Training in style – Kasparov and Carlsen in Marrakech

by ChessBase
1/13/2010 – When you are the world's number one player, and when your coach is the legendary Garry Kasparov, then you don't go into training camp just anywhere. Magnus Carlsen travelled to Morocco, took residence in a five-star garden hotel, and conducted intense preparation for the Wijk aan Zee super-GM. The two also played a double simul for their hosts. We have games.

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Es Saadi Garden Hotel in Marrakech

This is where the two GMs trained. The hotel blurb tells us: Es Saadi Gardens and Resort is set in the heart of the city of Marrakesh in an eight hectares park with shaded pathways that lead you to the Hotel, the Palace, the Villas, Restaurants, Swimming Pools and Spas and on to the Casino de Marrakesh. A subtle mixture luxury and refinement with traditional Moroccan hospitality makes Es Saadi guests wish to return year after year.

There is a large central swimming pool, two tennis courts, a health and fitness centre
with exercise facilities, sauna, hammam, massage and a variety of beauty treatments.

A large terrace surrounds the pool where drinks and snacks can be ordered

A breakfast feast in the hotel. The gardens are colourful, their restaurant is renowned
for its excellent cuisine and extensive wine list.

The lobby area of one of the hotel villas

The main hotel offers 150 air-conditioned rooms and suites all with balcony, phone and TV. There are ten Villas, each one situated in its own exotic garden with a swimming pool (heated in winter) and individually themed for a particular architecture. If you need to book for your next training session at the Es Saadi Hotel you can do so here

Simultaneous exhibition with Kasparov and Carlsen

On Saturday, January 9th, while wrapping up their playing session, Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen gave a double simultaneous exhibition in the Es Saadi Garden Hotel in Marrakech. The opponents were local club players, many rated 2000 and higher. Magnus won nineteen of twenty games, drawing one. Kasparov won all twenty games, but took longer to do so: three hours and fifteen minutes, compared to two hours and 15 minutes that Magnus required. Around five hundred dignitaries and visitors watched the event. The Moroccan Chess Federation (Fédération Royale Marocaine des Eches or FRME) was delighted with promotion it meant for chess in Morocco, which is not yet listed in the FIDE rankings.

Before the start of the event

Former World Champion Garry Kasparov

Kasparov at work: it took him 3 hours and 15 minutes to win all 20 games

Magnus Carlsen took 2 hours and 15 minutes to score 19½/20 points

Taoufik Bouchaâra, the only player to secure half a point

After the event we spoke to Garry (he sipping tea in the garden restaurant, surrounded by palms and butterflies, we completely snowed in in a severe North European winter) and he kindly dictated a couple of games for us.

Kasparov,Garry - N.N. [A45]
Simul Marrakech, 09.01.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5. Kasparov plays the Trompowsky! 2...Ne4 3.Bf4 d6 4.f3 Nf6 5.e4 g6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Qd2 h5 8.0-0-0 a6 9.Qe1 0-0

Kasparov has diligently prepared a kingside assault, which can now begin. 10.e5 Nh7 11.h4 c6 12.g4 hxg4 13.h5 g5 14.h6 Bh8 15.Bg3 f5 16.fxg4 f4

17.Qe4! (threatening 18.Qg6+ and mate) 17...Qe8 18.exd6 exd6 19.Bc4+ d5 20.Nxd5 Be6 21.Ne7+

and because of 21...Qxe7 22.Qg6+ Black resigned. 1-0. [Click to replay]

Kasparov,Garry - N.N. [C43]
Simul Marrakech, 09.01.2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.dxe5 d5 5.Nbd2 Nxd2 6.Qxd2 c5 7.Qf4 a6 8.c3 Nc6 9.Bd3 Be7 10.Qg3 Kf8 11.0-0 Be6 12.Ng5 Bxg5 13.Bxg5 Qd7 14.Rad1 d4 15.Be4 Bd5 16.Bb1 Re8 17.f4 Qe6 18.Rde1 Bc4 19.f5 Qc8

20.e6 f6 21.Bf4 Ne7 etc. and 1-0. Garry tells us that he had prepared for the defence 20...Bxf1 and had intended to continue 21.Bh6 gxh6 22.f6 Rxe6 (22...Rg8 23.Qd6+ Ne7 24.exf7) 23.Qg7+ Ke8 24.Qxh8+ Kd7 25.Qxc8+ Kxc8 26.Rxe6

which leaves White an exchange up with a pretty winning position. 1-0. [Click to replay]


One of the simutaneous opponents sent us the following game:

Kasparov,Garry - Morad,Cherigui [C43]
Marrakech, 14.01.2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.dxe5 d5 5.Nbd2 Nxd2 6.Qxd2 c5 7.Qf4 a6 8.c3 Nc6 9.Bd3 Be7 10.Qg3 Kf8 11.0-0 Be6 12.Ng5 Bxg5 13.Bxg5 Qd7 14.Rad1 d4 15.Be4 Bd5 16.Bb1 Re8 17.f4 Qe6 18.Rde1 Bc4 19.f5 Qc8 20.e6 f6 21.Bf4 Ne7 22.Rf3 a5 23.cxd4 Bd5 24.Rc3 c4 25.Bd6 Qc6 26.a4 Kg8 27.b3 Nc8 28.Ba3 Nb6

29.Bc2! Preparing the queen sac on g7. 29...Rc8 30.Qxg7+ and Black resigned because of 30...Kxg7 31.Rg3+ Kh6 32.Bc1+ Kh5 33.Bd1+ Kh4 34.Rh3 mate. 1-0. [Click to replay]

Video of the Kasparov-Carlsen Marrakech simultaneous

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