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   Throw theory into the trash can!  

When I saw this game, I knew I should annotate it for my web pages, even though I have many other projects that are waiting in the wings. However, it is one of the most astounding and important theoretical discoveries of recent memory. It is also an exceptional contest!! (It is not often that I have witnessed such an important game of chess, the magnitude of the TN cannot be overstated.)  

I have a brand new book on the Slav, it was copyrighted about 2 years ago ... so it is safe to assume that it is relatively current theory. The author of that book spends an entire {pretty thick} chapter studying and analyzing the "Reynolds Attack," and comes to the conclusion that it is quite favorable for White. However, in lieu of this game, I could probably toss that book out the window! Garry Kasparov has done it yet again!!!  

Click  here  to see an explanation of all the symbols that I commonly use when annotating a game.   

Click  here  to  re-play  this game ... on another server.   (NOT MY SITE!!! Please don't write me about the content.)  

  GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2678) - GM Garry Kasparov (2804)  
XXII Super-GM Tournament  (XXII Torneo Ciudad de Linares)  
 Linares, ESP; (Round # 09), 04,03,2005.  

 [A.J. Goldsby I] 

kas-kasp_lin05-medal.gif, 02 KB

Kasparov devastates the current FIDE Champion ... they will be talking about this game for a very long time! (This might also be the most important theoretical discovery of the last 10-15 years, it will drastically alter the whole assessment of this entire sub-system.) 

I also watched this game 'live' via the Internet, it was truly a treat to behold!!  


 1.d4 d5;  2.c4 c6;  3.Nc3 Nf6;  4.e3 e6;  
Super solid play - so far.  
(This is a double-QP opening ... and we are headed for the very popular "Semi-Slav.") 

 5.Nf3 Nbd7;  6.Bd3,  
The Meran System.  

     [ As White, Garry likes the following line from here:  
          6.Qc2!? Bd67.g4!  "/\"  {Diagram?}    

       (Reference the Kasparov vs. Deep Junior match, see my website about this event:  
         "The Human's Home Page," A.J. on chess, computers and a lot of other stuff.)  

       It would have been interesting to see just how Kasparov would have  
        defended his favorite line ... but from the opposite side of the board. ]   


The next series of moves is pretty much all 'book' here.  
 6...dxc4;  7.Bxc4 b5;  8.Bd3 Bb7;  9.0-0 a6;  10.e4 c5;  11.d5, "+/="  
This is called ... "The Reynolds Variation," and is one of the most crucial and hotly  
debated lines in modern theory.  

[ See MCO-14, page # 461; columns 13-18, and all notes. ]   

     [ White can also play:  11.e5 cxd412.Nxb5!{Diagram?}  
         with incredible complications.  

        [ See MCO-14, page # 459; for more information on this line.  
          {All columns and all notes.} ] ]   


We continue to follow a known path from this position. 
(White can play Ng5 or Nd4 on his fourteenth turn, and I doubt if it makes any real difference.)  
 11...Qc7;  12.dxe6 fxe6;  13.Bc2 c4;     
A good place to stop and try to assess this position. Who is better, and why? Will Black's weak KP play a significant role? Or is the fact that Black has gobbled up a great deal of Queen-side space ... the most important factor? (Both sides have open lines, as this game clearly shows, the half-open f-file is crucial for Black's play.)  

A good discussion of this position ... and a very deep analysis of all the key lines ...  
can be found in GM Peter Wells's excellent book. 
[ See "The Complete Semi-Slav."  (1994)  Chapter # 14, page # 136. ]  


 14.Nd4!?,  (hmmm)   
One of the more commonly played lines in tournaments today. 
(For whatever reason or reasons, this move today is seen to be preferable to playing this piece to g5.)  

     [ White can also play:  14.Ng5 Nc515.e5!? Qxe516.Re1 Qd6;  
        17.Qxd6 Bxd618.Be3 0-0!?19.Rad1,  "+/="  {Diagram?}   
         White has a small, but clear edge. 
         (At least according to standard opening theory ... from this position.)  

        See the GM contest:   
        Anatoly Karpov (2740) - Vladimir Kramnik (2710); 
        ICT / Super-GM (Round 12) / Linares, ESP; 1994.   
        (1-0, 40 moves.) {White won a convincing game.}  


             ( One of the most popular of all the reference books, provides us with    
                the following interesting line - after Rad1 here:    
                19...Be7!; {Diagram?}  The end of the column.  

                20.Bxc5 Bxc5;  21.Nxe6 Rfc8;  22.h3!? Rab8!?;  23.Nxc5!?,    
                23...Rxc5;  24.Re6!? b4;  25.Na4 Rg5; "~"  {Diagram?}     
                MCO calls this equal, I prefer to say it is unclear, Fritz 8.0 allows     
                Black a slight edge here.    

