Dennis M's Chess Site

This is a blog for chess fans by a chess fan. I enjoy winning as much as anyone else, and I've had a reasonable amount of success as a competitor, but what keeps me coming back to the game is its beauty. And that, primarily, is what this site will be about! All material copyrighted.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Kasparov's Best Games

In the TWIC report on Kasparov's retirement announcement, Kasparov states that the best games of his career were game 19 (it says game 20, but it's clear that he means game 19) of the 1985 match, game 24 of the 1987 match, and his famous win over Topalov from the 1999 Wijk aan Zee tournament.

I understand why he would choose these games, even though they - and some omissions - are also surprising. For one thing, while game 24 of the 1987 match was of enormous competitive significance - he had to win to retain the title against Karpov, with whom he had played four world championship matches in four years - it probably wasn't a game that would have been included on its merits alone. Also, while virtually all chess fans would include the Topalov game, Kasparov himself, after the event, thought that his win over Svidler several rounds later was an even better game - more "professional". I'm also surprised he didn't include game 16 of the 1985 match with Karpov, or...well, Kasparov has played so many great games, this post could go on long enough to push everything else in the archives.

So here are Kasparov's self-described best games (excluding the Topalov game, which was presented in this post):

First, game 19 of the 1985 match, which is noteworthy not only because it gave him a 2-point advantage with just five games to go, but because of its strategic completeness - Kasparov beats Karpov - badly - in a style more likely to be associated with his opponent.

Kasparov,Garry (2700) - Karpov,Anatoly (2720) [E21]
World Championship 32th-KK2 Moscow (19), 24.10.1985

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 Ne4 5.Qc2 f5 6.g3 Nc6 7.Bg2 0-0 8.0-0 Bxc3 9.bxc3 Na5 10.c5 d6 11.c4 b6 12.Bd2 Nxd2 13.Nxd2 d5 14.cxd5 exd5 15.e3 Be6 16.Qc3 Rf7 17.Rfc1 Rb8 18.Rab1 Re7 19.a4 Bf7 20.Bf1 h6 21.Bd3 Qd7 22.Qc2 Be6 23.Bb5 Qd8 24.Rd1 g5 25.Nf3 Rg7 26.Ne5 f4 27.Bf1 Qf6 28.Bg2 Rd8 29.e4 dxe4 30.Bxe4 Re7 31.Qc3 Bd5 32.Re1 Kg7 33.Ng4 Qf7 34.Bxd5 Rxd5 35.Rxe7 Qxe7 36.Re1 Qd8 37.Ne5 Qf6 38.cxb6 Qxb6 39.gxf4 Rxd4 40.Nf3 Nb3 41.Rb1 Qf6 42.Qxc7+


Next, his title-saving win against Karpov from their 1987 match in Seville:

Kasparov,Garry (2740) - Karpov,Anatoly (2700) [A14]
World Championship 34th-KK4 Seville (24), 18.12.1987

1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.b3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 b6 7.Bb2 Bb7 8.e3 Nbd7 9.Nc3 Ne4 10.Ne2 a5 11.d3 Bf6 12.Qc2 Bxb2 13.Qxb2 Nd6 14.cxd5 Bxd5 15.d4 c5 16.Rfd1 Rc8 17.Nf4 Bxf3 18.Bxf3 Qe7 19.Rac1 Rfd8 20.dxc5 Nxc5 21.b4 axb4 22.Qxb4 Qa7 23.a3 Nf5 24.Rb1 Rxd1+ 25.Rxd1 Qc7 26.Nd3 h6 27.Rc1 Ne7 28.Qb5 Nf5 29.a4 Nd6 30.Qb1 Qa7 31.Ne5 Nxa4 32.Rxc8+ Nxc8 Kasparov has done a great job of outplaying Karpov in this pressure-packed game. Kasparov has a decisive advantage here and Karpov has less than a minute to complete his 40th move, but here White makes an error that could have cost him the title:

33.Qd1?? [33.Qb5! wins after 33...Kh7 34.Nc6 Qa8 35.Qd3+ f5 36.Qd8 (threatening Ne7) 36...Nc5 37.Kg2 Qa2 38.Ne5! (38.Qxc8?? Nd3-+) 38...Qb2 39.Nf7 Qf6 40.Qh8+ Kg6 41.Qg8! (Kasparov)] 33...Ne7?? In terrible time trouble, Karpov blunders back. He could have drawn, thereby regaining his title, had he found the nice tactical shot [33...Nc5! 34.Qd8+ Kh7 35.Kg2! (35.Qxc8? Qa1+ 36.Kg2 Qxe5 is the point of Black's tactical trick.) 35...f6! 36.Nc6 Qd7 37.Qxd7 Nxd7 38.Nd8 Nc5 39.Nxe6 Nxe6 40.Bg4 is equal, according to Kasparov. After the move in the game, Kasparov successfully grinds Karpov's position into the dust, retaining his title and breaking Karpov's heart yet again.] 34.Qd8+ Kh7 35.Nxf7 Ng6 36.Qe8 Qe7 37.Qxa4 Qxf7 38.Be4 Kg8 39.Qb5 Nf8 40.Qxb6 Qf6 41.Qb5 Qe7 42.Kg2 g6 43.Qa5 Qg7 44.Qc5 Qf7 45.h4 h5 46.Qc6 Qe7 47.Bd3 Qf7 48.Qd6 Kg7 49.e4 Kg8 50.Bc4 Kg7 51.Qe5+ Kg8 52.Qd6 Kg7 53.Bb5 Kg8 54.Bc6 Qa7 55.Qb4 Qc7 56.Qb7 Qd8 57.e5 Qa5 58.Be8 Qc5 59.Qf7+ Kh8 60.Ba4 Qd5+ 61.Kh2 Qc5 62.Bb3 Qc8 63.Bd1 Qc5 64.Kg2 1-0


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