Kasparov defeats Vachier-Lagrave in Clichy exhibition

9/19/2011 – In his continued promotion for chess instruction in schools, and the Kasparov Chess Foundation, this weekend Garry Kasparov gave an exhibition blitz match in Clichy against the 2011 French champion, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The match, covered by the French mass media, was won by Kasparov with a flourish. Here is the report with videos and annotations by GM Karsten Müller.

In his continued promotion for chess instruction in schools, and the Kasparov Chess Foundation, Garry Kasparov was in Clichy this weekend where he gave an exhibition blitz match against the 2011 French champion, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

Garry Kasparov with Dan-Antoine Shapiro, the organizer of the 1990 World Championship

Vachier-Lagrave had to earn his right to play the champion, and a match was played against the 2010 French champion, Laurent Fressinet. The two played a match in identical conditions to the one to be played against Kasparov, in two games of five minutes plus a three-second increment, followed by an Armageddon game in the event of a tie. Both their games ended in draws, and Vachier-Lagrave won the tiebreaker.

The exhibition was completely sold out at the auditorium of the Lycée Auffray

Both French champions fought for the right to play Garry

Having warmed up, and being an ultra-active player with a 2700+ rating, one might think that Garry would be at a disadvantage, however the ex-champion shrugged off the years of retirement and won their first game in a flourish sure to make fans wish for a bit more than these bits and flashes we get from him nowadays.

If Vachier-Lagrave had aspirations of adding Kasparov's scalp to his laurels, he was
brutally shown otherwise.

Although analyzing blitz games is generally not done, but as Karsten Müller explains, "...when the great Garry Kasparov plays, matters are different." As such, here is the game with notes by GM Karsten Müller.

[Event "Kasparov in Clichy"] [Site "Clichy FRA"] [Date "2011.09.17"] [Round "1"] [White "Kasparov, Garry"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2812"] [BlackElo "2715"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2011.09.17"] [EventType "blitz"] [EventRounds "2"] [EventCountry "FRA"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nc6 4. O-O Bd7 5. c3 Nf6 6. Re1 a6 7. Bf1 Bg4 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 g6 10. d3 Bg7 11. Be3 Nd7 12. Nd2 O-O 13. Qd1 Rc8 14. f4 e5 15. f5 gxf5 16. exf5 d5 17. g4 e4 18. Bf4 Nde5 19. dxe4 d4 20. g5 Re8 21. Qh5 dxc3 22. bxc3 Nd3 23. Bxd3 Qxd3 24. f6 Bf8 25. Qf3 c4 26. Qxd3 cxd3 27. e5 Nd8 28. Ne4 Ne6 29. Be3 Red8 30. Rad1 Rd5 31. Bd4 Nxd4 32. cxd4 Rxd4 33. Kf2 Re8 34. Ng3 Rd5 35. h4 Bb4 36. Re4 Bc3 37. Nf5 Kf8 38. Ne7 Rd4 39. Kf3 Red8 40. Rxd4 Rxd4 41. Nf5 Rd5 42. Ne3 Rd4 43. Nf5 Rd5 44. Ne3 Rd4 45. Rc1 Ba5 46. Rc8+ Bd8 47. h5 Ke8 {Kasparov's Breakthrough Normally blitz games should not be analysed, but when the great Garry Kasparov plays matters are different:} 48. e6 $2 {A breakthrough is the right concept, but this is the wrong way:} (48. g6 $1 hxg6 49. hxg6 fxg6 50. e6 {as given in Chess Today 3966 wins due to} Rd6 (50... d2 51. e7 d1=Q+ 52. Nxd1 Rxd1 53. exd8=Q+ Rxd8 54. f7+ Ke7 55. Rxd8 Kxd8 56. f8=Q+ $18) 51. Nf5 $3 (51. e7 $4 {runs into} Rxf6+ 52. Ke4 Kxe7 53. Nd5+ Kd7 $19) 51... Rxe6 (51... d2 $6 52. Nxd6+ Kf8 53. Rxd8#) 52. Ng7+ Kf7 53. Nxe6 Bxf6 54. Nc5 d2 55. Ke2 $18) 48... d2 $2 {Vachier-Lagrave follows the rule that passed pawns must be pushed. But first he had to deal with the threats on the kingside:} (48... fxe6 $1 49. g6 hxg6 50. hxg6 e5 {And Black can offer very tenacious resistance as White's rook and knight do not cooperate well here, e. g.} 51. g7 (51. f7+ Kf8 52. Kf2 Rd6 (52... d2 $2 53. Ke2 Rd6 54. Kd1 e4 (54... Rxg6 55. Rxd8+ Kxf7 56. Rd7+ Ke8 57. Rxb7 $18) 55. Ng4 Rxg6 56. Rxd8+ Kxf7 57. Ne5+ Ke7 58. Nxg6+ Kxd8 59. Kxd2 b5 60. Ke3 Kc7 61. Ne5 Kb6 62. Kxe4 Ka5 63. Kd3 Ka4 64. Kc2 b4 65. Nc4 a5 66. Nd2 Ka3 67. Kb1 Ka4 68. Kb2 Kb5 69. Kc2 Ka4 70. Nb1 Kb5 71. Kd3 Kc5 72. Nd2 Kb5 73. Kd4 Ka4 74. Nb1 Kb5 75. Kd5 b3 76. a3 Ka4 77. Kc4 b2 78. Kc3 $18) 53. Nc4 Rd5 54. Ke3 b5 55. Nd2 Rd6 56. Ne4 (56. Ke4 Rxg6 57. Rxd8+ Kxf7 58. Kxe5 b4 59. Rd7+ Ke8 60. Rxd3 Rg5+ 61. Ke6 Rg6+ 62. Kf5 Rg2) 56... Rxg6 57. Rxd8+ Kxf7 58. Rd7+ Kf8 59. Rxd3 Rc6) 51... Kf7 52. Rb8 Rf4+ 53. Kg3 Rxf6 54. Rxd8 Kxg7 55. Ng4 Rb6 {and in all cases it is not clear whether White can win due to the reduced winning potential.}) 49. e7 d1=Q+ 50. Nxd1 Rxd1 51. h6 $5 {Kasparov prepares the break g5-g6.} ({The immediate} 51. g6 hxg6 52. h6 {wins as well.}) ({Even} 51. exd8=Q+ Rxd8 52. Rxd8+ Kxd8 53. Ke4 {is playable, e.g.} Kd7 54. Kd5 b6 55. a3 b5 56. Kc5 Kc7 57. g6 $18) 51... Rd6 52. Kg2 Rd2+ 53. Kf3 Rd6 54. Ke2 Re6+ 55. Kd3 Rd6+ (55... Rxe7 56. fxe7 Kxe7 57. Rb8 b5 58. Rb7+ Ke6 59. g6 fxg6 60. Rxh7 Bf6 61. Ra7 $18) 56. Ke4 b5 57. g6 $5 {Finally the beautiful breakthrough is executed.} fxg6 (57... hxg6 58. h7 $18) 58. exd8=Q+ Rxd8 59. f7+ (59. f7+ Ke7 (59... Kxf7 60. Rxd8 $18) 60. Rxd8 Kxd8 61. f8=Q+ $18) 1-0

