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Anatoly Karpov vs Garry Kasparov
"Passed Perfect" (game of the day Mar-21-2017)
Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1984), Moscow URS, rd 27, Nov-23
Queen's Gambit Declined: Three Knights Variation. General (D37)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-21-09  tranquil simplicity: Hello Good People? Without seeming impertinent i'd like to disagree with a common statement made by some of us within the Chess Community ie. '..that some people underestimate Karpov because of his style'. Well, in my opinion I believe Karpov to be the strongest player ever in the positional prophylactic style. The nature of this style is somewhat 'defense oriented' and thus can be quite passive and quiet. However the harmonious piece movement of this kind of style is elegant..and i might add that Karpov is one of the greatest chess chessplayers to walk the earth. So I do not underrate Karpov. However I am partial to combinative and energetic play like that of Marshall, Chigorin, Alekhine, Tal,Kasparov and Morozevich! It is just simply the style that attracts me! So we chessplayers who love combinations, aggression and attack do NOT underestimate Karpov, i believe it is simply that we prefer a type of Chess that Karpov is not really a practioner of (ie it not Karpov's natural game to attack and go into tactical combinations though i have no doubt that he can manage his way around a tactical melee as evidenced in his game with Topalov. But that is usually not his style.
Jan-14-10  M.D. Wilson: Karpov could play tactical combinations as well as anyone, what Karpov didn't like was unsound attacking, which he considered weak and unnecessary. Why waste the energy when you can win with an extra pawn 99% of the time. His game according to Kramnik, was in fact, entirely based around tactics, because he was never a strategic player by nature (unlike Alekhine, Petrosian, Botvinnik and Kasparov). Karpov was the master of two and three move combinations. His style was very well suited to tournaments because he could conserve energy. In an article freely available on the internet, I can't find it at the moment, Kasparov said Karpov achieved "maximum effect with minimum effort". That was the essence of his style at its very best.

Saying that, Karpov has beaten players in almost every conceivable way, although when you played in as many tournaments as he did, clear, sound, strong moves both increase your winning chances and help you in the long-run. As you know, Karpov was the fastest man on tour, especially in the 70s, so moves like a4 and h4 when it was high time to attack, must have perplexed some players, frustrated others and put a sense of dread in some.

Feb-19-10  Billy Ray Valentine: I'm surprised this has never been a Game Of The Day.
Jan-27-11  M.D. Wilson: It should be!
Apr-30-11  Ulhumbrus: After 14...bxc6 the pawn structure, with colours reversed, is similar to that in the game Kamsky vs Y Shulman, 2011 One point which may be worth noting is that Karpov develops further his Queen's Rook which is on b1 by the manoeuvre Rb1-b5 and Rb5-a5 before playing the advance c4.
May-03-11  Ulhumbrus: Amongst any other things, the move 17 Rfc1 prepares to trap Black's Queen's Bishop in the event that after the further moves 17...Bb7 18 Kf1 Bd5 19 Rb5 Black plays 19...Bxa2. In that case 20 c4 traps the bishop which can't be saved from the coming attack Rb2.
Dec-26-12  leka: Duplex is may be right.Anatoly Karpov has the most wins in super grand masters chess tournaments.No one i believe have that many?
Dec-19-14  RookFile: Just playing over this game, and forgetting about the poltics - this is an awesome game by Karpov. Deadly, beautiful accuracy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Surely this one is over: 5-0 Karpov! OR is it?
Apr-17-15  MagnusVerMagnus: Yet after this debacle it was Karpov that made FIDE cancel the match after 0 more wins and 3 loses when he was about De-evolve into a lizard as Everyone called him then.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajile: I never liked these Black pawn positions after 8..c5. They always seem to end up leaving Black with either a weak central pawn or a busted up q-side. Black allows White to open the position while Black still has a problem LSB stuck on c8. Maybe not a big problem against weaker opposition but against a guy like Karpov? Probably not a good idea.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Wouldn't 55. Rd8 also have won?

