Kasparov, Gary (2847) - Ponomariov, Ruslan (2734)
Ciudad de Linares (Linares, Spain), 02/27/2003
Round 5 [Khalifman,A]
Although both players seem to be in rather poor shape by now, this is, of course, the
game of this round. Considering the future match Kasparov-Ponomariov, this mini-match is very important
for both grandmasters. To make it even more tense, for both it might be the critical moment of the entire
tournament. In my opinion, Kasparov is now in "MUST-WIN" situation and will try to destroy his opponent
with 1.e4! right from the beginning. Ponomariov, by the way, needs to save this game if he still hopes
to recover after the dreadul start. We wouldn't foresee his choice of the opening - most probably he
will not "Berlin sufferings" from his Round 1 game.
1. Nf3 Surprise, surprise! However, it's a result of serious preparation.
1. ... Nf6 2. d4 e6 3. g3 b6 So Queen's Indian. It was included into Ruslan's opening repertoire not so long ago and I don't have a feeling that he treats this complex opening perfectly.
4. Bg2 Bb7 5. c4 Be7 6. Nc3 Ne4 7. Bd2 Bf6 8.
10. cxd5 exd5 11. Bf4 Nxc3 12. bxc3 Played only once by GM Kochiev. 12.Rxc3 has some positional values as well but pawn capture can't be wrong either.
12. ... Na6?! Now it's completely unexplored. 12...c5 was tried before. White is definitely slightly better due to his domination in the center but Black's position is a tough nut to crack. 13.Ne5 looks like the most natural choice now.
13. e4!? Very entertaining and maybe the best. White is trying to use some discoordination by Black pieces.
[13. e4 dxe4 14. Nd2
(14. ... Bg5 15. Bxg5
Qxg5 16. Nxe4 doesn't
look like a real alternative.)
15. Re1 g5 is
one critical line but most probably too provocative...
13. ... dxe4 14. Nd2 Right
now it looks like Big Bad Garry is back! 13.e4! was a great move and now Ruslan will meet hard times...
[14. Nd2 Re8 15. Re1
Bg5 16. Bxg5
Qxg5 17. Nxe4]
14. ... g5?! Wow! Too good to be
[14. ... g5 15. Nxe4
(15. Be3!? might be more Kasparovian
15. ... Re8 16. Re1)
15. ... Bxe4 16. Bxe4
gxf4 17. Qh5
Re8 18. Qxh7+
Kf8 19. Bb7
c5 20. Bxa6
cxd4 21. Rfd1 is
rather forced and also hard to survive for Black]
15. Be3 Exactly what I said! Maybe
not objectively the best but he wants blood!!! No dull technical ending. What to say - bravo!
[15. Be3 Re8 16. f3!? This
straightforward move might be good and also looks like Garry's choice
16. ... exf3 17. Bxf3 Bd5 18. Bxd5 Qxd5 19. Rxf6 Rxe3 20. Qg4]
15. ... Re8 16. f4!? Still
the same. Now it's hard to find something wiser than 16...exf3 what is not so promising for Black - see
16. ... exf3 17. Bxf3
[17. Bxf3 Bd5 the
18. Bxd5 Qxd5 19. Rxf6 Rxe3 20. Qg4 Rae8 21. Rf5 Qe6 22. Qxg5+ Qg6 23. Nc4 with big advantage for White
23. ... Re1+ 24. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 25. Kf2 Re6 26. Qd8+ Kg7 27. g4 Qh6 28. h4! This must be a killer - I wouldn't recommend to play position like this against any silicon monster...
(28. Ne5 Oh, damned FRITZ! Would
garry be able to find it?)]
17. ... Bd5 18. Bxd5
Qxd5 19. Rxf6
Rxe3 20. Qg4 By
now everything as predicted...
20. ... Re6 This is no t what was exactly expected. But not by Garry - he reacted in a moment.
21. Rf5 21.c4 was just another line to examine
[21. Rf5 Qc6 is
more human - White is better but not winning yet or...
(21. ... Qxa2 22. Qxg5+ (22. Ne4!? might
be promising either) 22. ... Rg6 23. Qf4 -
poor Ruslan - no human (or probably even JUNIOR?!) can stand Kasparov in position like this))]
21. ... Qc6
[21. ... Qc6 22. Rcf1! is
a typical Kasparov and Black might be gone]
22. Qxg5+ Still 22.Rcf1! could
be even better - however, Kasparov's position is just too good.
22. ... Rg6 23. Qh5 Rf8 24. Nf3 What is the guy doing on a6? Does Garry have enough time? Even more interesting question.
[24. Nf3 f6!? ]
24. ... f6!? 25. Nh4
[25. ... Rg7 26. Rf3! multi-purposed
move - White must be decisively better]
26. Qh6 White has many ways to
prepare the decisive attack - his positional advantage is just too big. Only miracle can save Ruslan
26. ... Nb8 Poor knight - Black's novelty on move 12 can't be recommended anymore. By the way, Garry seems to be very-very short of time...
[26. ... Nb8 27. Rf3!]
27. Rh5 f5 desperatel
y trying to exchange some material - but the ending seems to be just dead lost.
28. Qf4 Well, Garry didn't like it - he's still going for k.o. win!
28. ... Qe4 29. Rf1 So Ruslan finally succeeded... just to exchange queens!
29. ... Qxf4 30. Rxf4 Rg4 31. Rfxf5 Well, I can't imagine this ending can be saved - even in Garry's time-trouble.
31. ... Nd7 32. Rxf8+ Nxf8 33. Kf2 Nd7 34. Nf5 Kh8 35. Kf3 Rg8 36. Rh6 Rf8 37. g4 Nf6 38. c4 Kg8 39. Kf4 Rf7 40. g5 Ne8 The time-trouble phase is over - and after 41.Ke5 Black can just resign.
[40. ... Ne8 41. Ke5]
41. Ke5 Everybody knows thanPonomariov
usually resists till the very end - but this is the very end!
41. ... Rd7 What about 42.Ke6 now?
42. Ke6 Rf7 43. Rf6! Game over! So Garry is back in business - even when he's still at 50%; Ruslan is most probably out - his aim s now to avoid being the last.
43. ... Nxf6
[43. ... Nxf6 44. gxf6]