Kasparov-Deeper Blue, Match 1997
Games Three And Four

The Lull: Mid-Match Draws
Controversies and re-assessments from game two overshadow Kasparov's strong but unrewarded play.

Games three and four were drawn; in both cases Kasparov managed to achieve a superior position, but was unable to convert his advantage to a win. In a sense both games were overshadowed by the aftershocks of game two.

Kasparov returned to the road less travelled in the opening, aiming for a setup related to a number of positions found in the English and Reti openings. His main point, as in game 1, was to exploit Deeper Blue's preference of bishops over knights. 9. Ng5 followed by harrassment of the light-squared bishop with the kingside pawns, and the consequent solidification of the kingside, allowed White to concentrate on operations on the queenside.

The first hint of trouble for Deeper Blue was 16. .. Kh8, clearly indicating that the machine was incapable of finding a course of action. White proceeded to open the queenside with control of the b-file, and then astutely took control on the king's wing as well with 21. f4.

Since the pawn on a3 was of little consequence, White is happy to have another open file. Unfortunately, 24. Ra2 was inferior to 24. Rb7. While White continued to put excellent pressure on Black's position with strangling moves such as 36. f6 and 37. h4, Black was eventually able to draw by giving back the pawn with 40. .. Bc7 41. Nxc7 Rxc7 42. Rxa5 Rd8. White is unable to punish the king's corner shuffle.

      White: Garry Kasparov
Black: Deeper Blue
Game Three of Six, 6 May 1997

1.d3 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c4 Nf6 4.a3 d6 5.Nc3 Be7
6.g3 0-0 7.Bg2 Be6 8.0-0 Qd7 9.Ng5 Bf5 10.e4 Bg4
11.f3 Bh5 12.Nh3 Nd4 13.Nf2 h6 14.Be3 c5 15.b4 b6
16.Rb1 Kh8 17.Rb2 a6 18.bxc5 bxc5 19.Bh3 Qc7 20.Bg4 Bg6
21.f4 exf4 22.gxf4 Qa5 23.Bd2 Qxa3 24.Ra2 Qb3 25.f5 Qxd1
26.Bxd1 Bh7 27.Nh3 Rfb8 28.Nf4 Bd8 29.Nfd5 Nc6 30.Bf4 Ne5
31.Ba4 Nxd5 32.Nxd5 a5 33.Bb5 Ra7 34.Kg2 g5 35.Bxe5+ dxe5
36.f6 Bg6 37.h4 gxh4 38.Kh3 Kg8 39.Kxh4 Kh7 40.Kg4 Bc7
41.Nxc7 Rxc7 42.Rxa5 Rd8 43.Rf3 Kh8 44.Kh4 Kg8 45.Ra3 Kh8
46.Ra6 Kh7 47.Ra3 Kh8 Draw Agreed

Annotations by Inside Chess' GM Yasser Seirawan


For game four, Kasparov uncharacteristically adopts the Caro-Kann (1. .. c6), noted for its quiet and drawish qualities. Kasparov is clearly playing the opponent and not the board, as he has never used this opening against a human competitor.

After 16. .. f6 17. exf6, Black is forced to take with the queen and accept the doubled isolated pawns on the g-file; 17. .. gxf6 18. g5 is just too strong for White.

After 20. Nd1, White's position looks extremely good: Black is cramped, and appears to have no means to free his pieces, while White could continue to strangle the ebony army. But after the pawn sacrifice 20. .. e5!!, a different picture emerges, one in which Black's pieces are mobile and coordinated, and it is not obvious how White is to convert the pawn advantage into a win.

Thereafter, White seems to go astray positionally. First he opens the position to his disadvantage after 28. bxc6 bxc6, and allows Black to seriously weaken the White pawn structure with 30. .. Qxe3 31. fxe3. 32. Rh3 is also a strange, inexplicable move.

Immediately after the conclusion of the first time control, the machine reclaims its material equality with 41. Rxg7+, but its three pawns are three islands whereas Black's are merely two islands. Nonetheless, the well-advanced e- and h-pawns gained Black enough counterplay to draw.

      White: Deeper Blue
Black: Garry Kasparov
Game Four of Six, 7 May 1997

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bg4 5.h3 Bh5
6.Bd3 e6 7.Qe2 d5 8.Bg5 Be7 9.e5 Nfd7 10.Bxe7 Qxe7
11.g4 Bg6 12.Bxg6 hxg6 13.h4 Na6 14.0-0-0 0-0-0 15.Rdg1 Nc7
16.Kb1 f6 17.exf6 Qxf6 18.Rg3 Rde8 19.Re1 Rhf8 20.Nd1 e5
21.dxe5 Qf4 22.a3 Ne6 23.Nc3 Ndc5 24.b4 Nd7 25.Qd3 Qf7
26.b5 Ndc5 27.Qe3 Qf4 28.bxc6 bxc6 29.Rd1 Kc7 30.Ka1 Qxe3
31.fxe3 Rf7 32.Rh3 Ref8 33.Nd4 Rf2 34.Rb1 Rg2 35.Nce2 Rxg4
36.Nxe6+ Nxe6 37.Nd4 Nxd4 38.exd4 Rxd4 39.Rg1 Rc4 40.Rxg6 Rxc2
41.Rxg7+ Kb6 42.Rb3+ Kc5 43.Rxa7 Rf1+ 44.Rb1 Rff2 45.Rb4 Rc1+
46.Rb1 Rcc2 47.Rb4 Rc1+ 48.Rb1 Rxb1+ 49.Kxb1 Re2 50.Re7 Rh2
51.Rh7 Kc4 52.Rc7 c5 53.e6 Rxh4 54.e7 Re4 55.a4 Kb3
56.Kc1 Draw Agreed

Annotations by Inside Chess' GM Yasser Seirawan

Kasparov vs
Deeper Blue:
Overview Game
Games Three
and Four
Aftershock | Contact Holland Mills | Last updated 19 November 1997