Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Wild Linares 2005

| Permalink | 75 comments

A strange end to a very uneven tournament. Kasparov dominated like the good old days only to abruptly play into a losing pawn endgame in the final round and allow Topalov to catch him on points. (..Qd8-Qb6 should have been fine for a draw while his ..Qxf1 was a loss. Even later Topalov blundered with 27.h4?? (27.Kg4 wins) and Kasparov returned the favor with 27...g6?? when 27...h6 draws.) Kasparov was already guaranteed the Linares title because of tiebreaks. (They should keep these secret or do something to avoid so much anti-climax.) They are tied on points and number of wins, but second tiebreak is wins with black. Sad to spoil such a magnificent event for Kasparov, who despite the last round hallucination answered just about every question about whether or not he still deserves to be called #1.

Not to take anything away from Topalov, who was amazing in the final rounds to catch Kasparov. He is just a tremendous fighter and becomes the moral victor. Vallejo Pons and Kasimdzhanov fell apart completely in the second half. When only the top guys are there and draw a lot we complain, but having a pair of zombies handing out points and half points leaves a sour taste as well. Anand lost in the final round to a nice effort by Adams. Anand was often in trouble and really could have done much worse.

What to say about Leko? He played two short draws with white in interesting positions and just couldn't get anything going. I feel sorry for him because he's a nice guy and I know he tries, but this was back to Leko 1.0 in several games. (An Indian paper took my "Drawcula" tag for Leko and said it was something chessplayers often said. And they used it about Anand!? Ah well, it probably won't make the OED.)


Are you sure that the pawn ending was losing for Kasparov? Garry claimed after the game that ...h6 instead of ...g6 would draw, so maybe his loss was just a brain explosion in a simple endgame (a la Vallejo v Anand).

a last round 'gift' to Topalov doesn't change the fact that GK dominated Linares 2005.

Yes, results don't say everything -- Topalov was lucky not to lose the game he won against Adams, for example. All in all, Kasparov definitely played the best chess in the tournament, in spite of tying with Topalov. Should be said as well that he chalked up most of his points against the tailenders and actually scored -1 against Topalov, Anand and Leko together, though.

if we take a close look, you'll see than between first 4 players only only 2 decisive games from 12 played, 83% draw percentage...

GK dominated?
He won against weak opponents, 3.5/4 vs Kasim and Vallejo. And he beat his second favorite customer Adams 2/2 (Shirov being his most favorite). Nonetheless it was a good show of force to the chess community indicating that he IS STILL the top player.


Drop Vallejo, Kasimdzhanov, and Adams from Linares and Kasparov finishes in LAST place.

"Kasparov dominated like the good old days only to intentionally play into a lost pawn endgame in the final round and allow Topalov to catch him on points."

I surely misunderstand you? This would imply that he had the intention to lose, which I do greatly doubt. Or do you mean that he chose the pawn endgame voluntarily and misjudged it?

Would head-to-head results be a fairer way of resolving the Topalov-Kasparov tie-break?

I believe that the last round loss most certainly changes the entire outlook. Garry went from a dominating performance, to a losing record vs. the top half of the field! Clearly Garry is no longer the dominant player he once was. He's still amongst the best in the world, but he's among equals at the top now.

Kasparov get my respect for his fighting style and obvious love of the game!

Anyone care to explain what it means to "win on tiebreak"? What kind of formula was used? How can the organizers have kept it secret (as Mig suggested they do)? Don't the players need to know the formula in advance to prove there is no hanky-panky?

Kasparov's fighting style against the top half: One loss and draws of 45, 31, 26, 22 and 22 moves.

Greg K,

Adams had two wins including one vs. Anand, so it would a bit much to drop him from the standings.

Topalov is the man! At least, Topalov keeps Kasparov's ego within the earth's orbit with that last round victory. Now, why the hell didn't I bet on Topalov for Linares...

What about the blurb on the chessbase.com site saying that Kasparov had announced his retirement? Amazing if it's true. Honestly, I can't blame him -- he has bigger fish to fry and the world chess scene is in something of a shambles. In any event if this was his final event it was a fantastic effort.

Chessbase says Kasparov has announced his retiremnet from professional chess.
No matter what your opinion of Kasparov, this is a sad day for chess.

I believe it's called "quit while you're ahead". If Kasparov continued playing, his inevitable lackluster performances would eventually tarnish his reputation, somewhat like Karpov. This way, he can go out at the top of his game, despite a silly blunder agains Topalov.

A really interesting finish. At one point it looked like all the favorites were losing: Anand, Kasparov, Leko. Anand and Kasparov did lose.

I vote for Anand-Adams as the best game of the tournament. Adams-Kasparov was nice but the way Adams built up his position was not smooth, though the optics were good. Adams' buildup against Anand was much more pointy.

I vote for Vallejo-pons - Topalov as the most miraculous game. Years ago Ivanchuk said of Topalov, "he's just a vampire." Topalov looks like the Count from Transylvania. Now, looking at his game against Vallejo-pons which was heading for a completely lifeless draw after the opening, Dracula managed to suck blood from stone.

Today, I was expecting quick draws all around like what had happened in Corus 2005 in the last round. Instead, we got the opposite. Bravo to the players.

Looking forward to Sofia, I wish they had included two more players, Ivanchuk and Adams. Both are real punters, especially Adams who had displayed unbalanced play through out most of the games in Linares. Ivanchuk is only 9 months older than Anand (Ivanchuk, 35 yrs old), so he still has some gas.

