Reports | September 18, 2011 18:00

Kasparov back at the chessboard, beats Vachier-Lagrave

Kasparov back at the chessboard, beats Vachier-Lagrave

On Saturday in Clichy, France Garry Kasparov showed that he's still capable of beating today's top players in blitz. The 13th World Champion won a 2-game exhibition match against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 1.5-0.5. The match was part of a bigger event which promoted the Kasparov Chess Foundation’s work with chess in schools.

Photo © Yann Buisson | Europe-Echecs

The last couple of months Garry Kasparov has been quite occupied with the subject of chess in schools, connected to his Kasparov Chess Foundation. Recently we reported that the Russian grandmaster/politican/author went on a brief promo-tour in South America, and in September it's Europe's turn. An important day for Kasparov is next Tuesday, when, together with Silvio Danailov, he will address the European Parliament in Brussels. Their plan is to bring chess into schools in the 27 current member states of the European Union. More info on that can be found here.

Building up to the big day, Kasparov is in Paris from September 15th till 19th where he meets with media and politicians to present his project. On Saturday he was in Clichy, a commune in the north-eastern suburbs of the French capital where one of the strongest French chess clubs is playing.

Kasparov agreed to an exhibition blitz match of two games with 5 minutes plus 3 seconds increment on the clock. Reportedly, the "Bronstein method" was used, with which the increment is always added after the move. (You can find the details of this time control at Wikipedia).

It's already news when Kasparov is back at the chessboard. (The last games by him saved in the databases are from a simul in Mexico in November 2010, and before that a consultation game at the Staunton Memorial in September last year. Before that, we had of course the big rapid and blitz match with Anatoly Karpov in 2009 in Valencia.) It's even bigger news when Kasparov plays against one of today's top players, and beats him!

In the first game Kasparov, playing the white pieces, went for the 3.Bb5+ variation of the Sicilian - something he might have found annoying when facing it from the black side during his career. He played aggressively on the kingside, pushing some pawns, and allowing the control of the centre to Vachier-Lagrave. Sacrificing a pawn, the Frenchman could create some counterplay, and then the queens were exchanged. Black won his pawn back, but White kept his pawn phalanx on the kingside and a strong knight. Kasparov finished the game with a petite combinaison.

Kasparov - Vachier-Lagrave
Clichy blitz, 2011

 
 

In the second game The Boss again played an opening from the opposite side of what he was used to in the old days: Black in a Closed Ruy Lopez, Anti-Marshall! Probably in an attempt to level the score, Vachier-Lagrave took too many risks at several points in this game. Kasparov was winning in a few positions, including the final one, where a draw by repetition was agreed upon.

Vachier-Lagrave - Kasparov
Clichy blitz, 2011

 
 

Vachier-Lagrave had earned the right to play Kasparov by winning a short match against Laurent Fressinet earlier. They drew both blitz games, and then Vachier-Lagrave won the Armageddon playing with Black, having four minutes on the clock against five for Fressinet.

Vachier-Lagrave/Baumel - Kasparov/Delon
Clichy consultation, 2011

 
 

The exhibition finished with a consultation game between Vachier-Lagrave and Laurent Baumel (mayor of Ballan-Miré) versus Kasparov and actor Anthony Delon (the son of Alain).

 

Qualifier games
Clichy consultation, 2011

 
 


Short video impressions by the French Chess Federation

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

Chess.com

Comments

john's picture

Kasparov shows he is still a force to be reckoned with. Kind of.

Daniel's picture

Impressive!

christos's picture

I thought he might find it harder to beat a young 2700+ player at blitz after these years, but Kasparov seemed to win rather easily. Perhaps he could compete even with the top four players, if he was to return to tournament chess.

Anonymous's picture

Yeah, it would be really great if Kasparov played against the top four... It is always a great pleasure to see Kaspy getting humiliated...he he...Hold your breath, all you Kaspy funs, your hero wouldn't last a round withound being slaughtered...

dim's picture

it is sad to read comments like yours. The best player ever deserves respect if u're a chess fun

TMM's picture

Really impressive. He could have won that second game too if necessary. The Boss is still The Boss...

