Kasparov vs. Rest of the World controversy

The great game Kasparov vs. Rest of the World has erupted in controversy. I do not know the details but in general most of the participants had been following the recommendations of Irina Krush, age 15, who was the US Woman's Chess Champion.

Kasparov had a slight advantage in a queen and pawn vs. queen and pawn endgame. However, for some reason the e-mail containing the analysis by Krush did not arrive and was not posted on time. Therefore, the majority picked another move, not the move recommended by Krush.

Position before 58 .... Qe4

Here is the letter from Krush:

I recommend the World plays the move 58...Qf5 (Queen on f3 to f5)

I believe that the active move 58...Qf5 is Black's best way to continue fighting for a draw (Analysis has revealed severe problems with the alternative 58...Qe4 - and it looks bad for Black. I think 58...Qe4 is probably losing by force according to the latest analysis on the World Team Strategy Bulletin Board). Therefore 58...Qf5 to give us our best chances.

The move actually played, 58. ... Qe4, seemed attractive because if Kasparov had traded queens with 59. Qxe4, the game would have been an instant draw. However, 58. .... Qf5 was better because it would have prevented Kasparov's king from reaching f6. Without that square available, the only way for Kasparov to advance the g-pawn quickly would have involved placing the king on h6, where it would have been subject to checks.

When the analysis by Krush arrived and was posted, it showed that the move actually played by the Rest of the World lost by force.

Krush then declared the position to be hopelessly lost, delivered her final analysis, her kudos and her thanks to all and dropped out of the team, a great blow since the majority had been following her recommendations up until that time.

Frustrated, voters for 58. .... Qf5 decided to vote for 59 .... Qe1, which was a Queen sacrifice mentioned in the last line of the analysis by Krush and which would have lead to an instant loss for Black, the equivalent of resigning.

When the vote results came out, MSN rejected all votes for 59 .... Qe1, which was a perfectly legal and legitimate move, even though it would have given away a queen for nothing .
Irina Krush, rated Chess Master

However, the game goes on. Other commentators, who are also strong players, say that they are not so sure the game is lost and that Garry must prove it.

Here is the last posted analysis by Krush:


I wish to thank the World Champion, MSN, and First USA for their gracious invitation and for extending me the privilege of participating in this event. I wish to thank my fellow analysts on the World Team Strategy Bulletin Board, GM Chess School and SmartChess Online for the privilege of being able to work with them.

I do not have a specific recommendation for this move. However, in my Analysis section, I present the World Team's distilled knowledge about the position after 58...Qe4, and Kasparov's response 59.Qg1+. This analysis is a testament to the resolve, dedication and fighting spirit displayed by brilliant and enthusiastic analysts all over the world, whose imagination was captured by this intriguing event. I believe this analysis will guide you more effectively than my personal recommendation on this move (all of Black's options are indicated).


As I indicated in my previous post, which can be found in the Game History file, I believe the move 58...Qe4 is a losing move - in my opinion 58Qf5 was necessary to continue the game. After 59.Qg1+, we can do a limited but exhaustive search of all of Black's options, as our King will reach one of eight squares (a1 through d1, or a3 through d3) after White follows up with 60.Qf2+.

As we shall see, a common theme in these variations, is White's ability to play a quick Kg7-f6, followed by g6-g7. This maneuver would not have been possible after 58Qf5 (maintaining watch along the f-file and in particular the f6-square). Black is unable to maintain perpetual check in these variations, and therefore White wins as the pawn on g7 (about to queen) is much more powerful than Black's slower d-pawn.

A) 59...Kc2 60.Qf2+, and now:

A1) 60...Kd1 61.Kf6 d4 62.g7 Qc6+ 63.Kg5 Qd5+ (63...Qc5+ 64.Qf5 Qe7+ 65.Kg6, White wins) 64.Qf5, with:

A1a) 64...Qg8 65.Qd3+ Kc1 (65...Ke1 66.Qxd4, White wins) 66.Qxd4, White wins.

