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Veselin Topalov vs Garry Kasparov
Linares (1999), Linares ESP, rd 7, Mar-01
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. English Attack (B80)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-24-03  euripides: After 62 Kxf4 Kd3 White is helpless against ...Qg4 mate or if 63 Qg5 Qe4 mate. A pretty finish.
Premium Chessgames Member
  matey: That would be 62.Kxf4 Kd3 63.Qg5 Qf2#
Dec-27-03  euripides: matey yes you're right - I hadn't noticed 63... Qe4 leaves g3 free
Sep-20-05  who: Was this Kasparov's last win over Topalov. If so that's quite a while back.
Jun-05-06  spirit: aint we all GAZZANUTS!!!
Feb-24-07  fischerov: i love how kasparov sometimes castles in odd position, 25...O-O-O is awsome!
Jun-05-07  jokerman: his king had a nice walk ^^ ah i must say, great ending and then f4+!! great move
Aug-29-07  execve: Is 21.♗xc4 leads to 22...♗xh1 a blunder?
Oct-14-07  nummerzwei: @who:

No, Kasparov managed to beat Topalov in 2001 at Wijk aan Zee as white. It was almost the same opening line as here.

Apr-01-08  aazqua: Kasparov was the best ever. Games like this are a wonder to behold. He was so far ahead of clowns like Topalov. This is one of many great, great technical achievements by the all time master.
Jun-16-09  ROADDOG: Wow, what an ending!
Mar-15-10  SuperPatzer77: Yes, indeed - 61...f4+!! - White resigns in lieu of 62. Kxf4 Kd3! (setting up the mating net), 63. Qg5 Qf2#. White has no defense against Black's mating threat of Qg4#. Thus, White has to avoid getting mated by giving up his own queen with 63. Qg8 Qxg8 0-1


Jan-20-11  Salaskan: It's a pity that Topalov managed to lose this game. At move 33 he has an impenetrable fortress on the dark squares, but then he decided to opens it up to gain the g-file, which turned out to be of more value to black's rooks. He should have agreed to a draw by repetition with 40.Bf8 (if black deviates, white can tie him to the defense of e6 and harass his rooks endlessly with the active bishop). Seeing the game collections and comments, many are just a bit over-lyrical of Kasparov here, who should only have drawn.

Since Topa didn't repeat moves, he probably underestimated the danger of giving a black rook access to g7, because Kasparov ingeniously places white in zugzwang after 43...Rbf7!. Now all white's moves allow Rxg5 when the white king is tied to blocking the passed pawn and black's king infiltrates on d4. He has to play 44.c3 to prevent this, but this fatally weakens the queenside squares, allowing the black king to walk over to b4 and eat the pawns as in the game.

Giving up the exchange with 22.Bd4 was probably the right decision by Topalov since moving the rook and giving back his pawn instead would've left black definitely better with his raging bishop pair. It's typical how in this position with most files closed, but most pawns advanced and thus many diagonals opened, bishops can be equal to rooks.

The position after move 18 has been reached in 113 games, but Topalov is the only GM to have played 19.a5 (which turned out to give black too much compensation after only a few more moves). It's apparently better to continue with an all-out kingside attack by 19.f5 or 19.Rh3 (as Kasparov himself played). Guess it's often all-or-nothing in the Najdorf.

Apr-16-12  screwdriver: It's all or nothing in the Najdorf.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Played in round 7; the third of five consecutive wins with Black (all Sicilians). Three rounds later Anand tried 12 Nb1!? but Kasparov got a good position and went on to win; that move is almost never played anymore. 18..Nb6 was new; 18..a5 had been played previously. 19 a5?! had been worked out in Topalov's home analysis but ends up leading to an advantage for Black; two years later at Wijk-Aan-Zee in a game between the same two players with colors reversed Kasparov had played the strange 19 Rh3 and had gone on to win a nice game. Topalov admitted that he had overlooked the finesse 20..Qe7! in his home analysis; he had anticipated 20..Rc8 21 Bd2..Nxd2 22 Qxd2..Qe7 23 Rh3!. Topalov did not have to sacrifice the exchange with 22 Bd2?!; 22 Rh3 and 22 Rhf1 were alternatives. Kasparov was critical of 29..h6?! recommending 29..Kb7 as more flexible. Topalov, instead of trying to keep the position closed with 34 g6, opened the position for the Black rooks with 34 gxf?. 40 Rg6? ended up being the decisive error leading to a passive position for White; 40 Bf8 was a tougher defense.

Seirawan after 43..Rbf7:
"Kasparov has set up the ideal formation. White's rook is frozen, else Black's g7-rook penetrates at once, winning the game. White's King cannot stray from the kingside, because Black will trade rooks and his newly minted passer will run home. This leaves White's Bishop to perform the obligation to move, a peculiar set of circumstances which allows Black's King to scoot around the board at will."

Nov-09-13  znsprdx: a nice swindle- but was it really forced?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Beautiful finish.

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