Prediction for Sofia: Topalov wins clear first. Most of the games will be lifeless draws but only Dracula knows how to suck blood from stone.

I hope that it is a joke that Kasparov retires from professional chess. He is the best player in the world. I canīt belive it. It must be a joke. Kasparov, Kasparov, Kasparov,Kasparov, Kasparov, Kasparov,Kasparov, Kasparov, Kasparov, donīt stop, donīt stop,donīt stop, donīt stop,donīt stop, donīt stop, donīt stop, donīt stop, donīt stop, donīt stop, donīt stop, donīt stop

An excellent tournament all around, to show that the liveliness can still be in the top tournaments even up until the final round.

I am glad to see that Kasparov posted an excellent result. It could be claimed that the tournament was marred by some low performances, but given that not everyone killed the bottom enders, that is not necessarily accurate.

I also saw the news about Kasparov's retirement from professional chess. Does that mean that he will not be playing in Sofia in May? Given that he has had a career at the top longer than some stong players lives, I think that he has definitely earned his place in chess history as one of the greats.

The question of who will emerge dominant next is interesting, Topalov has shown that he wants to contend and is not afraid of anyone. Anand is also a prime contender, even given his moderate performance in Linares, Kramnik is also ripe to achieve a dominating role, your guess is as good as mine. Should make for interesting chess!

PS. Greg K. - I think everyone who is a regular reader knows you don't like Kasparov by now, give it a rest please.

It quite often happens that more than one player has the same "best" score at the end of an event. When that happens, the normal practice is to add together the money prizes and split them evenly, and then to award the trophy itself "on tiebreaks."

So for example if first is 100 euros and second is 50 euros and third is 25 euros and at the end of a 5 round event two players have 4 points and the next player has 3.5, it is common to add together the first and second money prizes (100 plus 50) and give each of the two players with 4 points 75 euros, with 25 going to the player with 3.5 points.

So that's the money, but what about the trophy, the "title of champion," and the bragging rights?

There are about a dozen different "tiebreak formulas" that can be used. For example, you can add together the results in points of the opponents played, on the theory that someone who scores a 4 against players also playing well is "more deserving" than someone who scores a 4 against players who didn't do so well.

You can add together the ratings of the opponents.

You can count just the numbers of wins, to reward aggressive play.

You can count just the number of wins with Black.

You can break the tie if one of the tied players beat the other one.

You can break the tie by giving more weight to wins in later rounds.

And so on. There are many alternatives.

Usually organizers will announce at the players' meeting before the first round what sequence of tiebreaks will be used. (The sequence is necessary in case the tied players get the same result from the first tiebreak formula.)

In this case, the current word is that Linares used the following sequence to break ties:

a. The number of wins
b. The number of wins with Black.

If this is so, both Topalov and Kasparov had the same number of wins. But Kasparov had more wins with Black, so he wins the trophy on the second tiebreak.

Note that tiebreaks don't affect rating points awarded. Just the way an individual organizer distributes the prizes in an individual event.

(The term "tiebreaks" is also used in elimination tournaments for the process by which two players with an equal score determine who will advance to the next round, but that is not the issue at Linares.

At Linares, it just had to do with who would take home the trophy, and who would get to say they "won" Linares.)

As a further detail, whenever you hear the term "X tok 'clear first' at Event Y" it means that no tiebreak was needed to determine the first place winner.

If Kasparov had been able to draw Topalov, he would have finished with 8.5 points, Topalov would have had 7.5, no tiebreaks would have been needed to award the trophy, and Kasparov would have been "clear first" at Linares rather than "first on tiebreaks."

I hope that helps answer the question.


Well Mr. Koster, it looks like you got your fondest wish -- Chessbase is reporting that Kasparov is retiring from professional chess.

Feel free to celebrate.

Kasparov's retires?

OK but wasn't he to play in Sofia? I thought Mig confirmed that only today?

Wow, that's a shocker. Is it really true? There is a bit of speculation about some kind of "silly act of frustration" after losing against Topalov.


Yes, looks like Kasparov announced his retirement on the press conference after the Linares tournament. He said: "I will play chess, because I love it so much, but not professionaly. I could play in simuls or rapid games, but no more". He later talked about his many difficulties last year, and "the lack of support from FIDE".

Really a sad day for chess. Despute his fuzzy personality, he is clearly in the top-5 chessplayers ever, arguably #1 (with Fischer IMHO).

Kasparov has demanded special conditions in a world championship event based on his tournament results. It's therefore relevant to ask whether, by going -1 against the top half at Linares, Kasparov "answered just about every question about whether or not he still deserves to be called #1."

I have very seldom seen such style.
This is so much more than I thought Kasparov capable of. (Not knowing him personally - I must admit). As has been said, he is probably too much the beast to keep on playing (like Kortchnoi) when he feels his performance waning. But to end like this! Thinking ahead in life is so much more difficult than in chess. To witness someone "playing" his life like this is truly stunning.

It is not hard to predict that we will not see the likes of him again in our lifetime. What interesting times we live in.

Thank you, Garry Kasparov.

Heh your strawman only works if you exclude adams. Nice try though. Next feeble attempt please.


the entire discussion ergarding Kasparov's -1 against the top players is I assume premised on the last round loss to Topski. Presumably, we'd be talking about a great Leko-like performance against the top half and a clinical destruction of the bottom half had he drawn the game?

