Feb 19, 2001
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Linares. Notes of a second

For the special edition of our magazine that was dedicated to Alexander Khalifman's triumph at the World Championship in Las Vegas I wrote an article in which I tried to compare chess, played in a very strong knock-out tournament with chess, played in elite round-robin events. As I had never observed such tournaments personally then, I could only be guided by game texts and accounts of participants. Early in February Alexander called me up and invited to come to Linares with him as his second. So unexpectedly I got an opportunity to compare my conclusions with the real state of affairs. I have acquired an interesting experience, though very subjective, of course.

The passage from Madrid to Linares requires three hours, during which one realises that Linares is not the centre of Spanish culture. Only ten kilometres from the town we met the first road-guide to associate with chess: "Linares 10 km, Ubeda 10 km".

A small, quiet town; a hotel in rural style. In the entrance hall there are pictures of participants of previous tournaments on the walls. Courteous, a bit roguish personnel. They comply with any request quickly and without misunderstandings. There is no feeling of time in Linares: everything appears not to have changed for several centuries.

A short inauguration, followed with the lots, then a banquet, and the tournament begins. The playing hall is not large, some 200 seats, there is a press-centre, games are demonstrated with the help of special cameras. I know from experienced people that no other event can be compared with Linares in respect to its equipment. On the stage there are four persons, a referee and three of the participants, the other three strolling in a special room. After a move has been done, the desk stays unoccupied for a moment, and soon there are again four persons on the stage. When watched from the auditorium, it resembles of a puppet-show. This way it went during the whole tournament. I asked Alexander why he shouldn't stay at the board after his move, but he found it difficult to give a sensible answer.

All the main events took place in a single hotel, yet the participants hardly ever spoke to each other. In the restaurant they ate at their tables within the eyeshot, which was all their intercourse. Kasparov had even a special place, with his back to the hall, in order not to see anybody. There were no handshakes, just greeting nods, Kasparov did not deign even to nod. The No 1 of the world simply did not notice anybody, only in the evening after the game Khalifman - Leko he went up to the Hungarian in the restaurant and talked to him several minutes which looked as if a teacher was rebuking a remiss pupil.

Three boards on the stage are very few, there was a feeling of monotony from the very first round. Four participants have season tickets to these events, Khalifman and Shirov were regarded as indubitable outsiders. The situation changed, however, in the middle of the tournament: there were two obvious leaders, while the other were struggling for the third place. In the upshot there was a peaceful end. The favourites shared the first two places, the other shared the next four. Kasparov and Kramnik have the right to be content: now they have a formal occasion to play a match for the title of the World Champion. Neither Alexander Khalifman has grounds to be upset, because he has proved his ability to play with confidence against the elite of the chess world. Both Leko and Shirov are distressed, they obviously had planned better results. It is Anand, who is the chief loser of the tournament, hardly anybody should call him the No 2 in chess after such a result. The next super tournament takes place in Sarajevo in May. It is not unlikely that to bring another change of positions in the elite chess club.

Only seven of the thirty games were resulting, which would be a very law rate in a usual tournament but is quite natural for the elite chess. Most participants have played already too many games with each other, their opening repertoires are developed in detail, besides, it is usually easier to defend than to attack. I'll demonstrate an example of a well conducted defence:

V.Anand - P.Leko [D85]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 c5 8.Rb1 O-O 9.Be2 cxd4 10.cxd4 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qxa2 12.O-O Nd7

It is extremely seldom that Anand begins with d4, as it has turned out after the game, he was going to catch Leko in one of main variants of the Gruenfeld Defence. Leko broke loose with his last move. The novelty was waiting for him after the main line 12…Bg4. Elizbar Ubilava told me this as he saw Alexander Khalifman repeating their analysis one move after another in his game with the Hungarian. The work had been done independently, yet Alexander was luckier.

13.Re1

A very sound plan. 13.Bb4 would be more energetic and aggressive.

