Kasparov back at the chessboard, beats Vachier-Lagrave

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

On Saturday in Clichy, France Garry Kasparov showed that he's still capable of beating today's top players in blitz. The 13th World Champion won a 2-game exhibition match against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 1.5-0.5. The match was part of a bigger event which promoted the Kasparov Chess Foundation’s work with chess in schools.

Photo © Yann Buisson | Europe-Echecs

The last couple of months Garry Kasparov has been quite occupied with the subject of chess in schools, connected to his Kasparov Chess Foundation. Recently we reported that the Russian grandmaster/politican/author went on a brief promo-tour in South America, and in September it's Europe's turn. An important day for Kasparov is next Tuesday, when, together with Silvio Danailov, he will address the European Parliament in Brussels. Their plan is to bring chess into schools in the 27 current member states of the European Union. More info on that can be found here.

Building up to the big day, Kasparov is in Paris from September 15th till 19th where he meets with media and politicians to present his project. On Saturday he was in Clichy, a commune in the north-eastern suburbs of the French capital where one of the strongest French chess clubs is playing.

Kasparov agreed to an exhibition blitz match of two games with 5 minutes plus 3 seconds increment on the clock. Reportedly, the "Bronstein method" was used, with which the increment is always added after the move. (You can find the details of this time control at Wikipedia).

It's already news when Kasparov is back at the chessboard. (The last games by him saved in the databases are from a simul in Mexico in November 2010, and before that a consultation game at the Staunton Memorial in September last year. Before that, we had of course the big rapid and blitz match with Anatoly Karpov in 2009 in Valencia.) It's even bigger news when Kasparov plays against one of today's top players, and beats him!

In the first game Kasparov, playing the white pieces, went for the 3.Bb5+ variation of the Sicilian - something he might have found annoying when facing it from the black side during his career. He played aggressively on the kingside, pushing some pawns, and allowing the control of the centre to Vachier-Lagrave. Sacrificing a pawn, the Frenchman could create some counterplay, and then the queens were exchanged. Black won his pawn back, but White kept his pawn phalanx on the kingside and a strong knight. Kasparov finished the game with a petite combinaison.

Kasparov - Vachier-Lagrave
Clichy blitz, 2011


In the second game The Boss again played an opening from the opposite side of what he was used to in the old days: Black in a Closed Ruy Lopez, Anti-Marshall! Probably in an attempt to level the score, Vachier-Lagrave took too many risks at several points in this game. Kasparov was winning in a few positions, including the final one, where a draw by repetition was agreed upon.

Vachier-Lagrave - Kasparov
Clichy blitz, 2011


Vachier-Lagrave had earned the right to play Kasparov by winning a short match against Laurent Fressinet earlier. They drew both blitz games, and then Vachier-Lagrave won the Armageddon playing with Black, having four minutes on the clock against five for Fressinet.

Vachier-Lagrave/Baumel - Kasparov/Delon
Clichy consultation, 2011


The exhibition finished with a consultation game between Vachier-Lagrave and Laurent Baumel (mayor of Ballan-Miré) versus Kasparov and actor Anthony Delon (the son of Alain).


Qualifier games
Clichy consultation, 2011


Short video impressions by the French Chess Federation

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