Kasparov triumphant in Reykjavik Rapid
Had Nigel Short converted his advantage in the first game it would
have gone down as one of the more spectacular of Kasparov’s few
losses. Instead it turned into another bitter pill for the Englishman
to swallow. Kasparov turned the tables and won, then drew the second
to take the match and the title. Report and games.
The song remains the same
Final result – Sun. March 21
Nigel Short Garry Kasparov 0-1
In keeping with our 1993 retro theme, Nigel Short and Garry Kasparov
reenacted several of the the scenes that occurred in many of their
world championship match games in which the Englishman had the white
pieces. Short would gain an impressive attack against Kasparov’s
Sicilian only to falter against sharp defense.
In the first game today Short got a dream attacking position but
Kasparov kept battling and finally wrested the advantage through
nightmarish complications. Kasparov found White’s king and it ended
abruptly with a queen sacrifice mate in three.
It was similar in several ways, if not in complexity and gravity, to
the legendary game eight of the 93 world championship, but it was
bitter enoughfor Short, who has been playing excellent chess.
Would the second game be more than a formality? Kasparov had the
momentum and white and he needed only a draw to secure the tournament
win. He quickly built up a crushing position and although he blundered
it away against resourceful defense by Short the game finished in a
For Kasparov it was a somewhat shaky tournament win, but anything less
than victory would have been considered a surprise, the curse of high
(Being the top seed by over 100 points didn’t hurt.)
In the past few years it has been hard to say if Kasparov’s level is
slipping simply because he has played so rarely. This year there are
no Ponomariov matches to be canceled so we hope he surpasses his
recent annual totals of classical games played. He played 37 in 2001,
21 in 2002, and 18 in 2003 (not including 10 classical games against
Junior and Fritz), for 76 total.
Kramnik and Anand, who might be the new #2 on the upcoming rating
list, have both recently criticized Kasparov for his lack of
activity. For the record, Anand played 37, 16, and 39 classical games
in 2001, 02, and 03 (92 total).
Kramnik played 37, 3, 38 (78 total). Anand has also been much more
active on the rapid circuit.