A) If 55...Be4, then simply 56. Bxe4 or 56. Rxh8.

B) If 55...Rxd8, then 56. cxd8=Q Be4 57. Bxe4.

C) If 55...Rh6, then 56. g5 Rg6 (56. h1=Q gxh6, and 57. c8=Q cannot be prevented) 57. Rh8 Be4 58. c8=Q h1=Q 59. Rxh1 Bxh1 60. Qh3+.

Mar-21-17  PeterPringle: I'd bet anything Fischer analyzed every K vs K game ever, and what I wouldn't give for his analysis! Then again, didn't Fischer once claim these games were pre-arranged?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <Feb-19-10 Billy Ray Valentine: I'm surprised this has never been a Game Of The Day.>

Well, all good comes to those who wait.

17.Rfc1! is vintage Karpov. In his own analysis I think he mentions he did not calculate everything, but he felt that this plan would win the pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I wonder if software programs have found where Kasparov erred earlier in the game, to draw this position?

I think Kasparov stopped playing the QGA, at least in the next match. he was getting bad pawn structures--not a good thing, against Karpov.

Mar-21-17  Ironmanth: A real gem; tremendous instruction in the endgame! Thanks for this wonderful clash.
Mar-21-17  eaglewing: How to proceed as White against 35. ... e5? I think, this move has strategically defensive merits, but maybe there is a direct tactical disadvantage? Letting the rook switch to the kingside with RxPg5 is something I would like to avoid.
Premium Chessgames Member
  mjmorri: This was game 27 which followed a very long series of draws. After the Queens came off, most observers at the time expected another quick draw, and Kasparov appear to offer one. Karpov, however, simply made another move and continued.
Mar-21-17  DPLeo: <eaglewing: How to proceed as White against 35. ... e5? I think, this move has strategically defensive merits, but maybe there is a direct tactical disadvantage? ...>

According to Stockfish 8, 35... e5 is not much worse than Bxe4 played by Kasparov but it is not any better so the result should be the same.

The level of chess these guys played in 1984 over the board is amazing.

After 35. fxe4

click for larger view


1) d=33   +1.71   35. ... Bxe4 36.Rxg5 Bf5 37.g3 Rh7 38.Ke3

2) d=33   +1.79   35. ... e5 36.Ke3 Rc7 37.g3 Rd7 38.h4

3) d=33   +2.11   35. ... h4 36.Ke3 e5 37.c5+ Ke7 38.Bd5

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: If 23. Nd3 blacks forces the trade of rooks with Ra4, that much I get. But what's wrong with 26. Nxc5, winning a pawn + a tempo, since after Nxc5 27. Rxc5 black's bishop is hanging on c6. I just saw that Karpov did actually play that combination one move later, so the question is why did he have to play Bb3 first?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: I think I may have answered my own question. If 26. Nxc5 Rb2 with a potential strong attack
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Yes, Karpov's handling of the rooks was exquisite, very nice


Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <al wazir: Wouldn't 55. Rd8 also have won?> <If 55...Rh6, then 56. g5 Rg6>

Actually, instead of Rg6, 55...Rxc6+ and black wins.

But instead of 56.g5, I think 56.Rd1 and white still wins.

Mar-22-17  Saniyat24: Impressive defensive skills shown by Karpov, after Kasparov plays 45...Rh2...!
Dec-11-18  Albion 1959: A superb technical achievement by Karpov. Squeeze play of the very highest order! Where exactly did Kasparov play his losing move? At 5-0 up Karpov was just one win away from retaining his title, but as we all know, he never got there. I can only guess and speculate as how the future of chess would have gone, had Karpov won this match and seen Kasparov off for another three years. My own view is that Kasparov would have worked his way through the next candidates series and go on to defeat Karpov in the next match in 1987. And that a Karpov win in 1984, would have allowed him to remain champion for another three years, before it was Kasparov's time to claim the title:
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