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Garry Kasparov vs Josef Pribyl
EUR-chT (Men) 7th (1980), Skara SWE, rd 5, Jan-??
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Modern Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-10-05  RookFile: Was 13... Qb7 necessary, as opposed
to 13.... e6?
Sep-11-05  acirce: Some comments from John Watson’s “Chess Strategy in Action”, the section “The Positional Pawn Sacrifice”:

16.d5! <Giving up a pawn for the sake of a single soon-to-be-isolated passed pawn. Kasparov remarks that pawn sacrifices of this type are frequently seen in GM games today as opposed to traditional chess and even in contrast to the partially Karpov-influenced style of the 1980s. In his words, “the new generation says that initiative can be worth material and that this is more appreciated than before.” He claims that he himself “contributed to the changing philosophy.” Indeed, I remember being surprised time and again by Kasparov’s early pawn sacrifices, which were quite unlike ones that I was used to. But these are fast-moving times, and today such a sacrifice looks almost routine and is often passed over without even an ‘!’, so deeply have such ideas penetrated our thinking.>

20.d7!! <This piece sacrifice is the real justification for 16.d5!, a fact that emphasizes the need for calculation. It ‘cuts the board in two’, a favourite Kasparov theme.>

22.Nxg5 <Interestingly, the same fellow making this sacrifice argues that most of Tal’s combinations would be refuted today by top grandmasters “because the defensive technique is on an absolutely different level”. Although some grandmasters of the time doubted its soundness, Kasparov’s sacrifice was later shown to be airtight. That has proven true of most of his gifts throughout the years.>

25.Rd6! <A key move, and hard to find. White has to anticipate Black’s next.>

26.d8=Q!! <Giving up the pride of White’s position, but for concrete attacking purposes, in spite of the reduced material.>

Etc – Watson gives some alternative ways for Black to lose but there has to be much more exhaustive analysis somewhere else. Stohl's book? Plus I wanted to focus on the verbal commentary here, telling us something about both Kasparov (to think that he was only 16 years old here!) and chess development in general.

Sep-12-05  AdrianP: <acirce> I'll have a look in Stohl tonight and post anything interesting.
Sep-12-05  Hesam7: <acirce> thank you for posting those verbal commentaries they were quite interesting. I gave the position after 25 Rd6 to my engine, and the result was:

25 ... Qb8 26 Rbd1 Qd8 27 Rc6 Kg7 28 Qf4 Nb5 29 Rc8 Qe7 30 d8=Q Rxd8 31 Rxd8 Nd4 32 R8xd4 Bxd4 33 Qd2 Qf7 34 Re1 b5 35 a3 (eval +0.41)

Depth: 17/55
625M nodes
178K nodes/sec

One should not trust engines entirely but at such depth I value their opinion highly :-). And IMO the position after the main line is far from a losing one for Black.

I should also mention that for a long time (even at depth 16) the engine insisted that White should go for a prepetual with: 25 ... Qb8 26 d8=Q Bxd8 27 Qc3+ Kg8 28 Qc4+ Kh8.

I am curious what others (like Stohl, other commentators or even other engines) have to say about the game. <> Could you run <Crafty> after 25 Rd6 to see what it gives us?

Sep-12-05  AdrianP: Selected excerpts from Stohl

16 d5! If a sacrifice is necessary to maintain the initiative, Kasparov rarely hesitates - he intuitively feels the need to act. The preparatory move 16 Red1 cxd4 (even the sharper 16. ...h6 17 Bh4 f5!? deserves attention) 17 cxd4 Rac8 promises White little.

20 d7! After the solid 20 Bf4 White has a promising position, but still nothing decisive after 20 ...Nb8!? (20 ... Rad8 21 Re1! is worse for Black) Kasparov increases the tension with a further sacrifice and afterwords he freely admits he was led more by intuition than pure calculation. Analysis proves him right - although Black could have played better at more than one point, the sacrifice is correct.

20 ... fxg5? This is consistent but very greedy [Stohl gives 20. ...Kh8; 20. ...Rad8 and 20. ...Nb4!? as alternatives]

25 Rd6! White now wants more than the promising endgame after Qxc5 Qxg2 26 Kxg2 bxc5 27 Rb7 Ne6 28 Rd6 Nf4+ 29 Kf1 Bd8 30 Rxa7.

25. ...Be7 This allows a tactical solution. However, one can't really call this move a mistake, as the alternative 25. ...Qb8 26 Rbd1 Qd8 27 Rc6 Bg7 28 h4 practically places Black in zugzwang. 25. ...Bd8 26 Re1 is similar. Black's queen remains offside even after 26. ...Qa6 27 Qc3+ Kg8 28 Qc2 and White should gradually win by increasing his pressure against g6

26 d8Q! White sacrifices the d-pawn, his pride and joy, to exploit the temporary disharmony in Black's camp.

