Rustam Kasimdzhanov: the world championship connection

4/15/2009 – In 2004 he won the FIDE world championship in Tripoli, knocking out an insane gauntlet of players, including Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Grischuk, Veselin Topalov and Michael Adams. Last year the Uzbek GM assisted Vishy Anand, decisively, in defending the World Championship title. Our Playchess lecturer Dennis Monokroussos shows us an instructive attacking game by the king-maker.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

Uzbek GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov (pronounced “Kah-zeem-jha-nov”) may not be a regular in the Linares-type events (though he is playing in the FIDE Grand Prix in Nalchik, starting today), but he is a player whose games deserve to be better known by the chess public. He's a sometime-2700 (currently 2695) who won the FIDE K.O. world championship in Tripoli 2004. To do so, he had to go through an insane gauntlet that included Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Grischuk, Veselin Topalov and Michael Adams. Such a feat by itself is enough to establish someone as a great player, and while he hasn't replicated that performance, he could do so at any time. He is also one of the world's strongest rapid players, is still young (29), and has a very lively, tactically-oriented style.

Like many contemporary GMs, he is outstanding in the field of opening preparation – so much so in his case that he was invited to be one of World Champion Viswanathan Anand's seconds for his match with Vladimir Kramnik. Since he was the driving force behind the powerful idea in the Semi-Slav that practically won Anand the match, we can say that the World Champion made an excellent decision in bringing him aboard.


Anand, Kasimdzhanov and GM Surya Ganguly after Anand's victory in Bonn

With this brief resume behind us, let's turn to the game we'll cover in today's show. Taking on Bosnian GM Borki Predojevic in the 2007/8 Bundesliga, we get to see the conjunction of Kasimdzhanov's great skill in preparation, together with his considerable ability as an attacker. Predojevic essayed Morozevich's sharp 11...g5 line in the Slav, leading some moves later to a complicated position with opposite-side castling and mutual attacking chances. Prior games, including one by Predojevic himself, seemed to indicate that Black had reasonable chances, but Kasimdzhanov very convincingly showed that this was not the case. He found a great idea in his preparation, but that wasn't enough to finish the game; he needed to find some brilliant moves at the board to deliver the knockout punch. And he did.


Rustam, wife Firuza and son Azar (see ChessBase report)

It's a beautiful game and theoretically significant, too. Kasimdzhanov's attack is also instructive, highlighting a number of general themes we can all use in our own play. I think you'll enjoy the game, so please join me tonight (Wednesday night) at 9 p.m. ET (that's 3 a.m. CET Thursday morning) for our presentation. It's free to watch, as always: just log on to the Playchess.com server at the start time, go to the Broadcasts room, click on the Games tab and select Kasimdzhanov-Predojevic.

I hope and expect to see everyone there – except perhaps the CPAs.

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).


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Monokroussos in Mexico: World Championship 2007
 

Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.



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