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Garry Kasparov vs Veselin Topalov
Linares (2004), Linares ESP, rd 13, Mar-04
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 23 OF 23 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-04-04  Benjamin Lau: I forgot, further to the idea above about Kasparov's diminishing tactical awareness, if you look at the games he lost to Kramnik in the 2000 match, they're mostly due to tactical blunders. Kramnik isn't necessarily outplaying Kasparov strategically.
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  crafty: 32. ♘e4+ ♔f7 33. ♘xf6 ♔xf6 34. ♕xh5 e4 35. f4   (eval 2.09; depth 14 ply; 1000M nodes)
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  crafty: 27. ♖xg6+ fxg6 28. ♕g4 ♔h7 29. ♗xf8 ♗d8 30. ♗d1 ♕d2   (eval -2.03; depth 13 ply; 1000M nodes)
Mar-05-04  ConLaMismaMano: I don't think Kasparov is playing worse than some years before, he just made a couple of blunders which cost him missing two clear wins: Radjabov and Topalov. Karpov 10 years ago, when he was about Kasparov's age was still in the elite, so age still means nothing. The only factor, i think, that is making Kasparov do these blunders is his lack of competition in tournaments in the past years.
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  Honza Cervenka: If 22...hxg5, then 23.Nxf6+ gxf6 24.hxg5 f5 25.Qh5 Nbd7 [25...f4 26.g6+ fxg6 27.Qxg6+ Kh8 28.Kh2 (with threat Rh1 and Kg1+) 28...Nd3 (the only defence) 29.Bxd3 Qa2 30.Be3! and white wins.] 26.Re3 Qa1 27.Rh3 Qxc1+ 28.Bd1 Qxd1+ (what else?) 29.Qxd1 Re8 30.Qh5 Kf8 31.exf5 and white wins.
Mar-05-04  MoonlitKnight: Kaspy would have been the favourite to win Linares if he had found 27.Rg6 and proceeded on to win this game. This is a tournament of small margins.
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  Honza Cervenka: <Kaspy would have been the favourite to win Linares if he had found 27.Rg6> I don't see a win for white after 27.Rxg6+ as well as crafty. <MoonlitKnight>, can you show a winning line?
Mar-05-04  JustAFish: <Honza> Today's has a wrapup of the game with the long and complicated winning line after 27 Rxg6+

Click on the online board and play through the variations. The game was much wilder, and more laden with possibility, than I suspect any of us imagined.

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  Honza Cervenka: <JustAFish> Thanks.
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  tamar: Fritz takes an enormous amount of time to find the combination 27 Rxg6. In a timed game, it would have played 27 Rg4 or something else, or lost on time! I let it look for 22 minutes and it was not even hinting at anything other than a lost position after 27 Rxg6 at -2.69. I lost patience and played the move manually, and it still did not see an advantage for 20 some more minutes.
Mar-05-04  Benjamin Lau: It must be the "horizon effect." How long does it take white to clearly recover the material or have a mate?
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  tamar: <Ben> I'll try the position again. After 27 Rxg6+ fg 28 Qg4 it doesn't look like the computer should be baffled for so long, but one explanation may be that one variation early on is very hard to crack. I see Chessbase now is saying the weird looking defense 28...g5 may only be a perpetual.
Mar-05-04  Benjamin Lau: Tamar, thanks for the info, I was surprised that crafty did not find it the first time and that later even Fritz had problems finding a conclusion.
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  Sneaky: <long and complicated winning line after 27 Rxg6+> I was right!! I was right!!

Crafty almost had me hoodwinked there. It can see 15 moves ahead and see billions of positions, but even an average player like myself has something no computer has: INSTINCT.

Mar-05-04  Benjamin Lau: Here's the analysis from chessbase that tamar mentioned earlier. According to Fritz on a long search:

26.Bxh6 Bxh4 27.Rg4 [ ?7.Bxf8 Nxf8 28.Ng5 Bxg3 29.Nxg3 Qb2=/+ ; 27.Rxg6+?! Incredibly complicated, but it seems like a draw is the best White can do. Thanks Fritz... 27...fxg6 28.Qg4+- g5! ( 28...Kh7? 29.Qxh4 gxh5 30.Qxh5 Qa1+ 31.Kh2 Nf6 32.Ng5+ Kh8 33.Qg6 Ng4+ 34.Kg3 Rf3+ 35.Nxf3 Nxh6 36.Qxh6+ Kg8 37.Ng5 Qxc3+ 38.Kh2 ) 29.Nxg5 Qxc2 Believe it or not, White doesn't have anything here according to Fritz & Co. Truly computer chess is not human chess. White must force a perpetual or be worse. 30.Kh2 Rf7 31.Nxf7+ Kxf7 32.Qg7+ Ke8 ]