In the second game, Kasparov steered the game to a draw to ensure a victorious outcome.

[Event "Kasparov in Clichy"] [Site "Clichy FRA"] [Date "2011.09.17"] [Round "2"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Kasparov, Garry"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2715"] [BlackElo "2812"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2011.09.17"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. d3 d6 9. Nbd2 Na5 10. c3 Nxb3 11. axb3 c5 12. Nf1 Re8 13. Bg5 h6 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Ne3 Bb7 16. c4 g6 17. Qd2 Bg7 18. b4 cxb4 19. Qxb4 Bc6 20. b3 a5 21. Qd2 bxc4 22. bxc4 Qc7 23. h4 h5 24. Ng5 a4 25. Qe2 Qd7 26. Ra3 Reb8 27. Nd5 Ra7 28. Rea1 Rb3 29. Rxb3 axb3 30. Rb1 Rb7 31. Qd2 Bxd5 32. cxd5 Bh6 33. Qc3 Bxg5 34. hxg5 Qg4 35. f3 Qd7 36. d4 exd4 37. Qxd4 Qb5 38. Qf6 Qb6+ 39. Kh2 b2 40. Kh3 Rb8 41. g4 hxg4+ 42. Kxg4 Qf2 43. Qxd6 Rb3 44. Qd8+ Kg7 45. Qf6+ Kg8 46. Qf4 Qc2 47. Qe5 Qxb1 48. Qe8+ Kg7 49. Qe5+ Kg8 1/2-1/2

After winning the match, both players were teamed up with celebrities, in which Vachier-Lagrave was paired with Laurent Baumel, the mayor of Ballan-Miré, facing Kasparov with Anthony Delon, the son of the legendary Alain Delon. In this light-hearted encounter, the French champion and the mayor took the laurels.

Here is a video by the French Chess Federation highlighting moments of the event

The presence of the great player also ensured maximum press coverage from the French mass media such as Le Figaro, Le Monde, and even BFM TV.

This TV report by BFM TV emphasized the angle of chess instruction in schools

Pictures by Yann Buisson (Europe Echecs)


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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