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Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov
"Busted!" (game of the day Dec-20-10)
Karpov-Kasparov World Championship Match (1985)  ·  Nimzo-Indian Defense: Three Knights Variation (E21)  ·  1-0
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Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov (1985)

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-20-09  kamalakanta: <keypusher: <dTal: <Badmojo: Sure worked for "coffeehouse" Lasker and Tal.>

Calling the two of the greatest players in history (including the greatest tactician that ever lived) coffehouse players just shows your complete ignorance of the game.>

It was Bobby Fischer who famously said that Lasker was a coffeehouse player...do you think Bobby Fischer was completely ignorant of chess? :-)

As for Tal, well, Tal himself said the difference between him and Lasker was that Lasker was objectively lost in half his games, while he, Tal, was objectively lost in all his games!>

My impression is this: Fischer was definitely one of the best players of all time, no doubt. But sometimes, his ego got in the way. Calling Emmanuel Lasker a "coffeehouse player" is a gross error.

Sometimes, people who want to be seen, even in their own eyes, as the greatest, for whatever reasons, sometimes these people need to put down others, to motivate themselves and inspire themselves.

Again, I repeat, fischer was not totally ignorant of chess, but he was ignorant in some ways, as a human being. We all are. And the fact that he was a very strong chessplayer does not mean that his opinion holds true for everything, including his regard (or lack of it) for Lasker.

Botvinnik says this about Lasker: "It is staggering that, over such a lengthy and brilliant chess career, in general Lasker played little...This indicates that he was not only a player, but also a chess researcher. When he was not playing, he was thinking (not all the great masters are capable of this), he prepared for tournaments and achieved success. Lasker was perhaps the first of the great masters who understood the importance of preparing for competitions; before him, of course, they studied chess, but only in general, and they were not yet able to prepare completely (directly for a given tournament)...Lasker's preparation was assisted by his chess universality. He did not have "tastes", he did not have a "style", he did everything equally strongly, equally well- in defense and attack, in quiet positions and wild complications, in the middlegame ad the endgame. Therefore the main aim of his preparation was to study the features of his opponent's style. Lasker always endeavored to create a situation on the board in which his opponent would feel uncertain...He knew his opponents to mperfection, their virtues and weaknesses. Lasker was a great psychologist."

Capablanca said about Lasker: "Lasker, a natural genius, who developed thanks to very hard work in the early period of his career, never adhered to the type of play that could be classifie as a definite style. None of the great players has been so incomprehensible to the majority of amateurs and even masters, as Emmanuel Lasker."

Alekhine said about Lasker: "Lasker was my teacher, and without him I could not have become whom I became.The idea of chess art is unthinkable without Emmanuel Lasker."

Tal: "The greatest of champions was, of course, Emmanuel Lasker. At the chess board he accomplished the impossible! He was an amazing tactician, winning games that were apparently quite hopeless."

Karpov said about Lasker: "the earlier leading lights-Lasker and especially Capablanca- hardly studied the openings at all. They were such geniuses and knew that they would be able to cope with any unpleasantness at the board- which they demonstrated in practice."

I rest my case!

Mar-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Lasker and Tal could see more possibilities than most players. It made sense for them to stir up positions where that advantage would help them, even to the point of getting hard to hold positions.

Kasparov was also talented that way, but reined in his fantasy by training himself to be ruthlessly accurate.

Mar-22-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <kamalakanta>

Thanks for your very fine post. My post was not altogether serious -- if you look at the games of Lasker-Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908) you will see that I am actually a Lasker-worshipper. :-) But I had not seen that full Botvinnik quote before -- if Botvinnik calls you a chess researcher, that is high praise indeed!

Apr-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: A tactic similar to Kasparov's 23. Qxd7 could have occurred in one of the lines analyzed by Alekhine in his game with Black against Tartakower in the New Yoprk 1924 tournament (although Alekhine overlooked the tactic in his annotations). See my post from earlier today here: Tartakower vs Alekhine, 1924
Jun-26-09  Knight13: 23. Re8+ is also possible, though not the best.

