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Garry Kasparov vs Gennadij Timoscenko
USSR Championship (1981), Frunze URS, rd 13, Dec-??
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System (D44)  ·  1-0



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sac: 24.Nxc3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-26-04  themindset: apparently there was great debate over the move 30...e5 with many GMs claiming during the post mortem that 30...Be5 would have held.

Kasparov studied that night, and in the next round of tournament reached this same position again, and his opponent played 30...Be5 which he promptly answered with 31.Rc5 and won about 15 moves later.

Oct-26-04  offramp: I remember that... this is the latter game, Kasparov vs Dorfman, 1981.
Oct-26-04  alexandrovm: Kasparov's D44 novelties with white are very interesting!
Nov-08-05  alexandrovm: I played this opening for the first time yesterday night with many interesting complications during the middle game, and also I took the pawn with the bishop instead with the knight in the 9th move (because I forgot the line). This is one of Garry's best games...
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Kasparov mentions in his autobiography that Evgeni Sveshnikov claiemd that he would play the Botvinnik System in the 2nd last round of the Frunze tournament against Kasparov, and show that White black would win. However, after Kasaprov defeated Dorfman, he played the Queens Gambit instead:

Kasparov vs Sveshnikov, 1981

Oct-03-11  DrMAL: One of two theoretical duels Kasparov fought as white in very complicated Botvinnik variation (position after 10.Nbd7) featured in My Story video DVD #2 of 5 (other is Kasparov vs Dorfman, 1981). Video is at reader is encouraged to watch. Yes, Kasparov talked about how Sveshnikov made the most noise in group of GMs analyzing after, spouting white's attack is wrong, black should win, but he did not play it later in round 16 they had for Soviet Chamionship here.

Biggest debate was on 30...e5 vs. 30...Be5 as noted above, Sveshnikov kept hammering how 30...Be5 wins for black. Here is computer eval proving Kasparov correct, 30...e5 was indeed the better move (but still loses for black). It would have been nice to see Garry silence him finally OTB but Sveshnikov would not back up his oral excrement. Instead, Sveshnikov still used it to recently for early draw J Carstensen vs Sveshnikov, 2011 shame on him.

Houdini_20_x64: 27/72 59:41 32,070,400,180

-1.20 30. ... e5 31.Qa2 Rd1+ 32.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 33.Kg2 Nb3

-2.03 30. ... Be5 31.Rc5 Rxc5 32.Bxc5 Rb8 33.Qd3+ Kc6

24.Nxc3 was absolute genius positional sac showing how teenager Garry was already singular, he simply understood chess deeper than anyone else. Computer eval as usual does not give this type of sac enough score it cannot be proven by straightforward combination (hence the name positional sac).

Houdini_20_x64: 28/74 26:56 13,500,577,432

0.00 24.Qe1 Kb8 25.Nxc3 bxc3 26.Qxc3 Bd6

0.00 24.Nxc3 bxc3 25.Rxc3+ Kd7 26.Qc2 Nc6

There were several other brilliant moves played by both sides including simple capture 30.Bxa7 leading up to debate.

Houdini_20_x64: 26/72 46:02 24,782,524,569

+1.23 30.Bxa7 e5 31.Qa2 Rd1+ 32.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 33.Kg2 Nb3

0.00 30.Rc1 Qb4 repetition

Game itself was based on Timoshenko's innovation 22...Na5 (position before was known tabiya at that time) where alternative 22...Ne5 was played in Kasparov vs Tal, 1983.

Houdini_20_x64: 27/65 44:00 21,756,452,301

0.00 22. ... Ne5 23.Rc2 b3 24.Rc3 Kb7 25.Bf4 Bb4

0.00 22. ... Na5 23.Bxa7 Kb7 24.Be3 Nb3 25.Nb6 Nxc1

Here is latest computer eval of Botvinnik system after 10...Nbd7 start then 11.exf6 Bb7

Houdini_20_x64: 29/77 12:48:50 344,571,418,626

+0.13 12.h4 Nxf6 13.Qf3 Be7 14.Be2 Qxd4 15.Nxb5 Qxb2 16.Nd6+ Bxd6 17.Qxf6 Qxf6 18.Bxf6 Rh6 19.Bg5 Rh7 20.Bxc4 c5

click for larger view

Move 12.h4! immediately giving back pawn was introduced in Korchnoi vs E Abdykadyrov, 1975. Position above after (truncated) line gives good tabiya where white has small advantage in pawn structure. 21.Rd1 or 21.O-O-O or 21.f3 are best from here. Another tabiya was at move 14 where 14.O-O-O was good alternative.