                GM Vladimir Kramnik (2725) - GM Alexei Shirov (2740); [D48]     
                ICT / Super-Masters (Round # 2) / Novgorod, RUS; 1994. (1/2-1/2)    
                {The game was drawn in 30 moves.}    
                (I think I remember seeing this game annotated in the "Inside Chess" magazine.)    

                 [ See MCO-14, page # 464; column # 23, and also note (q.). ]  )   ]   


I have a CD-ROM on the Semi-Slav. I checked it here - there were over 300 games that   
arose from the current position, although not all of these were master-level contests. 
(Over 100 quality games, when you check the ChessBase server ... using the position   
{above} as the sole search criteria.)  

 15.Be3 e5!;   
At one time ... theory considered this move to be very inaccurate.  
(Of course, this all changes now, especially after just this one game!)  

 16.Nf3,  (hmmm)    
Seemingly - this is the best and the most natural square to retreat this piece to. 
(This is also the square endorsed by modern opening theory.)  

     [ Also possible was:  16.Nf5!?{Diagram?}    
        ---> this move looks reasonable, and the computer likes it ...   
       I am not sure how opening theory would view this move. ]   


 16...Be7;  17.Ng5 0-0!!;  (TN)    
"This is Kasparov's novelty, leaving the e6-square open for a fork."  - ChessBase  

Previously - - the move ...h7-h6; was thought to be obligatory here.  (!!!!)  

     [ The 'book' continuation ... at least prior to this game ... was:  
        17...h6!?; (Box?)  18.Bxc5 hxg519.Be3 g420.Qe2,   
        20...0-0-021.a4, "~"  (Maybe "=/+" )  {Diagram?}   
        and according to theory, White was slightly better here.   
        (I do not happen to agree with this particular assessment here!)   

        This was based on the following key master encounter:   
        GM Yuri Kruppa (2572) vs. IM Didier Collas (2430) [D48]   
        ICT / Cappelle Master's Open / Ville de Cappelle-la-Grande,  
        (near Dunkerque) / FRA; 2001. 
        {White won a nice game, 1-0 in just 37 total moves.} ]   


This move obviously "destroys (Black's) defender" ... ... ...  
 of the e6-square.  

     [ Or  18.Qe2!? Qc8;  "="  {Diagram?}  
       but Black has no real problems in the position on the board now. ]  


 18...Bxc5;  19.Ne6;   {See the diagram given - just below.}   
This is obviously a fork of Black's Queen, (and also his Rook as well).  

There was no turning back, as any other continuation was going to be quite favorable for Black.    



kasim-kasp_lin05-pos1.gif, 09 KB



White is winning an exchange with this move ...  
 did Kasparov blunder, or make a miscalculation to arrive at this position? 

     [ (</=) 19.Qe2!? Qe7; "=/+"  ]   


Now several GM's - on one Internet server - were saying that Black should play ...Qc6 here.  
 19...Qb6!;  20.Nxf8 Rxf8;  21.Nd5!?,  (Maybe - '?!')   
A lot of the fish and kibitzers (on one chess server), were clamoring that this was a good   
move for White ... and that now Garry was losing. In actuality, this move might be inaccurate.   

     [ Maybe better was:   21.Qe2, "~"  {Diagram?}   
        or even h3 ... to keep that dangerous Black Knight off the g4-square. ]   


Now Garry gets really nasty.  
 21...Bxd5; ('!')  22.exd5 Bxf2+!;  23.Kh1[],  (hmmm)   
Of course this is completely forced for White here.  

     [ Of course not:  </=  23.Rxf2?  as  23...Ng4!;  will win easily for Black. ("-/+")  
        (QxN/g4?? is easily met by the simple capture of the WR (on f2) by   
          the Black Queen ... followed by a rapid mate.)    

               ( One sample line would be:  23...Ng4;  24.Bxh7+!? Kh8!;     
                  25.Qe1 Nxf2;  26.Qe2 Nd3+;  27.Kh1 Kxh7;  ("-/+")  {D?}    
                  and Black is a piece ahead ... with a relatively easy win. )  ]    


 23...e4!?;  (Maybe - '!')   
At first this move looks to be a careless one ... but Garry has probably worked a lot   
of this out in his home {analysis} lab.  

     [ Also promising was:   
        23...Bd424.Rb1 Qd625.Qf3 g6!; "=/+"  (Maybe - "/+")  {D?}   
        with a clear advantage for Black. ]   


 24.Qe2 e3;  (comp?)   {See the diagram given, just below here.}   
Garry Kasparov's plan for this position has now been revealed.  



kasim-kasp_lin05-pos2.gif, 09 KB



For starters, Black has one Pawn and a minor piece for the exchange. 