13...Nb6 14.Ra1N

In the game A. Chernin - P. Leko (Budapest, 1997) 14.h3 Bd7 15.Ra1 Qe6 16.Bd3 Rfd8 17.Qe2 Be8 18.Be3 Qd7 19.Ra5 Na4 20.Qd2 a6 followed, and the opponents consented to a draw. Anand applies a new continuation with the object to clear up intentions of the black queen.

14...Qb2

After 14...Qe6 15.Bb4 Rd8 16.Qb1 White has an unpleasant pressure.

15.h3 f5

A standard move in such positions. In is essentially to oppose White's strong centre.

16.Rb1

Typically of Anand. He likes very much to switch from one idea to another. 16.Bd3 fxe4 17.Bxe4 appears to be more logical, securing a long-lasting compensation for the pawn.

16...Qa2 17.Qc1 Kh8

Forced variants after 17...fxe4 promise little pleasure to Black:18.Rxb6 Qf7 19.Bc4 e6 20.Rb3 exf3 21.Rxf3 Qe7 22.Rxf8+ Qxf8 23.d5 e5 (23...exd5 24.Bxd5+ Kh8 25.Bb4 Qd8 26.Bc3) 24.d6+ Kh8 25.Bc3 Qxd6 26.Qa1 Be6 (26...Bf5 27.Bxe5 Qd7 28.g4 Bc2 29.Bxg7+ Qxg7 30.Qa2 b5 31.Bd5 Rc8 32.Qxc2+-) 27.Bxe5 Bxc4 28.Bxg7+ Kg8 29.Bf6, and White's attack is very strong.

18.Ra1 Qg8

Making an ambush. 18...Qf7 appears to be more naturally.

19.Ba5

After this move Black found a forced draw. I'd have preferred 19.Bd3 fxe4 20.Bxe4 Qc4 21.Ba5 (21.Qb1!?) 21...Qxc1 22.Rexc1 Nd7 23.Rc7 - White's pressure continues.

19...fxe4 20.Bxb6 exf3 21.Bxf3 Bxh3 22.Rxa7

Certainly not 22.Bxb7 Rab8 23.Rxa7 Rxb7 24.Rxb7 Qd5 25.gxh3 Qxb7 26.Bc5 - there is a draw on the board, but it is White who has to achieve it.

22...Bxg2 23.Kxg2

The position after 23.Rxa8 Bxf3 24.Rxf8 Qxf8 25.Qc5 Qf4 is inconvenient for White; 23.Bxg2 Rxa7 24.Bxa7 Qa2 is totally bad, Black is to win.

23...Qb3 24.Qd1 Qxb6 25.Rxb7 Qf6

A draw can be achieved in another way: 25...Qa5 26.Rexe7 Qg5+ 27.Kf1 Rxf3 28.Qxf3 Ra1+ 29.Re1 Rxe1+ 30.Kxe1 Qc1+ 31.Ke2, yet Black wanted no unnecessary complications.

26.Rexe7 Ra1!

The last precise move.

27.Rxg7 Rxd1 28.Rxh7+ Kg8 29.Bd5+ Rf7 30.Rbxf7 Qg5+ 31.Kh3 Qxd5 32.Rhg7+ Draw.

After the game I heard in the press-centre that the final position had been supposedly not unfamiliar to Leko. I doubt that this should be true, yet it's a characteristic feature, the chess players investigate some positions from their openings so profoundly that even such direct hits become possible.

Both winners demonstrated confident and strong play. Kasparov was lucky in the first round only: Shirov had been conducting the game well but got stuck at a smooth place.

G.Kasparov - A.Shirov

31. ... Nc8??

