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Vassily Ivanchuk vs Garry Kasparov
Russia - The Rest of the World (2002) (rapid), Moscow RUS, rd 1, Sep-08
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Freak Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-09-02  refutor: admittedly anything can happen in an active game against 2700+ competition, but it's still hard to believe that kasparov would get beaten in the *najdorf* with a sideline like Rg1
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Chalk one more up for "the World" hehehe
Jan-28-04  Taidanii: Someone explain why it takes so long for GK to play Bxa2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: The a2 pawn was not really en prise at first, because b3 would trap the bishop; however once the d-pawn moved, b3 was answerable with Ba3+, therefore the pawn became up for grabs again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 6.Rg1 doesn't look unsound here. Ivanchuk was in control of game from the opening till the end. Maybe 9...e5 was not the best idea.
Jan-29-04  AdrianP: cf. Leko vs Topalov, 1999
Jan-29-04  square dance: what country does ivanchuk represent?
Jan-29-04  Kenkaku: <square dance> Ukraine.
Feb-03-04  Taidanii: I really enjoy the Re1 line.
Feb-03-04  Benjamin Lau: Is the 6...g6 idea that good here? I think I would have preferred a less KID-ish setup in this position, Ivanchuk was obviously aiming for g4, which is very strong against KID setups because there is nothing to really prevent the advance of g5 except another ...h6, which really weakens the pawn structure. Perhaps Kasparov should have tried normal development and then ...h6 later after g4? The opening explorer gives 6...b5 as the best continuation although the sample is too small to be that useful.
Feb-03-04  TrueFiendish: Benjamin Lau: yes, especially since the bishop retreats to f8 shortly and black's development never really seems to catch up till too late.
Feb-03-04  TrueFiendish: And I can't work out why the urgency of 9...e5.
Apr-29-05  notyetagm: In the new Najdorf book "Mastering the Najdorf" by Julen Arizmendi & Javier Moreno, they recommend meeting 6 ♖g1 with the line 6…e5! 7.♘b3 ♗e6 8.g4 d5!.

I like it and it makes perfect sense. First, it meets a flank attack (6 ♖g1, 8 g4) with play in the center (7 ... ♗e6, 8 ... d5!). Secondly, the <d5-square is of critical importance in the Najdorf> and in this line Black strikes there immediately.

Jun-06-06  Jovan Petronic: I'm glad Ivanchuk was successful in this game with my invention [6.Rg1!(!?)] from two decades ago and it's first practical implementation in history in FM Jovan Petronic - GM Igor Novikov, draw. Igor was pretty surprised then, as was the tournament's main arbiter, Boris Postovsky, later three times Captain of the Russian Olympic medal winners. So many games have been played since, even by super gms, and so much theory developed!
Jun-12-06  dakgootje: Why does black first hunt the white queen a little instead of the immediate 18. Bxa2, if b3 then Ba3 and i think white isnt too happy. Or does black want this way to play then Rb8 without the loss of a tempo and sac the bishop on b3 as it totally ruins whites pawns structure. And if 18. Bxa2 it isnt possible to play Rb8 without the loss of a tempo, so that might be a reason to first hunt on whites queen for a few moves
Aug-06-07  willychess: i was the first who played 6-Rg1 in willychess-lasker cambrigde springs 1906. Check the database.
Feb-05-08  hedgeh0g: For some reason, the Najdorf was Kasparov's greatest weakness when playing Ivanchuk.
Feb-05-08  hedgeh0g: Oh, and I was the first to play 6. Rg1.
Feb-05-08  nolanryan: 5 .. a6 is an excellent move because if instead 5 .. Nxe4, then 6. Nxe4 and white will be up a knight for a pawn.
Jun-01-08  Xeroxx: <5 .. a6 is an excellent move> Really? You might think its popular?
Aug-01-08  sallom89: never seen 6.Rg1 before, It didn't look nice at the time :O
May-31-11  hedgeh0g: <5 .. a6 is an excellent move because if instead 5 .. Nxe4, then 6. Nxe4 and white will be up a knight for a pawn.>

Talk about comprehensive analysis!

Sep-13-12  bharatiy: nice win by Ivanchuk, it seems he was in control from beginning and Kasparov found it difficult to take control. Full of actions. Like a thriller!
Mar-29-13  drleper: The "Freak Attack"??
Mar-30-13  csmath: Gazza missed surprising defence resource
23. ... Bg7!

This bishop will be enough defence for castling and black heavy pieces will start coordinated attack on queenside.

24. b3 ... 0-0

Now white can get repetition

25. Bb4 ... Qg5+
26. Bd2 ... Qd8

or if he wants to lose his pants and open long diagonal

27. f4?? ... Nb6!
28. Nxb6 ... Qxb6
29. Kb2 ... exf4

and black will shortly demolish white castle.

There are few other places when neither of the two combatants played exactly up to their reputation.

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