A1b) 64...Qg2+ 65.Qg4+, White wins.

A2) 60...Kd3 61.Kf6 Qe8 (61...d4 62.Qf5, White wins) 62.g7 Qc6+ (62...Qd8+ 63.Kg6 Qd6+ 64.Qf6, White wins) 63.Kg5 Qe8 64.Qf5+, White wins.

B) 59...Ka2 has no independent significance - after 60.Qf2+ we will transpose into lines from Variation C.

C) 59...Kb2 60.Qf2+! and now:

C1) 60...Kb3 61.Kf6 d4 62.g7 Qc6+ 63.Kg5 Qd5+ (63...Qe8 64.Qxd4, White wins) 64.Qf5 Qg2+ 65.Qg4 Qd5+ 66.Kf4 Qg8 (66...Qf7+ 67.Kg3 Qg8 68.Qf3+ Kc2 69.Qf8, White wins) 67.Qg6, White wins.

C2) 60...Kb1 61.Kf6 d4 (61...Qb4 62.Qf5+ Kc1 63.g7, White wins) 62.g7 Qc6+ 63.Kg5 Qe8 (63...Qd5+ 64.Qf5+, White wins) 64.Qxd4, White wins.

C3) 60...Ka1 61.Kf6! d4 (61...Qh1 62.g7 Qh6+ 63.Kf7 Qh5+ 64.Kf8, White wins; 61...Qb4 62.g7 Qd6+ 63.Kf7 Qd7+ 64.Kg6 Qe8+ 65.Qf7, White wins) 62.g7 Qc6+ 63.Kg5, with:

C3a) 63...Qc5+ 64.Qf5 Qe7+ (64...Qc1+ 65.Kf6 Qc6+ 66.Qe6, transposes to 63...Qd5+ 64.Qf5 Qg2+ 65.Kf6 Qc6+ 66.Qe6 - Variation C3c - White wins) 65.Kh6 Qd6+ 66.Qg6 Qf4+ 67.Qg5 Qd6+ 68.Kh7 Qh2+ 69.Qh6 Qc2+ 70.Kh8, White wins.

C3b) 63...Qc1+ 64.Qf4 Qc5+ 65.Qf5 transposes to 63...Qc5+ 64.Qf5 - Variation 3c - White wins.

C3c) 63...Qd5+ 64.Qf5 Qg2+ 65.Kf6! Qc6+ 66.Qe6 Qf3+ 67.Ke7 Qb7+ 68.Qd7 Qe4+ 69.Kd6 Qf4+ (69...Qg6+ 70.Kc7 Qg3+ 71.Kc8 Qc3+ 72.Qc7 Qh3+ 73.Kd8 Qh4+ 74.Qe7 Qg3 75.Qa7+ Kb1 76.Qxd4, White wins) 70.Kc5 Qc1+ 71.Kb6 Qb1+ 72.Kc7! Qc1+ 73.Qc6 Qf4+ 74.Kb6 Qb8+ 75.Ka6 Qg8 76.Qa4+ Kb1 77.Qxd4, White wins.

C4) 60...Ka3 61.Kf6 d4 62.g7 Qc6+ 63.Kg5 Qd5+ (63...Qe8 64.Qxd4, White wins) 64.Qf5 Qg2+ 65.Qg4 Qd5+ 66.Kf4 Qg8 (66...Qf7+ 67.Kg3 Qg8 68.Qf3+ Kb2 69.Qf8, White wins) 67.Qg6, White wins.

C5) 60...Kc1 61.Kf6 d4 62.g7 Qc6+ 63.Kg5 Qd5+ (63...Qe8 64.Qxd4, White wins) 64.Qf5 Qg2+ 65.Kh6, White wins.

