FIDE WCC R7-6: A tragedy of errors

by ChessBase
7/12/2004 – The final game of the FIDE world championship in Libya did not bring the quick draw most people had expected, but saw an aggressive Rustam Kasimdzhanov pushing Michael Adams to the brink. You won't believe what followed. Read about the heartstopping action in our illustrated report...

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.



Finals Game six – a tragedy of errors

This world championship match is developing into the ultimate cliff-hanger. After a quick draw in the first game there followed four consecutive decided game, with the white player in each case getting the full point. With the score tied at 2½:2½ the last regular game could easily decide the title.

The start of the last regular game of the match, with the score tied at 2½:2½

Rustam Kasimdzhanov had white, and although he is the dark horse in this final his record so far made him no less a favourite than world number six Michael Adams. Many experts were expecting a cautious draw, with both players willing to take the decision to the tiebreak games. But with Adams aiming for a Marshall’s Gambit, Kasimdzhanov countered with some good preparation to gain a big time advantage. This was slowly transformed into a positional edge and finally into what was probably a winning position. What then transpired almost defies the imagination.

GM Kasimdzhanov,R (2652) - GM Adams,M (2731) [C91]
FIDE WCh KO Tripoli LBA (6), 12.07.2004

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.d4 d6 9.c3 Bg4 10.Be3 exd4 11.cxd4 Na5 12.Bc2 c5 13.h3 cxd4 14.Bxd4 Bh5 15.g4 Bg6 16.Nc3 Rc8 17.Rc1 Nc6 18.Be3 Nb4 19.Bb1 d5 20.e5 Ne4 21.Ne2 Nc5 22.Bxc5 Rxc5 23.Rxc5 Bxc5 24.Nf4 Qb6 25.Rf1 Be4 26.a3 Nc6 27.Nxd5 Bxd5 28.Qxd5 Nd4 29.Kg2 Nxf3 30.Qxf3 g6 31.b4 Bd4 32.Qe4 Bb2 33.Rd1 Rd8 34.Rxd8+ Qxd8 35.Ba2 Qe7.

36.e6? We believe that here Kasimdzhanov missed a good chance to clinch the title. After 36.Qa8+ Kg7 37.e6 fxe6 38.Qxa6 the black king is on g7, unlike in the game, where it's already defending the pawn on f7. Now Black cannot defend with 38...Kf7 because, as any self-respecting computer will tell you, White can take the b-pawn. 39.Qxb5! Really? But what about 39...Bxa3. "Ach, then I take the e-pawn!" says Fritz. 40.Bxe6+! Qxe6, and now watch that queen triangulate: 41.Qb7+ (or 40...Kxe6 41.Qa6+ Kd5 42.Qxa3) Qe7 42.Qf3+ Kg7 43.Qxa3 and White is two pawns up.

36...fxe6 37.Qa8+ Kf7 38.Qxa6 Qd7 39.g5 Ke7 40.Qa8 Bd4.

Kasimdzhanov is still in command and has winning chances, in spite of the opposite colored bishops. 41.Bb3 or most queen moves would have kept White ahead. But the exhausted Uzbek GM chooses the loser: 41.Qg8?? Hundreds of hearts stopped on, with hundreds of chess engines screaming for blood. 41...Qc6+. Adams had seen it, he was the new world champion! 42.Kg3. This by the way was a good move by Kasim, since it maximises Black's chance of missing the win.

And now we watched for many minutes as Adams worked out all the lines. Both players were clearly visible on the FIDE webcast – Kasimdzhanov was probably holding his heart in his hands, but he looked quite calm while Michael Adams stared at the board. Garry Kasparov, who was working on his book, glanced at the screen in this position. "Doesn't he have Qe4?" he asked incredulously?

Then came the second shocker – Adams reached out and played: 42...Bxf2+?? A cry of anguish from all Anglo-Saxon Fritz owners on Playchess. The move to give Adams the title was 42...Qe4 with the threat 43.Be5+ 44.f4 Qxf4+ 45.Kg2 Qg3+ 46.Kf1 Qf3+ 47.Kg1 Bd4+ 48.Kh2 Qf2+ 49.Kh1 Qg1# White has no defence against this threat and must immediately resign. Now it is just a draw: 43.Kxf2 Qc2+ 44.Ke3 ½-½.

Results of Semifinals

FIDE World Championship finals
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam UZB 2652
Adams, Michael ENG 2731

The tiebreak games start on Tuesday at 12.30 p.m. local time (= GMT +2)

Previous reports

General information

The FIDE site, which is being hosted by Libya Telecom And Technology, contains the schedule, list of players, results tree, games, reports, pictures and videos. The start page is and

Live coverage

The live game transmission from Tripoli requires you to have Java Virtual Machine installed on your PC. This program is distributed free of charge by Sun Microsystems (and is useful for many other applications). Visit the Java check page to see if you have everything required for the live coverage and install Java if you don't. To follow the games click on "Live coverage" in the link list above. Then click on the "View" button. The games will also be covered and discussed on the server.


Note that local time in Tripoli is the same as in Central Europe. The start of the games is generally at 14:30h, which is GMT + 2 and translates to 13:30 London, 8:30 a.m. New York, 16:30 Moscow, 18:00 New Delhi, 20:30 Hong Kong, 21:30 Tokyo, 22:30 Melbourne, and 03:00 a.m. (on the next day) in the French Polynesia-Marquesas Islands of Taiohae.

World Chess Championship 2003-2004
18 June - 13 July 2004 – Schedule
Date Day Events Games Time
18 June Friday Opening Ceremony
Players' Meeting
19 June Saturday Round 1 Game 1 14.30
20 June Sunday Round 1 Game 2*
21 June Monday Round 2 Game 1 14.30
22 June Tuesday Round 2 Game 2*
23 June Wednesday Round 3 Game 1 14.30
24 June Thursday Round 3 Game 2* 14.30
25 June Friday Rest Day
26 June Saturday Round 4 Game 1 14.30
27 June Sunday Round 4 Game 2* 14.30
28 June Monday Round 5 Game 1 14.30
29 June Tuesday Round 5 Game 2* 14.30
30 June Wednesday Rest day
1 July Thursday Round 6 Game 1 14.30
2 July Friday Round 6 Game 2 14.30
3 July Saturday Round 6 Game 3 14.30
4 July Sunday Round 6 Game 4 14.30
5 July Monday Round 6 Tie-Breaks 14.30
6 July Tuesday Final Match Game 1 14.30
7 July Wednesday Final Match Game 2 14.30
8 July Thursday Final Match Game 3 14.30
9 July Friday Rest Day
10 July Saturday Final Match Game 4 14.30
11 July Sunday Final Match Game 5 14.30
12 July Monday Final Match Game 6 14.30
13 July Tuesday Final Match Tie-breaks 12.30
13 July Tuesday Closing Ceremony 18.00
* Tie-breaks at 20:30h

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register