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Anatoly Karpov vs Vlastimil Hort
Budapest Tungsram (1973), Budapest HUN, rd 2, Feb-14
French Defense: Tarrasch. Closed Variation (C05)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: In final position black cannot stop intrusion of white Bishop or King. Pawn ending after 45...Be6 46.Bxe6 Kxe6 46.g4 Kd6 (46...h5 fails for 47.gxh6 e.p., but of course not 47.f5+?? gxf5 48.gxh5 f4 = or even 47.gxh5?? gxh5 ) 47.f5 is easily won. Pretty game of Karpov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Karpov takes an elegant route to a superior endgame with 25 Nfe6 and 26 Rxe5! The more Karpov games I see, the more impressed I am.
Oct-19-05  hayton3: A superlative example of Karpov's technique. Blacks initial structural weakness - the backward e pawn - is slowly converted into other, greater weaknesses that eventually lead to a winning endgame advantage. Great thumb-screw chess
Mar-29-06  micartouse: The last five moves in the bishop ending are harsh - White could very well make tempo moves with his pawns to achieve the same zugzwang goal, but he doesn't even need to. Why waste the resource?

Hort's resignation at this point was a dignified decision.

Sep-08-06  Runemaster: Yes very nice.

Black has to avoid the exchange of bishops after the knights have come off. If 38...Bf5 39.Bxf5 gxf5 40.Kd4 and the White king penetrates; he has the opposition and two tempo moves (a2-a3 and g2-g3) in reserve.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Btw, 13...Qxb2 is no good for black. After 14.Nb5 Be7 15.Rb1 Qxa2 16.Ra1 Qb2 17.Ra4 (see diagram) white threatens to kill the Queen by 18.Bc1.

click for larger view

White can save it only by giving up a piece after 17...Ne4 18.Bc1 Nc3 19.Bxb2 Nxd1 20.Rxd1 etc.

Also 13...Qxb2 14.Nb5 Ne4 15.a3 leads to an advantage of white, for example 15...a6 16.Rb1 Qa2 17.Nxd6 Nxd6 18.Bc1 Nb5 19.Rb2 Qa1 20.a4 Nd6 21.Qb3 (see diagram) etc.

click for larger view

Aug-04-08  alshatranji: I often read about the major weakness in the French being the Queen's bishop. But it was all theoretical until I saw this game. Brilliant. Karpov had a deeper insight than any other player I know of.
Jan-04-10  M.D. Wilson: <Brilliant. Karpov had a deeper insight than any other player I know of.> One of the best ever.
Apr-30-10  A Karpov Fan: Never have I seen a GM's position melt away like Hort's did here. Pure genius from Karpov.
Jul-07-10  igiene: What about the Queen manouver Qb6-Qd8-Qe8, supporting the advance of e-pawn?Black obtain an isolated pawn,like in 3..c5 lines, but without exchange too many pieces.
Nov-19-11  xombie: If you ask me, this is a simple endgame to convert, doesn't really deserve 'brilliant'. I think the errors occured much earlier when black was saddled with the sad d5 pawn and bad bishop. Takes winning, of course, and I am going to study it in some detail.
Dec-19-11  alshatranji: The endgame itself is simple enough. It is the getting there that is pure genius. I think it was Spielman who said, I can see all Alekhine's combinations, but the problem is getting to the same positions. Something to that effect. Black's problem was not simply the d5 pawn, but the weak white-square bishop, and the fact that almost all his pawns are on white squares. Karpov started the conversion to the ending as soon as move 21.Nf4. I don't think there are many grandmasters who can do that.
Dec-19-11  King Death: < alshatranji: The endgame itself is simple enough. It is the getting there that is pure genius...>

It takes the likes of Karpov's grasp of the board to convert this to the clearly favorable ending he reached in the strongest way. Even at 22, Karpov's play had some black magic to it.

<...I think it was Spielman who said, I can see all Alekhine's combinations, but the problem is getting to the same positions. Something to that effect...>

This quote was from Spielmann.

Dec-05-14  drunknite: the usually thorough Honza gives a superficial analysis of the final position. 46...Kc7 stops the B intrusion, and after the invasion: Kc5 then ...d4. Oh its still going to lose but it will take a long time, its not very difficult but black should play on hoping for mistake or time pressure.

The real issue is: doesnt black mess up on move 40?

Dec-06-14  Granny O Doul: I could get the same positions Alekhine got, but I don't know how to set up the chessboard.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I think it's possible that White could also go after the kingside pawns after 45...Kc7 46.a3 Bg8 47.Ke5
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Geller gives this game at White's move 38:

click for larger view

in his "Bishops - Same Color" chapter of his <Positional Chess Handbook>, on p33.

If I were the punning-type, I'd use <Pas des Deux Fous> for this one.

Jan-21-17  clement41: Outstanding feat of mastery by young Karpov! Fischer, at the start of his 20-year-long vanishing stretch and still hugely popular that year, must have been impressed by this game. The bishop endgame (with the possibilities to transition into a pawn endgame of course) is played skillfully and this is highly instructive.
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