Clearly, Kasparov played the best chess at Linares, altough Topalov obviously is not losing any fans. Given the retirement news, it seems that we better give the man some respect for 20 years of unbelievable chess rather argue whether his equal 1st in his last major means anything - it does not in the context of all the glorious past...

Oh, and Greg - do shut up for a minute.

Maybe that is why he blundered today? Had other things on his mind...

Your last post has nothing to do with the topic, being "Wild Linares 2005". There is no mention of preferential treatment, this is a non world championship tounament.

There were only two players who showed a performance over their rating, Topalov and Kasparov. They both played excellent chess (not to detract from the others, but they were the best in this tournament overall).

Again, we all know you don't like Kasparov, I am reasonably sure any new posts you make will continue to belabour(sp) that point.

Congrats to the winners of Linares, and let's see some more fighting chess in Sofia!

He goes on to better things, with, hopefully, everyone's sincere best wishes.

How many times did Michael Jordan retire?

Congratulations to Garry Kasparov for his excellent performance in Linares. He deserved victory in this year's event. And a hearty round of applause to my boy Topalov for winning three in a row at the end to finish tied with Kasparov. I am truly happy for him.

The Kasparov retirement announcement is a strange event. I've gone from disliking him circa 2000-2003, to respecting him immensely for his performances in the Russian Supers and Linares 05, to disliking him after reading a recent Roshal interview in 64, to feeling sad about his retirement. I'd like to think that this is just an emotional response to a mediocre day at the office, or a response to the legions of haters everywhere over the years. But if this is his premeditated wish, then I feel a great loss.

No tournament will feel the same without his presence. Garry Kasparov is the Los Angeles Lakers with Shaq & Kobe, the Dallas Cowboys with Aikman, Smith, and Irvin, Pete Sampras at Wimbledon, the New York Yankees every year, the Duke Blue Devil basketball team, or the UConn women. I love to root against those teams, but once they're out of the playoffs or tournament, it gets anticlimactic.

If Kasparov calls it quits, it just won't be the same. I may have had issues with the guy, but I ALWAYS LOVED reading about his opinions and actions. It's sad that I spent so much time hating on the guy only to wake up during the Russian Superfinal.

Regarding Linares 05 as whole, I was pleased. For the guy on these message boards who said that Topalov was going to have a breakout tournament, your confidence sent a positive vibe. Nice call. I still say that this result for Topalov was improbable. He should have lost two games to Adams, got fortunate against Kasparov today, and benefited from some tailender tail. But I'm still happy.

Why does Anand take so little time at the chess board? Looking at the move timings, I'm astounded at how effortless he plays. I haven't followed Anand very much. Has he said anything about how he doesn't need all that time to make his decisions?

I still think Leko is very strong. Maybe he ran out of gas, I don't know. But he was very strong in Corus, and that's the tournament that will stay in my memory for Leko's 2005 year.

As for Kasimdzhanov, I thought he played better than I expected. He was solid during the first cycle, then probably heard the whining about his caution and got rattled.

Good tournament! And I hope Kasparov changes his mind.

Go VesTop!!!!

Michael Jordan retired 2 times. Diego Maradona, a soccer player, "retired" like 6 times.

I don't really understand your discussion of Kasparov's result against the top-4 as you call them. I thougth in a tournament all games counted 1 point, but I see that unless he had won every game you could find a subset of opponents against whom he would have scored more weakly. Indeed, Kasparov was only clearly worst in his game against Anand, which he managed to save with a very well played time trouble, and today he lost because he made the strange decision of entering the pawn endgame, which couldn't be perfectly assessed in advance, but considering his announcement it could be more easily understandable. But obviously his short draws against those top-4 in the second half of the tournament can't be judged without taking into account the tournament situation and the fact that he was in the lead and with no nees to risk against them, but rather the other way round.
As for his retirement announcement it is certainly sad news for chess, for as he has just shown he could still produce great games, and in my opinion, he still was the best player in the world according to his last 2 performances, for sure not with such a difference form the others as he used to have.
Looking forward, I'm very happy to see Topalov's magnificent result in Linares, who makes him very near #2 (or should we say number 1 now?) playing fighting chess and willing to win game after game as he did in Corus, although his result there wasn't as good as this one. I hope he can continue with this plays so maybe others decide/need to take some more risks. And we'll also have to see what happens now that Kasparov is gone, as according to many in the chess world, he was the main problem for everything, so I suppose now they'll have no problem to construct a new and fair WC and all that... But unfortunately, I'm afraid it won't be any easier now.

There is a positive to Kasparov's retirement. This simplifies Unification and Kramnik might just agree to a form of Absolute Championship. The top ten in the world each have about 10% chance of winning the Classical World Championship when before they had less than 1% (they had to somehow beat Kasparov or Kramnik and at a disadvantage [WCs traditionally have draw odds or better, eg not playing in the elimination rounds] and somehow both actually agree to a Unification process).

Players with only outside chances like Shirov and Polgar will prepare their best stuff for the title. Older players like Anand and Ivanchuk know their clocks are ticking so they really will try hard to win the title. Players who reached the age of maximal intellectual capacity and vitality such as Kramnik and Topalov (both 28) know they are the favorites. I see take-no-prisoners type of fights in the Unification tournament.

Speaking of Kasparov's retirement, I sure hope he is not serious of entering the dirty, scum-infested halls of politics.

