This was the showdown that the FIDE Prague agreement was
supposed to host this past year. FIDE was not up to the task, but Linares
was. The first encounter at Linares between Garry and Rustam ended in a exciting
draw, with Rustam's passer just two squares from queening.
The 2nd encounter was much more exciting. From the
white side of the board, things were looking up for Kasimdzhanov. He came
out swinging, when he won the exchange with 19 Ne6. This move forked
Kasparov's rook and queen. By move 23 both sides had dangerous central
passers. However despite losing the exchange, Kasparov took
advantage of his queen-bishop battery and the open f-file, which put a ton
of pressure on Kasimdzhanov's kingside.
Kasparov won back a pawn with 22... Bxf2.
Kasparov shoved a bone down Kasimdzhanov's throat, with 24... e3.
Kasparov built up a strong attack against Kasimdzhanov's castled
king. With Kasimdzhanov's pieces on his own first and 2nd
ranks, Kasparov took advantage of his more active pieces and launched a devastating
By move 28 all of Kasparov's pieces were bearing down on
Kasimdzhanov's kingside. Kasparov's e3-pawn anchored the bishop on
f2. Kasparov's rook on f8 was staring down the open f-file. Kasparov's
queen took refuge on e6 and blocked Kasimdzhanov's e5 passer. From
this vantage point, the queen controlled the critical b8 - h2
diagonal. Kasparov's knight on h5 held a dangerous post on the
rim of the board. This was a typical Kasparov attack. All his
pieces were in striking distance and would play a big part
in the winning attack.
Kasimdzhanov tried to protect his king with 29. Qg4,
however it was too little, too late. His other pieces, the bishop and rooks
were cut of from the attack and could only stand by hopelessly
watching. The Referee could have stopped the contest after the 29th move. However Kasimdzhanov bravely
tried to defend. With all his pieces in place for the final assault,
Kasparov sacrificed his bishop with 29 .. Bxf3+. Kasparov ripped away the
enemy king's cover and drove the opposing king up the h-file.
Pieces were exchanged, when the smoke cleared, Kasparov
was up two pawns and had a dangerous passer on e3. The winner by a TKO, is
Garry "Apollo Creed" Kasparov. In case you don't follow boxing,
a TKO is a technical knockout. No question about it, the Kasparov vs. Kasimdzhanov
reunification match would have been exciting. Lets hope we see it. Now
lets not forget that in the movie Rocky, Apollo Creed won the first fight.
However, he would go on to lose to Rocky in the next fight.
With this victory Kasparov opens up a full point lead over
Anand and Topalov. Kasparov is +3 now at Linares with 5 rounds to go. I
think Kasparov is showing the chess world that he still
deserves his number one rating spot. As for the 2004 FIDE KO winner, Rustam
Kasimdzhanov has fallen on hard times. Today he lost his 2nd game in a row. He lost
in round 8 to Vallejo Pons. There are still 5 rounds to go, plenty of time
for Kasimdzhanov to recover.
3/3130/2005 - Kasparov had interesting comments on this game - Check
out MIG's piece on ChessCafe.