Our readers reply to Kasparov

11/24/2003 – The discussion of Garry Kasparov's book "My Great Predecessors" continues. In our previous column we discussed his assessment of Alekhine's famous queen sacrifice against Mieses. Our readers put a lot of effort into analysing the position, as well as Anderssen vs Dufresne. GM Karsten Müller presents the results.

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Analysis Focus #2

GM Karsten Müller on Mieses - Alekhine, Scheveningen 1913 (p. 340) and A.Anderssen-J.Dufresne, Berlin 1852 (p. 26–29).

Analysis Focus #2:
Garry Kasparov's Great Predecessors

By GM Karsten Müller

The discussion of Kasparov's book, "My Great Predecessors" is still continuing. Apparently this great work contains much food for thought! Many readers have tried to prove that Alekhine's queen sacrifice against Mieses was right. Judge for yourself, if they have succeeded and join the debate!

I think that the three most important points raised by the readers are:

1. Mieses vs Alekhine: Mark Weeks discovery in my suggested line 22.Qxb7 Rb8 23.Qg2 g5 24.Nh5 Bh8 25.Qf1? Nf3 26.Qh1 Rxe3 27.fxe3 Nd2+ 28.Ka1 Kf8: "...there is a better way to prepare 29...Rb6; i.e. 28... h6". This seems to give Black the upper hand. But White still has 25.Rd1!. Here Ian Olsen found that after 25...Nc4 26.Qf3 Na3+ White should play 27.Kc1!, when it is very doubtful, if Black can draw. Ian also doubts Dr. Hübner's line 22...Nec6: "how does black draw after 23.Qb5! Rb8 24.Qc4 Na5 25.Qf1?" But 23...a5!? looks interesting, see the analysis of Andrew Lebovitz and Jonathan Shockley.
Finally Richard Maisiak suggests earlier in the game the strong improvement 19...g5 over the continuation 19...Bf6, which Alekhine played..

2. Anderssen vs Dufresne, The evergreen game: Tim Shackel's suggestion 19...Qh3! looks very interesting.

3. Rubinstein vs Capablanca (game 64): Leroy Yves suggests "on the 38th move suggestion Ra2 I propose the follow up : 39.Rg5! b3 40.h5 Ra1 41.Rg6 and from there either a: 41...Kc5 42.Bc6 b2 43.Be4 a3 44.h6 a2 45.h7 b1Q 46.h8Q .. or b: 41...b2 42.Rc6 Kb5 43.Rc8 b1Q 44.Bc4 Kb6 45.Rb8 Kc6 46.Rb1 Rb1 47.g4 in both case winning I think."

Here are several of the interesting contributions of the readers (my answers are in italics). Please note that you can replay all the suggestions on our Javascript board.

Mieses vs Alekhine

Mark Weeks, Brussels, Belgium
In the line 22.Qxb7 Rb8 23.Qg2 g5 24.Nh5 Bh8 25.Qf1 Nf3 26.Qh1 Rxe3 27.fxe3 Nd2+ 28.Ka1 Kf8, there is a better way to prepare 29...Rb6; i.e. 28... h6 29. Qg2 Nd3 (29... Rd8 30. Qb7 Rd6 31. Qc8+ Kh7 32. Qf5+ w/perpetual) 30. Rb1 (30. cxd3 Bxb2+ 31. Ka2 Bxc1) 30... Nxb1 (30... Rb6 31.Qa8+ Kh7 32. Qc8) 31. cxd3 Rxb2 32. Qxb2 Bxb2+ 33. Kxb2 Nd2 and Black has an extra Pawn.

28...h6! is indeed an improvemant over my suggested line, which seems to give Black good winning chances. Well done, Mark! But White still has 25.Rd1!.

Ian Olsen, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan
In the Mieses - Alekhine game, black not only can't win, but seems to only have 1 definite draw as mentioned by Kasparov: 22.Qxb7 Rb8 23.Qg2 Nc4 24.c3 Na2 25.Kxa2 Rxb2+ 26.Ka1 Nxe3 27.Qc6 Reb8 28.fxe3 R2b3 29.Qa4 Be7 30.Ka2 Rb2+ 31.Ka1 and the draw will be by repetition. After Dr. Hübner's 22...Nec6, how does black draw after 23.Qb5! Rb8 24.Qc4 Na5 25.Qf1?

