Adams Levels World Chess Championship Match… Again

by E. "Doc" Smith on July 12, 2004

England’s Michael Adams has again leveled the score of the 2004 World Chess Championship at 2.5 -2.5. Adams lost Game 4 as black on Friday, against Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan.

With the score at 2.5 – 1.5 in favour of Kasimdzhanov, Adams had to force the pace today if he wanted to remain in the match. A win was desperately needed since the draw would create a situation where Adams would need a win with black the following day! No easy feat in chess at this level. Just for the record, all the wins in the final have come with white so far.

Adams, Michael – Kasimdzhanov, Rustam
Ruy Lopez

1.e4 e5

Rustam switches the opening discussions from the Sicilian to the Ruy Lopez.

2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5

Both players have enormous experience with the Chigorin variation of the Spanish.

11.d4 Qc7 12.d5!?

Adams is the first to deviate from his previous games with this line. Normally white plays:

12.Nbd2 cxd4 13.cxd4 Rd8 14.b3 Nc6 15.Bb2 exd4 16.Nxd4 Nxd4 17.Bxd4 Be6 18.Rc1 Qa5 19.Nf1!? Ne8 20.Qd3! Rac8 21.Bb1 Rxc1 22.Rxc1 Rc8 23.Rd1 Qa3 24.Qd2 Bd8 25.Ne3 Qa5 26.Qd3 b4?! 27.f4+- Kf8 28.f5 Bd7 29.Nc4 Qb5 30.Qg3 Bf6 31.Bxf6 gxf6 32.Kh1 Qc5 33.Qf4 Bb5 34.Ne3 1-0 Grischuk,A-Kasimdzhanov,R Wijk aan Zee 2002 in 49 moves

12.Nbd2 Rd8 13.b3 (13.d5 c4 14.Re3!? Bd7 15.b4 Nb7 16.a4 a5 17.axb5 Bxb5 18.Nb1! Be8 19.Re1! Nd7 20.Be3 Nb6 21.bxa5? Nxa5 22.Na3 Rdb8 23.Nd2 Nb3! 24.Nxb3 cxb3 25.Bxb3 Qxc3 26.Bd2 Qd4 27.Ra2 Na4 28.Nc2 Qc5 29.Qf3 Qb5 30.Nb4 Nc5 31.Rxa8 Rxa8 32.Bc2 h6 33.Rb1 Qc4= 0.5-0.5 Leko,P-Kasimdzhanov,R Yerevan 2001) 13…Bd7 14.d5 c4 15.b4 Nb7 16.a4 a5 17.Ba3 axb4 18.Bxb4 Nc5 19.axb5 Bxb5 20.Bxc5 Qxc5 21.Ba4 Nd7 22.Bxb5 Qxb5 23.Rb1 Qc5 24.Rb4 Nb6 25.Qc2 Ra6 26.Reb1 Rda8 27.g3 Bd8 28.Kg2 g6 29.R1b2 Kg7 30.h4= 1-0 Adams,M-Torre,E Bled 2002 (53)

12…Nc4 13.b3 Nb6 14.a4 Bd7 15.a5 Nc8 16.c4

Both players have followed the same moves that were played earlier this year at Linares between two of the top ten players . Up till this point they had not taken any time on the clock. Adams now thought for four minutes and followed the quoted game.

16.b4 was the previous main idea here 16…c4 17.Nbd2 g6 18.Nf1 Nh5 19.Bh6 Re8 20.Qd2 Bf8 21.Ng3 Nxg3 22.fxg3 Ne7 23.Rf1 f6 24.Rf2 Kh8 25.Be3 Bg7 26.g4 Rf8 27.Raf1 Rae8 28.Nh2 Qc8 29.Qe2 Qd8 30.Rf3 Bh6 31.R1f2 Bxe3 32.Qxe3 Bc8 33.Rf1 Kg7 34.R3f2 0.5-0.5 Kasparov,G-Ivanchuk,V/Prague CZE 2002 (45)


Kasimdzhanov played this after only 26 seconds so it was obviously home preparation on the Topalov game.

16…g6 17.Nc3 Nh5 18.Ne2 Re8 19.Ra2 Bf8 20.g4 Ng7 21.Ng3 f6 22.Nh2 Re7 23.h4 Rf7 24.f4 exf4 25.Bxf4 Qd8 26.Rf1 Qe7 27.h5 Ne8 28.Bd3 Bg7 29.Kg2 Qf8 30.Qc1 bxc4 31.bxc4 white is winning here 31…Rb8 32.Raf2 1-0 Topalov,V – Shirov,A, Linares ESP 2004 in 45 moves

17.Nbd2 g6 18.Nf1 Nh5 19.Bh6.

Played after 10 minutes thought. Zurab Azmaiparashvili suggested here 19.g4 Nf4 (19…Ng7!?) 20.Bxf4 exf4 21.Qd2 as being advantageous for white.

19…Re8 20.Qd2 Bf8 (Time control W 1:09 B 1:18)

Amazingly this is the first time Rustam stopped to think. He spent 13 minutes on Bf8.


Adams continues his attack in the most forceful way after investing a further 16 minutes here.


Kasimdzhanov is slowing down now but the position is quite difficult unfortunately. 21…Nf4 22.Bxf4 exf4 23.Qxf4 Bg7 24.Ra2 is advantageous for white.

22.N3h2 Qd8 23.f4!

White plays in the most aggressive way. Of course Adams needed to win this from a psychological point of view to restore the equilibrium in the match.

23…exf4 24.Qxf4 Qe7 25.Nf3

Adams might have also been considering 25.Bg5! which may be better 25…Qe5 26.Qxe5 Rxe5 ( 26…dxe5 27.Nf3 Bd6 28.Bf6 and black is completely tied up) 27.Nf3 Re8 28.e5 with advantage. After five minutes thought he chose 25.Nf3

25…f6 26.Ng3 Rd8 27.Rf1 Ne8 28.Bxf8 Qxf8 29.e5!!

Very nice. White exploits the pin on the f-file to increase his advantage.

29…dxe5 30.Nxe5 Ncd6 (Time control W 26:08 B 44:56) 31.Rae1 Qg7 32.Nd3

The position is very difficult for black here.

32…Rac8 33.Qf2 f5!?

Although not the best, Rustam decides after 12 minutes thought, to try and get some space for his pieces. Otherwise he would be slowly strangled.


34.Nxc5 was totally winning here – Radjabov

34…Nf6 35.Nxd7 Rxd7 36.gxf5

Winning a pawn but there was very little else for black.


36…gxf5 37.Kh2 Kh8 38.Bxf5 Nxf5 39.Qxf5

37.Re6 Kh8 38.Bd1 g4 39.hxg4 Rg8 40.Qf4 Nxg4 (Time control W 24:26 B 34:51) 41.Bxg4 Qxg4 42.Qxg4 Rxg4 43.Kh2

White is totally winning here.

43…h5 44.Kh3 Rd4 45.f6 Nf7 46.Rf5 1-0

And so the match is equal once again, with the score standing at 2.5 – 2.5. Tomorrow’s game will decide whether the players will go to tie-break or else will be decisive!

Special thanks to Ali Nihat Yazici and Geoffrey D Borg for their reporting of this event.

E. “Doc” Smith is a former Rhode Island Amateur Champion, and has won divisional titles in the U.S. Amateur Team Championships for Brown University as well as the Rhode Island Chess League Championships. He has also taught chess to kids in S.F. schools, where he has recently directed several successful citywide tournaments.

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