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Boris Spassky vs Garry Kasparov
Bugojno (1982)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation. Korchnoi Defense (B23)  ·  1/2-1/2
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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-25-06  Dr. Siggy: "An ultra-fighting draw" (Kasparov), indeed!!! When a patzer like me has the privilege to see a Boris Spassky in his winning mood against a Garry Kasparov at his best, THIS is what he gets!...

A few (lengthy) notes about this most remarkable game:

I. R. Palliser, "Starting Out: Closed Sicilian", London 2006, p. 168: "[...] White has struggled here to show any advantage at all here with 9.d3 Nf6 10.Bg2 Bd6 11.0-0 0-0 12.Bf4 Bg4! 13.Bxd6 Qxd6 fully equalizing in B. Spassky-V. Korchnoi, 5th matchgame, Kiev 1968, whereas 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Bg2 Bd6 11.c3!? can be met by Kasparov's dynamic and forcing 11...d3!? 12.Nf4 0-0 13.Nxd3 Bxg3 14.fxg3 Qxd3 15.Qf3! Qxf3 16.Bxf3 Bh3! or more simply by Ribli's 11...0-0 12.cxd4 cxd4 13.d3 Re8." - About Kasparov's move, see the next notes; about Ribli's move, please check out (not 12.cxd4, but) 12.d3!?, which seems (at least to me...) to give White a small but lasting advantage.

II. G. Lane, "Winning with the Closed Sicilian", London 1992, pp. 137-8: "Even though Spassky is temporarily a pawn up his dormant pieces give some cause for concern. This makes the text move [21.b3!] so important, because it is essential to bring the pieces into play before Black's active forces take complete control of the position. The ideia is to develop the queenside at the expense of the other wing. Not so good is 21.d4 cxd4 22.cxd4 Re1, with a stranglehold on the position."

III. G. Lane, op. cit., p. 138: "According to Kasparov, the imagination of White's idea [21.b3!] can be measured from the way it handles the direct approach: 21...h5 22.Ba3 Rxf2+ (22...Ng4 23.Rxe2 Rxe2+ 24.Kf3, intending Bxc5 and Bxa7, with an advantage) 23.Kxf2 Ne4+ 24.Kg2 Nxd2 25.Bxc5 Re2+ 26.Bf2 Ne4 27.Kf3 Rxf2+ 28.Kxe4 Rxh2, and the white king is ideally placed to support the promotion of the pawns."

IV. G. Lane, op. et loc. cit.: "Relieved to extract himself [with 26.cxd4] from his confined quarters, White misses a subtle idea to utilise the bishop: 26.Bd2 Nd3 (26...dxc3 27.Bxc3 ) 27.Kf1! dxc3 28.Bxc3 Re3 29.Bd4 Rxg3 30.Bxa7 Rxh3, with a complex position in favour of White, from an analysis by Kasparov." - And this in spite of the fact that here it is (not Black, but) White who is a pawn down! As an example of how dangerous this ending is for Black, take a look at the following sequel of the many I've been playing as White against my (perhaps rather poor?...) "Fritz 4.01": 31.Ke2 Nf4+ 32.Kd2 g5 33.Bb8 Ne6 34.b4 Ra3 35.b5 Nd4 36.b6 Nb3+ 37.axb3 Rxa1 38.Ba7 Rb1 39.Kc3 Re1 40.b7 and 1-0...

V. One final note. My fellow patzers: study this particular game very carefully, and... enjoooy!...


Kasparov on Kasparov: Part I
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