Still Grit in the Spirit of a Past Era

The Ultimate Blitz Challenge event held in St. Louis, Missouri, USA saw the return of former World Champion, Garry Kasparov after many years absent from serious company.  His interest has not waned, keeping abreast the ups and downs of the chess world.  Thanks to New In Chess, we appreciate the coverage of these major events and blitz competitions played among the leading players and their own annotations of either their own play or that of the competition.  That offers a framework for those students of the game who earnestly desire to improve their chess skill.  I have injected my usual thoughts especially as related to my square count instructions seen in from July 2007 for those who are new readers of my website.

White:  Garry Kasparov  vs. Black:  Wesley So sees GK’s play from an earlier era, having faith in the past to rely upon.  Can the youth have discovered new ways to see some undercurrent in today’s most modern structure?

l.  e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. d4  This Scotch Opening was a favorite of GK who won many brilliant games adopting it.  How will So respond?

3. … e:d4  4. N:d4  Nf6  An older reaction from opening books of old.  Later on in this event a number of players adopted 4. … Bc5 that I think challenges the central complex.

5. N:c6  b:c6  6. e5  This was GK’s favored way into the Scotch.

6. … Qe7 7. Qe2  Nd5  8. c4  Ba6  9. b3  Garry continues with his favorite over the more often seen these days of 9. Nd2.

9. … g6  10. Ba3 c5  In 1994, Ivanchuk tried …Qg5;  in 2012 Sochi, Landis vs. Leko went for …Nb4 11. Bb2 Bg7  12. a3  Nd5  13. Nd2  O-O  14. O-O-O and hard fight ended in a win for Leko.

11. g3  Bg7  12. f4  Nb4  13. Bg2  Rd8  14. Nc3  O-O  15. Bb2 >a3  d5 16. a3  d4 17. a:b4 d:c3 18. B:c3  c:b4  19. Bb7  The mechanics of sq./ct. chess point to 19. Bd2, keeping the option for Be3, strengthening the long diagonal.

19. … Bc8!  20. O-O  A turn of fortune as WS starts to uncover a strong idea but instead chooses a mistake.  20. … f6?  Finding the right move can be a challenge at any level.  Amateurs!!  Take heart!  Because black simply using square count eyes should find 20. … Bf5!  And now understanding the chess board opens the door for …

21. Bd5+!  With the pretty 21. … Kh8?? 22. e:f6  Q:e2?  23. f:g7 check mate!!

21. … R:d5  22. c:d5  Qc5+  23. Rf2  f:e5  24. B:e5  B:e5  25. Q:e5  Rd8 26. Rd1  Bg4  27. Qd4  Centralization of Queen ala Nimsovitsch from CHESS PRAXIS! …Qa5 28. Rdd2  Re8 29. Kg2 Qb5  30. h3  Bf5  31. g4  Be4+ 32. Kh2 c5  33. Qf6 c4  34. d6 The lust of a passed pawn to expand!  34. … Bc6 35. f5  Rf8  36. Qe6+ Kg7  37. d7  Qc5  38. Qd6  Black resigns.

In Kasparov versus Nakamura Scotch Game went:  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 e:d4  4. N:d4  Bc5 5. Be3  An older idea was the trendy 5. Nb3 which has its points.  The text is a good developing move.

5. … Qf6 6. c3  Nge7  7. Bc4 Ne5  8. Bb3 Eying the central d5-e6-f7 diagonal.  8. Be2 is the normal play here. The position now is tricky for Black.

8. … d6  9. O-O  O-O  A dubious idea would be 9. … Ng4 because of 10. h3  N:e3  11. f:e3 where White can focus on the weakness at f7.

10. f3  N/7c6  11. Kh1  Bb6  12. Na3  Observing that the light shown by a Knight on the rim is dim.

12. … Kh8 13. Qd2  Na5  14. Ndb5  B:e3  15. Q:e3  Qe7  16. Bc2  a6  17. Nd4 c5  18. Ne2  Nac4? One might question this exchange of a wing Kt.

19. N:c4  N:c4  20. Qc1! This Karpov type move, going backwards to move ahead is a communist strategy in world affairs. How like chess resembles the affairs of man and nations.

20. … f5  21. b3  Nb6 22. c4  f:e4  23. B:e4  Bf5  24. Ng3  B:e4  25. N:e4  Rad8  26. Re1  Rfe8 27. Qd2!  A tactical invitation to play …d5? because of 28. Nc3! winning the pawn with no benefit for Black’s position. White now focuses on exchanges.

27. … Qf8  28. Ng5  Qf6  29. R:e8+  R:e8  30. Re1  R:e1  31. Q:e1  Nd7 32. Qe8+ Nf8  33. h3! Conserving  a defense shield for the King.

33. … Kg8  34. Ne4  Qf4  35. Qe7 Qc1+ 36. Kh2 Qf4+ 37. Kg1  Qc1+ 38. Kf2 Qb2+ 39. Kg3 h5 40. N:d6 h4+ 41. Q:h4 Ng6 42. Qe4  Qf6 43. Nf5  Qg5+ 44. Kh2  Nf4  45.g3  Nh5 46. f4  Qd8 47. Qd5+ Q:d5  48. Net+ Kf7 49. N:d5  Black resigns.


Multiple blunders in winning positions (we all experience such pain!) took much of the joy out of the tournament for me. I never play my best when frustrated. (Sounds like me all right!). Notes by Kindred.

Here, Kasparov shows up in good form with his win over Caruana.

White: Caruana  vs.  Kasparov   Opening:  King’s Indian Defense  St. Louis /Blitz

l. Nf3  Nf6  2. g3  g6  3. Bg2  Bg7  4. O-O  O-O This setup was often seen in Fischer’s early development. He was fond of the King’s Indian Reverse as well playing the black pieces.

5. c4  d6  6. b3  e5  7. Bb2  c5  Hitting both b4 and d4 squares with pawn power before putting the Knight into action.

8. e3  Nc6  9. Nc3  Bf5  10. d4  Black has targeted the light squares on the K-side.  Here, in a training series, Rogoff played 10. d3 against me, followed by Qe2 with a type of hedgehog setup.

10. … e4  11. Ne1  Re8  12. Nc2  h5!  Square count savvy maybe.13. Qd2  h4 This seems a bit premature.  Black could strengthen w/squares with the developing 13. … Qd7.  Black has a commonplace attack plan here of jump moves >14…Nh7 and …Ng5.

14. Ba3  b6  15. Rfd1?  Bg4!  Move that castle again, friend!

16. Rdc1  Qd7  17. b4  Sensing a K-side attack, White tries to counter on the Q-side but it seems too slow.  Yet, what else can he try? GK now makes winning harder missing a number of better finishes.

17. …Qf5!  18. Bb2  Rad8 19. Nb5  Bf3  20. d5  Ne5  21. B:e5  R:e5  22. Ne1  h:g3 23. f:g3  Bh6 24. Rab1 Kg7  25. Rb3  Qh5 26. h3  Nh7  27. g4  B:g4  28. h:g4  Q:g4  29. Qd1 Qg3  30. Qe2 Ng5 31. Kh1  Rh8  32. Nxd6 Kg8 33. b:c5 Bf8+ 34. Kg1  Nh3+35. Kf1 B:d6 36. c:d6 Rf5+ 37. Nf3  R:f3+ White resigns (0-1).

With some hope, perhaps the “chess bug”  will entice Garry’s future performances. You are never too old to play chess!!





















One Response to “Still Grit in the Spirit of a Past Era”

  1. Says:

    Hi there, this weekend is good in support of me, as this
    occasion i am reading this wonderful educational article here
    at my home.

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