Ok, I'm looking at his game 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 "r2qk2r/pb1npp1p/2pp1npQ/1p6/3PP3/2N2P2/PPP1N1PP/R3KB1R w - - 0 1"]

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.



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.

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  • 4
    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). – user1583209 Dec 7 '18 at 15:37

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?!

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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.

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