Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Shirov,Alexei (2700) - Kasparov,Garry (2820) [B90]
Tilburg Fontys Tilburg (5), 02.10.1997

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 Be7 9.Qd2

The move 9.g4? used to be played a lot, but nowadays it is known that after 9...d5! 10.g5 (10.exd5? Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Bh4+ 12.Bf2 Bxf2+ 13.Kxf2 Bxd5 material is equal but White is obviously in trouble) 10...d4 11.gxf6 Bxf6 Black has a big advantage.


[9...d5 does not work so well now because the intervening check on h4 is easily blocked by g2-g3]

10.g4 h6 11.0–0–0 b5 12.h4 Nb6 13.Kb1 b4 14.Bxb6 Qxb6 15.Nd5 Bxd5 16.exd5 a5 17.Qd3

Making way for the knight hop to d2 and either c4 or e4.

17...0–0! 18.Nd2

The immediate threat is g4-g5 followed by Ne4.

18...a4 19.Ne4

[19.g5 Nh5 20.gxh6 g6]

19...Rfc8! 20.Nxf6+ Bxf6

Kasparov's counterthreat is ...e5-e4, opening up the long diagonal for a bishop sacrifice on b2.


[21.g5? e4! 22.Qxe4 b3 23.cxb3 axb3 24.a3 Bxb2! wins]

21...Qc5 22.Bd3 Kf8! 23.g5 hxg5 24.hxg5 Bxg5 25.Qf5 Bh6 26.Rh4

This move prepares Rc4, attacking the Black Queen. Here is Kasparov's narration of his thought processes:

"I obviously had to get my queen out of the way, and I sat looking at the few possible retreats. All the options would leave the position dynamically balanced, but I was disappointed there wasn't the opportunity for more.

"Before I resigned myself to the seemingly inevitable queen move, I took a deep breath and surveyed the rest of the board. As with so many fantasy moves, this one started with a mental 'wouldn't it be nice if ...' If you daydream a little about what you'd like to see happen, sometimes you find that it is really possible. What is I ignored his threat to my queen? he would have extra material, but my pieces, while technically outgunned by his queen, would be active and he'd be under pressure."


Kasparov: "Too often we quickly discard apparently outlandish ideas and solutions, especially in areas where the known methods have been in place for a long time. The failure to think creatively is as much self-imposed as it is imposed by the parameters of our jobs and of our lives. 'What if?' often leads to 'why not?' and at that point we must summon our courage and find out."

27.Rc4 Qxc4 28.Bxc4 Rxc4 29.Qd3 Rac8 30.Re1 Bf4 31.Re4?
After 31.b3 it is still a game.

31...Rxe4 32.fxe4 g5! 33.a3 bxa3 34.Qa6 Rd8 35.Qb6 g4 36.c4 g3 37.c5 g2 38.cxd6+ Rxd6 39.Qc7+ Kf6! 40.Qxd6+ Kg7 0–1

[Analysis by Bobby Ang, Chess Piece - Business World]

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