Linares 9: three more draws – but plenty of fight

2/28/2004 – Today's ninth round was dominated by the battle between the Baku boys. Garry Kasparov was determined to win with the black pieces and dutifully outplayed his young opponent in the endgame, only to drop the full point with a mistake right at the end. The other games were drawn. We bring you a report and pictures.

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21st International Chess Tournament
Linares Feb. 19 – March 5, 2004

Linares Round 9

Round 9 (Saturday, February 28, 2004)
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½ 
Garry Kasparov
Alexei Shirov 
½-½ 
Vladimir Kramnik
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½ 
Veselin Topalov
Games – Report
Round 10 (Sunday, February 29, 2004)
Veselin Topalov 
 
Alexei Shirov
Vladimir Kramnik 
 
Teimour Radjabov
Garry Kasparov 
 
Peter Leko
Games – Report

Radjabov,T (2656) – Kasparov,G (2831) [C45]
XXI SuperGM Linares ESP (9), 28.02.2004


Position after 55.Ne2-g1

Would you find the clear-cut win here? Kasparov played 55...Rf2? and after 56.Ra6+ Kf5 57.Kd4 Rf1 58.Ke3 he had to agree to a draw. But Fritz tells us the 55...Rb1! is the move to play in the above diagram. It leaves Black, in computer-speak, the equivalent of ten pawns up. A possible continuation is 56.Rf4+ Ke5! 57.Ne2 g1Q+ 58.Nxg1 Kxf4 and White is completely lost.

It is interesting to note (and was pointed out to us by FM Dr Eric Peterson) that after 55...Rf1 the defence 56.Nf3 is more difficult for human beings. Fritz discards this line because it leads to an ending which the computer can look up in its "tablebases" of every R+P vs R ending that is possible on the chessboard. The program discovers that after 56...g1Q+ 57.Nxg1 Rxg1 the position is mate in 37 moves, and so prefers the above line, where we end up with rook and pawn vs knight, for which most versions of Fritz do not have tablebases. That line only achieves a +18 pawn score.

Pictures from round nine


Start of the most exciting, nerve-wrenching game of the day


Vallejo put up a great fight, dominating his world-class opponent in the second half of the game


The two arch rivals getting settled down to a game which saw Kramnik pressing with black


Vladimir Kramnik, always cold (and dangerous) as ice


Alexei Shirov, suffering in his game against Kramnik


Veselin Topalov, one of the most daring players around

Pictures by Jesús J. Boyero Gabarre

All results so far

Round 1 (Thursday, February 19, 2004)
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½ 
Vladimir Kramnik
Alexei Shirov 
½-½ 
Garry Kasparov
Teimour Radjabov 
0-1
Peter Leko
Round 2 (Friday, February 20, 2004)
Kasparov, Garry 
½-½ 
Teimour Radjabov
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½ 
Alexei Shirov
Veselin Topalov 
½-½ 
Francisco Vallejo
Round 3 (Saturday, February 21, 2004)
Alexei Shirov 
½-½ 
Veselin Topalov
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½ 
Vladimir Kramnik
Peter Leko 
½-½
Garry Kasparov
Round 4 (Sunday, February 22, 2004)
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½ 
Peter Leko
Veselin Topalov 
½-½ 
Teimour Radjabov
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½
Alexei Shirov
Round 5 (Monday, February 23, 2004)
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½ 
Francisco Vallejo
Peter Leko 
½-½ 
Veselin Topalov
Garry Kasparov 
½-½ 
Vladimir Kramnik
Round 6 (Wednesday, February 25, 2004)
Veselin Topalov 
½-½ 
Garry Kasparov
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½ 
Peter Leko
Alexei Shirov 
1-0
Teimour Radjabov
Games – Report
Round 7 (Thursday, February 26, 2004)
Peter Leko 
1-0 
Alexei Shirov
Garry Kasparov 
  1-0 Francisco Vallejo
Vladimir Kramnik 
  1-0 Veselin Topalov
Games – Report
Round 8 (Friday, February 27, 2004)
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½ 
Francisco Vallejo
Garry Kasparov 
½-½ 
Alexei Shirov
Peter Leko 
½-½ 
Teimour Radjabov
Games – Report
Round 9 (Saturday, February 28, 2004)
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½ 
Garry Kasparov
Alexei Shirov 
½-½ 
Vladimir Kramnik
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½ 
Veselin Topalov
Games – Report
Round 10 (Sunday, February 29, 2004)
Veselin Topalov 
 
Alexei Shirov
Vladimir Kramnik 
 
Teimour Radjabov
Garry Kasparov 
 
Peter Leko
Games – Report
Round 11 (Tuesday, March 2, 2004)
Peter Leko 
 
Vladimir Kramnik
Teimour Radjabov 
 
Veselin Topalov
Alexei Shirov 
 
Francisco Vallejo
Games – Report
Round 12 (Wednesday, March 3, 2004)
Francisco Vallejo 
 
Teimour Radjabov
Veselin Topalov 
 
Peter Leko
Vladimir Kramnik 
 
Garry Kasparov
Games – Report
Round 13 (Thursday, March 4, 2004)
Garry Kasparov 
 
Veselin Topalov
Peter Leko 
 
Francisco Vallejo
Teimour Radjabov 
 
Alexei Shirov
Games – Report
Round 14 (Friday, March 5, 2004)
Alexei Shirov 
 
Peter Leko
Francisco Vallejo 
 
Garry Kasparov
Veselin Topalov 
 
Vladimir Kramnik
Games – Report

 


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