In the line 22.Qxb7 Rb8 23.Qg2 g5 24.Nh5 Bh8, GM Karsten Muller says black responds to 25.Rd1 with 25...Nc4 then 26.Qf3 Na3+ 27.bxa3 but what about 27.Kc1! instead? (27...Na2+ 28.Kd2 Rxb2 29.Nf6+ Bxf6 30.Qxf6) An interesting try by white that wasn't mentioned is after 22.Qxb7 Rb8, playing 23.Qh1. Now if 23...Nc4 24.c3 Na2 25.Kxa2 Rxb2+ 26.Ka1 Nxe3 (26...Reb8 27.Nd5!), 27.Kxb2 is possible. However, 24...Rxe3 25.cxb4 Rxb4 26.Rxc4 Rxb2+ 27.Kc1 Rxf2 is winning for black.

You raised two very interesting points:

1) "After Dr. Hübner's 22...Nec6, how does black draw after 23.Qb5! Rb8 24.Qc4 Na5 25.Qf1." I can not see a way at the moment. Good remark!

2) 27.Kc1! is indeed an improvemant in my line. Black has many tries, e.g. 26.Qf3 Bxb2 or 26...Na3+ 27.Kc1 Na2+ 28.Kd2 Rxb2, but I can't see a way for Black to equalize then.

Laurent Linnemer, Montpellier, France
If the GM did not find an attack, why not go for an endgame (à la Fisher, that is with two pawns agains a piece): 22...Nxg4 23.Qxb4 Rb8 24.Qa3 Nxe3 25.fxe3 Rxb2+ 26.Qxb2 Bxb2 27.Kxb2 Rxe3 28.Ra1 g5 29.Nh5 Rh3 30.Nf6+ Kg7 31.Ne8+ Kf8 32.Nxc7 Rxh2 33.Rxa7 h5 for instance and I think that black has more chances than white even if the position should be a draw.

But what about 22...Ng4 23.Bxa7!?

Andrew Lebovitz, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Hello Chessbase! I had fun analyzing the position after 22. Qxb7 from the game J.Mieses -A.Alekhine, Scheveningen 1913. Of course, I am only rated about 1900 USCF, so even I only regard my comments as fun suggestions. But, I did find a couple of neat ideas for Black after 22. Qxb7 Rb8 23. Qg2 a5. I considered the moves (1) 24. c3, (2) 24. Bd4, and (3) 24. Ba7.

(1) 24. c3 Nbd3 25. Nxd3 Nxd3 26. Rc2 Ne1 is maybe about equal? I don't know how a good player would evaluate this position.

(2) 24. Bd4 c5 25. Bc3 ... allows Black to have some fun with 25. ... Nc4 26. Bxf6 Nd2+ 27. Ka1 Nxc2+. Now 28. Rxc2 must be a mistake on account of 28. ... Nb3+ 29. Ka2 Re1, when White has no good defense to mate on a1 by the rook.

Therefore, White must go in for 28. Ka2 Nb4+ 29. Ka3 (or Ka1 is similar)... And now Black has 29. ... Re4 with the threat 30. ... Nc2+ 31. Rxc2 Rb3+ 32. Ka2 Ra4#. It looks to me like White's best may be 30. Qxe4, after which I would conclude that Black now stands better than he did in the position after 22. Qxb7.

(3) 24. Ba7 Nc4 25. c3 .... Originally I thought Black would have to take a perpetual with the knight checks on d2 and b3, but then I found the interesting 25. ... Nd2+ 26. Ka1 Nb3+ 27. Kb1 Nxc1 28. Bxb8 Nca2 29. cxb4 Nxb4, and White cannot protect his bishop and guard against mate (Re1) at the same time. Perhaps this line allows Black some attacking possibilities.

Also, 24. Ba7 Nc4 25. Bxb8 Rxb8, and it seems like Black should have a lot of threats. I even found an amusing perpetual for Black after 26. Rh1 Na3+ 27. Kc1 Rd8 28. bxa3 Na2+ 29. Kb1 Rb8+ 30. Kxa2 Rb2+.

Certainly my analysis is not exhaustive (or even accurate?), but I hope it touches on some nice ideas for continuing Black's attack after 22. Qxb7.

