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Anatoly Karpov vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Interpolis 6th (1982), Tilburg NED, rd 2, Oct-01
Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov. Smyslov Variation Main Line (B17)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-20-03  Spitecheck: Out of interest from the topic at the cafe. Check out this one, one of the few decisive contests between these two players. If you are looking for a tactic, save your breath this one's entirely positional.

Spitecheck

Aug-11-04  briiian13: i like karpov. he seems to pummel the opponent not all of a sudden but like from move one little by little to the end of the game until his opponent is stripped!
Aug-11-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zenchess: I'm not sure where Black goes wrong in this game; if he doesn't cough up the pawn with 36...Nd5, Rc4 winning the a4 pawn will soon decide.
Aug-11-04  BeautyInChess: This game by Karpov reminds me of some Kung fu moves in the movie the Matrix. He keeps strengthening his position ironing out weaknesses as he slowly approaches his opponent. The two rooks on the second rank for example. It's as if he's saying I'm going to make my position super strong and totally devoid of tactics then maybe ;) I'll come over there and attack your pieces.
Aug-11-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zenchess: After winning a game like this, I wonder why Karpov would even think of taking up an opening like the Caro-Kann.
Dec-26-06  danielpi: <BeautyInChess> The Matrix? Okay, whatever.

<Zenchess> He's had excellent results with the Caro-Kann himself. It's a fantastic opening, you shouldn't knock it. Petrosian did pretty well here with it. It's tough to see why he lost.

And regarding that, I think 25... BxB, while not a losing move, certainly contributed to that result, because:

1) He leaves d6 and f6 rather loose.
2) His knight on f6 has nowhere decent to go.
3) Due to these problems, he pretty much loses his stake in the center.

I'm not sure about your Rc4, Rxa4 thoughts. White is winning because his play is in the center, while Black somehow found himself on the Q-side. I'm sure Petrosian didn't plan on giving up the center for the Q-side, but it ended up that way (in no small part due to BxB, I think).

The reason he has to play 36...Nd5 is because if 36...[something else], then 37. Qd6 Qa7 38. Nd4 Rc8 19. Bf3 wins the pawn anyway, and he'd be in a hopelessly passive position. Nd5 blocks off the Q from getting to the juicy d6 square.

35...RxR seems like another questionable move to me. At least he's contesting the center with the rook there. If he trades off rooks, he's got nothing there. If White takes, then he retakes with the isolated c-pawn, and his structure is good, his K-side is pretty safe, the center is locked, and now his Q-side activity looks promising. By trading off on Karpov's terms, Black keeps all the weaknesses without getting any of the plusses that the trade would otherwise offer. Maybe time pressure. Who knows.

I think earlier on (while bishops were still on the board), Petrosian should have tried to engineer some sort of c5 push. That's certainly more thematic, and while it gives up the nice play against the isolanus, it might clarify things in the center, and it might allow that Q-side pressure to give Black equality. That's very heuristic, though.

Dec-26-06  Steppenwolf: What he did wrong? Silly question! He gave a pawn for free, that is what he did wrong!
Dec-26-06  danielpi: <Steppenwolf> How would you suggest he hang on to it?
Dec-27-06  Steppenwolf: With his right hand.
Mar-31-09  azi: 2 small points I would add are: 1. creating a position/game with 'all tactics' accounted for is quite a task, imho (look at what wasn't played, Ma!) and 2. exchange of the pair of rooks at move 35...RxR, in general, favors the defense and what else to try anyway?
Apr-17-11  MountainMatt: So, this appears to be Karpov's first win over "Iron Tigran". I wanted to see a game between these two, because they strike me as very similar players (although, I'm not a master or even close, so my analysis may be very incomplete!). They seem to be two of the absolute masters of all time in the art of, essentially, winning by denial. Give the opponent absolutely NOTHING to work with, and he will not win.

That said, I can't begin to see the bigger picture behind the moves that were made. For instance, why does black not take the d4 pawn on move 8? And what is 16. Be8 about? And as in so many master games, I don't see where black has absolutely lost as of move 42. Surely 42. ...Qa7 saves both the queen and rook, and leaves black with a sliver of a drawing chance? Then again, if Petrosian couldn't find the draw, perhaps it just wasn't there. I really don't know!

Jan-12-14  capafischer1: After Qa7 white plays Be4 attacking the knight and after Nf8 comes Rc7 attacking the queen followed by Qe7 and mate on on F7
Jan-12-14  capafischer1: And if after Be4 the knight goes to H8 white still plays Rc7 and black is very passive and down a pawn
Mar-04-14  KingPetrosian: I wonder what Karpov felt when he beat his hero ...
Mar-04-14  RookFile: Probably relief. This is the only time he beat him.
Aug-10-15  jerseybob: <danielpi: I think earlier on (while bishops were still on the board), Petrosian should have tried to engineer some sort of c5 push.> I tend to agree with that, but Petrosian's idea of what was defensible differed from most players - for example his oddball 17..Kf8 against Fischer in World vs.USSR '70. So that ugly-looking pawn on c6 seemingly didn't bother him at all.
Aug-10-15  jerseybob: <MountainMatt: why does black not take the d4 pawn on move 8? And what is 16. Be8 about?> 8..Qd4 9.Ngf3,Q-moves 10.Ne5 wins the f7 pawn with a huge edge. As for 16..Be8, it looks weird at first sight, but it's a common defensive move, to avoid swapping the bishop,to protect f7, to clear the d-file, etc. And notice that he brings the bishop up to c6 just a few moves later.
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