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Larry Melvyn Evans vs Anatoly Karpov
San Antonio (1972), San Antonio, TX USA, rd 11, Dec-03
English Opening: Symmetrical. Symmetrical Variation (A36)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-09-14  Petrosianic: Evans annotated this game in his column in "Boy's Life", in which he mentioned that the Soviets were "grooming" Karpov as a possible future world champion (whatever that means. Actually, "grooming" isn't the first word that comes to mind when you see pictures of Karpov from those days).

Evans also commented on being impressed by Karpov's "coolness under fire" in this game. That's what he said, but he was probably also happy at drawing with all three of the tournament winners in an otherwise disappointing tournament, and being able to show off one of the games to the Boy Scouts.

Apr-09-14  Everett: Wow, these two only met once. Guess Evans was out of the top tournaments then?
May-10-15  Howard: Oh, yes, I remember that Boys' Life column---it was back in 1973. In fact, that was the FIRST time I'd ever heard of this guy named Karpov.

"Grooming" is probably more of a political term. In the column, Evans meant that the Soviets were preparing Karpov as a possible WC in the future.

Given that he was already one of the world's top 10 players in 1973, and that he was only 22, that would hardly be a surprise.

As for Everett's comment, Evans started becoming less active in the mid-1970's. Besides, in 1972, he turned 40 so his days as a world-class player were pretty much over with by then.

May-10-15  Retireborn: San Antonio seems to have been Evans' last big international tournament. His last Olympiad was Haifa in 1976, where he played 3rd board and helped US to Gold medals.

He did enjoy one last tournament success in 1980, sharing first place in the Greenville US ch with Browne and Christiansen.

May-11-15  Howard: True---his tie for first place in the 1980 U.S. Championship was definitely a noteworthy result.

It's worth mentioning, by the way, that that was his first time in the championship since 1974, when he tied with Benko for 2nd-3rd place. He would certainly have been eligible for the 1975, 1977, and (probably) the 1978 editions, but he was apparently not interested.

May-12-15  Retireborn: <Howard> Perhaps Greenville had a more attractive prize fund, or perhaps he didn't fancy trekking to Ohio for those other tournaments (did he actually live in Nevada though? Not sure.)

Must admit I've never known how players get selected for closed US championships though. Is it just a matter of internal rating, or do the sponsors simply invite the players they want?

May-13-15  Howard: Well, if you read Evan's columns back in the mid-70's you'd know the answer to that question, because he addressed that very question once back then.
May-13-15  Howard: Oops ! It just occurred to me that not everyone has been a USCF member for 40 years like I have !

To answer your inquiry, back in the 70's, the top 14 or 16 players by USCF rating were invited. If a player turned down his invitation, it'd go to the next player in line then.

As far as Larry Evan's not always playing in the championship back in the 70's, he once addressed that matter by saying "Chess is fun, but it's also work." He went on to say that until certain playing conditions improved (I don't think he was more specific than that.), he would not be playing in these events.

Maybe in 1980, he needed the $$$, so he decided to play this time.

He did make it through the first two rounds of the 1981 edition, by the way, but then he had to withdraw because of illness. It was his last appearance in the U.S. championship.

May-13-15  Retireborn: Thanks, Howard. I will not conceal anything from you - I am a Brit, and have never clapped eyes on an Evans column, or indeed any US chess magazine.
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