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Peter Svidler vs Garry Kasparov
Linares (1999), Linares ESP, rd 8, Mar-02
Sicilian Defense: Chekhover Variation (B53)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-26-02  bishop: Kasparov sacrificed a pawn for nothing more than to procure the bishop pair in the endgame. This strategy led to total success.
Jan-05-04  Benjamin Lau: This is not a famous game, but I read on another forum it is one that Kasparov is very proud of. He makes a pawn sac in a complicated position and pulls off a strong positional win. He was very disappointed reportedly that the game did not receive much attention because he only sacced a pawn, not something fantastic like in some other games, a rook or a queen or something. Shadout mapes showed an interesting quote a while ago:

"Indeed, from now on, it will be very difficult for me to say that my best game has not been played yet. From the professional point of view, I believe my game with Svidler is even better, but chess amateurs do not care about the Gruenfeld defense! Chess amatuers do not care about a Pawn sacrifice in a famous position, or about a piece counter sacrifice. They don't care about the few possible moves with centralization of pieces or about the transfer of the Queen, when one can enjoy the combination and see the romantic appeal of a modern chess game with a good opening and an interesting flight, when there is a certain romanticism that seems to have fallen into oblivion." - GK

Oct-12-04  clocked: Everyone knows Rooks go to the 7th, but here Kasparov demonstrates Bishops to the 8th!

This game is an instructive lesson on piece value. Compare the rooks, the bishop pair, the bad bishop on g3, and the undermined knight.

Oct-12-04  themindset: i think that's Bishops on the 7th.
Oct-12-04  clocked: <themindset> no the 8th
Oct-14-04  clocked: <> The game referred to in the long quote above is still not in the database! Get to work slackers ;-)
Nov-24-05  KingG: This is a great game.
Nov-24-05  euripides: <BenLau> Kasparov may have had Kasparov vs Svidler, 1999 in mind rather than this game. But there's plenty to be proud of in either.
Nov-24-05  THE pawn: <euripides> He is no longer here to listen to you.
Sep-14-07  orio24: Well, Kaspy might be a bit disappointed. But he is also right, this game is great.

Such pawn sac in an endgame, where the importance of each piece gets much higher, is very impressive. This game is a real gem.

Nov-04-07  sallom89: who's man enough to stop that pawn !?
Nov-16-10  faleth7: why not at 33move Ne4 for white?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <33.Ne4 Bxb2 34.Ra6 Kg7 35.Rxa5 g4 36.Nd2 gxf3+> looks good for Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This is a really nice "2 bishop" game. Played in round 8; between rounds 2 and 10 Kasparov won all five of his games with Black (all Sicilians). Svidler had a great success against Kasparov at Tilburg 1997 with an offbeat Sicilian (3 c3..Nf6 4 Be2)and chose one again here with 4 Qxd4. Stohl felt that an attempt to set up a Maroczt Bind with 7 c4 would not be very effective after 7..f5 8 exf..Qa5+ 9 Na3..Qxf5 with excellent counterplay.

12..Re8 was a new move that Kasparov found at the board; 12..Qc7 and 12..Qa5 were the main theoretical lines. The innovation was consistent with his credo:"I generally managed to engineer my games in such a way that standard variations are inadequate." One of the ideas of the new move was to answer 13 Qd2!? (with the idea of 14 Nd4) with 13..Nxe4! 14 Nxe4..Bxh5 15 Nxd6..Bxf3 16 gxf..Rf8 with advantage to Black.

The alternative 16 Qe3..Qa5 17 Nd2..b5 18 Nxe4..Bd5 19 b3..Rec8 would have left Black with good compensationfor the pawn. Svidler may have under-estimated 17..Be8! retaining the two bishops and sacrificing the e4 pawn. 22 Ne2? allowed Black to activate his bishops; the position would have remained unclear after 22 Red3. 34 h4?!..gxh 35 Bxh4..Rc4 36 Bf6..Rxa4 37 Rd8+..Kh7 38 Rh8+..Kg6 39 Rg8+..Kf5 40 Rxg2..Rxa2 would have won easily for Black. 39 Nc4 would have been a tougher defense though Kasparov had worked out a win against that as well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: My doctor showed me this game.

He said I needed a Chekhover.

Aug-21-14  SpiritedReposte: Lovely bishop play from Kasparov.
Aug-09-15  ToTheDeath: A great game- a good example of why the Chekhover variation is unsatisfactory for an advantage for White. The raking bishops are just too strong.
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