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Alexander Morozevich vs Ruslan Ponomariov
37th Biel International Chess Festival (2004), Biel SUI, rd 10, Jul-29
Spanish Game: Open Variations. Karpov Gambit (C80)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-14-04  jeffnool: this will be a very interesting game in the future...
Aug-15-04  Shah Mat: is it too sophisticated for us homo sapienssapiens now? =P
Aug-15-04  arifattar: This game has 'FIXED' written all over it.
I think the players took the 'Chess Festival' title, to heart. Mr. Fischer, this ones for you.
Aug-15-04  ughaibu: Why's that?
Aug-15-04  arifattar: This game seems too attacking for today's generation. I think even rapids are not so blood-thirsty. This was definitely played with the audience in mind. The weight of arguments, in my mind, anyways, is tilted heavily in favour of this being 'pre-determined' (if you like).
Aug-15-04  ughaibu: Have you clicked "games similar"?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MoonlitKnight: <arifattar> Have you seen Morozevich's games? They are all like this.
Aug-16-04  tomh72000: The early attack (11.Ng5!? etc) is all theory, not fixed- there <is> a difference ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: This game varies from Kasparov vs Shirov, 2001 at move 21. Shirov played 21...Kd7 and lost. Evidence that Pono prepared very hard for the match with Kasparov I think.
Aug-16-04  podjevsky: This game aint fixed. It's theory to at least move 17. I think Karpov was the first one to play 11.Ng5. Instead of Qxg5 Bd5 has been played succesfully by for example Anand. The continuation 11. ... Bd5 12. Nxf7 has been played by top GMs too (Polgar for exampel).
Sep-16-04  Helloween: This game is actually well-known theory past Black's 22nd move.
Nov-28-05  aw1988: <Evidence that Pono prepared very hard for the match with Kasparov I think.>

tamar, I respectfully disagree. OK, against Kasparov one is bound to confine oneself nearly exclusively to chess, but in this variant of the Ruy with the piece offer, the roads have been well mapped, and certainly in 2004. Black's counterplay lies in these two pawns, and I don't think that alone says anything of Ponomariov's match preparation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <aw1988> I have no proof Ponomariov prepared this for Kasparov, but the sequence of the Kasparov-Shirov game and Pono's training sessions is provocative.

The C80 Open Variation, wasn't anywhere part of Pono's repertoire and only in 2004, a year after the aborted match, this game and a loss (to Bruzon) with this variation pop up.

Topalov has 7 games early in his career with C80 and he was part of Ponomariov's team to prepare for Kasparov. Danailov was manager of both.

Then this:
From a GM Square Interview with Ponomariov in 2003:

"Will the elite GM Veselin Topalov, who is Danailov's permanent advisee, assist you?" "Correct, he is in charge of the group of coaches that is preparing my match against Kasparov."

So those are my reasons for inferring that it may have been Topalov who took the White side of this variation Pono never played before, and either Ponomariov found the improvement 21...d3 over Shirov's 21...Kd7, or it was suggested by Topalov as part of his help.

Nov-28-05  aw1988: <tamar> Convincing, thanks.
Dec-08-06  AdrianP: "But under the influence of Larsen, Korchnoi, Yusupov and Anand 9...Bc5 became more and more popular. After 9...Bc5 10 Nbd2 0-0 11 Bc2 both 11...Bf5 and 11...Nxf2 were supposed to give Black equal chances.

This was the nightmare for Karpov and the USSR against Korchnoi in Baguio 1978. But in Merano 1981 Karpov's team came up with two fantastic ideas to rehabilitate the old 9 Nbd2! After 9...Nc5 10 c3 d4 they played both 11 Ng5! (Tal) and also 11 Bxe6 Nxe6 12 cxd4 Nxd4 13 a4! (Karpov) with success.

This was a severe blow for the Open Spanish and for a long time it was abandoned. But Yusupov, and later on Anand, found improvements and rehabilitated many lines. Then came the match for the World Championship between Kasparov and Anand in 1995. Kasparov came up with an incredible novelty in the Tal line and again the open Spanish was dismissed.

But 9 years later Kasparov's line has been definitively evaluated as a forced draw. The funny thing is that in my database the drawing line was discovered for the first time by Eynon (2057 ELO!) in his game against Barry, played at Grangemouth in 1999! He found an improvement on an old idea of Timman's. It is rather possible that the correspondence world new of it before but I am not a specialist. In the game Morozevich-Ponomariov 2004 (see the archive) you can follow the forced draw if you want." (GM Oliver Renet, November 2006).

Apr-06-09  Brown: <Enyon (2057 ELO)>

I guess when Larsen said that he looked at the tiers below the elite level for provocative ideas, he was on to something.

Also reminds me of Bronstein's criticism of Botvinnik and other "elite" GMs who think "they are the only ones who can place a bishop on an open diagonal," sac material, etc...

Jun-20-18  Damenlaeuferbauer: According to the German GM Ray Tischbierek in the chess magazine "Schach" 9/2004, p. 31, GM Ruslan Ponomariov had reached the position after 33.-,Rd3xd2 in his preparation for this game (probably for the expected match against GM Garry Kasparov in 2003) at home.

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