With the Black Bishop anchored on f2, and White's d-Pawn looking like ... 
... "a dead man walking,"  it seems that Black's exchange sacrifice has definitely   
worked out well for Garry.  


Seemingly - a very natural move ...  

     [ Or if  25.Bf5 Kh8; "~"  (equal?)  {Diagram?}  
        [If 26.Be6!? then 26...Ne4; and I prefer Black's 
         chances from this position.]  ]   


Now Black could play ...g6 here, which prevents White from playing the maneuver 
of B-to-f5-e6+, etc. (Garry has different ideas, first he improves the position of his    
most powerful piece.)  
 25...Qd6!?;  26.a4!? g6!;   
An excellent move ... for a lot of different reasons. It blocks the White Bishop on the b1-h7   
diagonal, gives the BK  {BK = Black King}  some elbow room, and also prepares ...Nf6-h5.   

 27.axb5 axb5;  28.g3!?,  ('?!')     
In my opinion, this move is bad because it creates a big target.  
(The computer sees a huge advantage for Black - almost no matter what move White plays    
 from this position, so it may not really matter.)  

White obviously wanted to prevent Black from playing ideas like ...Nh5; to be followed by ...Nf4.  

     [ Of if  (>/=)  28.b3,  then just  28...Nh5!; "=/+"  (Or "/+")  {Diag?}  
        and Black has a solid edge.  

     *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***    

         ( March 09, 2005:  Since posting this game on the 'net ... 
           I have already gotten two e-mails about this. So I may as    
           well go ahead and address this issue here. 

           In the variation that I gave - just above here - most programs   
           see a huge, if not a winning edge for Black. I did not deal with 
           this matter thoroughly, as I was trying to get the web page out   
           as quickly as I possible could. 

           After the following moves:  28...Nh529.Qg4[]{Diagram?}   
           This is forced, White must prevent Black from establishing a mating net. 

                ( </= 29.bxc4?! Qf4!!; 30.Qf3 Ng3+!;  31.hxg3 Qh6+;    
  32.Qh5 Qxh5#. )   

           Now Black is winning - White will be forced to exchange Queens.  

           30.Qe6+ Qxe631.dxe6 e2 32.Rdc1 Re833.bxc4 bxc4  
34.Be4 Nf635.Bf3 Rxe6 36.Bxe2 Rxe237.Rxc4 Kg7; "-/+"   
           The endgame books and the boxes all agree that it is a ... 
           "win on technique" for Black.  (A GM might even resign here.)   

           However - and this is the real point - THIS IS STILL MANY TIMES 
)  ]  


Black's next move - which is the natural follow-up to ...P-KN3 - is excellent, and    
basically wins by force for Garry Kasparov.   
 28...Nh5; ('!')   29.Qg4,   {See the diagram given - just below.}    
This move is virtually forced, and it is the first choice of many different computer programs.  
(White had to avoid a fork of his King and Queen after a possible ...Bxg3.)  



kasim-kasp_lin05-pos3.gif, 09 KB



Is White holding the fort here? 
(If not, then how does Black continue from this particular position?)  

     [ Not  29.Rd4!? Qxg3?30.Qxh5!,  as now White is winning!  ("+/-")  
       (29...Bxg3!; won easily for Black.) 


       Of course White could not play b3 here, even though it was recommended  
       by one titled player on ICC.  For example:  29.b3?? Nxg3+!30.hxg3 Qxg3 
       31.Qf1!?(forced?)  {Diagram?}    
       To stop the impending mate (by the Black Queen) on the h3-square.   

            ( >/=  31.Qh5! gxh5; 32.Rg1 Bxg1; 33.Rxg1 Qxg1+; 34.Kxg1 e2; "-/+")     

        31...Qh4+32.Kg2 e2!,  ("-/+")  {Diagram?}    
        (and) not only is Black winning {easily}  ...  the box says that White will be   
        mated in not more than seven moves. ]    


 29...Bxg3!!;  (wow)   {Diagram?}   
Kasparov could win mundanely by playing his Queen to the e5-square. 
However, he decides that he wants to win brilliantly ...  
"and plays to the crowd."  

     [ A quiet method would be:   
        (</=)  29...Qe5!?30.Qe6+ Qxe631.dxe6 e232.Rdc1 Ng7!?  
        33.Be4 Nxe634.Bd5 Kf735.Rc2 e1Q+36.Rxe1 Bxe1 
        37.Re2 Re838.Rxe1 Kf6;  "/+"  (maybe "-/+")  {Diagram?}   
        and Black is a solid Pawn ahead, with the much better position.   
        {A technique win?} ]    


White could now exchange Queens with Qe6+ ... but I am sure that poor Kasimdzhanov 
realized that the ending that arose from such a course of play was completely hopeless.  
 30.hxg3 Nxg3+;  31.Kg2,  ('?')   
This is probably a miscue, but it comes in a position where there is no escape 
for the FIDE Champion.  