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  tamar: Did Kasparov have a win with 27 ♖xg6+? I fired up Fritz 7 Deep Analysis Mode and left it on all night and part of the day on Chessbase's position 27 ♖xg6+ fg 28 ♕g4 g5!? (Start Position) 29 ♘xg5 ♕xc2 MIG's note here is White must take a perpetual or be worse. But after the night-long search Fritz 7 found 30 ♔h2 ♖f7 31 ♘e6! (Improvement over perpetual with 31 ♘xf7) ♔h7 32♕xh4 ♘xe6 33 dxe6 ♖xf2 34 ♘f6 with over +3.5 no matter how black plays. Even at the end of that variation, it may not be obvious how white wins, but the passed pawn combined with the queen and bishop take over no matter how black captures on f6. Overall I believe 31 ♘e6! is the move Deep Fritz missed in claiming no more than a perpetual.
Mar-06-04  Shadow 812: An interesting statistic, this was their first game for five years, but before that they played twelve games in 1998, followed by another four games in 1999: Curious how two players can play each other so often in a year, then it maybe years before they play each other again, there must be other examples of this with the other top masters.
Mar-06-04  refutor: <shadow 812> the reason is that kasparov only plays the elite events and between 1999 and now topalov fell out of the elite
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  Calli: Kavalek claims 27 Rxg6+ is a draw in todays column.
Mar-09-04  Benjamin Lau: Hmmm, I'm more inclined to believe tamar's Fritz 7 on deep analysis mode, at least in tactical positions such as this one. Tamar's Fritz line looks very good although it would require more precise technique than Kasparov would be able to muster in such time trouble.
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  tamar: Kavalek's line looks good. I agree, draw. My analysis with Fritz 7 started after the sequence 27 Rxg6+ fg 28 Qg4 g5!? which had been claimed a draw by MIG using Deep Fritz. Kavalek's find is that Topalov could immediately use the bishop as a desperado followed by sacking his rook on f8 for bishop to set up his own perpetual. "The rook sacrifice 27.Rxg6+!? fxg6 28.Qg4 is dangerous, but does not win after 28...Bxf2+! 29.Nxf2 Kh7 30.Bxf8 Qxc2 31.Qf3 Qc1+ 32.Kh2 Nxf8 33.Qxf8 gxh5 34.Qf7+ with a perpetual check."
Sep-09-04  Knight13: Kibitz to Kasparov: Just take the rook on f8!

Kibitz to Topalov: Just take the knight on e6!

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  acirce: Significative of Kasparov of late, playing as well as ever until it's time to convert. Topalov wouldn't have had to suffer this much if he had played 24..Bxh4 instead of 24..g6? He was afraid of 25.Nxg7 Kxg7 26.Qh5 but, as I think was pointed out on one of these 20+ pages, after 26..Qxc2 White has no more than perpetual (27.Rg3+ Bxg3 28.Bxh6+ etc)

He had planned 25.Rg3 Bxh3 but realized that it is punished by 26.Qd2! Nbd7 27.Qxh6 Bf6 28.Bg5! Bh8 29.Be7! and 30.Rxg6+.

27.Rxg6+!?! fxg6 28.Qg4 was a try but it seems earlier posts establish that it would have been a draw.

The win with 32.Ne4+ has been demonstrated many times, but Kavalek says at the link Calli gave that even 32.Ne6+ didn't yet give the win away: 32..Kf7 <33.Nxf8! Kxf8 34.Qc1! Ng4 [On 34...Ncd7 35.Qh6+ Ke8 36.Bd3! wins.] 35.Rxg4! hxg4 36.Qh6+ Ke8 37.Qh8+ Kd7 38.Qg7+ Kd8 39.Qg8+ Kd7 40.f6! and white wins>.

The lines indeed seem convincing after 33..Kxf8, although there is also 33..Qxd5 but White retains a good position with exchange up after 34.Qxd5+ Nxd5 35.Nh7 or 34.Qc1 Nce4 35.Rd3 Qc4 (or 35..Qc5 36.Rf3 Nxf2!? 37.Ne6 Nd3+ 38.Qe3 Qxe3+ 39.Rxe3) 36.Ne6. Win or not, I never saw this pointed out before. Really should have checked Kavalek's analysis from nearly a year ago. All sources I remember claimed that 34.Ne6+?! threw the win away.

Oct-20-05  alexandrovm: so close to victory and draw! What a fantastic fight. I think Kasparov missed his chance here.
Sep-18-08  you vs yourself: <"My heart lept and adrenaline flooded my system. I sensed the decisive blow was close at hand. With a leap of my knight I could uncover an attack by my rook against his king. It looked devastating. Where to move the knight? The e4 square or the e6 square? Forward or backward? Two minutes.

My brain was crunching through the alternatives at top speed, trying to find the best moves for both sides....One minute.

Wait, it looked as if the backward move was a losing option! Unnerved, I pushed my knight to the forward square, already sensing the opportunity was gone. Topalov reacted quickly, his king running for cover. With seconds left I could only force my knight back and forth...The game ended in a draw...I felt deflated in my chair. Had I missed a win? After such a thrilling hunt my quarry had eluded me. I finished the tournament in a bitter tie for second place, and I was racked with concern about how my intuition had betrayed me at a critical moment.

As it turned out, I had moved my knight to the wrong square. Analysis later showed that moving it backward to e4, the "wrong" direction, away from the enemy king, would have given me an overpowering attack. I had looked at the move during calculations but had seen that his queen could check my king, coming back to defend. When the game ended, Topalov suggested the alternative knight leap to e4 as winning, and I replied, "Yes, but what about the queen check on c1?" He looked puzzled, and just from the look on his face I suddenly realized that this move would have been illegal...A total hallucination....

The most disturbing thing about this miss was that one of the strongest parts of my game had always been fast and deep calculation-tactics. I was always confident in my ability to analyze complications better than my opponents. When it came time for me to deliver the killer blow, my adversary rarely escaped.

I left Linares with self-confidence shaken. Of course nobody scores one hundred percent on every exam, but this was still troubling. At forty I was considerably older than most of my competitors, who were usually in their twenties and occasionally in their teens. If age was creeping up on me and my tactics were getting shaky, how much longer could I stay on top?...

As later games would show, my faculties were still in fine working order. I hadn't been playing often and my rustiness had led to lack of decisiveness, a lack of faith in my own calculations...My intuition and my tactics fell out of sync. The lesson? The best plans and the most devious tactics can still fail without confidence."> Kasparov from "How Life Imitates Chess"

See how upset this guy got with a 2nd place in linares and after a draw in time trouble against a super GM? I guess that's how you stay on top for 20 years! Maybe after this game, he started entertaining the idea of retirement.

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