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Garry Kasparov vs Veselin Topalov
"Kasparov's Immortal" (game of the day Apr-13-2013)
Hoogovens Group A (1999), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 4, Jan-20
Pirc Defense: General (B07)  ·  1-0



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Given 126 times; par: 62 [what's this?]

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+ sac: 24.Rxd4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Not according to the staff.
Nov-22-18  Dr Winston OBoogie: Why isn't this game in <Topalov's> most memorable games? Is it because he lost or something!? This is a classic, one of those games you never forget!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <DocW>, lost games cannot make the list at a player's home page.
Jul-20-19  Patzer Natmas: Game featured in "New in Chess - Tactics Training - Garry Kasparov "

Solve for white on move 33.

33.c3+! ♔xc3 33...♔b3 34.♕a2+ ♔xc3 35.♕b2+ ♔d3 36.♖e7 White wins 34.♕a1+! ♔d2 35.♕b2+ ♔d1 35...♔e3 36.♖e7+ White wins 36.♗f1! ♖d2 36...♕xf1 37.♕c2+ ♔e1 38.♖e7+ ♕e2 39.♕xe2# 37.♖d7! ♖xd7 38.♗xc4 bxc4 39.♕xh8 and White won.

Nov-04-19  Bdp8: <42Qe4+ Wins quicker. Did Kasparov really miss this simple fork?> <Does it? 42 Qe4+ Kd2, then what?>

Yeah, it really doesn't look like a faster win. One continuation given is: 42. Qe4+ Kd2 43. Qf4+ Kd1 44. Qc1+ Ke2 45. Qc2+ Ke3 46. Qb3

And Topalov resigned at move 44 in the actual game.

Nov-20-19  dashjon: Very awesome!! King walk. Rook sac. wow
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <Rook sac. wow>

Double rook sac. But the second one could not be taken.

Jan-26-20  YesChess1010: cool game to see
Apr-10-20  MordimerChess: Kasparov's Immortal.

However keep in mind that Garry missed winning 28.Ra7!

28...Nxd5 29. Rxa6+!! Qxa6 30. Qb2 Nc3+ 31. Qxc3 Bd5 32. Kb2 Qe6 33. Bxe6 Bxe6 34. Qb3+ Bxb3 35. cxb3#

28...Bxd5 29. Qc3 Rhe8 30. Kb2 Re2 31. Qc7!! Qe5+ 32. Qxe5 Bb7 33. Qc7 Rxc2+ 34. Qxc2#

28...Bb7 29. Rxb7 Qxd5 30. Rb6 a5 31. Ra6 Ra8 32. Qe3 Rxa6 33. Kb2 axb4 34. axb4 Kxb4 35. Qc3+ Ka4 36. Qa3#

Also, starting from the move 32. Garry had to find ONLY moves winning the game, any inaccuracy would be losing! That's why it became immortal.

Video analysis:

Truly enjoy every minute of it. All the fancy lines and ideas are explained. I love my work here ;)


Jun-26-20  Playchess1vn: Video analysis:
Aug-05-20  MrCarciofo: <worstplayerever> sorry mate but after 37...Qxf1 White cannot simply give mate in d2:

38. Qc2+, Ke1; 39 Re7+, Qe2; QxQ#

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: It's just depressing to read the stockfish evaluation of this great game.
There is nothing special about 24.Rxd4. Black just went astray with 24...cxd4. If he played Kb6 instead, all would be fine. Likewise we learn that 28.Qxc3 is a rookie mistake that loses all White's advantage. Apparently 31...Kxa3 was the last and totally unnecessary nail in Black's coffin.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Well done!
Aug-01-21  cormier:
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < Diademas: It's just depressing to read the stockfish evaluation of this great game. There is nothing special about 24.Rxd4. Black just went astray with 24...cxd4. If he played Kb6 instead, all would be fine. Likewise we learn that 28.Qxc3 is a rookie mistake that loses all White's advantage. Apparently 31...Kxa3 was the last and totally unnecessary nail in Black's coffin.>

Many years ago, I read a profile of Madonna in some glossy magazine. She was extolling some especially vile piece of modern art. I think it featured the adult head of the artist emerging from his birthing person's cootchie-pop. And Madonna said, <anyone who doesn't like this painting can't be my friend.>

Fight depression by recalling that the offsetting benefit of those inaccuracies you mention include a fusillade of !! I-can't-believe-my-eyes shots from Kasparov. Even Topalov had some zingers.

click for larger view

From here we get 36.Bf1! Rd2!! 37.Rd7!!. How often do you see a sequence like that? Between the two of them Kasparov and Topalov generated more excitement in this game than Beth Harmon could manage in an entire mini-series.

Back when this game was played engines hadn't reached Instant-Magnus strength, and humans were still permitted to annotate, so it actually took months, maybe longer, to figure out all the twists and turns. We should all try to remember how we felt when we saw this game for the first time, before SF had had its way with it.

(Also, if you're looking at the SF annotations posted on this website, they're none too reliable. I think Topalov is in trouble even if he avoids 31....Kxa3, for example.) Considering the difficulty of the position, how utterly weird the position became, and the time pressure I imagine they were under, I think they played astoundingly well. Even some of the mistakes, like 28.Qc3 and 31...Kxa3, are astonishing moves.

If accuracy was all that mattered in chess, we wouldn't care about it so much. Like the Opera Game, this is a game that makes people fall in love with chess. And thanks to the rise of the machines, this game, unfortunately, can seem as old-fashioned "Kt. to his King's Bishop's Third." But that's our loss.

Aug-12-21  Albertan: Kasparov’s Immortal analyzed by GM Ben Finegold:

Oct-03-21  N.O.F. NAJDORF: After 24 ... Kb6

25 Nb3 Bxd5

material would have been level, but could not black even have gotten away with

25 ... cxd

26 Qxd4+Kb7

27 Na5+ Kb8

28 Re7 Nd7

29 Rxd7 Rxd7

30 Bxd7 Qxd7

31 Qxh8+Ka7 ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <N.O.F. NAJDORF> On 24...Kb6 25. Nb3 cxd4 26. Qxd4+ Kb7, White has <27. Re7+> Qxe7 28. Na5+ Kc7 <29. d6+> and Black would not get away.
Nov-23-21  SebasJT: Hello! You can watch a video of this chess game here:

Apr-17-22  Goldrider: I have made an article about this game on the Wikipedia:
May-28-22  chessperson2222222: 12..a6? was pretty weak. a5! would have been much more aggressive, with ideas of b4 in the air
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Hikaru Nakamura added his own (breathless) analysis of this game:

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Absolutely iconic chess game. I have done some new analysis on this game and blogged about it here:
Nov-09-22  DemonKing: Kasparov says, hey boy what do you think about Rxd4. Topalov, be like l, let me take that juicer and then "oh no!"
Nov-12-22  Emma.Nuel.Lasker: I was just analysing this game with stockfish 15 to see if I had installed it properly. It thinks 24.Rxd4 is the best move! Granted, it does think black is better whether or not you go for it, but it's interesting to see that the most recent stockfish actually likes Kasparov's move!
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