[White "Garry Kasparov"]
    [Black " Vassily Ivanchuk"]
[fen ""]
[StartPly "62"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 b6 5. a3 Bf8 6. Nf3 Ne7 7. h4 h6 8. h5 a5 9. Bb5+ c6 10. Ba4 Nd7 11. Ne2 b5 12. Bb3 c5 13. c3 Nc6 14. O-O Qc7 15. Re1 c4 16. Bc2 Nb6 17. Bf4 Be7 18. Bg3 Rb8 19. Nh2 Qd8 20. Ng4 b4 21. axb4 axb4 22. cxb4 Nxb4 23. Bb1 Bd7 24. b3 Ra8 25. Rxa8 Qxa8 26. bxc4 Nxc4 27. Nc1 Ba4 28. Qe2 Qa7 29. Ne3 Qxd4 30. Nxc4 dxc4 31. Qf1 O-O 0-1

This is a game from Horgen 1995, well-known because of Ivanchuk's 5th move ("enrage the beast"). As a fairly limited player, it is not obvious to me why Kasparov resigned at this stage. Is it obvious that the c-pawn cannot be stopped without losing material? Is there another reason to resign?

  • This game was not played in Linares, and is from 1995.
    – user17631
    Jan 19, 2019 at 5:59
  • Yes, my bad. I misread the caption of the video where I saw it, that mentioned a previous game. Jan 19, 2019 at 10:10
  • What was wrong with the 5-th move?
    – SmallChess
    Jan 19, 2019 at 12:57
  • From what I gather, it's not a common line; and, in any case, returning your only developed piece to its initial position would at the very least be considered losing tempo. Jan 19, 2019 at 13:55
  • 2
    Being in a cramped position against advanced passed-passed which is extra is decisive in a top GM game. We mere mortals would try to draw it though.
    – ferit
    Jan 19, 2019 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


White's position is just bad overall. The main reasons:

  • The passed c-pawn is a huge asset. It's likely it will eventually cost White a piece, but in the meantime it cramps White's forces.

  • All Black's pieces are far more active than their White counterparts, with the sole exception of the rooks (which are roughly equal in activity).

  • Knowing Kasparov, he was probably disgusted with his play at this point and fed up with the game. White's position is already objectively resignable in any case due to the two points above.

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