Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Impressive Visualization
A Reddit AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) is an interactive Q&A session on Reddit, where celebrities interact with fans asking questions about any issue.
On Tuesday, May 11th, 2021, was GM Garry Kasparov’s turn.
The following is one of those questions and what Kasparov said about:
Lukenzz: Hi Mr. Garry, I want to recall your match against Topalov in 1999. With all due respect, have you really predicted all the moves before capturing the rook on h8?
GK: Yes, I had to see the rook was hanging on h8 to play it. The moment I played 24.Rxd4 I visualized the position after 37…Rxd7. Not every single move or variation between, of course, but that final key moment came to me like lightning.
The user Lukenzz refers to the game Kasparov and Topalov played in Wij aan Zee, 1999. Kasparov had been relatively inactive after his defeat by the IBM engine Deep Blue in 1997. The chess world wondered how was Kasparov’s shape after that. The international tournament of Wijj aan Zee takes place every year in January and there Kasparov cleared up all doubts. With his masterpiece against Topalov, first place in the tournament, and a successful streak of victories along that year, he showed his extraordinary shape.
In the following game, Kasparov deploys an incredible variety of resources for keeping his attack alive. His trap set up in move 22 is dubious but so shocking, that his opponent got confused and couldn’t find the right answer. From that point, Kasparov’s attack develops unstoppable for more than 20 moves!!.
Kasparov mentions in his answer that he visualized one position which was going to happen 13 moves later!!!
As he explains, it doesn’t mean that he could visualize every single move in the combination.
One of the chess myths in which people believe is that professional chess players can foresee tens of moves in advance. That is not true as Kasparov clarifies. A chess game is like a conversation between both players. Having a conversation doesn’t mean foresee any single word both speakers will say but to foresee some ideas to be proposed along with the talk.
Kasparov foresaw some ideas (“positions”) and then looked for convenient moves (“words”) in order to show them.
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