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Rafael Vaganian vs Garry Kasparov
Credit Suisse Masters (1995), Horgen SUI, rd 11, Nov-01
Semi-Slav Defense: General (D43)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-06-06  cavaleiro: A draw???
Jan-06-06  aw1988: Well, what else? This is very sterile.
Jan-06-06  KingG: Well, i'm not sure about that. White could play the traditional minority attack on the queen-side to create a weakness, while not really having to worry about Black creating any counter-play on the king-side due to the reduced material. The position is still probably drawish, but as far as i can see, White can play on without any risk of losing.
Jan-06-06  aw1988: Not a bad idea, but it's hard for White to really get a dangerous minority attack going with only queen and rooks...
Jan-06-06  KingG: I don't really see the problem. Of course, the minority attack will require some preparation, but i don't see how the reduced material makes it any more difficult to carry out than normal. In general, weaknesses in the pawn structure tend to increase in importance the closer you get to the endgame.

I'm not claiming that White has any significant advantage, but he has a clear plan, on the other hand, what can Black do apart from defend patiently?

Jan-06-06  aw1988: One idea I had was f7-f5-f4..
Jan-06-06  KingG: Sure, but after ...f5, g3 seems to defend against that. White is much more advanced on the queen-side than Black is on the king-side, so White should be able to create a weakness first. And of course, Black advancing his king-side pawns isn't without risk.
Jan-06-06  aw1988: Well, I'm flummoxed then.
Jan-06-06  ughaibu: How about putting the queen on d6, the bishop on c7 then f6, Kf7 and g5. After white chooses either g3 or h3, bring a rook to g8 or h8 advance the h-pawn and get nasty?
Jan-06-06  Shams: I guess Kasparov felt that he was equal at best. I agree with you, KingG, in general. Although I think 17...f5 18.g3 g5 just speeds up black's game -- I would play 18.Ne5 immediately, perhaps coming to d3 and c5 if black goes to exchange it. Vaganian must have been thrilled to get a draw against Kasparov, in 1995...
Jan-06-06  aw1988: I prefer ughaibu's suggestion, actually.
Jan-06-06  KingG: <ughaibu> Yes, it's possible, but that plan seems a bit too slow to me.

Either way, i think we can see that appearances can be deceiving, and there are still possibilities for interesting play.

Jan-06-06  aw1988: Although we're not grandmasters.
Jan-06-06  KingG: True.
Jan-06-06  ARMENIA: Rafael Vahanian was lucky to get a draw against Kasparyan? You got to be kidding yourself...
Jan-06-06  aw1988: Kasparov, not Kasparian.
Jan-09-06  ARMENIA: His last name is Kasparyan! He has changed because of the difficulty to pronounce...
Jan-09-06  ughaibu: His name was changed from Weinstein.
Jan-09-06  Shams: His mother's name was Kasparian (Kasparyan) and it's not hard to see why, having decided to drop his Jewish surname to play under the Soviet regime, he Russified his mother's name to become Kasparov. Quite apart from my feelings on the man or his games I have always felt that it's a pretty awesome name.
Jan-09-06  ARMENIA: <aw1988> now you know... Read what <Shams> has provided. Thank you Shams
Jan-10-06  aw1988: I knew that already; I merely mentioned that it was Kasparov playing this game, not Kasparian.

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