Valencia: Kasparov's blitz win, final score 9.0-3.0

9/25/2009 – Everyone expected an easy win by Kasparov, but their eight-game blitz encounter started with a shock loss. Karpov drew first blood, Kasparov took a "deep breath" 17-move draw to clear his head, and then went on to score five wins in a row. The final game was a draw, leaving Kasparov winning the blitz with 6.0-2.0 and the match with 9.0-3.0 – exactly as their ratings predicted. Illustrated report.

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Karpov vs Kasparov Rapid Chess + Blitz Match

The twelve-game match commemorates the 25th anniversary of the first Karpov vs Kasparov World Championship match in 1984-85, played in the Hall of Columns of the Trade Union House in Moscow. There will be twelve games, four in rapid chess, to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, plus eight blitz games on Thursday. Each round starts at 19:00h CEST (= 21:00h Moscow, 18:00h London, 1 p.m. NY). Live coverage is planned on the official web site and on the Playchess server.

Selection of games

With apologies to Kasparov we give the first encounter a disproportional amount of space, seeing it was a stunning and historic win by Karpov – the only full point the 12th World Champion would take in this blitz match. All eight games can be replayed on our JavaScript board, or downloaded and analysed with Fritz and Rybka.


The blitz match in the Centro Cultural Bancaja in Valencia

Kasparov,G (2812) - Karpov,Ana (2619) [D31]
Blitz Match Valencia ESP (1), 24.09.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4 c6 6.e3 Bd6 7.Bxd6 Qxd6 8.Bd3 Ne7 9.f3 b6 10.Nge2 Ba6 11.e4 f6 12.exd5 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 cxd5 14.0-0 0-0 15.f4 f5 16.Kh1 a6 17.Ng1 Nd7

18.Na4 b5

19.Nc5 Nxc5 20.dxc5 Qxc5. Kasparov has sacrificed a pawn, which gives Karpov a permanent edge to play on. 21.Rac1 Qd6 22.Rfe1 Rac8 23.Rxc8 Rxc8 24.Nf3 Rc4 25.g3 Re4 26.Rc1 h6 27.Nd2 Re6 28.Nb3 Qb4

29.Qc3. Probably not the best idea to swap queens here. 29...Qxc3 30.bxc3 Re2 31.Ra1 Rc2 32.Nc5 Rxc3 33.Nxa6 d4 34.Nb4 Nc6 35.Nxc6 Rxc6 36.Rb1 Rc2 37.Rd1 Rc4 38.Kg2 Kf7 39.Kf3 Ke6 40.Re1+ Kd6 41.Re8 Rc3+ 42.Ke2 Kd5

Kasparov has set up an emergency defence and should keep checking with his rook. 43.Kd2? This has dire consequences. 43...Ra3 44.Rd8+ Ke4 45.Re8+ Kf3 46.Re5 Rxa2+ 47.Kd3 b4 48.Rxf5 Rxh2 49.Rf7 b3 50.Rxg7 b2 51.Rb7 Kxg3 52.f5 Rf2 53.Kxd4 h5 54.f6 h4 55.f7 Rxf7 56.Rxb2

It's over, Fritz announces mate in 22 moves. 56...h3 57.Rb8 Rf4+ 58.Ke3 h2 59.Rb1 Rf3+ 60.Ke4 Kg2 0-1.

The third game is probably the nicest of the blitz match, with Kasparov applying relentless pressure in the style that has characterised his play for decades.

