Garry "Apollo Creed" Kasparov
Rustam "Rocky" Kasimdzhanov

3/4/2005 -

   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 kingside attack. 

    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.




Chess base report of round 9 of Linares
Replay Kasimdzhanov vs. Kasparov round 9
Replay Kasparov vs. Kasimdzhanov round 2 
Mid Linares report  
Worlds Collide - Anand vs. Kasparov - Garry shows his nerves of steel
Goal line stand - Peter Leko great save against Topalov
Linares 2005  table setter
No mass, No mass - Kasparov ending the reunification match with Kasimdzhanov
Kasimdzhanov jumps 22 spots in the ratings - gonna fly now
Kasimdzhanov getting strong now 
Kasimdzhanov road to the 2004 Libya FIDE KO title.