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Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov
"The Siege of Leningrad" (game of the day May-02-2017)
Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Rematch (1986), London ENG / Leningrad URS, rd 22, Oct-03
Queen's Gambit Declined: Anti-Tartakower. Petrosian Variation (D55)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-02-17  Keyser Soze: < blunderclap: Leningrad was never taken by the germans, so the pun's kind of wrong.>

Wow..Can't we be a little less literal (and nerdy) on historical facts?

Basically here there's two former URSS players.. One player is surrounding and suffocating the other player pieces. The "siege" reference is obvious. And let's stop there..

The pun was cool enough..

May-02-17  The Kings Domain: Fine positional game from the greatest rivalry the game has known.
May-02-17  User not found: <Blunderchap>. Ask him to throw up a few diagrams and examine lines and variations concerning the <game of chess> as opposed to the very important pun guesses? I'll wait, lol.
May-02-17  User not found: Even though I'm now questioning your sanity, (And mine for talking to the riddler!?) i'd say out of the regulars I have a 7/10 knowledge and on my best day I've beaten 2200 players, I'm just an average chess lover so to answer your question I'd say yes.. I have a good clue :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<blunderclap> Leningrad was never taken by the germans, so the pun's kind of wrong.>

Not to nitpick too much, but you need to check your history. The Germans during WW II laid siege to Leningrad from Sep-08, 1941 to Jan-27, 1944, although the Soviets managed to open a narrow land corridor (6 8 miles wide) on Jan-18, 1943, which provided some relief. So, depending on how strict you want to be, the siege of Leningrad lasted either 872 days or 498 days.

The siege was not successful in the sense that the city was not captured, but then not all sieges in history have been successful. But then the title of this game is "The Siege of Leningrad", not "The Capture of Leningrad" so, whatever its merits or lack of merits, the title is not wrong.

The Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Rematch (1986) match was played in both London and Leningrad, with the first half in London. Since this was game was #22 in the match it was played in Leningrad so a reference to Leningrad in the title was appropriate. I have a book titled "The Battle for Leningrad, 1941-1944" which is 660 pages long and so I haven't finished it yet (and it's probably more than 872 days since I started reading it!). So perhaps a more suitable title for this game would have been "The Battle for Leningrad, 1986".

To end this post on a lighter note, an old Russian man was asked what he liked most about Russia. His reply: "Because I was born in Russia I got to travel a lot! I was born in St. Petersburg, went to grade school in Petrograd, worked most of my life in Leningrad, and I have now retired back in St. Petersburg."

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: what was the name of Stalingrad, before Joe came to power and renamed the city after himself?
May-02-17  Petrosianic: <But then the title of this game is "The Siege of Leningrad", not "The Capture of Leningrad" so, whatever its merits or lack of merits, the title is not wrong.>

The title is wrong because the Siege doesn't end the right way. It's like saying "It's just like Dunkirk except the defenders all get slaughtered at the end instead of escaping." In other words, NOT like Dunkirk.

This is the REAL Siege of Leningrad game. Follow the progress of White's b and d pawns.

Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1978

May-02-17  nok: <what was the name of Stalingrad, before Joe came to power> Tsaritsyn
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <HeMateMe: what was the name of Stalingrad, before Joe came to power and renamed the city after himself?>


May-03-17  Petrosianic: <nok: <what was the name of Stalingrad, before Joe came to power> Tsaritsyn>

There's an old joke about that.

"Where were you born?"
"Where did you grow up?"
"Where do you live now?"
"Where would you like to live?"

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: There's an old joke about Woking, where Paul Weller was born:

"Where were you born?"
"Where did you grow up?"
"Where do you live now?"
"Where would you like to live?"


Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <blunderclap>, <Petrosianic> I have to say that I don't understand your comments. The game's title has the word "siege" in it, not "taken". And whether a siege ends the "right" way or not depends on your perspective, whether you are one of the besieged or whether you are doing the besieging. But OK, no sense in belaboring the point.
May-03-17  Petrosianic: So you wouldn't see any absurdity in naming a battle where the defenders get wiped out after the Battle of Dunkirk because "it was like Dunkirk until the end"? I sort of see what you're saying (i.e. PART of this battle is like PART of that battle, but it's kind of a strained point).

It reminds me of that joke in the Monty Python Election Day sketch where Michael Palin reports election results by saying "This result is largely as I expected, except that the Silly Party won."

May-03-17  Petrosianic: How about if I agree that the name is not so much "wrong" as it is "not very good" (which is subjective)? I mean really, the name was given only because the game was played in Leningrad, which seems like a weak reason. By that criteria ANY of the 24 games of this mach could be called "The Siege of Leningrad".
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Petrosianic> I didn't think that we were talking about a battle but whether the title of a game was technically correct or not. And it had nothing to do with Dunkirk. So I think that we are talking about different things and, if we are, it's not unreasonable that our responses don't make sense to the other person. Which is OK, sometimes my own comments don't make sense to myself.
May-03-17  Petrosianic: I didn't say your comment made no sense. Actually I said I saw what you were getting at, but that the analogy was very strained. There is a very vague similarity with the Siege of Leningrad, in the sense that both are conflicts that took place in Leningrad. But the similarity ends there.

And as I say, you could equally well call all 24 games of this match "The Siege of Leningrad" by such criteria. I would have saved this name for a game that fit it better.

May-03-17  Petrosianic: Speaking of "Saving" the name, do they ever re-use these names, or do they avoid it?

I remember seeing a Botvinnik game called "Bott and Paid For" that, again, could apply equally well to every game he ever played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Oh yes, they occasionally reuse the names although I suspect that they try to avoid it. I presume that it has to do with (a) how good the name is, (b) how wide is it's applicability, and (c) how inspired (or uninspired) they feel that day.

And I sure hope that they don't reuse "The Siege of Leningrad" any time soon! :-)

May-03-17  Petrosianic: If they reuse the names, that weakens my objection somewhat. But I hope they do reuse it and give it to the game that really deserves it:

Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1978

May-03-17  morfishine: Thank you <UserNotFound> for identifying <blunderclap> as as notorious "Troll"

I always got your back covered brother


May-22-17  JPi: Thanks for the note beatgiant. It's happen sometimes when you are without practice for nearly 20 years... I will care next time.
Sep-06-17  Albion 1959: In the context of the match, which was tied at 10 and half each after 21 games. This was in effect the deciding game that put Kasparov in the lead and ultimately won him the match! It always amazes me how Kasparov can find these attacks and the energy with which he plays them. Kaspowerov !!
Sep-07-17  SChesshevsky: Kasparov annotates the match in his book "London-Leningrad Championship Games".

It's available used with Kasparov an excellent analytical writer and the book also a great read.

Sep-13-17  Howard: As far as the 1986 match, you'd be better off reading about it in Kasparov's second volume on his games with Karpov. That book, incidentally, also covers K-K IV, as well.
Sep-13-17  SChesshevsky: What's great about the "London-Leningrad" book is that it was written somewhat near the end of the match (as was his book on his championship win) rather than years later.

I think the antagonism between the two players and the dynamic analysis of the games would seem to come through much, much clearer in the earlier books.

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