Jonathan Shockley, San Francisco, USA
I think black can win, or at least give white a little bit of hell... 1.Qb7 Rb8 2.Qg2! a5! 3.g5 Bg7 4.Bd4(4.Ba7 Nc4! 5.Bb8 Rb8 6.Re1 Nb2 7.Re4 Na4 8.Kc1 Nc3 9.Rc4 a4 is better for black or 4.Ka1 a4 5.c3 a3! 6.cb4 Rb4 with good practical chances)..Nc4 5.Bg7 Nd2 6.Ka1 Nc2 7.Ka2 Re4 8.Qe4 Nb4 9.Ka3 Ne4 10.Be5 Ng5 11.Rc7 Nf3 and black is better.

Ray, Israel
The best shot for black after 22.Qxb7 is 22...Nc4!? White will have to play very carefully here in order to maintain his advantage. There is no reason not to take the Knight, so 23.Qxb4,Rb8 24.Nd5! (everything else losses),Bg7 25.Bb6!!(everything else losses). From here actually, I couldn't find anything too good for black. From here he should fight for a draw.

Very interesting line, Ray! But objectivly speaking, White is better, as you have pointed out.

Tony Dowden Dunedin, New Zealand
Just a thought: in the line 22.Qxb7 Rb8 23.Qg2! Nc4 24.c3 Na2 25.Kxa2 Rxb2+ 26.Ka1 I first thought the crude 26...Re5 looked very threatening but I think White holds with 27.Qa8+ Kg7 28.Qxa7 Rb3 when after White Q for R the ending can't be too difficult to negotiate. Or is it?

White wins with 27.Qa8+ Kg7 28.Nd5! +-.

Bennie Wardi, Espoo, Finland
After Qb7 Rg8 and move 24... after Nc4 and c3 Black Plays Na2 25. Kxa2 Rxb2 26. Ka1 Rb3! and after that ideas Reb8 And Ra3+ What do you think?

26...Rb3? is met by 27.Nd5! Bg7 28.Qf1 +-

Sergey Sorokhtin, St. Petersburg
Mieses has draw after 30.Kd1 Rc8 31.Qe4!!=(31.g5? is terrible mistake)31...Rb1+(31...Rcc2? 32.Qd3+- Rc8 33.Re1 Re8 34.Qd8+ Bd8 35.Bc1 Rg2 36.Re8+ win) 32. 32.Kd2 Rb2+ 33.Kd1= I has sent my remarks for Garry. He ansvered me: "Sergey! Your remark important for my. Thanks a lot." He published my remarks in vol. 2. See Pillsbury-Lasker 1895, Page 518 in Russian Edition vol 2. Sorry my english.

Richard Maisiak, Phoenix, AZ USA

I’m an average OTB player but I’m good at analysis. For instance, I enjoyed participating in Kasparov vs. the World years ago. Now that I’m in retirement I have more time to spend on fun like this. I couldn’t find anything wrong with Qxb7. Was Alekhine’s Queen sacrifice correct? I still think yes, in a practical and theoretical sense. First, it would be difficult for his opponent to play Qxb7 OTB. Also, It seems that Black can attain a lasting advantage on move 19 with 19…. g5!. This move puts White in a bind where White’s c2 pawn is attacked and white’s Queen can be trapped. With best play on both sides, Black seems to get a pawn up into an endgame.

The main line is: 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. Qxd4 Nc6 4. Qe3 Be7 5. Bd2 Nf6 6. Nc3 O-O 7. O-O-O d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Qg3 Bh4 10. Qf3 Be6 11. Be3 Nxc3 12. Rxd8 Nxa2+ 13. Kb1 Raxd8 14. Be2 Nab4 15. Nh3 Rfe8 16. Nf4 Bf5 17. Rc1 g6 18. g4 Be4 19. Qh3

19...g5 (improvement !?) 20. Nh5 (only decent place for it) Re6 21. Bc4 (all else is worse) Nxc2 22. Bxe6 Ne1+ (better than Nxe3) 23. Ka1 Bg2 24. Bxg5 Bxh3 25.Bxh4 Rd4 26. Bc8 Nf3 27. Bxb7 Bxg4 28. Nf6+ Kg7 29. Nxg4 Rxg4 30. Bf6+ Kxf6 31. Rxc6+ Kg7=+. There are lots of tactics and exchanges in this game but Black seems to get White's queen and remain a pawn up. I can’t say that it would be decisive for Black, but you GMs might know better. If you find this useful I can add more subvariations to the lines.

