Feb 22, 2001

Round 7

Kasparov - Leko [D97]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 d5 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 a6 8. Qb3

The 13th World Champion acted differently this year when he played a game with the normal time control against the same opponent. After 8. Be2 b5 9. Qb3 c5 10. dxc5 Bb7 11. O-O Nxe4 12. Nxe4 Bxe4 13. Bg5 Nc6 14. Qe3 Qd5 15. Rad1 Qe6 16. Bh6 Bf5 Black managed to keep the balance in the game Kasparov - Leko (Linares, 2000). In case of a keen 8. e5 the Hungarian grandmaster did not hurry with the advance 8... b5, preferring the waiting move 8... Nfd7. White’s last move was intended to make Black reveal his plans regarding the pawns on the queenside.

8... c5

Black attempts to destroy White’s centre with this temporary sacrifice of the pawn.

9. dxc5 Qa5

Another opportunity in this line is 9... Nbd7, and in case of 10. Qb4 it can develop as follows: 11... Qc7 11. Na4 a5 12. Qc4 Ne5 13. Nxe5 Qxe5 14. Bd3 Rd8 15. f3 Be6 16. Qc2 Nd5 with an excellent play by Black (H. Wegner - Kasparov, Hamburg (simultan), 1987), but there is also 10. c6 bxc6 11. Be2 leading to a complex struggle with mutual chances.

10. Qb6 Qxb6 11. cxb6 Nbd7 12. Be2 Nxb6 13. Be3 Nbd7 14. Nd4

In the game Timoshchenko - Yermolinsky (Sverdlovsk, 1987) 14. h3 was played, and after 14... b5 15. e5 Ne8 16. Bg5 f6 17. exf6 Nexf6 18. O-O the opponents declared piece. The move that Kasparov did in the game is much more aggressive. In case of an advance b7-b5 White can try to profit by the temporary weakening of the square c6.

14... Nc5

In case of an immediate 14... e5 Black probably did not want 15. Nb3, but it might be worth checking White’s plan thoroughly. The point is that after 14... b5 15. Nc6 Bb7 16. Nxe7+ Kh8 Black could get a nice compensation for the sacrificed pawn.

15. f3 e5

16. Nc6

Now Black has to play having three pawn islets against two by White. This fact defines certain advantage by Kasparov.

16... bxc6 17. Bxc5 Rd8 18. Kf2 Be6 19. Rhd1 Nd7 20. Be3 Bf8 21. Rd2 f5 22. Rad1 Be7

After a careless 22... f4? Black could get into serious troubles: 23. Bb6! Rdb8 24. Bc7 Rb7 25. Rxd7 Raa7 (there is no 25... Bxd7 26. Rxd7 Raa7 because of 27. Bc4+ Kh8 28. Bxe5+) 26. R7d6! with White’s material advantage. After the move in the game the threat of an advance of the f-pawn becomes quite real, so that White takes the necessary steps.

23. g3 Kf7 24. b3 a5 25. Rc2 Nf6 26. Rxd8 Rxd8 27. exf5 gxf5 28. Na4 Bd5

Black still has to content himself with a passive defence. An active 28... Nd5 is bad because of 29. Rxc6 Nb4 30. Rc7.

29. Bb6 Ra8 30. Bc5

White acts very competently as he frees the blocking square c5 from the influence of his opponent’s dark-squared bishop before putting his knight there.

30... Nd7 31. Bxe7 Kxe7 32. Ke3 Kd6

The black king managed to come and replace the bishop in the struggle for the strategically important square.

33. Bd3?!

It was necessary to restrict the mobility of the black pawns in the centre with 33. f4.

33... f4+!

Black does not miss his chance and begins the counterattack while the white knight is far from the centre of the battle.

34. gxf4

After 34. Kf2 fxg3+ 35. hxg3 Rf8 Black would have an excellent play.

34... exf4+ 35. Kxf4 Rf8+ 36. Kg5

White decides to send his king under blows of the black pieces in order to decrease the amount of pawns on the board. In case of 36. Ke3 Rxf3+ 37. Kd2 (a similar situation would arise after 37. Kd4 c5+ 38. Kc3 Ne5 too) 37... Rh3 38. Kc3 Ne5 white pieces would be horribly bound.

36... Ne5 37. Bxh7

In case of 37. Be4 Nxf3+ 38. Bxf3 Rxf3 39. Nc5 Ke5 the activity of the black pieces could grow considerably.

37... Nxf3+ 38. Kh6 Rf4 39. Re2?

It looks as if White forgot about his knight that stands far from the main struggling area. After 39. Nc3 Rh4+ 40. Kg7 Nd4 41. Rf2 Ne6+ 42. Kg8 or 42. Kg6 Black would have no decisive blow.

39... Rh4+ 40. Kg7

The only opportunity. If 40. Kg6??, then 40... Be4+ wins.

40... Nxh2?!

Black has just overlooked an opportunity to end the game in his favour immediately. The not very complex line 40... Nd4 41. Rd2 Ne6+ 42. Kg8 (42. Kg6 Nf8+) 42... Ng5+ would make White to resign.

