Ok, I'm looking at Kasparov's Immortal to try to improve my own. I'm "mediocre" at best, but I enjoy a good game of chess.

At the end of the 9th move by both players, Kasparov has his queen on Qh6.

Now, I'm what would be called a "beginning" chess player, in that I like the game, but I'm not that good at it, even though I have been playing (though not professionally or really competitively) for years.

But my question is as follows: For Kasparov's 10th move, he moves a3. What would have been the ramifications of him making the move Qg7? It seems to me like that would set up a good capturing opportunity, or at least cause Topalov to move the rook to a different protective position, like Rf8.

[FEN ""]
[Event "Hoogovens Group A"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "1999.01.20"]
[EventDate "1999.01.16"]
[Round "4"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Garry Kasparov"]
[Black "Veselin Topalov"]
[ECO "B07"]
[WhiteElo "2812"]
[BlackElo "2700"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[startply "19"]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Be3 Bg7 5. Qd2 c6 6. f3 b5 7. Nge2 Nbd7 8. Bh6 Bxh6 9. Qxh6 Bb7 10. a3 (10. Qg7?) e5 11. O-O-O Qe7 12. Kb1 a6 13. Nc1 O-O-O 14. Nb3 exd4 15. Rxd4 c5 16. Rd1 Nb6 17. g3 Kb8 18. Na5 Ba8 19. Bh3 d5 20. Qf4+ Ka7 21. Rhe1 d4 22. Nd5 Nbxd5 23. exd5 Qd6 24. Rxd4 cxd4 25. Re7+ Kb6 26. Qxd4+ Kxa5 27. b4+ Ka4 28. Qc3 Qxd5 29. Ra7 Bb7 30. Rxb7 Qc4 31. Qxf6 Kxa3 32. Qxa6+ Kxb4 33. c3+ Kxc3 34. Qa1+ Kd2 35. Qb2+ Kd1 36. Bf1 Rd2 37. Rd7 Rxd7 38. Bxc4 bxc4 39. Qxh8 Rd3 40. Qa8 c3 41. Qa4+ Ke1 42. f4 f5 43. Kc1 Rd2 44. Qa7 1-0

Hey, he's the grandmaster and I'm not, I'm just wondering what might have happened had he made that move instead of a3. Mainly, how the game might have unfolded, and what Topolov's counter may have been.

3 Answers 3


What would have been the ramifications of him making the move Qg7?

That would be a really bad move. In a heartbeat his opponent would play Rg8 threatening to take the queen. The rook is protected by the knight on f6. The only move the queen has is to go back to h6 and then it is Topalov's move. All white has done is give away a tempo.

  • 6
    I agree that in this particular situation Qg7 is a bad move because it loses a tempo. In different circumstances it could have some value though, because after Rg8 black loses the option to castle short (because the rook has moved already). Dec 7, 2018 at 15:37

As mentioned in the other answers, the move 10. Qg7 will lose a tempo. The only advantage that such a move could give is the following: this forces the rook to move and prevents the castle for the remaining of the game. But here, the Queen in h6 already prevents the castle and there is no immediate option to force the Queen to move. To sum up, for 10. Qg7:

  • Advantage: the Blacks cannot castle anymore.
  • Inconvenient: loss of a tempo.

And we have seen that the advantage is not a real one.


The first thing to do is to look at the characteristics of the position rather than looking for the best move. The more you play the easier this gets. My first reaction is "white's position has its problems": the knight at e2 blocks white's bishop, and white's queen has done a lone ranger job when it would be better on d2; on d2 the queen would be acting like the dark squared bishop that white has not got.

None of those problems are huge. But they do mean that white has to be careful. Thus my intuition would make me as white reluctant to move the queen again by playing Qg7. Qg7 just gives black what black wants; white wastes a move with the queen and stopping black castling on the kingside doesn't achieve that much for white. Black isn't in any immediate danger with a king in the centre. Black will just go...b4, the knight has no good squares to move to from c3, and then black can go..Ba6 or..Qa5 and I even prefer black slightly then.

I like Kasparov's 10.a3 to prevent ..b4. I also would have looked at 10.Ng3 , unblocking white's bishop and making a later..Ba6 not possible. 10.Qd2 is also worth a look; it's a least a better move than 10 Qg7?!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.