Looks like Karpov was dreaming of that girl he saw.

Oct-16-09  guikfc: Why not 6...Qa5?I think it wins a pawn.
Jan-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: Interesting background to this game at http://www.chesscafe.com/text/dvore....

<A similar case occurred with Anatoly Karpov during his second match against Garry Kasparov in 1985. After ten games the world champion was leading with a score of 5-4. And at that point an article titled "Tolya's Million" appeared in the German magazine Der Spiegel, describing Karpov's lawsuit against his business partner, who hadn't paid the world champion the royalties he was owed from the sales of chess computers. Karpov had been hoping to keep it all a secret, as in the Soviet era independent business activity without the permission of the authorities wasn't encouraged, to put it mildly. Disclosure of this kind of information threatened him with serious repercussions. So, as Karpov himself tells it in the newspaper Sport Express from March 23, 2001:

From the morning they started harassing me. Gramov called (the chairman of the Sport Committee M.D.), asking what this story was about. They called from Staraya Square (where the Central Committee of the Communist Party's building was located M.D.), to inquire how this was possible - a Soviet citizen, and suddenly he has a lawsuit somewhere in Germany... Basically, due to all this song-and-dance I was completely knocked off balance and couldn't play the 11th game properly, of course... The outcome is well known: I tripped up horribly and lost very quickly. >

Mar-14-10  Everett: Funny, one would think 20..Na4 would be quite natural for Karpov. It's a standard exchanging motif in the QID, and he's under heavy pressure here. Surprised he didn't play it.
Aug-24-10  Damianx: Fisher /Byrne Game of the Century commentators GM,s both said Byrne had a winning game
Aug-25-10  unferth: In re the discussion earlier about the game score, all the contemporary newswire accounts agree that Karpov resigned after 25 Be4+. Moreover, Chessgames' date for this game--and, so far as I can tell from a quick glance, the match as a whole--is significantly off; this game was played October 1, 1985, not January 12. Here's Robert Byrne's account:

The New York Times

October 3, 1985, Thursday, Late City Final Edition

22...R/1-Q1 -- KARPOV'S FATAL MOVE

BYLINE: By ROBERT BYRNE

SECTION: Section C; Page 26, Column 3; Metropolitan Desk

LENGTH: 630 words

Anatoly Karpov made one of the worst blunders ever to occur in a world championship chess match in dropping the 11th game of the current series in Moscow to the challenger, Gary Kasparov.

In an approximately even position, the 34-year-old titleholder inexplicably overlooked a sprightly little combination that forced him to resign the game on Tuesday in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.

Kasparov, 22, thus got back on level terms, with the score now tied at 5 1/2. It takes six victories or 12 1/2 points to win the match, with a victory counting one point for the winner and a draw as a half-point for each player. Karpov and Kasparov have each tallied two victories. In the event of a tie match, Karpov will retain his championship.

A Blunder From the Blue

At the point where he committed the gross error, at the 22d move, the champion was not in time pressure, nor under any real duress. Something - he alone knows - went awry during the routine tactical scan of the position that any top player performs before every move.

This game began as the third Nimzo-Indian Defense that Karpov has used. Just as in the seventh game, he again chose 4. . .O-O, but after 5 B-N5, he switched from 5. . .P-Q3 to 5. . .P-B4. After 6 P-K3, it is known that Black can play to win a pawn with 6. . .Q-R4?!; 7 BxN, BxNch; 8 PxB, QxPch; 9 N-Q2, PxB, but that White would attack strongly by 10 R-B1, Q-R4; 11 Q-N4ch, K-R1; 12 Q-R4. Karpov rightly would not risk it.

After 13. . .B-N2, the position resembled what often comes from a Semiclassical Defense or a Queen's Gambit Accepted - White's isolated QP gave him a slight advantage in central space that would usually be used to create a mating attack, whereas Black's hopes would rest on defense and the attempt to exploit the isolated pawn in an end game.

