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Lajos Portisch vs Garry Kasparov
Moscow (1981), Moscow URS, rd 3, Apr-06
Benoni Defense: Classical Variation. General (A70)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-06-18  ChessHigherCat: Wow, forwards and backwards. That's the first puzzle that I just gave up in despair in a long time.

If only we could divert the rook from the g-file, we could play Ng3#, but Ra1 is impossible because the white queen's on the diagonal. I looked at RxN, QxN, Qf3+ but I thought Qg2 and game over. Should have kept looking. Anyway, what a boring game chess would be if I could foresee every move at my level!

Jul-06-18  Walter Glattke: 42.-Nxf4, and draw seems to be unstoppable: 43.d7 Rxd2 44.Qxd2 (44.d8Q+?? Qxd8 45.Qxd8+ Rxd8) Qf3+ 46.Rg2 Qf1+ 47.Rg1 draw, 43.Qf2 Rxd2 draw
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is two pawns down.

White threatens d7.

Black looks lost. However, if Black manages to open the position of the white king then the white queen and rook can't avoid perpetual from d1, f3 and h5. Therefore, 42... Rxd2 43.Qxd2 Qf3+ 44.Qg2 (44.Rg2 Qf1+ 45.Rg1 Qf3+ repeats moves) 44... Ng3+ 45.hxg3 Qh5+ perpetual. If White places the rook and queen on g2 and h2 (respectively or not) the black queen will check from d1. With the queen and rook on g1 and h2 (respectively or not) the black queen will check from f3. The symmetry respect to the a8-h1 diagonal solves the remaining cases.

Jul-06-18  patzer2: <Karlzen> was a great contributor, and I miss his excellent posts. His comment from Februrary 2005 is still insightful:

<A most interesting game and a very aesthetically appealing finish. Kasparov plays as always with great energy and fully deserves the draw. Despite the two extra pawns it is hard to say if white was actually winning at any point of the game!>

However, with the benefit of more powerful computer resources than over a decade ago, the observation that <28.Rb1 is obviously a tempting move, winning the black queen, but black is perfectly allright after 28...Qxb1+ 29.Nxb1 Rxb1+ 30.Kg2 Rb2+ 31.Kf1 Be5> might be worth reexamining.

With perfect play this line might be a draw, but IMO 28. Rb1 offered White his best practical winning chances.

One possibility played out on Stockfish 8 to at least 30 ply per move finds a difficult win with 28. Rb1 ± to +- (+1.81 @ 36 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 28.?) after 28.Rb1 Qxb1+ 29.Nxb1 Rxb1+ 30.Kg2 Rb2+ 31.Kf1 Be5 32.Qc8+ Kg7 33.Ke1 Rb1+ 34.Ke2 Rb3 35.Qc4 Rc3 36.Qa4 Nf4+ 37.Bxf4 Bxf4 38.h4 Be5 39.Qd7 Rc2+ 40.Kd1 Rg2 41.Qh3 Rg3 42.Qf1 Bf6 43.Qh1 Kh6 44.Ke2 Be5 45.Qc1+ Kg7 46.Qf1 Bd4 47.Qh1 Kh6 48.Qc1+ Kg7 49.Qf1 Be5 50.Kf2 Kf6 51.Qc1 Rh3 52.Qg5+ Kg7 53.Qg4 Rh1 54.f4 Bf6 55.Qd7 Bd4+ 56.Ke2 Bc5 57.e5 Rxh4 58.e6 Rxf4 59.e7 Re4+ 60.Kd3 Rd4+ 61.Kc3 Re4 62.e8=R Rxe8 63.Qxe8 Kf6 64.Kd3 Kg7 65.Kc4 Ba3 66.Qe7 Bc5 67.Kb5 Kg8 68.Kc6 Kg7 69.Qe8 Kf6 70.Kb5 Kg7 71.Qd8 Ba3 72.Qe7 Bc5 73.Kc4 Ba3 74.Kd3 Bc5 75.Qb7 Kf6 76.Qb1 Kg5 77.Qc1+ Kf6 78.Qf1+ Kg7 79.Qa1+ Kg8 80.Qf6 Bb4 81.Qb2 Bc5 82.Kc4 Kh7 83.Qf6 Kg8 84.Qf3 Kf8 85.Qc3 Kg8 86.Qf6 Ba3 87.Qf2 Kg7 88.Qd4+ Kg8 89.Qa7 Bc5 90.Qxc5 dxc5 91.Kxc5 Kf8 92.Kc6 Ke7 93.Kc7 Kf6 94.d6 Kg5 95.Kc6 f5 96.d7 Kg4 97.Kb5 f4 98.Kc4 f3 99.d8=Q f2 100.Qf6 Kg3 101.Kd3 Kg2 102.Qxg6+ Kf3 103.Qf5+ Kg3 104.Ke2 f1=Q+ 105.Kxf1 Kh4 106.Qg6 Kh3 107.Qg5 Kh2 108.Qh4#.

