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Michael Adams vs Garry Kasparov
Corus Group A (2000), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 4, Jan-19
Sicilian Defense: Delayed Alapin (B50)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-01-09  KingG: <I remember once having a conversation with Adams who commented that: "I just play to stifle these guy's [Kasparov, Anand and Kramnik]," explaining that he avoids highly theoretical lines in preference of a rock-solid sideline. His philosophy being that they will need to take risks in orders to make any progress. Playing White today, this is exactly what Adams did as he thwarted his opponent's famous prepared lines in the Sicilian by opting for an offbeat Anti-Sicilian system. Clearly upset by not being able to make any headway in the opening, Kasparov reacted in this fashion with an unwise pawn sacrifice but Adams' solid position proved impossible to breach.

Such was Kasparov despair that he was on the verge of resignation after barely making it to the time control at his 40th move.

After 41 Kg3, Kasparov stood to lose a second pawn - the one on g4 - that meant he would have a hopelessly lost ending. But then he found the only way out. He had to play 41 … Qa1! and follow-up with the pawn thrust f7-f5, the idea being that after 42 Kxg4 f5! 43 exf5 Qg7+, Black wins back his pawn by taking on g2. "The closer I looked at this manoeuvre, the more counter chances I found," Kasparov told reporters shortly after the six-hour battle. "It was quite a relief, I can tell you," he added. "For a while, I really thought I was lost.">

Jul-08-13  Everett: Interesting, by move 11 we have a maroczy bind vs dragon, with some tempo and piece position alterations. Adams was likely at his peak from '98-'02 or so.

The Delayed Alapin remains an under-rated line.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This same anti-Najdorf system was used by Svidler to defeat Kasparov at Tilburg 1997. The move order with 5 Qc2 and 7 d4 seems a bit illogical to me but it does avoid mainline theory. 9..d5 was played in the short draw Adams-Gelfand Wijk-aan-Zee 1998; 9..Bg7 was new. Taking the pawn with 12..Nxd4 13 Bxd4..e5 14 Be3..Qxc4 would led to an unclear position. Kasparov's pawn sacrifice 19..b5!? left him with nebulous compensation. After 32..Qa2 he was in trouble; better was 32..Rxa2 33 Qxd2..Qa1+ 34 Ke2..Qh1 with an unclear position. Kasparov should have played 38..gxf 39 gxf..f5; after Adams 30 f4 the g-pawn was weak. Kasparov's clever. active defense did enable him ultimately to save the draw.

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