Janis Nisii's picture

It is SO GOOD to see Kasparov at the board playing a stong young player and playing so strongly and aggressively. It just feels good! :)
I wonder if MVL got somehow intimidated by Garry, is there any other videos, photos or interviews of the event? It seems it didn't get much covered by the media as I expected, or I can't search the web very well anymore.

Anonymous's picture

Of course the kid was intimidated, that's why Kaspy chose to play against him in the first place... Kaspy loves playing against opponents he can intimidate...That's why when he played against a machine he could not intimidate, he got slaughtered pretty ugly

Martin's picture

Great theory. Please read the article again: he beat Fressinet in a qualifier.

Anonymous's picture

Of course, Fressinet... another elite chess player, contender for the world title...so Kaspy had to face either Fressinet or V-L...gee, what great players, what giants of chess he chose to play with

tomtom's picture

you are a patzer, right?

max's picture

Nice coverage. Hooray for Kasparov. I haven't commented since the website redesign. It looks nice but please make it less white and bright.

victorhdiaz's picture

By the way, anyone knows ELO variations of kasparov??
Thanks

Chessplayer's picture

I would prefer to see Kasparov vs Carlsen rather than anand vs gelfand in the World Championship Match.It will be so much more exciting and interesting

Anonymous's picture

Yes, it would be a very interesting game indeed... And of course there is not even the slightest possibility that it would be fixed, right? If Kaspy thinks he is still better than everybody else, there is a champion he can try to beat...I am sure he is not intimidated by Anand, right?

anonymous's picture

Chessplayer, so would we all ... but if Carlsen doesn't want to play Anand, I doubt if he would be any more willing to play Kasparov - if he came back out of retirement.

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen, unfortunately, is following his "mentor's" footsteps... playing only against "safe" opponents.

Anonymous's picture

When did Kasparov ever do that? Was Karpov safe? And he beat all comers for a decade or two. What nonsense.

Besides, half a year of coaching doesn't make him Carlsen's mentor...

The Player's picture

I am not to happy about the new design on Chessvibes...

brecht's picture

me too actually. The font used now is terrible small! Get better text font style please, also the white colour is too much now.....

Greetz

brecht's picture

me too actually. The font used now is terrible small! Get better text font style please, also the white colour is too much now.....

Greetz

brecht's picture

me too actually. The font used now is terrible small! Get better text font style please, also the white colour is too much now.....

Greetz

Bob's picture

It is great to "anonymously" attempt to provoke isn't it?

I thought the games were pretty impressive, Kasparov obviously plays a lot online, anonymously.

vhomàs topalòv's picture

Kasparov a gagné avec une petite combinaison, merci Garìk! ;)

Anonymous's picture

Kasparov could come out of retirement, and would probably turn out like Federer, but it's not gonna happen :\ . Interestingly enough virtually everyone he faced 10 years ago is still on the scene and hanging in (Kamsky, Polgar, Gelfand, Ivanchuk anyone?)

Anonymous's picture

Kasparov could come out of retirement, and would probably turn out like Federer, but it's not gonna happen :\ . Interestingly enough virtually everyone he faced 10 years ago is still on the scene and hanging in (Kamsky, Polgar, Gelfand, Ivanchuk anyone?)

Anonymous's picture

Kasparov could come out of retirement, and would probably turn out like Federer, but it's not gonna happen :\ . Interestingly enough virtually everyone he faced 10 years ago is still on the scene and hanging in (Kamsky, Polgar, Gelfand, Ivanchuk anyone?)

DarrenL's picture

might be able to compete with? ..."I thought he might find it harder to beat a young 2700+ player at blitz after these years, but Kasparov seemed to win rather easily. Perhaps he could compete even with the top four players, if he was to return to tournament chess".(quote). he would do far more than compete with younger players, he would show them how it is done. it is pretty well known that he plays online blitz (he is raffael on playchess i believe) and is regularly at the top of the leader boards. if kasparov returned to chess he would be WC, #1 and blitz champ in not time at all. all through his career he was in a league of his own, and even now he still is.

Anonymous's picture

If,if,if...and then you woke up... keep dreaming...

Anonymous's picture

Take a look in the mirror, "Anonymous". You're the one dreaming of Kasparov being crushed if he comes back.

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