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.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Linares: Round 2 Recap

Today's round was a lot like yesterday's: White won game, two games were drawn - one without any real fight, and two of the games featured late errors costing their perpetrators at least half a point each.

First, the non-game:

Adams,Mi (2741) - Leko,P (2749) [C88]
XXII SuperGM Linares ESP (2), 24.02.2005

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4 b4 9.d3 d6 10.Nbd2 Na5 11.Ba2 Be6 12.Bxe6 fxe6 13.c3 bxc3 14.bxc3 Rb8 15.Qe2 Nh5 16.g3 Qe8 17.Ba3 Nb3 18.Ra2 Nxd2 1/2-1/2

Second, "game 1" of the match that never was (and probably never will be). Garry Kasparov had White against FIDE knockout champ Rustam Kasimdzhanov, gained a significant advantage in the opening and reached a winning endgame an exchange ahead. However, Kasimdzhanov is a remarkably feisty defender (as he proved repeatedly in the FIDE knockout in Tripoli last summer), and Kasparov failed to bring home the full point.

(12) Kasparov,Garry (2804) - Kasimdzhanov,Rustam (2678) [C42]
Linares Spain (2), 24.02.2005

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.c4 Nb4 9.Be2 0-0 10.a3 Nc6 11.cxd5 Qxd5 12.Nc3 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Bf5 14.Re1 Bf6 15.Bf4 Na5 16.Bf1

Nothing new so far, but now Kasimdzhanov makes a new move that looks like an error. 16...c5N [16...b6 17.Ne5 Rad8 18.g4 Be4 19.Qe2 Bxe5 20.Bxe5 Nb3 21.Ra2 Bf3 22.Qe3 Na5 23.Rc2 f6 24.Bxc7 Rd7 25.Bg3 Bxg4 26.Bg2 Qb3 27.Rcc1 Qf7 28.d5 Qh5 29.c4 Nb7 30.a4 g5 31.Rc3 Qg6 32.Qd4 Bf5 33.Rce3 Nc5 34.a5 h5 35.axb6 axb6 36.h4 gxh4 37.Bxh4 Rg7 38.Rg3 Qf7 39.d6 Rxg3 40.Bxg3 Qg6 41.Re7 Nd7 42.Kh2 Kh8 43.Bc6 Rf7 44.Qd5 Rg7 45.Qd4 Qg5 46.Rxg7 Kxg7 47.Bd5 Qg4 48.Qe3 Ne5 49.Bxe5 fxe5 50.Qxe5+ Kg6 51.Qe8+ Kg5 52.Qe5 h4 53.Qg7+ Bg6 54.Qe5+ Qf5 55.Qe3+ Kg4 56.Be6 1-0, Anand(2769)-Sokolov(2637), Chess@Iceland-B rapid (4) 2000] 17.Be5! Black's problem is that he can't swap on e5, as it hangs the c-pawn after 17...cxd4 [17...Bxe5 18.Rxe5 Qd7 19.Rxc5 Note that this tactical possibility wouldn't have been available on 16...b6.] 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.Nxd4 Now White's simply in great shape: Black's kingside structure is fractured and his active-looking pieces are in fact somewhat vulnerable. 19...Bg6 20.h4 [20.Qa4 Nc6 21.Rad1+/-] 20...Rad8 21.Qa4 Qc5 22.Qb4+/- Rd5 23.g4+-

23...h5 24.Bg2 hxg4 25.Bxd5 Qxd5 26.Qe7 Qd8 27.Qb4 Qd5 28.Qe7 Qd8 29.Qxd8 Rxd8 30.Re7 Rc8 31.Rc1 Kg7 32.Rd1 f5 [32...Rxc3 33.Ne6+ Kh6 (33...Kh7 34.h5+- Bxh5? 35.Rd5) 34.Rd8 Rc1+ 35.Kh2 Kh7 36.h5+-] 33.Ne6+ Kf6 34.Rc7 Rh8

35.Nf4 [35.Nd8 may be better, as White's winning chances may require winning a queenside pawn to get a passer as soon as possible. For example: 35...Rxh4 36.Rd6+ Kg5 (36...Ke5 37.Rd4+- threatens both Rc5+ and Nxb7) 37.Nxb7] 35...Rxh4 36.Kg2 Kg5 37.Nxg6 fxg6

38.Rh1?= [38.Rd5+/- improves. First, it wins a queenside pawn immediately; second, it allows White to retain the ability to create various threats with the active rook pair. White's aim with 38.Rh1 was to eliminate Black's most active piece, but the loss of time allowed Kasimdzhanov to save the game.] 38...Rxh1 39.Kxh1 Kf4 40.Kg2 Ke4 41.Kg3 b5! giving up the pawn, but with the idea of ...Nc4 followed by ...Kd3. 42.Rxa7 Nc4 43.Ra6 [43.a4 bxa4 44.Rxa4 Kd3 45.Ra6 Nd2! (45...Kxc3 46.Rxg6 Nd2 47.Kf4 Ne4 48.Ke3+/- Kc4? 49.Rxg4! fxg4? 50.Kxe4+-) 46.Rxg6 Ne4+ 47.Kg2 Nxc3 draws.] 43...Kd3 44.Kf4 Kxc3 45.Rxg6 Nxa3 46.Kxf5 Nc4 47.Ke4 Nd2+ 48.Ke3 Nc4+ 49.Ke2 b4 50.Rxg4 b3 51.Kd1 Nb2+ 1/2-1/2 Kasparov,G-Kasimdzhanov,R/Linares ESP 2005 [51...Nb2+ 52.Ke2 (52.Kc1 Nd3+ 53.Kb1 Nxf2 is a dead draw, while) 52...Nc4 repeats]

Finally, the world's number two player (Viswanathan Anand) took on the world's number three (Veselin Topalov), and won a seesaw struggle.