After 31...Rxd4 32.Rxf7 Rxe4 33.Rg7+ Kf8 34.Rxh7 Kg8 there is a draw. Shirov had eight minutes. May be it was a result of the tension that he simply didn't calculate an elementary answer of White. 32.Rab7 Rxb7 33.Rxc8+ Kg7 34.Bxb7 Rxd4 35.g4 h5 36.g5 h4 37.Rc7 Rf4 38.Bc8 Rf2+ 39.Kg1 Rf4 40.Kg2 Kf8 41.Bg4 Kg7 42.Rc5 Kf8 43.Bf3 Kg7 44.Kf2 Ra4 45.Ke3 Ra3+ 46.Kf4 Ra4+ 47.Ke5 Ra3 48.Bd5 Re3+ 49.Kf4 Rd3 50.Bc4 Rd7 51.Rc6 Re7 52.Rf6 1-0

A huge stock of middlegame ideas, excellent calculation abilities, deep and specific opening preparations make up a nearly unconquerable image of the strongest chess player of the world. Still, there are problems, too: his opening repertoire is limited, for Black in particular, he plays not easily against solid positional players, having even scores with Kramnik and Leko. Well, the autumn match with Kramnik will demonstrate who is who.

Kramnik had only two worse positions during the whole tournament. Judging by his play in Linares he should be now the single real rival for Kasparov. He commands less specific opening knowledge, yet his opening repertoire is broader, his play is more universal than Kasparov's. Unfortunately, Vladimir's physical training leaves much to be desired, which he has mentioned more than once. This factor can play a big part in a long match.

Anand looked very tired. His trainer Elizbar Ubilava told that big efforts had been made to prepare for a possible match with Kasparov. However, even he seemed to be a little surprised when the Indian grandmaster did not try to achieve an extra quality in the game with Kramnik.

V.Anand - V.Kramnik

(Final position, Black to move)

It's very hard to achieve this advantage, but why not try - White runs no risk.

Several days before I have left to Linares I read an article by Victor Toporov about possible challengers to the title of the world champion. The publicist whom I hold in high respect named Leko to be the most probable challenger. If this is true, then the Hungarian grandmaster has to work very much. In Linares he played in his usual, a bit tiresome style, having missed several favourable chances to win a game.

P.Leko - P.Khalifman

Leko played 17.f4, missing a sure chance to end the game at once: 17.Be3 Qe4 18.c6+ Qxb4 19.axb4 bxc6 20.Rxa7+ Kf6 21.f4 Nh4 22.f5 exf5 23.Bd4+ Kg5 24.g3 Ng6 25.Rxf7 with an easy win.

17...Qe4 18.f5

Now the situation changes, because after 18.c6+ Qxb4 19.axb4 Black can go 19...Rhc8.

18...Qxb4 19.axb4 exf5 20.Rxf5

White still has an advantage, but now it's not so easy to win: 20.Rxa7 Ke6 21.Re1+ (21.Be3 Ne5 22.b5 f6 23.Re1 g5 24.Bd4 f4) 21...Ne5 22.Bf4 f6, and Black holds out. In the further struggle Leko was not able to create any major problems.

20...Ke6 21.Rf2 a6 22.Bf4 Nxf4 23.Rxf4 f5 24.Rd4 Rbd8 25.Re1+ Kf6 26.Red1 Rhe8 27.c4 Re2 28.Rxd5 Rde8 29.R1d2 Rxd2 30.Rxd2 Re1+ 31.Kf2 Re4 32.Rd7 Rxc4 33.Rxb7 a5 34.bxa5 Rxc5 35.a6 Rxc2+ 36.Kf3 Rc3+ 37.Ke2 Rc2+ 38.Ke3 Ke5 Draw.

Shirov played rather originally. It seems that he had marked the fact that strong players chose frequently long forced opening variations and concentrated on critical middlegame positions when preparing for the tournament. This allowed him to spare efforts and time on his first moves. However, such opening policy is not always effective as long as one's opponent is not obliged to force play. At the start of the tournament Shirov managed to guess right, and it was only his absurd mistake in the game with Kasparov that prevented him from getting a better score. But in the fifth round Kramnik caught him in the opening: they did more than twenty theoretical moves, and then Black's position became suddenly very hard. Alexei played insipidly after this game and did not manage to catch anybody again.

