Sports & Games

Bonus! Secret Novelty

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 6:40 min

After a crushing loss to Karpov, Garry analyzed his play and came up with a variation that he never used.

Garry Kasparov
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There were so many ideas I wish I could have used, but I didn't play enough games to put on display all my analysis. I've been thinking about a few ideas that I never used, and they could still have some practical importance for you guys. I came up with a few, but the one I want to show, it's another sacrifice. I like sacrifices. And it's one of my favorite openings-- King's Indian. And it's somehow connected to my matches with Karpov-- surprise, surprise-- actually to the game, game 23, our match in 1990-- the game I lost. After losing the game, you always come back and try to come up with some new ideas. It's King's Indian-- d4, Nf6, c4, g6, Nc3, Bg7, e4, d6, and f3-- Samisch Variation. 0-0, Be3. I played here all sorts of moves, but e5 that I played against Karpov, more often than other moves. So d5-- I played both Nh5 and c6 against Karpov. But here is Nh5, Qd2, and not f5-- that was a classical approach-- but this move, Qh4+. First it was introduced by David Bronstein against Boris Spassky in 1956. The idea of it is if white goes Bf2, then you can play Qf4, exchange a queen. But also you can go Qe7, and bishop on f2 is not well located. So after f5, white eventually will have to play Be3 and then black has just an extra move. But what if white played g3? And there's a queen sacrifice. Nxg3, then Qf2, pin. Nxf1, Qxh4, Nxe3. White has to defend against Nc2+. That's Ke2. That's a right move. Nxc4. The best move is Rc1. And black plays Na6. And it's a game. It's a game. In fact I even played this game with white once against Yasser Seirawan. Very complicated game-- I think I was better at one point, but it was very sharp and ended up as a draw. I have to say that in the game against Karpov, for some reasons I decided against sacrificing the queen and went back to e7-- bad move-- and Karpov played a very good game. He won it. It didn't help him to save the match, because I was already two points ahead. And we drew the final game, game 24. I won the match-- our last match, the fifth one. And I kept coming back. So I was thinking, OK, so what about this queen sacrifice? Because what I didn't like is just that when you take this pawn, the knight has to go back. And it's not the best location. And then suddenly I realized, it's always nice to take a pawn. But we already have a broken material balance. Black has two bishops and a pawn for the queen. One extra point maybe doesn't make much of a difference. What about playing Nc2? That's a move I strongly recommend. That's a novelty that, you know, could be a game changer. White moves rook somewhere, on f1. And then you go back. Now Nd4+, Kd1, Nd7, Nge2. And here you can even play something like a6, preventing white from exchanging and going on b5. Because when white takes here, and you take-- knight goes h...

Elevate your game

At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion. After beating Bobby Fischer’s peak rating, he outranked his fiercest competitors for over twenty years. Now, Garry is ready to share the chess strategy that made him a six-time world champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

A lot of heartfelt personal details from Garry and a real desire to impart the knowledge he has made this masterclass excellent. Of course, one course alone cannot make you an excellent chess player. But it can inspire you to work, and it's done that. I'm playing chess again after not playing that much for the last 20 years, and looking to improve and regain some of my former prowess at it.

This is a course taught by possibly the greatest chess player ever.

Really found the conversations with Kasparov enthralling and enlightening. The strength of the class is not in learning X's and O's of chess--it's gaining insights on how to be a stronger and more effective person. It is learning the nature of excellence.

Love hearing Garry's love and enthusiasm for the game in addition to his wisdom and experience.


A fellow student

Perhaps better than saying just how much value this class as a whole was to me (a ton), I should give you all a short summarization of my biggest takeaway. I think my biggest takeaway is that endgame is very undervalued and should be prioritized above openings, that computers should not be the source of our ideas but rather the place where we go simply to confirm/deny our creative thoughts, and that brutal self-analysis is the path to improvement. Thank Garry sincerely, I hope they bring you back for another installment or at least bring in another Chess master as they did for Poker and cooking.

Antoinette C.

Thank you. I enjoyed your classes. Sacrificing the queen is always a bad move. '-)

James R.

Thank you Mr Kasparov for taking time to em part your insights and wisdom, not only on the majestic game of Chess, but also other life experiences. I truly hope you do another, especially over the board with some ideas as per your Kings Indian Spanish variation against Anatoly Karpov. What an amazing dual. Enjoy your retirement, you have earned it many times over. Regards James, Sydney

Brian L.

This was good insight, such as: piece activity can be more important than material.

R. S. H. Dreamrealist

Best coaching I ever got & from the best! Thank you so much, Robert Dreamrealist

Alex S.

At 2:15 there's a mistake on the board-view side of the video. Gary is saying that white needs to guard against the knight fork on c2 (...Nc2+, forking the white king and rook). An arrow appears that mistakenly suggests that black needs to guard the f7 square (which, if the board were upside-down, would be the c2 square). Just a minor thing that I noticed. A fascinating opening line, thank you for sharing!

Gary C.

Very deep, very rich insights. The inspiration created by sensing the dedication and emotion of Mr. Kasparov far transcends chess. I am sure I will play at least a little better, but that is the least of what I gained by spending this time with him. Thanks very much.

David B.

It was to quick, some classes where way to short. Philosophy is ok, I wanted more hands on in regards to formulas. I guess I was looking for to much. The games should have been analized to a greater degree to assist us in understanding the players reason, then countered by Gary's comments on why they were good or bad and if bad, options to the counter. That is what I was looking for, more in depth view. It was not there. Disappointed

Gary P.

A nice balance of study and story line. A nice gift from my daughter, thank you. Special thanks to masterclass and Garry Kasparov.

Sai K.

Thank you so much Gary, Masterclass Team! #EPIC will recommend to others! Ping me @ SeedSucceed - to play chess