Relaxing the Tension

On 14 B-KN3, it would have been out of the question to seize a pawn with 14. . .N-QR4?!; 15 B-R2, BxN; 16 QxB!, QxP? because 17 P-QN4, N-B5; 18 N-N5 costs Black a piece.

One would have expected Kasparov to avoid simplification by playing 16 N-K5 with the idea that 16. . .N-K2 would be dangerous in view of 17 NxP!?, RxN; 18 BxP. Instead, the challenger relaxed the tension with his 16 P-Q5, NxP; 17 NxN, BxB; 18 RPxB, PxN; 19 BxP.

After 20. . .KR-Q1, winning a pawn with 21 BxN, BxB; 22 QxP would be short-lived - 22. . .BxN; 23 RxR, RxR; 24 PxB, QxNP guarantees a draw.

Kasparov's 21 R/B1-Q1 discouraged 21. . .QxP?! because of 22 BxN, RxR; 23 BxB, RxRch; 24 NxR with White having two minor pieces for rook-plus-pawn.

Perhaps Karpov should have played 21. . .P-R3 with the thought that 22 N-K5, P-QN4; 23 Q-N3, NxN; 24 BxB, RxR; 25 RxR, R-B2; 26 B-Q5, N-B5 would be quite acceptable for Black.

However, there was nothing wrong with his 21. . .R-Q2, provided that he respond to 22 Q-KN4 by 22. . .R-K2. For example, 23 RxR, QxR; 24 BxN, RxB; 25 R-Q7, R-B8ch; 26 K-R2, BxN; 27 PxB, Q-B4 should be quite trouble-free for Black.

It was here that Karpov unaccountably committed the fatal blunder, 22. . .R/1-Q1?, which overlooked the devastating pseudo-queen sacrifice with 23 QxR! The point was that after 23. . .RxQ; 24 R-K8ch, K-R2; 25 B-K4ch, the champion was forced to play 25. . .P-N3 and allow 26 RxR which wins a piece since 26. . .B-R3; 27 BxN, QxB? produces 28 RxPmate. Karpov gave up.

The 12th game is scheduled for today at 5 P.M.

NIMZO-INDIAN DEFENSE WhiteBlackWhiteBlack KasparovKarpovKasparovKarpov

* 1P-Q4N-KB3

* 2P-QB4P-K3

* 3N-QB3B-N5

* 4N-B3O-O

* 5B-N5P-B4

* 6P-K3PxP

* 7PxPP-KR3

* 8B-R4P-Q4

* 9R-B1PxP #10BxPN-B3 #11O-OB-K2 #12R-K1P-QN3 #13P-QR3B-N2 #14B-KN3R-B1 #15B-R2B-Q3 #16P-Q5NxP #17NxNBxB #18RPxBPxN #19BxPQ-B3 #20Q-R4KR-Q1 #21R/B1-Q1R-Q2 #22Q-KN4R/1-Q1 #23QxRRxQ #24R-K8chK-R2 #25B-K4chResigns

Dec-20-10  monkeyfish18: I named this game and I still can't believe it made it on to GOTD so quickly! I'm dumbfounded!
Dec-20-10  Ratt Boy: Everett: 20...Na5 doesn't work.
21.Bxb7, Nxb7 22.Rxc8, Rxc8 23.Re8+, Rxe8 24.Qxe8+, Kh7 25.Qe4+ picks up the N@b7.
Dec-20-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Ratt Boy: Everett: 20...Na5 doesn't work. 21.Bxb7, Nxb7 22.Rxc8, Rxc8 23.Re8+, Rxe8 24.Qxe8+, Kh7 25.Qe4+ picks up the N@b7.>

