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Alexander Grischuk vs Garry Kasparov
Linares (2001), Linares ESP, rd 4, Feb-27
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-03-02  bishop: Grischuk unsuccessfully tried to make an issue of the possible overextension of the Black queenside pawns.
Dec-06-02  DonLeander: what's the name of that variation? english?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: 29 ...Bxf3+! What a way to win a pawn!
Dec-02-04  notyetagm: Wow, a plethora of zwischenzugs by Kasparov.
May-01-06  romerno: I'm still learning. White pawn doesn't matter? Passed pawn?
May-01-06  ganstaman: <romerno> The pawn matters, but it's not enough. Because black is threatening ...Rxb4 and ...Rh3+ followed by RxR, white must play 38. Ra4. Hmmm, I actually can't see any great continuations. This may be totally wrong, but I would be tempted to play 38...Rxb4 39. Rxb4. I'm not positive, but I think that blacks 3 connnected passed pawns can beat white's rook. If I'm wrong, then there is some better continuation for black from move 38.

In fact, I think there is. Let's try this:
38. Ra4 Rh3+ 39. Ke4 Rb3 40. Kd4 Kf7 41. Kc4 Rxb4 42. Rxb4 g5. Like I said, I could be very wrong. But with white's king all the way on c4, I think black has a good chance of queening, either getting white's rook in the process or just queening more than once. I guess we'll see what others say.

May-03-06  romerno: <ganstaman> Thanks.
May-16-06  notyetagm: An incredibly complex tactical queenless middlegame.
May-16-06  euripides: <rom, ganst> After 38 Ra4 White's rook and pawn are paralysed so Black can keep his rook on the fourth rank , protected perhaps by one of his pawns, and advance the king and the other pawns. Whit might consider 38 Ra8 or Ra8+ followed by playing the rook to the b file, which gives the rook a bit more scope, but Black's three united pawns should win easily as he can simply put his rook behind White's pawn on the b file where it prevents the pawn promoting and supports the K-side advance. Black has to avoid tricks with rook checks after b7 but that should be quite easy here.

38 Ra4 Rxb4 is very imaginative but looks risky to me. 3 united pawns can draw or even beat a rook but I don't think they are advanced enough here. I think there might be a draw if Black can get the pawns to e4-f5-g6 with the king's support but I doubt it he can achieve this.

May-29-06  romerno: <euripides> Thanks euripides.
May-29-06  Ernesto7: White has Ra8+ and can place his rook in front of his pawn as well,but this loses after Black places his rook Behind the passed pawn where it can give lateral checks and simply escort his 3 pawns up the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  spirit: nice rook ending by GAZZA
Jun-09-06  alicefujimori: I remember reading somewhere (possibly from Kasparov's already gone website) that Kasparov himself praised 13...d5 and commented that there wasn't that many chances that Black could play 13...d5 in such a straightforward manner in the Najdorf and that White's position began to go downhill from this move onwards.
Premium Chessgames Member
  spirit: <alicefujimori> what happened to GAZZA's site?
Jul-10-06  alicefujimori: <spirit>It's gone, due to financial problems if I'm correct. There was rumors of fraud, scandal, etc from it too. But how true these rumors were are unknown, at least to me. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  spirit: financial problems?
Aug-17-09  aazqua: Kasparov's in the Nadjorf has called into question the validity of 1 e4. Perhaps white needs to find a different move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: 36.b4?? was simply a blunder. Grischuk had to play 36.Kg4.
Oct-12-13  jemptymethod: White's position seems fine after 10. a3
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Played at Linares 2001 which was a 6 player round robin. Kasparov finished at +5 while the other 5 players tied for second with -1. 10..Nc6 would have transposed into game 2 of the semi-final match of the 2000 World Championship tournament at New Delhi between Grischuk and Shirov (Grischuk won the game but lost the match 2.5-1.5); 10..b4 chasing the knight to the shaky a4 square was Kasparov's improvement. 12 g5?!..Nxe4 13 fxe..Qc6 would have been good for Black.

It is quite striking how powerfully Kasparov played the opening - was it prepared at home? - possibly but I think he just had a better understanding of the position than his opponent.

Perhaps just 19 axb..axb 20 Bxe7..Kxe7 21 Kf2 would have been an improvement for White with a slight advantage for Black. Another possible improvement would have been 21 Bxe5..fxe 22 axb..Nxb4 23 Kd1 with an unclear position. Grischuk defended well until 27 Bf2? after which he was in serious trouble; better was 27 c4..Rb4 28 h4..Nf7 29 Rc1..Bxc5 30 Bxc5..Rxb2+ 31 Bf2..Ne5 32 Rxa5..Rb4 33 Ra4..Rxa4 34 Nxa4..Bb7 35 Rc3..Nxg4 36 Nc5 with an equal game.

<Mateo: 36.b4?? was simply a blunder. Grischuk had to play 36.Kg4.>

Stohl gives 36 Kg4 as "slightly more resilient": after 36..Rb5 37 b4..axb 38 Rb3..Kf7 39 cxb..Kg6 and the Black pawns will win.

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