30 Qf4 The clever queen manouevre nets White a piece

30. ... Qa6? Black, exhausted after a long and demanding defence commits suicide. [Stohl analyses 30. ...Bg7 as leading to a won endgame for White but with some practical chances to defend]

Sep-12-05  AdrianP: Chessbase's Mega Database gives the same line 25. ...Qb8 26 Rbd1 etc. and also 25. ...Bd8 26 h4 Qa6 27 Qc3+ Kg8 28 Qc2 Bxh4 29 Rxg6
Sep-12-05  Hesam7: <AdrianP> Thank you! But I have the feeling that 25 ... Be7 is a mistake. This is an improvement for White in my previous line:

25 ... Qb8 26 Rbd1 Qd8 27 Rc6 Kg7 28 Qf4 Nb5 29 Rc8 Qe7 30 Rxf8! Qxf8 31 d8=Q Bxd8 32 Qxf8+ Kxf8 33 Rxd8+ Ke7

I think the rook vs knight ending is better for White than the rook vs bishop ending which happens in the previous line.

Sep-12-05  BeautyInChess: Wow, nice game. Sacrifices and declined material for positional value. This is what the world is missing from Kasparov's retirement. Thanks for commenting on this game.
Sep-13-05  acirce: <AdrianP> Thanks.
Oct-28-05  yunis: seems like black is very weak player!
Oct-28-05  aw1988: What garbage.
Jun-12-08  ToTheDeath: <25. ...Bd8 26 Re1 is similar. Black's queen remains offside even after 26. ...Qa6 27 Qc3+ Kg8 28 Qc2 and White should gradually win by increasing his pressure against g6>

Can someone post the win in this line? It still looks far from lost for Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: GK analyses the game:
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "I think that my 5th round game against Pribyl illustrates my strongest points. A positional build-up till the collected advantages logically allow an attack."

- Garry Kasparov

Source: Chess World Title Contenders and Their Styles by Kopec & Pritchett

Apr-09-12  vinidivici: this game has to be a GOTD someday. don't u think...???
May-30-12  Anderssen99: 26...,Rxd8 loses prettily as follows: 27.Rxd8+,Bxd8. 28.Rd1!! (Better than 28.Qf7 directly),Be7. 29.Qf7,Nb5. 30.Rd8+!!,Bxd8. 31.Qf8 mate.
Oct-26-12  kasparvez: Kasparov, while annotating Bronstein vs Keres, 1955 and scrutinising White's 14th move [14. Bxh6!!]says:

"Bronstein recalls that later many of the tournament participants spent a long time trying to demonstrate that the bishop sacrifice was incorrect; Geller was especially agitated, being convinced that any attack should be properly prepared. The situation is familiar to me: when i won an attractive game against Pribyl with a piece sacrifice [Skara 1980], my older colleagues observing the game- Karpov, Vaganian and others- also spent a long time seeking a refutation, some 'hole'. It is evident that brilliance by others provokes a certain inner dissatisfaction: why can't I do that?" [OMGP vol. 2 game no. 58]

Looking at this game i don't see anything wrong with Kasparov's illustrious older colleagues. After the bishop sac, the position indeed makes for a fascinating case study. I don't think Karpov was trying to refute it just because he was jealous. He was probably trying to uphold his chess principles by refuting a premature sacrifice by his classical, positional standards. That the sacrifice is alright shows that Kasparov's handling of the attack was by no means premature or anti-positional. He simply thought in a different, more dynamic [and also more brilliant] category that was ahead of his time!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: The idea that Pribyl was a 'weak' player to lose like this is risible ... could somebody assemble a collection of Pribyl's best wins, just to give an impression of how strong he was ...?
May-01-14  TheFocus: it is wrong to quibble over the strength of Pribyl.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Ribble, ribble ... The Trouble with Pribyls?
Jan-02-17  Albion 1959: Whoarrr - More "Kaspowerov" energy !!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <yunis: seems like black is very weak player!>

Anyone who believes Pribyl was 'weak' should probably look in the mirror--he was clearly of international standard from roughly the late 1960s into the eighties.

The greatest players can make even strong masters appear much weaker than they are, a phenomenon I have observed and experienced in poker.

Jul-27-17  bla bla: amazing game by Kasparov
Jul-27-17  Howard: There seems to be some renewed interest on this website the last few days regarding Kasparov's earlier games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The Problem With Pribyls.
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