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Jonathan Speelman vs Garry Kasparov
World U26 Team-ch (1981), Graz AUT, rd 5, Aug-21
English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Hedgehog Defense (A30)  ·  0-1



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Given 16 times; par: 138 [what's this?]

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sac: 40...d2 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-21-05  Jatayu: <> sorry, i don't get the explanation at all. Maybe first: what is the significance of 39...Kf8?
May-21-05  francescog: <Jatayu> the King is pinned behind the f pawn, in g7. The point is that he is able to safeguard the king in f8 while still having the time to protect and promote the passed pawn. I had calculated the line 39 ... d2 and tought that with perfect endgame technique Rook + 2 pawns vs Bishop + 3 pawns would have been won, but it was clearly not so easy :) So, but this is not a surprise, I cannot claim I solved this ... :(
May-21-05  Madman99X: Jatayu: I think the significance lies in the fact that if 39.... d2 then 40. bxf7+! gains a tempo and a pawn and white ends up with three pawns and a bishop against blacks two pawns and 1 rook.

after 39... Kf8! then 40. Bxf7? Re4 and blacks best two continuations follow: 41. Bb3 Nxb3 42. Rxd3 Nc5 or 41. f3 Nxf3+ 42. Kf1 and then the knight fork Ne5 is a killing dagger. (41. Kg2 d2 42. Bd5 Re1 43. Bf3 Nxf3 24. Kxf3 d1=Q+ 25. Rxd1 Rxd1 is much much worse)

May-21-05  Boomie9: Kf8 is very pretty.. amazing how Kasparov demonstrates the power of passed pawns throughout.
May-21-05  Madman99X: I didn't solve it either.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: <jatayu> The point is that in the sequence 39... d2 40. ♗xf7+ ♔f8 Black will have to work very hard for a win. By playing the moves the other way round Black gives himself another possibility 39... ♔f8 40. ♗xf7 ♖e4! and the pawn cannot be stopped.

Essentially Kasparov is playing early a move (♔f8) he knows he is going to have to play eventually to give himself move possibilities later on.

Like most people (I imagine) I just looked at 39... d2 and thought it was rather easy for a Saturday puzzle.

May-21-05  Minor Piece Activity: This is definitive proof that Kaspy sucks in endgames. :P (<- note the smiley)
Premium Chessgames Member
  pittpanther: My thought was to play 39 ... Re7 and then follow up with themes similar to what has been discussed. White can play 40 Rd8+ Kg7 but then I think black is won again. Any white bishop move results in d2 followed by Rxd4 and then black winning the white rook by playing Re1+ followed by d1. Thoughts?
May-21-05  awfulhangover: Kaspy found Kf8. I didn't. Amazing :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: It seems that Kf8 (great Garry!!) is better than d2 because in the consequent endgame where Black is the exchange up but with 3 pawns instead of two.

Like pittpanther I thought the best was 39...Re2. However I notice now that it can follow 40. Bxf7+ followed by 41. Rxd4 and the d pawn is lost, I think.

Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: Sorry I meant 39...Re7 (not Re2)
May-21-05  Dawns Highway: wow, I actually got that move right! that's King Power in Chess for ya
May-21-05  Catfriend: A very useful puzzle!
How did I solve it?
1) Obviously, the move first jumping to one's eye is 39..d2, but then checking the forced line after 40.Bxf7+ I decided that's not a winning solution. 2) The threat is a check on f7 - so I must mvoe the king! Where to? Closer to the center! Is it enough? Not really, apparently. 3) White still can take on d4 - so 40..d2 still doesn't work! Once again -4) We have a threat - let's forst cancel it! So, 39..Kf8 40.Bxf7 ..<Re4>

The rest is a matter of calculations.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: More chessboard magic by Kaspy!
May-21-05  RookFile: Well, have to say, this is impressive endgame knowledge. It wasn't obvious that even being the exchange up, black could win, with the 3 pawns on the same side of the board, and no weaknesses for white.
May-21-05  TIMER: If 39.. ♖e7 ??, the roles are reversed with white winning the exchange after 40 ♖e7 d2 41 ♗b3 ♘b3 42 ♖d7 white soon picks up the passed pawn.
May-21-05  fenno: 39...Re1+ 40. Kg2 d2 41. Bxf7+ Kf8 42. Rxd4 d1=Q 43. Rxd1 Rxd1 (44. Bb3) results in a draw.
May-21-05  Hidden Skillz: <fenno> is it for sure that it is a draw?
May-21-05  Sbetsho: Huh.. I looked this for a while, didn't find good continuations, then I clicked the game and right at that moment Kf8 came to my mind :D
May-21-05  Dick Brain: Congratulations to all who honestly solved this study-like problem. It would be wonderful to win a game like that.
May-21-05  jeffnool: Nice move! and a very nice endgame for Bishop vs rook with 3 pawns on the same side!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The puzzle solution 39...Kf8! makes for an interesting endgame study.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: If White plays 40. Rxf7+??, he loses to 40...Ke8! 41. Rf3 d2 42. Rd3 Re1+ .
May-28-05  Tabula Rasa: 39...Kf8!!

If White then continues with 40.Bxf7 Re4! and Black's d-pawn cannot be stopped. If Black had played 39...d2 40.Bxf7+ Kf8 White ends with a bishop and three pawns, while Black has a rook and 2 pawns. By playing 39...Kf8! it prevents the check by the bishop and thus saves the pawn.

Apr-05-06  AlBrown: Textbook endgame play by Gazz here.
Notice how Kasparov simply would
not move that f7-base pawn for the longest time. He was very stubborn about that. The reason? He knew he was leaving with the King, and didn't need to be hassled by defending the Kingside from bishop pokes, which would happen if he let the bishop go to say, g8, where it could further go to say, h7, forcing a premature ...g5, for example. Kasparov got these moves in, but they were completely on HIS terms, and in his time. At the time he made these moves, they were attacking moves, not forced defensive moves. It was a brilliant display of endgame technique. 63...Rc7! was a great move, threatening ...Rb7! (and then ...Rb2!), in case anybody is wondering why Speelman played 64 f4. The opening was also crafty in the way that Garry slipped into a Kashdan-Gligoric Benoni (see that game - it's very instructive) I don't care for the move 20 a3?, which might practically be considered the losing move in this game, in that Garry's technique with his swift queen movement to d4 was so punishing in going after it.
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