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Asunto:[ajedrezlapalma] Kasparov-Radjabov, Linares 2004 (2)
Fecha:Sabado, 21 de Febrero, 2004  11:00:28 (+0000)
Autor:Angel Jiménez <aarteaga>

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Por gentileza de “Chess Today”:

Kasparov,G (2831) - Radjabov,T (2656) [B30]
Linares (2), 20.02.2004
[Mikhail Golubev]

We remember the scandal at the closing ceremony of Linares-2003, related to the journalist's decision to award Kasparov-Radjabov (0-1) the best game of tournament. So, the new meeting of the two guys from Baku had a certain undercurrent. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 [ This move avoids the "Kalashnikov" - 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 as well as "Sveshnikov" 4...Nf6 5.Nc3 e5. Radjabov often plays both!] 3...e5 In some way it is the most principled answer - otherwise White can play d4 on the next move. By playing 3...e5 Black claims that White's control on the d5 square doesn't cost much. Still, White has resources to fight for some advantage. 4.Bc4 Be7 5.d3 Nf6

6.Nd2 It seems that Kasparov is slightly afraid of Radjabov's tactical abilities and wishes to outplay him in a pure positional manner. [ More principled is the sharp alternative 6.Ng5 0-0 7.f4 , where Eugeny Sveshnikov recently introduced the gambit move 7...d5!? . On 20th February, when Kasparov played Radjabov, the Sveshnikov Gambit was tested in the two Round 4 Aeroflot Open games. Things were not so clear, but Black was crushed in both cases in the end: 8.exd5 Nd4 ( 8...Bg4 9.Qd2 Nd4 10.h3 Bh5 11.g4 h6 12.Qg2 hxg5 13.fxg5 Nh7 14.gxh5 Bxg5 15.Rg1 f5 16.h4 Bf6 17.Bh6 Qd7 18.Bxg7!+/- Kulaots-Fedorov) 9.0-0 Bg4 10.Qe1!? ( deviating from: 10.Nf3?! Bd6! Philippe-Sveshnikov, CCAS Open, Cap d'Agde 2003; 10.Qd2 exf4 11.Rxf4 Bh5 12.Rf1 Ng4 13.Nge4 Qb8 1/2-1/2 Kulaots-Sveshnikov, Riga 2003) 10...exf4 11.Bxf4 h6 ( 11...Nxc2 12.Qg3 Nxa1 13.d6!) 12.Nge4 Nh5 13.Qd2 b5 14.d6 Bh4 15.Nxb5 Ne2+ 16.Kh1 Nhxf4 17.Rxf4 Bg5 18.Nxg5 Qxg5 19.Raf1 Rae8? 20.Rxf7! Qxd2 21.Rxf8+ Kh7 22.Bg8++- Meister-Smirnov] 6...d6 7.Nf1

Now Radjabov uses Ivanchuk's move which brought the latter victory in the decisive FIDE Championship semifinal game against Anand (2001). 7...Nd7!? 8.Ne3 [ Anand-Ivanchuk and several later games saw 8.Nd5 Nb6 9.Nxb6 axb6 10.c3 0-0 11.Ne3 Bg5= . At the time Kasparov commented on Ivanchuk's win for the KasparovChess site - certainly he made his own conclusions.] 8...Nb6 9.Ned5 [ I must confess that jump by e3 knight looks more logical than 9.0-0 0-0 10.Ncd5 (?!) 10...Bg5 11.c3 what was objectively equal in Golubev-Dumitrache, Bucharest 2002.] 9...0-0 10.0-0 Nxd5 11.Nxd5

White has a slight advantage. He plans f2-f4, above all. 11...Rb8 12.a4 Kasparov opts for the most solid continuations. [ 12.f4!? b5 13.Bb3 was also possible.] 12...Be6 13.f4 exf4 14.Bxf4 Bg5 15.b3 Not the move one would first think about. But White now gets the important possibility to take on c4 with the c-pawn, so his knight's retreat from d5 could be unpleasant for Black now. 15...Bxd5 Teimour decides to eliminate the knight immediately. 16.Bxg5 [ I don't see strong reasons why this intermediate exchange was preferred to 16.Bxd5 ] 16...Qxg5 17.Bxd5

17...Nb4 The is a move which deserves explanation. Radjabov was probably afraid that White would develop an initiative on the the kingside or, else, gradually prepare c3 and d4. So, despite the fact that the d6 pawn was not a visible weakness, he goes for ...d6-d5. 18.Bc4 d5 19.exd5 Nxd5 20.Qf3 Qe3+ 21.Rf2 Qxf3 22.Rxf3 White's bishop is a bit stronger than Black's knight, so Radjabov decides to exchange it: 22...Nb6 23.Bb5 a6 24.a5! axb5 25.axb6+/=

The game has transposed into a rook endgame, where White keeps the initiative. 25...Rfc8!? 26.Ra5 c4 27.Rxb5 cxd3 28.c4 Rd8 29.Rd5 Rxd5 30.cxd5 Rd8 [ Another idea was to activate the king: 30...Kf8 31.Rxd3 Ke7 . In the pawns endgame which can arise after 32.Rc3 Rd8 33.Rc7+ Rd7!? 34.Kf2 Kd6 35.Rxd7+ Kxd7 36.Ke3 Kd6 37.Ke4 h5! followed by ...g6 and ...f6, White can't win - as far as I can see.] 31.Rxd3 Rd6 32.Kf2 White's king is going to c5. 32...Kf8 33.Ke3 Rxb6 34.Kd4 Ke7 35.Kc5

35...Rh6 36.h3 Rg6 37.g4 Rg5 [ 37...b6+ would not ensure any easy equality: after 38.Kb5 White has the idea of b3-b4 and d5-d6+.] 38.b4 h5 39.Rd4 [ In the variation 39.gxh5 Rxh5 40.Kb6 Kd6 41.Kxb7 Rxd5 42.Rxd5+ Kxd5 43.b5 f5= Black would queen his pawn just in time] 39...hxg4 40.hxg4 f5 41.gxf5 Rxf5 42.b5 Rf6

The draw agreement was slightly premature for Kasparov who could have played for a win without any risk by 43.d6+!. But I suspect that it would be draw anyway, given that Radjabov would defend accurately. 1/2-1/2