Kasparov,G (2812) - Karpov,Ana (2619) [D31]
Blitz Match Valencia ESP (3), 24.09.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.Bf4 c6 5.e3 Bd6 6.Bxd6 Qxd6 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Bd3 Ne7 9.f3 Nf5 10.Qd2 Qh6 11.Bxf5 Bxf5 12.Nge2 Na6 13.0-0-0 0-0-0 14.g4 Bd7 15.h4 Qd6 16.Nf4 Kb8 17.Rhe1 h6 18.Nd3 f6 19.h5 Rhe8 20.a3 Nc7 21.Qf2 Bc8 22.Kb1 b6 23.Ka1 Ba6 24.Nf4 Ne6 25.Ng6 c5 26.Nh4 cxd4 27.exd4 Nf4 28.Nf5 Qc7 29.Qd2 Rxe1 30.Rxe1 Rd7 31.Re3 Kb7 32.b3 Qc6 33.Kb2 Rc7 34.a4 Ne6 35.Na2 Qd7 36.Nb4 Bf1 37.Qe1 a5 38.Rxe6 axb4 39.Re7 Qc6 40.Rxc7+ Qxc7 41.Qxb4 Be2 42.Qf8 Bxf3 43.Nd6+ Kc6 44.Nb5 Qh2+ 45.Ka3 Bxg4 46.Qe8+ Kb7 47.Qe7+ Kb8

48.Qd8+ Kb7 49.Qxd5+ Kc8 50.Qg8+ Kd7 51.Qxg7+ 1-0.

In game four Karpov was actually winning, but had used too much time on his clock and could not work out the complications Kasparov kept throwing at him. In the end he overstepped the time.

Karpov,Ana (2619) - Kasparov,G (2812) [D72]
Blitz Match Valencia ESP (4), 24.09.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.e4 Nb6 7.Ne2 c5 8.d5 0-0 9.0-0 e6 10.Nec3 Na6 11.a4 Nb4 12.Be3 Bd4 13.Bxd4 cxd4 14.Na2 Nxa2 15.Rxa2 e5 16.Nd2 a5 17.Qb3 Qd6 18.f4 f6 19.fxe5 fxe5 20.Rxf8+ Kxf8 21.Nf3 Nd7 22.Qa3 Ke7 23.Ra1 Qxa3 24.bxa3 Kd6 25.Ng5 h6 26.Nf7+ Ke7 27.Nxh6 Nf6 28.Rf1 Ra6 29.h3 Bd7 30.g4 Bxa4 31.g5 Nh5 32.Rf7+ Ke8 33.Rxb7 d3 34.Bf3 d2 35.Ng4 Bc2 36.Ne3

With his last move Karpov, who was probably dazzled by the black pawn on d2, overstepped the time limit on the clock. 0-1.


Garry Kasparov working and winning in the blitz match against Karpov

Game five is a nice endgame win by Kasparov, with a long-range bishop dominating Karpov's knight on a board full of pawns.

Kasparov,G (2812) - Karpov,Ana (2619) [D31]
Blitz Match Valencia ESP (5), 24.09.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.Bf4 Nf6 5.e3 0-0 6.Rc1 dxc4 7.Bxc4 a6 8.Bd3 Bd6 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bh4 Nbd7 11.Nf3 Be7 12.0-0 c5 13.dxc5 Nxc5 14.Bb1 Qxd1 15.Rfxd1 Re8 16.Ne5 b5 17.Nc6 Bf8 18.f3 g5 19.Bf2 Bd7 20.Ne5 Bc8 21.e4 b4 22.Ne2 Ncd7 23.Nc4 a5 24.Nd6 Bxd6 25.Rxd6 Ne5 26.Nd4 Ba6 27.Bg3 Nfd7 28.Nc6 Rac8 29.Rcd1 Rxc6 30.Rxc6 Nxc6 31.Rxd7 Rc8 32.Rc7 Rxc7 33.Bxc7 Kf8 34.Kf2 Ke7 35.Ke3 f6 36.Bc2 Kd7 37.Bb6 Bc4 38.b3 Bb5 39.g3 Kc8 40.f4 h5 41.h4 g4 42.Bc5 Kb7 43.Bf8 Nb8 44.Be7 Nd7 45.Bd3 Bxd3 46.Kxd3 Kc6 47.Kc4 Nb6+ 48.Kd4 Nd7 49.Bd8 Kb5 50.f5 exf5 51.exf5 a4 52.Be7 a3 53.Kd5 Ne5 54.Bxf6 Nd3 55.Bd4 Nc1 56.f6 1-0.

Game six was a brutal attacking win by Kasparov, which is in no way diminished by and even deadlier line that kibitzers on the server, armed with Fritz and Rybka, were clamoring for.

