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Garry Kasparov vs Yasser Seirawan
10th Euwe Memorial (1996), Amsterdam NED, rd 5, Mar-27
Queen's Gambit Declined: Barmen Variation (D37)  ·  1-0



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Given 22 times; par: 53 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-11-13  DWINS: <al wazir, morfishine>, 31.Rg8 wins against all defenses except one. Unfortunately, that one defense practically equalizes for Black.

According to Houdini, 31.Rg8 R6a7 32.Nh5 Qxg8 33.Nf6+ Kf7 34.Nxg8 Kxg8 leaves white with a tiny advantage (0.28).

Apr-11-13  Abdel Irada: <<>Imp unity?<>>

Black has an exchange for a pawn, but the white minor pieces are flitting about with menacing confidence. They must seem rather like imps: small impudent or malignant spirits ever alert for opportunities to wreak mischief.

As often happens when small spirits combine their powers, they are able to confer immunity, or perhaps even impunity, upon one another. Neither knight nor bishop alone could so torment the black royalty; but together they weave a deadly net.

In this theme:

<<> 31. Nh5! ... >

This move can be played only because the bishop on h4 combines with the queen on b4 to create a mate threat that ties Her Highness to the second rank.

<<> 31. ...R6a7 >

It is really come to this. Black must summarily reject the alternatives:

(a) 31. ...Qxh5?? 32. Qe7#;

(b) 31. ...Kd7? 32. Qb7, Ke8 33. Ng7 ;

(c) 31. ...Ra4? 32. Nf6, Kd8 (32. ...Qxf6 33. Qb5 ) 33. Qd6, Nd7 (33. ...Kc8 34. Rc1, Kb7 35. Qc6, Kb8 36. Qc8, Ka7 37. Bf2 ) 34. Nxd7, Rxh4 (34. ...Ke8 35. Nf6 ; 34. ...Kc8?? 35. Qc6#) 35. Nf6, Kc8 36. Rc1, Kb7 37. Qc6, Kb8 (37. ...Ka7? 38. Ra1 ) 38. Qc8, Ka7 39. Rc7, Qxc7 (39. ...Kb6 40. Qb7 ) 40. Qxc7, Ka6 41. Qc6, Ka7 42. Nd7, Rb4 43. Qc5 ;

(d) 31. ...Ra1 32. Nf6, Kd8 33. Ne4, Kc7 (33. ...Ke8/Kc8 34. Nd6 ; 33. ...Kd7 34. Qb7, Ke8 35. Nd6#) 34. Qd6, Kc8 (34. ...Kb7 35. Nc5, Kc8 [35. ...Ka7 36. Rxa1#] 36. Qd8#) 35. Qd8, Kb7 36. Nd6, Kc6 37. Qxa8, Rxa8 38. Nxf7 .

(e) 31. ...Nd7? 32. Ng7 .

(f) 31. ...R8a7? 32. Qb8, Kd7 33. Nf6, Qxf6 (33. ...Kc6?? 34. Rc1#) 34. Bxf6 .

<<> 32. Nf6, Kd8

33. Ne4, Kd8 >

Less playable are

(g) 33. ... Ke8? 34. Nd6 ;

(h) 33. ...Kc8? 34. Nd6 ;

(i) 33. ...Kc7 34. Rc1, Kd7 35. Qb5#.

<<> 34. Rd1, Kc7 >


(j) 34. ...Kc8/e8 35. Nd6 and

(k) 34. ...Kc6 35. Rd6, Kc7 36. Qb6, Kc8 37. Rd8#.

<<> 35. Rc1, Kd7

36. Qb5# >

Upon further review, some of the "rejected" lines last longer than the "main" one. Unfortunately, I'm too lazy to reformat my entire solution to reflect this. :-P

It would appear that Black's best bid is line (d), where after 37 moves he finds himself down a "mere" bishop and pawn. Even here, however, White wins handily, and it's almost entirely thanks to the cooperation of minor pieces whose combined threats protect them all. In a phrase: <imp unity>.

