Sunday, October 19, 2008

Garry K, RDK and 5. Bf4

It may have started just a few days ago but we're already a third of the way through the world championship match. It seems impossibly short to me but we take what we can get I suppose.

Yesterday it was Anand's turn to play what was perceived by many - see for example the opening comments of Chess Vibes' analysis to game four - to be a dull opening as White. As ever, the S&BCC blog offers a warm welcome to the tedious though. 5. Bf4 in the Queen's Gambit has been a favourite of mine for over twenty years.

On his DVD Mr. Garry Kasparov mentions that developing the bishop to f4 rather than the more common g5 is favoured by some players because it tends to keep more pieces on the board. However he also observes that computer assisted analysis of certain forcing lines - I believe he is referring to positions that stem from 6. ... c5, 7. dxc5 Bxc5, 8. Qc2 Nc6, 9. a3 Qa5, 10. 0-0-0 Be7, 11. g4 - has enabled GMs to mine the variations so deep that they burn out into drawn endgames, or "scratch the position next to its bottom" as Gazza puts it.

Anyhoo, Saturday's game was not the first time Kramnik had faced the move in a World Championship match. Back in 2004 Peter Leko, now in the the former champion's camp as a second, beat him with it in the fifth game of their match in Brissago.

Edward Winter's website carries a rather curious story regarding what the Hungarian did (according to Raymondo) or did not (according to others) say at the press conference prior to that particular game. It's classic RDK. I wonder if he remembers that little episode.

What we at the S&BCC blog remember is that Ray himself was once an aficionado of 5. Bf4. For him, just in case he happens to be wandering by, and for anybody else who's interested, here are links to the seven World Championship games in which the variation has appeared over the past 35 years.

Fischer-Spassky 1972;

Korchnoi-Karpov 1978, games 9, 21 and 23;

Korchnoi-Karpov, 1981 game 11;

Kasparov-Karpov 1987;

and finally Leko-Kramnik 2004 - the comments to this game (see halfway down page 61) being the place I first discovered the Edward Winter story.

Not a bad collection for a supposedly boring opening. I for one will be very happy to see it make another appearance at some point during the final eight games of the match.


Anonymous said...

I dont know how good you are, but you seem a bit obsessed by the Opening.

Maybe if you just concentrate on other parts of the game and forget about Openings for a while you would be a better player.


ejh said...

Fabulous, Speedy was at the football. Did he do Chesscube coverage at the same time? I missed it myself, as I was off playing chess....

ejh said...

By the way, 5.Bf4 was previously mentioned here.

ejh said...

Oh, George - you forgot to tell us how good you are, but I'm sure your advice is welcome. However, I wonder if Mr Anand and Mr Kramnik take quite the same view that you do, sir.