The first finished news report I've seen on Kasparov's retirement:


I truly hope this is just Kasparov over-reacting to his loss. If he does retire, it will be a very sad day for chess, as we will have lost another of the greatest players of all time, although at Kasparov is not a reigning World Champion when he goes.

I am quite tempted to believe he is not retiring permanently, but will return. It is sad to think that this may be simply to detract from Topalov's win, and his upcoming Sofia Tournament, but it is a distinct possibility. I truly hope this is not out of spite, but also that he will return, as we have glimpsed some of the old Kasparov magic these last few months, in the Russian Championship as well as this Linares.

What a sad day for chess. I hope that Kasparov seriously reconsiders his decision.

The first international tournament I remember reading about and following was the first Karpov-Kasparov match (the interrupted one).
From that time on Kasparov meant good chess games, even if somewhat questionable chess politics.

Michael Jordan comparisons are interesting, because:
1. Both defined eras in their sports (specially the 90s).
2. Both were brilliant players who used their enormous pride to motivate them to perform even better against rivals (real or perceived).
3. Both had the personal intimidation factor going full-force.
4. Both are maybe flawed human beings, as maybe everyone else. But name a player you would want to play on your side for one game you had to win and you'll choose them.
5. Both were the first global players. Even with Kasparov being "another Russian" his popularity in the West was really impressive.

So chess is diminished if we don't have Kasparov playing. We'll have good and bad memories of Kasparov the person, but over time the games will still shine.

The King has retired. Long live the King !

Now the quest for the number 1 begins anew. And I mean being the player who:

1. Enters tournaments as the favourite always.
2. The one you expect to win in a brilliant way.
3. The one you like to root for and against at the same time (Shaq and Kobe's Lakers fit nicely here).
4. The one who has games in the top 3 of Informant's best games.
5. The one who'll come with a brilliant theoretical novelty at just the right time.

Kramnik is maybe like the last year's Pistons, Anand like the Spurs, Leko like Pat Riley's Knicks ... we do need a bit of a show not only a winner.

M Carreira

"Or do you mean that he chose the pawn endgame voluntarily and misjudged it?"

Yes, that's what MIG is saying, which is why he subsequently referred to a 'hallucination'.

Kasparov is retiring?! According to chessbase.com, he is. If it is true, this is a sad day..

Miguel, do you know anything?

Has Kasparov announced his run for president in 2008? I'm looking forward to seeing how he does in the greatest challenge of his life.

Karpov will look like a pushover compared to this.

Kasparov would be a fool to run for president. Even he knows that he has no chance. He is a super-radical who also happens to be Armenian and Jewish (an unfortunate combination for a Russian politician) and is viewed as a nutjob by the majority of Russian newspapers.

Thaks, Duif, for the clear explanation of tie breaks.

Heh, yes, drop the results of the players Kasparov beat and he didn't win! Brilliant! We should do that for every tournament. They all played the same field and I think the point is to win the tournament.

Let's see, just offhand, taking only the results among the top players in Corus 2004 means Anand finished last instead of winning the tournament. Corus 2003 was won by Shirov instead of finishing fourth. Just goes to show that if you're asking the questions you can always get the answer you want.

Yes, he voluntarily went into the pawn endgame, thinking it was drawn. It was losing, but Topalov blundered allowing a draw. Kasparov blundered in return and it was a loss again. Ugly stuff. Seems small now, but I'm sure the press conference would have been more pleasant had it been a draw!

I agree making up statistics based on who someone beat is silly. In greg's defense though, I think his point is that Kasparov only proved he is better at tournaments. But he cannot claim that is clearly superior to other top players (as he currently does) if he can't beat them face-to-face.

Which brings us to the inevitable question: what makes one player better than all the others. And we get back to the match vs tournament performance debate. Unfortunately when sponsors for matches are lacking, tournament performance is the only measure we still have. In his Kasparov is no doubt the best.

Considering that 80% of the games between the top few are always drawn, this is a meaningless demand. We don't have matches anymore, remember? Tournaments are it and the point is to win, not who you beat. Tournament strategy is always going to be paramount and you can't pick when you play whom. Had Kasparov had white against Anand before he locked up first place, who knows? Who cares?

Anand hasn't beaten Kasparov in almost ten years, if you're looking for something meaningful. Leko, Adams, Morozevich, Shirov, Bareev, Polgar, Gelfand (etc.) have never beaten Kasparov. Meanwhile there are the draws and he wins his share. Asking him to beat everyone all the time is unrealistic and a silly thing to say after he puts up +9 in two tournaments. I suppose it's just a tribute to the high standards he has set over the past 20 years that it would even be suggested he is anything other than dominant. It's not like anyone else is out there putting up big numbers against him and the other top three or four. That's why they are the top. They lose three or four games a year, so you'd damn well better beat someone else for your bread and rating!

Sad day for chess. The last chess giant has left the stage...
Mig, interesting comments on that fateful pawn ending. I wish you'd translated them into chess moves. BTW, are they coming from the boss? If he cares, pass him a note:
After Kf2, g5! Kf3 h5 draws because of h4 gh4 g4?! (is that what he was afraid of?) actually might lose for White after hg4 Kg4 e5!! ed5 Kd6 etc.
I haven't bothered to check with a computer, so I could be hallucinating.
In the game indeed, h4? (Kg4 wins) g6? (h6 draws) is the way I see it.

