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Linares Tournament

Garry Kasparov7.5/10(+5 -0 =5)[games]
Judit Polgar4.5/10(+1 -2 =7)[games]
Anatoly Karpov4.5/10(+1 -2 =7)[games]
Peter Leko4.5/10(+0 -1 =9)[games]
Alexey Shirov4.5/10(+2 -3 =5)[games]
Alexander Grischuk4.5/10(+2 -3 =5)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Linares (2001)

The 18th Torneo Internacional de Ajedrez Ciudad de Linares was played from February 23rd to March 6th, 2001 in Hotel Anibal, Linares, Spain. The star of the event was Garry Kasparov, who had lost the Kasparov - Kramnik Classical World Championship Match (2000) (since he was unable to win with the white pieces against the Berlin Defense of Vladimir Kramnik). He then won the Corus (2001) tournament ahead of FIDE's World Champion Viswanathan Anand (2nd) and Kramnik (=3rd). Anand (ranked #2 in the world) and Kramnik (#3) both declined their invitations to Linares, (1, 2) and the six participants were: Kasparov (#1), Peter Leko (#5), Alexei Shirov (#7), Anatoli Karpov (#20), Judit Polgar (#23), and Alexander Grischuk (#28). (3) Kasparov was the highest ranked player (by a wide margin) (3) and was the overwhelming favorite. (4) Karpov's presence also increased the interest. Karpov had not played much since the Karpov - Anand FIDE World Championship Match (1998). His rating was his lowest in about 30 years, but he had a dazzling success in Linares (1994), (4) and played well in Linares (1995).

Kasparov and Karpov had not met since Las Palmas (1996), (2) and the games here would be their last encounter in classical time control. Kasparov arrived to the event accompanied by his mother and Yury Dokhoian. Karpov arrived on 21 February accompanied by his analyst Mikhail Podgaets. Leko was accompanied by his wife and Amador Rodriguez Cespedes, Polgar by her husband Gustav, Grischuk by his coach Anatoly Bykhovsky, and Shirov by Viktorija Cmilyte and Jordi Magem Badals. (1) The arbiters were Juan Vargas, his son Juan Antonio Vargas and Paco Mena. Press officer was Paco Albalate. Round 1 started 3:30 pm. (1) The first three rounds gave nine draws, whereafter Kasparov started to beat his opponents and the rest started to beat each other. Polgar had held Kasparov to a draw in Round 2 and had the white pieces in Round 7. She thought about settling for a quick draw, but found that "fighting Kasparov in search of victory produces a special pleasure". (5) She got worse and should have lost, but there followed

click for larger view

27...g6? 28.f5! Kasparov had underestimated the opening of the g file and had to settle with 28...gxh5 29.Ne6 Nxc3+ 30.bxc3 Qxc3 31.Rxd6 Qb4+ and a draw by repetition. (6) Kasparov thought he had missed something in the position, and at dinner he shouted across the restaurant to Polgar, "I found it! I found it! 27...Ba3! It's amazing, all the tricks work for me. You should have a good look at it!" (7) For the record, Stockfish agrees. "I told myself, it will be much more meritorious if the tie is signed after a good fight. That's how it was, and I also managed to get Kasparov nervous." (5) Polgar was well on her way to take a clear second place in the tournament, but lost her games in Round 8 (against Karpov) and Round 10 (against Shirov). In the end, five players ended equal (and on less than 50%), with Kasparov throning on top. (1, 2, 8) It was his seventh win at Linares. (9)

Linares, Spain, 23 February - 6 March 2001

Elo 01 02 03 04 05 06 1 Kasparov 2849 ** ½½ 1½ ½1 ½1 11 7½ =2 Polgar 2676 ½½ ** ½0 ½½ 10 ½½ 4½ =2 Karpov 2679 0½ ½1 ** ½½ ½½ ½0 4½ =2 Leko 2745 ½0 ½½ ½½ ** ½½ ½½ 4½ =2 Shirov 2718 ½0 01 ½½ ½½ ** 10 4½ =2 Grischuk 2663 00 ½½ ½1 ½½ 01 ** 4½

