Kasparov and the (almost) Oman immortal

1/21/2014 – Garry Kasparov was recently in Muscat, Oman, at the personal invitation of Alawi Al Zawawi. He gave interviews and pushed for the creation of a chess federation in Oman, which is sadly lacking despite the enthusiasm demonstrated for the game. There he also promoted the royal game with a simul against nineteen players, in which one game stood out as a brilliancy.

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Garry Kasparov gives an interview to the Oman press

MUSCAT: Russian chess legend and former world champion Garry Kasparov has urged the local authorities to form a strong national chess federation in Oman. 

Speaking to Times Sport in an interview yesterday, Kasparov, who is on a private visit to Muscat, said with Oman having quality chess players, it is essential for the authorities to promote the game in the country. 

"All the Arab, African and Asian countries have federations but with Oman having some quality players, it is quite surprising that they do not have a national federation for chess," said Kasparov, who played an exhibition match with 20 selected players from Oman. 

The 50-year-old, who came on the personal invitation of Alawi Al Zawawi, said such exhibition matches will give Omani players a platform to excel. 

Players of all ages played in the sumptuous area "These players never had an opportunity to play a strong League and these exhibition matches will certainly give a good push to the aspiring players," he pointed out. 

Kasparov stops for a think and then...

...gets down to study it properly."Last year when I met my friend Alawi, we discussed the idea of promoting the game in Oman and when I came here, I was excited to see the popularity of the game. I think this enthusiasm will push the authorities to form a federation very soon," he said. 

Click for the full article

 

The Times of Oman interviewed Garry Kasparov and shows images of the simul and his presentation

During his stay, one of the games from the simul stood out for a near brilliancy, and the only thing preventing it from taking place was that the player deviated and chose a less spectacular way to lose. He published it at his personal website, which is well worth a bookmark to stay up-to-date on what he is doing.

Garry went 19-0 in his simultaneous exhibition in Oman on January 3, 2014. A beautiful line from one game caught his mind’s eye, but unfortunately his young opponent, Emil Sebastian, chose to lose in a relatively uneventful way! Here is the commented game:

[Event "Oman Simul"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.01.03"] [Round "?"] [White "Kasparov, Garry"] [Black "Sebastian, Emil"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B12"] [Annotator "Greengard/Kasparov"] [PlyCount "37"] 1. e4 c6 {The Caro-Kann, a favorite weapon of Garry's great rival Anatoly Karpov.} 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Be3 Qb6 5. Qc1 e6 6. c4 dxc4 7. Bxc4 Ne7 8. Ne2 Nd7 9. O-O Nd5 10. Nbc3 Be7 11. Ng3 Nxe3 12. fxe3 Bg6 13. Rf4 $5 {Garry was proud of this unusual rook maneuver since it sets several plans in motion and tempts Black into the combination he now tries. White now threatens h4 and Rg4 in some lines. If White doesn't take action Black will simply castle and play . ..c5 with an excellent and easy-to-play position.} Bg5 14. Rg4 Nxe5 $2 {A mistake, but who could resist playing a combination against Kasparov?} (14... Bh6) 15. Rxg5 Nxc4 16. Nce4 $1 {The key move that Black likely missed. Now the planned 16..Qxb2 loses to the clever 17.Nd6+! The black knight has nowhere to go.} Nxb2 (16... Qxb2 17. Nd6+ $1 Nxd6 (17... Kd7 18. Nxc4) 18. Qxb2) (16... Na5 17. Qc3 f5 18. Nc5) 17. Rb1 Nd3 {Still trying to get out alive.} 18. Qf1 ( 18. Nd6+ {Even stronger, says the computer, but wildly complicated to attempt in a simul.} Kd7 19. Qf1 Qa6 20. Rxg6 fxg6 21. Qf7+ Kxd6 22. Ne4+ Kd5 23. Nd2 Rhd8 24. Rxb7) 18... Qc7 $2 {Missing a chance to enter the history books by losing spectacularly!} (18... Qa6 {After this logical move, stepping away from the attack of the rook and protecting the knight on b7, White can crash through.} 19. Nd6+ Kd7 20. Rxb7+ (20. Rxg6 fxg6 21. Qf7+ {Garry called this "the Topalov line", referring to the Bulgarian star's love for sacrificing material in attack.} Kxd6 22. Ne4+ (22. Rxb7) 22... Kd5 23. Qd7+ (23. Nd2 $1 { Sealing off the black king's path.} Kd6 24. e4 c5 25. Rxb7 Qxb7 26. Qxb7 cxd4 27. e5+ Kxe5 28. Qb5+ Kd6 29. Ne4+ Kc7 30. Qxd3) 23... Kxe4 24. Qxe6+ Ne5 25. Qxe5+ Kd3 {No mate, though with accurate play White should be able to force a draw.}) 20... Kxd6 {Diagram [#] And here's the position Garry was really hoping would appear on the board. Alas, as the saying goes, too often the beauty in chess is left for the notes. White has only one move to win and it's lovely.} 21. Qxf7 $3 {The queen cannot be captured or the knight delivers mate in one on e4!} (21. Ne4+ $2 Bxe4 22. Qxf7 Qxb7 23. Qxb7 Rab8) (21. Rxg6 Qxb7) 21... Bxf7 (21... Qxb7 22. Qxb7 Rab8 23. Qxg7) 22. Ne4#) 19. Rxb7 (19. Rxb7 Qxb7 20. Nd6+ Kd7 21. Nxb7) 1-0

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