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Yasser Seirawan vs Garry Kasparov
"Yasser, I Can Boogie" (game of the day Jan-13-2019)
Dubai Olympiad (1986), Dubai UAE, rd 8, Nov-23
Gruenfeld Defense: Three Knights Variation. Petrosian System (D91)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-06-11  serenpidity.ejd: This game is entitled: HOW I WON WITHOUT A FIGHT.
This is one example of a game where one player is only playing for a draw and yet gets a bonus when his opponent pushes his luck too far.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <serenpidity.ejd: This game is entitled: HOW I WON WITHOUT A FIGHT. This is one example of a game where one player is only playing for a draw and yet gets a bonus when his opponent pushes his luck too far.>

Could also be entitled: KASPAROV LOST.

… but guess that would be too pedestrian for Kasparov’s fans, we need to make it Seriwan’s fault.

(how dare he try and win)

Oct-06-11  dx9293: Agreed, diceman!

"Playing for a draw" when you think your opponent might overpress and give you winning chances is a perfectly valid strategy when one really wants to win a game. You have to know the temperament of your opponent.

Oct-06-11  AnalyzeThis: Another way of saying the same thing is that a secret of chess is not to try too hard. In the NFL they call that "take what the defense gives you". Kasparov for the most part put up his usual strong defense, so you don't see Seirawan going for the win until late in the game.
Jan-17-13  Everett: I think Kasparov's 9..Qd6 put the early 9.b4 under a cloud. In later iterations, Seirawan and others would play 9.e3 and wait for a better opportunity to play the minority attack on the q-side. Still, there seems to be nothing special for White in this line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Everett> Haven't seen anything to change my view of 8.Nf3; two years ago in an online blitz game, I tried 8.Qd2, but after 8....h6 9.Nf3 exd5, White doesn't even get the assorted tactical chances which can arise after 8....exd5 9.Qe3+. This variation should promise Black full equality and the two bishops are a long-term advantage.
Apr-24-14  solskytz: The way I understand it, the Nc5 was a guarantee against losing the game for white.

The knight couldn't be exchanged without giving black something to worry about - the protected passed pawn.

Black had one of his own throughout the game, to be sure... but it was impossible to bring any further black forces to support it.

GM Seirawan certainly played the R maneuvers banking on an obvious draw and waiting for Kasparov to either acquiesce, or go crazy, which he did. It was pretty obvious that black, from his attacking position on the a-file, had no answer to the advance of the g-pawn near the end. Kasparov was simply gambling.

This situation, of sitting at a dead drawn position against a player two classes your senior, is a familiar one. You sit there doing nothing, with a calm poker face, and watch as the other guy strains and strains, thinks and thinks, reddens... and ultimately acts against common sense and good judgment, takes one risk too many, and just loses.

Apr-24-14  solskytz: I suppose that the reason to the loss is exactly Kasparov's gambling plan, presented in moves 54 and 55.

On the 54, a move along the 7th rank or ...Rh6 should hold easily

And probably too, in move 55, any retreat to the three last ranks would still be enough to hold.

Seirawan sees and seizes his chances as soon as they appear, with the excellent 55. g4!

Indeed, take what the defense gives you.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> Completely agree with your assessment of this line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR> For an opening with underlying strategic similarities, how about Dreev's favourite 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.Bd3 g6? Novikov often tries the idea after 7....Nd7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> I would be happy with that for Black (I played it once, not knowing much about it, and drew) and would be unhappy as White. I'm not a big fan of giving up the bishop pair.
Mar-05-15  Howard: In response to the December 2007 inquiry as to whether this game is analyzed anywhere, there is, of course, Informant 42.

Another source would be Seirawan's excellent Chess Duels, for the game is annotated there, too.

Apr-24-16  Howard: By the way, I still remember some real crap that Alburt wrote about this game in Chess Life. He argued that Kasparov had a significant advantage even before the game started because the Gruenfeld variation that he employed here against Yasser, "had been researched for him" by a whole squadron of Soviet grandmasters.