Greg, your rationale is just perfect!!

Just ignore all the games he won, and then he didn't win any more games!!

....of course, forget to ask why nobody else had the same wins against the same opposition (as it was already said, Adams, that you want to drop out, had two wins, one of them against Anand). And don't mention the fact that, even with the lost in the last round, his performance was above the expected for a rating that was already the highest in the world - yes, he GAINED more rating points, INCREASING the advantage over Anand, who LOST some points, and Kramnik, who even dropped from the top three.

Yes, the rationale is perfect. Kramnik is drawish? Nonsense, ignore all the games he have drawn and then he didn`t draw any more games!!
I wonder why nobody thought of that before.

I don't think this will have any more importance now. What matters from now on is that we are almost six months past the Kramnik-Leko match. Have you heard a single word about Kramnik or the ACP about the structure of a new cycle? Neither have I. They will probably end up pointing again to a traditional tournament that would take place anyway (like Linares) and saying "this year, this tournament is the qualifier for the cycle".

If there is something positive about Kasparov retirement, is that the excuse of "Kasparov refuses to get out of the way" will no more be used.

Yes, it's an emotional moment right now, but why can't Kasparov's Linares result be discussed intelligently? There is a difference between winning a tournament by chalking up against the tailenders and doing it by beating your closest rivals. Why can't it be discussed how significant the difference is? Truisms like "you win tournaments by scoring more points than your opponents" are nothing it's hard to agree on. Tautologies usually have that effect. But that's missing the point.

No, the foolishness is looking away from the points and the games. Anyone who looks at either sees Kasparov winning in every sort of way other than the last-round blunder. Contriving reasons why it wasn't impressive is up to you. Leko played the same field as Kasparov and Topalov but scored zero wins. "Beating the tailenders" is the tautology. They wouldn't be tailenders if the leaders didn't beat them. Doh. In 1998 Kasparov finished third, losing none and beating Anand, who won. And? Kasparov finished third, end of story.

I don't have a problem giving Topalov a moral victor's ribbon because by most tiebreaks (including the logical head-to-head) he wins. Splitting first prize would have been dandy with me. But this is altered somewhat by the simple fact that Kasparov knew going in that he had already won first place. Just as he knew that by drawing Anand the round before he would win the tournament. These things are not irrelevant.

TPR is always interesting. If Kasparov (as opposed to Anand) had a history of beating lower-rated players and drawing his peers it would be an interesting analysis. But on a tourney-to-tourney basis this is clutching at straws. Not without its value as trivia, of course, but trivia nonetheless. In an event like Corus with a 14-player field this is more interesting. You can score +4 against the players rated under 2700 and win. Linares is not so random. You have two games to beat your rivals.

Significant? Look at the last five years of supertournaments and tell me if it's significant. Only very rarely is first place decided over the board between the top two or three finishers. This year at Corus Leko beat Anand. At Astana in 2001 Kasparov beat Kramnik. It's about winning the tournament.

Would it be more impressive to beat Anand and Topalov than to beat Kasimdzhanov and Vallejo Pons? Sure. But if you beat Anand and Leko and lose to Vallejo and Adams you don't get to whine about about the guy who outscored you by three or four wins.

In Corus Leko drew both tailenders Morozevich and Sokolov. Sokolov drew the whole top-3. I don't see the tautology. Other than that you just seem (understandably at this moment) a bit too defensive -- nobody has said Kasparov didn't impress. I have said before that Kasparov played the best chess in the whole tournament. Maybe even more impressive considering the circumstances.

Yes, in an event as large as Corus, especially one as strong and balanced as this year's event, such things are possible. Leko, the winner, only won four games of 13. Kasparov and Topalov won five of 12.

More to the point, there were only five decisive games of the 21 played between the top seven finishers at Corus this year. (Three of them by Topalov, bless him.)

mig cant believe you're bothered about refuting Koster's and Acier's arguments. Their posts are obviously trolls. If not, their arguments are so stupid as not to warrant discussion. The adage never argue with fools because they only drag you down to their level was never truer. And anybody who thinks Gary's retirement was a knee jerk reaction to the loss against Topalov is well.. deluded. Just play over that game and even the previous one and see whether his preoccupation doesnt leap through. I was immensely puzzled by that Knight sac and Q xchng. The man just wants out of there, period. And of course it wasnt the fairy tale ending to his chess career he deserved because of that loss. Well life's like that! Even for Gary...

Just to show how the final score would come out using a 3-points for win, 1-point for draw score system:

1. Kasparov - 21
2. Topalov - 21
3. Anand - 15
4. Adams - 13
5. Leko - 12
6. Vallejo Pons - 9
7. Kasimdzhanov - 8

No change at the top 3 positions, but interesting that Adams would come out ahead of "Drawcula" Leko. Vallejo Pons comes out ahead of instead of tied with Kasim.

Just food for thought.

All of you are right, of course. You can allways set new rules after an event, and watch who won.
(e.g. point against weaker opps, draws against strong opps, the best is the 3-1-0-point system stolen from soccer)

But it makes no sense. The rules must be set before an event, and all contenders must have that end in view. So Kasparov clearly won Linares, he had the right to loose the last game. As Leko won Corus and had the right to draw against the weak opponents.

You can compare people and habits, but not results.

