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Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov
"Garry Garry Quite Contrary" (game of the day Nov-08-2008)
Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Match (1990), New York, NY USA, rd 2, Oct-10
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Flohr System (C92)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Four times in a row, actually - there were already games from the 1985, 1986 & 1987 matches...

<Kasparov's 25. B:h6 is a very deep sacrifice: in the end Karpov has small material advantage (2 knights vs. a rook and a pawn), but open d-file kills him because white rook and queen can use it virtually unopposed.> Indeed - as well as the generally much better coordination of White's pieces, and the weakened position of Black's king, which succumbs to the second wave of attack, led by f4-f5. If Black tries to stop the invasion on the d-file by 31...Bd7, 32.Rc5 seems very strong - winning the a5 pawn with Black gaining no counterplay.

An alternative elegant way to win on move 36 (instead of Qf2) would have been Rg3! followed by Rg5 (the rook is immune - 36...Qxg3 37.Rh8+! Kxh8 38.Qxh6+ Kg8 39.f6; or 37...Kg7 38.Qxh6+ Kf6 39.fxg6 fxg6 40.Re8).

All of Kasparov's three Ruy Lopez wins from the 1990 match are masterpieces: game 18 (Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990) is a positional brilliancy; game 20 (Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990) a tactical brilliancy; this one, something in between.

Nov-08-08  arnaud1959: <Andrijadj: This is an unfair treatment of Anatoly,the site is just posting Garry's wins:))> I disagree on this treatment issue. Kasparov's wins contain some understandable strategy for an average player and some great tactics while Karpov's wins are mostly deep strategical ones, difficult to understand. Even Spassky said that when he was playing against him he was not able to understand what was going on on the board. His positional feeling is so developped that very often he comments the positions as "white is slightly better" or "black is better" without giving a convicting reason.

So, I would like to be able to win like Karpov but I prefer studying Kasparov wins although being naturally a strategical player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <arnaud1959> I believe <Andrijadj>'s comment was said in jest, but in any case the policy of "games of the day" from WCs lately (Game of the Day Archive) is simply to pick a game which was won by the winner of the entire match (or at least the champion who managed to hold his title by a draw, as in 1986). Karpov did get his share of such games from the 1978, 1981, and even the 1984 matches...

Speaking of "deep strategical wins" by Karpov, game 17 of the 1990 match (Karpov vs Kasparov, 1990) is a superb example.

Nov-08-08  Andrijadj: I was just kidding,I even put a smiley...But,if i were the site management,I would pick some fighting drav from Seville match...For example,game 7 or game 15,which were,in my opinion,the best games in the match...
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Another one of a long series of WC games between the two. They were like the Celtics and Lakers of chess.

The finish is clear-Kaspy was a rook and two pawns ahead for a knight.

Nov-08-08  Autoreparaturwerkbau: What's the pun about? The closest thing that comes up my mind is: "Words are very unnecessary..." from Depeche Mode, Enjoy The Silence. But i know it ain't any close.
Nov-08-08  HannibalSchlecter: This is the kind of bold risk taking play that won Garry many fans and many games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: <Autoreparaturwerkbau> The pun is a take on the nursery rhyme, Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? That's just the opening of it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: Hey, Chessmensch! Penn State lost to Iowa by the score of 24-23 but it won't hurt BCS for Penn State. Don't feel dejected, OK, Chessmensch? Penn State will have two more games (Indiana and Michigan State). I bet my boots PSU will be selected for the major bowl.


Nov-09-08  arnaud1959: <Andrijadj:> I'm sure that you were kidding but some people had posted the same comment and they were serious. My point is that cg tries (I think) to choose a "game of the day" according to what people want to see in general. In that perspective we might see many brilliant Karpov wins but more of Kasparov wins.

