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Garry Kasparov vs Yasser Seirawan
Barcelona World Cup (1989), Barcelona ESP, rd 4, Apr-02
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation. Bronstein Defense (E87)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: I'm surprised nobody has ever kibitzed on this game. Sacrificing a queen against Garry required some major, ehm..., you know. This sacrifice was first played by Bronstein, but he lost:

Spassky vs Bronstein, 1956

Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: <TheAlchemist> Chutzpah! Is that the word you were looking for? (-;
Mar-14-05  RookFile: For that matter, playing the King's Indian was an interesting decision of it's own right. It's not like Kasparov couldn't have played it differently, for example, the Classical King's Indian rather than the Saemisch.
Feb-15-06  Grunfeld: According to the following article on Wikipedia, Seirawan didn't really intend to play the KID; he was trying to play the Pirc defense, only to see Kasparov cleverly transpose to the KID with 3. f3.

Here is the relevant excerpt from the article:

<An unusual but quite reasonable deviation for White is 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.f3. Former world champion Garry Kasparov once surprised American Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan with this move. After 3...g6 4.c4, an unhappy Seirawan found himself defending the King's Indian Defense for the first time in his life. >

Feb-15-06  alexandrovm: g3 shows no fear for two pawns and two bishops for the black queen.
Feb-15-06  Jim Bartle: I think a key point of black's opening is that he still has all eight pawns on their original files (no doubled pawns).

If this really was Seirawan's first KID, and he wasn't prepared, he played very well then.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Seirawan was probably happy to escape into a variation he had studied at least. Ever since Karpov vs Velimirovic, 1976 the queen sacrifice was much analysed even by non KID players because of its interesting material imbalance.
Feb-15-06  Jim Bartle: I've played this varation (Bronstein variation?) a number of times from both sides, albeit at the "dedicated patzer" level. It's a lot more fun as black, even if the position isn't really better. I find with white that though you've got powerful pieces, it's hard to find ways to penetrate with all those black pawns still on the board.
Feb-15-06  Everett: As white I have played 12.Bf2 after black's Nxg3, resulting in 12...Nxf1 13.Bxh4 Nxd2 14.Kxd2.

I don't think this is particularly good for white (it might be losing for all I know), as I'm a pawn down and black has the two bishops. But I accomplished some things I wanted.

1. I got out of this guy's opening book
2. My lone bishop is active and good
3. I have two knights in a closed position
4. My king's closer to the center for a potential endgame.

That last one could be mixed, as there are a lot of pieces out there. But I was happy with a different position (I knew about this variation before) and managed to successfully confuse my opponent.

For what it's worth...

Feb-15-06  RookFile: Nah. Why lose a pawn?
Feb-17-06  Everett: <RookFile> Why write kibitzes if others won't read them completely?
Feb-17-06  RookFile: Oh, I read your entry. I think the compensation is weak. Black is simply going to play, in some order, ...a5,
...Na6, ...Nc5, and ...f5. And by the way, you forgot to mention that black's pawn structure is better than white's.
Feb-17-06  Jim Bartle: In "Winning with the King's Indian" by Andrew Martin (1989), where this is the main line against the Samisch, he dismisses 10. Bf2 with 10...Nxf1 and the symbol .
Feb-19-06  Everett: <RookFile> In my first post I wrote <I don't think this is particularly good for white (it might be losing for all I know), as I'm a pawn down and black has the two bishops.>

You asking "why lose a pawn?" was answered after, when I wrote <1. I got out of this guy's opening book 2. My lone bishop is active and good
3. I have two knights in a closed position
4. My king's closer to the center for a potential endgame.>

In regards to pawn structure. Points 2,3 and 4 all address pawn structure in relation to my pieces, so it seems we disagree about who's got the better pawn structure for their pieces.

I like your concrete lines to support your viewpoints, specifically the (...) before the moves. Me, I am merely professing to creating a more unique situation at the board, taking my opponent out of his comfort zone. I was happy to see he wasn't able to make the adjustments. Against stronger competition, I avoid playing the main white lines against the KID, so my post was simply an FYI, for fun. Feel free to waste your time determining the merits of the idea. I would in fact be inclined to agree with your assessment, if two computers were playing.