Apr-11-13  Abdel Irada: I entirely overlooked 31. ...Qc7; however, it seems not to have been as durable a defense as some of those I did examine, so perhaps the omission is not fatal.
Apr-11-13  morfishine: <diagonalley> & <DWINS> Thanks guys for checking that out. (I was hoping both worked and that Kasparov preferred 31.Nh5 since its either faster or cleaner, etc.)

Alas, Kasparov no doubt saw this defense for Black (which I did not) thus 31.Nh5

Oh well, at least it didn't lose outright! :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a pawn for a rook.

White needs to find a better position for the knight. This suggests 31.Nh5:

A) 31... Qxh5 32.Qe7#.

B) 31... Nd7(h7) 32.Rg7 Qf8 33.Re7+ Kd8 34.Rf8+ wins the queen.

C) 31... Ng6 32.Rxg6 wins the knight and keeps the attack.

D) 31... Ra1 32.Nf6+ (32.Ng7 Qxg7) 32... Kd8 33.Nd5+

D.1) 33... Kc8 34.Nb6+ Kc7 (34... Kb7(8) 35.Nxa8+ and 36.Rxa1) 35.Nxa8+ Rxa8 36.Rc1+ Kd7 37.Qb7+ Ke8 38.Rc8+ Rxc8 39.Qxc8#.

D.2) 33... Kd7 34.Qb7+ Ke8 35.Nc7+ Kd7 36.Nxa8+ Ke8 37.Qc7#.

D.3) 33... Ke8 34.Qb5+ Nd7 (34... Qd7 35.Nf6+) 35.Nc7+ Kc8 36.Qb4+ and mate in two.

E) 33... R6a7 34.Qb5+ Nd7 (34... Rd7 35.Nf6+ Ke7(d8) 36.Nxd7+, etc.) 35.Nf6+ Kf8 (35... Ke7(d8) 36.Nxd7+, etc.) 36.Qb4+ Nc5 (36... Qe7 37.Nh7+ and mate next) 37.Qxc5+ Re7 38.Rg8+ Qxg8 39.Nxg8, etc.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <31.Nh5!> Like a surgical operation, carried out by the always tactical attentive Kasparov.
Apr-11-13  Abdel Irada: <DWINS: <al wazir, morfishine>, 31.Rg8 wins against all defenses except one. Unfortunately, that one defense practically equalizes for Black.

According to Houdini, 31.Rg8 R6a7 32.Nh5 Qxg8 33.Nf6+ Kf7 34.Nxg8 Kxg8 leaves white with a tiny advantage (0.28).>

Houdiniless, I came to the same conclusion. One of those instances where the forced defense holds.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: A knight moving away from the action, to the h file. Not a chance of finding this one.
Apr-11-13  eaglewing: Regarding Seirawan's "win material and duck and cover" technique: How about 14. Qg3 Rg8? Sure, it looks ugly, but is it bad? Follow-up developement idea is b6 and Bb7. Maybe even 0-0-0, depending on the threat level for Rc1.
Apr-11-13  Nerwal: 14. ♕g3 ♖g8 isn't that bad, but doesn't solve black's problems with developing his pieces. For instance 15. ♗e3 b6 is dubious because of 16. ♕d6 when 16... ♗b7 fails to 17. ♕xd7+. Otherwise white develops his rook on one of the open files while black's king still stands in the center, and threats start to become very serious.
Apr-11-13  nateinstein: I too found Rg8, and think it may actually be more forcing than Nh5. I would be interested in computer analysis. White also threatens Qb5+ winning the queen since only Qd7 can be played to stop mate, followed by Rxf8+.
Apr-11-13  goodevans: Add me to the list of those beguiled by the tempation of Rg8!
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: I cast my ballot for 31. Nh5. For example:

a. 31...Qc7 32. Rg7 Qc1+ 33. Kg2 Qc2+ 34. Bf2 R6a7 35. Nf6+ Kd8 36. Qxf8#

b. 31...Ra4 32. Qb5+ Nd7 33. Nf6+ Kd8 34. Nxd7+ Kd8 35. Nb6+ Kf8 36. Nxa4

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: I overlooked 34...Rxh4 in my line b.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Now then gauge the point he at door can in effect,