19...g5!? is indeed very interesting! Well done Richard!

Dennis Cesar Caluban, Salmiyah, Kuwait
I think GM Alexander Alekhine's queen sacrifice against J. Mieses, Scheveningen (3), 29.07.1913 is good but only sufficient to draw. J. Mieses erred seriously on the following move: 31. g5?? He should have continued 31. Rg2 (the only move, preventing 31...Rcc2) then 31...Rb1+ 32.Kd2 Rb3 33.Kd1 and black has no better move than to repeat 33...Rb1+ draw! Alekhine's play is far from perfect because he could have checkmated Mieses on 33...Re2+ 34.Kf1 Rxd1 Mate. Thanks for your excellent analysis on Chesscafe website about endgames.

Paul Bailey, Sheffield, UK
A search for the definitive truth in a position like this seems to me to miss the point. As I see it there is a psychological component to sacrifices which must be considered an integral part of the move. The uncertainties and insecurities a player feels when challenged by such a move play their part too. If you want the truth of the position let Fritz look at it for a week or more but this won't tell you whether the move was justified.

Daniel Cocchetto, Windsor, Canada
With all due respect to G.K., I believe he should let those Alekhine masterpieces rest in peace. Today, we can all use computers to find combinations that search deeper than the human mind. And these machines will continue to get stronger. Nobody who has ever lived could beat Alekhine in his prime. {due to his addiction to alcohol this is a very small window - say the San Remo and Bled tournaments in the early thirties - where the great Nimzovistch himself [one not easily given to compliments] cried out "He is playing with us as though we were children!"

Rodrigo Saez, Temuco, Chile
Who cares? The game is beautiful, the sacrifice always is sound when you win. This just another example that Anyone with Garry..oops, Fritz in his computer, can find holes in the analysis of great master from the past An egomaniac like Kasparov always works this way. He wants to write "Look even the great Alekhine made mistakes". I'm pretty sure in the third volume of his book, we will see how Fritz shows there is absolutely no mistakes in his famous game with Topalov and others...

Anderssen vs Dufresne

Tim Shackel, Menasha, United States

Hi. This is in regard to the position Garry gave the follow-up for. Is it just me or can black just play in response to Anderssen's 19. Rad1?! 19...Qh3!? threatening mate, and 20. Bf1 is the only move, then 20...Qf5! threatening to pick off the f6 pawn and much of the e7 threat dangers, and then 21. Bd3 (not 21. Kh1 Bxf2 22. Re2 23. h3 Rg3! with threats of Rxf3 -/+) 21...Qxf6 22. Bxh7 Kf8!! 23. Bxg8 Kxg8 24. Rxd7 Ng6 looks very playable for black! I would love that nice attacking position. Could you give that analysis to Garry? This seems too simple for him to miss.

Hi again....this is a small continuation to my last email I just submitted. I forgot to put my main variation in before I submitted it. 19...Qh3!? where 20. Rxe7+?? is a terrible blunder because after 20...Nxe7 and there's no followup because d7's covered by the queen at h3. Please send that to Garry, it looks like a simple, yet unseen refutation to Anderssen's Rad1?!.

19...Qh3!? looks really interesting and may be even better than 19...Rg4. Has 19...Qh3 been analysed or mentioned before? More analysis and sources are welcome!

Further analysis and remarks on Bird vs Morphy

First I want to quote from Endgame Corner 25 (January 2003):

Rolf Knobel from Switzerland found the following improvement over my analysis (22.Kc1 a5 23.Qc2 Qa3+ 24.Qb2 axb4 25.Qxa3 bxa3 26.Be3 Rb3! 27.Kd2 Rb2+ 28.Ke1 a2 29.Ra1):

"I have some additional analysis which seems to demonstrate that the position is won shorter and therefore simpler. I like your move 29...Bd7! in the main variation D3b422). After 30.Kd1 c5 31.dxc5 Be7! Black correctly refrains from an early 31...Ba4+? (32.Ke1 Bxh2 33.Bd4). After the really bad looking (but necessary) 32. h4 it came to me that Black does not have to rush things. The bishop is kept at its good position where it can fire in both directions. It resembles zugzwang.