41. Nc3 Nf3 42. Ne4+ Kc7 43. Nf6 Nd4 44. Nxd5+

Being in a hardest time trouble Kasparov attempts to simplify the position and gives his opponent an additional trump of the passed d-pawn. The position after 44. Rd2 Ne6+ 45. Kg8 Kd6 or 44. Re1 Kd6 (also 44... Rh2 is possible) looks dangerous for White.

44... cxd5 45. Rd2?!

This is too passive. White could attempt to extinguish Black’s activity having gained the rear of the enemy with his rook: 45. Re8.

45... Kd6 46. Bd3?

Losing at once. After 46. Bg8 Ke5 a hard draw still could be achieved as there would be time to do it.

46... Ne6+ 47. Kf6 Rf4+! 0-1

White resigned. If 48. Bf5, then the solution is 48... Nd4, and if 48. Kg6, then 48... Rd4 49. Rd1 Nf4+.

Anand - Morozevich [C11]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Nce2 c5 6. c3 Nc6

Another popular continuation 6... cxd4 7. cxd4 f6 was tested not long ago in the game J. Polgar - G. Hernandez (Merida, 2000).

7. f4 b5 8. a3 c4

Black pays no attention to the fundamental white pawn d4. After 8... cxd4 9. Nxd4 Nxd4 10. cxd4 b4 11. a4 Qa5 12. Bd2 Be7 13. Nf3 O-O 14. Bb5 Nb6 15. b3 White got a certain advantage in the game Anand - Shirov (Leon, 2000).

9. Nf3 Nb6 10. g4

White gives a demonstration of his aggressive intentions on the kingside. After the academic 10. g3 there was a long struggle in the game T. Karlsson - G. Hedin (Ronneby, 1998).

10... f5

Black strikes a counter-blow on the kingside not waiting for White to prepare the advance f4-f5.

11. gxf5 exf5 12. Bg2 Be7 13. O-O h6 14. Rf2!

V. Anand prevents in time a possible counterplay of his opponent and wants to change places of his rook and light-squared bishop.

15... Be6 15. Bf1 g5

It looks as if White has failed to perform his plan in ful, but he has still some arguments on hand.

16. fxg5 hxg5

17. h4!

Sacrificing the pawn, White destroys the even row of the black pawns on the fifth horizontal.

17... g4?

Giving White an excellent supporting square g5. Black should have ventured on 17... gxh4 18. Nf4 Qd7 19. Bh3, though a possible castling on the queenside looks dangerous because too many important black pieces would stand on the dubious diagonal h3-c8 then.

18. Ng5 Bc8 19. Rh2 a5

It’s hard to advise anything to Black. For instance, an attempt to gain by an exchange with 19... Na5 20. Be3 Nb3 21. Rb1 f4 22. Bxf4 Bf5 would then give an overwhelming advantage to White after 23. Ng3 Bxb1 24. Qxb1.

20. Ng3 Ra6 21. Be3 Na4 22. Qc2 Rf8 23. Rf2 Qd7 24. e6 1-0 Black resigned.

Kramnik-Shirov [D46]

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 c6 3. c4 Nf6 4. e3 e6

Black ignores the opportunity to play 4... Bf5.

5. Bd3 Nbd7 6. O-O Bd6 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Qc2

With a slightly different order of moves White reduces the game to the Anti-Meran Variation. He probably did not want to begin a theoretical dispute after 8. e4 dxc4 9. Bxc4 e5.

8... e5

A small surprise. A. Shirov is known as a certain adherent of the continuation 8... dxc4.

9. cxd5 cxd5 10. e4 dxe4

Another opportunity 10... exd4 11. Nxd5 Nxd5 12. exd5 is now out of fashion.

11. Nxe4 Nxe4 12. Bxe4 h6 13. Be3 exd4 14. Bh7+ 14... Kh8 15. Bxd4 Nf6 16. Bf5 Qa5

In the game Karpov - Kramnik (Vienna, 1996) White managed to achieve gradually his slight advantage after 16... Bxf5 17. Qxf5 Qc8 18. Qb5 (18. Nh4 is not bad too) 18... a6 19. Qb6 Qc7 20. Qxc7 Bxc7 21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. Rfe1 Rfe8 23. Rad1.

17. Bxc8 Rfxc8 18. Qb3 Qd5

19. Bxf6

It’s strange that V. Kramnik did not want to find out what his opponent had for 19. Rfd1!. In the game Solozhenkin - Tella (Jyvaskyla, 1998) Black encountered certain problems after 19... Qxb3 20. axb3 Ne4 21. Rxa7 Rxa7 22. Bxa7 Rc2 23. Bd4.

19... Qxb3 20. axb3

After 20. Bxg7+ Kxg7 21. axb3 Be7 draws were achieved in the games Bareev - Dreev (Elista, 1998) and Timoscenko - Ortega (Cutro, 2000).

20... gxf6 21. Rfd1 Rd8 22. g3 Bc5 23. Kg2 Bb6 24. Rac1 Rxd1 25. Rxd1 Rc8 26. Rd2 Rc5 27. Nh4 h5 28. f4 Rb5 29. Rd3 Rc5 30. Rd2 Rb5 31. Rd3 Rc5 1/2-1/2


"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

Back to Top | Home Page
© 2000 GMChess. All rights reserved.
About | Our Policies | E-Mail | Site Map