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Zurich Blitz 06

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The Credit Suisse Jubilee "Champions Day" Blitz tournament just finished in Zurich. Kasparov, Polgar, Karpov, and Korchnoi played a double round-robin of 5'+2" blitz. Nice streaming video on ChessBase TV at Playchess.com. Especially if you could understand the German GM commentary.

Kasparov and Karpov shared first by drawing their games against each other and stomping Polgar and Korchnoi. They both scored 4.5/6. If the scores I have are correct Polgar scored 2.5 and Korchnoi just 0.5. Mark has the games up at TWIC, although several are incomplete. I'll get the rest of Kasparov-Polgar from Garry this afternoon, but the others I dunno. Karpov-Polgar was truncated just when things were heating up.

One thing's for sure, Kasparov and Karpov can still play some blitz! Too bad they didn't have a chance to play off. I was on Skype with Garry a few minutes after the games ended and he said, "I kept reaching for the mouse!" He's too used to playing online blitz now and didn't have a chance to warm up with a non-virtual board before the games. Same thing happens to me on the rare occasions I see a position OTB. The visualization and coordination get out of whack.

As Garry was talking to me, someone came up and asked him to autograph the napkin he was using to mop his brow at the board. Ewww. Coming soon to an Ebay auction near you... Now there are simuls, and later Kasparov will speak to the Credit Suisse audience on "Tradition and Innovation," a 20-minute speech. There should be some cool video and photos at ChessBase of the blitz and other chess festivities.

Update: The "missing" Kasparov-Polgar game is now below in the comments. I sent it to Mark so it should be in the TWIC game file shortly.


I thought the chessbase coverage disappointing, and the event pretty much a failure as a live sporting encounter. There were only 750 or so viewers, and this quickly fell away when both boards persistently siezed up.

On the Kasparov speech I really do pray that someone suggests he not repeat the following from his recent interview: "The vast majority of chessplayers are social, friendly, and no more likely to jump out a window than a stock broker or salesman".

i am really happy to see that Garry Kasparov(The Greatest) at last played in a tournment(though it is Blitz).
i am really looking forward for his speech and his books.
Any player can play chess. But you are the SPECIAL ONE in my heart (for ever).Because of you i learned chess and enjoyed your games very much.

With thanks

At first I thought this exhibition was somewhat beneath Garry, chesswise. But Karpov is truly a titan, and it's great to see these two butting heads once again!

We would like to see the videos of this one. I think chessbase German website has some video captures. Maybe they'll put some video online soon.

Mig, it seems to me that your relationship with Garry is pretty close. How is this possible? I think he is a rather reserved person in general. When he visited Faroes Island a couple of years ago (2000 I think), we had some dinners with him and I also played on the national team against him (1-5). I remember one dinner when he spoke very kindly and respectful about you, so I'm not surprised though.

Where does he play? We don't need a handle, but at least let us know where we can watch his games!

It's not revealing any secret to say he plays at Playchess.com. I won't have a discussion about handles here.

Eyðun, I've known Garry since 1998 and worked with him closely since 1999. I helped design and run his website KasparovChess and for the past few years I've worked on many writing, editing, and research projects with him nearly full time. I don't know if I'd call him reserved, but of course we often have to evaluate people on a single day or encounter, and it's hard to say what was going on for them on that day.

Speaking of, the simuls are over, some tough games! A 2350 on first board and a few 2200's in there. Not sure if the games are available. I'll try to get some later. And speaking of games, here's the missing Kasparov-Polgar game.

[Event "Chess Champions Day"]
[Site "Zurich"]
[Date "2006.08.22"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Kasparov, G."]
[Black "Polgar, J."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E60"]
[PlyCount "93"]
[EventDate "2006.08.22"]
[EventType "schev (blitz)"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]