Therefore, I propose 32...h6! One point is that the bishop is covered after: a) 33. h5 Bf6 34.Bd4 Rb1+ 35.Kd2 Bg5+ 36.Be3 Rb2+ 37.Kc1 Rxe2.

b) 33. Bd4 (or 33. Bf2 Bf6 34.Bd4) neglects c1 when after 33...Bxh4!, 34. Rxa2 is not possible anymore. So 34. Rxh4 Rb1+ 35.Kc2 Rxa1 36.c4 Rb1 and 37.cxd5 is refuted by the nice 37...Ba4+ 38.Kd2 Rb4!

c) The white bishop cannot leave the f1–a6 diagonal: 33. Bh5 (33.c6 Bxc6 34. Bg4 is similar) 33...Ba4+ 34.Ke1 Bxh4+ 35.Kf1 Bb5+ 36.Kg1 Bg3 and...Bh2+.

d) The d1–h5 diagonal needs to be covered also: 33.Ba6 Ba4+ 34.Ke1 Bxh4+ 35.Kf1 Bf6 36.Bd4 Bxd4 37.cxd4 Bd1! and even the desperate 38.Bb7 does not help after 38.... Be2+ 39.Ke1 Bc4 40.Bc8 e3 41.Bf5 Kf7. The heavy forces from white look really poor in their initial positions!"

René Olthof, The Netherlands
Im Jahre 1979 wurde in Schaakbulletin 139, dem Vorläufer von New In Chess Magazine, ein Leserbrief veröffentlicht von Han Sinke, der in holländischen Schachkreisen auf großes Interesse stieß. In Schaakbulletin 142 hat Evert Jan Straat kurz auf Sinke's Analysen reagiert.

A very interesting article along Karpov's lines. But I still think that 26...Rb3! is stronger than Karpov's and Straat's 26...a2.

Keven Duncan, Toowoomba
Bird - Morphy: 22.Kc1 Bf5 (a5 23.Qc2 Qa3+ 24.Qb2 axb4 25.Qxa3 bxa3 26.Be3 Rb3! 27.Kd2 Rb2+ 28.Ke1 a2 =/+) 23.Be1 Qa1+ 24.Kc2 e3+ 25.Kb3 exd2 26.Rxa1 dxe1Q! 27.Rhxe1 (27.Raxe1 a5 28.Rhf1 g6 29.Rf2 Be4 30.Ra1 axb4 31.c4 c5 32.cxd5 cxd4 -/+) 27...Bxh2 28.Rxa7 Bd6 -/+

I think that 22...a5! gives Black a winning advantage (see also Knobel's analysis above). After Kasparov's 22...Bf5 I am still not sure, if Black can get a real advantage after 23.Be3.

Martin Bengtsson, Pleasanton CA, USA
My CM8000 gives: 17...Bb4 18 c3-Bd6 19 Rdg1-Bd7 20 Kb1-a5 21 Bf1-Qh4 22 h3-Ba3 23 b3-Bd6 for a score of -1.63. The move Rxf2 was an immediate 0.00 score due to white's eventual Kc1 instead of Kb2. After letting my CM8000 take a closer look at the position (hours) there were some interesting results. Initially 22.Kc1-Bf5 23.Qe3-Bxb4 24.Kd2-Ba5 25.Ke1-Rb2 26.Rd2-Rb1+ 27.Rd1-Qa1 28.Rxb1-Bxc3+ for -0.19 however it finally decided that 23...Qa2 was needed and then 24.Rhg1-a5 25.Rd2-Qa1+ 26.Kc2-Qa4+ 27.Kb1-axb4 28.Ra2-bxc3 29.Ka1-Qb4 for -0.55 After even further "thinking" 28.Rb2-b3 29.Bd1-h6 30.Be1-Bh7 31.Rg4-c5 32.dxc5-Be5 33.Rh4-Kh8 34.Rg4-Qa3. for -1.76. White's rook seems undecided here.