And then when the game was out of the books, Alburt went on to say that "thrust on his own resources" Kasparov's opening advantage dissipated. "He knew he had a positional edge, but he didn't know how to use it", Alburt ludicrously claimed.

In other words, Alburt was just taking another potshot at his former home country.

Do me a favor, someone. Run this game through Rybka or Houdini---at one point did Kasparov's game start drifting downhill? It probably was not right out of the opening.

Apr-24-16  john barleycorn: <Howard> Until move 47.Rdd1 the position was evaluated drawish. Then the result England-Iceland 4-0 became known which made England clear first. It was then that Kasparov took risks to win. The other 3 games in USA-UDSSR were drawn.
May-25-18  Toribio3: I salute both players for their bravery! Kasparov pushed too much for a win. In the end, he lost for his adventurism.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Ah, interesting game between the 1979 World Junior Champ and the 1980 World Junior Champ.

According to, Kasparov lost on Board 1, and 2 other games were drawn. There was 1 game adjourned.

Jan-13-19  spingo: A similar pun to Quinteros vs Seirawan, 1985.
Jan-13-19  algete: "yes sir, i can boogie" is a song from 1977 of the spanish group Baccara
Jan-13-19  The Kings Domain: The good ol' days. Always have a wave of nostalgia whenever I go through a game from the last great era of Chess. Neat endgame by Seirawan.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Stockfish has black up between .75 to about .9 for much of the game; for instance, coming out of the time control:

1) -0.92 (31 ply) 41.Rb1 h5 42.Ke2 Bf8 43.Kd2 Bd6 44.Rbc1 Kg7 45.Kc3 Kf6 46.Rhg1 Rd8 47.Rh1 Rg8 48.Rhe1 Rh7 49.Kb2 Re8 50.Rh1 Rd8 51.Kc3 Rg7 52.Ra1 Rh8 53.Rab1 Re7 54.Kb2 Rf7 55.Rbc1 Re8

For instance after 44 we have:

1) -0.66 (32 ply) 45.Ke2 Bf8 46.Kd2 Kd6 47.Rhh1 h5 48.Kc3 Ke7 49.Rhg1 Kd8 50.Rh1 Kc7 51.Rde1 Kb6 52.Rhg1 Bd6 53.Rd1 Ra7 54.Kd2 Rh7 55.Rh1 Kc6 56.Kc3 Rg7 57.Rhg1 Kb6 58.Rh1 Ra7 59.Rhg1 Rf7 60.Rh1

The lead increased to over -1 after white's 47th, before black exchanged pieces:

1) -1.14 (41 ply) 47...Bf8 48.Rc1 Kd6 49.Rhd1 h5 50.Ke2 Ke7 51.Kd2 Kf6 52.Kc3 Bg7 53.Rc2 Bh6 54.Rg1 Bf8 55.Rgc1 Bd6 56.Rd1 Rg7 57.Re1 Rc7 58.Rd1 Rf7 59.Rcc1 Rg7 60.Rc2 Ra7 61.Rdc1 Kf7 62.Re1 Bf8 63.Rcc1 Kf6 64.Rc2 Rc7 65.Rd1 Bd6 66.Re1 Rce7 67.Rd1 Ra8

But after black's piece exchange, its even:

1) -0.08 (30 ply) 48.dxc5 Re4 49.Rhe1 Rd7 50.Rd4 g5 51.hxg5 hxg5 52.Red1 Rxd4 53.Rxd4 Rh7 54.Rd1 Rh3 55.Rc1 d4 56.exd4 Kd5 57.Ke2 f4 58.Rg1 Kxd4 59.Kd2 Ke5 60.gxf4+ gxf4 61.Rg6 Rxa3 62.c6 Rh3 63.c7 Rh8 64.Rg5+ Kd6 65.Rxb5 Kxc7 66.Ra5 Rh2 67.Rxa4 Rxf2+ 68.Kc3 Rf3+ 69.Kxc4

