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Garry Kasparov vs David Letterman
? (1990)
Scandinavian Defense: General (B01)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Given 61 times; par: 42 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-27-07  Eggman: <<Letterman was goofing around, didn't pretend he could play. Actually he started out with 1...h5 and K made him take it back. After 1...d5 K said, "Well, that's BETTER." (but not good).>>

My memory is that Letterman originally played 1...a5 (not 1...h5), saying "how about this?" Kasparov said "terrible." Letterman then played 1...d5 and Kasparov said "much better."

Aug-25-08  ToTheDeath: Kasparov,G-Letterman,D
Telephone Match, 1989
1. e4 d5

After Kasparov's very first move 1.e4, Dave said: "Oh no! I'm screwed!!" There was one move per show, or thereabouts. GK reportedly just played the game from memory (no board). Dave was going to open with a RP move, but Kasparov advised against it.

2. exd5 Qxd5
3. Nc3 Qe6+

Dave: "Three moves, and I've already got him in check!"

4. Be2 Nc6
5. d4 Qg6

Kasparov: "You move your queen too much...I know, it's your favorite piece."

6. Nf3 Qxg2

Dave: "I'm up two to one..." Kasparov: "You'll pay a high price for your two pawns."

7. Rg1 ...

Kasparov: "Get away with your queen from my camp!"

... Qh3
8. d5 Na5
Kasparov: "I feel the smell of victory!"

Dave: "I have the same aroma here..."

9. Nb5 Qd7
10. Bf4 Nf6

Dave: "I was bored of the second knight."

11. Nxc7+ Kd8
12. Ne5 Qxc7

Kasparov: "I could take your rook, but I prefer your queen." Dave: "I'm gonna take one of your horses. It's 3 to 2 now, isn't it?"

13. Nxf7+ Ke8
14. Bxc7 Kxf7

Kasparov: "A normal man would cry when he loses his queen." Dave: "There just isn't enough televised chess."

15. Bxa5 Bf5
16. Qd4 Bxc2
17. Rc1 Be4

Kasparov: "I think the next week of moves is the last one." Dave: "Ho, ho, ho! We'll just see about that, won't we?"

18. Rc7 Rd8

Kasparov: "I'm invading your camp now..."
Dave: "I think I've got one of your pawns in check."

19. d6 b6
20. Bc3 Bd5
21. Qe5 Be6
22. Qxf6+ gxf6
23. Bh5++ 1-0

Kasparov: "You're in good company. All of the grandmasters have been checkmated by me."

Aug-25-08  Bobsterman3000: 1...d5 was the losing move. It was impossible to recover after that howler ??.
Nov-20-08  shintaro go: Didn't know this game ever existed. Haha Letterman, this is the best joke you've ever made.
Dec-02-08  imsobamboozled: how do I search for more games celebrity vs master games?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Unless somebody has a collection of these games, you have to guess celebrity names. Try Sting, Becker, Einstein and Ray Charles.
Dec-02-08  apple pi: <imsobamboozled> try this: Game Collection: Celebrities games
Mar-11-09  Dredge Rivers: I'll bet Leno could have taken him! :)
Mar-15-09  WhiteRook48: this is so hilarious
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: When Morphy played beginners he would at least give knight or rook odds or play blindfolded.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Letterman is a very funny man - I enjoy his show it sometimes plays at night here in NZ - probably replays. Very droll -
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: The Letterman Defense!!
Aug-16-09  Tim G: I vaguely remember this game. Letterman would call Kasparov via telephone to get his move. It may have been at a less-than-ideal time for Kasparov's time zone and, if I remember correctly, Letterman had all day to make his move while Kasparov made his immediately afterward. Is that correct?
Feb-06-10  edbermac: Letterman was probably cheating with a computer. I play Big Bang Chess that came with my MAC and it plays 3...Qe6+ 80% of the time. In fact it plays 1...d5 80% of the time! The other 20% is 1...Nc6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: A woman will always sacrifice herself if you give her the opportunity. It is her favourite form of self-indulgence.
Mar-23-10  markwell: Really, no one gives a rat's butt about David Letterman.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Kasparov-Letterman

click for larger view

...and 22.Qxf6+ end the game.

happy birthday David!

Apr-21-10  pink gorilla: why does kasparov get to be white
Aug-20-12  Helios727: David would call Kasparov and have him state his move while David had to make his move immediately after. So it was Kasparov who had all day to think of his move while David made his move in a few seconds. This may have been to prevent David from using computers or getting help from other grandmasters.
Sep-16-12  Everett: Computers? 1990?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Lovely finish - a bit of genial showboating from Kasparov!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: <whiteshark: A woman will always sacrifice herself if you give her the opportunity. It is her favourite form of self-indulgence.>

Thank you, <Whiteshark> Somerset Maugham.

Apr-03-14  waustad: As a youth I used to watch Steve Allen when I was allowed to stay up that late. I confess that I haven't watched the show much since, though I'm often up that late. I wish him a comfortable and active retirement.
Apr-04-14  Granny O Doul: Steve's retirement seemed to be active enough. He wrote about 6,000 songs, but only a few hundred would I call really essential.
Nov-26-14  WhiteAnemone: Funny game, almost made me laugh.
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Kasparov on Kasparov: Part I
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