Sakari Pankkonen, Helsinki, Finland

Thank you for the possibility to join the search for "ultimate chess truth"! In the game example, I would like to bring out some contextual and universal aspects on this dilemma, putting aside tactical possibilities and exact lines. In my opinion, there are many truths in this matter.

First, we have Morphy, in his top form, to crusade into Europe trying to challenge the best players in the world (especially Staunton). Second, the 19th century chess didn't value positional play so much (as pointed out in Kasparov's book), but almost insisted tactical play with sacrifices, brilliant or dubious. Third, we have the knowledge of the past and the resources to make powerful analyses with our computers.

Truth #1. The single game should be taken as a whole and has its unique psychological, physical and environmental aspects. It is the 8th game of a match, the score is 3–0 to Morphy, I think, and he is in the control of the match. So, for example, to put his opponent into even more stretch, Morphy could make such a wonderful move as 17...Rxf2!. Not to say, that it was a single trick without a deep consideration; on the contrary, it may have been a result of diabolical planning to fully crush his opponent's play. As the game's result shows, Bird didn't find a way to repel Morphy's furious attact.

Truth #2. The sacrifice 17...Rxf2! is a logical continuation in respect of the chess vogue in the 19th century. The sacrifice could have be even expected, in this view. Morphy's style to create attack and find attacking reserves "from nothing" is his own fascinating playing style, here shown in its best. Surely, Morphy was a very self-confident player and a magnificent calculator, but this move was based more on intuition.

Truth #3. 20th century chess found out, that efficient attacks should be built on a careful preparation, positional factors and co-operation of pieces – not to forget securing own position. In the game, before black's 17th move, black's development is not yet finished but he has a space advantage, rooks on semi-open files and he is a pawn up. But his rooks are not connected and the queen's bishop is not yet in play. In this sense, Euwe's "slow" 17...Bf5! and ...Bg6 is very well thought, or Kasparov's more energetic and "crude" 17...Bg4! is fully justified. This way black has better options to conduct a "safe" attack or change pieces to reach a favourable ending.

Truth #4. After some decades from now, our silicon assistants may find out that white plays 1.e4! and mates in 64 – although we chess players don't wish this scenario to ever happen.

Most likely there are more "truths" than these four I presented. Each truth has its good points, but none of them is the absolute truth. The fascination of chess, shown wonderfully in the game example, is the art of creative thinking. On the human point of view (and to skip truth #4), a chess game, in its best, is no mathematical theorem that requires to be proven but a piece of art to be enjoyed during playing it and many years after in post-mortems. To conclude, this precise game is a fine example and a good argument in Kasparov's hypothesis of the development of chess.

Alex Wahl, Pincourt, Quebec
After 22.Kc1 Bf5! 23.Be1! Qa1+ 24.Kc2 e3+ 25.Kb3 exd2 26.Rxa1 Re8 27.Ba6 dxe1Q 28.Raxe1 Rxe1 29.Rxe1 Bxh2 30.Bb7 Be4 31.Bxc6 Kf7, (Kasparov's line) junior 8 shows a 0.00 score. i will look into what junior sais after Kc1 Bf5. (when junior showed a 0.00 score, it was depth 19)

Timothy, Chou, New York, USA
17... Bg4 18 Bxg4 Qxg4 allows black to maintain the pressure and links his rooks. After 19 Rh-g1 Qf3, white is hanging on for dear life with 20 h4 as he has nothing else going for him. Black will double his rooks and use his bishop to exploit the inevitable dark-squared weaknesses that will accompany the inevitable b3 pawn push.

Sergei Kanevsky, Moscow, Russia
I think that after 17...Rxf2! 18.Bxf2 it is better to play 18...Ba3! And then if 19.c3, than 19...Rxb2 20.Qxb2 Qxc3+

Indeed a pretty line, but after 18...Ba3 White can defend with 19.Qe3! =

Cyrille Viossat, Paris, France

Well, I'm a bit nonplussed. When you have a big name, everyone seems to assume you came up with the idea first. It was me who sent the letter to New in Chess suggesting Bf5 back in 1992, and my friend Jean Jabbour who had had the idea and done most of the analysis. I only wrote the letter because I spoke better English, was a stronger player at the time and, admittedly, had done some of the analysis. Indeed, there was a mistake in one of the lines. One. Remember most people did not have computers back then, and at least we did not have one.