C6) 60...Kc3 61.Kf6 d4 62.g7 Qc6+ 63.Kg5, and now:

C6a) 63...Qd5+ 64.Qf5 Qg2+ (64...Qd8+ transposes to 63...Qe8 64.Qf5 Qd8+ - Variation C6b - White wins) 65.Qg4 Qd5+ 66.Kf4 Qg8 (66...Qf7+ 67.Kg3 Qg8 68.Qf3+ d3 69.Qf8, White wins) 67.Qg6, White wins.

C6b) 63...Qe8 64.Qf5 Qd8+ 65.Kg6, and now:

C6b1) 65...d3 66.Qc5+ Kb3 (66...Kb2 67.Qb4+, White wins) 67.Qf8 Qb6+ 68.Qf6 Qg1+ 69.Qg5, White wins.

C6b2) 65...Qd6+ 66.Kh5 Qh2+ 67.Kg5 Qg3+ 68.Kh6, White wins.

Finally, we should not forget:

D) 59Qe1, when after 60.Qxe1+, White wins as Black's Queen has left the game.

After 59.Qg1+, I am unable to find any defense for Black.

[Event "Kasparov vs. Rest of the World"]
[Site "World Wide Web"]
[Date "1999.06.22"]
[White "Kasparov"]
[Black "The World"]
[Result "1-0"]

21. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. c4 Nc6 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. O-O g6 
8. d4 cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bg7 10. Nde2 Qe6 11. Nd5 Qxe4 12. Nc7+ Kd7 13. Nxa8 Qxc4 
14. Nb6+ axb6 15. Nc3 Ra8 16. a4 Ne4 17. Nxe4 Qxe4 18. Qb3 f5 19. Bg5 Qb4 
20. Qf7 Be5 21. h3 Rxa4 22. Rxa4 Qxa4 23. Qxh7 Bxb2 24. Qxg6 Qe4 25. Qf7 Bd4 
26. Qb3 f4 27. Qf7 Be5 28. h4 b5 29. h5 Qc4 30. Qf5+ Qe6 31. Qxe6+ Kxe6 
32. g3 fxg3 33. fxg3 b4 34. Bf4 Bd4+ 35. Kh1 b3 36. g4 Kd5 37. g5 e6 38. h6 Ne7 
39. Rd1 e5 40. Be3 Kc4 41. Bxd4 exd4 42. Kg2 b2 43. Kf3 Kc3 44. h7 Ng6 
45. Ke4 Kc2 46. Rh1 d3 47. Kf5 b1=Q 48. Rxb1 Kxb1 49. Kxg6 d2 50. h8=Q d1=Q 
51. Qh7 b5 52. Kf6+ Kb2 53. Qh2+ Ka1 54. Qf4 b4 55. Qxb4 Qf3+ 56. Kg7 d5 
57. Qd4+ Kb1 58. g6 Qe4 59. Qg1+ Kb2 60. Qf2+ Kc1 61. Kf6 d4 62. g7
{Black Resigns} 1-0 

UPDATE: After only three more moves, the Rest of the World has resigned. It would have been better to see them play a few more moves, because by resigning at this point in time, the majority of the viewers will never know why the position is lost.

In the final position, White wins with 62 g7 Qc6+ 63 Kg5 Qd5+ 64 Qf5 Qg2+ 65 Kh6 Qh2+ 66 Kg6 Qd6+ 67 Qf6 Qb8 68 Qg5+ Kd1 69 Qh5+ Kc2 70 Qc5+ Kb1 71 Qd5 Qg3+ 72 Kf6 Qh4+ 73 Qg5 Qf2+ 74 Qf5+, and it is over. However, the 7 million who according to Microsoft were following this game would have learned a lot about chess by seeing this played out. Comments on the bulletin boards showed a general lack of understanding of this position.

The analysis by Krush (above) gave: 62.g7 Qc6+ 63.Kg5 Qd5+ (63...Qe8 64.Qxd4, White wins) 64.Qf5 Qg2+ 65.Kh6, White wins.

Kasparov has stated that even had the Rest of the World played the move Krush recommended, which was 58. ... Qf5, he still would have won, and he will supply analysis proving this at some future date, but not just yet.

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