E.g. Kasparov, Anand and Topalov are good tournament players. But they are not so good on championship games. Just remember 2000. You can tell Kramnik and Leko are drawcula, but they are quite good on those championship tourneys. I just say 2000. Also take a closer look on Leko's last 25 games. He hasn't loose a single one. Please find another player in the top-any not loosing in his/her last 25 games.

So I only want to say Kasparov won Linares. Period. Leko won Corus. Period. All other word are only supposal.

tgoods, thanks for illustrating the sheer absurdity of that system. There is no way you can say Adams' performance with more losses than wins was better than Leko's with 50%. I'd like to think that people who propose this just haven't thought it through.

Well, Kasparov definitely won the tournament by winning over outsiders, not over Anand, Leko, or Topalov. But look, only Topalov showed himself a real fighter, a real challenger to Garry here. Both Anand and Leko did not show the winning spirit. I can understand Leko being tired after match with Kramnik and Wijk, but Anand? He is just not ambitious enough, he is not ready mentally for great goals. He just plays for living and for pleasure. Really big disappointment for me.

Good call, Yermo, thanks. I just gave Garry your line with Kf2 g5 on the phone. Quite liked ..e5!! Of course he's still mad about the loss, but it may have made him feel a tiny bit better in that his instinct that the pawn endgame was a draw was correct. Basically he was so annoyed at himself for not playing ..Qf2+ before ..Nc6 that he really didn't see anything for the rest of the game.

Heh, hold the phone, Yermo. Literally! Garry just called me back to say "chess is still dominating my life!" and is now looking at the endgame. Check this out:

25..g5 Kf3 h5 h4 gxh4 gxh4 Ke7 Ke3! (GK) Zugzwang! ..Kf7 is only move and then Kd2 and the white king makes it to a5, winning. If Black moves his queenside pawns, the white king can go back to f4 and win. Black has no breakthrough even with the white king on a5. (In some lines ..a5 is met by b4! and ..b5 by a4!) So it looks like the pawn endgame was lost after all, although you have to find 29.Ke3.

Ke3! - Yeah, this looks lost. Truth to tell, I never looked at the queenside...

Well, we (me and Dmitry Gurevich) have tried to show this endgame to our students in Chicago this morning and ran into difficulties to prove the win after Kd2 b5,a4 ba4,Kc3 a5...First line goes Kc2 Ke7,Kb1 Kd6,Ka2 Kc6,Ka3 Kb5, e5 Kb6,Ka4 Ka6,b3 Kb6,b4 ab4,Kb4 Kc6,Ka5 Kc7 - draw, and the second b4 (after Kc3 a5) ab3, Kb3 Ke7,Ka4 and now both Kd6 or e5 drew....So the endgame looks like a draw after all.Good luck against Puti-Put now.Might be a tough game though.

Alex: On 30..b5 I think 31.Ke3 wins, or 31.Kc3 a5 32.b4 a4 and later ..a3 will be forced.

I can't find the draw after your second line. After 35.Ka4 Kd6, Kxa5 e5, Kb5 (or Kb4) wins. ..e5 instead of ..Kd6 is the same.

Mig correctly stated that Linares 2005 confirms Kasparov's #1 Ranking. Mig did not discuss the Linares impact on the head-to-head outlook among the top players. (My bad.)

Since London 2000. The Current Top Five Against Each Other:

(116 total games. 27 decisive, 89 draws–77%)

Kasparov 4-1, 27 draws, 32 games
(least games played, highest drawing percentage-84%, best winning percentage, last win in ‘03)

Kramnik 7-4, 45 draws, 56 games
(last win against Top Two in ‘01)

Leko 7-7, 52 draws, 66 games
(most games played)

Topalov 6-7, 22 draws, 35 games
(lowest drawing percentage–63%)

Anand 3-8, 32 draws, 43 games
(lowest winning percentage)

The Current Top Five Head-to-Head Since London 2000:

1-0 (Astana 01) –- 8 draws

1-0 (Linares 03) — 7 draws

1-0 (Linares 01) — 9 draws

1-1 (Corus 01, Linares 05) — 3 draws

1-0 (Dortmund 01) — 11 draws

3-2 (Linares 04, Brissago 04), — 22 draws

3-1 (Dormund 01, Corus 03, Linares 04, Corus 05) — 4 draws

3-2 (Linares 03, Dortmund 03 Arm-ROW 04, Corus 05) — 10 draws

2-1 (Dortmund 02) — 11 draws

3-1 (Dortmund 01, Corus 03, 04,) — 4 draws

You only as good as your computer is :) .....That's correct.White wins after Kb5

My 0,02 to the ending analysis of GK's last game (PGN attached below):

-- the pawn ending appears to be a draw indeed.
24...d5?! is probably an inmediately-losing move, 24...Ke7!?
(or 24...a5!?) appears to draw.

-- In the final position if White is to move it is a draw.

-- 25...g5 by Yermo can be safely met by 26.h4 at once (apart from Kf3).

-- Some other position might have been analyzed by Shabalov+Gurevich
as their second variation 33. b4!? is winning,
certainly 33. Kc2?? is drawish. However, 31. a4!? is only one of
many winning moves (31. Kc3, 31. a3 are +- as well).