Now Kasparov publishes a book in 2003 and everyone is thanking him for the great Bf5 suggestion and says how wonderful it is that when they check the analysis with their computers it gives the same moves as the book. Well, no wonder, the analysis being done with the same software... So, if indeed and despite our one mistake when we forgot a perpetual resource for white Bf5 turns out to win, please let this obscure player Jean Jabbour get his small but deserved chunk of glory. He came up with the move, unassisted, long before anyone with a big name and a big computer.

To understand this and the following better I quote from my analysis in Endgame Corner 23: "C) 22...Bf5?! is interesting as well. Cyrille Viossat and Jean Jabbour tried to prove in a letter to New in Chess Magazine No.2/1992 (page 5f) that Black wins now. But there is a mistake in their line B). After 23.Qe3 Qa2 B1) 24.Rhg1 Bxb4 White can reach a draw with 25.cxb4 Rxb4 26.Rxg7+! . There is of course much more analysis of 22...Bf5, but I think that it is not sufficient to win."

I asked Cyrille what he thought about my analysis of 22...a5!?. Here is his reply:

I couldn't spend much time on it anymore -but quite simply I accepted your find of a way out of jail for white, and therefore assumed that the whole Bf5 line led to a draw, without checking it anymore. Having a quick look today, I don't immediately see an improvement for black. The queen is not the best blockader, but white IS a rook up. Maybe there's a way to play the attack, but Rxg7+ is a strong resource. Until something better is found, a5 has to be the winning try.

I reckon that's one problem with those computer based analysis. An early drawing resource may be missed because the computer wants to win, whereas we want to know whether there is at least a draw for white. Maybe that's why Kasparov seems to favour a different line for white after Bf5 (I take that from your article as I have not bought the book).

Yes I should take a closer look at a5, my impression was like yours, I could not see a clear way to draw. But then now that so many strong players with computers are on the lookout I can hardly be expected to find some improvement -I am after all a mere 2100 player who sees little interest in systematically using computers to analyse Morphy's games, while I haven't seen Jean since 1994, and he's even weaker than me. I'm sure he'd like to know that his Bf5 idea is now the subject of some debate though, I must find a way to contact him. I'd like Bf5 to work of course as it seemed thematic to me. But a5 has some logical point to it, besides apparently working. After all, the compensation in the form of a very strong passed pawn that restricts white's pieces is a modern chess feature, if one fairly hard to spot from the starting position. a7 as potentially passed?!? That takes some imagination!

The funny thing was that I discovered your endgame corner a while ago, doing a google research on my own name to see which pages it led too. And you quoted my letter to NIC that I had almost forgotten. I went back to my NIC collection and found it, sweet memories from my teens as I wrote it when I was 15.

Readers suggestions in other positions

Leroy Yves, Tervuren Belgium
Hi again , analysing game 64 Rubinstein - Capablanca ; on the 38 th move suggestion Ra2 I propose the follow up : 39.Rg5! b3 40.h5 Ra1 41.Rg6 and from there either a: 41...Kc5 42.Bc6 b2 43.Be4 a3 44.h6 a2 45.h7 b1Q 46.h8Q .. or b: 41...b2 42.Rc6 Kb5 43.Rc8 b1Q 44.Bc4 Kb6 45.Rb8 Kc6 46.Rb1 Rb1 47.g4 in both case winning I think

A very interesting line! Is Leroy Yves right? I can only add in line a after 45.h7: 45...Rh1!? 46.d4+ Kxd4 47.Kxh1 b1Q+ 48.Bxb1 axb1Q+ 49.Kh2 Qxg6 50.h8Q +-. Please check this! It is on page 200f. Did Kasparov really make a mistake here?

Richard Price, Mobile, AL USA
A reference to Spassky-Petrosian 5th match game 1969 is given at the year 1960, in which no such match took place! The page number is 439. The reference is appended to move 13., Game number 145. Alekihine-Euwe, WCC 18th game. Opening D41.

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General Remarks on Kasparov's work

Coskun Duman, Ankara, Turkey
Good book!

Johnny Marcial, Philippines
Well, human analysis now is becoming irrelevant because computer analysis is . . . well I should say perfect. Why not analyse grandmasters way of thinking during those days compared to GM's today?

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