Alexander Khalifman suffered a lingering decline after Las Vegas. Specialists had forecasted him nothing but the last place in Linares. His unfortunate play at the start seemed to justify this forecast: he had an unplanned defeat, playing White, and a very hard game with Kasparov. I had suggested him to play something ordinary to minimise the risk, but Alexander decided to play fundamentally.

A.Khalifman - G.Kasparov

Kasparov was in a decisive mood: a confident posture, a hard glare. Khalifman was two minutes late which he took for a deliberate offence and expressed his indignation next day on his site, commenting the game. Of course it has not prevented him from coming to the second game with Alexander exactly two minutes late.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 O-O 7.e4 Na6 8.Be2 c5 9.d5 e6 10.O-O exd5 11.exd5 Bf5 12.Be3 Qb6 13.b3 Rfe8 14.Rad1 Rad8

Formally, this is a novelty. There was 14...Ng4 15.Bd2 Rad8 16.Rfe1 with White's advantage (Ree-Chandler, Saloniki, 1984ă.); a sacrifice by an exchange cannot equalise, too: 14...Rxe3 15.fxe3 Ng4 16.Na4 Qd6 17.Qf4, and White has advantage again. Kasparov's move looks very logically, it is strange for me that it should not have occurred previously.

15.h3

The most precise order of moves. After 15.Rfe1 Ne4 16.Nxe4 Rxe4 17.Qc1 Nb4 18.Bxc5 Qa5 Black has a full compensation for the sacrificed material. Kasparov was displeased at the quickness of the answer to his novelty.

15...Qa5

Now the above idea gives nothing: 15...Ne4 16.Nxe4 Rxe4 17.Qc1 Nb4 18.Bxc5 Qa5 19.Bxb4 Qxb4 20.Bd3! with White's advantage.

16.Rfe1 Nd7 17.Na4 Nb4 18.Bg5

The position is very complex, and it's hardly possible to find the strongest move during the game: 18.Nxc5 A) 18...b5 19.Qxb5 (19.Nb7 bxc4 20.Nxa5 cxb3 21.axb3 Nc2 22.Nb7) 19...Qxb5 20.Bxb5 Rxe3 21.Rxe3 Nxc5 White is OK in this line; B) 18...Nxc5 19.Bxc5 Nc2 20.b4 Qa4 21.Rf1 b6 22.Bd4 Bxd4 23.Nxd4 Re4 the position is hard to estimate; 18.Bd2 is Kasparov's recommendation.

18...Nc2 19.Bxd8 Qxd8 20.Rf1

After 20.Nxc5 Nb6 21.Qb5 Nxe1 22.Rxe1 Re7 23.Qa5 White keeps extra material, but Black's pieces are too active.

20...Nd4

Kasparov ignored a forced draw in the line 20...Na3 21.Qc1 Rxe2 22.Qxa3 Be4! (22...Qa5 23.Rfe1) 23.Nxc5 Nxc5 24.Qxc5 Bxf3 25.gxf3 Qg5+ 26.Kh1 Qf5 with a perpetual check.

21.Nxd4 Bxd4 22.Rxd4

A practical and competent decision. Otherwise a mate is possible: 22.b4 Re4 23.Qc2 (23.bxc5 Qh4 24.Qc2 Rf4 25.Bd3 Bxh3!) 23...Rf4 24.Qd2 Qg5 25.Kh2 Be5 with a strongest attack.

22...cxd4 23.Bg4! Bxg4 24.hxg4 Re4

The last trial to put up a struggle. Nothing results from 24...b5 25.Qxb5 Nf6 26.Qc4 Qxd5 27.Qxd5 Nxd5 28.Rd1 Nf4 29.Nc5, and White is out of danger.

