Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Kasparov, surging past fellow Soviet, shows why he's favored for the title

Gary Kasparov showed why he is considered the heir apparent to the world championship by the way he so soundly defeated fellow Soviet Vassily Smyslov in the fourth game of their final Candidates' match. That victory with the black pieces, coming right on the heels of a third-game conquest with white, catapulted the 20-year-old star into a commanding early lead. Kasparov later increased his margin by winning Game 9, after which a pair of draws in Games 10 and 11 gave him an apparently insurmountable 7-to-4 advantage with only five games remaining.

In Game 4, Smyslov seemed unable to decide whether to play pacifically for a draw or to gamble in an effort to even the match. These vacillating tactics were made to order for Kasparov, who quickly obtained positional advantage. Smyslov correctly recognized that his only hope lay in obfuscation; he set small traps and even offered to sacrifice the exchange. Against lesser players, tactics of this type often succeed, but Kasparov parried effectively and always found the most effective retort.

About these ads

That this youthful grandmaster who thrives on complications can also simplify and demonstrate a high degree of technique bodes ill for World Champion Anatoly Karpov, also of the Soviet Union, who is scheduled to play the winner of this match in the fall.

Queen's Gambit Declined Smyslov Kasparov 1. P-Q4 P-Q4 2. N-KB3 N-KB3 3. P-B4 P-K3 4. N-B3 B-K2 5. B-B4 (a) O-O 6. P-K3 P-B4 7. PxBP BxP 8. B-K2 (b) PxP 9. BxP P-QR3 10. Q-K2 P-QN4 11. B-Q3 B-N2 12. O-O QN-Q2 13. P-K4 (c) N-KR4 (d) 14. B-Q2 Q-B2 15. P-KN3 (e) QR-Q1 16. B-K3 BxB 17. QxB Q-B4 (f) 18. KR-K1 N/4-B3 19. P-QR3 N-N5 20. QxQ NxQ 21. B-B2 P-B4 22. N-N5 (g) P-B5 23. QR-Q1 RxR 24. BxR N-K4 25. PxP N/K4-Q6 (h) 26. P-N4 P-R3 (i) 27. PxN PxN 28. R-K3 NxP/5 29. P-QR4 P-QN5 30. N-K2 R-B1 31. B-N3 RxP 32. NxN PxN 33. BxP ch K-B1 34. R-K1 R-K4 (j) 35. B-N3 RxP 36. R-Q1 K-K2 37. K-B1 P-R4 38. R-B1 K-B3 39. P-R3 P-N4 40. R-B7 R-K2 41. R-B5 R-K4 Adjourned; White resigned without further play.

A. In recent years a popular alternative to the traditional 5. B-N5, but my preference is for the latter move.

B. A lackluster move. 8. Q-B2, to battle for the tempo and to clear the Q file for Rook play, presents more problems for Black.

C. This ''normal'' central action meets an original reply. Hindsight dictates 13. P-KR3 to maintain the Bishop on the KR2-QN8 diagonal as being more prudent.

D. Excellent and original play. Black heads for his KB5 square.

E. This weakening costs him dearly later on, but White understandably plays to prevent 15. . . . N-B5.

About these ads

F. From this point on, the manner in which Black works on the weakness of the White KP is very instructive.

G. Realizing that a continuation such as 22. K-N2, N-Q6 is horrible for White , he plays for complications. He hopes for 22. . . . P-R3?; 23. NxKP, NxN; 24. B-N3, B-B1; 25. PxP, RxP; 26. RxN, but Kasparov's reply is simple and forceful.

H. Another powerful and elegant move. Now either 26. R-K3, NxNP; 27. B-N4, R-K1 or 26. R-K2, NxP/5; 27. R-K3, R-Q1 wins for Black, so Smyslov offers the exchange for counterplay.

I. Again the strongest and simplest. 26.. . . NxR; 27. PxN, RxP; 28. NxKP, R-B3; 29. B-N3 gives White interesting chances.

J. Winning a pawn, since 35. B-B5, B-B3; 36. R-N1, P-QR4 is even worse for White.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.