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Garry Kasparov vs Etienne Bacrot
Sarajevo (2000), Sarajevo BIH, rd 1, May-17
Scotch Game: Mieses Variation (C45)  ·  1-0



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Given 41 times; par: 66 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-30-12  dufferps: Interesting - I chose 39. Bxh5 without really understanding how it would work out. I was disappointed that Barcot didn't play it out at least a little further. I did sense that my (I mean Kasparov's) e-pawn would be a repeated threat, but I had to play out the major variations (39. ... Rxh5 and 39. ... gxh5) to see how that threat eventually forced black to choose between defending his last rook and preventing promotion at e8. I guess Barcot saw it right away.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Little feint bishop tooth in clink clawar good in low I think again

open shut plainly speaking ar two good candidates in e6 or Bxh5 went

within pop latter i to range in offload pawn stuck in h5 change the

angle in approach i tie down a6 in a flash and strike g6 at the heart

in pecking clear flick proverb " how can I put it? Life is like video

footage... "

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Accept for WCM it was a good year the mieses at choose

your weapon to combat in dig again Garrys improvement to walk in e4

provoke f5 and retreat stop qf3 in egg one qb4 I browse catchment area

in from it almost bon garden fine third, inner world, rank in

appraisal stave got horse in d5 er by and by en prise for six moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Legend has it that chess was invented by a wise courtier who wanted to demonstrate to a vain king that you cannot win by one piece alone. The entire army must work together.

It's a sort of socialist/ communist/ republic viewpoint. There is no I in team, but there's a me if you look hard enough.

But I beg to differ. I think that chess was invented by a woman.

Now before you get too excited, I must say that I don't know who this woman was. I don't know if she was what the young uns term a "hottie", a harridan or a home-maker.

What's my grounds for saying this? Take today's puzzle. The whole thing hinges on a single fact - the black king has two jobs to do. He needs to keep an eye on the dangerous passed e pawn and he needs to lend a protective hand to the g file. White has all sorts of tricks based on bishop sacs to pry open the g file.

The black king can manage to do either of these tasks - <if that was all he was expected to do.> But asking him to do both at the same time and we find the limitations of his gender all too obvious. Men simply cannot multi-task. Ergo, chess was invented by a woman.

Maybe the great Bob Marley was onto something when he said "no woman, no cry". I certainly found that when my ex wife left me I didn't cry as much as I did when I was still married to her.

May-30-12  PugtheThug: I would have tried 39.Bd3 because everything looks like it is protected. Even though you might sacrifice white's Bishop, it gets through hopefully with some promoted pawns after 40.Bxf5,gxf5 41.Rxf5+, Maybe 39...Bc8 40.e6+,Bxe6,Ke5 or better might be: 39.Bxh5,Rxh5 40.Rxh5,gxh5 42.e5+ gets a pawn on its way or wins the Exchange for White.
May-30-12  PugtheThug: After winning the Exchange, white easily can pick off black's weak locked-in Bishop.
May-30-12  dragon player: White's bisshop is a lot better than black's, and his rooks are way more active. Now you have to exploit this. A don't see a way of gaining a lot of material, so this seems the best to me:

39.e6+ Kxe6

or else 40.e7

40.Rxg6+ Rxg6

If 40...Kf7 41.Rxg8 Rxg8 42.Rxg8 Kxg8 43.Bh5, winning a pawn, and you'll win the f5-pawn too.

41.Rxg6+ Kf7

winning the f5 or h5 pawn, most likely both, with a winning advantage.

Time to check.


I was totally wrong. Lets check the kibitzing. I get it now. Lets find out whether my way wins too or not.

The computer thinks my varation is stronger than what was played. Hmmm... do I deserve a point for today? I don't know, what do you think?


May-30-12  ninja warrior: pretty sure i saw this game, either about when i was played, or in a book... either way the combination is unforgettable (and vera nice, vera nice....) Bxh5 wins for white, due to black having to both guard his rook & the promotion square if the bishop is taken (either way).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Black's position after 38...Rag8 looked very fragile. I first considered 39.e6+, but before doing any more calculation, I decided to see if I could rule out any idea about attacking the a-pawn.

I soon decided the a-pawn was not the target, so I went back to 39.e6+. The position looked totally winning after 39...Kxe6 40.Rxg6+ Rxg6 41.Rxg6+, but what if black played 39...Kf6? It took me a while before I spotted 40.Bxh5! and the g-pawn will fall.

I admit that once I got focused on 39.e6+, I never looked at 39.Bxh5. Kasparov's move looks more impressive, but the result seems to be about the same.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is equal.

The black king protects the pawn on g6, essential to avoid the loss of the pawns on f5 and h5. This suggests 39.e6+ to divert the king or one of the rooks:

A) 39... Kxe6 40.Rxg6+ Rxg6 (40... Kf7 41.Rxg8 Rxg8 42.Rxg8 Kxg8 43.Bxh5 with a won ending) 41.Rxg6+ Kf7 42.Rg5 wins a pawn and the game.

B) 39... Kf6 40.e7

B.1) 40... Kxe7 41.Rxg6 is similar to previous lines.

B.2) 40... Rg7 42.Bxh5 (42.e8=Q Rxe8 43.Bxh5 Re4+) 42... Kxe7 43.Rxf5

B.2.a) 43... gxf5 44.Rxg7+ followed by Rg5 and g3 with a won ending.