25.f3 Ne5 26.Qb4 Nd3

There was yet another way to draw: 26...Qg5 27.fxe4 Qe3+ 28.Rf2 Qc1+; and the variant 26...Re2 27.Qxd4 Qf6 28.Qd1 Rxa2 29.Nc3 Qb6+ 30.Kh1 hardly would be convenient for Kasparov.

27.Qc4 Ne5 28.Qb4 Nd3 29.Qc4 Draw.

Then Alexander made a laborious draw with Leko, and things went better, sometimes even draws make one more confident. It is very difficult to win in such tournaments, chiefly because one succeeds not often in getting an advantage from the opening. It was in the eighth round tat Alexander won at the first time. We managed to prepare well, and the iron Hungarian was broken. This win let Alexander shoot ahead into third place, yet then the defeat from the demoralised Anand spoiled the final result.

The elite and “mere mortals”, their similarity and their differences. This subject has become very popular in the chess press since the World Championship in Las Vegas. It was interesting for me as a professional to compare “high” and “ordinary” chess. The first thing to catch my eye was the speed and confidence at taking decisions. In the elite chess there are no or very few creation torments, horrible time troubles and, as a consequence, unpredictable results which are so usual for Swiss tournaments. In ten rounds I saw only several hard time troubles, two of them by Khalifman and Shirov who are not permanent participants in the tournaments of highest categories. The speed of play in technical positions strikes, too. This feature is most prominent by Anand, it takes usually just a few minutes from the Indian grandmaster to make a draw in a position that is slightly worse, yet strategically simple. The appearance is that he even need not to think, his hand doing everything itself. Still, such speed has its faults. Not infrequently one takes a superficial decision at a moment when it would be helpful to think a while.

Kasparov expressed in the press that he had had a big advantage in the endgame of his second game with Khalifman but played inaccurately, which had saved Alexander. I was in the hall at the moment when Kasparov had the “big advantage” and thirty minutes on hand. He did not consider long no one of his moves, performing with defiant confidence. As a result, Kasparov did not manage to create any serious problems, and the game ended with a draw. An episode from the game Kramnik - Khalifman is characteristic, too. White gained a considerable advantage in the opening, and the game proceeded to a rook endgame with an extra pawn by Kramnik. To defend such a position is very unpleasant, but Vladimir made a mistake, and Alexander achieved a draw rather easily. Of course I don't mean that Kasparov or Kramnik have technique problems, the examples should only provide an illustration on how our merits transform into our faults.

The elite chess players calculate far and very quickly. I watched the game Kramnik - Kasparov, and the calculation speed was most striking for me. In a position when every move could prove to be a critical mistake they spent not more than 20-30 seconds for a move. There was no time trouble yet, but every one of them wanted to avoid it very much not to give an extra winning chance to his opponent. A draw, as a result. The analysis has proved that both played that part of the game without mistakes.

Another example is from the game

V.Anand - A.Khalifman

White has a won position, but he has to play accurately. Anand had some ten minutes left, yet he spent not more than two for his next move. My computer has found this move even faster, but it is a machine, not to be compared.

37.Bh7!

In the press-centre only 37.Be4 Qxe4 38.Qxe4 Bxe4 39.Kxg4 Bxc2 40.Rc3 with an advantage in the endgame was regarded.

37...Qd1 38.Kxg4 Rd2 39.Kg5 Bxf3 40.Bd3 Rg2+ 41.Kf6 a6 42.Rb1 Black resigned.

The next impressive thing is the practicality of play. When there is a choice among several continuations, the decision is taken considering the left time and the personality of the opponent. Sometimes this approach is to the detriment of quality, but nobody acts according to the Olympic Creed “the essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well” in super tournaments. Such a manner allows to score very high, which can be seen especially clearly when elite players meet with ordinary chess players. The last example in this respect is the play of Pyotr Svidler in the Russia Team Championship in Smolensk. His hard, practical approach, his play without time troubles set up very heavy conditions for his opponents, and mostly they broke down under his pressure.

