Kasparov-Ponomariov: A Super GM French at Linares 2002

Kasparov-Ponomariov: A Super GM French at Linares 2002

NM GreenLaser
Apr 16, 2011, 12:00 AM |
18 | Opening Theory

The tournament at Linares in 2002 was called a Super GM event. There were seven players in a double round robin playing twelve games. The results were: Kasparov 8, Ponomariov 6.5, Ivanchuk 6, Anand 6, Adams 6, Vallejo Pons 5, and Shirov 4.5.
Kasparov had four wins and no losses. The competition had an average rating of 2732 and was a category 20.
Garry Kasparov, the World Champion from 1985-2000, was the world’s top rated player at 2838. His round 13 game with Ponomariov will be shown. (The round numbers go beyond the number of games each player played because there was an odd number of players.) Ruslan Ponomariov was born in 1983, twenty years later than Kasparov. In 1996, he won the European U-18 Championship. In 1997, he won the World U-18 Championship. In 1998, Ponomariov became the youngest player to achieve the grandmaster title (up to that time). In 2002, he became the youngest ever FIDE World Champion.
Kasparov, as White, played e4. Ponomariov played the French Defense. With 3...dxe4 the Rubinstein Variation appeared. On moves seven and eight, Kasparov led the play into territory of his choosing. Some game references are shown. My analysis is added with the help primarily of Kasparov, Stohl, and Pein. Kasparov’s play showed his determination to win. Ponomariov’s play under fire showed his tenacious resistance possibly turning to hopes of winning likely based on being ahead on time as much or more than the position.

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