Kasparov's Famous -Yet Hilarious- Blunder...!

Kasparov's Famous -Yet Hilarious- Blunder...!

Oct 15, 2013, 9:59 PM |

Look at Kasparov's sudden gesture expressive of deep regret and terrible disappointment right after he blundered. He eventually lost this decisive game and -thus- the whole tournament.

A lot has been said about this blunder and I strongly believe that every (serious) chess player is very likely to be familiar with it. However, little is known about when, where, and in what situation Kasparov made such a horrible blunder. It is the purpose of this article to recap the tournament situations that might have triggered the blunder to occur.   


The battle took place in 1996 when the reigning World Champion (under the auspices of Professional Chess Association/PCA), GM Garry Kasparov, was challenged by the would-be Champion, GM Viswanathan Anand. The battlefield was the finals of the knockout Credit Suisse Masters Tournament, a major PCA rapid tournament at that time, held in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the finals, there were only two games left to decide the winner, and to complete one game each player had only 25 minutes without increments. In case of deadlock, both players would have to play two tie-break games with a significantly reduced time control to a fifth of the time they had before.

In game one, playing white pieces Anand lost to Kasparov in a Sicilian (Najdorf Variation) game:  



A point behind Anand was under pressure coming to the second game. However, he managed to bounce back with black pieces in a King's Indian Defense game:


A deadlock (1-1) occurred and the players had to play two tie-break games with 5 minutes for each player to finish each game. In the first game, playing white pieces Kasparov chose the English Opening and the game ended in a draw after 66 moves:



The tension escalated as the showdown was approaching. In an equal position (1.5-1.5), both players were confident to best each other. The final battle for prize and pride alike, then, exploded in -again- a Sicilian (Najdorf Variation) game. The game was exactly a repeat of the first (rapid) game until Kasparov diverted from it in move 15 with 15...g4.

It was Kasparov who initially had an advantage in the game, whereas Anand appeared to be under pressure and he was also getting low on time. As the advantage was getting clearer, it seemed that Kasparov was going to win the game -and thus the tournament- comfortably. 

However, in a position where Kasparov was two pawns up and had a positional edge he blundered horribly with 33...Qxe3, overlooking Anand's dangerous discovered attack, 34. Qxg4, with double attacks on his Queen and Rook. Right after Anand's move, Kasparov realized his blunder and reacted to it in a sudden gesture shown in the animated images above. He decided to give up his queen and played on in an attempt to hold on.

However, Anand soon turned the board around and he was in a clear advantage. Kasparov still refused to declare defeat and pushed even harder until he finally realized that he was going nowhere but to a miserable loss in the end. He eventually resigned in move 54. On the other hand, the would-be World Champion, Anand, rejoiced as he won the game as well as the tournament, prize as well as pride.


It is true that blunder is blunder and every blunder is horrible, but Kasparov's reaction to his blunder above was so expressive that it looked pretty hilarious and entertaining to many of the spectators.

Any comments on the games or anything about the article will be very much appreciated.

(Sources: sun-sentinel.com, chesstempo.com, wikipedia.org, chessgames.com, onlinechesslessons.net)