A strong modern professional has to be a user of a pretty decent computer. We have not placed pieces on the chess board for the two weeks of the tournament. We had information in abundance, and there was simply no time to study all tactical nuances. I suppose that other participants of the event preferred an electronic version of chess as well.

Continual work with computer influences style and chess ideology of a professional. Specific variants come to the fore, a tendency to forced play can be traced. Probably this accounts for the opening repertoire of leading chess players. Both the Gruenfeld Defence and the Petroff Defence are very concrete openings. You are unable to gain an advantage in such structures, unless you do command specific knowledge of it. Preparing for the game with Leko we found out that his last defeat in the Gruenfeld Defence he had suffered in the year 1996. This is an amazing result that has become possible owing to many months of work with an “iron friend” only.

In this survey I did not concentrate on the opening revelations of the participants deliberately. This is too broad a subject, besides, it requires another genre. Below there are texts of most brilliant games, nearly each of them with a new opening idea. One can find them commented thoroughly on the Internet.

V.Anand - A.Shirov [C42]
Round 3

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.O-O O-O 8.c4 c6 9.cxd5 cxd5 10.Nc3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Bg4 12.Rb1 Nd7 13.h3 Bh5 14.Rb5 Nb6 15.c4 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 dxc4 17.Bc2 Qd7 18.a4 g6 19.Be3 Rac8 20.Rfb1 c3 21.a5 Nc4 22.Rxb7 Qe6 23.Ra1N [23.Rc1] 23...Bb8 24.Bb3 Qd6 25.g3 Nxe3 26.Bxf7+ Kh8 27.Qxe3 Qf6 28.Be6 Rce8 29.d5 Be5 30.Ra2? [30.Rb4] 30...Bd4 31.Qe1? [31.Qe2? Qxf2+ 32.Qxf2 Rxf2 33.Rxf2 Rf8; 31.Qf4; 31.Qh6; 31.Qd3] 31...Qf3 32.Kh2 Qxd5 33.Bxd5 Rxe1 34.Kg2 Bxf2 35.Rf7 Rxf7 36.Bxf7 Bc5 37.Bb3 Kg7 38.Rc2 Bd4 39.a6 Kf6 40.Ra2 Ke5 41.h4 Ke4 0-1

V.Anand - G.Kasparov [B92]
Round 4

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.O-O Be6 9.f4 Qc7 10.Nd5 Bxd5 11.exd5 Nbd7 12.c4 O-O 13.Kh1 Rfe8 14.Be3 exf4 15.Bxf4 Bf8 16.Rc1 Qb6 17.Rc2N [17.Bd3] 17...g6 18.Bf3 Rac8 19.Nc1 Ne5 20.b3 h5! 21.h3?! [21.Re2] 21...Bg7 22.Ne2 Nxf3 23.gxf3?! [23.Rxf3] 23...Qc5 24.Rc1 b5 25.Qd2 bxc4 26.bxc4 h4! 27.Bg5 Nh5 28.Bxh4 Rb8! 29.Ng1 Rb2 30.Rc2 Qxc4! 31.Rxc4 Rxd2 32.f4 Rxd5 0-1

