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!!