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 Garry Kasparov's greatest (and best) 
 chess game?
(Classical chess only.) 

What is Kasparov's greatest game of chess? His most epic? His most brilliant? His most accurate contest, maybe by both parties? His best ending? His best attack? (The number of possible categories is almost endless.)  

This is a page that is devoted to that subject. Unfortunately, without Kasparov's direct input, we may never know. It is also a task that is necessarily given to bias, opinion, and many other subjective factors. To be honest, every good chess player has their own favorite Kasparov game, (Or a Capa game, or a Fischer contest ... etc.); and they are not always the same game!


I think that after over 25 years of deep study of chess, most of it which occurred during Garry's heyday, (meaning that I have studied many of these exquisite encounters - and many of these struggles I have personally DEEPLY annotated on one of my web pages); that his finest game is his victory over  GM Veselin Topalov.  (Click here.)

While not a perfect game, it is one of the most finely and deeply calculated attacks that has ever been played. Many GM's have praised this game as the finest of the whole of Garry's career.


THE  game ...   that Garry  himself   considered his finest game of chess ... and his greatest creative achievement for  many  years, was the sixteenth game (16) from the second  Kasparov-Karpov  World Championship Match.  (Click  here  to see this game.)


Garry has played  SO  MANY  REALLY BEAUTIFUL  GAMES!!!! ........ that it is very hard to pick just one clash as his best effort. Some like his game vs.  GM L. Portisch  (Niksic, '83 I believe); as his best, but this one has only the slight drawback as possibly being almost entirely the result of pre-game preparation. (But it is still a great game of chess. I am sure Kasparov himself ranks it as in his own Top 50.)  (Click  here  to see this game.) 


Dozens of titled players, (including at least three GM's, one a former U.S. Champion!); have written me stating that they believe that the best game that Kasparov ever played was the twenty-second game (#22) played in the  Kasparov vs. Karpov  World Championship Match of London/Leningrad, 1986. This game won a number of prizes. It was awarded a prize for the best game of the match shortly after the conclusion of this contest. It won the best game contest for that issue of the Informant. It was voted the game of the year by a panel of judges, echoing the sentiments of the readers of the Russian magazine, '64.' It was also proclaimed the game of the decade, (somewhat prematurely in my view); by a panel of judges for a European Chess Magazine.  (Click  here  to see this game.)


So what is Kasparov's very best game? Maybe he has yet to play it!! Maybe that should be left for later generations! Or maybe Garry ... when he is old and gray ... should be allowed to pick that game himself. It does not matter which game you think is Garry's best. To play over the games of this great player is both a treat and a learning experience. And if you study Garry's games very deeply,  I cannot help but believe that you must improve the level of your play!
(The subject of Kasparov's best game has been covered many times in this website. 
  Click  here  to see such an example of this type of discussion.) 


Easily one of Kasparov's best games ... is his  ULTRA-brilliant  win against   Karpov from Linares, 1993.   This has to be in ANY list of Garry Kasparov's best games!  (Click here to go there now.) 


In possibly his last tournament, Garry Kasparov played a really brilliant game. (Vs. R. Kasimdzhanov.) Not only this, but it was a win with the Black pieces ... that practically stands theory on its ear.  (Check this game out!


While this game may not really qualify for one of Kasparov's greatest games  ...  yet it is certainly a "barn-burner." Check out this quick win, {with the Black pieces, no less} - by Kasparov, over GM M. Adams! GREAT STUFF!   


Many consider Garry Kasparov's win, (over A. Shirov); from the Horgen tournament of 1994 to be one of his greatest OTB accomplishments. However, I always had a few questions about this game, join me for a detailed investigation of this {now} classic Kasparov encounter.  

  Kasparov's Greatest Tournament result ever? (k1-s_grtest_gm_CT-Tilburg89.gif, 09 KB)

13th World Chess Champion

(A short biography) 


Garry Kimovich Kasparov was born April 13th, 1963 in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. (A part of Soviet Russia, at least at that time.) Kim Moiseyevich Weinstein, his father, was a teacher and Klara S. Kasparova, his mother of Armenian ancestry, was an engineer. He learned chess at age 5 from his father. After his father died a few years later in a tragic car accident, Garry's name was changed from Weinstein to Kasparov. (Presumably at the request of officials at the Ministry of Sport of the U.S.S.R. Weinstein was a Jewish name, perhaps the well-documented anti-Semitism of the communists in charge had something to do with this.) 

Kasparov's enormous talent was recognized very early in his chess career. 

