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Predrag Nikolic vs Garry Kasparov
Corus Group A (2000), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 10, Jan-27
Neo-Grünfeld Defense: Delayed Exchange Variation (D76)  ·  0-1



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Given 12 times; par: 106 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-01-06  alexandrovm: and here we go again, Kasparov strugling with the Grunfeld. This time winning in an ending that could have been drawn.
Sep-16-06  babywizard: Kasparov struggled in this game?

"Playing his favourite Grunfeld Defence against the Dutch champion, Predrag Nikolic, Kasparov's superior home preparation was soon in evidence as cruised out of the opening with an advantage that secured the exchange. However, a dogged defence from the resilient Nikolic had Kasparov working overtime in the office as it took over six hours, and a minor endgame tussle, to convert for the full point."

"24 Bf6+ Rxf6?! [24 ..Kg8! surely led to an easier ending: 25 Bc3 f5 26 Nf6+ Kf7 27 Bd5+ Ke7 28 Bxc4 (28 Bb4 Kxf6 29 Bxd6 Nxd6 30 Bxb3 Ne4) 28 ..Bxc4 29 Bb4 Kxf6 30 Bxd6 b6 31 axb6 axb6 32 Bb4 Rc2 33 Rd1 Ke5] 25 Nxf6 Kg7 26 a6 [26 Ne4 Nxa5! 27 Rxa5 Re1+ 28 Bf1 Rxe4 29 Rxa7 Re1 30 Kg2 Bd5+ 31 f3 Re3] 26 ..bxa6 27 Nd7 a5 28 Nc5 a4 29 Nxa4 Re5 30 Nc3 Nd2 31 f4 Rc5 32 Ne2 a5 33 Kf2 Bc4 [33 ..a4!? 34 Nd4 Nc4 35 Bf1 Kf6 36 Bxc4 Rxc4 37 Nxb3 axb3 38 Rb1 Rb4 39 Ke3 Rb6 40 Kd4 Kf5 and taking the pawn leads to a won king and pawn ending for Black.] 34 Ke3 Nb3 35 Ra3 Rc8 36 Nc3 Re8+ 37 Kf2 Rd8 38 Bf1 Be6 39 Be2 Rc8 40 Ne4 Bd5 41 Nd6 Rc6 42 Nb5 Rc1 43 Ke3 Re1 44 Kf2 Rc1 45 Ke3 Re1 46 Kf2 Ra1 47 Rxa1 Nxa1 48 Ke3 Nb3 49 Bd1 Kf6 50 Kd3 Nc5+ 51 Kd4 Bb3 52 Bf3 [No better is 52 Bxb3 Nxb3+ 53 Kc3 Nc5 54 Kc4 Ne6 or; 52 Kxc5 Bxd1 53 Nc3 Bc2 54 Kb5 a4 55 Nxa4 Bxa4+ 56 Kxa4] 52 ..Nd7 53 Nd6 Ke6 54 Nb7 a4 55 Kc3 Nf6! [A finely calculated move leading to a simplified endgame win.] 56 Nc5+ Kf5 57 Nxb3 axb3 58 Kxb3 Ng4 59 h3 Ne3 [Depriving the bishop of the more active d5 square. 59 ..Nf2?! is too hasty: 60 Bd5 Nxh3 61 Bxf7 Kg4 62 Bg8 h6 63 Bf7 Kxg3 64 Bxg6 Nxf4 65 Be8 and Whites going to try and sacrifice the bishop for pawn.] 60 Be2 Ke4 61 Kc3 Nf5 62 Bc4 [62 Bd3+ Kf3 63 g4 Ne3 64 f5 gxf5 65 gxf5 f6] 62 ..Nxg3 63 Bxf7 Ne2+ 64 Kd2 Nxf4 65 h4 Kf3 0–1"

From TWIC.

Feb-07-11  Eyal: <55 Kc3 Nf6! <[A finely calculated move leading to a simplified endgame win.]> 56 Nc5+ Kf5 57 Nxb3 axb3 58 Kxb3 Ng4 59 h3 Ne3 <[Depriving the bishop of the more active d5 square. 59 ..Nf2?! is too hasty: 60 Bd5 Nxh3 61 Bxf7 Kg4 62 Bg8 h6 63 Bf7 Kxg3 64 Bxg6 Nxf4 65 Be8 and Whites going to try and sacrifice the bishop for pawn.]>>

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Actually, 59...Nf2?! 60.Bd5 Nxh3 61.Bxf7 wins for Black after 61...Nf2! (instead of Kg4):

click for larger view

to be followed by Ne4-Nxg3; 62.Bg8 is met with 62...h5, and 62.Be8 (to check on d7) with 62...Kg4! - now the bishop can't attack the pawns immediately, and Black has time for ...Kxg3. However, after 59...Nf2 White can indirectly defend the h3 pawn by 60.Bc6/b7! (60...Nxh3 61.Bd7+/c8+ & 62.Bxh3). So the basic reason for 59...Ne3! instead of Nf2 seems to be going first for the f&g pawns instead of the h-pawn, rather than depriving the bishop of d5.

Feb-07-11  Knight13: I love White's persistent active play!
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Nicolic prefers quiet positional play but Kasparov quickly steered the game into a sharp, relatively unexplored line of the Fianchetto Gruenfeld. Kasparov delayed castling in order to accelerate pressure on d4; perhaps Nicolic should have considered 8 e3. 13..Bxa1!? had been played previously as had 13..Qd7 in Fominikh-Krasenkov Elista 1995 (Russ.Ch); 13..Be6! was new (not clear whether it was prepared or not). 26 Nd5..Nxa5 27 Rza5..Re1+ 28 Bf1..b6 would have been winning for Black. Kasparov missed 27..Ra2 28 Rxa2..Bxg2 29 Nc5..a5 30 Bd5..Kf6 31 f4..Ke7 32 Na4..Bb3 33 Nc3..Nd2 and Black is winning. 29..Bxa4 30 Bf1 would have thrown away Black's advantage. In New in Chess the recommended response to the alternative 59..Nf2 was 60 Kc4..Nxh3 61 Kd3..Nxf4 62 gxf..Kxf4 63 Ke2 with a draw. Kasparov identifies 60 Be2? as the losing move giving the best defense as 60 Kc3..Nf1 61 Kd3..Nxg3 62 Ke3..Nf1+ 63 Kf2..Kxf4 64 Bd5..Nd2 65 Bxf7 with equality.

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