|Wed May 12 2010 11:19AM | edited: 11:27:36 | MsgID: 13079695|
When the Giant Wakes up
Translated from 'Schaaklezen' written by Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam. It's a collection of dutch chess collumns.
The good part of the tourney in Linares is the isolation in which the players, their companions and a handful of reporters are. Everybody sleeps and eats in "Hotel Anibal" and if you take a walk near the hotel you will almost certainly meet a chess player. Sometimes the chess players are very close. In the morning after my arrival in Linares for the tourney in 1997 I woke up due to the loud voice of Vassily Ivanchuk, who was conducting a vigorous telephone conversation. A huge portion of his Russian word flow consisted of long chess variations. The location of his voice couldn't exactly be determined, but it certainly couldn't be more than a wall or ceiling between us. Ivanchuk sounded nervous and excited at the same time. And no wonder, the first week he had lost a few really horrible games. Before the start of round six he went to see a doctor fearing (wrongfully) he was seriously ill.
Ivanchuk again used the telephone and very agitatedly started talking about a bunch of variations. After he hung up it was quiet for a while until he tried to get control of his nerves another way. What, exactly, he was doing remains a mystery but it sounded like he was stampeding through the room, trying to make as many animal sounds as possible at the same time.
That day was a rest day and seldom could a rest day have had such a beneficial effect. In the evening I met Ivanchuk in the park next to the hotel where mothers let their children play during the daytime. He was pacing back and forth in circles while thinking deeply. Probably about his upcoming game against Kasparov. 'What day is it?' he quietly asked, 'Friday or Saturday?' It was Wednesday. Aha. We briefly talked about his game against Kasparov; a bit superfluously he said: 'Of course I would like to win against him.' Indeed. Dozens of games, he plays each year, but in the midst of those the rare encounters against Kasparov: games have a meaning of their own. Whoever heard or watched Ivanchuk before or after those games had to think that only a good result against Kasparov gave him reason to exist as a chess player.
But did he have any chance? Keeping in mind his previous shoddy work at the tourney one could hardly be very optimistic. Still there was no doubt about his chances. Vishwanathan Anand outlined it significantly: 'With Chucky you can never know. If the giant wakes up he can win against anyone.' Or if he could manage to turn the switch. On the rest day somebody reminded me about an incident at the tourney in Novgorod the previous summer. On that day Ivanchuk took a seat in the bar of the hotel and told the tourney director he wasn't able to play against Topalov in the afternoon. The tournament was over for him. Moreover he was drunk. To emphasise his statement and be on the safe side he put a few glasses and bottles on the table in front of himself. Much impact did his lamentation not have. Friendly but stringently he was summoned to be on time for the game. And he showed up. He sat down, buried his head in his hands and wiped the bewildered Topalov off the board in just 34 moves.
Ivanchuk did not crush Kasparov, but he did manage to win. For the fourth time in his life he beat the World Champion. Kasparov witnessed the awakening of the giant and expressed his unbelief in a somewhat exaggerated way: 'Because he played the opening like a patzer, I assumed he would play the rest of the game like one. Suddenly, he played only the best moves.'
In the end Kasparov who was in excellent form won first prize. That's why no other game produced so much excitement and drama as his only defeat.
White: Vasili Ivanchuck
Black: Garry Kasparov
1. d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 0-0 6.Bg5 a6 7.Qd2 c5 8.d5 b5 9.cxb5 Nb8-d7 10. a4 Qa5 11. Ng1-e2 Nb6 12. Nc1 axb6 13. Bxb5 Ba6 14 Na2 Bxb5 15 axb5 Following the game Drejev-Sokolov which white won easily after: 15. .. Re8 16. 0-0 e6 17.dxe6 Rxe6 18.Rfb1 Nfd7 19. Qd1 R6e8 20. Bd2 Bd4+ 21.Kh1 Nc4 22. Be1 Qd8 23. Nc1 and there seems to be any compensation for the pawn. Kasparov had a better move. 15. ...Nh5! 16. Rab1 White has to be carefull after 16 Bxe7? Rfe8 17. Bg5 f5 and black has a nice attack. Also not good is 16. 0-0? Bd4+ 17.Kh1 Bxc3 18. bxc3 f6 19. Bh6 Rfb8 and white has to face an annoying pin. Ivantsjoek also looked at 16. Rd1 Nc4 17. Qe2 Nxb2 18 Qxb2 Qxa2! 19. Qxa2 Bxc3+ 20. Qd2 Bxd2+ and the endgame is good for black 16. ... Bd4 17. Bh6 to prevent f5 17. ..Rfe8 Kasparov argues a lot can be said about 17. .. f5!? or the positional 17. Rfb8 18. b3 e6 19. dxe6 Rxe6 According to Kasparov an interesting alterative is 19. .. d5!? Ivanchuck was more impressed by 19. ..fxe6. For example: 20. Be3 e5 21. 0-0 d5 22.exd5 Nxd5 23. Bxd4 exd4 24. b4 Qd8 25. Ne4 c4 With good play for black 20. Be3 Bxe4 21. Qxe3 d5
Both players had less then 10 minutes to find their way in this sharp position. Not good is now 22.Dxc5 Nf4 23. 0-0 and the following reminded Ivanchuck of checkers. 23. .. d4 24. Qxd4 Qxa2 25. Nxa2 Ne2+ 22. b4! looking at his reaction, Kasparov missed this move. 22. .. Qa3? Ivanchuck expected 22. .. cxb4 23. Nxb4 dxe4 and black would be safe after 24. fxe4? Nc4 25. Qd4 Na3 26. Ra1 Rd8 27. Rxa3 Rxd4 28. Rxa5 Rxb4 But after his planned 24. 0-0 exf3 25. Qxf3 Rf6 26.Qe4 white would stand better 23. bxc5 Nbc4 24. Qd4 Nf4 25. 0-0 ivanchuck also looked at 25. b6 but in time trouble didn't want to face 25. .. Qxa2!? 25. .. Qxa2 26. Rf2!