[Event "XXII SuperGM"]
[Site "Linares ESP"]
[Date "2005.03.10"]
[Round "14"]
[White "Topalov, V"]
[Black "Kasparov, G"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2757"]
[BlackElo "2804"]
[ECO "B30"]
[EventDate "2005.02.23"]
[PlyCount "59"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Bc4 d6 5.d3 Be7 6.O-O Nf6 7.Nh4 Nd4 8.g3 Bg4
9.f3 Be6 10.Bg5 Ng8 11.Bxe7 Nxe7 12.f4 exf4 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.Rxf4 Kd7 15.
Nf3 Rf8 16.Rxf8 Qxf8 17.Nxd4 cxd4 18.Ne2 Qf6 19.c3 Rf8 20.Nxd4 Nc6?!
( 20...Qf2+ {=} )
21.Qf1 Qxf1+ 22.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 23.Kxf1 Nxd4 24.cxd4 {Diagram} 24...d5? {+-}
( 24...Ke7!? {=} 25.b4
( 25.d5? exd5 {=} )
( 25.Kf2 b5 26.Ke3 a5 27.h4 )
25...b5 26.Ke2 Kf6 27.Ke3 g5 28.g4 a6 29.a3 Kf7 30.h3 h6 {=} 31.d5
exd5 32.exd5 Kf6 33.Ke4 Kg6 )
( 24...a5!? {=} 25.Ke2 b5 26.h4 Ke7
( 26...h5 27.Kf3 {+-} )
27.Ke3 Kf6 28.Kf4 Kf7 29.h5 {=}
( 29.b3 {=} 29...b4 30.Kg4 Kf6 31.h5 Ke7
( 31...h6? {+-} 32.Kf4 Kf7 33.d5 )
32.Kf4 {=}
( 32.h6 {=} 32...g6 33.Kf4 Kf7 34.Kg5 Ke7
( 34...e5 35.d5 Ke7 36.g4 Kf7 37.Kh4 )
35.g4 Kf7 36.d5 exd5 37.exd5 Ke7 {=} 38.Kf4 {=}
( 38.d4 {=} 38...Kf7 39.Kf4 Ke7 40.g5 Kd7 )
( 38.Kh4 {=} 38...Kf7 39.g5 )
38...Kf6 39.g5+ Ke7 )
32...Kf7 33.g4 Ke7 34.Kg5 Kf7 35.h6 g6 36.Kf4 Ke7 37.g5 {=}
( 37.e5 {=} 37...d5 )
( 37...Kd7 )
29...h6 30.Ke3 Kf6 31.g4 Kg5 32.Kf3 g6 33.hxg6 Kxg6 34.Kf4 a4 35.a3
( 35.b4 {=} 35...axb3
( 35...a3 )
36.axb3 b4 37.d5 exd5 38.exd5 Kf6 )
35...Kf7 )
( 24...Kc6? {+-} 25.h4 a5 26.g4 g6 27.g5 b5 28.a3 a4 29.Ke2 d5 30.Ke3
Kc7 31.Kf4 )
( 24...Kc7? {+-} 25.Ke2 a5 26.h4 b5 27.h5
( 27.g4 Kc6 28.a3 a4 29.Kd2 g6
( 29...b4 30.h5 h6
( 30...g5 31.hxg6 hxg6 32.Ke3 {+-} )
( 30...b3 31.Kc3 Kb5 32.d5 {+-} )
31.Ke3 {+-} )
30.Kc3 Kb6 31.b3 axb3 32.Kxb3 Ka5 33.g5
( 33.h5 g5
( 33...gxh5 34.gxh5 h6 35.d5 exd5 36.exd5 {+-} )
34.d5 exd5 35.exd5 {+-} )
27...Kd7 28.Ke3 a4 29.b3 axb3 30.axb3 Ke7 31.Kf4 {+-} )
25.Kf2 Ke7
( 25...g5 {+- Yermo} 26.h4!? {+-}
( 26.Kf3 {+-} 26...h5 27.h4 gxh4 28.gxh4
( 28.g4?? hxg4+ 29.Kxg4 e5 30.exd5 Kd6 31.dxe5+ Kxe5 32.Kxh4
Kxd5 33.Kg4 Kd4 {-+} )
28...Ke7 29.Ke3 Kf7 30.Kd2 b5 31.a4!? {+-}
( 31.Kc3 {+-} 31...a5 32.a3 {+-}
( 32.b4 {+-} 32...a4 33.Kd2 )
( 31.a3 {+-} )
31...bxa4 32.Kc3 a5 33.b4 {+-}
( 33.Kc2? {=} 33...Ke7 34.Kb1 Kd6 35.Ka2 Kc6 36.Ka3 Kb5 37.e5
{=} 37...Kb6 38.Kxa4 Ka6 )
33...axb3 34.Kxb3 Ke7 {+-}
( 34...e5 {+-} 35.exd5 )
( 34...Kf6 {+-} 35.Ka4 )
35.Ka4 Kd6
( 35...e5 36.Kxa5 )
36.Kxa5 Kc6 37.Ka6 Kc7 38.Kb5 Kd6 39.Kb6 {+-} )
( 26...h6 27.hxg5 hxg5 28.Kf3 Ke7 29.Kg4 Kf6 30.Kh5 )
27.gxh4 h5
( 27...b5 28.Kf3 Ke7 29.Kg4 Kf6 30.Kh5 )
( 27...Ke7 28.Kf3 )
28.Kf3 Ke7 29.Ke3 {+- etc} )
( 25...h6 {+-} 26.Kf3 Ke7 27.b4
( 27.Kf4 Kf6 )
( 27...b5 28.Kf4 Kf6 29.Kg4 )
( 27...Kf6 28.Kg4 g6 29.a4 Ke7 30.h4 Kf6 31.h5 g5 32.b5 b6 33.Kf3
Ke7 34.Ke2 Kd8 35.Kd2 Kc7 36.Kc3 )
28.a4 Kf6 29.Kg4 a6
( 29...b6 )
30.a5 Ke7 31.h3 Kf7 32.Kh4 Kf6 {=} )
( 25...b5 {+-} 26.Kf3
( 26.Ke3 )
26...Ke7 27.Kf4 Kf6 28.h4 )
( 25...a5 {+-} 26.Kf3 Ke7 27.Kf4 Kf6 28.h4 )
26.Kf3 Kf6
( 26...h6 {+-} 27.b4
( 27.Kg4 g6 28.b4
( 28.h4 Kf6 )
28...b5 29.h3 Kf7 30.h4 Kf6 )
( 27.a4 a5
( 27...Kf6 28.Kg4 b6 29.Kh5 )
( 27...b6 28.h4 g6 29.Kf4 Kf6 30.Kg4 a6 31.h5 )
28.Kf4 Kf6 29.Kg4 )
( 27.h4 Kf6 {= See 27....h6!=} )
( 27...b5 28.Kf4 Kf6 29.Kg4 g5 30.Kh5 Kg7 31.h4 )
28.Kg4 g6 29.a4 Ke7 30.Kf4 Kf6 31.h4 g5+ 32.Kg4 Kg6 33.h5+ Kf6 34.b5
b6 35.Kf3 Ke7 36.Ke2 )
( 27.Kg4! {+-} 27...h6
( 27...a6 28.h4 g6 29.h5 )
( 27...a5 28.a4 g6 29.h3 h6 30.h4 b6 31.h5 g5 32.b3 )
( 28.b4 {+-} 28...g6
( 28...a6 29.Kh5
( 29.h3 Kg6 30.h4 Kf6 31.h5 g6 32.hxg6 Kxg6 33.Kf4 Kf6 34.
g4 )
29.a4 Kf7 30.h4 Kf6 31.h5 )
28...Kf7 29.g4 Kf6 30.h4 Kf7 31.g5 hxg5 32.hxg5 )
( 27...h6! {=} 28.Kg4 {=}
( 28.Kf4 {=} 28...g5+ 29.Kg4 Kg6 30.h5+ Kf6 )
( 28.b4 {=} 28...b5 29.Kf4 {=}
( 29.h5 {=} 29...Kg5
( 29...g6 30.hxg6 Kxg6 31.Kf4 Kf6 32.g4 a6 33.a3 )
30.g4 g6
( 30...a6 31.Kg3
( 31.a3 g6 32.hxg6 Kxg6 33.Kf4 Kf6 )
( 29.Kg4 {=} 29...g6 )
29...g5+ 30.Kg4 Kg6 )
28...g6 29.h5 g5
( 29...a5 )
30.Kf3 a5 31.Ke3 b5 32.Kd2 Ke7 33.Kc3 Kd7 34.a3 Ke7 {=} )
28.b4 b5 29.Kf4 h6 30.Kg4 {Zug-Zwang. 1-0. If White to move: 1/2-1/2}
( 30.Kg4 g5 31.hxg5+ hxg5 32.Kh5 )