Category: XIX (2722). (1, 2) Chief arbiter: Juan Vargas. (1)


(1) Leontxo García in Jaque, No. 533 (July 2001), pp. 6-39 (
(2) Tidskrift för Schack, March 2001, pp. 180-185 (
(3) FIDE Rating List January 2001 (
(4) John A Peters in Los Angeles Times, 18 February 2001
(5) Judit Polgar in Jaque 533 (July 2001), pp. 40-42 (
(6) Thomas Ernst in Tidskrift för Schack, April 2001, p. 226 (
(7) User: acirce on Judit Polgar vs Kasparov, 2001, citing a now defunct ChessBase web page
(8) TeleSchach, Linares 2001 page (
(9) Wikipedia article: Linares International Chess Tournament

Original collections: Game Collection: Linares 2001 by User: suenteus po 147 and Game Collection: Linares 2001 by User: Tabanus. Round dates (February 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, March 1, 3, 4, 5, 6) are from Chess-Results ( and Jaque 533.

Previous: Linares (2000). Next: Linares (2002)

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Shirov vs Karpov ½-½942001LinaresB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
2. Leko vs Kasparov ½-½552001LinaresB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
3. Grischuk vs Polgar ½-½442001LinaresB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
4. Kasparov vs Polgar ½-½272001LinaresB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
5. Karpov vs Grischuk  ½-½202001LinaresD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. Leko vs Shirov  ½-½292001LinaresC11 French
7. Shirov vs Kasparov ½-½482001LinaresB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
8. Polgar vs Karpov  ½-½302001LinaresB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
9. Grischuk vs Leko ½-½232001LinaresB12 Caro-Kann Defense
10. Polgar vs Shirov 1-0472001LinaresB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
11. Grischuk vs Kasparov 0-1372001LinaresB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
12. Karpov vs Leko ½-½572001LinaresE15 Queen's Indian
13. Kasparov vs Karpov 1-0312001LinaresB12 Caro-Kann Defense
14. Leko vs Polgar  ½-½272001LinaresB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
15. Shirov vs Grischuk 1-0322001LinaresB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
16. Kasparov vs Leko 1-0312001LinaresC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
17. Karpov vs Shirov  ½-½442001LinaresD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
18. Polgar vs Grischuk  ½-½542001LinaresC96 Ruy Lopez, Closed
19. Grischuk vs Karpov 1-0502001LinaresB12 Caro-Kann Defense
20. Shirov vs Leko  ½-½432001LinaresC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
21. Polgar vs Kasparov ½-½352001LinaresB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
22. Karpov vs Polgar 1-0802001LinaresE12 Queen's Indian
23. Leko vs Grischuk  ½-½482001LinaresB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
24. Kasparov vs Shirov 1-0382001LinaresC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
25. Grischuk vs Shirov 1-0512001LinaresB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-12-18  offramp: Thanks to User: suenteus po 147 and <Tabanus> making a page for this tournament.

It was one of Kasparov's biggest successes. You only have to have a quick look at the final table.

Kasparov was first "by a distance" and all the others were - well, you can take your choice - either equal 2nd or equal last.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Kasparov did amazing things in his day. Sometimes I think people tend to forget how extraordinary he was.
Oct-12-18  Joseph Blackcape: Kasparov dominated, but it was still a respectable showing for a 50 years old Karpov, who was already semi-retired, had his prime far behind him (his swan song, as mentioned, was in Linares 7 years earlier) and was playing against GMs, who were all, except for Kasparov, roughly 25-30 years his juniors - 32 in case of Grischuk, the only player outside of Kasparov that he lost to here.

Worth of note is that outside of this single classical loss, Karpov still holds a +2=4 blitz score from games played between 2007-2009 against Grischuk, a 3 times World Blitz Champion and top 10-15 world player in all 3 formats.

Oct-13-18  fabelhaft: Well, Karpov still played quite a lot back then, and was ranked 4th of the six participants. Now the 20 years older Korchnoi did also face Grischuk and some other top players the same year in Biel with a not less respectable result:

Biel (2001)

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