     [ Probably White had to play:   
       (>/=)  31.Kg1 e232.Qe6+ {Diagram?}  
       This is obviously forced.  

            ( </=  32.Rdc1? Qc5+;  33.Kg2 Qf2+;  34.Kh3 Nf1;  35.Qe6+ Rf7;      
              36.Rxf1 exf1Q+;  37.Rxf1 Qxf1+;  38.Kg3 Qf2+; 39.Kh3 Qxc2; "-/+" )   

       32...Qxe633.dxe6 exd1Q+34.Bxd1 Kg7;  ("-/+")  {Diagram?}   
       and after White loses his e-Pawn, he will be down three whole points. ]  


The rest is an execution!  
 31...Rf2+;  32.Kh3 Nf5!;    
Now Black threatens mate on h2.
(And also prevents White from playing Qe6+ as well.)  

 33.Rh1,  {Box.}   
Fritz 8.0 indicates that this move is completely forced ... and by a very wide margin.  

     [ After the following moves:   
        </=  33.Ra8+? Kg734.Ra7+!? Kf6!35.Rh1 h5!; ("-/+")  {Diagram?}   
        White will lose the Queen ... or get mated. ]  


 33...h5!?;  (Maybe - '!')   
The White Queen no longer has any good squares to run to here.  

     [ The very simple move of:  (>/=) 33...Rxc2!;  "-/+"  {Diagram?}   
        should also win {handily} for Black. ]  


 34.Qxg6+,  (ugh)   
Believe it or not, this move was forced in this position for White!  


      [ Or   --->  34.Bxf5?! hxg4+;  "-/+"   


        Even worse would have been:   
        </=  34.Qg1? Rf3+35.Kg2 Qg3# ]  



 34...Qxg6;  35.Rhg1 Qxg1;   
This will win the game for Kasparov, however, playing the King to the h7-square might   
have been (just fractionally) better.  

 36.Rxg1+ Kf7;  ("-/+")  White resigns, 0-1.   
(Kasimdzhanov is down two pawns ... and will probably lose his d-pawn as well ...  
  it is completely hopeless.)  

A wonderful game by Garry, he not only prepared extremely well, but he also was   
a very brilliant Field Marshal.  


  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2005. All rights reserved.  


    0 - 1    

     This game - the raw HTML code was  {initially}  generated with the programChessBase 8.0.    

Friday; March 11th, 2005:  Of course when I first annotated this game, I had no real idea that it might be Garry Kasparov's last professional tournament.  [more]  Personally, I hope it does NOT stick, and that Garry gets bored in 2-3 years, ... and stages a comeback. However, if he does not, then Linares, 2005 could be the fitting end to a wonderful and fantastic chess career. 

Tuesday; March 22nd, 2005:  Since annotating this game, I have received at least 30-50 e-mails, and probably a whole lot more. (I got like 10 in one day!) Anyway, most of you have thanked me for analyzing this game.  (Thank you, VERY much! - for all the nice compliments that you have sent in.)  Many of you have written me ... asking <demanding?> me to look at "the capture on c5 on move" whatever ... stuff like this. Most of the time, I simply <politely> thank people for their input. (I look at nearly every idea.) 

First, I will apologize in advance, I am NOT trying to be rude here! However, I have NO intention of re-doing this game ... or analyzing an alternative down to the finest detail!!! You just have to try and understand, I have done what I believe to be a reasonable analysis. If you think I have made an error, or missed something important, I would definitely like to hear about this. But if I tried to analyze every position and possibility suggested by every (single) reader ... I would never be able to finish any one game! (Thanks ... very much ... for both your time and your understanding!!!) 

NOTE:  GM Igor Stohl does a very fine and extensive analysis of this grand contest in his book:   
<< "Garry Kasparov's Greatest Chess Games," (Volume 2). >>  [Game # 128, page # 333.]   
This excellent book is well worth having, every game of Garry's is DEEPLY annotated! 

Copyright (c) to the author, published by Gambit Publications, Ltd. in 2006. 
 ISBN: # 1-904600-43-3.
  (Monday; June 19th, 2006.)  

Garry retired after Linares ... perhaps frustrated by his inability to get a decent break from  FIDE

In any case - this game shows that in a serious match with Kasparov, Kasimdzhanov would be outmatched.  

Go ... or return  ...  to my  Home Page  for this site.   
Go (or return) to  ...  my "Annotated Games" (II) Page
(You could also use the "back" button on your web browser.)  


  Copyright (c) LM A.J. Goldsby I  
   Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2009. All rights reserved.  


I first started annotating this game the day that it was played. It was posted on: Monday; March 7th, 2005. 

 This game was last edited, altered or saved on:  04/25/2015 . 

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