V.Kramnik - A.Shirov [D17]
Round 5

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 c6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.f3 Bb4 8.e4 Bxe4 9.fxe4 Nxe4 10.Bd2 Qxd4 11.Nxe4 Qxe4+ 12.Qe2 Bxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Qd5+ 14.Kc2 Na6 15.Nxc4 b5 16.axb5 Nb4+ 17.Kc3 cxb5 18.Rd1 Qc5 19.Qe5 Nd5+ 20.Rxd5 b4+N [20...Qxd5] 21.Kb3 Qxd5 22.Be2! O-O 23.Qxd5!± exd5 24.Na5 Rfe8 25.Bf3 Rac8 26.Rd1 Re3+ 27.Ka4 b3 28.Rxd5 g6 29.Rd7 Rc2 30.Ka3 Kg7 31.Rxa7 h5 32.h3 h4 33.Rb7 Rc5 34.Kb4 Rf5 35.Rc7 g5 36.Nxb3 Rf4+ 37.Rc4 Rxc4+ 38.Kxc4 f5 39.Nd4 Kf6 40.b4 Re1 41.b5 Ke5 42.Nc6+ Kd6 43.b6 Rc1+ 44.Kb5 g4 45.b7 Rb1+ 46.Nb4 Kc7 47.hxg4 fxg4 48.Be4 1-0

G. Kasparov - A. Khalifman [C17]
Round 7

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Ba5 6.Bd2 Nc6 7.Qg4N Kf8! 8.dxc5 Nxe5 9.Qg3 Ng6 10.O-O-O Nf6 11.f3 Bd7 12.Nge2 Bc7 13.Qf2 b6 [13...h5] 14.Be3 Ne7 15.g4 bxc5 16.Bxc5 Bb6 17.h4 Bxc5 18.Qxc5 Qb6 19.Qxb6 axb6 20.Bh3˛ Ne8 21.f4 h5 22.g5 g6 23.Nd4 Kg7 24.Nf3 Nc7 25.Ne5 Rhd8 26.Ne2 Nc6 27.Nd4 Nxd4 28.Rxd4 Be8 29.Rhd1 [29.Bf1!?] 29...Rdc8 30.Bf1 Kf8 31.Rb4 b5 32.Rbd4 Na6 33.Bd3 Nc5 34.Kd2 Nb7 35.Ra1 Ra7 36.Re1 Nd6 37.c3 Nc4+ 38.Kc1 Na5 39.Bc2 Nc6 40.Nxc6 Bxc6 41.Kd2 Bd7 42.Rb4 Rca8 43.Bd3 Ra5 44.Re3 [44.Ke3 Ke7 45.Kd4 Kd6=] 44...Bc6 45.Rd4 Bd7 46.Rb4 Bc6 47.Bc2 Bd7 48.Bb3 Bc6 49.Rd4 R5a7 50.Bc2 Bd7 51.Bd1 Bc6 52.Bf3 Ra4 53.Bd1 R4a7 54.Bb3 Ra5 55.Re5 Rd8 Draw

V.Kramnik - G.Kasparov [A30]
Round 8

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.g3 d5 4.d4 dxc4 5.Qa4+N Bd7 6.Qxc4 Bc6 7.dxc5 Bd5 8.Qa4+ Bc6 9.Qc4 Bd5 10.Qc2 e6 11.Bg2 Be4 12.Qc4 Bd5 13.Qh4 Bxc5 14.Nc3 Bc6 15.O-O Be7?! [15...Nbd7] 16.Rd1 Qa5 17.Bd2 Nbd7 18.g4!? h6 19.Qg3 Qa6 20.h4 Qc4 21.Bf4 Qb4 [21...g5!?] 22.a3 Qxb2 23.Nd4 g5 24.Nxc6 gxf4 25.Qd3 bxc6 26.Bxc6 O-O 27.Bxa8 Ne5 28.Qd4 Rxa8 29.Qxe5 Rc8 30.Rac1 Nd5 31.Nxd5= Qxe5 32.Nxe7+ Kg7 33.Rxc8 Qxe2 34.Rg8+ Kf6 35.Rd7 Qe1+ 36.Kg2 Qe4+ 37.Kh2 Qc2 38.Kg2 Qe4+ 39.Kh2 Qc2 40.g5+ hxg5 41.Rxg5 Qxf2+ Draw























 
"In chess, as it is played by masters, chance is practically eliminated."

-Emanuel Lasker, "Brettspiele der Volker", 1930






"Chess and theatre often lead to madness."

Arrabal, "Sur Fischer", 1974













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