At age 10 he gained the norm for Candidate Master and was accepted into Mikhail Botvinnik's world-famous chess school. He was the Soviet Under-18 Champion in 1976, the Soviet Junior Champion in 1977, and World Junior Champion in 1980. 

His first FIDE rating was 2545 in July 1979. He qualified for the International Grandmaster (GM) title by earning the second norm in 1980 at a category 10 tournament held in his home town of Baku. He became joint Soviet Champion with Lev Psakhis in 1981. 


Kasparov's assault on the World Championship title started with his win at the 1982 Moscow Interzonal Tournament, 1.5 points ahead of Alexander Beliavsky. The following year he beat Beliavsky (+4-1=4) in the Candidates quarterfinal match, Moscow. By winning the semifinal match against two-time challenger Viktor Korchnoi (+4-1=6) in London, and the final against ex-World Champion Vassily Smyslov (+4-0=9) in Vilnius, he qualified for a title match against World Champion Anatoly Karpov. 

The match, to be won by the first player to score 6 wins, began in September 1984. It started badly for Kasparov, who lost 4 of the first 10 games. He began to make short draws, hoping that Karpov would weaken in a long match. 

His unconventional match strategy worked. After 48 games, with the score 5-3 in Karpov's favor FIDE President Florencio Campomanes abruptly terminated the match with the statement, "I declare that the match is ended without decision. There will be a new match which will start from scratch - the score of  zero-to-zero  - on 1 September 1985." 

The decision made a deep impression on Kasparov, who had won the 47th and 48th games and who felt that his chances of winning had become as good as Karpov's. Why had the match been stopped at that time rather than earlier when he had almost no hope of winning? 

The second match, also held in Moscow, was a fixed length contest of 24 games - to be won by the first player to reach 12.5 points. This match was more successful for Kasparov. Needing only a draw in the last game, he scored a very convincing victory with the Black pieces and became the 13th World Chess Champion, at that time the youngest in history. (09 November 1985.) 

Since Karpov had received the right to a return match, a third 24-game match, (London/Leningrad); was played in 1986. Kasparov won 12.5 - 11.5, rebounding from three consecutive losses at one point. 

Karpov emerged as challenger from a modified Candidates series, and the two antagonists played a fourth title match at Seville, (ESP); in 1987. Trailing 12.0-11.0 before the last game, Kasparov won a close endgame to retain the title for a full three years. 

The fifth and last Kasparov - Karpov (World Championship - they recently played an active chess match in NY) match was played in 1990, after Karpov beat the Dutchman Jan Timman in the final Candidates match. The 12 games in New York saw one win each, but Kasparov dominated the 12-game second half in Lyon, France, and won 12.5-11.5. 

Kasparov played Nigel Short for the Chess World Championship in London, 1993. But not before he split with FIDE as the governing body and formed his own group. (The PCA.) The World Championship turned out to be a big let-down as Kasparov crushed Short by a score of 12.5 - 7.5. 

Kasparov also defeated Anand in a World Championship match in New York in 1995. But he lost the title in London, 2000; to the young GM Vladimir Kramnik ... the player that Garry himself said would one day take the crown from him. 

Kasparov has remained one of the top players in the world. (Many feel he is one of the greatest - if not THE greatest! - chess players who ever lived.) He has been the number one player  by rating  for many, many years. (Between 15-20 years.) He won or tied for first in every GM tournament that he played in for nearly a decade, a record that may never be equaled!! His number of super-GM tournament wins is almost more than I care to count ..... and he is continuing to add to this total. He played board one for the Russian/U.S.S.R. team many times - always leading them to a first-place finish. His games are models for other GM's to study. He continues to be a dominant and much-feared player, and may yet regain the crown of WORLD CHAMPION. 
  --->  I only hope that he does. 

[ A page with more Kasparov info and links. ]  

Friday; March 11th, 2005:  Sorrowfully - at least for me - Kasparov announced his retirement from chess. Is this the end? (I hope not!) However, I can only say that I have seen Garry play ... both in person and on the Internet, and I would be extremely disappointed if this were the conclusion of his career. I can only wish Garry well in whatever (new) endeavors that he decides to pursue. I also want to thank him - in the best terms possible - for the pleasure that his chess has brought to the entire chess-playing world. It has been my pleasure to report on his tournaments and games!!!  Thank you Garry ... for all the fun and the great {chess} memories! 

   Copyright  (c)  A.J. Goldsby I   

  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 1985 - 2013. 
   Copyright   A.J. Goldsby, 2014.  All rights reserved.   


 Web page first posted on my web-site in 2001. 

 Last up-date:  Wednesday;  May 25th, 2005.  (Last edit/save on: 03/10/2014 .)  

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