AS mentioned a long time ago, quoting Keene, black's losing move is 58 c3. After white's 58th move:

1) =0.00 (24 ply) 58...Ra3+ 59.Kg2 Ra2 60.Rf4 Re2 61.Rf6+ Kc7 62.g6 Re8 63.Rf7+ Kc6 64.g7 Rg8 65.Kf3 d4 66.Ke4 d3 67.Ke3 a3 68.Rf6+ Kc7 69.Rf7+ Kc6

But after c3:

1) +2.40 (26 ply) 59.Rd1 c2 60.Rc1 Ra3+ 61.Ke2 Rh3 62.Rxc2 d4 63.Rc1 d3+ 64.Kd2 Rf3 65.Rf1 Kd5 66.Kc3 Rf4 67.f3 d2 68.Kxd2 Rxb4 69.g6 Ke6 70.Rc1 Rd4+ 71.Ke3 Rd8 72.Rb1 a3 73.Rxb5 Ra8 74.Rb6+ Ke7

Jan-13-19  ChessHigherCat: This is a real game of cat and mouse, waiting to see who will lose patience and take a risk just to make something happen. Seirawan has the patience of a Buddha (I wish I could do that!) and Kasparov ends up taking the unsound risks.
Jan-13-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 <d 24 dpa done

1. = (0.00): 58...Ra3+> 59.Kg2 Ra2 60.Rf4 Re2 61.Rf6+ Kc7 62.g6 Re8 63.Rf7+ Kc6 64.g7 Rg8 65.Kf3 d4 66.Ke4 d3 67.Ke3 a3 68.Rf6+ Kb7 69.Rf7+ Kc6 70.Rf6+

2. + - (1.67): 58...Ra1 59.g6 Re1 60.g7 Re8 61.Rf4 Rg8 62.Rf6+ Kb7 63.Rf7+ Kc6 64.Ke3 a3 65.f3 a2 66.Ra7 Rxg7 67.Ra6+ Kc7 68.Rxa2 Rg8 69.Kd4 Kc6 70.Ra6+ Kc7 71.Kxd5 Rd8+ 72.Ke4 Re8+ 73.Kd4 Rf8 74.Ra3 Rd8+ 75.Ke4 Re8+ 76.Kf4 Rf8+ 77.Ke5 Re8+ 78.Kf6 Rf8+ 79.Ke7 Rg8 80.Ra2 Rg5 81.Ra7+ Kc6 82.Ra6+ Kc7 83.Kf6 Rg8 84.Ra3 Rd8 85.f4 Rd3 86.Ra7+ Kc6 87.Ra6+ Kc7 88.f5 c3 89.Ra1 Rd4 90.g5 Rxb4 91.g6 Rg4 92.g7 b4 93.Kf7

3. + - (2.27): 58...c3 59.Rd1 Ra3 60.Rc1 c2+ 61.Ke2 Rh3 62.Rxc2 Rh1 63.Rc3 d4 64.Rf3 Rg1 65.Rf6+ Kc7 66.g6 Rxg4 67.Kd3 Kb7 68.f3 Rg2 69.Kxd4 a3 70.Rb6+ Kc7 71.Ra6 a2 72.f4 Kb7 73.Ra5 Rxg6 74.Rxa2 Rg1 75.Ra5 Rd1+ 76.Ke5 Re1+ 77.Kf6 Kc6 78.Ra6+ Kc7 79.Re6 Rc1 80.Re4 Kc6 81.Rd4 Rc4 82.Ke5 Rc1 83.Rd6+ Kc7 84.Rb6 Re1+

Jun-19-19  Helios727: In an Olympiad if the top board player needs a day off, do they move everyone up a board and have one of the reserve players take 4th board?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Helios727>
The teams must follow the fixed board order, so yes, <they move everyone up a board and have one of the reserve players take 4th board>. It's easy to find examples of this in
Oct-04-22  the british: i kind-of think 5...c6
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