Mark Crowther writes
Garry Kasparov and Veselin Topalov played a match in Leon, Spain June
9th-13th. The match was played under special rules which allowed the players to use a
chess database and an analysis program. This special form of chess "advanced
chess" is one that has been an enthusiasm for Kasparov for some time which he regards
as the "Chess of the Future". I'm more than a little skeptical of this but the
match was an interesting one, and I don't believe this can ever be more than an
interesting exhibition concept
which probably should be tried again.
The players were given a PC with ChessBase 7.0, Fritz 5 with opening and endgame databases. The time rate of one hour for all the moves meant that the players had to allocate their time effectively. It was not possible to use the computer all the time and the players had to know when its use was most effective. The audience could see the variations the players considered using their computers. However even a brief use of an analysis program cuts out the most crass tactical blunders which can happen to even
the best players.
Kasparov appeared to use the computer more than Topalov, which given he was promoting the concept was entirely understandable. In game one he was in time pressure towards the end, probably through overuse of the PC. Indeed in some cases there was insufficient time for the analysis program to find useful lines. On day two after waiting several minutes for the program to
analyse a line Kasparov realised that it would never come to terms with the position and played a move based on intuition instead. Kasparov's misuse of the analysis program in game five probably cost him a draw, he started to overuse the analysis late in the game when he would have been better just playing the position himself.
Topalov won games one and five, Kasparov games two and four. The final game of the normal time-rate match was drawn by repetition in a position that was favorable to Topalov. He admitted he should have played on after the game.
After the match was tied at 3-3 there were a series of playoff games. They played a pair of five minute games which both won as black. Then they went into a sudden death situation with white having four minutes and black five, with the match ending at the first decisive game. The first game was drawn and the second was won by Kasparov to end the match.
The players both had identical PCs, ChessBase 7.0, Fritz 5 and access to opening and endgame databases.
Games at 1 hour per side. Topalov, Veselin - Kasparov, Gary 1-0 43 B33 Sicilian; Sveshnikov Kasparov, Gary - Topalov, Veselin 1-0 36 D79 1.d4 d5 2.c4 g6 Topalov, Veselin - Kasparov, Gary 1/2 58 B90 Sicilian; Najdorf Kasparov, Gary - Topalov, Veselin 1-0 41 E60 Kings indian Topalov, Veselin - Kasparov, Gary 1-0 51 B90 Sicilian; Najdorf Kasparov, Gary - Topalov, Veselin 1/2 25 A32 English; 1.c4 c5
Leon ESP (ESP), VI 1998 1 2 3 4 5 6 Kasparov, Gary g RUS 2825 0 1 = 1 0 = 3.0 2740 Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2740 1 0 = 0 1 = 3.0 2825
Pair of games at 5 minutes per side. Topalov, Veselin - Kasparov, Gary 0-1 65 B90 Sicilian; Najdorf Kasparov, Gary - Topalov, Veselin 0-1 50 E68 Kings indian Games at 4 minutes for white, 5 to black, sudden death. Kasparov, Gary - Topalov, Veselin 1/2 35 B90 Sicilian; Najdorf Topalov, Veselin - Kasparov, Gary 0-1 52 A32 English; 1.c4 c5