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Anatoly Karpov vs Garry Kasparov
"When We Were Kings" (game of the day May-09-11)
Tilburg Wahls,M (1991)  ·  King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Modern System (E97)  ·  1/2-1/2
To move:
Last move:

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: Well, the way the 50-move rule is stated, I suppose Kasparov could make the claim at any point. So, maybe he played on, going for a clear draw by, for example, capturing the bishop, and if he got into a position where he realized, "Oh, s---, I'm lost", then he would have claimed the draw by the 50-move rule. :)

In a flash of insight, it occurs to me Karpov almost certainly had a won position before the last pawn was taken. As has already been pointed out in this thread, B+N+N vs R is generally drawn because the rook has the drawing resource of RxB, reaching a drawn king plus two knights vs bare king ending. However, B+B+N vs R is generally won, because the rook can't be sacrificed to eliminate one of the minor pieces to reach a drawn ending. Here's the key point, though: while king plus two knights vs bare king is won, king plus two knights vs king plus pawn is winnable if the pawn is not sufficiently advanced.

I'm looking at the position after 47...Ra4. Black still has a d-pawn that can be blockaded - it won't get any further than d4. Checking the Nalimov database, I see that N+N vs pawn on d4 is usually winnable when the pawn is blockaded. So, I'm thinking, the way to win this is to keep the d-pawn on the board, get rid of the h-pawn, and work the Black king into a corner.

For White's 48th move, I don't like 48. Ngf4, as the Black king can confuse the issue by moving to f6, threatening Rxf4. Instead, I like 48. Kh2 Kg7 49. Kh3 Kf6 50. Nxh4. With only the blockaded d-pawn left on the board, now White pushes the Black king to a corner to win. Geez, simple technique, how did Karpov miss this? (Of course, we need a 7-piece to confirm this with absolute certainty, but it's gotta be right!)

Feb-19-08  TheaN: 2/2

114....Rf6+ salvages the half point for Kasparov.

115.Kxf6 stalemate =
115.Ke8 Rxf5 116.Nxf5 =

<sombreronegro: I was thinking ... Ra5. >

How is 115.Ng6# not checkmate that way ? Remember that you're removing the rook from the g6 defence.

Feb-19-08  newzild: Easy peasy today - only took about two seconds with yesterday's puzzle fresh in my head.
Feb-19-08  JG27Pyth: <In 1979 the 50-move rule did exist as well, but at that time there were exceptions for some endings...>

Oh thank god, I didn't hallucinate this! I knew I distinctly remembered there was some exception to the 50 move rule for some NN v P endings... the rule has been changed? Since 1992 you say?

I'm always the last to know.

Feb-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: Yes, the rule is now 50 moves for anything. That is certainly for the best, since it's ludicrous to believe any human can play these endings perfectly. Back in the 1970s, when endgame databases were just getting started, I remember how extremely difficult it was for anyone to beat a computer with a database in the K+Q vs K+R ending. Even GMs could not get the mate in 50 moves - just ask Walter Browne!

However, if you think this rule is unfair - I mean, here you've studied K+N+N vs K+P, you get to the ending in a game, and you realize you can't win it in less than 50 moves, bummer! - then there are a whole bunch of new limits that need to be defined. Allowing 100 moves for K+N+N vs K+P is just the tip of the iceberg - heck, how about this K+R+N vs K+N+N position, which requires 262 moves to win...?

http://www.chessbase.com/newsroom2....

Mind boggling, eh?

Feb-20-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Just for fun, I composed an ending where NN&B win vs. R. It's not a beauty, and I'm not a composer, but it might amuse you.

White: Kb6, Bc7, Nd7, Ne7
Black: Ka8, Rc8
White mates in 4.

1.Nxc8?? is stale, and Black threatens 1...Rxc7!, so 1.Nd5!

1...Rxc7; 2.Nxc7X
1...Rh8; 2.Ka6,Rh6+; 3.N(either)b6+,Rxb6; 4.Nxb6X
1...Rd8; 2.Ka6!,Rxd7; 3.Nb6X
1...Rb8+; 2.Ka6,Rb1; 3.N(either)b6+,Rxb6; 4.Nxb6X

The key is that White's Ne7 must be able to occupy two squares that are already occupied by White's King and Bishop. He must also avoid a lot of stalemate traps. I hope you like it, flaws and all.

Jan-08-09  WhiteRook48: so this is the "crazy rook" draw?
Mar-01-09  WhiteRook48: do you know FEN?
Jul-26-09  WhiteRook48: stalemate traps are the key here
May-09-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: GOTD? Ah yes; it may have taken a whole day to conclude!
May-09-11  MaxwellsDemon: While not necessarily the most clever, certainly the most poignantly titled game I've seen in a while.
May-09-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Can't white just win this game by playing 32.Q x Q?.

White then has 3 minor pieces for the Rook.

May-09-11  SBarrett449: Looks like Kasparov was intent on playing for a draw early on in the game?
May-09-11  piltdown man: Grandmaster draws! I've had enough of them!
May-09-11  newzild: One hell of a game.

Cute shot at the end, too.

May-09-11  hedgeh0g: Couldn't Black have claimed a draw on move 113 by the 50-move rule?
May-09-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Three pieces SHOULD win vs a rook. However,in practice,a win is virtually impossible-especially against a champion.

Upon further review,NN+B vs rook appears to be a draw because black can exchange R for B and leave the opponent with a bare two knight draw.

May-09-11  drnooo: great title guys the best you've ever had they were the best, nobody else in their day even close not until krammnik and even then the match was way too short
May-09-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <hedgeh0g> With the last capture or pawn move on White's 63rd, Black had the opportunity to claim the draw before making his 113th. But that would require calling in the arbiter and a lot of muss and fuss.

So he goes ahead and sets the stalemate trap with <113...Ra6+>. If Karpov avoids it, no big deal; he can just claim on the next move. But Karpov is apparently in the mood to create a future Puzzle of the Day for chessgames.com, and "falls for it".

Then again, maybe not. Who knows what these guys are thinking about?

May-09-11  TheChessGuy: The pun refers to a documentary film about the Rumble in the Jungle, the legendary title fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Kinshasa in 1974. One of the best movies about boxing I've ever seen; any fan of the Sweet Science should check it out.
May-09-11  checkmateyourmove: Fantastic pun for an interesting game!!
May-09-11  shalgo: Cool. My name for the game was picked. I almost didn't notice.
May-09-11  Penguincw: It's been a while since we saw these kings play chess.
May-09-11  WhiteRook48: Kasparov is the best
May-11-11  W O C E: I know it's great for the fans, but man, weren't these guys just so tired of meeting each other at this point?
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Kasparov on Kasparov: Part I
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