rook in grumble g8 eh king ha be exposed enough I'd e8 an seek game ghosting along in g8 or in giving a shot he find hub a 31.nh5 one I dids up in ah neck er see hi efface in heading him off at the pass,

canny bugger c7 eyes c2 one e5 hacking if the horse heffed over straight line to h2 inch up again lucky,

it is oh in towing an frowing lines in keep fed eg 32.rg7 triple e7 threat h7 g7 b4 all converge I shall otb in 32...ra1+ a float in serial look as,

purge see ko tride network o in us agreed took in,

free 33.kg2 alive no more had off 33...qc2+ king bang to rights in left him dead 34.bf2 hanging in,

the water I f6 i nigh tinker mitigate mate is coming 7e in exactly it hope in railing rook balk...

in he has kings nook queen bishop affable chuffed in mode light rook it is double in g1 7g length knight queen for bishop off king to guard it safe white covered check queen in revver I f6 i see at he term in king bale ye safety pin 5h.

Apr-11-13  Howard: This was their first game since their extremely-memorable late 1989 clash in Sweden. That game was exceptionally complicated, and Seirawan apparently missed a win.

This 1996 one was probably their last game though.

Apr-11-13  Strongest Force: "The Yaz" looked intimidated...can't blame him.
Apr-11-13  MountainMatt: Too rich for my blood.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: To me, the only way you see 31 Nh5, below is if you saw the mate in one threat first.

click for larger view

Otherwise, black's queen simply takes the knight. Now after 31...Qc7, 32 Rg7 becomes the logical follow-up move.

It's interesting that 31...Qc7 or 31...Qa7 were the queen's only "safe" squares.

Also I just now realized that black still had the ability to castle queenside but the bishop on a4 prevents this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: My try was Rg8,but it was the more coy Nh5 that Kaspy played.
Apr-11-13  Geronimo: I'm with <hemateme>. I freely admit that this was beyond me. I must be tired today. That or I'm just a patzer.
Apr-11-13  BOSTER: I like to read Seirawan's book, they are more logical than the game which <CG> represented. This is the pos. after 14.Qg3 with black to play.
My opinion when black with extra exchange and pawn up, even when white has many open lines, and better with development, but no any white pieces crossed the equator, and even white is Kasparov, you need a great skill to lose such pos.

click for larger view

Apr-11-13  njchess: I got this one, but it took a lot longer than I would have liked. In fact, I had pretty much given up and had selected the link to open the game to see the solution. When, as the page was loading in the new tab, I saw 31. Nh5 and then it all fell in place. Prior to that, I just could not find a way for White to force the issue. I wonder at what move GM Kasparov saw the game's final sequence.
Apr-11-13  devere: My first impression was that the sacrifice of the exchange plus a pawn for some positional pressure must be a coffee-house chess gambit. But after looking and looking it seems that even if Black defends perfectly the best he will get for his trouble is a draw. It's just another remarkable conception by that chess magician, Gary Kasparov
Apr-11-13  M.Hassan: "Medium"
White to play 31.?
White has a Bishop+pawn for a Rook

I spent some time on 31.Bf6 and not seeing good results for White:

31.Bf6 Nd7
32.Rg7 Ra4
33.Qb7 R4a7
34.Rxd7+ Qxd7
35.Rxd7 Rxd7
Black will have the advantage.

I then tried :
<if....Qxh5 32.Qe7#>

<if....Qh7 32.Nf6+ and it's a Royal Fork>

Queen can check the king couple of times but will stop while having become away from battle grounds: <32.....Qc1+ 33.Kg2 Qc2+ 34.Bf2 R6a7 35.Qb5+ Kd8 36.Nxe6+ Kc8 37.Qe8#>

So, the best move would be to take the Rook on move 32.

33.Nxg7+ Kf7
34.Qb7+ Kg8
Black has to continue a Queenless game.

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