<Jim Bartle>
As stated above, we're not talking about objective worth according to GMs and computers. Rather, this was a chess match between two amatuers trying to outwit each other over tea on a pleasant, breezy night in a Hawaiin cafe in SF. Plus/minus' dropped down by GMs don't mean much. Andrew Martin would crush me whether I started with the best moves or not.

Feb-19-06  RookFile: Ev, you win the debating contest,
but lose the chess game. The line you're interested in simply isn't good. Since you need a concrete line in addition to the basic plan for black, here goes:

12. Bf2 Nxf1 13. Bxh4 Nxd2 14. Kxd2 a5 15. Nge2 Na6 16. Nc1 Bd7 17. Nd3 f5

We let white have moves too, and in fact, white succeeded in hinding the knight from going to c5. Having said all this, black has a clear to winning position.

Feb-23-06  alexandrovm: <...4. My king's closer to the center for a potential endgame.... > now this is important, the closer to the center than your opponent the better chances, in an endgame
Mar-02-06  Everett: <alexandrovm> yes, Seirawan would agree with you and add the king is often safer in the center in the middlegame with the center closed, as it is here.
Mar-01-09  WhiteRook48: sacrificing a queen against Kasparov is what brave people do
Mar-03-09  WhiteRook48: Kasparov is thrown off!
Mar-04-09  WhiteRook48: why oh why is this a draw?
Apr-07-10  IvoryKnightAndRook: I just don't understand this. If ab, Qb6, white appears to have a huge advantage.
Dec-19-10  Everett: Yes, Seirawan and Kasparov both felt white was winning afterwards. Seirawan had prepared 20..c4 with a comfortable game for black. Furthermore, he claims that ..c4 is an improvement for black, instead of the text, for four consecutive moves (20-23).
Oct-27-11  DrMAL: This was fascinating game, where Seirawan bravely tried unusual Q for B+B+P sac very similar to Spassky vs Bronstein, 1956 where white won. As I noted in that game sac was creative attempt but not fully justified. In Leonid Yurtaev <Everett> made post inquiring what line refutes. I do not understand his comment <For example Seirawan would have gotten the better game if he played his original plan against someone who knows a thing or two about the KID.> Kasparov was probably biggest expert on KID in world then. In game, however, after playing probably best moves Kasparov missed 14.Qf2! for much bigger advantage. Here, 14...Bh6 is maybe better than taking pawn 14...Nxc4 but either way, with accurate play white should almost surely win.
Oct-28-11  SimonWebbsTiger: @<DrMal>

I disagree. 14. Qf2 (or 12. Qf2 if we remove the repetition) is old theory. Black achieved good play in a couple of corr. games in the USSR at the end of the 1960s and it was also tested in

Gligoric vs Janosevic, 1962

14. Ke2 was regarded as strongest and GK introduced a novelty with 19. Nf2. So he didn't miss anything.

The famous game

Karpov vs Velimirovic, 1976

saw 19. Rhg1 Rad8. Going on Seirawan's notes in Informator 47/719, he had intended an improvement suggested by Andy Martin (who played the Bronstein sac in that Levitt-Martin game, Glasgow 1989) of 19. Rhg1 Rae8 with the ideas of ...Re7 and ...c6.

Yaz awarded 19...Nc8 "!!" and noted the black plan of c5 followed by Nc7-b5-d4. He didn't follow up, despite having a few junctures in the following moves.

Oct-28-11  DrMAL: <SWT> I should have worded differently, seems "missed" is interpreted in different ways. 14.Ke2 was theory at time of game, Karpov victory was big factor to set preference. By "missed" I did not mean Garry never considered move or did not even see (would be silly), it was opportunity missed. This was before computers could do much. Today computer shows how 14.Qf2 is indeed much stronger move, nearly decisive, whereas advantage from 14.Ke2 is likely draw with accurate play. "Accurate" has very different meaning today it alone gives justice to higher ratings. Theory has changed much in last 20-30 years computer has been revolutionary, this is part of my fun in checking games like this against my notebook from that year, seeing how others including myself were simply wrong.
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