26. .. Qa3? Not the toughest resistance.He had to play 26. .. Qa5. Then 27. Nxd5? Nxd5 28. exd5 Re1+ is not good but after 27. exd5 Re3 28 b6! Rxc3 29. b7 Rb8 30. Qxf4 white seems to be winning 27. Ncxd5 Qd3 He has to because 27. .. Nxd5 28. exd5 and 27. ..Nd3 28. Qc4 loses on the spot 28. Qxd3 Nfxd3 29. Rc2 and with a cool head Ivanchuck decides the game thanks to his passes pawns. 29. .. Na3 30. Ra2 Nxc5 31. Ra1 f5 32. Nc7 Re5 33. Nxa8 Nxb5 34. exf5 gxf5 35. Nb6 Nc3 36. Rc2 and in this hopeless position black lost on time before he could execute Ne2+
Event "Linares "]
[White "Ivanchuck, V."]
[Black "Kasparov, G."]
[[1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5.
f3 O-O 6. Bg5 a6 7. Qd2 c5 8. d5 b5 9. cxb5 Nbd7 10. a4 Qa5 11. Nge2 Nb6 12.
Nc1 axb5 13. Bxb5 Ba6 14. N1a2 Bxb5 15. axb5 Nh5 $1 (15... Rfe8 16. O-O e6 17.
dxe6 Rxe6 18. Rfb1 Nfd7 19. Qd1 Ree8 20. Bd2 Bd4+ 21. Kh1 Nc4 22. Be1 Qd8 23.
Nc1) 16. Rb1 (16. Bxe7 $2 Rfe8 17. Bg5 f5) (16. O-O $2 Bd4+ 17. Kh1 Bxc3 18.
bxc3 f6 19. Bh6 Rfb8) (16. Rd1 Nc4 17. Qe2 Nxb2 18. Qxb2 Qxa2 19. Qxa2 Bxc3+
20. Qd2 Bxd2+) 16... Bd4 17. Bh6 Rfe8 (17... f5 $5) (17... Rfb8) 18. b3 e6 19.
dxe6 Rxe6 (19... d5 $5) (19... fxe6 20. Be3 e5 21. O-O d5 22. exd5 Nxd5 23.
Bxd4 exd4 24. b4 Qd8 25. Ne4 c4) 20. Be3 Bxe3 21. Qxe3 d5 22. b4 $1 (22. Qxc5
$2 Nf4 23. O-O d4 24. Qxd4 Qxa2 25. Nxa2 Ne2+) 22... Qa3 $2 (22... cxb4 23.
Nxb4 dxe4 24. fxe4 $2 (24. O-O exf3 25. Qxf3 Rf6 26. Qe4) 24... Nc4 25. Qd4 Na3
26. Ra1 Rd8 27. Rxa3 Rxd4 28. Rxa5 Rxb4) 23. bxc5 Nc4 24. Qd4 Nf4 25. O-O (25.
b6 Qxa2 $5) 25... Qxa2 26. Rf2 Qa3 $2 (26... Qa5 27. exd5 (27. Nxd5 $2 Nxd5 28.
exd5 Re1+) 27... Re3 28. b6 $1 Rxc3 29. b7 Rb8 30. Qxf4) 27. Nxd5 Qd3 (27...
Nxd5 28. exd5) (27... Nd3 28. Qxc4) 28. Qxd3 Nxd3 29. Rc2 Na3 30. Ra2 Nxc5 31.
Rba1 f5 32. Nc7 Re5 33. Nxa8 Nxb5 34. exf5 gxf5 35. Nb6 Nc3 36. Rc2 1-0]]
Playable game scores in this posting
Playable game #1