Monday, 29 October 2007

The Move That Killed Dracula

Naisortep (or can I call you Nargit?) has asked to see the move that killed Dracula (see previous post). The position is from Anand vs Kasparov, in the final of the PCA/Credit Suisse Knock-Out Rapidplay in Geneva, 1996. Their rapidplay encounters ended 1-1, so two blitz games were needed to break the tie. The first was drawn and this is the position in the deciding second blitz game after Anand's move 33 Rc1-e1. On the face of it he's completely busted, having lost two central pawns in a middlegame melee. However, his last move sets a trap and this is, after all, a blitz game. Kasparov thinks he can simply exchange material and win the endgame so he plays the move you see in the clip - 33...Qxe3 - but it's a horrible, horrible blunder. The next thing you see is Vishy's hand hover over g4 and in that instant Kasparov realises what's coming and his eyes blaze with horror... 34 Qxg4! ... as Vishy later wrote: "The face-pulling he did now rivalled anything he has ever done!". With his queen and c8 rook attacked, Kasparov soon played 34...0-0 but it is quite clear from his histrionics that he knew he was dead and buried.

Here's the complete score:

Anand,V (2750) - Kasparov,G (2785) [B90]
Geneve PCA-GP Credit Suisse Geneve (4.4), 01.09.1996

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 Ng4 7 Bg5 h6 8 Bh4 g5 9 Bg3 Bg7 10 Be2 h5 11 Bxg4 Bxg4 12 f3 Bd7 13 Bf2 Nc6 14 Qd2 Ne5 15 0-0 g4 16 f4 Nc4 17 Qe2 Rc8 18 b3 Na3 19 Nd5 e6 20 Nb4 Qa5 21 Qe1 h4 22 Be3 h3 23 g3 Nb5 24 Rd1 Nc3 25 Nd3 Qc7 26 Rc1 Nxe4 27 f5 e5 28 f6 Nxf6 29 Nf5 Bxf5 30 Rxf5 Qc6 31 Qe2 Qe4 32 Rf2 Nd5 33 Re1 Qxe3 34 Qxg4 0-0 35 Rxe3 Nxe3 36 Qxh3 Nxc2 37 Qd7 Nd4 38 Qxb7 a5 39 Kg2 Rc3 40 Nb2 Nc2 41 Nc4 d5 42 Nd6 Ne3+ 43 Kh3 f5 44 Qd7 f4 45 Qe6+ Kh7 46 Nf7 Rxf7 47 Qxf7 Rc6 48 gxf4 Rf6 49 Qc7 e4 50 f5 d4 51 Qe7 Rh6+ 52 Kg3 Nd1 53 Rf4 e3 54 Rg4 1-0

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Dracula Sees the Sign of the Cross

Long radio silence here at my blog. Apologies. After my busy time in the Isle of Man, I went down with a bad cold, then it was time for the November BCM...

... excuses, excuses. You don't want to hear that stuff, do you? Well, here's an oldie but goldie. I think this must be my favourite chess video clip of all time...

This is from a big 1996 rapidplay tournament. 22 seconds of pure joy for all of us (with one notable exception). Kasparov makes a capture but, as Vishy Anand's hand momentarily hovers over his reply, realisation dawns for Kasparov. Just look at those eyes - like Christopher Lee's Dracula as he sees Peter Cushing's sign of the cross. Kasparov throws himself back in his chair, mad eyes still swivelling in their sockets. As a victorious Vishy said immediately after the game: "Did you see his reaction? It was BEAUTIFUL!!".

Indeed it was. And they say chess is not televisual. When Kasparov played chess, it was always worth watching. How we miss him.