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Garry Kasparov's Best Attacks, Part 2

Garry Kasparov's Best Attacks, Part 2

Last week, we deconstructed the elements of a successful attack through the lens of Garry Kasparov's magisterial attacking displays.

Simply put, his tactical vision, calculation, and imagination were second to none. Garry would pounce on the slightest tactical imprecision with such ferocity that his opponents tended to lose their cool even if their positions were still defendable.

But Kasparov's opponents were not always ready to collapse in the face of adversity. Indeed, most of his opponents were exceptional defenders, eager to match his intensity and tactical prowess step for step. 

When push came to shove, it was Garry's intuition, rather than his tactical accuracy or combinational vision, that made him the greatest attacker of all time.

The next game, a veritable attacking manual itself, is a case in point. 

A breathtaking display by 14-year-old Garry! While Houdini corroborates 19...Bxf3 in a matter of seconds, it is impossible for a human to accurately calculate all of the consequences.

Kasparov saw that White had no way to repel the attack, and sensed that the woefully unprotected monarch could only hold out for so long against four bloodthirsty pieces. As usual, he was proven right on both counts.

Fourteen years later, facing none other than Anatoly Karpov in a crucial world championship game, Garry solidified his reputation as a virtuoso of intuition. 

Simply exquisite. Note how seamlessly Kasparov interwove calculation and intuition. Yes, he worked out what he could, but he did not try to achieve the unachievable.

His serious inaccuracy on the 25th move notwithstanding (nobody is perfect!), Kasparov successfully waded through the complexities of the position and vanquished an elite defender with a stunning sacrificial display. 

kojoku / Shutterstock.com

In my view, intuition should not be defined as the capacity to quickly predict the computer's line of play. Rather, it is the ability to select the most practically challenging continuation when calculation is impossible or ineffective. 

Even in his last days as a professional player, Kasparov's attacking prowess showed no signs of waning. A week before announcing his retirement to the chess world, Garry pulverized the 2004 FIDE world champion in brilliant fashion. 

While 22...Bxf2+ and 29...Bxg3 were the products of flawless calculation, moves like 17...0-0 and 26...g6 -- based mainly on intuition, and a feel for the position -- are the true markings of a legendary attacker.

"The power of intuition and the ability to harness and use it like a master...is the essential element that cannot be measured by any analysis or device, and I believe it's at the heart of success in all things." -- Garry Kasparov 

Article image: Vladimir Korostyshevskiy / Shutterstock.com


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