P.S.: In any event, this game illustrates Kasparov was not only a great attacker. He was also a tenacious and resourceful defender, who was extremely difficult to defeat even with a clear advantage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Found the drawing combination and hoped I hadn't overlooked a winning one. Very interesting game showcasing both players at their best, and I don't care what the silicon monsters say.
Jul-06-18  Walter Glattke: Even 42.-Nxf4 43.d7 Rd2 44.Qxd2 Qf3+ as shown above, with queen sac now is draw: 45.Qxg2 Nxg2 46.d8Q+ (or 46.Rxg2 Qf1+ perpetual) Kh7 47.Qd2 e.g. Ne3+ is draw
Jul-06-18  WorstPlayerEver: Quickly noticed the draw pattern. It's (basically) mate without the White Queen:

click for larger view

1. Rg2 Qf1 2. Rg1 Ng3 3. hg3 Qh3#

Jul-06-18  AlicesKnight: Spent too long looking for a win, then found the draw (then looked at the result!). It's the ending pattern where a queen can draw against two queens.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I reckoned that black had to play for a draw, saw all the moves that Kasparov made, and still completely missed it.
Jul-06-18  ChessHigherCat: : This is the type of extremely well-known game that all chess fanatics have already seen, but nobody bothers to mention that when they tell you about their keen insights.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <CHC> I hadn't seen it.
Jul-06-18  ChessHigherCat: <FSR> I didn't mean you, you're a 2300 player so you should figure it out, but when everybody's suddenly a 2300 player something's rotten in the state of Denmark (except in the case of Moronovich, who is a 2300 player in the state of Denmark, but he isn't even participating).
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <AlicesKnight> me too ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: Bits and Pieces I saw. I wonder what Portisch had to say after the game not winning with the beautiful passer.
Jul-06-18  malt: Got as far as 42...R:d2 43.Q:d2 Qf3+ 44.Qg2

(44.Rg2 Qf1+ 45.Rg1 Qf3+ 46.Qg2 Ng3+ 47.hg3 Qh5+ )

44...Ng3+ 45.hg3 Qh5+ 46.Qh2 Qf3+ Looks drawn.

Jul-06-18  saturn2: Not solved because I was looking for a win with 42..Nf6 43 QxN RxNd2
Jul-06-18  CHESSTTCAMPS: With black down two pawns and no checkmate available, the rather well-known operator of the black pieces must find a way to stop white's d-pawn from promoting to a win. The location of the white king in the corner suggests a perpetual check as the only viable defensive option. Black must remove a guard to gain access:

42... Rxd2! 43.Qxd2 Qf3+ 44.Qg2 (Rg2 Qf1+ 45.Rg1 Qf3+ transposes to same) Ng3+! 45.hg Qh5+ 46.Qh2 Qf3+ 47.Rg2 Qd1+ 48.Qg1 Qh5+ 49.Qh2 Qf3+ and the perpetual is evident.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I found this as Black has to force a draw. It is a well known drawing idea.

Portisch had a dangerous passed pawn and Kasparov had prepared a way out I presume. I looked at other possibilities then decided that the situation required Black to force a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I've used this idea to save games or hold them in OTB chess a few times. And I have seen it in other fellow club players' games.

Portisch was a bit unlucky, he was a great player, and also lost a qualifying match to Karpov.

Jul-06-18  Caissa04: This should've been painful for Portisch when Kasparov pulls this rabbit out of the hat.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Nice, though famous. I read somewhere that GK wanted to just sign off on the draw after 42...Rxd2 or 43...Qxf3+, but Portisch told him "We have to show the public the perpetual." Many GMs play a few extra moves for the public's benefit. Some of them let their opponents mate them for this reason.
Jul-06-18  PJs Studio: Lovely and well known. Gary was so dynamic. A human Alpha Zero.
Jul-06-18  landshark: I concocted 42...Nf6 43. e5 Ne4 44. d7 Rxd2 45. d8=Q+ Kh7 46. Qxd2 Qf3+ with a draw and was pretty proud of it. At least it had me halfway convinced - and probably gets refuted somewhere... I missed (and really like) 44... Ng3+.
Jul-06-18  Mendrys: I'm surprised that I got it. Well, I'll give myself 9/10 of a point as I found the drawing line but figured that I must be missing the win somewhere and looked at the result.
Jul-06-18  Mayankk: I saw Kasparov’s name and was sure that Black must be playing for a win. Nothing seemed remotely like an advantage though and I was too tempted to check how Kasparov handled this.

If only I knew the aim was to draw...

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