Dec-22-16  Howard: Kasparov states in the first volume of the three-book series of his best games, that 33...Nxb3! would have kept Black in the game though his position still would have been difficult.
Apr-22-17  Howard: Actually, the move was 33...Nb3---just checked it last night.
Jul-28-17  bla bla: why not 23...Nxb3
Jul-28-17  Howard: Because it leaves the c-pawn hanging. White can reply with the strong 24.Rxc4+.
Jan-04-19  Howard: One little "mystery" regarding this game...Informant 33 gives it a tie for first place in Volume 32 for the best TN...but a look at the notes in 32 don't give an "N" at all.

Thus, exactly which move was the notable TN ?

Jan-04-19  Retireborn: <Howard> Timoschenko's 22...Na5 was a novelty which improved on 22...Kb7 played by Sveshnikov a couple of months earlier.

In the next round the whole line was repeated and Dorfman innovated with 30...Be5. Kasparov was not surprised that time, and won again.

Jan-07-19  Howard: Kasparov annotates both those games in Volume 1 of this three-volume series on his best games. The notes are excellent.
Jan-07-19  Howard: When/where was that game by Sveshnikov ?

Can't find it in the chessgames database.

Jan-07-19  Retireborn: It's not on here, but Kasparov in Test of Time gives it as Anikaev-Sveshnikov, USSR 1st League, October 1981.

A category 10 tournament in Volgodonsk won by Boris Gulko, according Chessbase data.

Jan-07-19  whiteshark: <Howard>

[Event "URS-ch49 First League"]
[Site "Volgodonsk"]
[Date "1981.10.??"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Anikaev, Yuri N"]
[Black "Sveshnikov, Evgeny"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D44"]
[WhiteElo "2425"]
[BlackElo "2535"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "1981.10.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "17"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bg5 dxc4 6. e4 b5 7. e5 h6 8. Bh4 g5 9. Nxg5 hxg5 10. Bxg5 Nbd7 11. g3 Qb6 12. exf6 Bb7 13. Bg2 c5 14. d5 O-O-O 15. O-O b4 16. Na4 Qb5 17. a3 Nb8 18. axb4 cxb4 19. Be3 Bxd5 20. Bxd5 Rxd5 21. Qe2 Nc6 22. Rfc1 Kb7 23. Rxc4 Na5 24. b3 Bd6 25. Qa2 a6 26. Bc5 Bxc5 27. Rxc5 Rxc5 28. Nxc5+ Qxc5 29. Qxa5 Qxa5 30. Rxa5 Kb6 31. Re5 Rh6 32. h4 Rxf6 33. h5 Rh6 34. g4 Rh8 35. Kg2 Kc6 36. Kg3 Ra8 37. Kh4 a5 38. h6 Kd6 39. f4 a4 1-0 (Time)

Jan-07-19  Retireborn: Anikaev-Sveshnikov is 32/512, if you have the relevant Informator.
Jan-07-19  John Abraham: wonderful game
Jan-08-19  Howard: Yes, I found out last night which game it was. Kasparov alluded to it in the first volume (1985-93) of his best games, and it also turns out that, yes, it's also in Volume 32 of the Informator !

Thanks for the info, though.

Nov-08-20  fisayo123: Great game by Garry . A lot of quiet attacking moves and black is never able to consolidate his position
Aug-02-21  tonsillolith: For anyone wondering like me about move <28>, where it looks like the threat of <Rxh2, Rh5+, Rh1#> is more pressing than anything else, including the capture of knight, the point is that the real threat of <28. b4> is not the knight capture, but the check <Qa4+>. Then it's Black's king in trouble.

Sadly it took a computer, out which, to point that to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Kasparov wrote that he spent 53 minutes on 23. b3.

"My first impression of the position was one of discomfort. It is apparent that Black has a powerful centre, and the White queen-side forces are badly placed."


"Black has no real choice...Now white is forced to sacrifice a piece, even though the sacrifice does lead to a forced resolution of the position."

From "Garry Kasparov's Fighting Chess."

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