Sometimes I find myself some great, instructive games that nobody has commented. A recent exemple:M Vachier Lagrave vs Vaisser, 2008

Nov-09-08  Granny O Doul: Larry C in the press room immediately gave 25.Bh6 as nearly winning for White, while Yasser thought it a blunder. Larry in general was very good at predicting Kasparov's moves, even when they turned out to be not the best, and Yasser, among the GM's commenting, was the most likely to prefer Karpov's position at a given point.
Jan-05-09  Andrijadj: No no,it is from english nursery rhyme,Mery Mery quite contrary...
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Tolya, Tolya Can't Console Ya
Apr-17-09  WhiteRook48: Kasparov is Bloody Mary!!
Jun-30-09  Knight13: <spirit: how does 42.Bxg6 continue?> 42...Kh8 43. Rxh6 and Black's king is safer. It's just not the best continuation. The bishop is doing a good job on b1 already. Why not let it stay there and use it for maximum effect?
Sep-05-09  ToTheDeath: Kasparov was great at positions calling for a sacrifice of two pieces for rook and pawn(s).

Usually these situations favor the side with the pieces but if the pawns taken away expose the enemy king and the rooks can get active it is a dynamic imbalance favoring the side with the rooks. It was Tal who made this idea a formidable weapon at the top level- see Tal vs S Johannessen, 1959

Sep-05-09  taliakarpovia: am a huge talfan and a karpov fan.. must admit after karpovs victories...Kasparov got away his mind pressure and in 1990 's..he played masterpiece games..but In fact before 1993 kasparov was not big as karpov as..I think if karpov had won that 84 match.. wish if it had happened..but we lost!!!..1984 match must have not broken..:((( naruto language..Kaspy s kyuubi sealed in that match..even fi you have sharingan..
Sep-05-09  taliakarpovia: Karpov and petrosian are the biggest in exact positional tal,svidler, in dynamic and art:) kasparov in positional fisher and botvinnik in pawn structure and eliminating material..:))...and of course smyslov in endgame...But Alekhine is the only one who died as champion..This mieans a lot to me..Also Alekhine could crash Capa in rematch..(f it played))
Apr-03-10  Kinghunt: Very interesting, Kasparov and Karpov debated this line in 4 separate games in their 1990 match, playing all the same moves up through move 15 in all four games. The result: Kasparov scored +2 =2 -0, for a total score of 75% with this opening.

Below are the other three 1990 games involving this opening: Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990

Apr-17-11  talisman: <taliakarpovia> <Alekhine could crash Capa in rematch>...i disagree. remember Alekhine rhymes with?........CHICKEN!
Jun-25-13  Kinghunt: Engines have come a long way in the last few years. As I noted at Topalov vs Shirov, 1998 in 2010, engines approved of Kasparov's Bxh6, but wouldn't find it themselves. Three years later, Stockfish 3 finds the move instantly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Granny O Doul,

"Larry C in the press room immediately gave 25.Bh6 as nearly winning for White, while Yasser thought it a blunder.

Larry in general was very good at predicting Kasparov's moves, even when they turned out to be not the best, and Yasser, among the GM's commenting, was the most likely to prefer Karpov's position at a given point."

Sounds like you were there, if not then a very good post and observation.

After 25.Bxh6

click for larger view

Yasser Seirawan was accepting bets of $80 saying Karpov would win. Patrick Wolff and Nick de Firmian took him up on the offer.

Source, 'Clash of the Titans' by Ray Keene. Another of RDK's World Championship book that is very entertaining.

"If the Battle of Waterloo was won the playing fields of Eton then Karpov vs Kasparov, 1990 was lost in the coffee houses of Vienna."

Ray could hardly fail as the games really are a feast of what's good in chess. All the 1990's W.C. matches were, Kasparov -v- Karpov, Short and Anand. Some great games. Sadly it was the swan song of chess.

Along came Kramnik and the rise of the personal computer. Kapsarov quit a few a years later and the game has not been the same since.

(sorry it took me 8 years to reply...been busy.)

Feb-25-17  Joker2048: Kasparov crushed karpov here...
Perfect play by Garry
Aug-11-18  Caissa04: 28 years later and this game is still dynamite.
Nov-06-18  Caleb554: Kasparov's wins are quite impressive. But the fact remains Garry leads Anotoly by only 2 points in their head-to-head classical matches. Kasparov is better than Karpov by only a small margin.With little bit more luck and mental focus, Karpov could have won one more world championship match defeating Kasparov. Especially during 1987 match where needed only a draw in the final game to win the match.
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