorful way of saying "Shut up."
Nov-20-11  I play the Fred: And today's pun very often applies to the player with the black pieces. :D
Nov-20-11  meppi: just a quick kizblitz here, please view move 25 my instinct tells me that here Kasparov was trying for a combination involving sacrificing the queen with 26. Nxf3 - See the R Q and N are like hammers towards h2 square. That is why Kasparov played 25. Kh7 to make the King away from the queen with check. But can someone with a computer soft ware please inspect this possibility or is it unsound
Nov-20-11  vajeer: Can Black hold by
23....Qf4 followed by
24...f6 removing the pin on the knight and also attacking white's weakness on f3?
Nov-21-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: <<FSR:> <lost in space> There's an expression "Put a sock in it." - basically a more colorful way of saying "Shut up.">

Merci for the explanation.

Nov-21-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Here is a rare case where Kasparov is the victim of a good attack-instead of the victor.
Nov-21-11  King Death: < Eric Farley: If what people say here is true : that kasparov lost this game because his opening preparation didn't take this variation into account and he was surprised by that, then he may not have been the great player that some people advertise him to have been.>

Who can know everything? Kasparov never played the Nimzo much as Black, so it isn't that surprising that he didn't know all of the ins and outs.

< He is supposed to solve OTB problems using his talent. Capablanca and Alekhine did it.>

What's your point here? That you're way better than Kasparov?

< As a matter of fact, his endings left a lot to be desired, so many blunders, more than would be acceptable for a player of his --supposed -- caliber.>

Again, are you rated 4000 or something?

< A chess player is to be rated based on his overall knowledge not just by the opening novelties he introduces here and there. I'm beginning to suspect that it wasn't he who was great, but his contemporaries that were poor.>

Guys like Karpov really couldn't play. They're just lucky I got bored and didn't hit the international circuit. There, that sounds as stupid as your statement.

< And if you check the Tal Memorial going on now, you'll understand what I mean. Nakamura and Nepo kept on playing for 85 moves in a position well-known as a book draw. A position found in The ABC of Rook Endings in Korchnoi's book "Practical Rook Endings." The Vancura position. >

There's nothing wrong with making a man play it out. That's a personal choice, and I wouldn't show any mercy either.

Nov-22-11  kasparvez: Alekhine, Capablanca were all extraordinary practical players, but its an exaggeration to say that they didn't have problems with opening surprises. Since in their times opening theories were still under construction they prepared more on general grounds. Thus they hardly faced middlegame novelties connected with opening lines, except perhaps, from Rubinstein and Euwe.

Post-Fischer chess, we know, places a high value on opening schemes, always connected to middlegames and in some cases, even endgames. In such a high stake 'all-know-all' system novelties play a very powerful role, often practically deciding a game by itself. It is absurd to demand of Kasparov, the man who authors the most number of middlegame novelties in history, to refute prepared surprises every time he faces them.

And no chess player is complete. Kasparov surrendered many endings, Fischer lost many double edged positions, Alekhine played prosaic positions worse than most. The point is, their overall playing strength was of such magnitude that these particular weaknesses didn't make much difference.

Feb-10-12  kamalakanta: Vajeer, I think 23...Qf4 is a good try, but it hangs the c-pawn, which supports the d4-knight, after 24.Qxc5.
Jun-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: missed my source..

<1999 Wijk aan Zee: When Garry Kasparov, with a 7.5-0.5 score and a 3000-plus performance rating met Ivan Sokolov in the 9th round, the Bosnian GM went straight into a Nimzo-Indian variation that had been analyzed for 50 years. Sokolov was unaware that Kasparov and his trainer had analyzed the key line out to a win for black in 1973, following an obscure Soviet game. When the key position arose after Sokolov's 21st move, Kasparov's hand moved too quickly. "I should have stopped, taken a sip of coffee, taken a breath, and I would have recalled the game." Kasparov said afterwards. But he played a rook move instead of a king retreat he had analyzed --- and resigned six moves later. Jan Timman told him, "Sometimes you need to check old analyses." Kasparov concluded, "No. You simply need to produce them at the board.">

:-)

Jun-28-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  outplayer: 27...Qe6 is a blunder. 27...Rh7 is correct.
Nov-12-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Kasparov wrote down Sokolov's last move on his scoresheet before it was played. And made sure Sokolov saw it. Wonder what his point was.
Jan-03-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Jim> Wonder whether that could be regarded as illegal, as is writing down one's own move before making it, under FIDE rules.
Jan-03-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <outplayer: 27...Qe6 is a blunder. 27...Rh7 is correct.>

Hard to agree with this conclusion after 27....Rh7 28.Qg2 Qe8 29.Rg7 Qf8 30.Rxh7+ Kxh7 31.Bxd4 cxd4 32.Qh3+ Qh6 33.Qf5+ Kh8 34.Rg5.

Jan-03-13  FISCHERboy: The bishop on b2 is annoying.
Jan-03-13  bobbylee: For some reason, Kasparov's play on the black side of the Nimzo-Indian has generally always left something to be desired. Almost as if he has never been comfortable in with that opening. He had defeats on the back side in several notable games, such as in his first candidates match with Beliavsky and in his world title match against Kramnik. Both times he got a bad position out of the opening and went down hard.
May-25-13  tjipa: As a general observation, it is quite entertaining to read back how people in 2004 boast that Fritz8 says this and that about this game. And I was curious enough to find that now, in 2013, my Fritz 13 says the black blundered on move 25, and 25... Qh5 would have held just fine, albeit slightly worse for Black. Anyway, I am in no position to judge, since my OTB rating is at the level of Fritz0.1, at best. In any case, this is a great game by Ivan Sokolov, a player whose style and thinking I have long admired, wishing he would overcome his shortcomings and rise to an elite level where he would certainly be at home.
Sep-24-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <plang:.. < Several people have referred to this game as Sokolovs "masterpiece". I doubt he would agree - this was a relatively easy game for him. >>

Well, here is what Sokolov thinks about the game:

<Later on, perhaps the most beautiful moment of my career was when I beat Garry Kasparov in Wijk aan Zee I 999 - also with a NimzoˇIndian with 4.e3." <>>

- Ivan Sokolov in <The Strategic Nimzo-Indian, 2012>

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