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  Linares, 2005  


  Super GM Tournament / Linares, 2005   

(February 28th, 2005) Linares has begun and is off to a fast start. I have watched a few of the games on the 'net, the games have all been very exciting. (Although some of the drama and tension of last year is not present, as the current World Champion {V. Kramnik} is absent.) Yet it is always a "must-see" event. 

In the annual super chess tournament, that is often referred to as, "The Wimbledon of Chess," Garry Kasparov has been very unlucky ... yet is still in first place! (As of this writing.) Garry drew Anand today, yet with a little luck, he could easily have 4.5 out of a possible five points. However, he still has 3.5 out of five, and is the clear leader. His draw with Anand was probably the only game where he did not have a chance for victory. In Round Five, he won a nice game against GM Michael Adams. (More to follow!)  

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Click  HERE  to see my annotations of the Kasimdzhanov - Kasparov game.

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Wednesday; March 02, 2005:  (After seven of fourteen scheduled rounds.) 
At the half-way mark, Kasparov is still in the lead. (All the games today were drawn.)

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Linares - Round Nine, (# 09): The world's #1 player, GM Garry Kasparov unleashed a powerful exchange sacrifice, (TN?) to defeat the {current} FIDE World Champion, GM R. Kasimdzhanov. Topalov could not defeat Anand, but made a gallant effort, keeping Anand under pressure for 69 moves before agreeing to split the point. Adams sacrificed a piece against Leko, but this messy affair ended in a perpetual check. It was an exciting round, and a lot of fun for spectators and all the kibitzers on the Internet. (Click here to read the full CB story.)  With only five games left to play, Kasparov still leads with a score of "plus three." (+3)  Anand and Topalov are at "plus one," (striking distance?); and while it seems that Garry is running away from the field, virtually anything could happen! Will Anand make his move? (Stay tuned.)  

Linares - Round Ten, (# 10):  GM Garry Kasparov - The raging BULL?    
Well ... not quite. However, this does look more and more like the Kasparov of old. Garry outplayed Vallejo-Pons ... as White, from a very simple Semi-Slav  ...  and then won a tricky Q+P endgame today. In the other games, Peter Leko played an unusual line of the Sveshnikov Sicilian, and equalized fairly easy against Vishy Anand. (draw)  Michael Adams won a Pawn - after playing an "Anti-Marshall" line against R. Kasimdzhanov's handling of the Ruy Lopez. Maybe the Englishman missed chances to convert, or maybe The FIDE Champ decided he wasn't going to lose two days in a row! Whatever happened in this game, a draw was conclusion; but only after "Mikey" went over sixty moves and was convinced that Black could hold his position. Good chess! (The full CB story.)  

(I apologize - I had no coverage for Round Eleven ... ... ...  
 however you can click
here to read the CB report.) 

Linares - Round Twelve, (# 12):  Garry - the runaway freight train - continued to leave nothing but destruction in his path. Kasparov had Black against GM Michael Adams ... and before the game began, many of the pundits were predicting a quick draw. Garry had other ideas, defeating Adams in near record time. Topalov downed Kasimdzhanov in a fierce battle, while Anand was extremely lucky not to lose (with the White pieces!) to GM F. Vallejo Pons. Another exciting day, the chess just gets better and better!! (Leko had the bye.)  (The CB story.)  

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Linares - Round Thirteen, (# 13)Jeepers, creepers!!  I remember the other day - I think it was right after Kasparov defeated Adams - a GM told me that Linares was a lock for Garry, "a done deal." Well ... hold onto your horses!! As the great Yogi Berra once observed ... "it ain't over until its over!" That is quite correct, even here! 

While everyone has been so completely focused on Garry, another player has just been ... "doing his thing." Quietly, and almost without any fanfare. Yesterday, he defeated Kasimdzhanov with the White pieces - in a fairly interesting game, and today he managed to win with the Black pieces against the normally solid Vallejo-Pons. 

What this means is that now we have a last-round showdown between Topalov, who will enjoy the advantage of the first move, and Garry Kasparov. And  IF  Topalov should win, he will tie for first ... and probably even win the title on tie-breaks!! So while all the pundits were saying that this tournament was ... "turning into a bore," the drama is certainly not over. So one player has managed to sneak within striking distance of Garry. And a friend e-mailed me to say that there is a rumor of a special prize for decisive last-round games ... who knows? Maybe this will encourage Leko to do something other than draw! And Anand faces Adams ... both players may want to win - in order to gain a higher place on the final crosstable. (At least I certainly hope so!) 

In the other games on Wednesday, Garry made a fairly easy draw against Anand in only 22 moves, and Leko drew yet another game ... this time against a tired-looking R. Kasimdzhanov. (GM M. Adams had the day off.)  

You should definitely tune in tomorrow ... it could be a very exciting day!  

   [The CB story.]       [The official website.]       [The LCC/TWIC story.]  

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Linares - Round Fourteen, (# 14)1215 hours CDT.  Temporary report - Garry lost!!!
Kasparov went into a K+P ending ... apparently thinking he would be able to hold it without any problems, however such was not the case ... he tendered his resignation around move thirty. 

As I write this, Adams might be winning against Anand with the Black pieces, although it could be a draw as well. And Leko seems determined to win his game - as White he appears to be solidly better. (Both of these last two games are continuing as I write this report.) The full story later!  

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Linares - Round Fourteen, (# 14):  Garry Kasparov lost with the Black pieces to Veselin Topalov, won Linares (on tiebreak) ... and then immediately announced his retirement!!!!!!!!! To say that this is stunning news ... would probably be the understatement of the century! I have a very difficult time imagining chess this way. (w/o Garry) 

Topalov played a silly, rather tame variation of the Sicilian, and Garry basically beat himself (IMOHO) with a completely unnecessary Pawn sacrifice. Adams defeated Anand with the Black pieces, while Leko played nearly 70 moves, but could only draw against a stout defense by Vallejo Pons. Anand finished third, Leko fourth, and Adams fifth. All told, the last week of this tournament was probably the most exciting!  [more]  

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[ Official web site ]   [ Final CB story ]   [ Current LCC story ]   [ TWIC coverage ]  


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