Karpov,Ana (2619) - Kasparov,G (2812) [D02]
Blitz Match Valencia ESP (6), 24.09.2009
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nc3 c6 6.Bg5 Bf5 7.Qb3 Nbd7 8.Qxb7 Rb8 9.Qxc6 Rxb2 10.g4 Rb6 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Qa4 Bb4 13.Rc1 Be4 14.a3 Bxc3+ 15.Rxc3 Rb1+ 16.Kd2 0-0 17.Bg2 Rb2+ 18.Ke1


The giant display screen (with the sensor board showing the position but not the moves)

18...Nb6 19.Qc6 Nc4 20.Rxc4

20...Rb6. 20...dxc4 21.Qxe4 Re8 was even more devastating. 21.Qc5 dxc4 22.Kd2 Rb2+ 23.Ke3 Re8 24.g5 Rb5 25.Qxa7 Bxf3+ 26.Kxf3 Qd5+ 0-1. This is the kind of game we love to watch and discuss on the Playchess server.

Game seven was based on passed pawns. First Kasparov had one on the b-file, then he traded it for one on the d-file, and ended up with a knight + two pawns vs knight ending which took him 33 moves to win. At 96 moves this was the longest game of the blitz match.


Kasparov at move 74 manoeuvring for a win in a N+2P vs N ending


Okay, you win – Karpov resigns the penultimate game of the blitz match

In the final game Karpov had a position in which he could play for a win – or at least some suffering by his opponent, but decided instead to trade down (with 23.Nxb6) and take an honorable draw at the end of a fairly one-sided match.


Anatoly Karpov in the press conference at the end of the event


Garry Kasparov, clear 9.0-3.0 winner of the match, speaks to journalists

Photos by Nadja Woisin for ChessBase

Results and standings

 Rapid Chess
Rtng.
1
2
3
4
Tot.
Perf
 Anatoly Karpov
2619
0
0
1
0
1.0
2621
 Garry Kasparov
2812
1
1
0
1
3.0
2810
 Blitz
Rtng.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Tot.
Perf
 Anatoly Karpov
2619
1
½
0
0
0
0
0
½
2.0
2621
 Garry Kasparov
2812
0
½
1
1
1
1
1
½
6.0
2810

As in their rapid chess games the performance in the blitz reflected most precisely the rating difference between the two players. If you did not know anything about the match except for the ratings you would, based on Prof. Elo's system, predict a final score of 6-2. Once again we must remind you, however, that the ratings of the players were achieved in long games, and Kasparov's is a number of years old.

Videos by Europe Echecs

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

Previous articles

Karpov-Kasparov: Grudge Match in Valencia
30.08.2009 – They played each other in five big World Championship matches, most famously in 1984, when their first encounter was abandoned after 48 games without a final decision. Now to mark the 25th anniversary Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov will play a 12-game match – four rapid and eight blitz games – from 21 to 24 September, 2009, in Valencia, Spain. Details and statistics.

Karpov-Kasparov: Match start in Valencia today
22.09.2009 – Exactly 25 years after their first encounter – the World Championship match in Moscow – the perennial opponents Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov are playing a twelve-game rapid and blitz match in the Spanish city of Valencia. The rounds start on Tuesday at 19:00h CEST (21:00h Moscow, 1 p.m. NY), with two days of rapid games and one for blitz. Watch it on Playchess.

Valencia: Kasparov starts with 2-0 crunch
23.09.2009 – Twenty-five years and still going strong: Garry Kasparov started his commemorative match against eternal rival Anatoly Karpov with two quick wins. The first game was over in 24 moves, when Karpov overstepped his time; and the second ended in 28 moves after a flashy kingside attack by Kasparov. The international press is reporting extensively, and we have some interesting video documents.

Valencia: Karpov wins game three, Kasparov wins the match 3-1
24.09.2009 – Day two of the commemorative rapid chess match saw Anatoly Karpov win a fine game against the man who dethroned him as World Champion 25 years ago. In the final game Garry Kasparov only needed a draw, but put on the pressure until Karpov crumbled and lost – again – on time. The final score of 3.0-1.0 is exactly what the ratings predicted. Illustrated report with videos.


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