{Garry relayed the full game to me on the phone so here's hoping his memory is
still good! - Mig} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O Qe8
7. Nc3 Na6 8. h3 e5 9. e4 Nd7 10. Re1 exd4 11. Nxd4 Ne5 12. b3 Nc5 13. Be3 c6
14. Re2 a5 15. Qc2 a4 16. Rd1 axb3 17. axb3 Qe7 18. f4 Ned7 19. Bf2 Na6 20. Qa2
h5 21. b4 Nc7 22. Qd2 h4 23. g4 Ne6 24. Nf5 $1 gxf5 25. exf5 Ra3 26. Ne4 d5 27.
cxd5 cxd5 28. fxe6 fxe6 29. Ng5 Nf6 30. Bc5 Qc7 31. Nxe6 Bxe6 32. Rxe6 Rf7 33.
g5 Ne4 34. Re8+ Kh7 35. Qxd5 Nxc5 36. bxc5 (36. Qe4+ $1 {Kasparov} Nxe4 37.
Bxe4+ Rf5 38. Bxf5#) (36. Be4+ {Same thing if less sacrificial. Always a
debate about which is more elegant, to give up the most material or to show
restraint and not be flashy...}) 36... Bf8 37. g6+ Kxg6 38. Qg5+ Kh7 39. Be4+
Kh8 40. Qh6+ Kg8 41. Bh7+ (41. Rxf8+ {Kasparov} Rxf8 42. Bd5+ Rf7 43. Bxf7+
Kxf7 44. Qh7+ Kf8 45. Qxc7) 41... Kh8 42. Bg6+ Kg8 43. Bh7+ Kh8 44. Bg6+ Kg8
45. Bxf7+ Qxf7 46. Qg5+ Kh7 47. Rxf8 {Some interview comments from Garry will
be up at http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt and at http://www.chessbase.com
later tonight. Final results: Kasparov and Karpov 4.5/6. Polgar 2.5.
Korchnoi 0.5} (47. Rxf8 Qxf8 48. Rd7+ Kh8 49. Qh5+ Kg8 50. Qh7#) 1-0

Great to see Kasparov playing again!!

Both Kasparov and Karpov, with their shared first, evidently wanted to leave well enough alone. If either had challenged the other to a playoff, the other would have "had" to accept; and the organizers would have "had" to let them play a few more five-minute games.

Great to see Mr Kasparov has not lost his zing. A playoff WOULD have been interesting...

I just think in this era of politics-dominated chess, it is wonderful to see 4 of the all-time greatest players (3 of whom have had intense rivalries against each other) competing like this. I hope it happens again.

I wonder if Karpov spends his free time playing online blitz.

Me too... amazing that Kasparov does that anyway. Where does he play? How does he play?

I believe Kasparov frequents the playchess server using the handle 'Nigel Short'.

I seriously doubt that Karpov plays much (or even any) online blitz. He participated in one of the Leon "Advanced Chess" events (vs Anand, iirc; presumably to garner a quick paycheck), and it was an ugly spectacle. Given his political and business activities, I doubt he's spent too much time on computer chess since then.

What's up with Kasparov's predecessor books? Are there going to be anymore coming out?


Yes, Part Six is about done. It's on the modern evolution of opening theory in the 70's. Then the collections of his own games. There will also be a man-machine book. Those last won't technically be Predecessors books; there will be a new series title.

I've seen Garry play unrated 1 0 using his handle 'Mig' many times.


Isn't there also going to be a book about the K-K matches? I was looking forward to that.

I believe that as currently planned the first of the books of his own games will include the Karpov matches.

Whats Kasparovs handle on playchess.com??
How about Karpov on playchess?

Who is Marathon Man?

Usually I am to busy patzing around on playchess to watch but I am curious.

Marathon Man is Dustin Hoffman, check the pic.

I am not too excited about Kasparov and Karpov playing blitz...did they do any backgammon or go afterwards? Maybe some weightlifting?

Karpov and Kasparov have provided us enough serious chess to last a lifetime. Congrats to the organizers for sitting them down across a chessboard once again.

By the way, that Leon where Anand beat the crap out of Karpov (5-1 I think), Karpov played because Mr. Kasparov withdrew from the event a day before (or so) it was supposed to begin. I think Karpov can't be blamed too much for his bad showing with no preparation - I am sure he was well compensated moneywise to step up at such a short notice.

And whether it is interesting to see K vs K play blitz is actually irrelevant - just to see those two in the same place at the same time is witnessing a monumental piece of chess history. The fact that they actually played was just nice.


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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 22, 2006 8:37 AM.

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