In this move order Black could play 21...Rxc1, even though he still loses a pawn after 22.Rxc1 Nxb7 23.b4! e.g. 21...a5 24.Qc6! More accurate is 21.Rxc8, and then 21...Rxc8 transposes to the line given by <Ratt Boy>, while 21...Bxc8 loses to 22.Ne5! and Black is busted. White is threatening 23.Bxf7+ Rxf7 24.Nxf7 Qxf7 25.Re8+ or 23.Nxf7 Rxf7 24.Qe8+/ 24.Re8+ Kh7 25.Bxf7 Qxf7 26.Rxc8, and there's no good defence. E.g., 22...Qd8 23.Ng6!; 22...Qe7 23.Qd1! (or 23.Re3); 22...Bb7 23.Bxb7 Nxb7 24.Nd7; or 22...Be6 23.Nd7! Bxd7 24.Qxd7 Qd8 (24...g6 25.b4 wins a piece; 24...Rd8 25.Re8+; 24...Qxb2 25.Bxf7+) 25.Re7 Qxd7 26.Rxd7 with a hopeless position for Black.

As already noted, the decisive mistake was 22...Rcd8??; but the mistake is already in the making with 21...Rd7, which clearly aims at doubling rooks on the d-file and thus allows Kasparov to lay his trap with 22.Qg4, tempting Karpov to "defend" the rook and thereby complete the doubling without thinking too much. The right way to double was with 21...Rc7 and then ...Rcd7, in which case Black doesn't seem to have any special problems.

Dec-20-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <guikfc> The idea 6...Qa5 has been tried a few times, with very poor results after 7.Bxf6 -- for example, Taimanov vs R Estevez, 1973
Dec-20-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <Basically, due to all this song-and-dance I was completely knocked off balance and couldn't play the 11th game properly, of course... The outcome is well known: I tripped up horribly and lost very quickly.>

They should have stopped the match at that point, and possibly restarted it later with an even score.

Dec-20-10  weisyschwarz: <monkeyfish18: I named this game and I still can't believe it made it on to GOTD so quickly! I'm dumbfounded!>

That is indeed hard to believe.

Wasn't there some sort of backlog of games to go through from years ago?...someone else has been busted.

Dec-20-10  Everett: One of the worst names I've ever seen for game of the day. "Busted" should be used, IMO, on a game when a TN is refuted OTB.

Back to the game, what a gift Karpov gave Kasparov here. Really a shame, in that it mars an otherwise well-played game. Who knows who wins after Karpov plays 22..Rd6

<The right way to double was with 21...Rc7 and then ...Rcd7, in which case Black doesn't seem to have any special problems.> This puts the rooks in the exact same position as in the game.

Dec-20-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <<The right way to double was with 21...Rc7 and then ...Rcd7, in which case Black doesn't seem to have any special problems.> This puts the rooks in the exact same position as in the game.>

Yeah, but the point was that after 21...Rc7 there wouldn't be much sense for White in playing 22.Qg4 - or at least his intention would be made much more transparent than in the game; Kasparov himself actually gives in his notes 21...Rc7! 22.Be4 Rcd7 "with complete equality".

Dec-20-10  WhiteRook48: nice play by kasparov
Dec-20-10  Llawdogg: Beautiful tactics! Very nice.
Dec-21-10  FourQ: <monkeyfish18>

So how long did it take from you naming it to it being selected gotd?

Dec-21-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Nice finish! The tactics of a champion-to-be!
Dec-23-10  Tigranny: Nice finish is right kevin86. I read this game in a book before.
Aug-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <kamalakanta> A very fine piece about Lasker. I have always admired Lasker, and Fischer's irreverent phrase (coffeehouse player) bothered me. Capablanca wrote that Lasker was one of the best end-game players of all time. Lasker was, simply put, a very STRONG chess player. He understood the game and he was so self-confident that he sometimes played weak moves in order to get the opponent of the beaten track, where you have to think on your own. Then beat the opponent.
Mar-27-12  Nimrod 21: Should we be offended at the description of Lasker as a coffeehouse player? And is it a "gross error"? True, Fischer meant it scornfully at the time (he was pretty young) but it's a historical fact that a coffeehouse is where Lasker developed his ultra-pragmatic fighting game, one of the strongest ever seen.
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Kasparov on Kasparov: Part I
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