Linares 13: Radjabov wins again; Kasparov misses a win

3/5/2004 – Why isn't this man smiling? Because he missed another chance to join the lead. 13 wasn't lucky for the 13th world champ. Topalov held him to a draw in a spectacular game. Radjabov beat Shirov to finish even. Don't miss the live audio commentary and trivia contest during the final round on Friday at Playchess.com. Report and analysis

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

Linares Round 13

Round 13 (Thursday, March 4, 2004)
Garry Kasparov
½-½
Veselin Topalov
Peter Leko
½-½
Francisco Vallejo
Teimour Radjabov
1-0
Alexei Shirov
Round 14 (Friday, March 5, 2004)
Alexei Shirov
 
Peter Leko
Francisco Vallejo
 
Garry Kasparov
Veselin Topalov
 
Vladimir Kramnik
Games – Report

Standings: Kramnik +2, Kasparov and Leko +1, Topalov and Radjabov =, Shirov and Vallejo -2 (Radjabov has the bye in round 14.)

Join Mig and the Radio ChessBase crew and fans for live commentary, Q&A and analysis during the Linares games. The round 14 broadcast starts at 11am EST, 1400 GMT, 1700 CET. We'll have the second and final part of our live trivia contest during the final round with winners gaining fame, glory, and a chance to win ChessBase software and ChessNinja.com newsletters! Log in to Playchess.com (if it's your first time you can open a free trial account), go to the Broadcasts room (bottom-right pane), then click the Games tab (top-left pane) and click the LIVE LINARES AUDIO game to join the fun and games.

Speaking of trivia, kudos to our first three finalists! Scandinavia ruled the waves on day one, with winners from Denmark and Sweden joining another from Germany. Fame and glory to Kuken, Lindam, and Hingebjerg. (A law firm in the making.) We'll find three more finalists during the last round on Friday and the six will battle it out for the prizes.

Things not so trivial were happening on the boards during the 13th round. That's Garry Kasparov's lucky number but his luck ran short today, around 20 seconds short. With that much time he might have found the win to culminate his spectacular game against Veselin Topalov.

Kasparov slowly built up an attack on the kingside after shutting out the black pieces on the other half of the board with the radical 18.d5. That left his bishop out of the game on c2 but Topalov would have to play perfectly in mutual time trouble to survive the rest of Kasparov's army. The Battling Bulgarian came very, very close, fighting like a lion in terrible complications.

Kasparov was down to seconds for his final ten moves and his last chance to land the decisive blow passed by in an instant. It was only after he had forced a repetition draw – still before the time control – that we could go back and see that there had been a winning shot. It was everything a classic Kasparov demolition is supposed to be except for the result! A tremendous fight by both players.

Kasparov-Topalov after 31..Nf6

White can win with 32.Ne4+! Kf7 33.Nxf6 Kxf6 34.Qd2!. Instead, Kasparov forced a perpetual with 32.Ne6+ Kf7 33.Rg7+ Ke8 34.Nxc7+ Kd8 35.Ne6+ etc. The lines are incredibly difficult even with Fritz using loads of time. With only seconds on the clocks there was simply no chance.

That makes three clear missed wins for Kasparov in this event. With white and black against Radjabov and now with his final white and best chance to catch Kramnik. The rust on the world #1's game is showing in his constant time trouble. As a calculator Kasparov always likes to think and has always had clock issues, but this is a new level.

We'll have to see how he does when playing more than 20 games a year to see if he can get himself into form. See the online replay page for some wild and very Fritzy analysis of this incredibly complicated game.

Peter Leko entered the round tied for second and had every reason to play hard for a win with white against Vallejo. You could almost hear the groans from Kasparov and Kramnik when the young Spaniard repeated the Najdorf he had used successfully against Kramnik in round eight. No doubt Leko's competitors had hoped for something more solid, like the Berlin Vallejo did so well with in last year's Linares. But this time the Najdorf earned him an even shorter draw; Leko was getting the worse of things by move 19 and called it a day.

With the leader board unchanged it was again up to Teimour Radjabov to save the day. He did so by beating Shirov, scoring his second win in a row to finish his tournament with an admirable even score. The game showed all of Radjabov's talent for subtle play with sudden bursts of tactics. This was only the second Grunfeld of the tournament. In the first, Shirov had white (against Vallejo) and failed to convert a rook vs bishop advantage. In this one Shirov had black and he failed to defend the same disadvantage!

All three leaders have black in tomorrow's final round. We should be able to count on Topalov playing hard against Kramnik. Let's hope we see the same from Shirov versus Leko and Vallejo against Kasparov.

Picture by Jesús J. Boyero Gabarre

All results

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

Topics Linares
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