Perhaps the recent Fontys tournament in the Netherlands was a poor occasion for a disappointed Garry Kasparov to go back to the chessboard. IBM had just made public its decision to shelve Deep Blue. There would be no more matches between him and the computer. He had lost what he described as "a way of bringing chess into almost every home in the world."
Celebrated though he is, it is probable that all his other chess activities of the last 15 years have not enhanced his fame as much as his two matches with Deep Blue.
In the Netherlands, Kasparov started out well enough when he won five and drew one of his first six games. But then something happened. Perhaps it was a case of the Deep Blue blues catching up with him. During his last five games, Kasparov was able to score only 2 1/2 points.
He managed nevertheless to achieve a triple tie for first-place with the current Russian champion Peter Svidler and the second-ranked player in the world Vladimir Kramnik. Not a bad result, it would seem.
In fact, the final standings conceal an uncharacteristicly uninspired and even embarrassing finish by the World Champion. After losing to Svidler in round seven and winning round eight, he could do no more than draw each of the last three games.
In a last-round game, Kasparov -- who was playing Black -- agreed to a draw with France's Joel Lautier in a position in which he could have made a surprise pawn move. The move would have won an enemy pawn and possibly the game and the tournament. It was a move that Kasparov would normally see.
We are reminded that in a memorable round two of the match he lost last May to Deep Blue, he made a similar oversight. Failing to check out a logical possiblity that would draw, he resigned the game.
1. c4 c5
2. Nf3 Nf6
3. Nc3 d5
4. cxd5 Nxd5
5. e4 Nb4
6. Bb5ch N(8)c6
7. d4 cxd4
8. a3 dxc3
9. Qxd8ch Kxd8
10. axb4 cxb2
11. Bxb2 e6
12. O-O Bd7
13. Bxc6 Bxc6
14. Ne5 Ke8
15. Nxc6 bxc6
16. Ra4 f6
17. R(f)a1 Kf7
18. Rxa7ch Rxa7
19. Rxa7ch Be7
20. Rc7 Draw(a)
Note (a): Kasparov could have played ... c5! winning the b-pawn.
If 21. bxc5, then ... Rb8 22. Bc1 Rb1 wins the bishop.
If 21. b5, then ... Rb8 gets the pawn.