Kasparov, G. - Ponomariov, R.
SuperGM (Linares), 09.03.2002

Runde 13 [Malcolm Pein]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Sc3 dxe4 4.Sxe4 Sd7 This has to be one of the most solid lines you can choose against a raging bull desperate to win. It was Ivanchuk's choice in his disastrous first game loss against Ponomariov in the FIDE final.
5.Sf3 Sgf6 6.Sxf6+ Sxf6 7.c3 c5 8.Se5 Sd7 9.Lb5 Incredibly is position can be reached from the French Defence, as in this game or from the Caro Kann 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7. c3 c5 8.Ne5 Nd7 9.Bb5 or the Sicilian with 2.c3 via 1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 e6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Na3 Qd8 7.Nc4 Nc6 8.Nce5 Nxe5 9.Nxe5 Nd710.Bb5
[9...a6 10.Df3 Better than 10.Qh5 first because the interpolation of... g6 lets Black play ...f6 without fear of Qh5+
(10...f6 11.Dh5+ g6 12.Sxg6)
11.Lxd7+ Lxd7 12.Dxb7]
10.Dg4! Kf8
[10...O-O 11.Lxd7 This just wins, not the obvious 11.Bh6 because Black has practical chances after 11...Qf6 12.Nxd7 Bxd7 13.Bg5 Qg6 14.Bxd7 h6 pinning
11...Lxd7 12.Lh6 Df6
(12...g6 13.Lxf8)
11.O-O! Sxe5 12.dxe5 Lxe5 13.Lg5 Kasparov gets a long lasting initiative and development advantage although Ponomariov's position looks very solid for a very long time in thisgame
13...Lf6 14.Tad1 Dc7 the point is that after 15.Bxf6 gxf6 the Black king sits relatively comfortably on e7 and even allows a rook to contest the 'd' file something Black could only dream of in the game. But Kasparov finds a better way to attack
[14...De7!? 15.Lxf6 gxf6 16.Dh4 with very good compensation
(16...h6 17.Td3 and Black still cannot free himself with ...a6
17...a6 18.Tfd1 axb5 19.Td8+ Kg7 20.Txh8 Kxh8 21.Dxh6+ Kg8 22.Td3)
17.Dh6+ Kg8 18.Td3]
[15.Lxf6 gxf6 16.Dh4 Ke7 17.Td3 Td8 18.Dxh7 Txd3 19.Lxd3 Ld7 and the worst is over]
15...Lxg5 16.Dxg5 f6 Forced 17.Dh5 g6
[17...De7 18.Tfe1]
18.Dh6+ Kf7
[18...Dg7 19.Td8+ Kf7 20.Le8+ Txe8 21.Dxg7+ Kxg7 22.Txe8]
19.Td3 a6 20.Th3! De7
[20...De5 21.Le8+!
(21.Ld3 Ld7 22.Dxh7+ Txh7 23.Txh7+ Kg8 24.Txd7)
21...Kxe8 22.Dg7 Tf8 23.Txh7 Dd6 24.Dxg6+ Kd8 25.Dh5]
[20...axb5 21.Dxh7+ Txh7 22.Txh7+]
[20...Ld7! Was a decent try but Ponomariov would have been afraid to cut off the queen from the defence of the king. After 21.Be2!? the Bd7 cannot move because of Qxh7+ and the pressure remains.
(21.Le2!? Tad8 22.Td1 De5 23.Te3 Dg5 24.Dh3)
21...Dxd7 22.Dxh7+ Txh7 23.Txh7+ Ke8 24.Txd7 Kxd7]
21.Ld3 f5 Again more or less forced
[21...Kg8 22.Lxg6]
[21...Ld7 22.Dxh7+ Txh7 23.Txh7+ Kf8 24.Txe7 Kxe7 25.Lxg6 Lc6 26.h4!]
22.g4 # Because he wins so many games by virtue of superior preparation its easy to forget what a brilliant hacker Kasparov is. He just bludgeons his way through now when 22.Qxh7+ was a safe edge - I doubt if he gave it much thought !
[22...fxg4 23.Th4 Ld7
(23...e5 24.Lxg6+ Kg8 25.Td1)
24.f3 And its getting very warm in there
24...Kg8 25.fxg4 Dg7 26.g5 Dxh6 27.gxh6 Tf8 28.Thf4 Txf4 29.Txf4 and I can't see a good defence to Kg1-e7 !
29...Le8 30.Tf6 Lf7 31.Lc4 wins]
23.Td1 Ponomariov had been playing much quicker than Kasparov and his next couple of moves came quite fast to my surprise. Here or on the next move g6-g5 to get the queens off should have been considered
23...b5 24.Le2! e5?! # Was Ponomariov playing for a win now ? This looks too loosening in particular the diagonal c4-g8 is fatally weakened
[24...Ta7 25.Dxh7+ Txh7 26.Txh7+ Dg7
(26...Ke8 27.Txa7)
27.Txg7+ Kxg7 28.g5]
[24...Dg7 25.De3]
[24...g5 looks like the best chance
25.gxf5 Dxh6 26.Txh6 Kg7 27.Th5 h6 28.h4 exf5! 29.Lf3
29...g4! Fritz 30.Lxa8 Kg6]
25.Thd3 Ta7
[25...fxg4 26.f3!
(26.Td6 Df4 27.Dh4 (27.Td7+ Lxd7 28.Txd7+ Ke8 29.Dg7 Df8!) 27...g3! 28.Dxg3)
(26.Td7+ Lxd7 27.Txd7+ Ke8)
(26...Lf5 27.Td6)
(26...g5 27.Td7+)
27.Dh4 g3 28.Td7+!! Lxd7 29.Txd7+ Kg8 30.De7 De3+ 31.Kg2 Dxe2+ 32.Kh3 Dxh2+ 33.Kg4 h5+
(33...Dh5+ 34.Kxg3)
26.Td6 Dg7 The problem with this move at any point is that it makes the black queen passive and white queen more active. 26...Be6 was better but still awkward to defend
[26...Le6 with the idea of ...g5
(27.gxf5 Dxf5 (27...gxf5? 28.Lh5+ Ke7 29.Txe6+) 28.T1d3 e4!)
27...g5 28.Dh5+ Dg6 29.gxf5!]
27.De3 Tc7 28.a4! Black is too discoordinated to exchange pieces before the c4-g8 diagonal opens
28...e4 29.axb5 axb5 30.Lxb5 De5 31.Dg5 Probably quite unexpected in a time scramble. Now 31...Be6 runs into 32.Bd7! and Bc4+ and R1d5 are coming
31...De7 32.Dh6 Add Rxg6 to the threat list
32...Le6 33.Df4 John H tells me GK made the control with a couple of minutes to spare. Looks like he missed the kill first time round
[33...Ta7 To get the rook out of range of the Qf4
34.Lc6 Tf8 35.De5 Lc8 36.Ld5+ Ke8 37.Le6]
34.Dh6 Le6 35.gxf5 This finishes it
[35...Lxf5 36.Lc4+ Ke8 37.Df4 Tc8
(37...Tf8 38.Lb5+ Kf7 39.Td7)
38.Lb5+ Kf8 39.Td7 De6 40.Dh6+]
36.Le2 Df6 37.Lh5+ Ke7 38.Txe6+


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