B.2.b) 43... Ke6 44.Rfg5 seems to win. For example, 44... Kf6 45.Rxg6+ Rxg6 46.Rxg6+ Kf5 47.Rg5+ Kxf4 47.g3#.

B.3) 40... Rh6 41.Rxh5 Rxh5 (41... gxh5 42.Rxg8 Kxe7 43.Rb8) 42.Bxh5 is similar to other lines.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: 39 Bxa5! All that effort I went to making sure it was definitely winning, and then I see it was 1-0 immediately.
May-30-12  reti: I wonder if this sacrifice was really necessary, or was Kasparov showing off his great chess skills?
May-30-12  TheBish: Kasparov vs Bacrot, 2000

White to play (39.?) "Medium/Easy"

Black looks like he has everything covered, but his pawns are doubled on the queenside, most of his pawns are on the same color as his badly placed bishop (pawns which can be attacked by White's bishop), and White has maximized the placement of all his pieces. White just needs to find a way to break through.

39. e6+! Kf6

Or 39...Kxe6 40. Rxg6+ Rxg6 41. Rxg6+ Kf7 42. Rg5 Kf6 43. Rxh5 Rg8 44. Rg5 with an easy win.

40. Bxh5 Rh6 41. e7!

Threatening trades on g6 followed by queening the pawn.

41...Kxe7 42. Ke5!

Establishing king position before winning the g-pawn, followed by the f-pawn. It's only logical that when you have this many advantages (space, piece placement, king position), you're going to be able to convert to a winning endgame.


Hmmm.... never even consider 39. Bxh5, for some reason. Both moves win, but Kasparov's is flashier.

May-30-12  TheBish: Looks like there are two solutions. Fritz gives a transposition to my solution after 39. Bxh5 Rh6 40. e6+ Kf6 41. Rxg6+!.
May-30-12  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this endgame position, material is even, but the bad black bishop is truly a "tall pawn." White's doubled rooks are aimed at the backward black g-pawm, magnifying the white advantage. Typically, a "sac" at f5 or h5 is thematic in such positions (when direct capture of the backward pawn is not advisable), and the passed e-pawn makes it work.


At first I thought the immediate 39.e6+ was the move, but it quickly became apparent that this was the wrong move order.

A) 39... Rxh5 40.Rxh5 gxh5 41.e6+! (overloading the king) Kf8 42.e7+ Kf7 43.Rxg8 wins.

B) 39... gxh5 40.Rxg8 Rxg8 41.e6+ transposes to A.

C) 39... Rh6 (otherwise, 40.Bxg6+ followed by h5 wins quickly) 40.Rxf5+ Ke7 41.R5g5 followed by 42.f5 wins a third pawn.

Review time....

May-30-12  CHESSTTCAMPS: 41.R5g5 in line C is a big mistake.
May-31-12  QueentakesKing: <Chess 101: HOW TO CONFUSE YOUR OPPONENT>
Jun-02-12  thejack: 37.-Bc8 38.Rb3 a5 looks like a better try to me.

Really nice game. Reminds me of Fischer vs. Reshevsky 1962/3 (if i remember the year correctly).

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 13 exf+?!..Kf7 would have been good for Black. Perhaps Black should have tried 13..Nb4 14 Kh1..Bb7. 18..Bb7 looks odd but 18..Bxf1 19 Rxf1 would have helped White mobilize his pieces. Taking the queens off was a serious error; better was 19..Qb4 20 Be2..d6 with a small edge for White. Black needed to keep a rook on the h-file as 30..Rhb8 31 g4!..hxg 32 h5..gxh 33 Rxh5+..Ke7 34 Rxh5 would have been very strong for White. White would have had a winning attack after 37..Bc8 38 Rag3..Rxb4+ 39 Kc3..Rxf4 40 Rxg6.
Apr-10-16  nusantara01: Sorry I got confused. Would somebody kindly explain why didn't white play 13.exf6+?
Apr-10-16  Sally Simpson: Hi nusantara,

Black has just played 12...f7-f5

click for larger view

13.exf6+ is just a check which opens the e-file for Black.

After 13...Kf7 Black is threatening Re8 so White has no time to take the Knight. True White can get a Knight and a Rook for the Queen but this is not a Queen for two bits position.

That is my answer.

Later on today when he gets up Gazza will come along and tell you that he refrained from playing 13.exf6+ because he saw the whole game flash before his eyes and the importance of the e-pawn.

Here White has just played 39. Bxh5

click for larger view

Black cannot win a piece with 39...Rxh5 or 39...gxh5 because the e-pawn advances with check and either forces the King to abandon protecting g8 or the e-pawn promotes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Beautiful positional game by Kasparov, reminiscent of his great rival Karpov at his zenith.
Apr-09-22  Scuvy: This game shows once again that World Champions can be very versatile, Kasparov indeed playing this game (as Perfidious pointed out almost 5 years ago) in the style of "his great rival Karpov at his zenith." It also brings to my mind Alekhine's win over Mikenas' Hippo in 1933: "a strangulation game a la Rubinstein or Dr. Tarrasch of the early days."
Apr-09-22  Scuvy: Unfortunately I do not have the source for Kasparov's comment (it might be in Peter Wells' book on the Scotch) to the effect he (Kasparov) believed the Scotch Game was the only other double e-pawn opening to present Black with as many (or almost as many) strategic problems as the Spanish Game. If so, it would seem to account for Kasparov's repeated use of the Scotch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Superb ending, I like it very much.
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