Don't have time to look at it right now, but why are you allowing Black to put pawns on a5 and b5? White has to meet ..a5 with a4 and ..b5 with b4 to maintain the tempi count. Nor do I understand putting the king on e3 instead of f3, when the ability to move to g4 or f4 is critical.

Omitting ..d5 is interesting, but I don't see the point of many of White's moves in your lines.

More to the point, wasn't the idea of ..d5 because otherwise white can play e5 and Ke4 in many lines? You don't seem to examine that concept, which is likely the test of leaving out ..d5. If the black king is on f6 white has this shot, especially if he has advanced a pawn to g5, allowing an infiltration there too.


Any concrete variations?? (thanks!)

BTW, I have just noticed Shipov at chesspro.ru,
also believes 24..Ke7!? could be a draw:

24...Ke7 25.Ke2 Kf6?+- 26.Kd2!
{idea Kc3-Kc4, then d4-d5, followed by K:d5}
(26...b5+- 27.Kc3 a5 28.a4!; 26...a5+- 27.Kc3 d5 28.b4!)
27.Kc3 Kg4 28.Kc4 Kf3
(28...Kh3+- 29.d5 e5 30.d4)
29.e5! +-

However 25...b5
(or 24...b5 instead of 24...Ke7 -->or 24..a5 I think<--)
24...b5 25.Ke2 a5 and the B King would dance sinchronously
with the W King"

Obviously there is plenty of room(and time) to improve either side.

I just mentioned the 24..Ke7 line to Garry and he said, "no, there is a forced win, remember?" Umm, no, actually, I don't remember talking about that move at all with him the other day. Oops. Anyway, I couldn't find a draw, but I'll look more tonight and post lines.

I still don't understand why you can't meet ..b5 with b4. Allowing ..b5 and ..a5 seems very wrong. I keep running into white being able to play either d5 or e5+ and winning a close race.


Te mando un correo de Chess


Buildings are not very cheap and not everybody is able to buy it. But, loan are invented to aid people in such kind of cases.

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 10, 2005 2:41 PM.

    Sofia's Choice was the previous entry in this blog.

    Garry Kasparov Retires is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.