(10) Anand,Viswanathan (2786) - Topalov,Veselin (2757) [C42]
Linares Spain (2), 24.02.2005

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.f3 b5 8.g4 h6 9.Qd2 b4 10.Na4 Nbd7 11.0-0-0 Ne5

Topalov repeats the important novelty he introduced against world champ Vladimir Kramnik in the recently completed Corus tournament in Wijk aan Zee. 12.b3 [The Kramnik-Topalov game concluded with perhaps the shortest slow chess loss of Kramnik's super-GM career: 12.Qxb4 Bd7 13.Nb3?! (13.Nc3 may be better, according to GM Scherbakov in Chess Today.) 13...Rb8 14.Qa3? Nxf3 15.h3 Nxe4 16.Be2 Ne5 17.Rhe1 Qc7 18.Bd4 Nc6 19.Bc3 d5 20.Nbc5 Qa7 0-1, Kramnik-Topalov, Corus 2005] 12...d5 13.Bf4 Bd6 14.Bxe5 Bxe5 15.Nc6 Qc7 16.Nxe5 Qxe5 17.Qxb4 dxe4 [17...Rb8!?] 18.Nb6 Rb8 19.Kb1 [Anand could have forced perpetual with 19.Qa4+ Ke7 20.Qb4+ Ke8=] 19...Qc7 20.Qa4+ Kf8 21.Nxc8 Rxc8 22.Qc4 Qxc4 [22...Qb8 23.Qd4 exf3 24.Bxa6 e5 25.Qa4= S9] 23.Bxc4 a5 [23...exf3 24.Bxa6 Rb8 25.Rdf1=] 24.Ba6 Rb8

leaves us with a very interesting ending. White might have a slight pull due to the bishop vs. knight advantage, but Black's central and kingside pawn mass is just about enough to equalize. 25.fxe4 h5! 26.gxh5 Nxe4= [26...Rxh5 27.Rd4+/-] 27.Rd4 Nf6 28.Be2 Nxh5 29.Rh4 g6 30.Rg1 Ke7 31.Ra4 Ra8 [31...Ng7 32.Rg2 Ra8 33.Bf3 Ra7= 34.b4 Nf5 35.Be2 (35.Rxa5 Rxa5 36.bxa5 Nh4-/+) 35...Ne3 36.Rf2 Rc8 37.Rxa5 Rxa5 38.bxa5 Nxc2=/+] 32.Bf3 Ra7 33.Rg5 f5 [33...Ng7 34.Rgxa5 Rxa5 35.Rxa5 f5 36.Ra7+ Kf6 37.b4+/-] 34.Rxg6+- White seems to be in control now, but it's still a mess - enough so that just a few imprecise moves sufficed to let Black equalize! 34...Kf7 35.Rg2 Nf6 36.Re2 Rh3 37.Bh1 Ng4 38.Kb2 Kf6 39.Bg2 Rxh2 40.Bf3 Rxe2 41.Bxe2=/+ Ne3 42.c4 e5 43.c5 e4 44.b4

The next two moves are key. Black can either go for a counterattack, as in the note, or can employ the clever switchback idea offered in the next note. Both should suffice to draw, but Topalov, recipient of a gift yesterday, was destined to be the Santa du jour. 44...Rc7 [44...Rd7 45.bxa5 Rd2+ 46.Kb3 Rxe2 47.a6 Nd5 48.a7 Re3+ 49.Kc4 Nc7 50.a8Q Nxa8 51.Rxa8 Re1 and I'm not sure what's going on here, but I think Black is okay: White's c-pawn may be a move ahead in the race, but Black's connected pawns are probably sufficient compensation.] 45.bxa5 Rxc5?? [The switchback with 45...Ra7 looks good for Black - now White's pawns are all pretty miserable and easily blockaded, and Black should draw routinely.] 46.a6+- Nd5 47.a7 Nc7 48.a8Q Nxa8 49.Rxa8 f4 50.Rf8+ Ke5 51.Bg4 f3 52.Rf5+ Kd4 53.Rxc5 Kxc5 54.Kc3 Kb5 55.Kd2 f2 56.Be2+ Kb4 57.Kc2 Ka3 58.Kb1 e3 59.Ka1 White simply pushes the a-pawn up the board, mating the Black king in the corner if it tries to prevent queening from a8. 1-0


  • At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kasparov played 38.Rh1? almost instantly, even though he had a few minutes left on his clock. It was stunning, as many observers (including a patzer like me) instantly felt the game went from advantage to drawish.

    Why do so many top GMs take so long on moves 20-30 that they must blitz out the last ten (or more) moves to the time control? Is this really a better strategy than allowing a couple of "second best" moves in the middlegame and having more time for moves 30-40?


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