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Recently I was privileged enough to play a game against the legendary Garry Kasparov. Garry was scheduled for a conference and the company gave a selected few the opportunity to play against this extraordinary man.
Since there were about 40 applicants, we had internal play-offs to determine the top eight players to play Garry. Given the fact that I have never played in a single OTB tournament in my life, I was lucky to have made it through thanks to my time spent here on Chess.com!
The play-offs were tough. Garry charged $3000 per game, so you can imagine how nervous I was! First OTB tournament and I was playing to win an opportunity to play a game against the one and only Garry Kasparov!
Garry started off with a speech, revealing to us the secret to beating him in a chess match...
"Say a little prayer my chess friends..."
It was about time for the action to start. We were all situated on a stage with live video feeds of our play being shown to the spectators...
And since we are a large company, there were a lot of spectators...
The rules stated that if Garry had to stop at your table, you had to make a move, or forfeit the game. It was absolutely nerve-wrecking, especially with all your colleagues watching your every move...
Here I am about to start after shaking hands with the great man...
My game against Garry did not last very long. Roughly sixteen or seventeen moves in 45 minutes before I resigned. My position was hopeless, and I was going to give the man the respect he deserves.
The final knock-out blow. Check out my facial expression at the back of the photo...
He continued beating all of us, one after the other, including a Woman's International Master player, who by the way, held out the longest against him.
Here is me just before I resigned. After a game like this, you kind of realize just how low down the food chain you really are...
"I almost beat him in one move!"...
After the game, Garry was kind enough to sign all the chessboards for us and the company gave us the set as a gift. Our names and the date of the event was put inside the chess set.
Board was so damn heavy and my nerves were all shattered after the game...
Guess we all knew who was King that day...
Here is a copy of the game. I have no illusions about my play, because it was pretty bad. I was too nervous, had no plan and I had a tough time concentrating with the whole company watching our play!
Looking back, I have no idea how I even managed through the play-off rounds!
After this I lost track of the game a bit, but it does not take a genius to figure out that White is winning by a very large margin. Garry brought his Queen out soon after that and the attack that followed was simply too much for me...
But the game does not matter much to me now. It was truly a memorable experience, one that I will treasure forever.
And after tasting some real OTB action, I have decided to join a club some time in the near future!
Keep well everyone!
Cool! Is that guy in the green shirt Jaco Nelson?
Hi Rooperi, no his name is not Jaco I'm afraid
Wow - I am so jealous.
What opening did he play against you?
Theunsjb: Thanks for starting this thread, very nice photos. I would certainly like to have a Chessboard signed by Gary Kasparov ( green with envy here ).
@theunsjb, do you have a pgn of the game? What can I say, just congratulations for your achievement! Playing Garry must be awesome! Wow! :)
He played 1. e4. I tried playing the Sicilian against him, hoping that I would be able to hold out longer and avoid tactical complications. In hindsight, I think I should have played 1. e5
The biggest problem with me playing the Sicilian against him is the fact that I know very little to nothing about the Sicilian...
I do have the score sheet with me with most of the moves on. I will capture it this evening and add it to the thread. After about 11 or 12 moves I started losing track of the game I'm afraid. I just got too nervous and my position was becoming absolutely hopeless.
Update: I captured the PGN for you guys
First of congratulations. It is very difficult playing under those conditions. I must say I envy you for being able to participate in such an event.
Second I believe you made a mistake regarding your choice of opening. Many years ago a good friend of mine participated in similar event. He was about twelve at the time and unlike you he had three months to prepare for the tournament and he pretty much new that the chess master he will be playing against will start all games with e4. So my friends father drilled him with Sicilian for the whole three months. This opening is pretty good for black but only if you know it well since it tends to lead to complicated positions.
I learned from experience that any time I am playing against somebody who I know is much better that me I should try to keep it as simple as possible because in complicated positions I will always miss something my opponent won't.
Regardless I think you did a great job. Don't beat yourself down to much. Not many people had the opportunity to lose from Kasparov.
Second I believe you made a mistake regarding your choice of opening.
Thank your for the words of encouragement idejanovi. I agree with you completely. I should have kept things simple, but it was a great experience nonetheless
And lucky for me, a 2000 rated player was the first to lose and not me!
Very nice sir....but I'm sure the very best best players on this server would of had an uphill battle with Mr. Kasparov as black....so don't feel bad
Im confident in saying that this experience will definitely help you in your OTB play..
Congratulations on your accomplishment and your quest to join a chess club and I look forward to playing you again in the future!!!
-God speed (sal)
Great thread and the photos are really good. Thanks for posting
Really interesting thread, great experience for you.
A real pitty that his pussy riot band was not in a possibility to attend.
You should have protected with 8...d6, or better yet threatened his pawn with 8...Ng6.
Lucky you for playing against the legend.
That must have been really great. It seems like the chance of a lifetime. That signed chessboard is worthy of hanging on a wall in your office.
Great thread, good photos. Congrats on your very good experience..
nice & fun! cool experience!
Losing to Gary Kasparov is an outstanding personal victory for you. To be able to play against him at all is an honor most people will never get. The only way to get better in chess is by losing, so losing to someone of his skill is a great learning experience. I envy you, sir. I would galdy pay much more than $3000 to have been in your position.