Reliving the 'Immortal' game

Chess Checks

Some chess games are dubbed ‘Immortal’ for the sheer beauty and creativity they offer to the enthusiasts and followers.

On 13th April, it seems appropriate to feature a game dubbed ‘Immortal” by many experts as it features one of the strongest World champions of all times, the 13th World Champion Gary Kasparov who was born on this day and celebrates his 51st birthday. Interestingly there are more than 200 annotations of this game available.

White: Gary Kasparov (2812) – Black:Veselin Topalov (2700)
Hoogovens, 1999
Pirc Defence
1.e4 d6
Topalov, a Sicilian player, tries to surprise Kasparov.
2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 Bg7
5.Qd2 c6 6.f3 b5 7.Nge2 Nbd7 8.Bh6 Bxh6 9.Qxh6 Bb7. Black could have tried 9. ..e5 10.a3
10.a3 e5

If 10...a5 11.Nd1 b4 12.Ng3.  11.0–0–0 Qe7
Black wants to get his King to safety. If 11...a6 12.Kb1 Qc7
12.Kb1 a6 13.Nc1 0–0–0 14.Nb3 exd4. Topalov prefers to open up the centre and play actively. 14...c5 15.d5
15.Rxd4
If 15.Nxd4 c5 16.Nb3. 15...c5 16.Rd1 Nb6
If 16...Ne5 17.Be2 d5 18.f4
17.g3 Kb8

If 17...d5 18.Bh3+ Kb8 19.exd5 Nbxd5 20.Nxd5 Nxd5  21.Na5
18.Na5 Ba8 19.Bh3 d5 20.Qf4+ Ka7 21.Rhe1
21. ..d4
If 21...dxe4 22.fxe4 Nxe4 23.Nxe4 Rxd1+ 24.Rxd1 Bxe4. 22.Nd5 Nbxd5
If 22...Nfxd5 23.exd5 Qd6 24.Qxf7+
23.exd5 Qd6 24.Rxd4
If 24.Qxd6 Rxd6 25.b4 cxb4 26.axb4 Nxd5 And if 24.Nc6+ Bxc6 25.dxc6 Qxf4 26.Re7+ Kb6 27.gxf4 Nd5 28.Rxf7 Rdf8
24...cxd4


Topalov grabbed the rook when 24...Kb6 would save the game 24...Bxd5 25.Rxd5 Nxd5  26.Qxf7+ Nc7 27.Re6 Rd7 (27...Qd1+ 28.Ka2 Rd7 29.Re7) 28.Rxd6 Rxf7 29.Nc6+ Ka8 30.f4.
Diagram 1
25.Re7+. If 25.Qxd4+ Qb6 26.Re7+ Nd7 27.Rxd7+ Rxd7 28.Qxh8 Rxd5
25...Kb6
If 25...Qxe7 26.Qxd4+ And if 25...Kb8 26.Qxd4 Nd7 27.Bxd7 Bxd5 28.c4
26.Qxd4+ Kxa5

If 26...Qc5 27.Qxf6+ Qd6 28.Be6 Bxd5 29.b4
27.b4+ Ka4 28.Qc3. 28.Ra7 Bb7 (28...Nxd5 29.Rxa6+ Qxa6 30.Qb2 Nc3+ 31.Qxc3 Bd5 32.Kb2 Qe6 33.Bxe6 fxe6 34.Qb3+! Bxb3 35.cxb3#) 29.Rxb7 Qxd5 (29...Nxd5 30.Bd7 a8  31.Bxb5+ axb5 32.Ra7+ Qa6 33.Qxd5 Qxa7 34.Qb3#)
28...Qxd5

If 28...Bxd5 29.Kb2
29.Ra7 Bb7 30.Rxb7 Qc4. Better appears 30...Rhe8 31.Rb6 (31.Ra Rd6 32.Kb2 Qe5) 31...Ra8 32.Bf1
31.Qxf6 Kxa3. If 31...Rd1+ 32.Kb2 Ra8 (32...Qd4+ 33.Qxd4 Rxd4 34.Rxf7 Rd6 35.Re7 e6) 33.Qb6 Qd4+ (33...a5 34.Bd7! Rd5 35.Qe3 axb4 36.Ra7++–) 34.Qxd4 Rxd4 35.Rxf7 a5 36.Be6 axb4 37.Bb3+ Ka5 38.axb4+ Rxb4 (38...Kb6 39.Rxh7 and with 3 pawns for the exchange White gradually wins.) 39.c3
32.Qxa6+ Kxb4 33.c3+ Kxc3. If 33...Kb3 34.Qa2+ Kxc3 35.Qb2+ Kd3 36.Re7
34.Qa1+ Kd2

If 34...Kb4 35.Qb2+ Ka5 (35...Qb3 36.Rxb5+) 36.Qa3+ Qa4 37.Ra7+
35.Qb2+ Kd1

Impossible to imagine but the black king went all the way from e8 to d1

If 35...Ke3 36.Re7+ And if 35...Ke1 36.Re7+ Kd1 37.Bf1
36.Bf1 Rd2 37.Rd7

The final trick. 37...Rxd7 38.Bxc4 bxc4 39.Qxh8 Rd3.
If 39...Rb7+ 40.Ka2 Kc2 41.Qd4. 40.Qa8 c3 41.Qa4+ Ke1. If 41...Kd2 42.Qc2+. 42.f4 f5 43.Kc1 Rd2 44.Qa7
1–0

Diagram 2
White to play and checkmate in two moves
 1.Qh7+ Kxf6 2.Qxh6 checkmate.

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