Entries in Garry Kasparov (49)
My column this week offers some musings on the relevance of originality to a game's greatness, using Garry Kasparov's game 10 win over Viswanathan Anand from their 1995 world championship match as a point of departure.
N.B. Please feel free to leave comments there - it's a new site, and it would be helpful to me and the site to generate some discussion there. (You can comment here too, of course.)
Long-time FIDE watchers may raise an eyebrow in irony at the mention of a FIDE Ethics breach...
but this is nonetheless a story of some importance. Garry Kasparov and Ignatius Leong were found guilty by "many FIDE Commissions" of offering and accepting a bribe (or something very close to it) in order to influence the result of a chess game or an election to FIDE office. (Apparently FIDE-related bribes are otherwise ethically acceptable.) Given the autocratic nature of FIDE and the fact that Kasparov was running for the presidency against the eternal incumbency of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the various commissions don't really appear to be the most impartial bodies, impervious to the sway of vested interests.
N.B.: I am not saying that Kasparov and Leong are innocent; I do not have the relevant evidence. I am saying that FIDE's track record is such that one can (very) reasonably doubt the judicial independence of a FIDE commission tasked with evaluating the conduct of someone so implacably opposed to Ilyumzhinov.
There's more info at the link above, and if any of you have been following this case closely and can offer further information, please provide it in the comments section. And a closing curiosity: it says that the possible penalties include "revocations of titles and sports results". Is that limited to the period of the offense, or could FIDE in principle rewrite history and vacate Kasparov's undisputed world championship reign from 1985 to 1993?
Here's something a bit different: Garry Kasparov giving a simul, broadcast live on the internet. You may not want to watch it for the duration, but it might be interesting to see him complete a circuit or two.
No one who has followed Garry Kasparov's political statements for any time will be surprised to learn that he is less than impressed by the pending U.S. deal with Iran or with recent American foreign policy in general. In case this is news to you, however, or you'd just like to see how he articulates his views on the matter, this recent article in The Daily Beast may be of interest to you.
The BBC Radio 4 network has a new series of "Across the Board" episodes coming out next week; interviewees include Garry Kasparov (on Tuesday) and Rex Sinquefield (on Wednesday).
HT: Marc Beishon
As already noted in the previous post, Garry Kasparov went through Nigel Short like a hot knife through butter in their Sunday games, blanking Short 5-0 and winning the overall contest by a massive 8.5-1.5 score.
Game 6, the first played on Sunday, was a rapid game, and it was competitive. Short enjoyed an advantage most of the way, but his 33rd move was a mistake. Kasparov's minor pieces soon dominated, and White's extra exchange played no role; in fact, Kasparov's 38th move, declining the opportunity to regain the exchange, was the right thing to do. Excepting a one-move hiccup on on move 42, Kasparov took over and won the ending convincingly.
In the blitz games, things just got worse and worse for the Englishman. In the first, Short played a provocative opening, and when Kasparov - as White - was able to embed pawns on c5 and d6 Black was condemned to a miserable existence for the rest of the game. He defended resiliently for a while, but when he chose 37...gxf5, giving White's knight the spectacular e4 square thanks to 38.exf5 in reply, it was all downhill and Kasparov won easily. That gave the ex-champ a 5.5-1.5 lead and thus clinched overall victory with three games to go.
Game 8 was very exciting. Kasparov played a Classical Sicilian, a line he seldom played (if ever) during his official career. His 13th move was especially interesting, inviting the obvious 14.e5 in reply. That's what Short played, and soon they banged out a series of moves finishing up with Kasparov's 21...Rd8. Black was better, but it wouldn't have been decisive just yet had Short played 22.b3. He instead pushed the b-pawn two squares, after which he was simply lost. 22.b4 gave White's king luft, but that's the only good thing it accomplished for White. The pawn was lost, White's king was exposed, and Kasparov finished the game with flair.
Game 9 was a sort of combination of a Reversed Philidor and King's Indian Attack against Short's French. Kasparov built for the kingside attack while Short tried to break through and break in on the queenside. Perhaps Black would have been fine had he tripled his heavy pieces on the b-file and entered (with 23...Qb7, aiming to move the rook to b3 or b2), but he didn't and he wasn't. Just a couple of moves later Kasparov was winning, and he finished the game off with an impressive display of power chess.
Finally, game 10 was yet another disaster for Short, his seventh loss in a row in the match. He was worse with White after 13.f4, and after 16...d5! it was clear that Kasparov was in his charge. The losing move came on move 21, when Short played 21.Nc2 rather than do something to pre-empt Black's idea of ...Ng4, ...Qh5 and mate. Kasparov conducted the final attack in great style (23...Bd7 was especially nice) and mated Short's king in the middle of the board.
In all, it was a fantastic performance by Kasparov, who could quite possibly have won the match with a 10-0 score. Unfortunately for Short, he slept very poorly during the match, having just traveled from Thailand, and that only impeded his performance, especially on the second day. Even so, Kasparov gave a remarkable display of power chess, and showed flashes of his former brilliance - especially once he decided after game 6 to just go for attacking chess, as in his youth. I watched the match in person, and was extremely impressed by what I saw - and more than I would have been listening to the commentators or seeing computer evaluations. It seems that the computer approved strongly of his play in those last four games, but there's still nothing like seeing and experiencing the game in the raw. It was only blitz, but it was inspiring.
The two-day rapid & blitz exhibition match between Garry Kasparov and his erstwhile challenger Nigel Short began today/yesterday/Saturday in St. Louis, and at the halfway point Kasparov leads the "Battle of the Legends" 3.5-1.5.
In game 1, the rapid game, Kasparov had White and enjoyed a winning advantage much of the way in a Bogo-Indian. Short hung in there, and as time dwindled away Kasparov had to reconcile himself to a draw. This was followed by four blitz games, which were dominated by Kasparov.
In the first, Kasparov found a nice pawn sac on the black side of an English, took over the initiative and finished with a strong attack. A note about the game score: I haven't checked TWIC, but on Chess24's website their record of the game finished prematurely. Here's how it ended: 33.gxf4 Qh5 34.Rxe3 dxe4 35.Qh2 Rg8+ 36.Kh1 e2 and only here did Short resign.
The second blitz game was won by Short, but in peculiar fashion. Kasparov was better all the way on the white side of a Nimzowitsch Defense, but simply forgot about the clock and lost on time. Oops.
Kasparov immediately struck back in the third blitz game, winning convincingly if not quite perfectly against Short's Nimzo-Larsen (1.b3). White quickly obtained a structural advantage, but this was always outweighed by Black's activity and kingside attacking chances.
Finally, Kasparov broke through with White on his third try. It wasn't a particularly clean game, and from a theoretical standpoint Short was doing fine with the semi-offbeat Chigorin. Nevertheless, the ex-champ outplayed him - several times - and finally brought home the full point.
Kasparov's two point lead could easily have been more, and while it's a significant edge he also led his last exhibition match with Short, several years ago, by two points with just three games remaining. He promptly lost the next two games before pulling out the finale, so Short's fans shouldn't give up hope.