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Garry Kasparov vs Rochelle Ballantyne
"Harlem Shake" (game of the day Feb-20-2013)
Harlem simul (2008) (exhibition), Harlem, New York, Sep-28
Queen Pawn Game: Symmetrical Variation (D02)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-10-09  TheMacMan: on move 24. Kasparov avoids g4. exposing his king because it is fitting in his "safe" style, that even some of his fans say he adopted after the year 2000 or 2001 -
Sep-10-09  Chicago Chess Man: well, also it was a simul so he probably didn't want to enter complications and not have enough time to think them through
Feb-20-13  dougiejfresh: the original -

a favorite -

Feb-20-13  solskytz: I'm impressed. She plays fearlessly against the Legend. Reading her background leaves me doubly impressed.
Premium Chessgames Member
Feb-20-13  Moszkowski012273: I know this girl!
Feb-20-13  Abdel Irada: Rochelle Ballantyne may be a player to watch. Her performance here at age 13 against a former world champion is most creditable.

The game is imperfect, and superficial review suggests that Kasparov could have won a piece on at least one occasion and probably two, but I suspect that many of Ballantyne's fellow simul participants (presumably including some older and more experienced players) lost faster and more convincingly.

Feb-20-13  morfishine: <Abdel Irada> On your comment <...superficial review suggests that Kasparov could have won a piece on at least one occasion and probably two...> I assume you are referring to Kasparov passing on 24.g4

Perhaps he wanted to avoid: 24.g4 Bxg4 25.fxg4 Nxg4 26.Rxd8+ Rxd8 27.Qe2 h5 28.Bh3 Nf4 29.Qf1 Nxh2

click for larger view

Or any alternative move-order that activates Black's Knights, especially with the Black Queen on c7

Very, impressive performance by Ballantyne!

Feb-20-13  Abdel Irada: <morfishine>: Yes, <24. g4> is one of the opportunities to which I referred. Others involving the same theme (trapping the bishop) also arose, and I *think* Kasparov could have emerged from the complications in good order.

However, there is, as I mentioned, no gainsaying Ballantyne's performance.


<>: Great NYT article, although I had to laugh a bit about Kasparov's pursuit of "politics in Russia," an endeavor that proves that skill in chess does not necessarily imply skill in other fields of endeavor.

The article is of course limited as to length and detail by space constraints (a subject on which, as a long-time editor, I could write a dissertation), but frankly the analysis in it seems superficial even given that caveat; I might mention, for example, that Kasparov is *not* among the world's most adept practitioners of the simultaneous exhibition, and the article skips rather lightly over some critical moves in favor of what seem to be peripheral questions.

Nonetheless, the article does affirm what the game suggests: Rochelle Ballantyne may very well live up to her ambition; in fact, she seems to be within striking distance even here. I very much hope she won't succumb to the distractions that abound in her home metropolis or to the social pressures against female players; that would be a sad ending for so auspicious a beginning.

Feb-20-13  jrofrano: I don't understand what is wrong with 24.g4 Bxg4 25.fxg4 Nxg4 26.Qg3! Obviously black has some pawns but white should win this position easily.
Feb-20-13  newzild: Black puts up a good fight against Gazza.

I don't agree with some of the comments here about Ballantyne being "someone to watch" and someone who might "live up to her ambition".

She is already 17 or 18 years old and only a 1950 player. These days, if you're not at least an IM by that age you can forget about having too many ambitions at international level.

This might sound mean-spirited, but unfortunately it's true.

Feb-20-13  Abdel Irada: <newzild>: Ballantyne's ambition is not disproportionate: She hopes to become a master. If by 18 she is already at 1950 (which is not at all bad), and she continues to work on her game, I see 2200 as eminently within her reach.

Now, more specifically, she hopes to become the "first female African-American master," so if any other contenders are looming on the horizon, she may have to work quickly. But so far I think her chances are excellent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black has three passed pawns,too bad nobody knows. lol
Feb-20-13  waustad: Becoming a master and being a world's elite player are quite different notions. One of those goals is still in range, though chess will probably need to remain an avocation. A worthy goal would be to reach a title that allows her to play in big Swisses without paying the entry fee.
Feb-22-13  IndigoViolet: Gentlemen, one of our aircraft is missing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: A great battle with the great man.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: The trouble I always had playing GMs etc (most recently I played Ganguly in two simuls he gave, but I played Chandler and earlier Averbakh,then Olafsson, Quinteros, and a few others) was the need I felt not to pass too much (although I think Gangully wouldn't have minded). I have memory that I also played Euwe in the 60s. (Or did Averbakh come here instead - I've blanked on that one...

That is one problem. In some ways it is actually easier for the Master or GM as most players never have their opening knowledge and they can take as long as they like on their moves.

So this game shows the young woman has definite talent. Whether it is worth spending so much time on chess if she is intelligent as she clearly is is another question. Good to have a profession or even just to become a skilled worker.

Ortvin Sarapu who was an IM spent his life working as a labourer at Reidrubber (tyre company)...the spare time was spent studying and playing chess. His occupation meant he was always very keen to get the extra cash from winning (the mostly relatively weak) NZ Chess tourneys.

So chess can be a part of life but I would imagine not many can make a living from it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: 23. g4 indeed looks a bit risky. A GM would avoid that and move to the next board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: By being a clue (or a solution to?) in a puzzle Rochelle got some good publicity!
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